(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)
Today, I’ll be cutting to the chase and letting you know I’m leading with Trevor Story right off the bat…ter’s box. Last night, he went 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, SB to post a combo meal with an extra side of dong free of charge. It was a huge night, and it’s been the kind of thing we’re getting used to seeing from Story this year as he races towards the 30 HR/25 SB. Dare I say he even has a shot at 30/30? I just did. Wow. Anyways, I lead with him not only to highlight the terrific season he’s having but also to tell you I’m torn. Jonathan Metzelaar led with him over a week ago and brought up some great stats that could indicate these are legit changes to his profile and not a fluke. After all, he’s just now 25. I see that side of the argument and want to buy in. However, the floor has been so low before especially with the average and strikeout rate, so that makes me want to be cautious and say beware of the outlier year. I look forward to diving in deeper in the off-season to determine my feelings before next year’s draft, but in the meantime, enjoy this career-year from Trevor Story.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Adam Frazier (2B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 4-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. He’s been hitting quite well over the last two weeks with 4 jacked dongs and a slash of .333/.414/.647. He’s been hitting 2nd in the Pirates lineup more times than not lately, and even in a so-so lineup, that could lead to more opportunities down the stretch. He’s currently worth a look in NL-only leagues.
Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers) – 3-4, R. It’s going to look like a wasted season from him by the finish line because of injury, but I wouldn’t drop him too far down the rankings next year because of it. You have to wonder if he’s been 100% in the 2nd half as he’s had a huge drop in plate discipline. He’s gone from a 10% strikeout rate in the 1st half to 17% in the 2nd, and that has come with a drop in his walk rate too. I’m willing to give him a mulligan heading into 2019.
Kevin Kiermaier (OF, Tampa Bay Rays) – 3-4, R, 3B, 2B, RBI. It’s been a season to forget for Kiermaier, and even with the power-speed upside he’s flashed in the past, I want no part of this. He’s been turning it around ever-so-slightly the last two weeks slashing .333/.370/.529, but it has come with a line of 3 R/0 HR/4 RBI/1 SB.
Yairo Munoz (SS, St. Louis Cardinals) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. He’s taken a step forward in the 2nd half bumping his OPS up almost 80 points to an .833. He’s been hitting 2nd for the Cardinals lately, but that hasn’t translated to big counting stats just yet. I don’t think I’m comfortable rolling with him this year, but he’s an interesting name next year with his moderate power-speed abilities.
Ryan O’Hearn (1B, Kansas City Royals) – 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2B, 3 RBI. He’s been in the big leagues a little over a month, and all he has done is punish baseballs. He already has 9 dongs on the year with 3 coming over his last 7 games including last night’s double dong adventure. He has posted an impressive (but unsustainable) power profile in his short major league career with 57% hard contact, 13% barrel rate, and 93 mph exit velocity. I’d add him now for a power boost across the board.
Anthony Rizzo (1B, Chicago Cubs) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. He’s been on an absolute tear here in the 2nd half, and he’s already matched his HR total from the first half here on September 4th. His hard contact has jumped from 31% to 39% this half, and he’s looking like the top 25 player he was drafted as last March.
Amed Rosario (SS, New York Mets) – 3-5, SB. With his 18th steal of the year in what has been the year the swipe died, I’m officially bestowing the title of “swiper” to him. Swipers gonna swipe, Amed! He’s plate discipline has left a ton to be desired, sure, but I will be digging into his profile this offseason to justify the hype I’ve already started for him in 2019.
Joey Wendle (2B, Tampa Bay Rays) – 3-4, R, 2B. Doesn’t his name sound more like a carnival ride than a baseball player? Anywho…here’s a fun stat for you. In the 9 games since August 24th, Wendle has batted leadoff all but two times. Over that time frame, and seeing more time in the leadoff spot he’s posted 7 multi-hit games and has an OPS of .967. Surely, that’s come with some sweet counting stats too! Nope. Not much of anything, but he’s hitting well, and he’s hot! That counts for something somewhere.
