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Want my take on hurlers? You can find that in Bullet Points: Pitchers. However, if you want my short, unadulterated thoughts on batters, this is the piece for you. No fluff, just information. Of course, it will be really witty and you will learn so much that you'll feel like you just attended a master's level course at college. Not really. That's probably the most witty thing that will be written in the entire piece.
NOTE: THE 2014 PLAYER RANKINGS ARE UPDATED. LOOK FOR MONTHLY UPDATES ON THE FIRST OF EACH MONTH. CLICK HERE FOR THE MAY 1ST RANKINGS OF NEARLY 500 PLAYERS.
Erick Aybar has what in common with Andrew McCutchen and Troy Tulowitzki. If you said nothing you would be more right than wrong. However, if you also said that over the last 14 days all three were hitting .400 you would be correct ( Aybar at .412, Tulo .409 and McC .405). Yes, Aybar leads the trio in batting average. He's also scored 11 times and driven in 10 runs in his last 12 games. If he's on waivers... why is he?
Grant Green was called up by the Angels and he's already gone 3-for-6. He was raking at Triple-A hitting .349 with 28 RBIs in just 26 games. He'll have a few weeks to try and establish himself before Josh Hamilton returns. Green can hit, he also batter .325-11-50-66 in just 87 games at Triple-A last year. He just needs to find a spot in the lineup. For now, 15 team mixed leaguers can look at the second base eligible player (he will play some outfield to start off adding to his versatility), and if you're in an AL-only league, well, duh.
Eric Hosmer is hitting a solid .286. That's about all the good I've got to say about Hosmer. Through 30 games the supposedly offensive minded first sacker has 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored. As I mentioned above, Erick Flipping Aybar has matched those two numbers the past two weeks. Hosmer doesn't even have a homer. His ground ball rate continues to be over 50 percent, but even though he's got a career best fly ball rate of 36 percent there's been nary a dinger.
Brett Lawrie, remember how I told you to buy low on the guy citing his impossibly low BABIP and line drive rates? Viola. The last 11 games Lawrie is batting .400 with three homers, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.
Yasiel Puig is batting .309. If he kept up his current pace over 140 games he would hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases. That would be a terrific season no doubt. Still saddled with a 55 percent ground ball rate though. If he keeps that up 20 homers is going to he his upside.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia continues to impress. Through 29 games he's batting .303. That's not going to continue. His career mark is .248 and last year's .273 mark was the first time he had hit .240 since 2008. You should also be pretty nervous that his BABIP since the start of last season is about .380. You know what that means.
Mike Trout is batting .289 the past two weeks. For a mere mortal that would be fantastic. For Mike Trout it's a bit disappointing. I keep pointing it out, but the strikeouts are a huge issue and there has been no sign of abatement there. He has a 30.6 percent K rate the past two weeks. Current pace is still right about 200 Ks. Oh, and he's still only attempted four steals after averaging 41 steals the past two seasons.
Jonathan Villar is batting .342 the past two weeks. He's also hit five homers on the season to go along with six steals. All of that is impressive. Here's the warning though. He strikes out an awful lot (29 percent K rate). His career BB/K through 88 games is 0.32. His career batting average is .247. His career OBP is .320. Those are below league average numbers. Finally, his HR/F ratio of 28 percent is patently absurd for a player of his skill set. The number is going to regress, probably by two thirds. Then take note that he has a 64 percent ground ball rate. The homers are a mirage, a run to 20/20 a complete pipe dream.