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Exit Velo #73: Rapid fire division preview and top 10 DH

Exit Velo returns with spring training news, a breakdown of the division races and analysis on the top 10 DHs in the game

Exit Velo

The Exit Velo crew is back to help you count down the days until the MLB regular season. Henry and Adam start the show by discussing some spring training news before moving on to talk minor league rules changes. After that, hold on to your hats Exit Velo fans. We’ve got some rapid fire division talk! With less than 3 weeks remaining until opening day, Exit Velo gives fast paced predictions on how they think the division races shake out. Finally, the position preview series continues with DH. Listen in to hear the crew’s favorite sluggers and tank hitters at the hit for a living position. Get all this and more with episode 73 of the Exit Velo podcast.

Henry:

10. Rowdy Tellez – good power upside and has flashed good contact ability as well. .886 OPS last year. 

9. Franmil Reyes – Big power. Needs to up his on base but he hits the long ball as good as anybody. 

8.Trey Mancini – Huge breakout 2019 year with .291 avg 35 homers, 106 runs and 97 RBI, .899 OPS. 

7. Jorge Soler – led all of baseball with 48 homers in 2019. Huge power. Good bit of swing and miss. 

6. Giancarlo Stanton – all of the power and upside in the world. Just the injuries. 

5. Shohei Ohtani – potential two way superstar. 

4.Austin Meadows 3.9 WAR in last 2 years is 4th among DHs. 

3.Yordan Alvarez – was among the very best hitters in baseball in 2019. Career 1.064 OPS.

2. J.D. Martinez – 8.1 WAR in last 3 years is second best among DHs. 

  1. Nelson Cruz – 8.7 WAR since in the last 3 seasons is best among DHs. 

Adam: 

  1. Nelson Cruz—Don’t care that he’s 40, hasn’t shown any signs that he will be slowing down. He hit 16 HR with a .303/.397/.595 (.992 OPS) slash line. Has been the best DH for a while, and until he falters, he’s number one.  
  1. Yordan Alvarez-The former AL ROY smashed 27 HR in 87 games in 2019. Only played two games in 2020 after going through anthroscopic surgery on both knees. He’s healthy now and hopefully his power won’t be sapped by the injury.
  2. Jorge Soler. Huge drop off in 2020 after pacing the AL with 48 big flies in 2019.  He hit 8 HRs with a .769 OPS in 43 games His strikeout rate jumped over eight percent higher than career norms. 2020 was a crazy year and the power potential is still there. Only 29 too.
  3. Shohei Ohtani. 2020 was his worst year offensively (7 HR, .657 OPS). Signs that this trend can continue and will not continue. His walk rate increased, but so did his strikeout rate. He was a victim of bad luck by his .229 BABIP, but his EV was over 3.5 MPH slower
  4. J.D. Martinez. Bad luck, decrease in power (7 HR in 54 games, .175 ISO), decrease in EV, low walk rate, and higher strikeout rate. cost Martinez his 2020 season. He only had a .680 OPS, and was worth -1.0 fWAR.
  5. Giancarlo Stanton. Not staying on the field has been the main factor for Stanton throughout his career. He’s only played 41 games in the last two years. He’s healthy now and even if he plays 120 games, he should be able to hit 30+ HR.
  6. Trey Mancini. Missed all of 2020 because of stage 3 colon cancer but he’s healthy and back on the baseball field. Expected to be the DH once Chris Davis returns from his back soreness. Was the Orioles best hitter in 2019 where he hit 35 HR and had 97 RBI.
  7. Franmil Reyes. His BABIP was stupidly high in 2020 (.355). While he became more disciplined, he also had less power in the bat (.175 ISO in 2020 compared to .263 ISO in 2019). Should still be a 30 HR threat though. 
  8. Yansy Diaz: Not the prototypical DH, as he may fail to even reach double digit HRs, but known for plate discipline, and BA are his bread and butter. 
  9. Mitch Moreland. In terms of fWAR, 2020 was his best season since 2015. Even though his EV dropped, most of his stats were well within career norms. Should be able to slug around 20 HRs for the A’s.

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