There are times in life when one is right, and times when one is wrong. I realized over the past week that this list has been much more 162 than 60. We have passed a third of the season and one thing has become apparent above all: The changes implemented by MLB and teams have not affected everyone equally. Some have thrived, others have wilted. A big part of this list was the theory that a short season would help the older players. For the most part, this has not happened. So gentle readers, the electronic tones of LCD Soundsystem to you. I can change.
There is so much change in this list from last time we’re more or less starting over. There are no previous rankings or plus or minus this week because 15% of the list changed in one week. Pour one out for the 15 who are gone. We’re looking to the future, and a new Number 1.
#1 Fernando Tatis Jr. – He was going to be Number 2, but then he broke the unwritten rule rubicon and threw in a steal of third for good measure. Hail to the chief.
#28 & #29 Matt Chapman & Matt Olson– These guys aren’t making a ton of contact, but 9 homers speak volumes, and they’re the heart and soul of the team having the most fun (sorry Tampa) in 2020. Turns out August really does stand for A’s, no matter when the season starts.
#20 Nolan Arenado – He’s hitting a horrible .218, still has plenty of pop with 7 homers, but he’s going to have to raise that average to move up into the top 15. At the same time, he’s strong history and prime age keep him at #20.
#21 Brandon Lowe – .313, 9 homers, fourth with 64 Total Bases. His greatness can no longer be ignored. Sometimes a player makes the ‘The Leap’. Time to accept it.
#22 Luke Voit – Second in the league with 10 homers, hitting .311, all his Yankee teammates going down is just giving him more opportunities to rack up RBI. 5 homers in his last 4 games, he’s locked in.
#25 Jose Abreu – The best of the Cuban imports (Rusney Castillo should send 40% of his contract to Abreu), combines his 10 homers with a .322 average. His three home run games are quieter and more dignified than some others.
#27 & #28 Francisco Lindor & Jose Ramirez – Lindor is only at .252 with 4 homers, Ramirez .233 with 5 homers. The Indians must feel lucky to be in the AL Central with the middle of their lineup doing that and the starters a mess.
#32 Jesse Winker – .328, 6 homers, .458 OBA, at some point it’s just not a mirage.
#33 Anthony Santander – The best Rule 5 choice in a few years, .291, 74 Total Bases, 10 homers. Seriously, this guy is top three in all of baseball in TB. He’d be higher with any kind of track record (.261, 20 HR, .773 OPS was considered a career year last year, currently sporting a 1.012 OPS).
#34 Teoscar Hernandez – Outshining his more hyped teammates by a long shot. .289, 9 homers, 2 steals.
#37 Ian Happ – .296, 6 homers, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 1.036 SLG! It’s Happ-ening! He’s picking up the slack for the injured Bryant and slumping Schwarber.
#38 Kyle Lewis – Finally right?!? Third in the league in batting at .373 with 6 homers. Another lack of track record or he’d be higher.
#42 J.D. Martinez – .235, 3 homers, hating life in the shutdown. He’d be lower if it weren’t for his track record and still prime age, may turn things around if traded to a contender so he remains on the radar.
#47 Aaron Judge – He’s almost back. Of course, that could mean he’s almost on the shelf again.
#49 Wilmer Flores – We touts have been waiting for this for years. Gotta start him against lefties. Overall .317 with 7 homers.
#50 Kole Calhoun – 7 homers speaks volumes.
#53 Donovan Solano – You could argue Yaz should be higher, but Solano is batting a smooth .363. No power, but that’s impressive.
#56 Mitch Moreland – His legs might go at any second, and he sits against most lefties, but .340 and 7 homers. And he could be traded at any time and start playing for a contender again.
#56 Dansby Swanson – .306, 3 homers, another taking advantage of more famous teammates going down. Number 1 overall pick from 2015 finally achieving some of that promise.
#70 Mike Yastrzemski – .311, 6 homers, unlike some others on this list is practically an old man at 30 in only his second season. Still, he’s making his Grand Dad proud.
#80 Trent Grisham – The loudest of 3 homer games on Twitter, .271, 4 steals, .381 OBA, 7 homers overall. Part of the San Diego fairy tale that doesn’t want to end. Gotta be thrilled for Don Orsillo.
#87 Dominic Smith – Clint Frazier may be on the list soon, but his fellow 2013 draftee has quietly stolen the baton. .323, 6 homers, .403 OBA. He would be higher but his team has stopped playing for a week.
#91 Wil Myers – Is this the year he puts it all together? .280, 7 homers. Seriously, the Brothers Grimm couldn’t come up with this stuff. Day after day Grand Slams, Wil Myers justifying his contract for even a short time, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
#93 David Fletcher – .316, 3 homers, 9 doubles, .374 OBA, 2 steals. Plus, he’s Twitter’s favorite player.
#94 Gleyber Torres – He’s on the shelf and it was worse than they thought, so two weeks. He’s one bad report away from off the list, but hanging on for now.
#97 Hanser Alberto – .321 for the fighting Birds.
There’s plenty of movement in the holdovers. They’re either killing it, they’re slipping or they’ve gotten injured. So many injuries. Oh, and the Astros are having a tough time at the plate even as they move up in the AL West.