The Best MLB Leadoff Hitters in the Game Today
There are a lot of top caliber baseball studs who are leadoff hitters or should be leadoff hitters.
Some have more power than others, some hit for a higher average, some are faster than others, and some have higher on-base percentages than others.
Let's take a look at the best leadoff hitters or some who are not leadoff hitters who should be hitting leadoff.
One great thing about all of these leadoff hitters is that they are all clean players who don't have to worry about having a tainted career.
The most important thing about being a leadoff hitter is having a high on-base percentage and scoring a lot of runs. A leadoff hitter having exceptional and blazing speed and being able to steal a lot of bases is a plus and makes that leadoff hitter even better than others.
1. Ichiro Suzuki: Seattle Mariners Right Fielder
You can't go wrong with having Ichiro as the best leadoff hitter in all of baseball and even possibly one of the best to ever play the game and hit leadoff. He is an on-base machine along with blazing speed who hits for a high average and scores a lot of runs.
Yes, this guy is getting older, but seriously, can anyone even tell? He continues to dominate and make hitting and batting leadoff look so easy.
This guy is 36 years old, but he plays like he is in his 20's and still has a lot of talent left in him, and has many more years left to play, and won't be slowing down anytime soon. Ichiro has a .333 career average, and at age 36 he hit .352. That is ridiculous. He was also a great player in Japan for years. The 2009 MLB Silver Slugger Award Winner.
2009 Stats: .352 Average, 11 Home Runs, 46 RBI, 88 Runs, .386 OBP, .465 SLG, .851 OPS, 225 Total Hits, 32 Walks, 71 Strikeouts, 26 Stolen Bases, 31 Doubles, 4 Triples, 146 Games, and 639 At-Bats.
Career Stats: .333 Average, 84 Home Runs, 515 RBI, 973 Runs, .378 OBP, .434 SLG, .812 OPS, 2030 Total Hits, 412 Walks, 597 Strikeouts, 341 Stolen Bases, 228 Doubles, 68 Triples, 1426 Games, and 6099 At-Bats.
The only flaw that this guy had last season was that he had a career low in runs, with 88, which still isn't bad at all. This guy is on base literally almost all the time.
He has a .333 career average which is amazing along with a career OBP of .378. Those numbers are eye popping, especially coming from a 36-year-old outfielder.
Not only does this guy hit for a high average and get on base like no other, he is also one of the fastest players/runners in the game today, along with having nine Gold Glove Awards, with one of the best arms in baseball. This player can do it all: hit, run, steal, field, and throw.
Ichiro is a sure Hall of Famer and his numbers will just keep increasing every year. He won't ever hit under .300 in a season and with the shape that he is in, he should be able to play till he is well into his 40's. This guy might go down as one of the best players to ever play the outfield/right field. He has only been in the majors for nine years, too.
His career awards in U.S., not Japan: 9x All-Star (2001-2009), 9x Gold Glove Winner (2001-2009), 3x MLB Silver Slugger Award (2001, 2007, 2009), 2x MLB Batting Champion (2001, 2004), 2001 MVP, 2001 Rookie of the Year, 2001 Stolen Base Champion, 2005 Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award, 2007 MLB All-Star Game MVP, MLB record of 262 hits in a season (2004), 9 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, 9 consecutive 200+ hits in a season, and 9 consecutive .300-plus average seasons.
He has won basically every award that a position player could get. The only thing left on his list is to get a World Series ring and title. Look for Ichiro to continue to hit over .300 every year, get Gold Glove awards, have 200+ hits every season, and have a couple more All-Star selections.
His MVP days are over and will never win another one of those. Ichiro is so good, that he could actually hit anywhere in the lineup, except really in the cleanup spot or five spot.
Will continue to get lots of runs, hits, and hit for high average, but never expect power and tons of RBI. Ich is one of the best things that has ever happened to the Seattle Mariners franchise along with Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and Edgar Martinez.
2. Jacoby Ellsbury: Boston Red Sox Left/Center Fielder
Ellsbury has turned into one of the top leadoff hitters in the game today, as he is in his fourth year in the majors. He is still very young at age 26, and is continuing to get better and better.
It is a huge blow to the top of the Red Sox lineup right now with Ellsbury being injured. Losing his leadoff skills, defense, and blazing speed will hurt the Red Sox offense until he returns from the DL. He is one of the fastest players in baseball, if not the fastest player in baseball.
