(Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire)
This morning, I’m going to step back in my own little personal time machine. It’s very nice! Fits right in the corner of my teeny, shoebox Brooklyn apartment. Today, I’m going to set it to preseason 2018. Let’s say February. It wasn’t that long ago. It was a colder time…Anyways, I’m going to travel back and tell my February self that there will be a Mets outfielder who, on June 19th, would have a line of 35 R/12 HR/22 RBI/7 SB/.287. This Mets outfielder also will be rocking an OPS of 1.013, and ISO of .316, and a .410 OBP. I’m going to tell myself to draft said Mets outfielder. Then, I’m going to slap old me when he excitedly asks, “I can’t wait to own Michael Conforto!” WRONG! It’s Brandon Nimmo. Sorry, old me.
I know I wasn’t the only one who valued Conforto higher than Nimmo. In fact, show me the man who valued Nimmo higher, and I’ll show you a liar. Regardless, Nimmo has been everything Conforto hasn’t from his solid plate discipline, excellent power, and general awesomeness in just 60 games this season. Last night’s line of 4-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI was not only a continuation of said awesomeness, but it featured both an inside AND outside the park homerun. Show-off! Anyways, Nimmo has been red-hot over the last two weeks slashing .288/.364/.661 and even hotter over the last month slashing .298/.389/.667. This is not a guy who set the world on fire with his power in the minors, but his launch angle, exit velocity, and 40%+ hard-hit rate seem to suggest he’s backing up the power so far. His xStats suggest a tiny bit of luck, but a 10.8% VH rate further backs up his production. If you found Nimmo on the waiver wire before this all began, consider yourself very fortunate.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Giancarlo Stanton (OF, New York Yankees) – 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI. This does not include the makeup game stats, but don’t worry about those. This was the more impressive line anyways. There was no dong in this one, but Stanton has actually been hitting much better in the month of June with a .274 clip. After struggling in April, he’s performed much better all-around since May 1st, but he’s still looking more similar to the 2015-2016 Stanton than last year’s 1st rounder.
Jose Altuve (2B, Houston Astros) – 3-4, 2 R, 2B, SB. Swipers gonna swipe! That makes it 11 on the year for the diminutive 2nd bagger, and even though another 30 swipes seems feasible for him, I doubt he will get back to 24 HR for the 3rd year in a row. Although the power seems to have regressed this year, he’s still producing a beautiful slash of .342/.398/.470. He, like many of the Astros, is red hot right now as he’s slashed .386/.478/.509 over the last two weeks.
Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets) – 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, SB. This was just his 2nd steal of the year, and believe it or not, that ties his career-best. Give it up for career-best marks! Want another career-best? How about that 15% walk rate so far? Hooray! Don’t get too carried away though as he’s hitting just .225 on the year. Talk about raining on the parade. Despite the season-long disappointment, he is hitting .304/.484/.696 over the last 7 games, so things are looking up. Maybe he can ask Nimmo for some good juju?
Jason Kipnis (2B, Cleveland Indians) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. This was just his 5th dong on the year as he’s slashing a rough .207/.284/.320 on the year, and I just wouldn’t go near him right now. Bummer because I pegged him as a decent rebound candidate this year. It looks like injuries have gotten the best of him and could cut his prime years (and career) a little short. He’s hitting just .222 over the last 7 games, so hopefully, last night can start some kind of fire.
Nomar Mazara (OF, Texas Rangers) – 3-5, R, RBI. Last night brings his average up to .270, and if that keeps up, it would be a career-best. And speaking of career-bests, he’s already at 14 HR which is just 7 shy of a personal high for him. He has struggled a bit in June so far hitting just .234 with 1 HR, but I am pretty high on him moving forward. He’s on pace to finish with something around 80 R/28 HR/90 RBI. Not bad at all.
Yadier Molina (C, St. Louis Cardinals) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI, BB. He cranked his 7th HR of the year last night, and while his line of 14 R/7 HR/25 RBI/.273 may not seem like a ton, keep in mind he’s played just 42 games this year due to injury. Also, catcher stinks this year, so that line is probably good enough for like…#6 at the position. Somebody check that. His barrrel percentage is at a career-best right now as is his hard contact rate, and I’m confident rolling with the veteran rest of season.
Amed Rosario (SS, New York Mets) – 3-5, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI. He’s had modest production so far this year with a line of 26 R/4 HR/21 RBI/4 SB, but that triple slash of .246/.274/.371 makes him not worth it in my book. Except for NL only leagues where you need every last counting stat. Check out that 3.4% walk rate. Yuck! He’s also hitting just .185 over the last two weeks. I wonder if Brandon Nimmo‘s back hurts from carrying the Mets offense…
Nick Ahmed (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. That makes it 10 dongs on the year for Ahmed. For those keeping track at home, his line is now up to 31 R/10 HR/32 RBI/2 SB, and he’s already set a career-high in HR while approaching top marks in the other categories as well. That should tell you something about Nick Ahmed‘s career to this point. Despite the impressive line, “Slugger” Ahmed is hitting just .227 so far, and xStats says he should have just 5-6 HR so far. Don’t get crazy here.
