BATTERS: BPV leaders, June 2016

Let's continue our monthly look back at the players who posted the best skills during the previous month by moving on to hitters.

The list of the most skilled bats in June is headlined by a former top prospect:

75+ BPV, June 2015*

Name                League  Position     bb%  ct%  Eye   PX   HctX  xPX  Spd  BPV
==================  ======  ===========  ===  ===  ====  ===  ====  ===  ===  ===
Myers, Wil              NL        1B/CF  16%  85%  1.27  228   158  185   83  182
Encarnacion, Edwin      AL           1B  20%  82%  1.35  231   147  198   61  172
Carpenter, Matt         NL     3B/2B/1B  21%  83%  1.53  202   173  174  112  171
Naquin, Tyler           NL           AL  13%  65%  0.43  299   131  218  136  167
Moss, Brandon           NL        RF/1B   9%  70%  0.32  279   128  214  102  153
Donaldson, Josh         AL           3B  18%  82%  1.22  172   148  157  140  145
Dozier, Brian           AL           2B   9%  86%  0.73  184   119  130  107  144
Bryant, Kris            NL           3B  11%  68%  0.38  270   122  209   91  138
Rizzo, Anthony          NL           1B  13%  80%  0.78  211   132  150   64  138
LeMahieu, DJ            NL           2B  12%  88%  1.18  144   149  152  144  137
Espinosa, Danny         NL        2B/SS  11%  74%  0.50  242   135  217   74  137
Seager, Corey           NL           SS  10%  79%  0.55  197   125  154  126  135
Longoria, Evan          AL           3B   9%  79%  0.48  208   138  197   82  126
Bruce, Jay              NL           RF   5%  82%  0.29  197   152  192   96  125
Arenado, Nolan          NL           3B  13%  84%  0.89  171   141  149   88  125
Correa, Carlos          AL           SS  16%  76%  0.77  184   142  141  132  124
Trout, Mike             AL           CF  14%  84%  1.06  146   137  143  115  119
Ortiz, David            AL           DH  17%  89%  1.80  132   146   89   60  114
Lamb, Jake              NL           3B   8%  63%  0.22  257   130  201  132  113
Altuve, Jose            AL           2B  11%  90%  1.30  100   137  119  136  107
Turner, Justin          NL           3B   7%  85%  0.47  161   173  198   75  106
Bour, Justin            NL           1B  13%  81%  0.77  170   139  142   63  105
Belt, Brandon           NL           1B  10%  79%  0.50  182   122  157   71  103
Chisenhall, Lonnie      AL        RF/3B   6%  87%  0.50  128   111  135  131  103
Murphy, Daniel          NL        2B/3B   6%  90%  0.64  125   144  148   98  102
Gonzalez, Carlos        NL           RF   8%  68%  0.27  236   130  163   74  102
Lindor, Francisco       AL           SS   9%  87%  0.71  129   103   98  106  101
Ramos, Wilson           NL            C   9%  86%  0.69  143   136  111   79  101
Vogt, Stephen           AL         C/1B   8%  90%  0.88  123   130  144   82  100
Beltran, Carlos         AL        RF/DH   9%  85%  0.62  144   134  112   86   99
Jones, Adam             AL           CF   6%  82%  0.35  161   136  151   94   98
Iglesias, Jose          AL           SS  11%  91%  1.33   90    64   50  130   98
Votto, Joey             NL           1B  20%  76%  1.04  155   129  188   91   97
Martinez, J.D.          AL           RF   9%  77%  0.43  180   136  167   83   97
Freeman, Freddie        NL           1B  12%  67%  0.40  205   146  193  125   96
Saunders, Michael       AL           LF   7%  71%  0.27  203   140  199  104   96
Cabrera, Melky          AL           LF   4%  85%  0.31  151   113  110   75   93
Cron, C.J.              AL        1B/DH   5%  84%  0.36  152   137  130   72   93
Machado, Manny          AL        3B/SS   4%  84%  0.24  138   121  125  125   92
Davis, Chris            AL     1B/RF/DH  13%  61%  0.38  246   110  182   77   91
Morales, Kendrys        AL           DH   8%  80%  0.44  160   156  135   64   87
Young, Chris            AL           RF   7%  82%  0.42  142   156  154   95   87
Betts, Mookie           AL           CF   6%  87%  0.44  126   142  144   86   86
Cruz, Nelson            AL        RF/DH   8%  74%  0.34  186   114  154   71   84
Schoop, Jonathan        AL           2B   7%  79%  0.35  160   117   84   77   84
McCann, Brian           AL            C  14%  80%  0.85  138   160  211   73   84
Bourjos, Peter          NL           CF   7%  81%  0.42  115    80   67  170   83
Wieters, Matt           AL            C  12%  84%  0.83  114   108   88   93   81
Lucroy, Jonathan        NL            C   9%  85%  0.69  105   134  147  118   80
Panik, Joe              NL           2B   7%  93%  1.00   66    87   77  133   79
Kipnis, Jason           AL           2B  10%  82%  0.58  121   116  146  113   78
Crisp, Coco             AL           LF  11%  83%  0.73  105    81   68  124   78
Blackmon, Charlie       NL           CF  10%  80%  0.59  128   131  190   98   76
Duvall, Adam            NL           LF   6%  73%  0.23  180   113  164   90   75
Travis, Devon           AL           2B   6%  82%  0.33  133    90   85   95   75
*min 50 AB

Let's take a closer look at a bunch of noteworthy skill performances during June.
 

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Lonnie Chisenhall (RF/3B, CLE) played a key role in CLE's big surge in June (.322 BA, .939 OPS). And those marks came with some very good underlying support: 87% ct%, 135 xPX, 103 BPV. Chisenhall's contact rate, hard contact index, and OPS are all on two-month upticks, and he has even posted a 125+ Spd in all three months so far in 2016. It might be easy to dismiss Chisenhall as a continual post-hype flop, but at age 27, he's still young enough to develop into an impact bat. He's an intriguing speculation again.

