Who are the 15 new Designated Hitters?

It appears that the introduction of the universal DH is one of the few aspects of the new CBA on which both sides agree. This presents interesting opportunities for the 15 National League teams.

Mr. Roster Resource, Jason Martinez, has updated the rosters on Fangraphs to include possible DHs. In addition, Mike Axisa of CBS has put forward his DH suggestions.

With sluggers like Nelson Cruz, Nick Castellanos, Freddie Freeman, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Eddie Rosario, and Kyle Schwarber all unsigned, there are still many dominoes to fall.

Average draft position for fantasy baseball purposes in parenthesis

Arizona DiamondbacksSeth Beer (561)Seth Beer (561)
Cooper Hummel (862)
Atlanta BravesMarcell Ozuna (153)Marcell Ozuna (153)
Chicago CubsClint Frazier (372)Clint Frazier (372)
Harold Ramirez (—)
Alfonso Rivas (—)
Cincinnati RedsMike Moustakas (275)Jesse Winker (121)
Colorado RockiesCharlie Blackmon (179)Yonathan Daza (740)
Raimel Tapia (262)
Colton Welker (677)
Los Angeles DodgersGavin Lux (239)Gavin Lux (239)
Miami MarlinsBrian Anderson (386)Garrett Cooper (424)
Milwaukee BrewersTyrone Taylor (515)Keston Hiura (402)
New York MetsRobinson Canó (431)Robinson Canó (431)
JD Davis (318)
Jeff McNeil (277)
Dominic Smith (306)
Philadelphia PhilliesMatt Vierling (637)Matt Vierling (637)
Alec Bohm (232)
Mickey Moniak (—)
Pittsburgh PiratesMichael Chavis (602)Michael Chavis (602)
San Diego PadresJurickson Profar (527)Wil Myers (242)
San Francisco GiantsDarin Ruf (426)Wilmer Flores (323)
Tommy La Stella (352)
Darin Ruf (426)
Austin Slater (425)
St Louis CardinalsPaul DeJong (324)Paul DeJong (324)
Washington NationalsYadiel Hernandez (463)Yadiel Hernandez (463)

ADP information courtesy of FantasyPros

Three team situations to watch

The DH role in Cincinnati is fascinating. Jesse Winker’s defensive liabilities make him an excellent DH candidate. The 28-year-old is one of the most underrated elite hitters in the game – as you can see from the table below.

However, Mike Moustakas (who can play 1B, 2B, and 3B) does not have a spot in the infield – Joey Votto, Jonathan India, and Eugenio Suarez are entrenched. The Reds are paying the former Royals’ slugger $16 million – second-highest on the payroll – so they are keen to get his bat into the lineup.

The Robinson Canó situation is intriguing. The eight-time All-Star is a divisive character; many fans want the former MVP back in New York, but the baggage he brings might be too much hassle. In the end, it will come down to his bat rather than principles, and his bat was last seen posting .651 OPS in the Dominican Winter League. If Dominic Smith can recapture his 168 OPS+ form of 2020, it will make Stevie Cohen’s decision to write-off Canó’s contract easier.

Trying to guess playing time in San Francisco is a fool’s errand. The DH will just give Farhan Zaidi and his team even more opportunities to mix and match. I love the thought of Darin Ruf getting more at-bats. The 35-year-old used to have problems against right-handers, but in 172 plate appearances last season, he slugged seven homers with .824 OPS on this weaker side. Of course, he continued to abuse lefties with 1.007 OPS.

Photo by Justin K. Aller

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