This is part one of a two-part series. Next week, we will look at the ten best pitchers in the National League (“NL”) and American League (“AL”) West Divisions. This week, we stay in those Divisions, but we are looking at the ten best hitters, statistically speaking. In alphabetical order, by team:
A.J. Pollock, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks, NL West
It is fair to say that Pollock is back after an injury-led 2017. His 10 home runs (“HR”), 29 runs batted in (“RBI”), 8 stolen bases (“SB”), .306 batting average (“AVG”), .362 on-base percentage (“OBP”), and 1.032 on-base plus slugging percentage (“OPS”) are tops for his team and rival some of the best hitters in baseball right now. He is the spark plug to the Diamondbacks’ offense.
Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies, NL West
Arenado and his teammate Charlie Blackmon were close, but Arenado just edges him out with 34 hits, 8 HR, 21 RBI, 1 SB, .315 AVG, .409 OBP, and 1.021 OPS. Arenado’s splits are impressive as well since he has more HR’s and RBI’s on the road versus at home in the Rockies, but his batting average has a 200-point difference (.439 at home, .239 on the road). Arenado, Blackmon, and Trevor Story lead this offense.
Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros, AL West
Correa’s teammate, José Altuve, has a slightly better AVG and OBP, but Correa as the shortstop edges out Altuve with his power. Correa has 38 hits, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 2 SB, .299 AVG, .369 OBP, and an .881 OPS. Correa is the emotional and statistical leader of this star-studded line-up.
Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, AL West
Mike, Trout. He leads his team and the league in many stats, and he has been doing it every year since his first full season in 2012. He has 42 hits, 12 HR (tops this list), 24 RBI, 6 SB (tops this list), .336 AVG, .458 OBP (tops this list), and a 1.178 OPS (tops this list). Need much more be said? He our era’s version of a healthy Mickey Mantle, without being a switch-hitter.
Yasmani Grandal, C, Los Angeles Dodgers, NL West
Grandal is about the only thing not injured or going wrong for the Dodgers right now. Manager Dave Roberts said that without Grandal he does not know where the team would be. Grandal is a catcher and sometimes first baseman, who is a free agent at the end of the 2018 season. His stat line is impressive: 28 hits, 4 HR, 21 RBI, .272 AVG, .372 OBP, and a .848 OPS. His .272 AVG is his highest since his rookie season.
Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics, AL West
At age 34, Lowrie is the oldest hitter on this list, but his early season returns have been great for the A’s. Like Grandal, he is also a free agent after the 2018 season and had another stellar year last year. However, Lowrie already has half or more than half his 2017 HR and RBI totals this year through a month a half. His stats are as follows: 48 hits (tops this list), 8 HR, 31 RBI (tops this list), .353 AVG (tops this list), .405 OBP, and a 1.008 OPS.
Christian Villanueva, 3B, San Diego Padres, NL West
Having a breakout year, his 26 hits, 9 HR, 20 RBI, 1 SB, .265 AVG (lowest on this list), .351 OBP, and .943 OPS are tops for the Padres.
Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants, NL West
Signed through the 2021 season, Belt and his new teammates, Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen, are providing a significant source of the team’s offense this year. Belt has 31 hits, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 1 SB, .298 AVG, .422 OBP (second on this list behind Trout), and a .970 OPS.
Mitch Haniger, RF, Seattle Mariners, AL West
Mitch who? He was a part of the Jean Segura trade with the Diamondbacks. His stats do not lie: 35 hits, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB, .297 AVG, .380 OBP, a 1.007 OPS, and a significant reason why the Mariners are one of four winning teams in the AL West right now, with the team currently in third place behind the Angels and the Astros. He is this year’s version of the Dodger’s Chris Taylor. This one’s for you, Jerry Dipoto.
Nomar Mazara, SS, Texas Rangers, AL West
The second youngest hitter on this list behind Carlos Correa (by half a year), which says a lot considering how much Correa, and Trout (26 years old), have accomplished for being so young. Mazara is a 6’4 stud in his third year having hit a total of 47 HR and 188 RBI in his brief career to date. Joey Gallo on his team and across the diamond is bigger and stronger, but Mazara has the better batter’s eye, at least according to batting average. His stats: 37 hits, 7 HR, 23 RBI, .278 AVG, .333 OBP, and an .815 OPS. An impressive young hitter.
Back next week with the pitchers.