Batter’s Box: Bote’s In Spa-a-ace
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire
So if you happened to be watching the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals game last night, you caught one amazing ending, as David Bote (pronounced “boh-dee”) came in to pinch hit and nailed a grand slam. Now, normally I don’t talk about pinch hit guys from the previous day, but Bote warrants some conversation because he’s quietly been hitting really well while Kris Bryant has been out, slashing .361/.452/.667 over the past month. So how legit is this? Well you may look at his .400 BABIP and immediately say “Well this is all garbage, here comes the regression.” I wouldn’t blame you for that, but a closer look at Bote suggests that some of this is kinda legit. First off, he’s hitting the ball really hard, with a 43.1% hard-hit rate along with a 12.3% barrel rate and an average exit velocity of 95.9 MPH (for reference, Aaron Judge leads the league in average exit velocity at 95.8 MPH). So yea, Bote is crushing the ball. Plus, while he may have an average of .329 along with that really high .400 BABIP, it comes with a .356 xAVG and .435 xBABIP. I’m not saying he’s going to be without regression entirely, surely this is a strong hot streak that will slow down, but Bote is hitting the ball really well, and there might be something worth chasing in some fantasy leagues here. When Bryant comes back, we’ll see how Bote’s playing time shakes out, but you have to imagine they’ll figure out a way to get him into the lineup if he keeps hitting like this.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:
Didi Gregorius (SS, New York Yankees) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Gregorius started off the season fairly slow but he’s picked right back up to being the Didi you hoped for when you drafted him, slashing .308/.376/.538 over the past month.
Willy Adames (SS/2B, Tampa Bay Rays) – 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 SB. That’s now four-straight games with a stolen base for Willy Adames who’s on a really nice hot streak, slashing .297/.343/.422 over the past month. He’s a really talented top prospect and he’s getting the playing time, so he might be worth a look (though be wary of starting him this week).
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Paul Goldschmidt is amazing. Do you remember that .144 May? Nah, me neither.
Daniel Descalso (2B/3B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Descalso’s had some hot and cold moments this year, he’s a ride-the-streak kind of guy and he’s been alright, slashing .275/.463/.400 over the past month, but I’d say let him ride your wire for now except for in the deepest of leagues (or deep OBP leagues).
Jose Reyes (SS/2B/3B, New York Mets) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Nice game for Reyes but his playing time is inconsistent and he’s been terrible this year. Nothing to see here.
Rafael Ortega (OF, Miami Marlins) – 2-5, 1 R, 2 SB. Ortega was just called up from the minors on Friday and is likely to just be a fourth outfielder for the Marlins (though it’s worth noting he started in all three games since being called up). He slashed .275/.375/.404 with 12 stolen bases during his time in the minors this year, so he might be someone to keep an eye on in dynasty leagues, but nothing more.
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Aguilar’s been incredible this year, he’ll keep being incredible.
Melky Cabrera (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. What is dead may never die, and that certainly applies to Melky. Though it seems like he’s slowly starting to, as he’s been pretty bad this year.
Yolmer Sanchez (2B/3B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. A nice game from Sanchez but he’s been miserable lately, slashing .174/.248/.272 over the past month. Avoid him for now.
Adam Engel (OF, Chicago White Sox) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Engel’s becoming notorious for stealing home runs, but not for much else, as he’s been slashing .222/.236/.352 over the past month. He’s ridiculously fast, coming in third in the league in average sprint speed behind only Billy Hamilton and Byron Buxton, but he can’t really make good contact, so ignore him for now.
Ryon Healy (3B/1B, Seattle Mariners) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Healy has had great power this year, but everything else has been pretty bad, and that hasn’t changed as he’s slashing .241/.286/.443 over the past month. There are better power options out on your waiver wire than Healy.
Brian Dozier (2B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 SB. Nice to see a couple steals from Dozier who, coming into this game, had only stole three bases in the past month. Hopefully his average will pick up in the second half.
Travis Jankowski (OF, San Diego Padres) – 2-3, 3 R, 4 SB. Jankowski is absurdly good at stealing bases, it’s one of the reasons I loved him as a late-round pick last year, but he’s been really bad this year outside of his speed, slashing just .237/.308/.271 over the past month. If you need cheap steals in a deep league, I guess he’s not a bad choice, but there are likely better options out there.
Freddy Galvis (SS, San Diego Padres) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB. Total stat sheet stuffing game from Galvis who’s honestly been pretty meh this year in the middle of a very volatile lineup, making his fantasy prospects kind of difficult.
Jed Lowrie (2B/3B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Jed Lowrie might be one of the best stories of the year this year, so great to see him healthy and hitting so well this season.