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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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OPINION: Mid-season MLB hitter power rankings (1-15)

OPINION: Mid-season MLB hitter power rankings (1-15)

 

EAST LANSING-As we close in on the midway point of the MLB season, we’re starting to get an idea of what guys are making a bid at heading to the mid-summer classic in Texas next month. There are a few new names on this week’s power rankings and some reshuffling in the order as well, so here are my updated power rankings of the top 15 hitters in the league through this point in the season. (All stats recorded are as of the end of play on June 10).

 

1. Aaron Judge

 

 

AVG: .305  HR: 24  RBI: 59  OPS: 1.139

 

 

As I said two weeks ago, Aaron Judge is currently the best hitter in the world right now and has only gotten hotter as of late. Judge hit three home runs this weekend against the Dodgers to continue his torrid pace, and is currently leading all of baseball in home runs, doubles, extra-base hits, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, walks, and total bases. On May 4, the Yankee captain was ejected from a game for the first time in his career, and since then his numbers have been absurd: 33 G, 48-for-114 (.421), 14 1B, 15 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 31 BB, 1.588 OPS. Judge is the current front-runner for MVP in the American League and has played in every game so far this season for the Yankees, aside from last night in Kansas City. Judge is expected to return to the lineup tonight, and continue his red-hot start to his 2024 campaign.

 

 

2.  Juan Soto

 

 

AVG: .318  HR: 17  RBI: 53  OPS: 1.024

 

 

The only other player in the league right now with an OPS over 1.000 besides Aaron Judge is his teammate Juan Soto. Soto has been incredibly effective all year long in a top-heavy Yankees lineup slashing .385/.455/.769 with runners in scoring position this year, and has played a pivotal role batting in front of Judge in the Yankees lineup. Soto was out of the lineup for the three-game set this past weekend against the Dodgers and it became clear that the Yankees missed him, only scoring four runs in the first two games of the series. Soto returned to the lineup last night with a base hit and a walk and with him avoiding an IL stint, and will look to pick up right where he left off. Soto is second in all of baseball in on-base percentage and OPS, and he comes in at second in this week’s power rankings.

 

 

3. Bobby Witt

 

 

AVG: .319  HR: 11  RBI: 48  OPS: .935

 

 

A young star is blossoming in Kansas City, as the Royals shortstop Bobby Witt has continued to take it to another level so far this season. Witt is leading all shortstops in doubles, stolen bases, RBI, and batting average, and is top 10 in the league in all of these categories. He’s also leading the American League in runs scored and hits, while hitting hot as of late, recording a hit in 20 of his last 21 games with an OPS of 1.045 in that period. The Royals are right in the thick of the American League playoff race, currently second in the Central and the Wild Card Standings, and the 23-year-old has played a major role in the turnaround and success of the Royals franchise. Witt is a five-tool player who will only get better and has earned recognition as third on the list this week.

 

 

4. Shohei Ohtani

 

 

AVG: .310  HR: 15  RBI: 41  OPS: .947

 

 

Although he has been struggling as of late, it is hard to make a list of the top hitters in the league right now without including Ohtani. Despite cooling down from his hot start, Ohtani still leads the National League in total bases and is ranked within the top 10 in all of baseball in home runs, batting average, OPS, and doubles. Ohtani is only slashing .213/.272/.347 in his last 18 games and still ranks top 10 in that many categories in all of the MLB. Ohtani is an explosive player who only needs a couple of good games to get going, and is protected very well in a vaunted Dodgers lineup. But if he does not improve in the coming weeks, expect him to make another dip in the rankings in that time, although his cumulative stats and reputation earn him the fourth spot this week.

 

 

5. Kyle Tucker

 

 

AVG: .266  HR: 19  RBI: 40  OPS: .979

 

 

Kyle Tucker is another guy who has cooled off at this point in the season as of late, but he has still been one of the best outfielders in baseball over the first 2+ months of the season. Tucker still ranks top five in all of baseball in home runs, OPS, walks, and slugging. He only has two home runs in his last 12 games and is slashing a measly .150/.255/.300 in that time. With the way Tucker has played most of the season, he is still on pace to start in the outfield for the American League in the All-Star game, but similarly to Ohtani, if he cannot get hot again soon he will likely take another drop in the rankings in the coming weeks. With the Astros already struggling as much as they have been this season, they desperately need Tucker to get going once again.

 

 

6. Gunnar Henderson

 

 

AVG: .274  HR: 21  RBI: 46  OPS: .974

 

 

Gunnar Henderson is still raking for the Baltimore Orioles and is making a case for himself as the face of the franchise on a team full of young budding stars and an overall incredible offense. The 22-year-old shortstop is coming off his silver slugger campaign by ranking second in all of baseball in home runs, just behind Judge. Henderson also ranks top five in OPS, slugging, runs scored, and extra-base hits. Henderson recorded two homers and four RBI in a four-game sweep of the Rays at the Trop this past weekend, as he has remained consistent at the top of the Baltimore order all year long. More importantly, the American League standings will be influenced by a big matchup between the two teams next week at Yankee Stadium, as Henderson also tries to overtake Judge as the MVP front-runner. 

 

 

7. Jurickson Profar

 

 

AVG: .322  HR: 10  RBI: 43  OPS: .921

 

 

Jurickson Profar is another player who has come out of nowhere to become a top-10 hitter in the league so far this season. The former first-overall pick is leading the National League in games played as well as on-base percentage. Profar is second in the league in batting average, and top 10 in all of baseball in OPS, on-base percentage, and 11th in the league in hits with 76. His consistency is what has been the most impressive part of his season thus far, as his OPS has remained above .900 since the beginning of May, while slashing .338/.437/.511 since April 30. Profar has finally become the player many thought he would be when coming up through the minors, and is making an excellent bid for being one of the starting National League outfielders in the All-Star game. 

