Welcome to the September rankings update. Players are ranked for the rest of the season based on a 5x5 scoring format. Included along with the position rankings is an updated top 300. Players are listed at the position at which they’re most valuable.
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First Baseman and Designated Hitter Rankings
|5||Jose Abreu||White Sox||7||8||5|
|7||Justin Smoak||Blue Jays||34||14||7|
|10||Hanley Ramirez||Red Sox||8||9||9|
|19||Kendrys Morales||Blue Jays||1 DH||16||16|
|22||Steve Pearce||Blue Jays||28||29||24|
|26||Mitch Moreland||Red Sox||29||26||26|
|30||Nick Delmonico||White Sox||67||NR||NR|
|1 DH||Victor Martinez||Tigers||2 DH||1 DH||1 DH|
|39||Sam Travis||Red Sox||40||34||36|
|2 DH||Pedro Alvarez||Orioles||3 DH||2 DH||2 DH|
Dropping off: Byung-ho Park (42nd), A.J. Reed (44th)
- So, Rhys Hoskins isn’t a left fielder, but we knew that going in; it was only ever a stopgap measure to get him into the Phillies lineup. He should become a full-time first baseman whenever Aaron Altherr comes off the disabled list. Unfortunately for the Phillies, Tommy Joseph just hasn’t played well enough to give himself any trade value, either now or this winter. Still, there shouldn’t be any role for him in Philadelphia going forward. Even with 40 homers in 758 major league at-bats, he has a negative WAR since debuting last year.
- Hanley Ramirez is catching a lot of flack in Boston in light of the team’s recent brief skid, and now there’s speculation that he’ll lose playing time after Dustin Pedroia comes off the disabled list and once Sam Travis returns from Triple-A. There was similar talk when Ramirez was sporting a similar .750ish OPS in late June, and he responded with one of his best stretches of the season. Clearly, the goal here is for similar results this time around. The Red Sox don’t want to bench Hanley, and they shouldn’t have to. He’s not striking out a ton. His exit velocity, while not exceptional, remains above average. He remains capable of going on a tear, but challenging him to go on that tear seems like a good idea and threatening his playing time is a way to do that.
Travis probably isn’t that threat, though. I like his potential, and he didn’t appear overmatched in a couple of earlier stints in the majors. Still, he has a .702 OPS in Triple-A this year. He’s hit .254/.354/.294 with one homer in 126 at-bats during the second half.
- Greg Bird would be quite a bit more interesting as a mixed-league pickup if the Yankees didn’t have Matt Holliday coming off the disabled list on Friday. Chase Headley has been one of the team’s hottest hitters, and while Todd Frazier isn’t lighting it up, I don’t see the Yankees bailing on him at third. Bird has a chance to force the Yankees to play him regularly, but he wouldn’t seem to have much margin for error.
- I’d recommend the Rangers give up on Mike Napoli now that they have Joey Gallo back from the concussion disabled list, but I’m not at all confident that they will. After all, he does have his 27 homers. Still, they come with a .197 average, an 83 OPS+ and mediocre defense at first base. Giving Shin-Soo Choo, Willie Calhoun and catchers Robinson Chirinos and Brett Nicholas more time at DH would make a ton of sense. Gallo can play first. There’s also Jurickson Profar to think about; he’s hit .279/.406/.452 with just eight strikeouts in 130 plate appearances for Triple-A Round Rock during the second half of the season.