Batter’s Box: Gleyber, Gleyber, Hallelujah
Picture this: You are driving down a desert highway at the start of your long road trip. You realize you forgot a few necessities, but it’s too late to turn back. You can pick them up at a rest stop on the way. The next thing you know, your right side view mirror is stripped off the car. Then, you start hearing the front right side of your car rattling, so you pull over. You walk around the car and see the tire is getting flat.
You tune your radio waiting for assistance, and you hear the Orioles-Yankees game. The Yankees are down 4-1. Plus, they already have two losses to the Orioles and Tigers each. A truck pulls up next to you, and a Venezuelan man leans out the window. It’s none other than Gleyber Torres. You hear the bat crack, and it’s 5-4 Yankees. You get in the truck, and Torres drives you away going 4-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI.
With the copious injuries, the Yankees needed a jump-start, and Torres took the wheel. His first two home runs of the year pushed the Yankees past the Orioles. He’ll keep seeing time at shortstop now that Troy Tulowitzki is on the IL. Torres finally was able to get the ball in the air after hitting about two-thirds of his balls in play on the ground.
Niko Goodrum (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, Detroit Tigers) — 2-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI, BB: Goodrum has batted mostly fourth or fifth this season, giving plenty of opportunities to knock in Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos. He finally got his first few RBI on the season, adding his fifth and sixth doubles of the year and added his daily walk.
Josh Harrison (2B, Detroit Tigers) — 1-3, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SB: Harrison was signed near the beginning of spring training, which may be contributing to the early struggles he’s seen. He finally had a game to show for himself, gaining his first two stolen bases of the year and adding a few runs at the top of the Tigers’ lineup.
Alex Gordon (OF, Kansas City Royals) — 2-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB: It has been a long while since Gordon has been fantasy-relevant. He now has home runs in back to back days with six total RBI. It would’ve been nice to own him then, but there isn’t a reason to pick him up now.
Jonathan Villar (2B/SS, Baltimore Orioles) — 2-5, R, HR, RBI: Villar was drafted for his stolen base upside, but he has not run much to start the year. Being on the Orioles though, what should be stopping him? Regardless, he’s started strong, hitting another homer. Even though it is the Orioles offense, he’ll still be hitting at or near the top.
Stephen Piscotty (OF, Oakland Athletics) — 4-4, R, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, BB: After his home run to start the year in Japan, Piscotty has been quiet. He erupted getting on base in each plate appearance against the Red Sox collecting five RBI. He’s a solid hitter atop a solid offense. He will keep it going from here.
J.D. Martinez (OF, Boston Red Sox) — 2-5, R, HR, RBI: I usually try to highlight batters who are making some kind of unexpected impact. But taters gonna tate. He’s a first-round talent doing first-round things. Martinez is yet to go a game without a hit.
Nick Markakis (OF, Atlanta Braves) — 5-5, 3 R, 5 RBI, 3 2B: Mr. Double himself delivered three doubles and two more hits adding five RBI against the Cubs. After a surprising 2018, Markakis was getting drafted around pick 250 around Randal Grichuk and Max Kepler. He consistently hits above .270 while being a patient hitter. In a dangerous Braves offense, Markakis can be a good play if you can make up the home runs elsewhere.
Tucker Barnhart (C, Cincinnati Reds) — 2-3, 2B: Are you playing catcher roulette this season? Ready to load in another to see if he’ll stick? Barnhart will play plenty of games and get a few hits. He’s started off strong with a 1.5 BB:K ratio and a high contact rate. If only the Reds offense will turn on.
Ronald Guzmán (1B, Texas Rangers) — 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB: Another young slugger on the Rangers, Guzmán showed off his power with a line drive just barely grazing the foul pole. He’s off to a fine start but is taking after his teammate Joey Gallo by striking out nearly 40% of the time. Give him some time, but he may be a power add later this season.
Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers) — 3-5, R, 2 RBI: Andrus continues to show he can hit early this season as he keeps cranking the ball. He’s kept the ball on a line and only has two extra-base hits to show for it. If he keeps hitting the ball as hard as he has and gets a bit more loft, we may get something close to 2017 Andrus.
Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers) — 2-3, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB: Like Markakis, Choo was another older late outfield pickup going around pick 250. If in an OBP league, probably a bit higher. Choo is another example of consistency with hitting more than 20 homers in each of his past three full seaons, while touching around 90 runs. That doesn’t sound like a late-round pick to me.
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)