Slight format change going forward with this column — I’m going to be leaving short term DL candidates near where they were ranked previously. It was become too hard to remember who and when players were coming back. (Yes, I do write the injury column — but I don’t write the healthy column.) This is what happened with Starling Marte — I don’t own any shares of Marte so I didn’t notice his return from DL so he was an unfortunate oversight the past few weeks in these rankings. If someone is looking like they’ll be out for a longer period of time — they might drop a bit more in the rankings or be removed entirely (as is the case with Jorge Soler and his broken foot.) Due to these new additions we’ve got a Top 110 hitters this week with guys like Josh Donaldson, Mookie Betts, Wil Myers, Yoenis Cespedes, Ronald Acuna and others making their surprise reemergence. Next week 10 of these hitters will probably work themselves off this list. Also, as a side effect to these new additions a lot of players will look like they’ve fallen really far in the rankings — again, this should normalize by next week.
- Jose Ramirez: Holy crow. Right now, Ramirez is on pace for an 11.7 WAR season. That’s the highest WAR for a third basemen ever. Full stop. Period. End of paragraph (not really.) Ramirez is third in the MLB in HRs and 4th on ESPN’s player rater. Looking at his stats I was shocked at how well he was performing and thought to myself “Wow! This guy’s having an MVP season!” Then the reality of the greatness of Michael Nelson Trout. Despite all of Ramirez’s production this year — Trout is beating him in every category, except RBI, where he is tied. If I could somehow move Trout up in my rankings from #1 — I would. What would it be? 0.5? 0? The Greek letter for alpha?
- J.D. Martinez: Yes, I hear you loyal readers. You will find that I am kind. I am a generous God of the Top 100 Hitters column. (I apologize — I rewatched 300 this week just for kicks.) Many of you have been clamoring for Martinez to climb into the top 10 and you’ve officially wore me down! Well, actually his performance has worn me down. Since last week all he’s done is rap out another 9 hits, crush another 2 HRs and drawn another 7 walks. Again though — still pales in comparison to Trout. We need to appreciate this guy for what he’s doing. Trout is the LeBron of the MLB. Although without any of the hate — and Trout has only played in three playoff games and only logged 1 hit in those games. Hmmm….
- Brian Dozier: I’ve kept Dozier fairly high in the rankings long enough. Sure, the 40 runs are nice, but everything else is severely dragging behind his career numbers. All of Dozier’s peripheral numbers are on par with previous seasons except his BABIP is the lowest of his career (2018: .249 || Career: .274.) Call me crazy, but I still consider Dozier a buy low candidate. Last year in the first half he was hitting only .242 with a .745 OPS only to close out the second half with a .304 AVG with a .985 OPS. He’ll be fine long term.
- Jed Lowrie: Lowrie exploded on to the scene after hitting 9 HR, 36 RBI, .340 AVG in his first 39 games. In the 28 games since he’s returned to the Lowrie we all know and loathe, 0 HR, 6 RBI, .200 AVG. He’s staying on this list for nostalgia sake — but I really think he’ll be gone by next week. Try to sell while you still can.
- Max Muncy: On June 9th, right after I finished writing my Top 100 article last week I tweeted, “Max Muncy didn’t make my Top 100 Hitters column coming out tomorrow…But maybe he should have?” He then hit HRs in three straight games for a total of four in a row. Muncy does have power history in his bat. He hit 25 HRs in the low minors in the Oakland Athletics system, but until this year hasn’t really been able to put it together in the bigs. Now, with a decent chunk of ABs and a few extra years of development, Muncy is breaking out in a big way. I first listed Muncy as a fill in option for Adrian Beltre in my injury column way back on May 23rd, and said this: “By the way — that walk rate is for real if you’re in an OBP league. He consistently put up double-digit walk rates throughout his entire career.” That still rings true and that plate discipline has allowed him to be very selective with his pitches and drive the ones he likes.
- Brian Anderson: Anderson is the highest scoring Marlin on the ESPN Player Rater and has quietly been a solid fantasy contributor. He’s actually second in hits among all third basemen. The HRs (4) and SBs (2) aren’t quite there but the 39 runs, 34 RBI and 27 walks are not bad for someone who probably went completely undrafted in most leagues. Anderson is a former 3rd round pick who did hit 22 HRs in 120 AA and AAA games with a .275 AVG last season so moderate power should come along while not sacrificing too much average especially if he turns that 50% ground ball rate into a bit more line drives and fly balls.
Top 100 Hittesr
GREEN: Rising | BLUE: New Additions | RED: Falling
As always, if you’ve got a specific question — please leave it in the comments!