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Player Rankings: A third of the way through, the best of the best

by | CBSSports.com Baseball Blogger
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Through the season's first third, no hitter has been as hot as Hamilton. (Getty Images)  
Through the season's first third, no hitter has been as hot as Hamilton. (Getty Images)  

Updated June 5

So May is over, and we're roughly one-third of the way through the 2012 season. That important juncture presents us with the opportunity to name-check the best of the best.

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Yes, the driving theme of this week's Player Rankings is fairly straightforward: the best position players and pitchers in all of baseball. In the interests of radical subversion, we make no distinctions between leagues. All players are thrown together in a pile and ordered according to the powerful whims which guide us.

Not so long ago, Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton would've been at the top of the hitters list. Are they still? Does a familiar name crown the pitchers list? Or is it, say, a certain Pittsburgh curveball specialist, or is it a Chicago arm who's staving off injury and threats of the bullpen? How high did Joey Votto vault on the strength of his recent performance? Which honored hurler has faced the toughest competition? And how does one sort out all these catchers who are knocking the stuffing out of the ball this season?

Questions abound, but so do answers. Let us rank ...

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