Tyler Austin (1B, New York Yankees) – 2-2, R, HR, 3 RBI. This is his 8th HR of the year and…OH MAN MY EYES ARE BURNING WITH THAT 40% STRIKEOUT RATE. Geez! This HR actually came in the makeup innings, which means Austin still is searching for his first dong of June. Aren’t we all? He’s slashing just .223/.280/.471 in 132 plate appearances this year.
Michael Brantley (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 2-5, SB. His average has dipped slightly in June because it’s surprisingly hard to hit .333 all year. That was a joke, class. Despite the recent “struggles,” he’s slashing a phenomenal .321/.363/.520 on the year in what looks like a major bounceback season for a healthy (knock on wood) Brantley. It’s also his 4th swipe of the year. Hands up emoji for that tiny 8.2% strikeout rate!
Lewis Brinson (OF, Miami Marlins) – 2-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB. This is your daily reminder that Lewis Brinson has a job despite slashing .183/.226/.336 on the year. I didn’t believe my notes, so I double checked it. Yep. He’s that bad. Oh, and his BB/K rate is at 0.14. That’s a 4% walk rate compared to a 30% strikeout rate. He is hitting .298 over the last two weeks, so maybe things are looking up?
Matt Carpenter (3B, St. Louis Cardinals) – 2-5, R, HR, 2B, RBI. His slow start feels like an after-thought now, doesn’t it? This brings his line up to 33 R/11 HR/27 RBI, and because he was so bad to start the year, the average is still at just a .235 mark. That will continue to climb as he continues to hit well. He needs just 1 more HR and 5 more RBI to match his production in May, and I’m sorry to keep rubbing salt in the wound of those who gave up on him.
Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-2, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI, 3 BB. He actually just walked again while I was typing this. He brings his OBP up to .394 after this superb game, and he now has 13 HR on the year as well. He was the steal of my draft in my OBP league, and that has nothing to do with anything other than to just humble brag for a second. He’s slashing .357/.500/.661 over the last two weeks.
Matt Davidson (3B/DH, Chicago White Sox) – 2-4, R, HR, 2B, RBI. I just want to offer my congratulations to Matt’s brother, Pete, for getting engaged to noted singer and the beautiful young lady (we’re respectful here at Pitcher List) Ariana Grande this past week. It was too soon, but whatever man! YOLO! They’re not actually related, but Matt Davidson is related to jackin’ big dongs! This was number 13 on the year, and he should have no problems matching last year’s 26. He has made a large jump in walk rate this year going from just 4% last season to 14.3% this year. He’s also hitting .333 over the past week.
Odubel Herrera (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-5, R, HR, 3 RBI. My heart sank when I got a Slack channel notification from our own Dave Cherman last night saying “who wants to write about the Herrera trade?” I assumed Odubel had been shipped off to some other team where he’d be hitting 8th or in a time share or something random. I guess that makes me a pessimist? Anyways, wrong Herrera. Odubel keeps producing as this was his 10th dong of the year, and he’s lowered his K rate to a career-best 19% as well. He’s increased his launch angle to 14% while maintaining previous hard contact and barrel percentages, so I think the power should hold up rest of season.
Aaron Hicks (OF, New York Yankees) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. This brings his line up to 30 R/9 HR/30 RBI/6 SB on the year, and if he can just raise that .246 average, then we’ve got something really special. He’s another guy who could put up career-best HR numbers as his previous high is last year’s 15. He’s slashing .288/.351/.596 over his last 15 games.
Anthony Rendon (3B, WAS) – 2-3, 2 R, 2B, BB. This was his line from Game 2 yesterday, but he gets retroactively credited with a dong from the first game. That was a clunky sentence, but you get what I’m saying hopefully. His line goes up to 25 R/6 HR/24 RBI/.272, and even factoring in some time missed with injury, that’s a disappointing line from a guy you had to spend up for on draft day. Over his last 15 games, he is slashing .286/.344/.393, but that comes with exactly 0 HR. I wouldn’t worry too much, though, as his xBACON is a cool .345 and his VH% is at 11% right now. Patience.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. Laugh at all the haters, everyone! Point and laugh at those who were freaking out. Goldy now has cranked 7 HR over the last two weeks, and he’s slashing a blazing hot .443/.521/.918 in that time frame as well. He’s got 15 HR on the year, and he’s just making up for lost time. Welcome to 2018, buddy.
Ketel Marte (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB. Another Diamondback who has caught fire as of late! He’s slashing .340/.385/.660 with a line of 12 R/2 HR/12 RBI over the last 15 games. He’s owned in just 32% of leagues right now, and I would most definitely pick him up while he stays hot.
Juan Soto (OF, Washington Nationals) – 1-2, R, HR, 2 RBI. So, this is a fun thing! This line is from the completion of Game 1, which means that this is technically Juan Soto‘s first career homerun. No lie. Congrats, Juan! Welcome to the show. His line is now up to 17 R/6 HR/14 RBI/.325 in his first 95 career plate appearances.