Boy, this Ohtani is all anybody’s ever talking about. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about how brilliant that Ohtani is. I was so tempted to put Shohei Ohtani on this list. So tempted! Unfortunately he only has 30 at-bats compared to the league leader, his teammate, Albert Pujols’s 67. That’s too small of a sample size for me to overreact and 3-4 batting games per week can leave you in a hole. It is fun to see that he has a 0% soft contact rate though. But that Ohtani is some kind of something, huh?
This winter weather is messing with a lot of players. At the bottom of my top 100 you’ll see a list of hitters who shoulda, coulda, woulda been in the top 100 if they were healthy. I think most of them will return and find themselves back on the top 100 list, but for now, due to their missed games and health uncertainty — they get their own list.
Ozzie Albies, ARI, 2B: This kid is putting up — dare I say it — MVP caliber numbers right now. “But Kerry! You only have him ranked at 61!” Right — because he has less than 300 career major league at bats. I hope he keeps it up because it’s a great debut — but I’m going to hold my horses for now. A 13/4/7/1/.288 line ain’t bad doe.
Gregory Polanco, PIT, OF: Polanco’s .239 batting average isn’t fantastic, but his double-digit runs and RBI are great to see. Polanco’s career batting average the past three years ranges from .251 to .258 so it’s not like he’s ever been a batting average stud. I think he’ll settle back into the .250 area and finally give us that 20/20 season we’ve all been hoping for. Maybe even a chance for 25+/25+. Gasp!
Edwin Encarnacion, CLE, 1B: E5’s WAR has fallen every year since 2015 and now he’s setting a new low so far in 2018. We have to remember that he’s 35 this season and his best days are behind him. I think we’re about to see that Albert Pujols adjace decline after a great career. He’ll still hit 25+ HR, but how low will that average go?
Billy Hamilton, CIN, OF: What do you want me to say? That stolen bases are scarce so Hamilton deserves to be in the top-50 because he can single-handedly win you that category? Well he’s batted mostly out of the 9-hole this season so he’s not going to score as many runs, he was always going to hurt you in HRs and RBI and now he’s only batting .184. I’m not even convinced Hamilton deserves a starting spot at this point. The Reds should make him their designated pinch runner. And then he’d almost be guaranteed 5 steals, 5 runs per week.
Top 100 Hitters:
Dubious List (Unranked):
Who did I rank wrong? Sound off in the comments!