Welcome to the re RE started 2020 Summer Camp preseason Top 100. It’s Corona’s world and we’re all just living in it. To wit: There is no specific time period for the Covid-19 IL. Two weeks? A month? Considering it takes two negative tests to come back, and even still medical science has more questions than answers, a positive test could turn the #1 pick into a non factor for your team. In an eight or nine week season, two weeks or more on the shelf is devastating. With that in mind, and Rudy’s alchemy, we’ve got some surprises. Keep in mind health and the Universal DH play a huge role, along with divisional changes.

With that said, once again it’s seamhead heaven, boys of summer katnip, and time to put away the hot stove. Of course we’re picking up our junior health care specialist kits, but I digress. Summer camp baseball has just started. Beer is flowing from Fenway Park to Anaheim Stadium and lazy afternoons at your house, or if you’re lucky your deck, are in vogue.

Finally, let’s be honest, no one truly knows what’s going to happen. So here’s the new pre-season Top 100.”Last” is tracking where the hitters were in the last Top 100 of March of 2020. “Change” is a change from that last 2020 ranking.

Top 100 Hitters

Rank Name Position Team Last Change
1 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF ATL 1 0
2 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF LAD 4 2
3 Christian Yelich OF MIL 2 -1
4 Francisco Lindor SS CLE 7 +3
5 Trea Turner SS WAS 8 +3
6 Trevor Story SS COL 5 +1
7 Mike Trout Mike Trout doesn’t feel comfortable playing this year. So we’re not comfortable taking him as the first, or second, or even sixth pick. Could we eat these words? Yes. OF LAA 3 +4
8 J.D. Martinez – The first massive mover. When the dust settles it turns out the engine of still one of the very best lineups in baseball is worth a top 10 pick. OF BOS 21 13
9 José Ramírez 3B CLE 11 -2
10 Mookie Betts OF LAD 6 -4
11 Rafael Devers – Just like JD, less movement equals more time in his division, where he loves to hit. 3B BOS 18 +7
12 Nolan Arenado 3B COL 12 0
13 Juan Soto OF WAS 9 -4
14 Alex Bregman SS/3B HOU 16 +2
15 Freddie Freeman – Yes, he has a hard case of the virus. It’s still early enough for him to fully recover, and his age, lineup, and move to playing 30% of his games in the AL East more than justifies this ranking. 1B ATL 14 -2
16 Giancarlo Stanton – He doesn’t play full seasons anymore. But a third of a season? He can stay healthy for a third of a season right? OF NYY 54 +38
17 Javier Baez SS CHC 22 +5
18 Starling Marte – His right handed pull and center power will play especially nicely in AL West venues. OF ARI 28 +10
19 Bryce Harper OF PHI 17 -2
20 Adalberto Mondesi SS KC 19 -1
21 George Springer OF HOU 26 +5
22 Ozzie Albies – He is going to love hitting in Fenway, Yankee Stadium and Baltimore in particular. 2B ATL 32 +10
23 Anthony Rizzo – DH possibilities and AL Central ballparks push him up the list. 1B CHC 34 +11
24 José Altuve 2B HOU 25 +1
25 Charlie Blackmon – Assuming he comes back from Covid-19 with no hickups, now he’s got the antibodies right? OF COL 53 +28
26 Nelson Cruz – Another risk off on an older guy with a shorter season, plus getting to hit in the best hitter’s park around in Cincinnati now. DH MIN 52 +26
27 Keston Hiura 2B MIL 33 +6
28 Gleyber Torres 2B/SS NYY 24 -4
29 Luis Robert – More secure playing time, hitting in the NL Central Parks, sometimes that gives you a 31 bump in the poll. OF CHW 60 +31
30 Ketel Marte 2B/OF ARI 30 0
31 Fernando Tatis Jr. – Ouch, the young fella getting dinged for moving to AL West parks 30% of the time. SS SD 10 -21
32 Manny Machado SS/3B SD 38 +6
33 Xander Bogaerts – Someone had to move down from Boston. SS BOS 23 -10
34 Josh Donaldson – Seriously, the AL Central batters who have center power are all getting a boost who get to play in the NL Central parks. 3B MIN 47 +13
35 Austin Meadows OF TAM 37 -2
36 Yordan Alvarez DH HOU 31 +5
37 Bo Bichette – He’s really good, and people are waking up to that fact. SS TOR 50 +13
38 Kris Bryant – Think of Bryant and Donaldson as two sides of the same coin. Bryant going to the other way to AL Central parks is good for his power. 3B/OF CHC 56 +18
39 Marcell Ozuna – The AL East will be very good for his right handed power stroke. OF ATL 62 +23
40 J.T. Realmuto – Same as Ozuna for a different NL East hitter. C PHI 65 +25
41 Anthony Rendon – Ouch Number 1, NL West parks are not good for his stroke. 3B LAA 13 -28
42 Pete Alonso – Ouch Number 2. Because he’s so vulgar I guess? Also over-hyped more likely. 1B NYM 15 -27
43 Tommy Pham – Unlike Tatis, his bat will appreciate the AL West parks. OF SD 58 +15
44 Yoán Moncada 3B CHW 41 -3
45 Jonathan Villar – Back home in the AL East. 2B/SS MIA 29 +16
46 Tim Anderson SS CHW 49 +3
47 Whit Merrifield – Late bloomer, can he keep up the .300/100 RBI 20 steal equivalent pace? 2B/OF KC 67 +20
