Batter’s Box: Bell & Sebastian

Ben Palmer takes a look at the best hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty concerned about Cody Bellinger. On the year so far, he’s slashing .239/.329/.489, including yesterday’s 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI performance. That slashline is nowhere near what owners were expecting after the breakout season he had last year. As it stands, he’s currently on pace for just under 30 home runs, and combined with a .230s/.240s batting average, that makes him a lot less interesting than the .267, 39 home run guy he was last year. But will he get better? Well, I’m not necessarily encouraged by some of his batted ball stats—specifically the fact that his barrel rate has dropped from 12.2% last year to 10.8% this year, and the fact that his value-hit percentage has dropped from 10.2% last year to 8.3% this year while his poor-hit percentage has increased from 20.5% last year to 23.8% this year. He’s also seen an increase in his launch angle from 16.5 degrees last year to 18.1 degrees this year, and while that might sound like a good thing at first, when you see that its come with a near-doubling of his infield fly ball rate (From 8.4% last year to 15.3% this year), it’s pretty clear what’s happening—he’s making worse contact which is resulting in two things: first, more groundballs (his groundball rate is up from last year) and more fly ball outs, and when you look at that, it’s not hard to understand why he’s got a .207 xAVG. The power has been solid this year, but he hasn’t been what you wanted him to be and I’m not all that sure he’s going to be.

Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:

Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland Indians) – 3-5, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. Lindor is amazing and that slow March/April is all but a distant memory now.

Michael Brantley (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. I am so happy that Michael Brantley has been healthy all year, and I really hope I didn’t just jinx that. It’s been especially nice to see him picking up a few steals, with three out of his four total steals on the season coming in the past week.

Jose Ramirez (2B/3B, Cleveland Indians) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Fun fact — Jose Ramirez is currently on pace for a 40/20 season. I don’t necessarily think that’s going to happen, but I mean, I wouldn’t be shocked if it did.

Edwin Encarnacion (1B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 5 RBI. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m still concerned about his uncharacteristically low walk rate and high strikeout rate and chase rate, but it’s kinda hard to complain too much about the results so far.

Albert Almora Jr. (OF, Chicago Cubs) – 3-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Almora is now slashing .341/.366/.477 over the past month and is available in 86% of leagues. He’s not a big power hitter, nor does he steal many bases, but he will give you a good batting average and he’ll get you runs.

Ozzie Albies (2B, Atlanta Braves) – 3-4, 2 R, 1 SB. It’s been rough for Albies owners lately, but over the past two weeks he’s slashing .327/.352/.519. There are going to be ups and downs, you just have to be patient.

David Peralta (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. I wrote on Friday about Peralta’s fascinating power increase this year, but suffice to say, I think it’s more legit than not, and I think he’s pretty likely to blow past his career-high 17 home runs with ease this year.

Enrique Hernandez (SS/2B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-6, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. Hernandez has been taking advantage of some increased playing time, slashing .341/.400/.732 over the past two weeks. Once Chris Taylor is back from his hamstring injury, however, expect Hernandez’s playing time to get somewhat more inconsistent.

Kevin Plawecki (C, New York Mets) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Nice game for Plawecki here, but he’s not getting much in the way of playing time, so there really isn’t any fantasy relevance, especially considering he’s been pretty bad this year.

Giancarlo Stanton (OF, New York Yankees) – 5-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Now that’s the MVP stuff we want to see from Stanton. That game alone took his average from .249 on the year to .262.

Jake Bauers (OF/1B, Tampa Bay Rays) – 2-6, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Bauers is a solid prospect for the Rays and I’m really glad he’s getting consistent playing time. There isn’t much in the way of fantasy relevance here for any leagues outside of dynasty leagues, however. But there might be in the future, as he’s got a nice power/speed combo.

Yoan Moncada (2B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. Until Moncada fixes his terrible strikeout problem, his upside is going to be really limited, but it’s still really nice to see games like this out of him.

Yolmer Sanchez (2B/3B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Sanchez has improved his plate discipline some this year, and he’s got a decent power/speed combo, though I wouldn’t recommend looking his way in anything but pretty deep leagues.

Yuli Gurriel (1B, Houston Astros) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Gurriel is available in 59% of leagues and has been slashing .337/.361/.490 over the past month. I’m not quite sure why he’s not owned in more leagues.

Derek Dietrich (3B/OF, Miami Marlins) – 4-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Dietrich now has three-straight games with a home run and has been slashing .389/.440/.667 over the past month. He’s available in 70% of leagues and should be owned in basically every format at this point.

Manuel Margot (OF, San Diego Padres) – 1-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Margot tweaked his swing earlier this month and it’s been working wonders this month. He may not be stealing a ton, but he’s hitting well and is available in about 79% of leagues.

Curtis Granderson (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Quietly, Granderson’s been having quite the past couple weeks, slashing .419/.455/.710 over the past two weeks. He’s seen an uptick in his average this year to .253 from .212 last year, but that comes with a .352 BABIP that’s not likely to stick, so don’t get used to it.

Aledmys Diaz (SS, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI. I really want Diaz to do better, but he’s been pretty rough, and the fact that his walk rate is half what it was back in his 2016 breakout year doesn’t make me optimistic for the future.

Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Really nice game from Hoskins who’s generally been somewhat of a disappointment this year. Still, he’s slashing .299/.385/.597 over the past month, so it’s been hard to complain too much lately.

Odubel Herrera (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. I am so happy to see Herrera stealing a base this game. He’s been awesome without the steals, but if he’s able to get back to that 20+ steal pace he’s done in the past, he would be extremely valuable.

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan (which can be....painful at times) and a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music and watch way too many movies.

8 responses to “Batter’s Box: Bell & Sebastian”

  1. John says:

    Muncy or Nimmo ROS in deep OBP league?

  2. Launch Angle says:

    Would offering my Scooter and Kershaw for Jose Ramirez be a fair offer to the other owner? His team is weak in SP.

  3. Let's Play Two says:

    I own Sal Perez who has been really bad as a lot of catcher have been. I’m in 1st place overall, but the HR and RBI categories are a tight 3-way race. Would you drop Perez for any of these catchers?

    Ramos- Contreras- Molina

    • Ben Palmer says:

      Nah, I’d rather have Perez than all three of those guys, though it’s fairly close between him and Ramos I think.

  4. Joe says:

    Great band

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