The 10 HR/8 SB/.302 AVG player we saw from AJ Pollock over the first month or so of the season is a top-20 player if that pace continues for a full season. However we know how this story goes, since May 4th (yes I know there was an injury in there because OF COURSE there was) Pollock has 184 ABs with only 6 HRs and 2 SBs with a .261 AVG. However, I keep him on these rankings because peak Pollock is a 20/40 threat. The only problem is peak Pollock is a pretty preposterous proposition. Whatever is hurting him this time seems to be limiting him on the base paths which is limiting you in your standings.
Matt Kemp: Pardon my French, but what the French has happened to Matt Kemp?! Over the past month he has 11 hits in 80 at bats. Eleven! Stranger things have happened, but did he have some Rihanna fever dream that is still haunting him? Kemp 2.0 was looking pretty good before July 24th: 47 runs, 17 HRs, 63 RBI and a .318 AVG. That average is now down to .282 and just hit the “basement” button on the elevator.
Starling Marte: On July 15th I was expecting Marte to climb up to top-15 player consideration with 13 HRs, 25 SBs and a .285 AVG. Unfortunately in the 29 games since he’s stalled. 4 HRs/4 SBs with a .246 AVG. He was even recently benched for not hustling. He had a particularly cold 15 game stretch in august where he had only 10 hits in 64 ABs. The Pirates acquired Chris Archer in the hopes of making a wild card dream run, but have lost 9 of their last 11 games and that dream is starting to look like a nightmare.
David Peralta: Peralta has always been able to make solid contact — his contact rate has hovered around 80% since he debuted in 2014. But this year has seen his hard contact rate skyrocket. His previous hard contact rate high was 35.4% way back in 2015. (What a simpler time.) This year it is up to 47.7%! That has him currently ranked 7th in the league only slightly behind sluggers like Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt, but ahead of Khris Davis and J.D. Martinez. This new Peralta is looking like a 4th or 5th rounder next year when he was drafted in around the 19th this year.
Christian Yelich: Yelich has always been a pretty safe second tier outfield selection. He was a safe predictable bet for 15/15 with an average above .280 and solid counting stats. But in his first year away from Miami, Yelich is on pace to break many of his career highs (if he hasn’t broken them already.) He’s already got 22 HRs (beating his 21 from 2016.). And he’s got 14 SBs (21 is his career high from 2014.) All with 32 games still remaining! He has a good chance of going 30/20 with 100 runs and 90 RBI. And he hasn’t even reached that magical age 27 season we all think means something!
As always with these rankings — if you’ve got something to say — drop a comment below!
Or you could always find me on Twitter: @KerryKlug.
Top 100 Hitters
GREEN: Rising | BLUE: New Additions | RED: Falling