Batter’s Box: Acu-Na Ron Ron Ron, Acu-Na Ron Ron!
(Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire)
Let’s start off today by acknowledging some things about ourselves as fantasy baseball players. First, we are nerds. I am a nerd. You are a nerd. Your leaguemates? All nerds. It’s chill, and no one is offended. The second thing we need to acknowledge is that we have a massive case of shiny new toy syndrome that never ends. Here we have two blossoming superstars in Ronald Acuna and Juan Soto, and all we can talk about is when Eloy Jiminez or Vlad Jr. get called up. I get it. I really do. Those guys have been flashing some serious skill this year, but we need to stop a second and marvel at what the two youngsters in front of us are accomplishing. That being said, let’s get down to stats.
“Ronald Thump” as he’s affectionately referred to by other staff members had himself a day. Acuna led off both games of the Braves’ doubleheader with the fish yesterday and accumulated a total stat line of 5-8, 5 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, SB. That’s a day, son! As MLB.com pointed out, he’s just the 4th player ever to lead off both games of a doubleheader with a dong and the first since 1999. Let’s continue with facts. Braves reporter Kevin McAlpin pointed out during the 2nd game last night via a tweet that Acuna has been a stud from the leadoff spot this year. In 86 at-bats from that spot, he’s hit .337 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 10 HR, 6 SB, and 19 RBI. Let’s go.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Nicholas Castellanos (3B, Detroit Tigers) – 5-5, 2 R, HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI. That makes it 17 jacks on the year for Nicholas, but he’s going to finish with far less than the 101 RBI he posted a year ago. He has just 64 this season, but I can’t really blame that on him as this lineup is straight garbage. Many of his other metrics are in line with the previous year, and you can safely expect him to finish with something around 25 HR.
Jose Martinez (1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – 4-5. What a boring night of 4 singles for Jose “I Should Be Dh’ing in the AL” Martinez. This does move his triple slash up to a fantastic .306/.370/.469 on the year though. Despite generally crushing it this year, Martinez hasn’t given us much power as his dong on August 11th was the first since June 30th.
Michael Brantley (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 3-6, 2 R, 2B, RBI. Brantley facts coming at you fast! Big Mike’s nickname is actually Dr. Smooth. Also, he’s only struck out 39 times all season, which is also how many times Joey Gallo strikes out during a typical 3-game series. And finally, Brantley has an excellent shot at bashing 20 HRs for just the 2nd time in his career.
Kole Calhoun (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – 3-4, R, 2B, RBI. He just continues to be blazing hot lately as his last 30 games have produced a line of 27 R/11 HR/28 RBI/.310. He also has an OPS of 1.087 during that same time frame, and he’s still available in 38% of leagues. That should not be the case, especially during this hot streak.
Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 3-5, 3 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI. Last night’s excellent performance extends his hitting streak to 11 games, and he’s been solid in general in the second half slashing .361/.432/.723. He’s available in 31% of leagues, and he’s hitting in the heart of a very competitive lineup that keeps on producing.
Yan Gomes (C, Cleveland Indians) – 3-5, 2 2B, RBI. This was a good night, but he’s far from earning the “Catchers Who Rake” title. In fact, he’s hitting just .238 over the last month of games for him, and he’s got a measly .636 OPS over that same time frame. You can feel comfortable leaving him on the waiver wire where he belongs.
Jed Lowrie (2B/SS, Oakland Athletics) – 3-5, R, 2 2B, 4 RBI. Did you know that he’s a smarty pants Stanford kid? Me either. The things you learn from writing fantasy baseball articles! Anyways, he’s been tough to own over the last two weeks hitting just 1 dong to go with his .206 AVG and .598 OPS. However, his entire season has been solid, and just look at the Chapman blurb for my thoughts on the A’s lineup.
James McCann (C, Detroit Tigers) – 3-4, 3 R, 2B. It was a good night, but it’s far from who he has been this year. Mediocre production from a mediocre fantasy option on a less than mediocre team. Ready for his 2nd half line coming into tonight? 2 R/0 HR/3 RBI/.188. I could keep going, but I don’t want Paul Sporer to hunt me down for talking mess about his Tigers.
