Batter’s Box: Gary Making Hairy AL East Very Wary With His Power

Owners of Yankees C Gary Sanchez have been waiting for him to flash his second-half brilliance from 2016 all over again this year. He of course spent a little time...

Owners of Yankees C Gary Sanchez have been waiting for him to flash his second-half brilliance from 2016 all over again this year. He of course spent a little time on the DL, so the excitement unfortunately had to be delayed further still until the young backstop could be healthy again. Well, the wait may be over at long last, as Sanchez went 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K Thursday against Toronto. He now boasts a batting average of .270 and the homers were his fifth and sixth of his injury-shortened season thus far. He’s also got 16 runs, 15 RBI and a steal to his name. While he did put these two most recent home run balls in the seats of hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, that caveat shouldn’t dampen your spirits as an owner. A multi-homer game is not a feat to be qualified or nitpicked when it’s coming from a bat as promising as Sanchez’s, so enjoy it and keep your fingers crossed for more like it from the Dominican catcher with the .830-and-rising OPS.

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

Aaron Hicks (OF, NYY) 4-5, 2 R, 6 RBI, K. Seven total bases for Hicks as he doubled successfully off three Blue Jays pitchers. He’s hit safely in eight of his last nine games and seems to be securing playing time despite occasionally being the odd man out with Rob Refsnyder and Ronald Torreyes popping into the OF rotation. Hicks is hitting .317 and now has 30 RBI in 126 at-bats.

Matt Holliday (1B/OF/DH, NYY) 3-5, 2 R, K. He’s a .271 hitter from usually the 3-spot but occasionally cleanup with 11 homers, 33 RBI and 23 runs. Sounds good to me.

Kendrys Morales (1B/OF/DH, TOR) 2-4, R, HR, RBI, K. Seven of Morales’ 11 homers have come since the start of May, and he’s averaging .265 on the year.

Jedd Gyorko (1B/2B/3B/SS, STL) 3-4. Gyorko has just 22 RBI and 21 runs but as a utility infielder with eligibility throughout, his .321 average and eight HRs have been a boon to owners who’ve held on to him. He also has an OBP of .370, which is top-35 across MLB. Take note that he is missing the next two games due to being on the paternity list, but he should be back in the lineup on Sunday.

Guillermo Heredia (OF, SEA) 1-3, R, HR, RBI, BB, K. He’s got 147 at-bats for the Mariners so far, so he shouldn’t be considered a fringe member of their outfield. Heredia’s fourth homer netted just his tenth RBI, but the .299 average and 18 runs help. He’s got a hit in eight of his last nine games, to boot.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. (OF, BOS) 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, K. With three of his seven homers on the year coming within the last week, it could be a sign that his previously glitch hitter’s compass has corrected itself. JBJ’s season average is at a mere .226 but he’s enjoyed a couple of three-game hit streaks lately that have rescued him from sub-Mendoza-Line territory. He’s trending back up for sure.

Mark Trumbo (OF/DH, BAL) 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Trumbo has a .278 average to this point, which would be a career high if he can keep it up. The highest season-long BABIP he’s ever had was .316 and he finished with a .268 average and 32 home runs as an Angel, which are numbers I confidently say on his owners’ behalf would be more than OK by them. His BABIP is at just .314 right now, and he’s on pace for high-20s in homers, so that’s all reason to be hopeful; the horrendous April he had seems to be an anomaly in the rear view mirror now. He’s locked in as Baltimore’s cleanup guy.

Adam Jones (OF, BAL) 1-4, R, HR, RBI. Jones had a shaky stretch in mid-late May with three consecutive 0-4 outings before being scratched from four straight contests with hip and ankle issues. The good news is that he broke out Wednesday and Thursday upon returning and now has back-to-back games with homers and six RBI over the last 48 hours. Jones has 10 homers overall, 27 RBI and an average of .266.