 

 

8. Mookie Betts

 

 

AVG: .309  HR: 10  RBI: 37  OPS: .914

 

Mookie Betts has not missed a beat offensively since permanently moving to shortstop to start this season, as he is still one of the best hitters in the whole league. Betts is currently top 10 in baseball in categories such as batting average, on-base percentage, and runs scored, and is one of just 11 players in all of baseball with an OPS above .900 at this point in the season. Mookie finished second in MVP voting last season and although his power has not been quite like it was last year, every other number is on par for Mookie Betts, a consensus top-five player in the league for the past six or seven years. The leadoff hitter for the Dodgers collected a hit in each of the three games he played in Yankee Stadium this weekend as he looks to get back on track, as his OPS. is only at .740 since May 1.

 

 

 

 

9. Marcell Ozuna

 

 

AVG: .312  HR: 18  RBI: 55  OPS: .988

 

 

Marcell Ozuna has continued to mash for the Braves despite all of their offensive inconsistencies this year. The Braves slugger is currently leading the National League in home runs, RBI, slugging, and OPS. Ozuna’s batting average has not dipped below the .300 mark since May 4th and has recorded multi-hit games in five of his last 10 outings. Ozuna serves as Shohei Ohtani’s main competition for the starting spot as the Designated Hitter for the National League in the All-Star Game and will give him a serious run for his money if he can remain this consistent offensively for the next month. This will also be key for the Braves, as no one currently in their everyday lineup has an OPS above .800 besides Ozuna, as they dealt with a key injury offensively in last year’s NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr.

 

 

10. Rafael Devers

 

 

AVG: .284  HR: 13  RBI: 32  OPS: .932

 

 

Rafael Devers has not gone longer than six games without recording an RBI for the Red Sox this season. He has been a constant and healthy option for a team that has suffered a lot of injuries and attempts to sustain any kind of consistency from top to bottom in the order. Devers has an OPS of 1.007 in his last 12 games including three-home runs and eight RBI in that span and is right in the thick of a two-man race with Jose Ramirez for the American League’s third basemen spot in the All-Star game. Devers’ OPS has been above .900 since May 15 and although the Red Sox have remained around .500 all season long after splitting four games with the league-worst White Sox, if they want to contend in the American League Wild Card race Devers will have to keep hitting.

 

 

11. Brent Rooker

 

 

AVG: .269  HR: 13  RBI: 40  OPS: .884

 

 

 

Brent Rooker continues to put himself in the center of the conversation for the prized bat for contenders at the trade deadline in late July. Although the Oakland designated hitter has an OPS of .782 since the beginning of June,  he is still top 10 in the American League in categories such as home runs, RBI, slugging percentage, and OPS. He has certainly cooled down as of late but his OPS has not dipped below the .800 mark since the beginning of May and has been the only bright spot in the Athletics offense that has been struggling a lot as of late. Rooker is also gaining a lot of traction for being the starting designated hitter for the American League in the All-Star game and looks to go to the Mid-Summer classic for the second-straight year. He hasn’t gone six games all season without recording an RBI.

 

 

12. Bryce Harper

 

 

AVG: .277  HR: 15  RBI: 45  OPS: .920

 

 

Bryce Harper is 12th on this week’s list but he realistically could have been anywhere between the seventh spot and this spot right now. The Phillies are the best team in the National League so far this season and Bryce has been right at the center of it all. Harper’s OPS has not dipped below .800 since April 30 and went deep against the Mets in their first game in London this past Saturday. Harper ranks top 10 in all of the MLB in categories such as home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, and OPS, and has made the transition to playing first base for Philadelphia very easily. Harper’s consistency is a reason why he will likely move up on the list in the coming weeks. 

 

 

13. José Ramirez

 

 

AVG: .275  HR: 18  RBI: 62  OPS: .890

 

José Ramirez has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball for the last seven or eight seasons and that has been no different so far this year. The Guardian’s third-basemen is leading all of the MLB in RBI and is slashing .305/.384/.680 in his last thirty-four games and has recorded thirteen home runs and thirty-eight RBI in that span. Ramirez is leading a Cleveland team with the second-best record in the American League right now, and first place in the Central division. In a division with three teams currently in the playoff picture, Ramirez will need to remain a constant in the heart of the Guardians order if they want to stay in first place this season.  

 

 

 

14. Salvador Pérez

 

 

AVG: .298  HR: 10  RBI: 42  OPS: .857

 

 

Salvador Pérez has been the best offensive catcher in baseball for a decade now, and he is putting together another outstanding campaign in his age-34 season. Pérez leads all catchers in MLB in OPS and is top five in all major offensive categories including home runs, RBI, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging. Pérez is a consistent veteran in the heart of the Royals order, a young team looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since their 2015 World Series team, a team that Pérez was a part of. Although he has struggled since the start of June with an OPS of only .427, he still deserves his spot as the only catcher on the list is currently slotting in at the fourteen slot.

 

 

15. Freddie Freeman

 

 

AVG: .290  HR: 8  RBI: 40  OPS: .879

 

Rounding out the list this week is Dodgers first-baseman Freddie Freeman. Freeman is slashing .321/.444/.714 so far in June and has contributed very nicely to the offensive three-headed monster in Los Angeles, between him, Betts, and Ohtani. Freeman ranks top three among first basemans in OPS, batting average, RBI, on-base percentage, slugging, and walks. It will certainly come down between him and Bryce Harper for the starting spot at first base in the National League. However from a team standpoint, if Freeman can’t take it to the next level offensively, it could be what pushes the Dodgers ahead of the Phillies in the National League standings.

 

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