Boston should still have Ellsbury patrolling center field instead of veteran Mike Cameron. Believe me, I like Cameron and he is a very good offensive, power, and Gold Glove player, but he is 37 years old and isn't the same player as he used to be. However, at age 37, he is in very good shape and can still play the game, but since Ellsbury is faster, has more range in the outfield, he should stay in center field and then move Cameron over to left.
Ellsbury is one of the better all around baseball players in the game today. He is great defensively, has blazing speed, gets on base, scores a lot of runs, steals a lot of bases, and hits for a high average. Ellsbury is a run scoring, stolen base, and OBP machine.
2009 Stats: .301 Average, 8 Home Runs, 60 RBI, 94 Runs, .355 OBP, .415 SLG, .770 OPS, 188 Hits, 49 Walks, 74 Strikeouts, 70 Stolen Bases, 27 Doubles, 10 Triples, 153 Games, 624 At-Bats.
Career Stats: .298 Average, 20 Home Runs, 126 RBI, 218 Runs, .350 OBP, .415 SLG, .765 OPS, 394 Hits, 98 Walks, 174 Strikeouts, 131 Stolen Bases, 60 Doubles, 18 Triples, 337 Games, 1324 Games.
Ellsbury will never be a power hitter or drive in a lot of runs, but he can basically do everything else. Ellsbury will also probably never be a MVP-type player, but he will always be a consistent player at the top of a lineup who will do everything a leadoff hitter is supposed to do and even more. Hitting at Fenway will also boost his offensive numbers.
Ellsbury doesn't have a whole lot of awards yet in his young career, but look for him to possibly come up a couple more awards. Boston Red Sox single-season stolen base record, two-time AL stolen base leader (2008, 2009), and a World Series champion.
At age 26, Ellsbury already has a World Series championship and ring under his belt. Look for him to continue to get better and better and to win some more championships with the Red Sox. Look for him to continue to get on base, score runs, and lead in steals for a long time to come, as his future is very, very bright.
3. Derek Jeter: New York Yankees Shortstop
We all know the New York Yankee captain and one of the best shortstops of all time, Derek Jeter.
Jeter should be in the two spot, and should be considered one of the best No. 2 hitters in baseball history. Don't be fooled by his age of 35. Some consider him to be old, but who cares how old he is?
Jeter over his career and especially the last couple of years has emerged as one of the top leadoff hitters in the game today. He has not always been a leadoff hitter during his career. He is an on-base machine and has a ridiculous .388 career OBP.
He hit .334 last year, doesn't seem to be slowing down at all, and helped carry his team to the World Series, and captured yet another World Series title.
Jeter is a completely different type of leadoff hitter, especially one with good power, and not as much speed. Don't get me wrong however, he is still fast. He gets on base, scores runs, and hits for a high average.
2009 Stats: .334 Average, 18 Home Runs, 66 RBI, 107 Runs, .406 OBP, 465 SLG, .871 OPS, 212 Hits, 72 Walks, 90 Strikeouts, 30 Stolen Bases, 27 Doubles, 1 Triple, 634 At-Bats.
Career Stats: .317 Average, 224 Home Runs, 1068 RBI, 1574 Runs, .388 OBP, .459 SLG, .847 OPS, 2747 Hits, 885 Walks, 1466 Strikeouts, 305 Stolen Bases, 438 Doubles, 58 Triples, and 8659 Total At-Bats.
Everyone knows the saying that the team's best hitter should hit three. Well Jeter is one of the best hitting shortstops in baseball and on the Yankees and could therefore hit three. Jeter for some of his career has hit in the two and three spot.
Jeter is so good that he could hit anywhere in the lineup, literally anywhere. He is successful at hitting leadoff, and is not a typical leadoff type of guy when it comes to speed. The Yankees could bat Granderson leadoff with Jeter hitting second, Teixeira hitting third, and A-Rod hitting fourth, if the Yanks wanted to have speed at the top of their order, but with Jeter and Johnson at the top of the order, this team always scores runs and always has runners on base.
That combo of 1-2-3-4 would be nasty and is nasty. Another World Series title is happening.
Career Rewards: 10x All-Star (1998-2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), 5x World Series Champion (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009), 4x Gold Glove Winner (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009), 4x Silver Slugger Award Winner (2006-2009), 2x AL Hank Aaron Award Winner (2006, 2009), 1996 AL Rookie of the Year, 2000 All-Star Game MVP, 2000 World Series MVP, 2000 Babe Ruth Award, 2000 Roberto Clemente Award, 2009 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, and Yankees team captain (2003-Present).
