Hitters are ranked for their expected performance from this point forward for the rest of the season in standard 5x5 leagues, not for statistics that have already been accrued. These rankings can also be used as a comparable way to determine trade value for re-draft leagues. For more rankings check out:
*primary position listed
1. Jose Bautista, TOR, RF - Still unsure of Bautista? Then see here.
2. Ryan Braun, MIL, LF - Three-year AVG: .302/102/31/108/16. He's on pace for .307/124/49/137/29. He and Bautista are on a whole nother level. In fact, you can't get on their level, you gonna need a space shuttle or a ladder that's forever.
3. Matt Kemp, LAD, CF - His high BABIP will regress to the mean dropping his AVG somewhere around .280-.285, which is more so the type of hitter I believe him to be. That being said, he's still on pace for a ridiculous 27 HR and 46 SB.
4. Matt Holliday, STL, LF - He's kinda like the Roddy White of Outfielders.
5. Andrew McCutchen, PIT, CF - Added muscle in the off-season has clearly contributed to his new-found power increase. He's sporting a career-high ISO of .209, which seems to be the reason he's on-pace for another career-high, 28 HR. Before the season, both McCutchen and the Pirates said they wanted to run more, so I fully expect his speed to return. He hit .286 each of the past two seasons, and right now he's sporting a career-low .261 BABIP (career .311), which is part of the reason for his .242 AVG. By seasons end I have no doubts he will be at or around his career mark of .280, with the potential to finish around .300; he really is that good. As always though with Pirate players, the concern is with their counting stats. Needless to say, McCutchen is on-pace for 82 Runs and 82 RBI. By seasons end, a realistic line for McCutchen should be .280/85/25/85/35, aka Matt Kemp Jr. Buy-low...while you still can.
6. Carl Crawford, BOS, LF - I still believe. Once he snaps out of this slump he will be moved back to the one, two or three-hole in that dirty Boston lineup.
7. Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS, CF - Guess who's back? Back again? Jacoby's back. Tell...McCutchen. Yeah, that works. Increase in power? Check. 50-plus SB threat? Check. Run-producing supporting lineup? Check. He's not a .300-plus hitter in my opinion, but even if he hits .285-.295 he should have a line similar to .290/100/15/75/50 by seasons end. That lineup is so good even he is driving in runs! I could see him climbing as high as No. 4 on this the if he continues on this torrid pace.
8. Shin-Soo Choo, CLE, RF - Much lower ceiling than Car-Go, but much, much safer.
9. Carlos Gonzalez, COL, LF - I said it ALL preseason. Do not invest in Car-Go as a top-five OF. At this point, I could see any of the next 15 hitters passing him in the very near future if he doesn't begin to, you know, hit. He is still a very strong OF play going forward, but I wouldn't expect a top-five finish by any means.
10. Drew Stubbs, CIN, CF - Slightly high BABIP is the reason for an inflated AVG, but he's walking much more, striking out less, hitting more line drives and batting leadoff in front of Votto, Bruce and Phillips—not always necessarily in that order—which are all very good things, and strong signs of improvement. He's currently on-pace for .280/126/27/79/51, but I think he probably finishes around .265/110/23/70/40.
11. Jay Bruce, CIN, RF - Like his Reds teammate above, he's in a great situation hitting behind Stubbs, Votto and Phillips. He's currently on-pace for 31 HR and 16 SB—which are undeniably great numbers—but he's not always hitting the ball clean, illustrating the fact that he certainly needs to make some adjustments at the plate and get more comfortable. But watch out, because if he gets hot at any point—as observed at the end of last season—he easily has the ability to hit 40+ HRs. I'd say a realistic line for Bruce would be .270/100/35/100/15.
12. Justin Upton, ARI, RF - Looks like we finally might see the 30/20 season from Upton we've always been promised. The scary part? It would be his first, but certainly not his last. A 40/30 season in the near future isn't out of question either. He might have the highest ceiling out of anyone on this list.
13. Curtis Granderson, NYY, CF - Not fully a believer, but he is on pace for 58 HR and 16 SB, so it's... you know, hard to argue with that. The power, to some extent, is legit, as he has hit 19, 23, 22, 30 and 30 HR in consecutive seasons. I think he finishes somewhere just above 30 HR, but at this point it's not hard to imagine him hitting near the high-end of 30.
14. Ben Zobrist, TB, 2B - See here.
15. Hunter Pence, HOU, RF - Finally knocking in more runs, but both power and speed have declined in the process. That being said, I'm not worried. I expect him to hit around 25 HR and steal around 15 bases...like he usually does.
16. Josh Hamilton, TEX, LF - Easily has the potential to be top-10, top-5 if he comes back strong from injury.
17. Logan Morrison, FLA, LF - What do you call a .300 hitter with 15-30 HR (not sure where his power stroke falls yet with the small sample size) and a .400 OBP? LoMoMarlins.
