The first half of the 2019 regular season is in our rear-view mirror not unlike the stranger’s mailbox that we’ve just obliterated with a borrowed ’79 Buick Riviera (sliding bench seats, leather, all four windows rolled down). That means it’s time for us to rank the top 100 players in baseball at the midpoint.

For this first installment of the season, these rankings were based upon reasonable expectations, using things like age and recent performance history to arrive at those expectations. Now, it’s all about the value those players have produced within the confines of the current season. As such, the rankings you’re about to see reflect nothing more than who’s been the best for the first half of the 2019 season. The preceding has been italicized for emphasis.

As for what matters, with position players it’s a mix of batting, defense, and baserunning. On offense, we’re not concerned with things like RBI. Getting on base and hitting for power matter above all, as do playing time, context of the player’s home ballpark, and production relative to positional peers (e.g., the offensive bar is lower for shortstops and catchers than it is for first basemen and DHs). For pitchers, run prevention and workload will be the drivers, but we’ll also give some consideration to underlying fundamental indicators like strikeouts and walks. Also, we’re ranking players based on actual baseball considerations as opposed to anything having anything to do with fantasy (although there’s obviously some overlap). Whether any of these performances are sustainable over the full season doesn’t matter. 

Above all, remember that this is Internet Street, and only righteous grievances — and defeated mailboxes — live here …

Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez has taken a bit of a step back this season. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports
Manny Machado, now a member of the Padres, checks in at No. 86 on our list. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is on pace for 200 innings pitched this season. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports
Astros outfielder Michael Brantley is in the midst of a career revival. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports
Injuries have not stopped Rangers slugger Joey Gallo from reaching the top 60 of our list. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports
White Sox righty Lucas Giolito was once viewed as a prized prospect, and at 24, he’s finally lived up to the billing. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports

Padres youngster Fernando Tatis is probably one of the most electric players in all of baseball. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports

Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole has been one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports

Pirates first baseman Josh Bell is in the midst of a breakout season. Mike Meredith/CBS Sports

Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is gunning for back-to-back NL MVP honors.  Mike Meredith/CBS Sports