48 Andrew Benintendi – When Benny has the flow going, good things are sure to follow. OF BOS 76 +28
49 Marcus Semien – If Grey can say Starlin Castro is going to win the NL MVP I can say Semien is going to win the AL MVP. SS OAK 44 -5
50 Eloy Jiménez – Right handed pull power greatly diminished moving to NL Central parks overall. I mean, he wasn’t moved past 50. OF CHW 36 -14
51 Shohei Ohtani – Is great at batting to center, move to NL West opponents greatly enhances his chances of success. DH LAA 77 +25
52 Carlos Correa – Injury concerns have waned, zooming him up the list. SS HOU 93 +41
53 Victor Robles OF WSH 61 +8
54 Kyle Schwarber – DH possibilites expand his playing time. OF CHC 80 +34
55 José Abreu – One batter who’s left handed pull tendency isn’t helped by Cincinnati or Milwaukee. 1B CHW 35 -20
56 Eddie Rosario OF MIN 51 -5
57 Yuli Gurriel – Underrated .300 hitter who’s RH pull tendency is perfect for NL Central locals. More at bats available with the DH. 1B/3B HOU 69 +12
58 Michael Brantley – Another overlooked Astro, what were we just saying about RH pull tendency? OF HOU 75 +17
59 Lorenzo Cain OF MIL NA NA
60 Paul Goldschmidt 1B STL 55 -5
61 Max Kepler – One of the biggest upgrades because 30% of his games are in Milwaukee and Cincinnati. OF MIN 90 +27
62 Mike Moustakas – The opposite of Kepler, he’s hurt going to the AL Central parks. 2B/3B CIN 48 -14
63 Matt Chapman – Move to NL West hurts his “to all fields” power. 3B OAK 46 -17
64 Jorge Polanco – Another Twin benefiting from playing the NL Central. SS MIN NA NA
65 Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. – NL East parks will not be kind to his right handed power. 3B TOR 42 -23
66 Matt Olson – One who will really feel the negative effects of moving to NL West stadiums. 1B OAK 20 -46
67 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/ OF NYM 71 +4
68 Josh Bell 1B PIT 68 -0
69 Justin Turner – His right handed bat is going to enjoy the AL West. 3B LAD NA NA
70 David Dahl – Relative youth, left handed power and the DH will be served against the AL Central OF COL NA NA
71 Rhys Hoskins – His right handed bat is going to love Baltimore and Boston, among others, in the AL East. 1B PHI 91 +20
72 Franmil Reyes OF CLE 78 +6
73 Andrew McCutchen – Another bat that’s going to love the AL East. OF PHI NA NA
74 Gary Sánchez C NYY 72 -2
75 Carlos Santana – Another beneficiary of the NL Central venues. OF CLE 94 +19
76 DJ LeMahieu – Slight depression thanks to NL East visits. (PHI isn’t as offensively inflationary as you think). 1B/2B/ 3B NYY 66 +10
77 Oscar Mercado – NL Central not nearly as kind to opposite field power. OF CLE 59 -18
78 Ryan Braun – DH beneficiary. OF MIL NA NA
79 Eugenio Suárez – Ouch, massive drop as AL Central doesn’t love right handed power. 3B CIN 39 -40
80 Jorge Soler – This short season is really unkind to right handed power playing 30% of their games in the NL Central. OF KC 40 -40
81 Byron Buxton – Might we finally see some promise? Right handed slap hitters will fare much better in the now familiar NL Central OF MIN NA NA
82 Aaron Judge – Free falling due to injury concerns (recovering from a broken rib, fairly crucial are for crushing pitches) and his RHH power being depressed in the NL East. Seriously, don’t judge us. OF NYY 27 -55
83 Michael Conforto – On who is hurt by the AL East confines. OF NYM 63 -20
84 Ramón Laureano – Should thrive with his right handed bat vs the NL West. OF OAK NA NA
85 Yasmani Grandal – Can’t catch a break, even though he’s going to his old stomping grounds. C/1B CWH 74 -11
86 Nick Castellanos – Right handed power sapped against the AL Central. OF CIN 64 -24
87 Amed Rosario SS NYM 87 0
88 Corey Seager – AL West opponents should be good for him. SS LAD NA NA
89 Salvador Perez – All fields approach will help against the NL Central. Sure he just tested positive for the virus, but he’s asymptomatic, it’s all fine! C KC NA NA
90 Adam Eaton – AL East opponents will make him feel just fine. OF WSH NA NA
91 Joey Gallo – Some have to lose, and that .200 BA potential is tough to swallow. OF TEX 57 -34
92 Paul DeJong – Will like going against the AL Central. SS STL NA NA
93 Khris Davis His right handed power will love the NL West. DH OAK NA NA
94 Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. OF TOR 98 +4
95 Willson Contreras C CHC 97 +2
96 Joey Votto – Battling the AL Central may give him one last hurrah. 1B CIN NA NA
97 Miguel Sanó – A possibility to have his right handed pull power hurt by the NL Central. And if you didn’t click on the Sal Perez link, Sano’s got maybe an asymptomatic case too. Unlike Sal, it doesn’t help. 3B MIN 82 -15
98 Eduardo Escobar – Unlike others, his bat won’t love the AL West. 2B/3B ARI 70 -18
99 Alex Verdugo – Injury concerns abated. Could be ready for a big year. OF BOS NA NA
100 David Peralta – Left handed power likes the AL West. OF ARI NA NA
 
