Monday, December 16, 2013

Best Hitter in the World!

There is a big debate over the best player in Major League Baseball right now, Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout. Now Chris Davis has thrown his hat into their circle as well. However, I don't want to talk about who is the best player, I want to talk about who is the best hitter. I'm going to break down five MLB players and two international players to determine who the best hitter is. I used basic projections on the two international players because they don't get as many at-bats as Major League players. I will place each player in order from seven to one. I will show the potential numbers each player could post. However I will not be using Slugging or OPS because of the large difference between MLB and International numbers.
Number Seven Adrian Beltre. Adrian Beltre and the upcoming number six both have the same problem. That is health. Beltre was healthy this year and put up big numbers for the Rangers. His only real flaw that separates him from the other six is that he doesn't walk. He has the lowest on-base percentage out of all the hitters.
Number Six Jose Bautista. Bautista has been plagued by injuries the past two seasons. The argument could be made that he would have led in Home Runs both of those years as well. When healthy and confident he can hit above .300 and draw a lot of walks. If he does regain his form in 2014 he could easily move into the MVP conversation.
Number Five Wladimir Balentien. The new Home Run King in Japan has had two of the three things you need to play in the big leagues, power and potential. He just never had opportunity. He got that in Japan. His first two seasons their were above average. He hit a lot of home runs and his batting average was okay. But he exploded for 60 home runs and .330 batting average. If he can replicate those numbers look for him to be back in the Show.
Number Four Chris Davis. I personally want to put him number two, but he's still evolving. Davis defines power hitter with home runs and doubles to all fields. I marvel at how easy his swing is and that the ball goes as far as it does. One reason I can't rank him higher is because he slumped. His walk rate should go up, but his strikeouts will remain high. It's an easy price to pay.
Number Three Mike Trout. I bet you're surprised to see him at three. I can't say anything bad about Mike Trout. He lived up to all the hype and then some. A unique blend of speed and power that is only going to get better. His on-base percentage skyrocketed this year, but his other stats dipped. That was mainly due to no hitting around him.
Number Two Jose Dariel Abreu. The new Cuban defector is my number two. He has been dubbed Best Hitter in the World by baseball expects around the world. Massive power and a good eye for both walks and contact. People still aren't sure if he actually can produce at the big league level. They weren't sure about Darvish either though. Abreu will produce, maybe not at first or even during his first year, but he will be at the top shortly.
And Number One Miguel Cabrera. There really is no debate. He has an easy swing, he can hit to all fields with significant power, he makes contact and draws walks. If he hadn't hurt himself in September he would have put up even crazier numbers. Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter right now.
Here are what the stats could look like. BA/Runs/Hits/2B/3B/HR/RBI/SB/OBP
  1. Miguel Cabrera        .360/127/230/35/1/52/165/3/.458
  2. Jose D. Abreu          .344/128/206/37/0/64/162/2/.479
  3. Mike Trout              .324/145/204/37/10/32/99/45/.432
  4. Chris Davis              .315/122/189/46/1/65/163/4/.392
  5. Wladimir Balentian .330/118/181/21/0/70/164/0/.455
  6. Jose Bautista            .300/113/175/31/2/48/127/9/.419
  7. Adrian Beltre           .310/102/196/43/2/40/121/2/.365
If you notice I have three men breaking the American League Record for Home Runs as well as Balentian reaching the 70 Home Run mark. Are these number realistic? I believe so. Miguel Cabrera has proved that he can do it, so let's see who else can.
My honorable mentions go to: David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Kemp and Albert Pujols.