Charlie Blackmon (OF, Colorado Rockies) – 2-3, 2 R, BB, SB. He’s doing his best to be a swiping boy lately, and this makes it 5 swipes since the arbitrary cutoff date of August 22nd. It’s been a disappointing year all-around for the Rockies’ outfielder, and I’m curious to see how far he falls in 2019 drafts.
Lorenzo Cain (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-4, R, RBI, SB. Swipers Gonna Swipe! This makes it 25 on the year for him, and he needs just 3 more over the next month or so to set a new career-high. He hasn’t given you much power at all this year, but the swipes, good average, and high OBP make him a definitive top 15 outfielder this year.
Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, R, 2B, RBI. The hype train left the station about two weeks ago for me, and there’s no stopping it until my drafts in 2019. He has taken a leap forward this year from his 326 plate appearances last year, and that’s resulted in 47% hard contact, a nearly 10% barrel rate and 93 mph exit velocity. Those are not always direct indicators of legit power, but they shouldn’t be ignored either. He’s turning 26 next season, and I will be ranking him aggressively next year as I expect a ceiling around 30-35 HR.
Hunter Dozier (1B/3B, Kansas City Royals) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. That makes it 5 multi-hit games over his last 6 as his bat is really starting to heat up. He’s already passed his 1st half dong total, and he’s jacked his OPS up from .600 in the 1st half to .821 in the latter. It’s not a great lineup, but he’s worth a look in AL-only.
Scooter Gennett (2B, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-4, R, HR, 2B, RBI. That makes it back-to-back 20 HR seasons for the former Brewers’ castoff, and that deserves a “honk, honk” or a “meep, meep” or both! His HR totals may have dipped this half, but he’s still slashing a terrific .308/.355/.462 in the 2nd half so far.
Ian Kinsler (2B, Boston Red Sox) – 2-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI. Since joining the Sawx towards the end of July, he’s been slashing a very solid .308/.348/.415. Obviously, they’d love a little more power moving forward, but he’s a healthy second baseman at the moment. That’s been at a premium for the Red Sox this year. He’s available in 59% of leagues right now, and his upside (yes I know how old he is shhh) and great lineup make him worth the add.
Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI. That makes it back-to-back 30 dong seasons for the Tater, and he also joined to 30 HR/20 SB club for the first time as of yesterday. He’s solidifying himself as a safe 1st round pick next year.
Gregory Polanco (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. This is a new career-high in dongs for him with 23, so congrats on that! He’s also working a career-best 11% walk rate, but that has unfortunately been offset by a career-worst strikeout rate as well. We can’t have nice things. Regardless, he’s on a power surge as of late slugging .610 with 4 dongs over the last two weeks.
Franmil Reyes (OF, San Diego Padres) – 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI. And speaking of power surges, this double dong special gives Reyes 15 HR on the season…in just 65 games. Choo-choo! Nope! It’s not the Rangers outfielder quietly having another great season. It’s the Franmil Reyes hype train leaving the station all set for 2019! He’s now bashed 6 tates and slugged .872 over the last two weeks. All that power is owned in just 4% of leagues…
Ozzie Albies (2B, Atlanta Braves) – 1-4, R, HR, RBI. That makes it 22 dongs on the year for the youngster as he continues to make his push for a 25 HR/15 SB season. This was one of the few bright spots in Atlanta’s offense yesterday as they let a big game against Boston get away from them late. Albies is a stud either way.
Eduardo Escobar (3B/SS, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 1-2, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB. That makes it 45 doubles on the season, which would lead the NL by 6 if he qualified for the leaderboard. But alas, he was a Twin in the not-so-distant past. He’s cooled off slightly over the last two weeks hitting just .250 with an elevated strikeout rate. He can be safely trusted rest-of-season.