I decided to follow up my Top 5 American League Hitters post (link) with a National League version. Since the first one was so much fun, why not do another one, right? Let me know what you think of the list.
*Note: I base my rankings off of past performance and I consider what they have done so far this season.
1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis
There is no way Pujols can be any lower on this list. Barry Bonds, Schmarry Bonds. This is Pujols' fifth year in the major leagues and has never hit less than 34 home runs in a season. He has hit 12 already this year, so 34 isn't going to be much of a challenge if he stays healthy. Pujols is also a career .333 hitter, he was the rookie of the year in 2001, and has been in the top 4 of Most Value Player voting every year he has played in the pros. Is the streak going to continue? It definitely looks like it.
2. Bobby Abreu, Philadelphia
When you think "tools" you may think Carlos Beltran because he's high priced and plays in New York. From now on, don't think of Beltran. Think of Abreu who is just a complete baseball player. Over his 10 year career he averages 24 home runs, 94 RBI, 107 walks, 30 stolen bases, a .307 average and a .414 on-base percentage. There may not be anyone else in the league that can put up similar numbers like that.
3. Todd Helton, Colorado
I'm reluctant to stick Helton here, but he deserves it. He may play in Coors Field, and his splits may extremely favor his time at home (.380 batting average at Coors, .310 away from Coors), but he puts the numbers up and they always are amazing numbers. This season he is off to a slow start with a .258 batting average, but there is no doubt in my mind he'll have that number north of .300 at the end of the season.
4. Brian Giles, San Diego
There may not be a more consistent hitter in the league than Giles. He really doesn't have any numbers that shock you (career .298/.411/.548) but it's the consistency that you need to note in his career. He also has one of the most important stats in baseball on his side: on-base percentage. There aren't many players in the league that have a career on-base percentage that is at least 100 points higher than their batting average (if I knew where to find stats like that, I'd find them, but I can't).
5. Jim Edmonds, St. Louis
This was a hard decision for me, but I took the consistent hitter of Edmonds over current National League triple-crown leader Derrek Lee. Edmonds has hit more than 25 home runs in every season (except an injury shortened season in 1999) since 1995. He is also a career .294 hitter with a .385 on-base percentage. This season he is not too far off his normal pace, as he's hitting .280 with a .405 OBP and 10 home runs on the season.
Close, But No Cigar:
Miguel Cabrera, Florida
Young stud, 22, that has already put up some amazing numbers.
Derrek Lee, Chicago
He'll make the list if he continues his impressive season.
Carlos Delgado, Florida
He's still mashing the ball despite moving from the cold north to the hot south.
Luis Gonzalez, Arizona
Consistency. Just like Giles and Edmonds.
Chipper Jones, Atlanta
Last year he had a horrible batting average, but looks like he's back on track this season.
Never Will See On My Lists
Barry Bonds, San Francisco
For all the obvious reasons. Bonds gives baseball a bad name, in my opinion.