Round 2 of the Top 50 Countdown is upon us, and there are changes aplenty. With injuries, hot streaks, cold streaks, and more voters and variances, this round of the Countdown will not let you down. We’ve got rookies shooting up the ranks, veterans falling off the board, and general mayhem outside of the top 15. Thanks as always to the guys that submitted their lists.
|Sale was omitted from several lists, but he has still earned his spot on the top 50. Despite a possible innings limit, his production, for now, is invaluable.|
|Cliff Lee clings to a spot on the countdown, much to my dismay. This is his last free pass; better pitching and Ws are needed for him to stay.|
|Despite losing his last two games, Chapman maintains a 0.87 ERA and an astounding 16 K/9. Now that he has the closing job, he’s earned a spot here.|
|Kimbrel moved up a spot to make room for his Top 50 Countdown rival, Aroldis Chapman. Kimbrel keeps on trucking, racking up saves and Ks.|
|E5 only hit one HR with three RBI in the last two weeks, precipitating this fall in the rankings. He’ll need great production to stay on the countdown.|
|His ERA is up a bit this season, but with eight wins and K/9 near 9, CC is a great ace to have.|
|The loss of Kemp doesn’t seem to have deterred Ethier a bit, as he still leads the NL in RBI.|
|I could no longer deny Papi a spot here, despite his dreadful Util-only eligibility. The power, the most valuable asset, is consistently great.|
|Uggla made this spot on the strength of a strong two weeks with three HRs, 11 runs and 11 RBI in 36 ABs. Overall solid numbers are the norm.|
|Cruz seems to be remarkably prone to streaks, despite hitting in the middle of a stacked lineup. His hot streaks are just good enough to land here.|
|And here he is, the legendary Mike Trout, hitting the top 50 running at number 40. With six HRs and 15 SBs in 165 ABs, this placement is almost too low.|
|Cabrera continues to hit for great average and score runs, but he needs to improve his power if he wants to climb much higher.|
|Felix is having a bit of a rough patch, but his talent is undeniable. He should bounce back, but he will have to slide down the Countdown until he does.|
|From unranked to 37th, Kipnis has been a revelation this season with incredible 5×5 production, especially in the last two weeks. Stud in the making.|
|Gio maintains his spot just as he maintains his ranks in most generic league rankings. High K/9 makes even his bad starts tolerable.|
|Cain jumps up with a strong couple of weeks. Bumgarner still pushes him for best on the team, but Cain continues to excel himself.|
|Reyes has picked up his average a bit, and his counting stats are reasonable. He needs a steals explosion or a few more HRs to stay here.|
|Price has been great the last two weeks, and most of the rest of the season as well. There seems to be no slowing him. Enjoy the ride.|
|Arguably the best pitcher in baseball already, but is there an innings limit? — NikkiSixx|
|Greinke has really started to pump out the great starts, and his ERA has dropped below 3.00 while his K/9 has soared to 10.14. Ace.|
|A hot streak is surely coming for Bruce, who has been quiet recently. I’d hate to be the one who missed out on the power he brings when he’s hot.|
|Holliday has been in a slump the last two weeks, thus the six spot drop. He’s shown an ability to bounce back, so don’t get too down on him.|
|Beltre is rock solid, and so is his spot on the Countdown. He isn’t flashy anymore; he just gets his solid power numbers.|
|Castro is a great young talent, and despite a rough two weeks, he moves up the list due to great 5×5 production.|
|With the added power kick, Bourn is really an extremely valuable guy to own this season. The six HRs to go with 17 SBs makes him worthy of the spot.|
|Beltran went cold for a bit, but his overall numbers look great. A .409 AVG and three HRs in his last 22 ABs say he isn’t slowing down.|
|Pence is starting to amaze me with his reliability and is one of the few bright spots in the Phillies’ lineup this year. Consistency is king.|
|Pedroia is having a bit of a down year, but he should come back to life in the near future. Buy Low? — NikkiSixx|
|Konerko keeps on blasting and moving up the ranks. Don’t be surprised to see him hit the top 20.|
|Maintaining this spot was an accomplishment for A-Gon, one of few he has had this season. This rock will drop fast if production doesn’t pick up soon.|
|Cole jumps to the top 20 despite a mediocre couple of starts. Even in down games, he doesn’t give up many runs. The consistency and Ks are great.|
|While his run total is great, Kinsler needs to do more in the HR/SB/AVG categories to stick around the top 20. Seven HRs and eight SBs in mid-June?|
|A seven spot jump from Adam Jones is one of the biggest on this list, and with good reason. With two more HRs last week, this train is still rollin’.|
|Much like Justin Verlander, Kershaw drops a few spots due to lack of wins, but everything else looks solid, just like Kershaw.|
|A boost in HRs is all that’s missing from our expectations from Prince. This is the spot where he belongs.|
|Once you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. Right?|
|Wright doesn’t blow you out of the water with his 5×5 numbers, but he doesn’t have a weak spot. He’s a nice guy to have at a weaker 3B position than usual.|
|Still the best and most reliable pitcher in baseball, Verlander dropped a couple of spots only because of a lack of wins despite solid outings.|
|McCutchen’s 5×5 production is finally complete with his incredible average boost. A .324/.384/.557 slash line is impossible to deny.|
|Stanton hits many big home runs. I like guys that hit many big home runs.|
|Cano makes his first jump into the top 10 this time around, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he stays here the rest of the way.|
|Han-Ram gets a good bump in value thanks to his SS/3B eligibility. If he picks his average up, his 5×5 numbers will be where we are used to for him.|
|Granderson still has his doubters, but a solid two weeks of HRs and adding some SBs helps move him into the top 10.|
|Sure, his average stinks, but Jose is climbing the HR charts and this chart as well. He may not get much higher than No. 7, but don’t expect much lower.|
|King Albert is holding steady for now, and I’ll bet his owners are fine with that at this point.|
|Just missed holding onto the No. 4 spot, as Hamilton had a sub-par last two weeks and Joey Votto was simply on fire.|
|Votto and Hamilton split the 4/5 vote, but Votto gets the nod due to consistent durability.|
|Creeping towards the top spot, Cargo uses his games at Coors Field to his full advantage.|
|Drops one spot but did nothing wrong. Braun is still a super-elite and reliable 5×5 performer.|
|A nearly unanimous number one ranking for M-Cab this week, his power and consistency have won the voters over.|
Dropped off: Josh Reddick, Mark Teixeira, Brandon Beachy.
Injured: Roy Halladay, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Kemp, Troy Tulowitzki, Jered Weaver, Evan Longoria.
Just Missed: C.J. Wilson, Shane Victorino, Alejandro De Aza, R.A. Dickey, Lance Lynn, Madison Bumgarner, Billy Butler, Pablo Sandoval, Mark Trumbo.
Once again, thanks to JFG, Element, Dannahann, WaCougMBS, Saltydog and NikkiSixx for submitting their rankings. Nikki gets a special nod for the hard work adding his own comments to each player, and of course Salty gets the big nod for his work on the spreadsheet, keeping everything organized. Great work all around fellas.
James is a 23-year-old accountant who spends most weekdays from 4-10 watching/tracking baseball and trolling the Cafe. He is also a golfer who is struggling to cope with the 110 degree heat in Las Vegas. If you ever come out here and want to hit the links or play some poker just let him know, and he is always game for a little side action. You can find James posting on the cafe as RJFORLIFE.
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