2020 Positional Power Rankings: Designated Hitter by Ben Clemens July 17, 2020 2020 Positional Power Rankings Intro1B2B3BCSSLFCFRFDHSP 16-30SP 1-15RP 16-30RP 1-15Summary This morning, we concluded our review of the outfield with Jay Jaffe’s look at right fielders. Now we wrap up the position players with designated hitter. It’s hardly a secret that the era of the dedicated slugger at designated hitter is over. The hulking, positionless behemoth that so many think of hasn’t been the norm at the position for years. The “new-school” model is a whirring mass of position players getting rest while still playing. A second baseman here, a left fielder there, sprinkle in a dash of good-hitting catcher on an off day, and bam, you’ve got a modern DH. The top of our list, however, shows the inadequacy of that DH model. That’s something that many AL teams do these days, and it’s something that most every NL team will do this year without the benefit of a roster built around the position. But the teams that get the most value out of designated hitter aren’t doing it in parts. They’re tabbing single players — in many cases players who could play the field if necessary, but not always — and giving them the lion’s share of the at-bats. Yordan Alvarez, J.D. Martinez, Nelson Cruz — give me any of them over the best time-share DH situation in the league, the Cubs and their Kyle Schwarber and Friends model. There are still many ways to build a DH. You can feed many mouths, or let the big dog eat. And there’s no real need to stand out at the position to be a great team; the Astros have Alvarez, but that’s a happy accident of his development, not a long-term plan on their part. Think of DH as a fancy dessert after a great meal; a standout one sticks in your mind, but it’s certainly not integral to the experience.