Top 100 Right Now (#60-51)

Continuing our countdown of the top 100 players in the majors, we hit numbers 60 through 51 today.  You can find the explanation and origin of our list here.  As a quick refresher, here are 100-61:

T100 – Jordan Zimmermann – SP -WAS
T100 – Michael Bourn – CF – ATL
T98 – Gio Gonzalez – SP – WAS
T98 – Nick Swisher – RF – NYY
97 – Nelson Cruz – RF – TEX
96 – B.J. Upton – CF – TBR
95 – Jayson Werth – OF – WAS
94 – Miguel Montero – C – ARI
93 – Lance Berkman – 1B/RF – STL
92 – Ubaldo Jimenez – SP – CLE
91 – Yunel Escobar – SS – TOR
90 – Corey Hart – RF – MIL
89 – Josh Beckett – SP – BOS
88 – Carlos Beltran – RF – STL
T86 – John Danks – SP – CHW
T86 – David Wright – 3B – NYM
85 – Gavin Floyd – SP – CHW
84 – Alexei Ramirez – SS – CHW
83 – Buster Posey – C – SFG
82 – Matt Garza – SP – CHC
81 – Anibal Sanchez – SP – MIA
80 – Joel Hanrahan – RP – PIT
79 – Jay Bruce – RF – CIN
78 – Howie Kendrick – 2B – LAA
77 – Mat Latos – SP – CIN
76 – Yadier Molina – C – STL
75 – Alex Gordon – LF – KCR
74 – Chris Carpenter – SP – STL
73 – Chase Utley – 2B – PHI
72 – Doug Fister – SP – DET
71 – Desmond Jennings – OF – TBR
70 – John Axford – RP – MIL
69 – Jonathan Papelbon – RP – PHI
68 – Brett Gardner – OF – NYY
67 – Daniel Hudson – SP – ARI
66 – Justin Masterson – SP – CLE
65 – Sean Marshall – RP – CIN
64 – Matt Moore – SP – TBR
63 – Mark Teixeira – 1B – NYY
62 – Rickie Weeks – 2B – MIL
61 – Craig Kimbrel – RP – ATL

60 – Carlos Santana – C/1B – CLE – MLB (79)
Lee (48) – A walking machine (15%+), Santana also shows power from both sides of the plate, leaving him as possibly the best hitting catcher in the majors.

Alex (69) – Santana is one of the top power hitting catchers in all of baseball, but this year he hasn’t shown a ton.  It’s still early, and by seasons end, I expect him to be at the top of the list when it comes to catchers.

59 – Yovani Gallardo – SP – MIL – MLB (72)
Lee (64) – Gallardo has been a big strikeout guy in his career, hiding average walk and groundball rates.  This year, the K’s and groundballs have come down some, which along with a .360 BABIP allowed, has given him a near 6.00 ERA to start the season.

Alex (53) – I thought this would be the year where Gallardo finally takes off, but so far he’s struggled.  Last year it looked as if he’d finally gotten his walks under control, but he’s back to his 2010 numbers.  He’s only 26 so he still has time to make that jump to the elite.

58 – C.J. Wilson – SP – LAA – MLB (NR)
Lee (46) – While his control has been under question at times, Wilson has posted average walk rates the past two seasons.  His strengths come with a good K rate and a 50% GB rate.

Alex (70) – Since Wilson got converted to a starter he’s been one of the better pitchers in baseball, and this year that trend is continuing.  He’s had the help of a .227 BABIP, so regression is expected, but another 4-5 WAR season wouldn’t surprise me.

57 – Jose Reyes – SS – MIA – MLB (25)
Lee (56) – Very dependent on his BABIP, Reyes has only put up an unlucky .255 mark so far this year, though his .353 figure last year was 50 points above his career average.  His plate discipline is good again this year, and his defense is starting to decline.

Alex (60) – Reyes is off to a rough start during his first season as a member of the Miami Marlins.  As the season goes on the Marlins will need Reyes to start hitting if they want any hopes of making the playoffs.

56 – David Price – SP – TBR – MLB (63)
Lee (47) – Always possessing swing-and-miss stuff, Price lowered his walks last year to a great level.  This year, he’s kept the walks at a good level, and he’s now getting over 50% groundballs, which could lead him into elite status.

Alex (64) – Price is off to the best start of his career.  He has a 2.35 ERA, and his 3.14 xFIP is an indicator that he should remain dominant.

55 – Mariano Rivera – RP – NYY – MLB (27)
Lee (62) – The most consistent and dominating closer of all-time, Rivera is a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame, but he still has some juice left.  The cutter has become quickly infiltrated the league and I’m glad to hear him state he wants to return next season.

Alex (49) – Rivera was off to another typical season, posting great numbers across the board.  Unfortunately he tore his ACL and meniscus and will miss the rest of the season.

54 – James Shields – SP – TBR – MLB (45)
Lee (54) – Shields continues to post excellent K/BB ratios, though his HR/FB% has consistently been higher than average.  It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from his 249 IP and 11 complete games last year.

Alex (56) – Before this season Shields constantly induced groundballs 41-46% of the time.  This season he’s getting groundballs 58% of the time, he’s unlikely to sustain that, but it’s interesting to see.

53 – Madison Bumgarner – SP – SFG – MLB (90)
Lee (50) – At 22 years old, Bumgarner has shown unusually low walk rates for such a young pitcher.  He also keeps the ball on the ground at a high rate, but his strikeouts have fluctuated greatly so far in his short career.

Alex (58) – In 2011 Bumgarner posted 5.5 fWAR, not bad for his first full season in the big leagues.  He’s off to another good start this season, but his 4 xFIP forcasts some regression.

52 – Mike Napoli – C/1B/DH – TEX – MLB (34)
Lee (51) – After exploding last season, Napoli has reverted back to 2010 form, average walks, high strikeouts, and great but not elite power.  His BABIP has also dropped 60 points, yet despite all this regression, he still has a 120 wRC+.

Alex (57) – After being acquired from the Angels via the Blue Jays last off-season, Napoli went on to have a career year.  His .312 ISO was a career high, and this year’s ISO is right around his career average. Napoli should continue to be an important part of the Rangers offense.

51 – Adam Wainwright – SP – STL – MLB (89)
Lee (40) – Wainwright has seen no change in his walks, strikeouts, and groundball rate, but his HR/FB% is almost unfathomable at 28% this year.  Once that comes down, he will be near elite status again.

Alex (66) – Before Tommy John surgery, Wainwright was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.  It may look like he’s off to a rough start this year, but he has a 2.66 xFIP.  He hasn’t lost any velocity off his fastball either, which is nice to see.

2 Responses

  1. Great job. Very believeable. My Top 100 would be fairly similar. Great blog. Check out
    betweenthelineshockeyandbaseball.wordpress.com

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