18: Alen Hanson – San Francisco Giants
The Giants are a team who doesn’t have an official leadoff hitter. However, newcomer Alen Hanson has been playing well here of late and is attracting attention in the process. The Giants have a mixed bag of offensive resultsthis season due to the trouble they’ve had at the leadoff position. It’s a little too soon to place Hanson very high on this list, but it’s hard to ignore the results the Giants have enjoyed with him at the top of the order. The jury is still out on Hanson, but at the very least he is one to watch during the second half of the 2018 season.
17: Delino DeShields Jr. – Texas Rangers
A lot of times the kids of good/great athletes who played in the past don’t quite measure up to what their father did. However, Delino DeShields Jr. is a potential exception to the rule. So far his style of play is reminiscent of his dad’s.
Much like his old man, DeShields has all of the attributes necessary to be a solid leadoff hitter in the major leagues.
He runs the bases well and has a respectable on base percentage. Although his batting average is usually on he low end of the spectrum, DeShields is one to watch out for as he continues to grow in his young career.
16: Jon Jay – Arizona Diamondbacks
Despite their success, the Arizona Diamondbacks still seem to be searching for answers at the leadoff spot. This is probably what caused them to acquire Jon Jay from the Royals earlier this season. Jay could prove to be the answer for the team in the long run, but they may need to stop shuffling players through the top of the order so they can find out who is the best fit. It might be a good idea to start with Jay and see how he fits in day to day. based on his history, Jay may have exactly what the Diamondbacks need in order to lift themselves out of the offensive mediocrity they are currently toiling in.
15: Cesar Hernandez – Philadelphia Phillies
Cesar Hernandez isn’t the kind of leadoff hitter who is going to underwhelm or overwhelm you. He is somewhere in the middle of the pack. He won’t wow anybody with his batting average or power. He’s currently on pace to strike out more times in a season than he ever has in his career. One thing that can’t be disputed is that he is playing on a team that’s enjoying it’s best season in awhile. Although the Phillies are on pace to make the playoffs, their offense hasn’t really hit its stride as they rank pretty low in most categories. Somehow, much like Hernandez, they are doing just enough to stay on top.
14: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier has been a mainstay at the leadoff position for the Twins. He may not be the strongest option for a leadoff hitter, but he has been fairly stable and reliable for the Twins over the years. Although his 2018 numbers are down from previous seasons, Dozier is probably still the best option for this team.
He ranks fairly well against his competition due to his consistent reputation alone.
However, it might take more than just a consistently average performance to lift the Twins over the the .500 mark again. As far as ranking leadoff hitters, Dozier is a good, but not great option. He would probably be a better fit later in the lineup.
13: DJ LeMahieu – Colorado Rockies
DJ LeMahieu is a solid player who has been a staple of the Rockies lineup for quite a few seasons. He’s about as consistent of a hitter as almost anybody else in the Rockies lineup. One of the issues the Rockies have is that they could probably place quite a few guys in the leadoff spot and get similar results. Playing at Coors Field certainly impacts that. Although LeMahieu fills into this role well, the Rockies seem to be missing some traits that a more traditional leadoff hitter could bring to the table. LeMahieu is a good player who is batting a few spots higher than he should be.