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2021 MLB Rankings: Designated Hitters Ranking

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2021 MLB Rankings: 30 days of MLB rankings! In this series, we will be ranking every projected starting player for the 2021 season at each in position, each in three parts. On day 20 of this series, we will be ranking every designated hitter in MLB.

Check out the previous rankings from this 2021 MLB Rankings series: 

Catchers 30-21 | Catchers 20-11 | Catchers 10-1| First Base 30-21| First Base 20-11 | First Base 10-1| Second Base 30-21| Second Base 20-11| Second Base 10-1| Shortstop 30-21| Shortstop 20-11| Shortstop 10-1| Third Base 30-21| Third Base 20-11| Third Base 10-1| Left Field 30-21| Left Field 20-11| Left Field 10-1| Center Field 30-21| Center Field 20-11| Center Field 10-1| Right Field 30-21| Right Field 20-11| Right Field 10-1

2021 MLB Rankings: 15-11

15. Khris Davis, Texas Rangers 2020: 14

2020: 30 games, .200/.303/.329 splits, .632 OPS, 2 Home Runs 10 RBIs

After an awful year with Oakland in 2020, Khris Davis heads to Texas, where he will DH in 2021. Once an elite power hitter, Davis’ home run numbers have dropped considerably over the past two seasons, taking away all of his value.

14. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers 2020: 15

2020: 57 games, .250/.329/.417 splits, .746 OPS, 10 Home Runs, 35 RBIs

Despite a minor power resurgence in 2020, Miguel Cabrera is still no longer a reliable option. Cabrera doesn’t draw enough walks at the plate, and an accumulation of injuries has forced him into a designated hitter role, likely for the rest of his career.

13. Ty France, Seattle Mariners 2020: NR

2020: 43 games, .305/.368/.468 splits, .836 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 23 RBIs

Beginning the year with San Diego and eventually getting traded to Seattle, Ty France had a solid year in 2020. While he doesn’t have a spot defensively, going to the AL solves that issue for France, who is a solid contact hitter.

12. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles 2020: 8

2020: 44 games, .190/.291/.366 splits, .657 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 24 RBIs

It may be time for Shohei Ohtani to give up pitching as he has struggled to play well at both sides of the plate simultaneously throughout his career. Ohtani’s offensive numbers dropped while he allowed 7 runs in 1.2 innings of work as a pitcher in 2020.

11. Franmil Reyes, Cleveland Indians 2020: 7

2020: 59 games, .275/.344/.450 splits, .795 OPS, 9 Home Runs, 34 RBIs

Franmil Reyes has an absolute boomstick at the plate but needs to become more consistent. Strikeouts have been a massive issue for Reyes, who likes to swing for the fences and does not draw enough walks for the Indians.

2021 MLB Rankings: 10-6

10. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays 2020: (16- 3B)

2020: 60 games, .262/.329/.462 splits, .791 OPS, 9 Home Runs, 33 RBIs

While he may play first base in 2020, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should benefit from getting to play DH in 2021. While he has failed to live up the hype so far, Guerrero is still only 22 years old and clearly has the potential to hit 30+ home runs in a full season.

9. Mitch Moreland, Oakland Athletics 2020: (18- 1B)

2020: 42 games, .265/.342/.551 splits, .894 OPS, 10 Home Runs, 29 RBIs

After spending the past four seasons as the Red Sox’ first baseman, Mitch Moreland heads to Oakland, where he will be the DH. Moreland has great power, especially against right-handed pitching, and should be a great pickup for the A’s.

8. Austin Meadows, Tampa Bay Rays 2020: (6- RF)

2020: 36 games, .205/.296/.371 splits, .667 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 13 RBIs

After a breakout season in 2019, Austin Meadows was heavily disappointing for Tampa Bay in 2020, however, he should be able to get back on track with a full season, and hopefully, a healthy season, where Meadows won’t have to play in the field.

7. Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals 2020: 5

2020: 43 games, .228/.326/.443 splits, .769 OPS, 8 Home Runs, 24 RBIs

The home run champ in 2019, Jorge Soler struggled to replicate that success as he took a step back in 2020. So far, 2019 has been the outlier in his career as Soler continues to struggle with strikeouts. 2021 is a make-or-break year for him.

6. Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles 2020: NR

*2019: 154 games, .291/.364/.535 splits, .899 OPS, 35 Home Runs, 97 RBIs

It’s impossible not to be rooting for Trey Mancini, who returns after missing 2020 as he underwent chemotherapy for colon cancer. Hopefully, with Mancini now a designated hitter, he can play to his 2019 level again as the best player in Baltimore.

2021 MLB Rankings: 5-1

5. Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox 2020: (12- LF)

2020: 55 games, .296/.332/.559 splits, .891 OPS, 14 Home Runs, 41 RBIs

In only his second MLB season in 2020, Eloy Jimenez continued to show why he is a future MLB star heading into his age-24 season. While he struggles defensively, Jimenez has an elite bat, and his lack of defense won’t matter when he plays DH.

4. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees 2020: 4

2020: 23 games, .250/.387/.500 splits, .887 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 11 RBIs

Giancarlo Stanton’s tenure with the Yankees has continued to be defined by injuries as he has only played 41 games in the past two seasons. Hopefully, Stanton can stay on the field and re-gain his 2017 form that saw him hit 59 home runs and win MVP.

3. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros 2020: 3

2020: 2 games, .250/.333/.625 splits, .958 OPS, 1 Home Run, 4 RBIs

The 2019 Rookie of the Year, Yordan Alvarez’s second season lasted all of two games as he dealt with a knee injury and COVID-19. However, Alvarez shouldn’t be forgotten, and at age 24, he remains one of the brightest young hitters in MLB.

2. JD Martinez, Boston Red Sox 2020: 1

2020: 54 games, .213/.291/.389 splits, .680 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 27 RBIs

Despite an awful season for JD Martinez in 2020, he comes in at the second spot because of what he has been able to do since 2015. Martinez can hit the ball to all parts of the field, and in a full season, should be able to get back on track in 2021.

1. Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins 2020: 2

2020: 53 games, .303/.397/.595 splits, .992 OPS, 16 Home Runs, 33 RBIs

Now heading into his age 40 season, Nelson Cruz continues to age like fine wine as he comes in as the best designated hitter in baseball. With 417 career home runs, it will be interesting to see if he retires with 500+ home runs as he likely needs three more seasons to get there.


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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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