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. 

 

Rising:

  • 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….

 

Falling:

  • 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.

 

New Additions:

  • 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

RANK NAME TEAM POSITION LAST WEEK
1 Mike Trout LAA OF 1
2 Mookie Betts BOS OF DL
3 Jose Ramirez CLE 2B/3B 8
4 Bryce Harper WAS OF 2
5 Nolan Arenado COL 3B 3
6 Francisco Lindor CLE SS 5
7 Jose Altuve HOU 2B 7
8 Manny Machado BAL 3B 9
9 J.D. Martinez BOS OF 15
10 Charlie Blackmon COL OF 4
11 Aaron Judge NYY OF 10
12 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B 11
13 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 14
14 Trea Turner WAS SS 6
15 George Springer HOU OF 17
16 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF 18
17 Jean Segura SEA SS 21
18 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 23
19 Giancarlo Stanton NYY OF 19
20 Christian Yelich MIL OF 20
21 Kris Bryant CHC 3B 12
22 Joey Votto CIN 1B 13
23 Carlos Correa HOU SS 22
24 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF 28
25 Jose Abreu CHW 1B 24
26 Alex Bregman HOU SS/3B 25
27 Dee Gordon SEA 2B/OF 26
28 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B 16
29 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF 27
30 Javier Baez CHC SS/2B 29
31 Khris Davis OAK OF 30
32 Eddie Rosario MIN OF 31
33 Starling Marte PIT OF NR
34 Justin Upton ARI OF 32
35 Mitch Haniger SEA OF 33
36 Daniel Murphy WAS 2B DL
37 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS 38
38 Tommy Pham STL OF 39
39 Adam Eaton WAS OF DL
40 Trevor Story COL SS 49
41 Brandon Belt SF OF DL
42 Edwin Encarnacion CLE 1B 40
43 Nomar Mazara TEX OF 41
44 Eric Hosmer SD 1B 37
45 Scooter Gennett CIN 2B 51
46 Brian Dozier MIN 2B 34
47 Eugenio Suarez CIN 3B 42
48 Didi Gregorius NYY SS 44
49 Whit Merrifield KC 2B 45
50 Gary Sanchez NYY C 36
51 Ender Inciarte ATL OF 46
52 Travis Shaw MIL 3B 48
53 Mike Moustakas KC 3B 35
54 Michael Brantley CLE OF 50
55 Nelson Cruz SEA DH 56
56 Anthony Rendon WAS 3B 43
57 Cesar Hernandez PHI 2B 52
58 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B/OF 53
59 Yoenis Cespedes NYM OF DL
60 Andrew McCutchen SF OF 54
61 Nicholas Castellanos DET 3B/OF 47
62 Joey Gallo TEX 3B/1B 55
63 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B DL
64 D.J. LeMahieu COL 2B 60
65 Jose Martinez STL 1B 61
66 Chris Taylor LAD 2B/OF/SS 63
67 Gleyber Torres NYY 2B/SS 64
68 Wil Myers SD 1B/OF DL
69 Buster Posey SF C/1B 67
70 JT Realmuto MIA C 68
71 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF 74
72 Matt Olson OAK 1B 69
73 Carlos Santana PHI 1B 58
74 Max Muncy LAD 1B/3B NR
75 Justin Smoak TOR 1B 57
76 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 72
77 Nick Markakis ATL OF 73
78 Marcell Ozuna STL OF 80
79 Matt Kemp LAD OF 75
80 Juan Soto WAS OF 83
81 Brett Gardner NYY OF 59
82 Ronald Acuna ATL OF DL
83 Yoan Moncada CWS 2B 65
84 Kyle Schwarber CHC OF 76
85 Yangervis Solarte TOR 2B/SS/3B 77
86 CJ Cron TB 1B 78
87 Andrelton Simmons LAA SS DL
88 AJ Pollock ARI OF DL
89 Ryan Braun MIL OF 71
90 Jesus Aguilar MIL 1B 79
91 Jed Lowrie OAK 2B 66
92 Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B 70
93 Odubel Herrera PHI OF 85
94 Yasmani Grandal LAD C 86
95 Ian Desmond COL 1B/OF 98
96 Yasiel Puig LAD OF 88
97 Evan Gattis HOU C NR
98 Brandon Crawford SF SS 96
99 Kyle Seager SEA 3B 91
100 David Peralta ARI OF NR
101 Austin Meadows PIT OF 82
102 Leonys Martin DET OF 100
103 Adam Jones BAL OF 81
104 Justin Turner LAD 3B 84
105 Asdrubal Cabrera NYM 2B/SS/3B 90
106 Marcus Semien OAK SS 89
107 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF 95
108 Brian Anderson MIA 3B/OF NR
109 Eduardo Escobar MIN 3B/SS 97
110 Jeimer Candelario DET 3B 99

 

 

As always, if you’ve got a specific question — please leave it in the comments!

   
  1. Kerry says:
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    Rafael Devers is heating up and should probably sneak back into the bottom of the list

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Kerry: He definitely will. I’m liking that 11 out of 12 game hit streak. He’s in such a good position to succeed — it looks like he’s starting to turn it around.

