by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We are two months into the season so there have obviously been changes to our rankings. Who has shown signs of improving? Who has struggled and thus has a cloudier outlook? Let’s take a look at how things currently stand (Note: The number in parenthesis represents the player’s ranking in our previous rankings update, also all stats are through Friday):
1. Jose Altuve – Houston Astros (1)
2. Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals (2)
3. Trea Turner – Washington Nationals (3)
4. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians (5)
5. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals (4)
6. Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins (8)
7. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners (6)
8. Jonathan Schoop – Baltimore Orioles (15)
9. Dee Gordon – Miami Marlins (10)
10. Devon Travis – Toronto Blue Jays (13)
11. Neil Walker – New York Mets (14)
12. Logan Forsythe – Los Angeles Dodgers (NR)
13. Starlin Castro – New York Yankees (NR)
14. Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee Brewers (12)
15. Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers
Currently on the DL:
- Jean Segura – Seattle Mariners (7)
- Ian Kinsler – Detroit Tigers (9)
- Altuve keeps the top spot on the rankings, though just barely. The only reason he’s still slotted ahead of Murphy is due to his ability to steal bases, something Murphy doesn’t have as much of (he’s not going to steal 30+ bases).
- It would be easy to make the argument to drop Trea Turner down the rankings, considering he’s hitting .261. However he has plenty of speed and he had hit .317 in April before the bottom fell out in May (.231). The problem was a significant drop in his line drive rate (22.9% to 12.6%), but after a 25.2% mark in 2016 we know which one is closer to the truth. A rebound will come, it’s just a matter of when.
- The problem for Matt Carpenter has been an increased fly ball rate (48.8%) helping to lead to a poor BABIP (.246). Even last season, when he owned a 43.2% fly ball rate, he posted a .307 BABIP (.325 for his career), so there’s obviously still hope for a rebound. That said he continues to show improved power and the plate discipline remains, so when the luck turns the average will climb significantly.
- No one is going to brag about Jonathan Schoop’s plate discipline, but he’s cut down on both his swinging strikes (16.2% to 12.5%) and O-Swing% (43.0% to 35.1%). There was never a question about his power, so if he can maintain his improvements there’s reason to believe in him hitting .270+ with power and RBI in a deep Baltimore lineup. Suddenly he’s a player significantly on the rise.
- Rougned Odor was going to fall short of these rankings, which was a tough decision to make, but his poor plate discipline (41.0% O-Swing%, 12.4% SwStr%) and inflated popup rate (24.3%) were his downfalls. That said do not give up hope, as he should be able to rebound and produce at some point in ’17.
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||June 3|
|Second Base||June 5|