The current post is the last of this week’s installments in the positional power rankings. (Pitchers will appear next week.) If you’re the sort of person who’s unfamiliar with what a “positional power ranking” is, you have every right to read the introductory post by Dr. Jeff Sullivan, a real medical doctor who is certified to comment on all manner of physical maladies and whom you should contact with real, pressing, possibly urgent health concerns.
If, on the other hand, you’re acquainted with these particular rankings of power, consider turning your attention immediately to the chart below, which depicts WAR projections for all the American League’s designated-hitter depth charts.
Historically, the offensive burden on designated hitters is high. It probably should be high: the position carries little in the way of other obligations. If a designated hitter isn’t hitting, he doesn’t have much other value to his club. Maybe he’s a proficient interlocutor, one capable of identifying the common ground between himself and those around him. That’s an important skill. How it translates to run-scoring, though, isn’t immediately obvious.
By the numbers, the Yankees probably have the best designated hitters. The White Sox probably have the worst, according to the same numbers. All the other clubs appear between those two. All other commentary on the topic appears below.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.