He must have known we’d been paying attention to his recent work at this dish here at Pitcher List, because Yonder Alonso had a night to remember to solidify his case as a fantasy 1B to take seriously. Alonso sent two balls into the stands Tuesday night as part of a 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB stat line, and it’s the second time he’s accomplished that feat in four games. That makes for seven total homers in eight games, for further context. He’s taken nicely to the cleanup spot in the Oakland lineup recently awarded to him. His 27 RBI rank third in the AL, and 13 of them have come since the start of May. He’s the definition of a hot power bat, with 38.6% hard contact registering as his highest mark since playing 47 games for the Reds in his 2010 MLB debut. What’s even better about his .309 average is that a rather ordinary BABIP of .311 means Alonso should theoretically be able to sustain this work rate.
Let’s take a look at what else happened hitting-wise around the league:
Mookie Betts (OF, BOS) – 4-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, BB. A perfect evening for one of the game’s best. He hit two doubles in addition to the homer, thus lacking just a triple for the cycle: this is exactly the type of stuff you signed up for as a Betts owner.
Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS) – 3-4, 2 RBI, BB. His 22 RBI and .339 are both team bests, and he’s hit safely in nine of the last 11. He’s owned in 95% of ESPN leagues and 94% of Yahoo leagues for a reason.
Keon Broxton (OF, MIL) – 3-3, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI, SB. Broxton came up a double short of the cycle opposite Betts’s equally strong night in the interleague game between Milwaukee and Boston. Also of note are the eight steals Broxton now has as he endeavors to finally catapult himself into fantasy relevance. The .258 average is a result of him hitting safely in seven of his last eight for the Brew Crew, and the .119 BA he had on April 19 seems a best-forgotten memory now. He could be one of the late bloomers you’ve been hoping would show up in free agency or on the waiver wire.
Ben Gamel (SEA, OF) – 4-5, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI, BB. The young buck joined veteran Robinson Cano in making life a living hell for Phils RHP Jerad Eickhoff Tuesday: the pair took two long balls outside the park to ruin his shot at a quality start. Taylor Motter would provide the winning blow T9 to complete a Mariners comeback as a replacement for Cano, but Gamel is the one sporting the .362 average since his April 26 recall from Triple-A Tacoma.
Mark Reynolds (COL, 1B) – 3-5, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, K. The 1B we thought might take a hit in playing time upon Ian Desmond’s return to the lineup has refused to budge. Reynolds’ .333 average and 30 RBI are doing what they can to keep him around as a relevant and potent cog in the Colorado offense. His stat line here is a combined summary of his work across both games of a doubleheader against the Cubs Tuesday.
DJ LeMahieu (2B, COL) – 2-9, 2 R, RBI, 4 K, SB. It was a tale of two dissimilar showings for LeMahieu, as all the 5×5 production came in Game 1 of the twin bill with Chicago. For him to go 2-5 with an RBI double and a rare steal, only to then follow it up with an 0-4, 3 K dud is the kind of unpredictable behavior you have to be aware of as a fantasy owner of LeMahieu. He did enjoy a tasty hit streak of four games that spanned from last Wednesday to Saturday, but the success is usually bookended by 0-for-something faceplants. It’s feast or famine in 2017 with LeMahieu.
Javier Baez (2B/3B/SS, CHC) – 2-8, R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Only truly notable are the fact that Baez got his fourth May homer—fifth overall—in the doubleheader’s second game and that he’s now hit safely in four straight now to stabilize his average in the .260s.
Lonnie Chisenhall (OF, CLE) – 2-3, RBI, BB. Both hits were doubles, and Chiz has consistently made himself a valuable part of Cleveland’s lineup when he slots into it. It’s just a smidgeon more of a platoon situation than I would like for his fantasy viability to really take off, but he usually is good for a PH appearance even when he doesn’t start. The .283 average and 14 RBI are the two best things he’s got going for him as a decent streamer.
Joey Gallo (3B, TEX) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K. Gallo got his 11th HR of the year in Tuesday’s game at Petco Park as the ailing Adrian Beltre’s understudy. Unfortunately, Gallo’s hovering around the Mendoza Line and strikes out an abhorrent 40.7% of the time. Enter ownership of him at your own risk while Beltre is still laid up.
Salvador Perez (C, KCR) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Perez has boosted his BA to .272 and came the elusive triple short of the cycle against Tampa Bay. The homer was his seventh of the year.
Eric Hosmer (1B, KCR) – 3-6, RBI, K. He and Mike Moustakas, hitter of the T12 solo shot that proved to be the difference in the game, both have 14 RBI now. Hoz has made a miraculous turnaround after a dismal start to the year to now be the owner of a .293 average. This game also marked the sixth time Hosmer’s doubled on the season.
Yasmani Grandal (C, LAD) – 3-5, R, HR, 2 RBI. He has back-to-back multi-hit games now, and he didn’t strike out in either one. Grandal has hit safely in five of his last six, and the .245 average is easier to stomach the the .194 he had going into the last game of April.
Didi Gregorius (SS, NYY) – 3-4, R, 2 RBI. The bulk of the Yankees attack Tuesday came from the work Gregorius did with his bat, and his average now rests at .313. Gary Sanchez also homered for the first time since coming back from the DL, but it was all in a losing effort in Cincinnati.
Jonathan Schoop (2B, BAL) – 2-3, RBI, BB, K. They were Doubles No. 8 and 9 of the season, and a .305 BA is looking pretty nice to owners of Ian Kinsler, Jonathan Villar and Rougned Odor right about now.
Adam Jones (OF, BAL) – 2-6, 2 R, HR, RBI. He snapped his 13-game homerless drought and perhaps seems poised for a resurgence in BA back to the .270s or .280s.
Michael Conforto (OF, NYM) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. A double and a solo shot from the Mets’ ensconced leadoff man are nothing to complain about. San Francisco RHP Jeff Samardzija was sent packing for his fifth loss of the year on the strength of XBH work by a .330-mashing Conforto, Jay Bruce, and T.J. Rivera (called up to fill in for DL-relegated Lucas Duda).
Jorge Polanco (SS, MIN) – 2-5, R, SB. He’s quietly having a nice start to the year: a .262 average, his seventh double and second swipe might be enough to snag the attention those hungry for a decent backup.
Carlos Beltran (OF/DH, HOU) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 K. Beltran hadn’t homered since April 21, and he now has sprinkled three multi-hit efforts throughout the first third of May. The power has to continually recur and improve before the .252 average is something to feel OK about, but 14 runs scored is a decent tally for the 40-year-old.