(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)
David Peralta is an interesting case. Here’s a 30-year old guy who burst onto the scene in earnest back in 2015 with a 17 HR/9 SB line that included a .312/.371/.522 triple slash to go with it. It was an impressive step forward from his 2014 half-season and had us wondering if he could continue that growth into a solid depth option in the outfield. Injuries seriously limited his 2016, and his decent but not great 2017 had him falling off some radars heading into this year.
Now that 2018 has rolled around, it looks like we need to talk about Peralta again. The Arizona Diamondbacks leadoff hitter is currently slashing .322/.398/.556 on the year, and his line of 15 R/5 HR/16 RBI/1 SB has him on a pace that should come close to the 2015 Peralta that had us taking notice. Last night’s line where he went 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB was a perfect example of what he’s capable of. Sure, he won’t double dong often, but there are plenty of signs pointing up for him at the moment with one of them being the 44% hard contact rate. xStats backs up the triple slash, and I’m very impressed with the elite 12% PH% he’s rocking right now. He’s proved he can sustain a triple slash like the one he’s got right now, so don’t be shocked if this production continues. He may not be at the top of the leaderboard by season’s end, but there’s a solid contributor here with 20 HR/10 SB upside.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Saturday:
Jose Altuve (2B, Houston Astros) – 4-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. Sometimes, we have to point out when a guy produces a stat line we didn’t expect. See: Daniel Palka. Sometimes, we just have to highlight when a guy is doing exactly what we thought he would. That’s Altuve right now with his .351/.411/.450 triple slash. Sure, he has still stolen just 1 bag and hit just 2 HR all year, but you’ll take it with a triple slash as sexy as his. Obviously, the power and speed will come. Altuve is one of the best players in fantasy until further notice.
Nelson Cruz (DH, Seattle Mariners) – 4-5, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. Cruz hasn’t missed a beat since returning to action in the 2nd week of April. This is his 5th multi-hit effort of the season, and his .290/.310/.594 triple slash is just business as usual. I’m not in love with the 2.8% walk rate right now, but I am encouraged that he’s managed to knock almost 10 points off his strikeout rate so far. 47% hard contact rate sure softens the OBP blow as well.
Daniel Palka (RF, Chicago White Sox) – 4-5, 3 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. This was just Palka’s 3rd big league game, and it resulted in his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th career hits. Hope the family came to this game! Anyways, Palka grades out with a 40 future value according to FanGraphs, which means you can probably ignore this game and go on your way. He’s up because of Avisail Garcia’s recent DL stint, but I do not think he will stick after Garcia returns. Still, a nice day for the youngster.
Joc Pederson (CF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 4-5, 3B, 2B, 4 RBI, BB. Note that this stat line only includes Game 1 doubleheader. Fun fact: Pederson has now hit from all 9 positions in the batting order this season. Yes, even behind the pitcher. As has been the case since the year started, the outfield is crowded in LA this season, so playing time is anything but guaranteed for Pederson. He’ll get more if he continues having nights like these and if he can maintain that 16% walk rate compared to the 13% strikeout rate.
Chase Utley (2B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 4-5, 4 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, BB. The old man is actually putting together a decent year with a triple slash of .304/.412/.464, and the 93% contact rate indicates that he’s seeing the ball very well so far. He’s aging like a fine wine, folks! He actually broke a mini-slump in this one as he had gone hitless in his last 5 appearances. I say appearances because 3 of those came as a pinch-hitter. And there lies the problem rostering a guy like Utley: playing time. Sure, the triple slash is nice, but without a path to regular at-bats, Utley belongs on the waiver wire.
Miguel Andujar (3B, New York Yankees) – 3-5, 2B, RBI. I wish I knew how to quit you! So many times this year I’ve seen a flashy new toy on the waiver wire and searched for someone to cut on the roster. I always hover over Andjuar, check out his impressive stats, then flog myself for ever thinking him not good enough. He has been good enough, Jake. He’s now slashing .312/.325/.610 on the year, the hard contact sits at 39%, and this is his 9th multi-hit game of the year. What else do you want from him?!
Cody Bellinger (1B/LF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-5, 3 R, 3B, 3 RBI, BB. Again, this stat line is from the 1st game of the double header. What pops out to me the most when looking at Bellinger’s stats is the fall from 43% to 35% in hard contact. I also take notice of the increased pull percentage and 9 point increase in groundball rate. All signs that tell me he hasn’t quite tapped into the 30+ HR power he displayed last year. It will come, though, as last year was certainly no fluke. His 21 runs scored are actually 6th best in the NL, FWIW.
Andrew Benintendi (LF, Boston Red Sox) – 3-5, 2 R, 2 2B. His 5 SB on the year are good enough to put him in the top 5 in the AL, but can’t you give us some power, Benny Baseball?! Just 1 dong on the year has kept the natives restless, but he’s been solid regardless. One thing to note is the 60% medium contact rate which has drained his hard contact to less than 20%. Makes way more sense that he has just 1 HR now, huh? Gotta love that 15% walk rate, though.
