Bat Flips & Nerds PLAYER POWER RANKINGS: July 2024

Ahead of the All-Star break, we take a look at the Bat Flips & Nerds Power Rankings for early July. As always, we are indebted to Fangraphs for providing data to enable us to construct this list.

Catcher: Francisco Alvarez

The Mets catcher was absent from the London Series after injuring his thumb attempting to stretch a single to a double against the Dodgers in April. Although Alvarez is a better player, his replacement, Luis Torrens, provided a moment of brilliance that none of us at the London Stadium will ever forget.

Over the last 30 days, Alvarez has hit .338 with three home runs and an impressive walk-rate exceeding 10%. Since returning to the lineup, the Mets have enjoyed a resurgent 15-7 run.

Honourable mentions: Logan O’Hoppe, Kyle Higashioka, Ben Rortvedt, Yainer Diaz

First base: Bryce Harper

Unlike Alvaerez, Harper was in London and created a soon-to-become iconic image of baseball with his “Euro-style soccer slide” to the dugout after homering off Sean Manaea.

Despite landing on the IL on 27 June, Harper is the hottest first baseman over the last 30 days, with an eye-watering 244 wRC+ (.520 wOBA) thanks to six homers, 17 runs, 14 RBI and a .405 batting average.

A minor hamstring strain has kept the two-time MVP out of action, but he is expected to return next week.

Honourable mentions: Freddie Freeman, Christian Walker, Michael Busch, Carlos Santana

Second base: Jonathan India

The pre-season chatter focusing on India being superfluous to Cincinnati’s needs seems like a distant memory with only Elly De La Cruz outperforming the 27-year-old for the Reds this season, as the second baseman is playing the best baseball of his career.

The former first-round pick has slashed .348/423/.554 over the last 30 days with 19 runs (two home runs), nine RBI and three stolen bases.

Honourable mentions: Jose Altuve, Ketel Marte, Spencer Horwitz, Jordan Westburg

Third base: Jose Miranda

After 40 spluttering games in the majors last year, Lin Manuel’s cousin was determined not to throw away his shot when playing time in Minnesota opened up.

The 26-year-old has just tied a major league record of getting a hit in 12 consecutive at-bats as part of a remarkable .425 AVG over the last 30 days. During this time, Miranda has slugged .655 with three homers, 15 runs and 23 RBI.

Honourable mentions: Austin Riley, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Alec Bohm, Royce Lewis

Shortstop: Gunnar Henderson

Not that long ago, shortstop was a position inhabited by power-lacking, glove-first guys who didn’t have much of a career once their speed had gone, but now it is almost like a Hall of Fame waiting room.

The Orioles shortstop sits atop the 2024 WAR leaderboard and over the last 30 days, the 23-year-old has a stunning .451 wOBA with 29 runs (including eight home runs), 18 RBI and six stolen bases.

wOBA refresher: an improved version of on-base percentage. The league average wOBA is currently .310, and only seven players have a wOBA over .400 this season.

Honourable mentions: Carlos Correa, CJ Abrams, Elly De La Cruz, Bobby Witt Jr.

Left field: Steven Kwan 

The current batting title favourite is hitting .365 on the season and has a .366/.423/.604 slash line over the last 30 days. The elite batting average is almost to be expected, but slugging over .600? C’mon, no one expected that.

Over this period, the 26-year-old has six home runs, 18 RBI, and 15 runs, but what sets him apart from the guys in the honourable mentions list is that Kwan plays excellent left-field defence.

Honourable mentions: Bryan Reynolds, Brandon Nimmo, Christian Yelich, Riley Greene

Centre field: Aaron Judge

If Gunnar Henderson’s .451 wOBA is sensational, then what superlative do we use for Aaron Judge’s .501 wOBA over the last 30 days? Over this time, the 32-year-old has hit 11 home runs with 23 runs and 29 RBI, and once again, looks like the most dangerous hitter in baseball.

The Yankees centre fielder leads MLB in home runs and RBI, and is only a Steven Kwan injury away from being a serious Triple Crown contender.

Honourable mentions: Jackson Merrill, Byron Buxton, Jarren Duran, Heliot Ramos

Right field: Juan Soto

Despite having the best centre fielder and best right fielder over the last 30 days, the Yankees are enduring a dreadful 10-16 run.

The 25-year-old has walked at an incredible 28.8% over this period (30 walks, compared to second-place Shoehei Ohtani’s 21 and third-place Ian Happ’s 19) while scoring 22 runs, including four home runs with 10 RBI.

Honourable mentions: Jackson Chourio, Anthony Santander, George Springer, Tyler O’Neill

Designated hitter: Shohei Ohtani

With 13 long balls, the Japanese superstar has hit more home runs than anyone else over the last 30 days, during which time he is slashing .309/.438/.784 with 29 runs and 25 RBI.

His extraordinary slugging percentage is exactly the same as Bryce Harper’s over this period; we are privileged to get to watch baseball with these two studs in their prime.

The gambling scandal in which Ohtani was embroiled does not appear to have put the phenom off his game.

Honourable mentions: Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Schwarber, J.D. Martinez, Brent Rooker

Photos by Rich von Biberstein and Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

NOTE: Bat Flips & Nerds Player Power Rankings are based on overall production over the last 30 days using fWAR.

Article by @GavTramps. Want to share your baseball opinions with a Bat Flips & Nerds audience of 10,000+? Click on the “Write for us” link above.

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