Batter’s Box: King David
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire
David Peralta‘s had an interesting year so far. After hitting 14 home runs last season in 140 games, he’s hit 10 so far this year in just 52 games, including yesterday’s 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI performance, marking his third home run in three days. A closer look at his stats show that Peralta’s made a somewhat noticeable change in the way he’s hitting the ball, upping his hard-hit rate from 31.8% last year to 46.7% this year—a career-high. That being said, his batted-ball stats aren’t all that different from last year, with his fly ball up a bit and his groundball rate down a slight bit, though he has seen a significant drop in his infield fly ball rate—from 13% last year to 4.5% this year. All in all, it seems like Peralta is just hitting the ball a lot harder, which is why he’s all of a sudden on pace for 25+ home runs, which would be a career-high by a lot (his current career-high is 17 home runs in 2015). I don’t think he’s going to get to 25 home runs necessarily—while he’s hitting the ball harder, his launch angle hasn’t changed much at all, sitting below 10 degrees which isn’t exactly conducive for home runs. I also don’t see hit 22.7% HR/FB rate sticking, though I do think it can be above average if his hard-hit rate sticks around. Peralta’s available in 43% of leagues and he’s worth a grab at least while he’s on this hot streak, if not for after that.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:
Justin Smoak (1B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. After a somewhat slow start to the year in the power department, Smoak has been looking pretty solid, bringing his ISO up to .211 on the year. I’m hopeful that his average can come up some, he’s still walking well, but I think he’s more of a .260s hitter than the .270 hitter he was last year.
Dansby Swanson (SS, Atlanta Braves) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. A nice game from Dansby, but he’s been rough lately. That plate discipline is going to have to get better before I’m willing to buy into him this year.
Edwin Encarnacion (1B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. I’m still somewhat concerned about the fact that Edwin’s plate discipline is basically at a career-worst, but the power is still coming in bunches so it’s hard to complain. Still worth monitoring though.
Eddie Rosario (OF, Minnesota Twins) – 3-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. Rosario is showing that those 27 home runs from last year were legit, and he’s upped his hard-hit rate to a career-high 39.3%. The average should come down some given his .341 BABIP, but the power will still be plenty.
Max Muncy (3B/1B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Muncy’s been hitting the ball hard lately, with a .390 ISO over the past two weeks, but the average has been really rough. Still, he might be getting some playing time at second base, so if that happens, he’s worth monitoring.
Andrew McCutchen (OF, San Francisco Giants) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. McCutchen finally hit his first home run since April 20. I was concerned when he came to San Francisco that playing a lot in AT&T Park was going to hurt his power and it looks like it has so far. Still, he’s slashing .248/.351/.403 on the year which is serviceable, if not what you were hoping for from Cutch. I don’t anticipate him getting a ton better though, especially not in that offense.
Mitch Moreland (1B, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Mitch Moreland proving the Red Sox made a good decision letting Hanley Ramirez go. He’s still available in 42% of leagues so I think he’s worth a pickup. He’s not going to be incredible, but he’ll certainly be a solid fantasy contributor.