18. Chris Young, ARI, CF - Power is right where it should be but he's not running as much and striking out more.
19. Lance Berkman, STL, RF - Due for a regression, but still solid.
20. Shane Victorino, PHI, CF - Showing a little more power than usuall with a little less speed. It all evens out in the end as he rounds out our top-20.
21. Nelson Cruz, TEX, RF - Like Hamilton, he easily has the potential to be top-10 if he returns well from injury.
22. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA, RF - An ever-improving Smoak and the arrival of Ackley will keep him afloat in the top-25.
23 Jason Heyward, ATL, RF - Really worried about the ever-present nagging injuries, but for now he stays, if for nothing more than talent and upside.
24. Colby Rasmus, STL, CF - A little concerned about the lack of power and speed, but he is hitting in front of Pujols and Holliday, so I'm certainly not concerned enough to drop him out of my top-25.
25. B.J. Upton, TB, CF - As per usual.
26. Jayson Werth, WAS, RF - Don't like that lineup around him one bit. Nope, not even a little.
27. Alex Rios, CWS, CF - Falling. Looks like the Rios that played on the Jays, i.e. he sucks.
28. Andre Ethier, LAD, RF - If he can find some of the power he demonstrated before the injury last season then he will rise a bit, but I am starting to accept the fact that Ethier might just be a 25 HR guy.
29. Rajai Davis, TOR, CF - Might be the only player in the Majors who has the potential to steal 60 or 70 bases this year, even with a DL stint or two. He's in the right situation to do it on a team that likes to run.
30. Coco Crisp, OAK, CF - Huge injury concern, but when healthy he's done enough to prove that he is a top-30 OF.
31. Michael Bourn, HOU, CF - Everything is the same except he is scoring a few more runs. One of the only players to challenge Rajai for the SB Crown.
32. Mike Stanton, FLA, RF - Has 40+ HR power, but doesn't run enough (at all) and strikes out way too much (all the time -- on pace for 153 K in 510 AB). Yikes.
33. Martin Prado, ATL, LF - Ironically, as he starts to produce this season he begins to fall on my board. There are just too many solid OF, he's not flashy, and he doesn't really contribute too much to power/speed. He's a guy that relies on a high BA and counting stats, though I don't know if the counting stats will be there at the end of the season as Heyward and Uggla are struggling and Chipper is banged up. Position eligibility is nice though.
34. Nick Markakis, BAL, RF - Martin Prado's better looking twin.
35. Brett Gardner, NYY, LF - I still believe in 6-10 HR and 40+ SB with 100 runs scored. If he does that it wont matter what his AVG is.
36. Andres Torres, SF, CF - 16/26 last season in 500 AB. Give him 600 and he's 20/30, as well as much, much higher on our board.
37. Jose Tabata, PIT, CF - Look for 10-15 HR and 35-40 SB with a .275 AVG and bad counting stats. Jacoby Jr. anyone?
38. Carlos Quentin, CWS, RF - Pretty much will only help in HR/RBI but could easily finish with 35/100
39. Adam Jones, BAL, CF - He's running much more this year. Are we finally going to see the perennial 20/20 A.J. we've been looking for?
40. Cameron Maybin, SD, CF - Before you get your panties in a bunch hear me out. He's got the pedigree (10th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2005 draft), he's playing everyday for the first time, and he's on-pace for 19/23. He is Adam Jones with bad counting stats.
41. Johnny Damon, TB, DH/RF/LF - He's currently on-pace for 27 HR and 19 SB. I don't think that holds up seeing as he's old and Desmond Jennings' arrival will eff-up PT for Fuld, Joyce, and Damon. 20/15 isn't unreasonable however.
42. Bobby Abreu, ANA, RF
43. Carlos Beltran, NYM, RF - Doesn't run anymore at all, but has proven he can still hit. When he's traded, and it is when, depending on where it goes it could either really help his value or really hurt him.
44. Jason Kubel, MIN, RF - Quietly on-pace for a .322/70/16/85 season in that horrible Twins lineup, making him their official All-Star selection for this season? Which is, objectively, unfair.
45. Corey Hart, MIL, RF - Hasn't really done much since he's returned from injury so it'll take a week or two for us to tell where he should really be this season.
46. Delmon Young, MIN, LF - Not ready to (once again) label him a bust, but he doesn't run and he doesn't have that much power, so if he doesn't start doing what he does best, which is hitting for a high AVG and driving in runs -- which he cannot do since there is never anyone on base in Minnesota -- I just may have to. One more week, Delmon, one more week. Show me somethin'.
47. Nick Swisher, NYY, RF
48. Howard Kendrick, ANA, LF - He's a .300 15/15 type-player.
49. Michael Brantley, CLE, CF - Similar to Kendrick, Brantley is a .300 10-15 HR 15-20 SB type-player.
50. Mitch Moreland, TEX, RF/1B - Quietly putting together a nice season. Quietly. Could easily finish .280 with 20-25 HR.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!