  2. Mr. Sweat Necklace says:
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    Eduardo Escobar should be much higher. Cesar Hernandez over him?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Mr. Sweat Necklace: You might be right — I might be overvaluing C-Hern’s steals and 2B eligibility.
      I think Escobar fell due to that freezing cold spell he suffered through in the middle of May. He was on an elevator up and I felt burned.

  3. ozunaiknow says:
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    Ozuna and Kemp where????? Crazy. What do these guys have to do be ahead the likes of McCutcheon etc. .

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @ozunaiknow: Ozuna was a chump until June.
      Kemp you’re right — I gotta get over my bias from his past 4-5 years of not living up to his 2011.
      McCutchen’s been pretty consistently solid this year.

  4. Derek Hall says:
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    It’s time for Bryce Harper to fall into the mid-teens! I know it’s Harper, but he is struggling and looks bad.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Derek Hall: Man, its weird. We’ve all bought into the hype.
      There’s a whole lot of Bryce Harper truthers out there on Twitter who will point out his shortcomings.
      He’s hit over 30 HRs once
      Over 90 RBI: once
      Over 20 SB: once

      I’m hoping that 2015 doesn’t end up being the outlier.

  5. surfer dude says:
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    Hi, 10 tm h2h pts – Moustakas has been so-so the last few weeks, drop him or Joc P. for either
    D. Descalso or B. Anderson ?
    thanks!

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @surfer dude: I’d tough it out with Moustakas.

  6. Jon says:
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    Maeda Stripling for Merrifield ?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Jon: If you’ve got the pitching to spare then definitely.
      Merrifield has a bruised knee but luckily it’s not looking like he’ll miss too much time.
      If your trade partner is desperate for pitching — I’d offer just Stripling for Whit first.

  7. Wile E Coyote says:
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    Great move on the DL aspect. I’m guessing a lot of readers want the list for a utilitarian purpose; i.e. trade value, waiver moves, or even bench moves, so attempting to reflect injured players relative to healthier ones (by maintaining their presence while injured) satisfies that purpose. That it makes your life easier is just gravy.

    I’m with you on Lowrie, and I own him – having consciously passed on Scooter Gennett both in the draft, and while he was still available on waivers, I am having the regrets. I also passed on Brantley when he came off the DL. Ugh. How am I still in first place? So many regrets.

    Speaking of regrets. Joey Votto. Does he still deserve the high ranking? If we aren’t talking about an OBP league (though I play in one), is he actually closer in value to Albies, Bregman, Stanton or Bryant than Jose Martinez, Torres, or even Choo? The middle of June is a long time to let past years’ performance still carry weight.

    Finally, love the 300 references. Its a hard movie to not rewatch “just because.” More good movie references!!

    • Chucky says:
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      Fantasy baseball is all about name recognition, marquee value, etc. Sometimes you can make that work to your favor in pulling off a trade. Harper, Stanton, Bryant, Votto, all big name, marquee type players. Chances are if you had those players on your fantasy team, your probably scuffling bigly. My lineup is set based on actual production not because Stanton had a good year last year or Bryant had a good year two years ago. It’s not early anymore, half way point in twelve teamers. I have no problem benching a Stanton for a Nimmo if the matchup dictates.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Wile E Coyote: So much easier — thanks for the advice a few weeks ago!
      I was such a non-believer in Scooter going into this year. Thought last year was a total fluke. No one named Scooter can hit 27 HRs! But apparently the kid has made the necessary adjustments. Good for him. If the Reds farm pans out they could be pretty good in a few years.
      Votto is just such a professional artist with the bat that I feel like he’s going to work his way through this and still finish with 25+ HRs 80 RBI/runs and a .300 AVG

  8. simsbad says:
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    No Tim Anderson? He is 35th on the Player Rater for the year and 36th in the last 30 days.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @simsbad: Weird — with what categories? He’s 69th on the player rater in 5×5 over the last 30 days and 61 in 2018.
      He definitely had a rocket strapped to him when it looked like he was delivering on his stolen base promise but after having 8 in his first 15 games he’s had 6 in the 53 games since with a .238 average.

      • simsbad says:
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        @Kerry Klug: I wasn’t including pitchers in the Player Rater when I said he was 35th on the year. He’s dropped to 43rd from 35th in the last 3 days.

  9. Weird Fishes says:
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    Thanks for your work. Where would Zimmerman and DeJong slot in (hopefully by end of the month)?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Weird Fishes: I’m thinking between 70-85 for both to start.
      Zimm had a .233 BABIP but his hard hit% and line/fly ball percentages were close to what he did last year. I think he could come back and return to last year if he’s 100%
      I like DeJong’s improvement in patience (4.7% last year to 9.4% this year) but I still don’t like the 30% strikeout rate.

  10. Kyler Shaw says:
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    Where do you think Rendon will finish the year on this list?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Kyler Shaw: I’m hopeful that he can stay above the 50 mark. He’s been crushing the past 5 games so maybe he’s worked something out.

  11. hotmilk8 says:
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    Dee Gordon….i’m barely ever playing him once I snagged Solarte off FA 1st week… Trying to trade him and Marte for a 1b and nobody even wants Gordon in our points league.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @hotmilk8: patience pays off — he’s 12 for his last 30. He’s been too good for too long to stay down.

  12. Christian Herman says:
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    Traded Lowrie on Monday. Why me God?

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