by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
With the All-Star game closing in, now is the perfect time to start looking at our updated Rest of Season rankings. Who’s worth buying? Who isn’t? Let’s take a look (the number in parenthesis was the players preseason ranking):
1) Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers (4)
2) Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners (1)
3) Jose Altuve – Houston Astros (7)
4) Jason Kipnis – Cleveland Indians (2)
5) Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins (8)
6) Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals (14)
7) Dee Gordon – Los Angeles Dodgers (NR)
8) Daniel Murphy – New York Mets (15)
9) Dustin Pedroia – Boston Red Sox (3)
10) Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies (13)
11) Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates (19)
12) Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay Rays (9)
13) Aaron Hill – Arizona Diamondbacks (5)
14) Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals (6)
15) Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds (10)
16) Howie Kendrick – Los Angeles Angels (17)
17) Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays (NR)
18) Jed Lowrie – Oakland A’s (16)
19) Martin Prado – Arizona Diamondbacks (11)
20) Omar Infante – Kansas City Royals (18)
- Will Cano rediscover his power stroke? If he doesn’t is he really the best option in the league at his position? He’s going to hit for a big average, but he doesn’t have speed and carried groundball rates north of 55% in both April and June (and is also on his way again in July). He is bringing ample RBI and R, but it’s not unthinkable to have him outside of the top spot at this point.
- Speaking of lack of power, Jason Kipnis has been in the same boat as Cano thus far. The difference is that he carries a lower groundball rate (46.2%), which is actually in line with his career mark, and also contributes in the stolen base department. Don’t writes him off based on the poor start.
- If we entered the season saying Daniel Murphy would be more valuable than Dustin Pedroia we’d have been called crazy. Murphy, however, has consistently driven the ball this season (30.0% line drive rate). Even if that is unsustainable, his BABIP is only .322 so it’s not like he’d be in store for a major regression. Couple that with double-digit power and a proven ability to steal bases and Murphy has established himself as one of the better hitting second basemen in the game.
- It’s easy to be down on Aaron Hill, who is hitting .241 with 6 HR thus far this season. However it is misleading, given a 22.8% line drive rate (over 21% in the three previous seasons) and .276 BABIP (.317 and .312 the previous two seasons). He also carries more power than he’s shown thus far, so while he’s not a Top 12 option I also wouldn’t completely disregard him.
- Brett Lawrie is going to be out a few more weeks, which is going to help to suppress his spot on these rankings. Of course his .244 average courtesy of a 13.8% line drive rate doesn’t help much either.
- There are a lot of names that could be considered for the final spot on these rankings from Tommy La Stella to Scooter Gennett to Rougned Odor (as well as a few others). I’m sure it’s going to change a dozen times between now and the end of the season.
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