Jose Ramirez (3B, Cleveland Indians)- 3-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB. I mean…Taters Gonna Tate, y’all. This makes it 35 dongs on the year so far. I know he crushes the ball and swipes the bags with the best of ‘em, but you guys need to get hip to his 79 walks vs. 56 Ks. That’s absurd. It’s Jose’s world, and we are just lucky enough to be living in it.
Matt Carpenter (1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB. Taters gonna Tate! That makes it 33 on the year and a ridonkulous 14 in the 2nd half alone! That’s through just 25 games too! Anyways, the sky is blue, and Carpenter went yard again.
Robinson Chirinos (C, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI. You guys should know by now that I love to write up catchers who have big days. It’s not that I love the backstops. It has way more to do with catcher being just an awful carousel of fantasy bums, and so I try to get you guys up on the dudes who are hot. Chirinos is a decent one as he has 16 dongs on the year now, but he’s way more valuable in OBP leagues with that .335 mark. He’s a drag in points leagues though with that hideous 36% K rate, which is also a career-worst.
Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. That’s his 16th dong of the year, but I pose this quandary to you. If a Mets hitter crushes a HR, and no one actually watches it happen at Citi Field (a likely scenario this season), does it actually count? Discuss. Anyways, Conforto is having a decent 2nd half so far hitting .307, so hopefully, the days of him hitting .216 in the 1st half are behind him.
Todd Frazier (3B, New York Mets) – 2-5, R, HR, RBI. Same principle about Mets players hitting homeruns applies here. Regardless, it’s been a tough go for Frazier in Flushing (a sitcom waiting to happen honestly) as he’s hit just 11 dongs this year. He’s seen across-the-board declines in his power metrics, which back up the struggles, and his .680 OPS on the year is his worst by a pretty sizable margin. No thanks.
Freddie Freeman (1B, Atlanta Braves) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. I guess you could say Taters Gonna Tate here, but he’s never been a huge slugger type consistently. Regardless, he’s performing a bit under in terms of his xSLG, so it’s feasible that Freeman could go on a late season power surge. That would make it even better than it already is to own him!
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-4, R, SB. This was just his 5th swipe of the year, and it looks like he’s going to record his lowest swipe total since 2014 when he grabbed 9. However, that was a year where he played just 109 games. I do think this is the new, mid-30s Goldy. A guy with 30-35 HR power, 10 SB, and a near .300 average. The wheels are falling off, but he’s still got great upside in so many other categories.
Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York Mets) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI, BB. 3 Mets made the Batter’s Box today? What on earth is happening. Deduct 3 points from my Braves’ fandom, please. Homerism aside, Nimmo continues to be a viable asset in OBP leagues, but his .218 AVG over the last 30 games makes him risky in traditional formats. In general, roster Mets at your own risk this year.
Anthony Rendon (3B, Washington Nationals) – 2-3, 3 R, BB. He had just 1 walk coming into this one in the 2nd half, so it’s good to see him FINALLY wake up. That was a joke, class. Rendon is very good at baseball, but you have to be disappointed in his moderate counting stats this year. I personally don’t blame him as the Nationals have not been very productive in general. You get a pass from me, Tony.
Justin Turner (3B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI. This is just his 7th dong on the year in what’s been an injury-plagued few months for Turner. Despite the lack of power, he’s still rocking that signature .378 OBP, and this was his 5th multi-hit performance since returning to the Dodger lineup on August 2nd.
Justin Upton (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – 2-5, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. Taters Gonna Tate as that makes it 6 consecutive seasons of at least 25 HR for the slugger. He’s once again among the AL leaders in hard hit rate with 48% right now, and his 13.9% barrel percentage ranks among the league’s best as well. Lock him in for 30-35 HR this season.
Juan Soto (OF, Washington Nationals) – 1-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. That makes it 15 dongs on the season as he and Acuna just continue to make 20 look like the new 26 in big league baseball. Yes, I know Soto is just 19, but you get what I’m saying. The power has been impressive, but what really makes me clutch my pearls is the outstanding .301/.421/.547 triple slash. He’s 19 and he’s walked almost more than he’s struck out. Y’all….