Who’s The Hottest Hitter AND Who Will Remain Hot

Who’s the Hottest?

All the hype these days have been with second year player for the Texas Rangers, OF Josh Hamilton. Although his is a story that defies the odds, which makes his story the feel good story of the 2008 season so far, and in the NL you can look towards the current NL MVP candidate, Phillies 2B Chase Utley.

But, you’d still be wrong! According to my metrics, the hottest hitter in baseball right now is the Houston Astros 1b Lance Berkman. Berkman has been usually a streaky hitter that year in and year out puts up decent numbers for a corner position player (1B or corner OF position), but nothing that would necessarily stand out above and beyond the rest of the pack. This year, at least so far, that view of Berkman may be changing. Not only is he the best hitter in baseball right now, but unlike him in past years, he has already stolen 10 bases which is already the best total he has had in any given year in the majors (his former high mark was 9 in 2004).

The rest of his line is as follows .374/.459/62/19/56 BA/OBP/R/HR/RBI

Rounding out the MLB top 5 hitters through June 11th, 2008 are Utley and Hamilton (mentioned above), along with the Pirate’s OF Nate McLouth, the White Sox young new OF Carlos Quentin.

The next 5, rounding out the top 10 are the Ranger’s 2B Ian Kinsler, Padre’s 1B (and probably the only hitting Padre at the moment) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B of the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, the 2B of the Marlin’s Dan Uggla, and the Cub’s 1B Derrek Lee.

You can see their numbers below along with the remaining top 25 hitters in MLB up to this point.

Who Will Remain Hot?

I feel almost sorry to say this, but I don’t see Berkman staying this hot. His history of being a streaky hitter seems like it will catch up to him and when it does, watch out! He might just hit a terrible slide. If Hamilton can stay healthy, he won’t remain at the top of this list, but should remain in the top 10-20. Utley, on the other hand, has the history to back a possible MVP year. Uggla, like Berkman, seems up for a hard fall from the top 5, but his is a smaller sample size so I admit that I may be wrong with Dan. We’ll just have to wait and see! I also don’t see Kinsler staying in the top 10 either, more like a 15-20 type of guy if you ask me.

Out of the current players currently sitting in the 6-10 slots, I only envision Howard as staying in the top 10 if not higher, but the other 4 may stay in the top 25, especially Gonzalez.

Chipper Jones of the Braves, if he can stay healthy will crack the top 15 and if Boston’s human sparkplug, Jacoby Ellsbury can hit closer to .300 he may move up too on account of his possible 50 SB season. I also expect Marlin SS Hanley Ramirez and Mets 3B David Wright to get into the top 10 if not the top 5. I’m actually surprised they’re not already there!

Player Team Pos R HR RBI SB Avg OB% Totals
BERKMAN, LANCE HOU 1B 57 17 47 10 0.385 0.471 131.856
UTLEY, CHASE PHI 2B 45 19 49 5 0.311 0.392 118.703
HAMILTON, JOSH TEX OF 38 14 61 2 0.326 0.37 115.696
MCLOUTH, NATE PIT OF 46 13 41 5 0.312 0.399 105.711
QUENTIN, CARLOS CWS OF 36 14 48 4 0.293 0.396 102.689
KINSLER, IAN TEX 2B 46 7 34 15 0.3 0.353 102.653
GONZALEZ, ADRIAN SD 1B 36 15 48 0 0.286 0.348 99.634
HOWARD, RYAN PHI 1B 41 15 42 0 0.206 0.321 98.527
UGGLA, DAN FLA 2B 41 16 38 2 0.3 0.377 97.677
LEE, DERREK CHC 1B 43 13 37 3 0.295 0.352 96.647
WRIGHT, DAVID NYM 3B 36 11 40 7 0.284 0.39 94.674
ORTIZ, DAVID BOS DH 36 13 43 0 0.252 0.354 92.606
ELLSBURY, JACOBY BOS OF 41 4 19 26 0.281 0.384 90.665
TEJADA, MIGUEL HOU SS 43 6 37 4 0.317 0.346 90.663
PUJOLS, ALBERT STL 1B 36 14 37 2 0.369 0.49 89.859
LUDWICK, RYAN STL OF 34 13 40 2 0.323 0.402 89.725
RAMIREZ, HANLEY FLA SS 43 9 23 13 0.295 0.383 88.678
CRAWFORD, CARL TB OF 39 4 30 15 0.277 0.324 88.601
LEE, CARLOS HOU OF 27 12 46 3 0.269 0.308 88.577
YOUNG, CHRIS ARZ OF 41 12 31 4 0.238 0.327 88.565
JONES, CHIPPER ATL 3B 40 12 35 0 0.413 0.498 87.911
BAY, JASON PIT OF 41 13 28 5 0.292 0.411 87.703
PHILLIPS, BRANDON CIN 2B 36 11 31 9 0.287 0.335 87.622
RAMIREZ, ARAMIS CHC 3B 38 9 38 1 0.302 0.419 86.721
NADY, XAVIER PIT OF 31 9 45 1 0.325 0.386 86.711

The rest can and should be debatable in the comments section below.

One Comment

  1. KevinM

    June 14, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Lance Berkman will continue to put up MVP type of numbers the rest of the way.

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