Making the Grade: Ranking Designated Hitters in the AL Central

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 Nick Swisher is back for the Cleveland Indians, but where does he rank among other designated hitters in the AL Central?

Kings of the strikeout, they are. While an undeniably talented bunch, the designated hitters who inhabit the AL Central are certainly prone to big whiffs — and have proven as much in the early part of this season.

On top of all the strikeouts, the designated hitter position (like right field) brings with it a number of questions — health and production alike.

Nick Swisher is finally off the shelf for the Cleveland Indians after undergoing offseason knee surgery on both knees and last year’s AL MVP runner-up Victor Martinez is struggling to return to full strength after injuring his knee this spring. Royals’ designated hitter Kendrys Morales has started strong, but has dealt with his share of production struggles over the last two seasons and Twins’ hitter Kennys Vargas is struggling to adapt to the speed of the big league game. The most reliable, perhaps, is division newcomer Adam LaRoche, who has spent the last several seasons producing in the National League as a member of the Washington Nationals.

All the questions in mind, however, this group projects to field some of the best designated hitters in the game.

This piece highlights those hitters who occupy the division and ranks them, from 1-5, in reverse order from least productive to most productive.

Next: No. 5

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