Hitter List 9/4: 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 the New York Mets‘ chances of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, home runs are an abundant resource that are becoming more prevalent, like baseball fans who can now correctly spell “Aristides.” 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=”36016″ include_stats=”1″]


Now onto the recaps:

  • Injuries: Keston Hiura, Gio Urshela, and Max Muncy hit the IL this week. George Springer seems to be headed there as well, though no official word has been given. Edwin Encarnacion, Willson Contreras, Nomar Mazara, Byron Buxton, and Luke Voit were activated. Buxton is being used exclusively as a defensive replacement/pinch runner right now, so he drops off the list as a result.
  • Additions: Kyle Tucker, Gavin Lux, Brandon Nimmo, Travis d’Arnaud, Nate Lowe, and Encarnacion make their debuts/returns to the list this week.
  • On the mend: Ramon Laureano should be returning in the next few days. When healthy, I think Laureano has the upside of a top-40 hitter, so if he happens to be sitting on waivers in a shallow league, now’s the time to pounce.
  • I believe the Aristides Aquino Principle states that a baseball in motion must remain in motion until it is met by the equal-and-opposite force of his bat, at which point it is obliterated. With two more homers over his last seven games, Aquino is up to 15 on the season in just 116 at-bats. The quality of contact isn’t super impressive (38% Hard Hit), but he’s mastered the art of the launch angle (20-degree average) to really wring as much power as possible out of his batted balls. The expected stats point toward quite a bit of regression, especially in the batting average category, but with less than a month to go in the season you’d be crazy not to enjoy the ride.
  • Speaking of enjoying the ride, Eduardo Escobar has returned with a force over the past week, hitting .333 with four more homers to bring his season total up to 33. He’s still hitting just .227 so far in the second half, but it’s hard to really complain when he continues to rack up homers and counting stats at an elite level. Everything about Escobar’s peripherals screams that he’s been getting extremely lucky this year (32% Hard Hit, 16% HR/FB, .255 xAVG, .333 xwOBA), but sometimes a run of good luck can carry you through an entire season, so hats off to him and let’s hope he can finish strong.
  • I’d love to say that I’ve been benefiting from Nick Castellanos‘ unbelievable run because I had faith in him and stuck with him all season, but to be quite honest it was managerial negligence that kept him rostered in one of my leagues all year. In 31 games with the Cubs he’s smacked 12 homers and hit .346. His batted ball mix hasn’t changed at all since arriving in Chicago though, he’s mostly benefiting from a 30% HR/FB, way up from the 9% he was posting in Detroit.
  • Tommy Pham finished incredibly strong last season, and he seems primed to do it again this year. He’s hitting .368 over his last 15 games with six stolen bases. The one home run is a little concerning, and makes me wonder if his hand strain from a few weeks back is still bothering him. But if he keeps running at this pace, a 25/25 season is still within his grasp.
  • Kolten Wong continued his torrid hitting, going 12-for-24 this past week with a homer and two stolen bases. The fact he hits primarily toward the bottom of the lineup limits his counting stat upside, and there isn’t much pop in his bat. But with a .376 average over his past 30 games, he’s doing enough right now to warrant a spot on most rosters down the stretch.
  • Has any hitter suffered as brutal a drop-off as Hunter Renfroe this year? After hitting 27 homers in the first half of the season, Renfroe has hit just four in the second half while posting a .179 batting average over 140 at-bats. Hopefully you sold high.


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."

6 responses to “Hitter List 9/4: Ranking the Top 150 Hitters to Own ROS”

  1. Sam says:

    Bryce behind Yuli, Meadows, and Tim Anderson is ridiculous. Also, Ozuna is on an approximate full season pace of 100/35/110/16 while JD has been a top 25 hitter, and both fall outside the top 60. Behind JD DAVIS!!! This list is very prisoner-of-the-moment

    • Jonathan Metzelaar says:

      It’s important to keep in mind that these rankings are for rest-of-season value, so at this point in the years guys who are hot are going to get significant bumps. Bryce probably should be bumped up a bit more based on his recent performance, but Yuli, Meadows, and Anderson have been incredible the past few weeks (and for most of the year). In fact, according to the Player Rater, Yuli has been the #26 hitter in baseball this year, way ahead of Harper at #38 (Anderson is #41 and Meadows is #51, but both those guys missed over a month).

  2. Ryan says:

    “Run of luck” versus career year can be heavily debated with or without metrics.

    It’s unfortunate that many who follow this column and make their moves accordingly missed out on so much production from Eduardo Escobar this season.

    At the same time, congrats on moving him to a respectable position.

  3. Bradley Ross says:

    Edman or Newman ROS in a points OPS (points for walks/total based) league? Or should I take a flier on Lux?

    I’ve got Gurriel coming off injury soon and need a roster spot cleared up

  4. theKraken says:

    Been a while, but how about some brief off the cuff feedback.

    Josh Bell is officially the most interesting player of 2019 in my book. I don’t think he is a top 30 bat, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he was either. His second half has been bad and that first half doesn’t look real at this point. I like him but I don’t know what he is. He is a swollen, bloody eye on all of that advanced analysis at the moment – seems to go that way more often than not. Hot streaks are hot streaks are xhotStreaks. He seems like he lacks the consistency to be elite to me. Who knows maybe a heater is coming.

    DJL has been really great all year long. I appreciate his consistency and would place him higher. He really is one of the top players of the season depending on format.

    Meadows – I didn’t know he was hitting that many HR. Interesting that the AVG has gone in the tank. Not questioning the position but he is really volatile.

    I was surprised to see Merrifield so low. I guess you are feeling burnt by the lack of SB but he is a good hitter like DJL.

    Bichette – I wouldn’t put him that high. He hasn’t performed anywhere near what he did in his call-up at any point over the last two years. Perhaps MLB baseball is that poor, but a smart bet would be on regression. We see an insane heater on call-up completely fall apart so often… we used to at least.

    I don’t think AJ Pollock is a top 150 bat. He sits a lot. I don’t know if he can do enough when he plays to justify the placement.

    Sano – cool to see him on the list. I don’t know why he would be trending down. He is walking more lately which is a good indicator – that power never goes anywhere.

    Dansby Swanson is who we thought he was.. which for me is a streamer.

    Nate Lowe is a platoon player and I didn’t even activate him where I own him. He has had success, but he just doesn’t play much and TB is committed to making sure that he isn’t going to be relevant.

    Lil Biggio is looking over-matched looking ta he stat line. Many evaluators thought this would be the case.

    Joc is on fire (hindsight). I don’t trust him tomorrow ever, but he has been really good lately.

    Profar is a streamer. He doesn’t offer anything you can’t get off of waivers. I am not clear what Colin Moran’s value is either.

    Dee Gordon has actually been pretty good lately. He is volatile, but I think he is trending up.

    I don’t think Nimmo ever offers much but he can have a good week at times.

  5. theKraken says:

    Pollock with with 3 HR haha. I still think he sits a lot but he does have big games… hes tough to value

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