John Supowitz | July 10th, 2019
You know the rules: Well forget those. This week I’m giving you the seven best hitters of the first half
DJ LeMahieu Second Base New York Yankees
The Yankees have dealt with injuries all season, but the team has managed to stay strong as they hold a 7.5 first-place lead in the American League East. LeMahieu has been one of the catalysts for this offense with his consistency: he leads the team in at-bats, hits, doubles, RBI, total bases and is the American League batting champion leading into the all-star break. If he does win the American League batting championship, he’ll be the first player in the modern era (After 1900) to win in both leagues. His solid contact percentage is 6.6, a full point higher than the league average. If he keeps going the way he is, you can be sure he’ll win some hardware
Josh Bell First Base Pittsburgh Pirates
Last season, we saw a slide in Bell’s power numbers. 2017 he had 26 home runs, 2018 that was 12. This season, we’ve already seen him exceed his career-best as the home run derby participant has 27. His 84 RBI leads all of baseball. The man can bash a baseball, his 474ft home run is the third-longest of the season, and his 93.3 mph average exit velocity is also ranked third.
Whit Merrifield Utility Player Kansas City Royals
Merrifield began the season by setting the longest hitting streak by a Royal at 31, surpassing George Brett’s 30. He’s been consistent all year, not being held hitless in multiple games this season. His 117 hits lead all of baseball, and his .306 AVG is eighth in the American League.
Cody Bellinger Outfield Los Angeles Dodgers
For the first two months of the season, Bellinger was super-human: his average was above .400 48 games into the season. He’s only hitting .263 since then, but he’s still second the national league in average and tied for first in home runs.
Christian Yelich Outfield Milwaukee Brewers
If you’re not talking about Bellinger as the best in the National League than you’re talking about Yelich. The defending National League MVP is making a case a to be the first back-to-back MVPs since Albert Pujols in 2008-09. His 31 home runs and 1.141 OPS currently lead all of baseball, and his .433 is best in the NL. The National League MVP race looks to be an exciting one.
Mike Trout Outfield Los Angeles Angels
Over the last several seasons, you haven’t been able to talk about the best in the game without mentioning Michael Nelson Trout. He hasn’t let the fact he recently became financially secure detour his aspirations to be the best. Already with two MVPs under his belt, in the thick to win again: He lets all of baseball in OBP, walks, and WAR, and the American League in home runs, RBI, SLG, OPS, ISO, and analytics we haven’t invented yet.
Freddie Freeman First Base Atlanta Braves
Freeman has been the face of the Atlanta Braves through the tough years and now is the leader of a young talented squad. He’s been a consistently talented player year in and year out, post a .300+ AVG in four of his last six seasons. The 2018 National League hits leader looks to repeat that accomplishment as his 110 hits lead the NL.
Pete Alonso First Base New York Mets
It’s the all-star break, you deserve an over pour. It’s hard not include the 2019 Homerun Derby. As a rookie, he’s tied for second in home runs with 30, and the best max exit velocity of the year at 118.3 MPH. With the track he’s on, he could make a run to be the first-ever National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player.
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