Jeter will continue to play for many more years and with the rate that he is going and how good of shape he is in, he will be able to play till he is 42.
He is a definite Hall of Famer, mostly because he is a five-time World Series champion, something that not many players have.
Jeter can do it all, and is one of the best all-around players in all of baseball and in baseball history.
He can hit for a high average, hit for power, can steal bags, is fast and has good range, can field a baseball, and is one of the best team players and leaders to play the game of baseball. And oh yeah, he is also on one of the most popular sports teams in any sport of all-time.
Look for Jeter to continue to dominate and be on top as one of the top players in baseball for the next couple of years. He seems to be getting better, the older he gets.
He could still possibly win a MVP Award, but it will be hard, especially because he is getting older, but look for him to stay consistent and productive, as well as win a couple more World Series. Being on the New York Yankees also make Jeter even better.
4. Chone Figgins: Seattle Mariners Third Baseman/Second Baseman
Chone Figgins has proven to be one of the top leadoff hitters in the game today.
The problem is that he won't be hitting leadoff anymore because he has Ichiro hitting in front of him. Seattle could bat Figgins leadoff and Ichiro second or third, but Ichiro is older and has better career numbers and is one of the best leadoff hitters of all time.
He was a great leadoff hitter for the Angels for the last couple of years and is really, really fast. He is younger than Ichiro by four years, making him 32 years old.
Figgins should only get better and better. Figgins could even hit anywhere in the lineup, except for the cleanup spot or five spot. Figgins scores a lot of runs, has blazing speed, steals lots of bases, and has a career .363 OBP. He is an on-base machine.
Figgins behind Ichiro gives the M's the best 1-2 lineup punch in all of baseball. Doesn't have much power, and has even less than Ichiro, but can do pretty much everything else.
2009 Stats: .298 Average, 5 Home Runs, 54 RBI, 114 Runs, .395 OBP, .393 SLG, .788 OPS, 183 Total Hits, 101 Walks, 114 Strikeouts, 42 Stolen Bases, 30 Doubles, 7 Triples, 158 Games, and 615 At-Bats.
Career Stats: .291 Average, 31 Homeruns, 341 RBI, 596 Runs, .363 OBP, .388 SLG, .751 OPS, 1045 Total Hits, 412 Walks, 613 Strikeouts, 280 Stolen Bases, 148 Doubles, 53 Triples, 936 Games, 3585 At-Bats.
Since Figgins is only 32, he is faster than Ichiro. His numbers aren't as good as Ichiro, but not many leadoff hitters numbers are as good as Ichiro. Figgins strikes out more and also draws more walks. Figgins won't consistently hit for a very high average like Ichiro, but Figgins does have potential to be as good as Ichiro.
Figgins is a very good all-around player and is also very versatile. He can play the outfield, second base, and third base. He has many tools that make this guy a good player in baseball. He can hit, run, steal, field, and is versatile.
Figgins doesn't have many awards: one All-Star selection (2009) and a World Series champion (2002). Figgins will never be comparable to Ichiro, but Figgins has something that Ichiro does not have, a World Series ring.
Look for Figgins to be consistent with these numbers throughout his career and to be very athletic and be around for awhile. But don't look for him to stack up on awards and be a MVP-type player.
Look and see if Figgins and Ichiro can be the best 1-2 top of the lineup punch in baseball and have fans eying their success. Will continue to get tons of runs, steals, but don't expect any power, or very high average.
5. Jose Reyes: New York Mets Shortstop
Reyes, Figgins, and Bourn are very similar type leadoff hitters and baseball players.
Even though he was out almost all last season because of injuries, his career numbers are eye-popping. Reyes is still one of the best, and one reason why is because he is still super young.
He is only 26 years old, and he will now continue to just get better, and if he rebounds from his injury-plagued season, then he will possibly boost backup to being a higher ranked leadoff hitter.
Reyes is just like Bourn, except better and a little younger, even though he's been in the majors longer. Like Bourn, Reyes has wheels, wheels, wheels, and blazing range and speed.
Reyes may be one of if not the fastest guys in baseball along with Bourn, and will continue to dominate the basepaths by stealing bags, and stacking up on runs. Reyes has the potential to possibly be the fastest guy in baseball history, and possibly be the all-time steals leader if he keeps going at this rate. He makes stealing look so easy and does it in his sleep.
