Batter’s Box: In for a Trea(t)
Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire
It’s amazing how much draft day values determine how we feel towards certain players. It makes sense, of course. It’s just interesting that a 3-for-4 performance from Mike Trout is brushed off, while that same line from Jurickson Profar has us shouting praises to the heavens. It’s the same phenomenon we’d experience if we were taste-testing two burgers: one from a high-end restaurant, and the other that we found on the side of the road. We’d expect the high-end burger to blow us away, but with the one we found on the road, we’d just be happy if it wasn’t made out of dog meat. Sorry, Mr. Profar. I think you’re the dog meat road burger in this analogy.
All this to say, some people have been disappointed by Trea Turner’s season to this point. However, everything you should have expected from him if you drafted him has been there, especially after his 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI performance yesterday. He’s now slashing .280/.357/.427 with 11 homers and 22 stolen bases. He should easily eclipse his previous career-high of 13 home runs this year, and the xStats back all of it up, with a .288/.366/.413 xStats triple slash and 8.2 xHR. It’s debatable whether there are any players in the game right now who possess Turner’s skillset, as his ceiling is likely something in the range of 20 home runs and 50 stolen bases with an average around .285. So just enjoy the ride.
Justin Bour (1B, Miami Marlins): 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI – The power for Bour hasn’t been a total letdown this year, as this performance gave him 14 taters on the season. The problem is his .238 average. Part of the problem is a slight uptick in his groundball rate, but xStats indicates he’s also been getting a bit unlucky, giving him a .257 xAVG. He’s still crushing the ball with a 38% hard contact rate, so it may just be a matter of those batted balls finding some holes (that’s what she said).
Derek Dietrich (OF, Miami Marlins): 2-5, 3 R – Dietrich has been on fire for the past month, hitting .324 with five homers over that span. Unfortunately, he plays for the Marlins, and has just 30 RBI to show for his excellent production through 301 at-bats. His .362 BABIP isn’t going to last long, so if you’re an owner I’d be cashing out now.
Brian Anderson (3B/OF, Miami Marlins): 2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2B – The heir apparent to Martin Prado in every possible way, Anderson has just quietly plugged along this year, posting a .284 average with six homers and a very mature plate approach. He’s making an impressive 40.4% hard contact, but is hitting 52.2% of his batted balls on the ground. If he tweaked his swing plane to unlock 20+ homer power he’d be a must-add, as his contact skills are already above average.
Matt Adams (1B/OF, Washington Nationals): 4-5, 3 R, 2B – Between Adams and Kemp, it’s been a renaissance year for the Matts formerly known as Fats. This was Adams’ first game back from the DL, and he made it count. With a .385 xBACON and 14.6% VH this season, everything Adams is doing seems legit, and I would not be surprised to see him hold down the full-time job at first base going forward now that Ryan Zimmerman has apparently crumbled into a pile of dust and blown away forever.
Jurickson Profar (SS/3B/OF, Texas Rangers): 2-4, 2 R, SB – Another solid performance from dog burger, er, Profar, who has very slowly been lifting his average closer to the .250 mark. He’s mostly been playing third base lately, but there’s a bit of a playing time crunch now that Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, and Rougned Odor are all healthy. He’s not a bad guy to have on your roster if you can stomach the inconsistent playing time, as he’s up to eight homers and eight steals this year, and is eligible at several positions.
Hernan Perez (SS/3B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 3B – I’ve always liked Perez, as he makes the most of being a super utility player, and has chipped in five homers and six stolen bases in just 176 at-bats this year. It would be nice if he could get regular reps somewhere, and maybe with Orlando Arcia’s demotion he’ll take hold of the shortstop gig.
Jedd Gyorko (3B, St. Louis Cardinals): 3-4, HR, 5 RBI, BB, 2B – I think Jedd Gyorko was put on this earth exclusively to give fantasy owners fodder for naming their teams. I mean, Gyorko? The possibilities are endless. This was a great performance, but with Paul DeJong’s return on the horizon, Gyorko should slide back into a utility role pretty soon.
Harrison Bader (OF, St. Louis Cardinals): 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI – Gyorko, Wong, Bader… there’s a lot of connotations for my childlike mind to run wild with in this Cardinals lineup. With Dexter Fowler struggling to even sniff the Mendoza Line this season, Bader seems like he’ll be the beneficiary of increased playing time for now. He’s a solid speculative add in deeper leagues considering his power/speed combination.
Matt Carpenter (1B/2B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals): 1-3, 3 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB – This man cannot be stopped, as his slash line is now up to .327/.433/.664 over the past month with nine homers over that span. Somewhere out there, Dave Cherman is rubbing his hands together and cackling like the witch that he is.
Ketel Marte (SS/2B, Arizona Diamondbacks): 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2B – I keep wanting to hop on the Ketel Marte hype train, because the 35% hard contact and 5.7% whiff rates are super enticing. But at this point I think the 55% groundball rate is going to doom him to inconsistent production, and it’s likely not worth the headache until he shows signs of lifting the ball more.
Jonathan Schoop (2B, Baltimore Orioles): 2-4, 2 HR – Schoop’s hard contact has plummeted to just 24.4% this year. To put that into perspective, Billy “Air Bud” Hamilton’s hard contact rate is 22.4% right now. His groundball rate is also up, which isn’t doing his .227 BABIP any favors, and I can’t help but wonder if he’s been nursing an injury. I certainly Schoop not. Sorry, bad pun, moving on.
Logan Morrison (1B/DH, Minnesota Twins): 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI – It’s been a weird year for Morrison, whose peripherals look as good or better than they were last year in terms of his strikeout, hard contact, and batted ball rates. His .212 BABIP has really doomed him so far, but I don’t see a ton of reasons why he’s had so much bad luck this year. Maybe it’s bad karma from all those wedgies he doled out over the years. Don’t lie, Logan, I know just from looking at your face that you were a schoolyard bully. Anyway, he’s a guy I’d keep an eye on going forward, as it would be surprising if he was this bad all season based on his peripherals.