Batter’s Box: A Pirate’s Life For Me
(Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)
2 days in a row that we’re leading off with a Pirates’ player! Showing you some love, Pittsburgh! Anyways, last night, it took the Pirates and Reds extra innings to settle things, but it didn’t take Corey Dickerson any extra time to make an impact with his line of 4-5, 2B, RBI, BB. It was a solid night at the plate for the Pirates’ outfielder, and it raised his triple slash all the way to a very impressive .316/.356/.500 on the year. Not bad for a career .327 OBP guy.
Dickerson had been slashing just .179/.258/.250 over the last week coming into this one, so a big night like this could right the ship. Dickerson’s stats look fine, sure, but I’m scratching my head looking at his metrics. Here’s a guy who’s increased his launch angle to 20 degrees but his hard-hit rate has gone down as has his barrel percentage. This is a guy who traditionally challenges for 25 HR, and so you’d think a launch angle increase paired with his traditional profile would result in 30+ HR maybe? But he isn’t displaying his traditional power profile. What gives, C-Dick? Why are you giving us the launch angle but none of the other stuff to go with it? The optimist in me says this will correct itself, and Dickerson is able to provide a lot of power in a hurry. It may be just 5 HR now, but I think we’ve got fireworks ahead.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Wednesday:
Matt Adams (1B, Washington Nationals) – 3-3, R, HR, RBI. Go get you some, big boy! This makes it 11 HR for the big fella, but it’s actually his first dong since May 7th. He can only be relied upon to hit against the righties, so regular at-bats are not going to be his friend this season. However, if you wanted to form a two-headed monster with him and Mark Reynolds…now…there’s a thought?
Adam Engel (OF, Chicago White Sox) – 4-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB. It was a brilliant night for the 9 hitter in the White Sox lineup, and that’s pretty much all it will be. I mean…have to mention him here because he went 4-4, but I wouldn’t look for this to happen very often. Obviously. Anyways, Engel does have 80-grade speed, so as long as he continues to get playing time with all the injuries in Chicago, there’s probably some AL-only steal value here.
Eddie Rosario (OF, Minnesota Twins) – 3-4, RBI. I’m becoming a really big fan of this guy. He has now hit safely in 7 of his last 8 games, and he’s been hot in the month of May in general slashing .346/.361/.679. He also has a 176 wRC+ in the month, and that’s just ridiculous. I love his upside moving forward especially hitting behind the likes of Brian Dozier and Max Kepler who in particular seems to be putting it all together.
Jose Abreu (1B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-4, R, 2B, RBI. Just checking…ok…yes. I can confirm he is still very good at baseball. Did you know that Jose has increases in exit velocity, launch angle, hard hit rate, and barrel percentage this year? Now you do! One question before you move on from this blurb: does Jose hit 40 dongs this year for the first time in his career?
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-5, R, 3 RBI. He’s been getting regular at-bats with Ryan Braun and Eric Thames on the DL, and my goodness has he made that playing time count. He’s hit safely in 6 of his last 7 games including 4 round-trippers, and he’s slashing .324/.383/.577 on the year. Over the last week, he’s been on fire slashing .357/.367/.821. Oh, and he was mentioned as a pickup in this article this past week. So…why haven’t you picked him up yet?
Brandon Belt (1B, San Francisco Giants) – 2-4. Ok, guys. I’m on the train. I’m hitching my wagon to Belt in 2018. I’m on board. I’m whatever other fun metaphor you can think of that means I’m all in on Belt. He’s going to do this all year. He’s hit safely in 10 of his last 11, and he’s just crushing bombs left and right. He’s slashing .367/.415/.700 over the last two weeks, and all I have to say about Belt is…FINALLY.
Francisco Cervelli (C, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-6, R, HR, 2 RBI. Well, look at you Mr. I’m-Gonna-Finish-As-A-Top-5-Catcher! He’s been hitting very well this year (for a catcher) producing a line of 17 R/7 HR/27 RBI, and he’s been a boss especially in OBP leagues with his .404 mark. That’s a 13% walk rate vs. an 18% strikeout rate for those keeping score at home. Or through a tool on FanGraphs or wherever stats are gathered for you.
Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-3, 3 R, 2 BB, SB. The Rangers and Yankees are literally still scoring as we speak, so this line could change throughout the day. With that being said, I’d just like to point out how productive Choo has been with his line of 30 R/6 HR/21 RBI/2 SB/.255. The real story, though, is what a boss he can be in the OBP format. Even though it’s only at .345 this year, he’s generally around the .360 area, and he’s rocking a .500 mark over the last 7 days. Keep it going! Choo Choo! Sorry for the bad train joke. I just get excited sometimes.
Niko Goodrum (OF, Detroit Tigers) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. He broke a little 3-game hitless streak in this one, but he was hot before that “cold spell.” He, like many other current Tigers, is taking advantage of the playing time due to all the beat-up regulars on the DL. He’s slashing .280/.321/.600 over the last two weeks, and the power is certainly intriguing. I’m still only rostering him in deeper leagues, but if he can string together a few more good games with some pop, it’s going to be hard to ignore him much longer. I may be sipping my daiquiri saying “wow that’s some GoodRum!” before you know it.
Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. Taters gonna tate, know what I mean? He’s actually been ice cold over the last week slashing just .077/.200/.231, but what are you gonna do? You’re not benching him. You’re rostering him and just plowing through the cold spells. He’s hitting just .229 in the month of May, but he’ll be fine. But I mean…if we play in a league together…and you wanna panic and trade him to me…just give me a shout?
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (3B, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, 2 R, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, SB. He stuffed the score sheet last night, but so did all the Rangers. Big whoop! But in all seriousness, I’m trying to quit this guy, but he keeps hanging around. No literally, he’s been hanging around a lot because the Rangers just need warm bodies at this point. Interesting fact time. Did you know that IFK (that’s what I’m calling him now, k?) didn’t hit a homerun in his first 4 full-seasons or pro ball? Like literally didn’t hit one until his 5th minor league season. Now he has 2 this year. Do with that information what you will.
Nomar Mazara (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-5, R, HR, 3 RBI. This is his 11th bomb of the season, and when are you guys gonna start listening to me about how studly this guy is?! Ok, so he had been cold over the last 7 days hitting just .182 and slugging .318, but he’s going to hit 30 bombs this year and drive in a bunch of whatever aforementioned warm bodies the Rangers trot out there. Oh, and last time I wrote about him, I mentioned he was a Tater in the Making. One commenter (sorry can’t remember the name) called him a “Tater Tot.” It’s official. Mazara is a Tater Tot. It’s a thing now.
Jurickson Profar (OF/SS, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB. I’ll tell you what. I’m intrigued. My interest is piqued. Profar has actually been ok, and I’m going to start paying a little closer attention. Obviously, he’s going to get the playing time until the Rangers get healthy, and the fact that he’s usually hitting towards the top of the lineup has me interested. He’s still just 25 years-old and maybe just maybe…finally healthy for a full year. It may not be the stuff of legends, but I’m excited to take a flier on what could be a decent season.
Yangervis Solarte (2B/3B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Hey, start this dude on Mondays and Wednesdays because that’s when I write about the games for this article. I’m telling you, this dude always rakes when I write these articles. It’s like he knows. Anyways, this is now 4 multi-hit games in a row, and he’s on track for a career year. He should pass his 18 HR from last year with ease, and I think it’s fair to project something around 65 R/25 HR/70 RBI.
George Springer (OF, Houston Astros) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Taters gonna Tate! He’s been electric this season putting together a line of 36 R/10 HR/31 RBI/.294. He’s been especially hot the last two weeks slashing .377/.415/.607 with 4 dongs over that time frame as well. He’s on pace for his second straight 30 HR season, and I dare the haters to come at me for talking about pace. LOVE talking about pace. Mookie 65 HR confirmed.
Neil Walker (1B/2B, New York Yankees) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. He started off pretty cold this year hitting just .165 in the month of April, but he’s doing his best to make us forget about all that mess. He’s slashing .308/.438/.487 in the month of May not including last night’s affair, but the caveat is that he’s only had half the plate appearances as he did in April. He’s been splitting reps with Tyler Austin, but if he keeps this up, Austin will have to…walk…over to the bench more often. No? Ok, my bad.
Didi Gregorius (SS, New York Yankees) – 1-5, R, HR, 2 RBI. Hey! There he is! I knew he couldn’t hide forever. This is his first homerun since April 27th, and oh my goodness has he been bad in May. It’s been a long fall down from the heights of the season’s first month (and change), and he’s been slashing .125/.164/.172 in May. Forget to mention that adult supervision was required to view that slash. Anyways, I won’t sit here and tell you he’s broken out of his slump after this one, but I will say this is a small, tiny sign of life in what’s been a pretty bleak month.
Josh Harrison (2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 4-6, R, 3B, RBI, BB. Hey! It’s turning into Pirates’ corner up in here. This was encouraging to see in just his third game back after missing about a month of the season. Harrison has a lot of catching up to do, but he slotted right back in atop the Pirates’ lineup upon returning. We know he has an intriguing power-speed combo to be a factor, and I think I’d actually be sneaky and grab him in a few leagues while no one is watching.
Scooter Gennett (2B, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB. He’s been one of the hottest bats in the majors over the last two weeks slashing .390/.422/.780 over that span with 7 HR and 20 RBI. He is doing everything he can to make us feel like suckers for calling last year an outlier. Do you think now that Cozart is gone, Joey Votto will buy Gennett a donkey upon his selection to the All-Star Game?
Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York Mets) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI, BB. It’s not a pretty picture with the number of injuries piling up in Flushing right now. What is pretty is when prospects like Nimmo get a chance to show what they can do. He’s spent most of May hitting atop the lineup and has the moderate power-decent speed combo to be worth a flier in deep leagues at this point. I’d go ahead and take that flier in OBP leagues as he’s currently got a .423 mark fueled by a 17% walk rate through 104 plate appearances.