[hitter_list list_id=”16433″ include_stats=”1″ season=”2018″]
Welcome back to Hitter List. Every Wednesday during the regular season, I’ll rank the current value of the top 150 hitters for the remainder of the year. Use these rankings to help get a sense of both a player’s expected performance and his trade value in your fantasy leagues moving forward. They’re constructed with 12-teamer, H2H, 5×5 leagues in mind; adjust as needed for your specific setup.
As you might expect, there’s not a ton of movement since last week for most of the players on the List. Five or six games aren’t really enough to drastically alter opinions on a player – or, at least, they shouldn’t be. The fact that Paul Goldschmidt only has one hit so far doesn’t mean much. Unless you own him in one of my leagues – in that case, it’s time to trade him to me for pennies on the dollar.
There are a handful of movers and shakers this week, though. Let’s talk about them!
- Bryce Harper gets a bump in honor of his scorching-hot start. There’s not much separation between the elites, so Harper hitting moon shots like this one (four in five games thus far) earns him a spot in the top five – especially because it was literally two seconds after some jabroni in the stands yelled, “OVERRATED!” Durability will always be a concern, but when he’s healthy, he’s terrifying.
- Miguel Cabrera a boost. Even after going 0-for-4 Tuesday night, he’s hitting .286/.375/.571 with a home run and three doubles in the early going. There’s a lot of season left, but it’s an extremely encouraging start after that lousy 2017 performance raised serious concerns about his future. As long as his body cooperates, Miggy will easily earn a profit for fantasy owners who took a chance on him this year.
- Lorenzo Cain and Adam Eaton are both off to great starts this year. Cain went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Tuesday, but is still slashing .409/.458/.682 with a home run and three stolen bases. The Brewers have established that they’re aggressive on the basepaths and Cain’s career success rate checks in at 84 percent. He could swipe 30 bags for the first time in his career. Eaton, meanwhile, returned from last season’s ACL tear to capture NL Player of the Week honors. He’s leading off in a fantastic Nationals lineup.
- Mitch Haniger went deep twice in his first four games, driving in five runs and scoring three himself. His rookie season was marred by injuries and a prolonged slump, but he still put up a .282/.352/.491 line with 16 bombs in 96 games. It’s easy to dream on the potential of a full, healthy season here.
- Given the severity of the injury and the lack of precedent for hitters, many – including yours truly – were reluctant to invest heavily in Michael Conforto. He’s on the verge of proving the doubters wrong, with a return to action appearing imminent. Credit where it’s due – Conforto has passed every physical test with flying colors and looked great in his limited spring action. He appears poised to reward owners who took a leap of faith.
- Speaking of injured shoulders, tough break for Jake Lamb as he suffered a sprain whilst making a diving catch and then landed awkwardly on the same shoulder during a slide into home plate in Arizona’s extra-inning win over the Dodgers on Monday night. There’s no official timetable for his return, though the team is hopeful he won’t need much more than the minimum 10 day DL stint. This does improve Chris Owings‘ outlook enough for him to crack the List, though.
- Ian Kinsler and Delino DeShields also suffered injuries that dropped them on the List this week. Kinsler’s groin issue doesn’t appear to be too serious, but that kind of injury tends to be easily aggravated, especially for a guy who will be 36 in June. DeShields’ hamate bone fracture will sap what little power he had, but you drafted him for his legs, and those will still work fine when he returns.