Miguel Cabrera (1B, Detroit Tigers) – 3-4, R, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, BB. Vintage Miggy alert! He’s now got a 13% walk rate to pair with his 15% strikeout rate, and what is this?! Early 2010s Miggy?! He’s now slashing .333/.422/.540, and his 21 RBI is 7th most in the AL right now. All those Miggy truthers who told you he’d bounce back and retain some of the former value are just pleased as punch right now. Perhaps it is spiked punch, and they are just buzzed? We’ll see.
Shin-Soo Choo (RF, Texas Rangers) – 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI. Hitting near the top of the Rangers’ lineup has done the wily veteran well so far as he’s put up a solid .250/.328/.454 on the year so far. Usually an OBP monster, xStats says he has been a little below where he should be at the moment, so expect solid production moving forward. The Rangers aren’t very good, but there is certainly sneaky value to be had here with the power-speed combo. However modest that may be.
Matt Davidson (3B, Chicago White Sox) – 3-5, R, 2B. Last night after the game, Matt Davidson was presented with crown and scepter and officially named “Royals’ Crusher: Destroyer of All Things Kansas City.” A fitting title for a guy who has obliterated the Royals this year hitting 7 of his 9 HR against them. Heading into the series finale today, Davidson has combined to go 7-18, 2B, 4 HR, 6 RBI, BB against the Royals over the past few days. Take the 9 HR with a grain of salt as they have come in bunches, and he’s still prone to extreme cold snaps.
Rafael Devers (3B, Boston Red Sox) – 3-5, R, HR, 2 RBI. The impressive rookie season continues for Devers, and his 20 RBI are top 10 in the AL. He also has as many RBI as J.D. Martinez and Carlos Correa. Sure, the 66% contact percentage is a tad bit worrisome, but he’s covering that up with a 39% hard contact rate and impressive stats across the board. xStats says he’s earned every bit of it as well.
Austin Hedges (C, San Diego Padres) – 3-4, 2B, 5 RBI. A nice game for a guy who is striking out at a 36% clip right now. The .176/.238/.297 triple slash is the perfect summary of the catcher position as a whole right now, and the free-swinging Hedges is the poster child for the underperforming backstops. xStats says he’s been a tad unlucky, but it’s minimal. What you see is what you get with him.
Aaron Judge (RF, New York Yankees) – 3-6, 2 R, 2B, RBI. You have to be impressed with his .330/.463/.608 triple slash so far, but be aware the .455 BABIP is almost a full 100 points higher than his .357 mark from a year ago. As was the case last year, we are probably going to see a swoon in the 2nd half, but he’s still setting the bar extremely high. The 18% walk rate offsets the strikeouts somewhat, and many of his metrics are perfectly in line with last year.
Wilson Ramos (C, Tampa Bay Rays) – 3-3, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. Catcher has been bad this year. That’s an understatement. Do you know who hasn’t been a bad catcher this year? Wilson Ramos! Good catcher! The .292/.346/.528 triple slash is extremely solid, and he’s now been held without a hit just once over his last 10. I’m loving the over 40% hard contact rate as well. Tampa may not be very good this year, but remember…Ramos=good catcher. Please stay healthy…
Jean Segura (SS, Seattle Mariners) – 3-5, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI, SB. Segura’s 20 R and 20 RBI are both good enough for top 10 in the AL right now, and his 5 SB tie him for 3rd in the league with Mike Trout, Francisco Lindor, and Andrew Benintendi. That’s good company! He’s now hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games, and check out that .309/.330/.464 triple slash. He’s looking like he was worth the investment so far.
Chris Taylor (SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-6, 4 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SB. As with the other Dodgers mentioned, these stats are from the first game. He has been hitting almost exclusively from the leadoff spot for the Dodgers so far, and while that hasn’t inspired a ton of confidence so far this year, it obviously has some long-term value. His .233/.274/.422 triple slash has left something to be desired, but it’s strange to see him getting dropped in some leagues as the counting stats have actually been solid, and he has as many runs scored as Freddie Freeman. If he was dropped in your league, obviously go pick him up.
Yonder Alonso (1B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-3, R, HR, 3 RBI. He is slashing just .236/.289/.528 on the year so far, but it seems like he’s just now getting going on the year. This makes it 3 straight games with a homerun, and it’s been a tremendous series against the Mariners with a line of 5-12, 3 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI so far. The VH% of 11.8% tells me he’s making the hits count so far, and xStats says he’s slightly underperforming where he should be. Brighter days are ahead for Alonso as he continues to heat up.
Robinson Chirinos (C, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI. He’s slashing just .186/.284/.471 on the year so far, and that obviously leaves a lot to be desired. Wait…hold on…a catcher?! Underperforming?! What an absurd concept! The 35% strikeout rate gives me nightmares, but Chirinos is capable of these power outbursts. Take the good with the bad, you know? This is now a 4-game hit streak for the backstop, but keep in mind he’s been dealing with wrist soreness as of late.