2009 Stats: .279 Average, 2 Home Runs, 15 RBI, 18 Runs, .355 OBP, .395 SLG, .750 OPS, 41 Hits, 18 Walks, 19 Strikeouts, 11 Stolen Bases, 7 Doubles, 2 Triples, and 147 At-Bats.
Career Stats: .286 Average, 63 Home Runs, 325 RBI, 551 Runs, .337 OBP, .435 SLG, .772 OPS, 960 Hits, 259 Walks, 405 Strikeouts, 301 Stolen Bases, 162 Doubles, 73 Triples, and 3353 At-Bats.
Basically ignore his 2009 stats. His career stats speak for themselves. This kid is only 26 years old and he already has 301 stolen bases; that is absurd.
This kid definitely has the potential to possibly be one of the best leadoff hitters of all time, and could even be better than Ichiro.
Reyes must be a better team leader than he already is, and must acquire a lot more awards just like Ichiro.
Reyes does have some pop in his bat as other leadoff hitters do not. He has hit over 10 home runs in three seasons, giving his team an early lead in many games.
He also racks up runs, and with this guy at the top of a lineup, he will help a team win more games than the opposing team because of his skills. Reyes might win some Gold Glove awards if he can get his defense to be better, but don't look for him to ever win a MVP award.
Reyes has a pretty good amount of awards already in his young and successful career thus far: 2x All-Star (2006-2007), 2007 Silver Slugger Award winner, led MLB in triples (2005, 2006, 2008), led NL in stolen bases (2005-2007), Mets all-time leader in triples and stolen bases, Player of the Month April 2007, 2x Player of the Week June 18 and June 25, 2006, and led NL in hits in 2008.
Reyes really does remind me a lot like Ichiro, except a faster, stronger, and more upbeat kind of player along with more pop in his bat. However, Reyes's defense is not that great, and Ichiro will always have him passed up on defense.
Reyes has all the tools to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game today, and to continue being one of the best. He has blazing speed, stacks up on runs, has pop, and gets on base. Reyes can hit in a good amount of runs from the leadoff spot and will continue to do so.
Reyes is so good that he could really hit anywhere in the lineup and be successful, except the cleanup and fifth spot, but Reyes should stay at leadoff because at age 26 he has proven to be one of the best leadoff hitters.
Jerry Manuel should leave Reyes alone and keep him at the top of the lineup and let him do his magic and not worry about moving him into the second or third spot in the lineup.
Reyes will just keep getting better, so let's all just watch Reyes do his magic and stack up on stolen bases and runs.
Watch for him to continue to get awards, and possibly some new ones that he does not have yet. Reyes is emerging as one of the best things that has happened to the New York Mets franchise.
6. Michael Bourn: Houston Astros Center Fielder
All I can say about this guy is wheels, wheels, wheels. This guy may be the fastest in all of baseball and makes stealing bases look easy, and can do that all day long in his sleep, even when the pitcher knows he is going to steal.
This kid is still very young and will continue to get better and better. He should continue to lead baseball in steals every year for the next couple of years, and possibly be the best base stealer of all time.
2009 Stats: .285 Average, 3 Home Runs, 35 RBI, 97 Runs, .354 OBP, .384 SLG, .738 OPS, 173 Hits, 63 Walks, 140 Strikeouts, 61 Stolen Bases, 27 Doubles, 12 Triples, 157 Games, and 606 Total At-Bats.
Career Stats: .262 Average, 9 Home Runs, 70 RBI, 185 Runs, .327 OBP, .349 SLG, .676 OPS, 314 Total Hits, 114 Walks, 275 Strikeouts, 121 Stolen Bases, 40 Doubles, 19 Triples, 417 Games, 1200 At-Bats.
The reason why Bourn is one of the top leadoff hitters is because of his blazing speed, making him swipe so many bags and getting a lot of runs as well as having a career .329 OBP. He won't ever hit for a super high average like Ichiro or collect many RBI, and he has no power. But he will continue to get on base, along with getting bunts for hits, and continue to dominate the basepaths.
Having such blazing speed makes Bourn one of the top defensive outfielders in baseball. He is a Gold Glove player with lots of energy and speed.
Career awards are very minimal: 2009 Gold Glove winner. He is still very young.
It is a shame that he is on the Houston Astros who aren't too good, but Bourn will still be noticed. He is still young and will be able to get better and work on his other aspects of the game.
He will probably improve a lot of his numbers, even his stolen base numbers. Look for him to increase the amount of stolen bases he gets in a season, which will possibly lead him to be the all-time stolen base leader in baseball.