Chris Davis (1B/DH, BAL) 1-4, R, HR, RBI, 2 K. Just when we begin to trust Crush all over again with a pair of back-to-back games with homers seems to be the time when he decides to be suddenly due for an 0-9 slump. The .230 average has dipped into the .220s in the last week. Twelve jacks are nice, but it feels like they arrive somewhat sporadically, with four of them coming during a three-game stretch on May 13-16. Think about that: a guy who’s widely renowned for his power amassed one-third of his season total of home runs so far in three of his 51 games. That’s kind of rough if you’re trying to slot him in for consistent power during H2H matchups.

Gerardo Parra (1B/OF, COL) 4-4, R, RBI. It’s not always easy being the guy that looks mundanely human in the Colorado outfield next to fantasy demigod Charlie Blackmon, all while people basically wait optimistically for Carlos Gonzalez to regain his form and for David Dahl to get healthy again. But Parra is quietly doing good things with his chances. He’s got a .312 average after Thursday’s outburst, which included his sixth double. Pair that with 27 RBI, 21 runs and eight homers, and he’s providing decent value at the position.

Hernan Perez (2B/3B/SS/OF, MIL) 3-4, RBI. He hops around the heart of Milwaukee’s order a bit, but he seems to adapt well to wherever he slots in. He’s hit safely in three consecutive, following an 0-5 clunker on Sunday. An average of .277 complements five homers, 23 RBI and 21 runs for Perez. He’s got numbers that are nearly identical to the Cubs’ far more widely owned Javier Baez—specifically, an average that’s .015 better with three fewer jacks. Comparable production for cheap.

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, K. The unfortunate truth is that Calhoun’s been too inconsistent for you to even worry about whether he’s worth inclusion in your lineup. A multi-homer night is great, but seven overall and just 19 RBI don’t ease the pain of a .213 average. Three RBI over a 10-day stretch isn’t helping owners out much. The BABIP is really low at .245, but so is the ISO at .135; his hard contact is down almost eight percentage points from last year and Z-contact is down too. He’s already got 207 at-bats under his belt, and the Angels can’t afford for him not to produce with Mike Trout sidelined for so long. Tough to advocate picking him up unless something drastically changes.

Miguel Sano (3B/OF/DH, MIN) 2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB. Back-to-back games with homers for Sano, which he also managed to do in both games of a May 21 doubleheader. He’s rocking a .297 average currently to pair nicely with 13 four-baggers, 34 runs and a whopping 40 RBI. He’s one of 10 guys in the league to have reached the 40-RBI threshold and sits tied with Paul Goldschmidt. He’s on pace to notch career bests in almost every metric.

Justin Bour (1B, MIA) 1-4, 2 K, SB. Bour stole his first base of the year against Arizona, a feat that’s impressive with Zack Greinke on the mound. He’s batting .287 right now.

Dee Gordon (2B, MIA) 1-3, R, BB, SB. Business as usual for Gordon. 17 steals, 30 runs and a .289 average render somewhat acceptable his lack of power and scant RBI accumulation.

Nick Ahmed (SS, ARI) 3-4, 2 RBI, K. Ahmed homered Wednesday, tripled Thursday, and he has four multi-hit games in his last six for a suddenly kickstarted average of .283. Just five homers, 17 runs and 17 RBI to his credit, but the man is hotter than Hansel right now when the Diamondbacks use him. He’s got 120 AB compared to regular starter Chris Owings194. Solid handcuff if you have a deep bench.

Andrew Todd-Smith

Journalistically trained and I have written for SB Nation. Fantasy baseball & football nerd, and there's a solid chance I'll outresearch you. I live in Columbus, pull for Cleveland and could learn to despise your team if you give me reason to. Navy veteran and wordplay addict with an expat background.

One response to “Batter’s Box: Gary Making Hairy AL East Very Wary With His Power”

  1. Jonathan Hutchings says:

    Hey Andrew, do you still like Bour’s ROS outlook? I’m hurting for HRs and RBIs and I just acquired him.

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