Evan Longoria (3B, San Francisco Giants) – 2-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI. And speaking of guys heating up, Evan Longoria is still a thing! Or he’s trying to be at least. His efforts to wake up his bat from a season-long slumber has actually gone pretty well in this LA stint as he now has 2 multi-hit games over the series heading into today. He has an unsightly 3% walk rate to stack up against his 26% strikeout rate, so take a dang walk dude! The 12% VH rate so far encourages me that brighter days are ahead.
Manuel Margot (CF, San Diego Padres) – 2-5, 2 R, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI. It has been a season to forget so far for the young Padre as he’s slashing just .172/.229/.297 so far this year. Between being ice cold and injuries, Margot would probably like to just hit the restart button on the season, and SO WOULD MY TEAM IN THE PRODIGY LEAGUE. Anyways…it’s a modest 3-game hit streak now for Margot, but you gotta break a slump with baby steps! He had just 1 extra base hit ON THE SEASON coming into last night’s game.
Kevin Pillar (CF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI. This was Pillar’s 2nd multi-hit game in a row and his 2nd and 3rd dongs of the year as well. He now has an impressive line of 17 R/3 HR/13 RBI/4 SB, and someone hit the “Multi-Category Contributor” button! Air horns go off rapidly Pillar just keeps on trucking with that .309/.352/.536 triple slash and also continues to be a guy I totally overlooked coming into the season.
Ryan Zimmerman (1B, Washington Nationals) – 2-5, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. Zimmerman is no 2017 version of himself, but it looks like he’s finally starting to heat up at the plate. His triple slash of .200/.265/.411 is still unsightly, and he’s going to need to do some work to improve, but remember how we talked about baby steps? His PH% of 23 doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but you have to believe there is a positive regression on the horizon. When he does heat up, there’s plenty of talent around him to make a big impact.
Hey Jake. Really enjoying your hitting breakdown.
Who do you like better for counting stats ROS for a standard, 5×5 season-long roto using R/HR/RBI/SB/AVG.
Schoop or Dozier? Dozier is on the trading block and was thinking of offering Schoop and SP E-Rod for him.
I traded Acuna and SP Pivetta for Syndergaard and Benintendi. How much do you like this deal? Was hesitant to trade Acuna and hoping he doesn’t bust out with Kris Bryant, Bellinger and Hoskins type rookie campaigns.
Lastly, would you move Benintendi for Dee Gordon?
My current roster: 1B Freeman/Abreu; 2B Merrifield; 3B Moose; SS Bregman; OF Trout, Judge, Springer, Pollock; UTIL Benintendi, Schoop; SP Kluber, Severino, Syndergaard, Bauer, Corbin, Godley, E-Rod
I’d personally take Dozier who can provide the speed to go with similar power. That trade actually looks pretty good to me, and I’d accept if I were the Dozier owner.
LOVE that deal to get Thor and Benintendi. Yes, Acuna has been great out of the gate, but you want to increase the floor in a big way if you’re going to deal him. Thor and Benny certainly fit that bill.
And moving Benintendi for Gordon is fine if you really need to blow the field away with steals. You’ve got a decent amount already, so I wouldn’t be opposed to holding. Benintendi provides you with such good stats across the board that I’d personally be holding.
Great feedback…and thanks for the reassurance on dealing Acuna. :)
Devers isn’t a rookie
xstats suggest alonso’s results should be way better, not just slightly
For some reason, I thought he hadn’t made it to 130 at-bats last year. You’re right though about Devers. Good catch and thanks for reading!
How do you figure that bellinger’s 2017 wasn’t a fluke? Everything about it looked fluky to me. Just pull out the multi-hr games and there is not much left. I think of multi-hr games as a fluke. I think his 2018 production has been fluky in a good way so far. He has gotten a ton of cheap hits which has saved him for the is it time drop him conversation. I think it is also fishy that his three hit game came in a laugher. Belly did a lot of that last year as well. If I had any shares I would be selling. It Looks a lot more reasonable than it has been. To say he and seager could trade stats is accurate but seager has actually hit the ball a lot better than belly. Belly looks a lot like Joc Pederson at the moment. That was another young star with a train wreck of a swing that people were excited about. At some point they might stop walking him and I think he will really fall apart. I am clearly very low on him but calling his 2017 Not a fluke is pretty groundless. Everything about him points to a 270 average with 30- hr… Except for half of 2017. Sure he might be good someday but not now – he looks really bad day in day out.
Hmmm didn’t think Bellinger would come up like this! I honestly have done a deep dive into his 2017 and how it could be fluky, so maybe that’s a great topic for one of the Going Deep guys or a good hearty Patreon slack channel discussion. The only thing I’ll say is I wouldn’t be selling especially on a guy you probably drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round. Now is certainly not the time to sell when his stock is down.
Would you trade Schoop or benintendi for Albies?
Again, standard 5×5 season long roto R/HR/RBI/SB/AVG.
I’d do Schoop for Albies. Benintendi is close but I’d probably pull the trigger. Albies has really surprised me with this power.