Let's all just sit back and watch Bourn run, swipe bags, and play some amazing defense and hope he can improve even more. Bourn is the the type of player who will always hit either leadoff, second, eighth, or ninth. He won't be productive anywhere else in the lineup.
Bourn is becoming a key part of the Astros' offense and defense and is one of the newest best things that has happened to the Houston Astros. He will never be compared to Biggio, Bagwell, or Berkman.
7. Denard Span: Minnesota Twins Center Fielder
This is Span's third year in the majors, and what a stud he is turning into. If he can continue to get on base the way he does, his ranking of being a leadoff hitter will go up. Span is still very young at the age of 26 and will just continue to get better and better. Span is THE OBP MACHINE; he has a ridiculous .388 career OBP so far in his career.
Span has the capability of playing all outfield positions, but has emerged as a top fielding center fielder with great range and speed in the outfield. Span is no power hitter, but he will literally do everything else. He won't ever lead in stolen bases as well, but he is fast and will swipe some bags. He will continue to get on base, score many runs, and hit for a high average, as well as play excellent defense in the outfield.
2009 Stats: .311 Average, 8 Home Runs, 68 RBI, .392 OBP, .415 SLG, .807 OPS, 180 Hits, 70 Walks, 89 Strikeouts, 23 Stolen Bases, 16 Doubles, 10 Triples, 145 Games, 578 Total At-Bats.
Career Stats: .300 Average, 14 Home Runs, 118 RBI, 173 Runs, .388 OBP, .416 SLG, .804 OPS, 289 Hits, 129 Walks, 153 Strikouts, 44 Stolen Bases, 35 Doubles, 17 Triples, 248 Games, 962 At-Bats.
Out of all leadoff hitters in the game today, Span is one of the best when it comes to getting on base and has one of the highest OBP amongst leadoff hitters. Span is just going to continue to get better and better and climb up in leadoff hitter ranks.
Span has very little career awards thus far but the only one he does have is the Bill Boni Award (Twins' Most Outstanding Rookie, 2008). If there was an award for most impressive leadoff hitter in baseball or Mr. OBP, then Span would have that award.
Span will never win an MVP award as he is not one of those type of players, but he will continue to get better and stay consistent as he gets older and has even more experience. He is everything that a leadoff hitter should be able to do. If Span was faster and had the speed to swipe more bags and be the fastest guy in baseball, then he would possibly be the best in all of baseball.
Look for this kid to continue to get on base like no other player or leadoff hitter in baseball as well as show off his defensive skills in center field. Span has a very bright future as do the Twins. Minnesota has many young players that will keep them in contention for the next couple of years easily with Span, Mauer, and Morneau.
8. Brian Roberts: Baltimore Orioles Second Baseman
Awww yes, the flyin' Oriole. Roberts is a stud and has always been at the top of his game along with being a premier leadoff hitter and speedsters in the game today.
Now that he is injured, however, it is a huge blow to the Orioles. Like they need any more problems as they are already starting off the year as one of the worst teams in baseball. He continues to stay productive, but he is aging but is still putting up productive numbers.
He's fast, but he's not one of the fastest guys and typical leadoff hitter as Reyes or Bourn. He is has a career .355 OBP which is amazing. Roberts definitely has some pop along with an underrated glove, with above average speed. He is a great team leader and stands out and will always be known for that, but he will never be one of the best to play the game or hit leadoff.
2009 Stats: .283 Average, 16 Home Runs, 79 RBI, 110 Runs, .356 OBP, .451 SLG, .807 OPS, 179 Hits, 74 Walks, 112 Strikeouts, 30 Stolen Bases, 56 Doubles, 1 Triple, 632 Total At-Bats.
Career Stats: .284 Average, 77 Home Runs, 443 RBI, 729 Runs, .356 OBP, .421 SLG, .777 OPS, 1274 Hits, 512 Walks, 674 Strikeouts, 256 Stolen Bases, 318 Doubles, 77 Triples, 4490 Total At-Bats.
It's a shame that Roberts is on the Baltimore Orioles and in the AL East. He and his team will not be that good or make playoffs very often. Roberts has formed into the face of the Orioles franchise.
There have been rumors the last couple of years for him to be traded to another team, particularly the Chicago Cubs, but nothing has happened.
There is still a possibility for him to be traded, especially now that he is injured with an ailing back.
Career Awards: two-time AL All-Star (2005, 2007), and AL Player of the Month (April 2005).