  1. Woody says:
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    Hi Thomas – thanks so much for the list. I love all of Razzball’s rankings and lists and use those as my go-to cheat sheets throughout season.

    I notice Muncy isn’t on the list – do you really think he isn’t a top 100 bat? And I’m guessing by leaving him off you would take Moustakas over him?

    Also, I see Hiura is ranked at #27, no concerns for his sophomore season?

    Thanks!

    • Thomas Howland

      Thomas Howland says:
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      See my reply below :)

  2. Thomas Howland

    Thomas Howland says:
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    At this point Muncy is hurt by playing more of his games in AL West parks enough to bump him under the top 100, where Moustakas gets parks that accentuate his center field power in the NL Central and back to the AL Central. Cincinnati is essentially the best park to hit in for Moose. As for Hiura, he’s shown a smooth career advancement track. But in the end, if you feel strongly about Muncy, go for it. There really are so many wacky variables that can happen in a 60 game season. This is our best guess today based on our projections.

  3. DB says:
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    Where does the 30% of each player’s games being played at the ballparks of their interleague division counterparts come from?

    I thought it was 40/60 games against intraleague divisional opponents and 20/60 against interleague divisional opponents. And those 20 interleague games would be somewhere around a 50-50 split between home and away for all teams.

    Overall, I dig the unique scheduling consideration within your rankings. Thanks Thomas!

    • Thomas Howland

      Thomas Howland says:
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      It’s 60 games total, with 20 games interleague. So yes, I was a little off with the 30% at an interleague park, it’s more like 15%. All in all it’s a huge change from what they did formally, so we crunched all that into the projections. Thank you so much!

  4. Bamabterry says:
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    Why does tatis get dinged for having to play more games vs AL west. And olsen get dinged for having to play more gmes vs NL west?

    • Thomas Howland

      Thomas Howland says:
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      Olson’s left hand pull power is hurt by the move to NL West parks (right handed pull power gets a boost). Tatis is hard projection, second year player, lots of changes in the overall schedule. Did my best to concentrate comments to a sentence or two, but the overall schedule change does hurt him a lot (fewer games in the NL West for his right handed pull power to blossom, AL West parks hurt right handed pull power, etc.).

  5. Bterry says:
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    Will NL west bats be hurt by playing more in AL west? And if so… will AL west bats be hirt by playing more in nl west? How can both be possible?

    • Thomas Howland

      Thomas Howland says:
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      It all depends on the player. Right handed pull power, for example, is helped playing in the AL West. Conversely, left handed pull power is hurt moving to AL West parks. That’s it in broadstrokes. It’s not everything, but for most players the difference between a homerun and an out is a matter of feet, unless you’re talking about Stanton.

      • Bterry says:
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        Makes sense. I put Olsen in that same giancarlo category. Field doesnt matter much for him. Half his games in oakland hasnt hurt him yet

        • Thomas Howland

          Thomas Howland says:
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          In a short season like this, you could be 100% right.

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