50. Trea Turner – From a pure hitting standpoint, Trea is very solid sporting a .344 OBP along with an average of .271. However, it is on the base paths where he really does his damage, stealing 43 bags last season and making him a very solid SS target on most slates.
49. Joey Gallo – Mr. HR or go home is always a nice GPP option with massive HR upside, but he can also strikeout 4 times and leave you dead in the water.
48. Justin Upton
47. Justin Smoak
46. Shin Soo-Choo – The platoon specialist SSC is always a solid option in DFS when he is facing off against right handers that struggle against lefties. However, we always have to factor in the element that he may only bat 2 or 3 times before being pinch hit for if the opponent pulls out a lefty reliever.
45. Kyle Schwarber – Although the strikeouts are a major issue, there is no denying the power and potential possessed by Schwarber.
44. Edwin Encarnacion
43. Cody Bellinger
42. Yasmani Grandal – As far as catchers go, Grandal is easily top 10, but he falls to #42 on my list of total hitters with a respectable .349 OBP and a .466 SLG performance in his 2018 campaign.
41. Ben Zobrist
40. Travis Shaw
39. Didi Gregorius – As someone who can really take advantage of the Yankee Stadium design, Didi is a promising target as he heads in to his age 29 season hoping to improve on his 27 HRs from last season by finally hitting the big 30 mark.
38. Tommy Pham
37. George Springer
36. Matt Olson – Coming off a solid season where he was 1 homer shy of 30, Olson returns to a pretty stacked A’s lineup that can pack a serious punch and should be a popular stack when they are facing gas cans that have a fly ball tendency.
35. Andrew McCutchen
34. Aaron Hicks
33. Andrew Benintendi – While I wanted to put him a bit higher, Benintendi can not yet quite call himself one of the top 25 bats in all of the MLB. Improving on his power will certainly get him there in 2019, especially given the juicy stolen base upside he possesses.
32. Joey Votto
31. Scooter Gennett
30. Jose Altuve – The Houston speedster narrowly edges out the 2 Great American Small Park sticks, mainly due to that stolen base upside. He also is more patient at the plate and struck out over 20 fewer times than Votto/Gennett and as long as he can stay healthy, it is tough to see him slowing down.
29. Anthony Rizzo
28. Nicholas Castellanos
27. Nelson Cruz – At the ripe young age of 38, Cruz just continues to get it done. Spanking an impressive 37 homers to boost his OPS to .850, one of the top 30 highest figures in all of the majors. It is fair to expect a slow down at some point, but assuming the production does not fall off a cliff, Cruz could still reach the 30 HR mark this season.
26. Charlie Blackmon
25. Giancarlo Stanton
24. Matt Chapman – A member of the low-key loaded Oakland A’s lineup (Which unfortunately just took a big hit with the Matt Olson injury), Chapman will look to break the 30-homer mark as he fell just 6 shy in the 2018 season.
23. Rhys Hoskins
22. Francisco Lindor
21. Michael Brantley – Two Clevelanders back to back on the list. Mr. Brantley is getting up there in age, but has shown that he still has plenty left in the tank. Sporting a respectable .832 OPS, Brantley boasts a low strikeout rate and a solid .300+ average, but will need to leave the park a lot more in 2019 to crack the top 20.
20. Miguel Andujar
19. David Peralta
18. Javier Baez – Javi had a very impressive 2018, a year in which he reached on 176 hits, made it around the bases 101 times, and also jacked up 34 homers. Not someone that we typically consider a major power hitter, Javi benefits from playing in Wrigley, especially when the wind is in our favor.
17. Jesus Aguilar
16. Eugenio Suarez
15. Xander Bogaerts – The X man did not have an amazing 2018, but it was certainly a strong one and his position on this list also has a lot to do with potential. Bogaerts is a player that goes on streaks – Both hot and cold. If he can steady his production he should be able to improve on his power, although he was a double hitting machine in the small Fenway Park last season.
14. Freddie Freeman
13. Matt Carpenter
12. Manny Machado – Mr. Money Bags Manny Machado signed a contract heard around the world late this offseason (At least until Trout said hold my beer). So, 2018 clearly was a good year for him to reach nearly a 4 digit OPS, along with 37 home runs and 188 hits which tied him for 3rd place in the majors.
11. Alex Bregman
10. Trevor Story
9. Paul Goldschmidt – Goldy was another streaking player in 2018, but when the dust settled he finds himself in the top 10 of many 2019 hitter lists. While the humidor is always a hot topic in Arizona, MLB’s PG still posted .533 SLG and 83 RBIs, although the strikeouts (173) were a major problem area that he will need to improve on.
8. Jose Ramirez
7. Nolan Arenado
6. Bryce Harper – The last of the 3 massive contract trio is the Home Run Derby hero Bryce Harper, who will be in Philly for the LONG haul. Although his OPS was a shade under 900 and his average left much to be desired, Bryce drew a ton of walks in 2018, and if pitchers will throw him hittable pitches at just a slightly higher rate, expect that 100 RBI figure to shoot up.
5. Khris Davis – Yet another A’s batter to make the list, Khris Davis just continues to get the job done each season. After nearly breaking the 100 run, 150 hit marks in 2018, Khris sneaks into my top 5 due to the whopping 48 dingers that he smacked in the 2018 season.
4. Christian Yelich – With a top 4 OPS in the entire MLB (and one of only 4 players that finished in 4 digits), it would be tough to leave Yelich out of any top 5 hitters list. However, that is exactly what plenty of top hitter rankings are doing heading in to 2019. Yelich is my sleeper top 5 hitter in the league for the 2019 season.
3. J.D. Martinez – There are a few players in the league that it feels like hit a home run at every one of their at-bats, and JDM is certainly in that group. While he did lose the HR race in 2018, he still ended up with 43 dingers, along with the 3rd highest OPS in the entire MLB. Playing half of his games in the friendly little confines of Fenway Park should lead to another amazing 2019 season for Martinez.
2. Mike Trout – It is crazy for me to put the hitter with the highest OPS in the league in 2nd place, but from a fantasy perspective that is what I must do. Trout is headed straight to the HOF, and his hitting numbers are up there with the all-time greats. He is one of the most complete MLB players that we may ever see, and should be in the top 2 of any best hitters list.
1. Mookie Betts – Did anyone really expect me to put Trout over the GOAT Mookie Betts? I know I am in the minority here but hear me out. Yes, Trout does have a better OBP than Mookie, but many would be surprised to hear that Mookie actually has a higher SLG AND AVG than the all-star Angel. He also has the speed edge, reaching the coveted 30 SB mark in 2018, while almost never striking out, and winning that whole World Series thing. Mookie Betts is my #1 hitter for the 2019 MLB season. Go Sox!