24: Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers
Joc Pederson is a hitter who doesn’t seem to fit the mold as a leadoff hitter. However, Pederson does some of the right things to stay at the top of the order despite not having the most traditional leadoff traits. Pederson doesn’t strike out much and he does manage to get on base despite a modest batting average. Although the numbers aren’t spectacular, somehow Pederson’s contribution manages to get the job done for a team that is a mixed bag when it comes to how it performs offensively.
23: Curtis Granderson – Toronto Blue Jays
Curtis Granderson has been a staple of the leadoff spot wherever he’s been over his long major league career. However, at 37 years old, Grandson isn’t getting any younger.
Although he still manages to get on base at a decent average, he isn’t the base running threat that he used to be.
Granderson ranks decently on this list through his reputation, but the Blue Jays should probably continue looking for a leadoff man that can help pick up their sluggish offense a little more. Granderson may have veteran wisdom, but he doesn’t have the same physical skills as he used to.
22: Brandon Nimmo – New York Mets
Brandon Nimmo is another leadoff man who seems to be an unconventional fit for the role. He isn’t particularly fast and hasn’t hit for a great average either. Unfortunately, the combination of Jose Bautista and Nimmo hasn’t produced the kind of leadoff offense the Mets were hoping for as they’ve spent most of the season at the bottom many offensive categories. Although he might be a suitable leadoff hitter for now, the Mets may want to audition somebody else for the job down the road. Having Nimmo at leadoff is setting the wrong tone for a team that could use a little more speed and consistency at the top of the order.
21: Leonys Martin – Detroit Tigers
Leonys Martin was sorely missed in the Tigers lineup since he went on the disabled list prior to the All-Star break. Martin has managed to fill a void at the leadoff position for the Tigers this season. Martin can always be count on to produce traditional leadoff hitter contributions such as stolen bases and on base percentage. If a manager or GM is looking to create a lineup built on good fundamental baseball, Leonys Martin can provide that at the leadoff spot. He may not be the most recognizable name on this list, but he does fill the role well.
20: Travis Jankowski – San Diego Padres
The Padres are another team at the bottom of the standings who are looking to find an identity. The leadoff spot in their lineup is no exception to this rule. Although consistency has been an issue, Travis Jankowski has been a bright spot in an otherwise struggling Padres lineup.
Jankowski will never rank at the top of any leadoff hitter lists, but he is getting the job done for the Padres at this spot.
Credit has to be given to him as he has delivered with an average that has been close to .300 at times this season. Jankowski is a good fit for a team that is looking for an identity.
19: Derek Dietrich – Miami Marlins
As of the half way point of the 2018 season, Derek Dietrich is having his best season. Although the Marlins are once again at the bottom of the standings in offense and the National League East, Dietrich has proven to be a bright spot in what has otherwise been a bad season. The only downside to Dietrich’s season has been his strikeout total. At this point in the season, Dietrich has already surpassed (or will very soon surpass) his strikeout totals for a full season of work. For that reason, even with an excellent batting average it’s hard to place Dietrich higher on this list.