Out of leadoff hitters, Roberts definitely has some of the most pop, at least last year. Look for Roberts to possibly pick up a couple more awards and stay consistent, as long as he comes back healthy and can stay healthy.
He can do it all: hit, run, has pop, fast, swipe bags, and field. He is a very good thing that has happened to the Baltimore Orioles, and is a great team leader and player. Roberts could possibly hit in other areas in the lineup. This guy will probably not lead in any stats of any kind, but will stay productive and consistent.
Look for Roberts to stay productive for his team and hopefully for them to have a winning season. Look for him to possibly change scenery.
9. Carl Crawford: Tampa Bay Rays Left Fielder
Carl Crawford should not be a No. 2 hitter; he should be a leadoff hitter. Teammate Bartlett however is a pretty decent leadoff himself. We can all remember his famous AL All-Star game-winning catch last year by his amazing home run robbery.
Crawford has emerged as one of the top players in all of baseball and one of the best outfielders in the game today. This young guy is really fun to watch, and has every tool to make him one of the best players in all of baseball.
This guy too has wheels, wheels, wheels. He makes swiping bases and fielding look so easy. He has a career .335 OBP making him get on base a lot.
Crawford has so far been a successful baseball player and continues to get better, and has gone form being on one of the worst teams in baseball years ago, to one of the better teams. He is the face of the Rays franchise. Too bad his Rays are in the AL East.
2009 Stats: .305 Average, 15 Home Runs, 68 RBI, 96 Runs, .364 OBP, .452 SLG, .416 OPS, 185 Hits, 51 Walks, 99 Strikeouts, 60 Stolen Bases, 28 Doubles, 8 Triples, 606 At-Bats.
Career Stats: .295 Average, 85 Home Runs, 502 RBI, 655 Runs, .335 OBP, .437 SLG, .772 OPS, 1296 Hits, 247 Walks, 664 Strikeouts, 362 Stolen Bases, 185 Doubles, 92 Triples, 4392 Total At-Bats.
Again, Crawford should be a leadoff hitter. He has all of the right tools to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. He can hit, has some pop, steals bases, is a great fielder, has blazing speed and range, and gets on base.
Crawford can really hit anywhere in a lineup and will always be productive, and has now become one of the best No. 2 hitters in baseball, but he could be one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. He is so fast, and has the potential to be one of the fastest base stealers and players in baseball history, and also has some pretty good pop. He is only 28 years old also, and continues to get better.
Crawford will pick up more RBI hitting in the two spot, and will also hit more home runs, but hitting in the leadoff spot will lead him to steal even more bases, get more runs, get more at-bats, and get on base even more.
Career awards: three All-Star selections (2004, 2007, 2009), tied MLB record with six stolen bases in one gGame (against Red Sox on May 3, 2009), four-time stolen base champion (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007), and 2009 AL All-Star Game MVP.
Look for Carl to continue to stack up on awards and just continue to get better and better and swipe bases from right and left. He is a face of the Rays franchise, but it is a possibility for him to have a change of scenery next year through free agency and will get a huge raise, unless he stays with the Rays, which is a possibility.
He will continue to possibly hit for more power and will be considered one of the best left fielders in baseball. Look for Carl to stay productive and consistent and just get better and better.
Bottom line is he needs to be a leadoff hitter, but he is so good and is one of the best No. 2 hitters in baseball. He can hit anywhere in the lineup and is a great team player and leader.
There are many other players today who are really good leadoff hitters, or could be leadoff hitters, but just didn't make the cut as being one of the best. I must mention briefly who they are:
Juan Pierre (White Sox), Rafael Furcal (Dodgers), Jimmy Rollins (Phillies), Dexter Fowler (Rockies), Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies), Nyjer Morgan (Nationals), Rajai Davis (Athletics), and Hanley Ramirez (Marlins).
Fowler, Gonzalez, and Morgan are emerging as some really good leadoff hitters and could end up being some top ones. Pierre, Fowler, Furcal, Rollins, Morgan, and Davis are good leadoff hitters mostly because they are really fast and are some of the faster players in baseball, and get a lot of stolen bases, and get on base. They have pretty good career OBPs as well.
Ramirez is too good of a hitter to hit leadoff and can literally hit anywhere in the lineup, including cleanup. He might be one of the best young players in all of baseball, and has the potential to be a Hall of Famer and top player in baseball history and a MVP player. He has all the tools to be one of the best all-around baseball players: power, average, and speed. I would bat him either two, three, or four. Ramirez is definitely more of a three or cleanup hitter.