C.J. Cron (1B/DH, LAA) is a young bat who had a big June (.314 BA, .921 OPS). While he still doesn't draw walks at a clip you'd like to see from a developing bat (5% bb% in June), he makes a decent amount of contact (84% ct%), and when he puts the bat on the ball, he hits it with authority (137 HctX in June). Turning that hard contact into more HR will be tough though, as his average flyball distance has dropped over 30 feet from 2015.

Chase Headley (3B, NYY) finally is starting to show signs of life with the bat. He generated a lot of hard contact in June (119 HctX), helping him to an elite 175 xPX that month. June marked the second straight month that Headley's hard contact and expected power metrics surged. Owners looking for a value buy could do worse than speculating on Headley in the second half.

Jose Iglesias (SS, DET) did his part to help DET nudge its way back over .500 in June. He had a .323 BA and .872 OPS in 96 AB. And few batters in the AL have better plate skills than Iglesias does: 11% bb%, 91% ct%, 1.33 Eye. With strong wheels too (130 Spd), Iglesias only needs a stronger green light in order to become a SB source.

Desmond Jennings (LF, TAM) quietly posted an .847 OPS in June, along with a collection of some pretty solid skills: 14% bb%, 73% ct%, 0.60 Eye, 131 xPX, 65 BPV. This is the second straight month that Jennings has improved his walk rate, and the power and speed skills he posted in June were his best of the season. He's worth a speculative look again in deep leagues.

Hyun-Soo Kim (LF, BAL) quietly put together an impressive June, both on the surface (.333 BA, .908 OPS) and beneath it (74 BPV). He's another hitter who showed both strong plate skills (11% bb%, 86% ct%, 0.90 Eye) and made a lot of hard contact (129 HctX). As a groundball hitter with subpar expected power, Kim's ceiling is limited. But his combination of contact and pop means he could be a batting average contributor in the second half.

Tyler Naquin (CF, CLE) was the owner of the best expected power skills in the AL during the month of June (218 xPX). Credit tons of hard contact (131 HctX) and a friendly 33% HR/F for his power surge. Still, his combination of pop and speed (136 Spd) should continue to give him value in deep leagues even if his struggles to find regular AB after the return of Michael Brantley (LF, CLE).

Stephen Vogt (C/1B, OAK) struggled through a horrible May (-9 BPV, .668 OPS) but rebounded nicely in June (100 BPV, .859 OPS). He combined excellent pitch recognition (90% ct%, 0.88 Eye) with a lot of hard contact (130 xPX). He also became an extreme flyball hitter in June (32/15/53 G/L/F). A tiny 6% HR/F limited him to two HR that month. Vogt is a strong mid-season play, especially if you can take advantage of his dual C/1B eligibility.
 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Javier Baez (3B/2B/SS, CHC) hasn't put his raw power to much use in 2016, but that's showing signs of changing. He posted a top-tier 175 PX in June, along with a strong 70 BPV. He has generated hard contact and expected power at an increasing rate during each month of the season. While his pitch recognition remains a work-in-progress, check out his surging contact rate over the last three seasons: 55%, 68%, 76% ct%. And after entering MLB with serious concerns about his glove and what position he'd be able to handle defensively, he has grown into a defensive asset at multiple positions. Now is the last time you'll be able to buy low on Baez.

Matt Carpenter (3B/2B/1B, STL) was the most productive bat in MLB during the month of June (1.232 OPS), and his base skills were the second best in the game: 21% bb%, 83% ct%, 1.53 Eye, 202 PX, 173 HctX, 174 xPX, 112 Spd, 171 BPV. It's not often that a hitter's elite production comes with elite skill support, but in the case of Carpenter, it has happened in both May and June. Carpenter is a legit cornerstone bat now, especially if you can use him as your 2B.

Jake Lamb (3B, ARI) had a huge June (.302 BA, 1.052 OPS in 96 AB). His production came with the support of a superb 257 PX and 201 xPX, and his overall skills were excellent too (113 BPV). Just keep in mind that Lamb really opened up his swing in June (63% ct%, 0.22 Eye), so we can't expect steady elite production from him just yet.

D.J. LeMahieu (2B, COL) was one of the most productive (1.084 OPS) and skilled (137 BPV) hitters in MLB during the month of June. He combined excellent pitch recognition (12% bb%, 88% ct%, 1.18 Eye) with surprising power (144 PX, 149 HctX, 152 xPX) and speedy wheels (144 Spd). LeMahieu is on his way to the best season of his career, and he's doing so with the support of surging skills.

Wil Myers (1B/CF, SD) was the most skilled bat in MLB during the month of June (182 BPV). He showed both excellent plate control (16% bb%, 85% ct%, 1.27 Eye) and elite power (228 PX, 158 HctX, 185 xPX). At age 25, Myers on his way to a $30+ breakout if he can stay healthy.

Peter O'Brien (LF, ARI) received some semi-regular AB in June, and the results were horrible (.132 BA, .537 OPS). That said, O'Brien produced the highest rate of expected power of any MLB bat with at least 50 AB that month (222 xPX). Big-time holes in his swing (58% ct%) make it unlikely he will stick in a regular role in the short-term, but if you have a flexible roster, he's a premium guy to use against lefties (324 PX).

Justin Turner (3B, LA) is another bat in the midst of a power surge. He had 8 HR and 23 RBI in June, marks that came with strong underlying support (161 PX, 173 HctX, 198 xPX). Turner's numbers and skills have surged in each month of 2016, so now's the time to snag him if he's available and you need a corner infielder.

 


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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.