What makes a great leadoff hitter?
Getting on base at a high rate is a good start, but everyone in the lineup is expected to do that. A good eye always helps, but he shouldn't be afraid to swing. Speed is a bonus, but some of the fastest players in baseball hit at the bottom of the batting order.
The truth is that there's no formula for the perfect leadoff hitter. Every player approaches the game differently and every team has a different offensive style.
But, that doesn't diminish the importance of the leadoff man.
These 30 hitters are their team's respective table-setters, responsible for getting their club off to a good start and rallying their teammates to victory. They may not get the attention of the star slugger or the ace of the pitching staff, but a good leadoff hitter can be the difference between a postseason berth and an October date with the couch.
So here are my rankings of baseball's top leadoff men and what to expect from them next season. As always, share your thoughts below.