2 new names, 1 big jump in latest Hitter Power Rankings

June 13th, 2024

Dodgers vs. Yankees is a battle of behemoths. We saw it in their recent series in the Bronx, a spirited battle between two of the top teams of 2024. And we’ve been seeing it all season in the Hitter Power Rankings.

This is our sixth poll of the year and the sixth in which a player from one of those teams has occupied the top spot, although three different players (Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge) have claimed that title. Across those six polls, Dodgers and Yankees sluggers have combined for 14 top-three finishes, out of a possible 18, taking at least two of those top three spots each time.

Some might take that as a sign of favoritism toward a pair of historic, popular, large-market franchises. But it’s hard to argue with the numbers those two clubs’ stars have been putting up through 2024. This time around, the Bronx Bombers went 1-2 for the first time this season, something the Dodgers pulled off twice before.

Here are the latest Hitter Power Rankings, with our MLB.com panel once again considering career track record, 2024 results and recent performance. (All stats are through Tuesday’s games.)

1. , Yankees (Last poll: 1)
Judge successfully defended his No. 1 spot and did so in unanimous fashion. There really was no argument here, given his molten-hot run. Judge homered for the 22nd time in his past 44 games on Tuesday night and has slashed a ridiculous .383/.505/.922 over that stretch. After a slow start, he now has a higher OPS+ (220) than he did in his 62-homer 2022 campaign (210).

2. , Yankees (4)
Soto has ranked in the top four of every poll this season, and this is his third time coming in second. First place may be only a matter of time for the 25-year-old, who has been slowed down only by left forearm inflammation that forced him out of the lineup for the Dodgers series. "Literally every pitch, it's theater,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said recently of Soto. “That's been fun to witness."

3. , Orioles (5)
Third place is a season high for Henderson, who is quickly establishing himself as one of the game’s elite players as he approaches his 23rd birthday on June 29. After a mini-slump in the first half of May, the Orioles shortstop owns a 1.138 OPS over his past 24 games. For the season, he’s fifth in the Majors in wRC+ and second (behind only Judge) in FanGraphs WAR.

4. , Dodgers (2)
It’s telling that Ohtani has slumped a bit over the past few weeks (.588 OPS from May 18-June 9) yet still leads the NL with 151 total bases after mashing his 16th home run of the season on Tuesday night. There are sure to be more peaks and valleys to come, but Ohtani continues to look like a viable candidate for his third MVP Award, even as a full-time DH who is rehabbing his surgically repaired pitching elbow.

5. , Royals (9)
Henderson or Witt? That was a tough question for our panel, just as it is for All-Star voters trying to decide on an AL shortstop pick. Witt, who turns 24 on Friday, is a year older than Henderson, with a bit more Major League experience. But the two budding superstars are neck and neck in 2024, and the only certainty here is there are no wrong answers. For his part, Witt leads the AL in batting average (.321), hits (88) and runs (56) for a pleasantly surprising Royals squad.

6. , Phillies (10)
Harper is a man who knows how to rise to the occasion, as he did again this past weekend in the London Series -- and had some fun with it, too. In his first full season as a first baseman, Harper is raking as usual. In fact, set aside a slow first couple of weeks, and he boasts a .309/.424/.580 slash line in 45 games since April 16.

7. , Guardians (7)
Ramírez is getting the job done a bit differently so far this season. His .333 OBP is down 20 points from his career level, but he already has 18 home runs, putting him on pace to crack the 40 mark for the first time. As usual, J-Ram isn’t putting up huge exit velocities, but his ability to consistently pull line drives and fly balls allows him to outslug his listed height of 5-foot-9.

8. , Dodgers (6)
Hitter Power Rankings are solely about, well, hitting. But it’s hard to ignore the context of Betts putting up excellent numbers at the plate while also playing shortstop regularly for the first time as a professional, at age 31. Betts, who already has started All-Star games in the outfield, is poised to make history -- perhaps in tandem with Fernando Tatis Jr. -- if he gets the nod as the NL shortstop in 2024.

9. , Braves (not ranked)
While he didn’t make the top 10 last time, this is Ozuna’s fourth appearance in these rankings out of the past five. With Ronald Acuña Jr. out for the season and other prominent Braves hitters struggling, it’s Ozuna who has been carrying the Atlanta offense on his back while leading the NL in homers (18), RBIs (55), slugging (.603) and OPS (.994).

10. , Astros (not ranked)
It’s felt odd not seeing Alvarez in the top 10 much this season, given that he has almost always ranked among the game’s best hitters, when healthy, since he debuted in 2019. It’s been a bit of a struggle for Alvarez in 2024, relatively speaking, but his June numbers (1.313 OPS, four homers, 11 RBIs in 10 games) suggest that may not be the case for long.

Others receiving votes: Rafael Devers (Red Sox), Luis Arraez (Padres), Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), Corey Seager (Rangers), Freddie Freeman (Dodgers), Adley Rutschman (Orioles), William Contreras (Brewers), Steven Kwan (Guardians), Jurickson Profar (Padres)

Voters: David Adler, Scott Chiusano, Doug Gausepohl, Thomas Harrigan, Brent Maguire, Whitney McIntosh, Ricardo Montes de Oca, Arturo Pardavila, Andrew Simon, Zac Vierra