Hitter List 7/24: Ranking the Top 150 Hitters to Own ROS

Jonathan Metzelaar shares his weekly ranking of who will be the top 150 hitters in baseball through the end of the 2019 season.

Hello and welcome to Hitter List, where every Wednesday I’ll be flawlessly ranking the top 150 hitters in baseball from now through the end of the season.

To truly hate something, you must first understand it, so here’s a general overview of how I go about evaluating players so you can be upset with these rankings more thoroughly:

  • Given that these rankings are taking place in a vacuum, I tend to value stolen bases more than home runs. The 5,585 homers hit in 2018 were the fourth-highest total in modern history. And the 2,474 stolen bases from last year were the lowest total since 1994 and the eighth-lowest total since 1969. In other words, stolen bases are a scarce resource getting even scarcer, like major leaguers named Kirby. And home runs are an abundant resource that are becoming more prevalent, like reasons to dislike Angel Hernandez. All else being equal, I’ll take the guy with 15 HR/20 SB over the guy with 20 HR/15 SB.
  • I’m generally not a believer in positional scarcity, so position eligibility only comes into play in two instances: as a tiebreaker when two players are fairly evenly matched, or if a player is eligible at catcher, because catcher is a barren wasteland this year filled with adrenaline-fueled maniacs playing guitar riffs while strapped to 18-wheelers. Wait, no, that’s Mad Max: Fury Road, but catcher is just as bleak and weird.
  • I’m an old man who’s afraid of change, so I tend to be low on young players without major league track records.
  • I lean on track record more than recent performance, unless I see a significant underlying change in approach.
  • These rankings apply only to leagues using standard scoring (R, RBI, HR, SB, AVG) and lean more towards rotisserie and H2H categories leagues. Adjust accordingly for other formats.
  • These rankings are meant to be from today’s date through the end of the season. These are purely for redraft, so I’m not taking 2020 into account here at all.
  • A player’s movement in the rankings can be just as much about where guys around them have moved as anything else. A player might move down purely as a result of someone below them rising, and vice versa.


[hitter_list_2019 list_id=”34290″ include_stats=”1″]


Now onto the recaps:

  • Injuries: The spectre of death and decay blew its icy breath onto Yandy Diaz, Dee Gordon, Byron Buxton, C.J. Cron, Kevin Kiermaier, Gary Sanchez, Jay Bruce, Michael Chavis, Eloy Jimenez, and Adalberto Mondesi this past week, as they all hit the IL. David Peralta was activated.
  • Additions: Christian Vazquez and Niko Goodrum make their debuts/returns to the list this week. Goodrum has had himself a really solid week, hitting .367 with two homers and three stolen bases. The average will probably continue to be subpar, but he’s finally showing hints of the guy we thought could flirt with 20/20 in the preseason. Vazquez is a guy who jumps onto the list thanks to Kole Calhoun and Michael Chavis‘ departures, and also because he’s been one of the top catchers in the game this year. Over his past 30 games he’s hitting .303 with nine homers.
  • I have done Oscar Mercado a huge disservice this year by not bumping him up sooner, as he’s been playing like a bonafide star to this point, with a .294 average, eight homers, and nine steals in just 214 at-bats. The speed isn’t surprising given his minor league track record, but the power has certainly exceeded expectations. I’m not sure his profile supports him being guy who can reach 20 homers over a full season, as his 32.6% Hard Hit rate is below-average, his barrel rate is a paltry 4.6%, and he’s outperforming his .319 xwOBA by over 30 points. That said, I think there’s still some untapped speed here, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he swiped another 10 bags before the season is through.
  • Do you believe in second-half performers? Because in the second half last year, Amed Rosario hit a much-improved .268 with 18 steals and five homers. And he seems to be heating up yet again coming out of the All Star break this year, batting .395 with two homers and a stolen base since the second half began. What’s most encouraging is that this performance is backed up by his recent peripherals: over his 60 plate appearances in July, he’s posting a .331 xBA, .381 xwOBA, and .488 xSLG. It seems he may be in the midst of another hot streak, and if he starts running the way he did in the latter half of 2018, he could help carry some fantasy teams into the playoffs.
  • Speaking of guys who have been on fire lately, Danny Santana continues to smoke the ball to the tune of a .324 average with nine homers (!) and five stolen bases over his last 30 games. I think we’re seeing a classic case of the Joe Schmo Effect™ here (i.e. an older guy without a flashy name not getting the credit he deserves). Because Santana is pacing towards an easy 20/20 season, and is showing no signs of slowing down. The speed is absolutely legit, and I’m buying the newfound power too, because he’s not only upped his launch angle significantly, but he’s crushing the ball as well to the tune of a 43.4% Hard Hit rate. Don’t act like he wouldn’t be owned in 100% of leagues if his name was something more exciting like Huxley Reebus or Othello Goodwar.
  • Marcell Ozuna received some positive news, as he was cleared to resume baseball activities after sustaining hand and finger fractures a few weeks back. It seems like he may have a shot at returning in early August, so he receives a decent bump here, as I thought he would be out until at least early September.
  • A.J. Pollock got his annual, two-month long IL stint out of the way early this year, so he should be fully healthy all the way until September, right? Isn’t that how it works? Pollock has been raking over the past week, with a .364 average, two homers, and two steals. I still contend that he’s a really dynamic fantasy player as long as he’s on the field, and I think he should contribute across the board over these final two months if he manages to stay healthy.
  • I need a complement to the Joe Schmo Effect, and I’m tempted to call it the Keston Hiura Effect, because that is a name that inspires hype. Even if Hiura’s name was Barry Block though, it’d be hard not to get excited about what he’s been doing so far. Over his last 15 games he’s hitting .429 with three homers and five stolen bases. And the power seems legit so far, as his 52.7% hard hit rate is fifth in all of baseball behind guys like Nelson Cruz and Joey Gallo. I’m a bit torn on Hiura, because the contact rates and plate discipline have been pretty dreadful–a 17.7% SwStr is objectively bad, and a 38% chase rate is concerning. But he is crushing the ball right now, spraying the ball well to all fields, and handling most pitch types really well (his wOBA vs. sliders this year is .542!). I’m generally pretty conservative when it comes to buying in on prospect hype, but I’ll throw caution to the wind here because the upside is that of a top-40 hitter rest-of-season.
  • Isn’t sequencing funny? If Ramon Laureano’s season had unfolded in reverse, we’d be talking about how much of a bust he is and how his early season success was just a flash in the pan. But because Laureano has saved his best hitting for the past month or so, we’re now dreaming on a guy who could go 30/20 and push for a spot among the top-30 hitters in drafts next season. He’s put up a .343 average over the past month with 10 homers and four steals, and I’m kind of buying it. I actually think he can outperform the .262 xBA he’s posted to this point thanks to his high line drive rates and solid 40% Hard Hit rate. He’s also been moved up to fifth in the order lately, which should beef up his RBI totals, and he seems immune to the cavernous expanse of O.Co Coliseum, as he’s posting a .367 wOBA at home this year. If I own him, I don’t think I’m moving him for anything less than a top-50 player.

Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)

Jonathan Metzelaar

Jonathan Metzelaar is a writer, content manager, and podcaster with Pitcher List. He enjoys long walks on the beach, quiet dinners by candlelight, and essentially any other activity that will distract him from the perpetual torture of being a New York Mets fan. He's written for Fangraphs Community Research and created Youtube videos about fantasy baseball under the moniker "Jonny Baseball."

10 responses to “Hitter List 7/24: Ranking the Top 150 Hitters to Own ROS”

  1. J says:

    In a category re-draft H2H league, would you rather have Luis Urias or Scooter Gennett ROS?

  2. Andres says:

    At what rank do you think Ozuna & Correa will be at once they’re healthy & playing?

    • Jonathan Metzelaar says:

      Assuming they’re both truly healthy, I’d probably have Correa just outside the top-50 and Ozuna just outside the top-40.

  3. theKraken says:

    I think Meadows is now the most highly overrated player on the list. That hot start was a long tome ago. Put another way, he looks a lot like the prospect that he always was outside of the first few months of the season which is moderate power, speed and average with questionable durability.
    It is fun to see Harper slide down the list. but I think he has actually reached the point of an easy buy.
    Kepler has been pretty hot lately.
    Corey Seager could be healthy as well – he has been hitting better as of late.
    Buxton is going to be back soon – no reason to drop him like that IMO. His 10 days are up and he just had his wisdom teeth removed?
    Dee Gordon on the other hand seems to be falling apart. I think that is Dee at this point – the guy who is healthy in the beginning of the season is elite, but after the injuries start he becomes pretty replaceable.
    I agree that Pollock could be healthy. I was worried that he wouldn’t be but I guess it seems reasonable to speculate that he is based on performance. It makes sense in retrospect that he was hurt to begin the year.
    I would rather have Sano than a lot of these players. HR are common, but not at the rate Sano hits them. There is also the reality that if he ever puts it together he is right in the MVP conversation. He has rare physical tools in an age where we like to pretend that a lot of people do based on the ease of hitting for power. You can cut him after he gets hurt…

  4. Wes says:

    Got offered Jeff McNeil/Andrew Miller for Elvis Andrus/Luke Jackson. Keeper, H2H, standard 5×5 plus OBP, SLG, Holds and QS.

    Should I trade away baby shark? If he stops running, then McNeil will be a better version of him.


    • Jonathan Metzelaar says:

      That’s pretty close, but I think in that format you should take that deal. McNeil has the edge in AVG, OBP and SLG, and the HR, R, and RBI will be close enough that it’s essentially a wash. So as long as you don’t need the speed, you’re getting the better overall hitter. Plus, with HLDs as a category, Miller/Jackson is a lot closer than in a standard league.

  5. Greg says:

    where is Renato Nunez?

  6. theKraken says:

    Goldy is too low I imagine. I rather have him than lots of guys ahead of him… like Dansby Swanson

  7. JK says:

    Lorenzo Cain was just dropped in my category H2H league. Do I make room for him? I’m trying to get 4th seed in playoff push

    Drop candidates include Gennett, Kingery, L Gurriel, W Calhoun, and Goodrum.
    Would you drop any of these for Cain?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login