Batter’s Box: I Have the Power!

“I am Joey. Prince of Texas and defender of the secrets of Castle Arlington.” What Joey Gallo (1B/OF, Texas Rangers)  is doing is nothing short of amazing. On Wednesday, he went 1-2 with a run, a home run, two RBI, three walks, and a steal, giving him 28 runs, 11 home runs, 30 RBI and two stolen bases on the season. Those are fantastic numbers, but what’s even more amazing is the .274/.426/.679 line, considering that he’s a career .210 hitter. The Statcast data is equally impressive, as he has an unbelievable 96.7  mph average exit velocity and a 29.5% barrel rate, putting him in second in both categories. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! His walk ratethe thing that helps offset that career 37.5% strikeout rateis up to 21.3% through 136 plate appearances thanks in large part to a massive drop in his chase rate (32.2% in 2018, 22.2% so far in 2019).

We already knew that Gallo was a massive source of power, but because he was such a drag on batting average it was difficult to roster him in batting average formats. If these changes in his plate discipline persist at least in some degree throughout the season, we could be looking at a top-15 hitter in OBP leagues and a top-50 overall player in all formats.

Jorge Polanco (SS, Minnesota Twins)5-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. The great start continues. He’s now slashing .344/.412/.649 thanks to his SECOND five-hit game of the season and his fourth multihit game in May. He’s going to continue to be a great source of batting average and a strong points league contributor, though he hasn’t yet swiped a bag (he could steal eight to 10 if he gets the chance).

C.J. Cron (1B, Minnesota Twins)4-5, R, HR, 2 RBI. Wednesday’s blast was his seventh of the season, and he should continue to be a decent source of power (25ish home runs when all is said and done) and RBI (80 seems like a safe bet) for those who need a corner infielder in deep leagues. He’s hard to roster in OBP formats, though.

Ryon Healy (1B/3B, Seattle Mariners)4-5, 2 R, HR, 3 2B, 2 RBI. I’m worried about his long-term playing time, as Kyle Seager has begun his rehab assignment, but in the short term, he’s a useful contributor in deeper leagues that have a corner infield spot. He’s kind of like Cron but with a less certain future.

Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers)3-5, R, 2B, 2 SB. It’s looking like he’ll have double-digit home runs for just the second time in his long career and 20-plus steals for the 10th time. The batting average will likely come down a bit, but he’s a career .277 hitter so he’ll remain an asset in that category.

Cesar Hernandez (2B, Philadelphia Phillies)3-5, R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. He’s a balanced contributor with double-digit power and speed at the keystone, and his excellent plate discipline makes him even more valuable in points formats. It’s not exciting, but it’s very useful.

Max Muncy (1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers)3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB. There was some apprehension in drafts about whether the late-bloomer could repeat his incredible 2018. While 35 home runs doesn’t appear to be in the cards, 27 to 30 seems quite plausible with an OK batting average and good OBP.

Josh Bell (1B, Pittsburgh Pirates)2-4, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. He might break his career high in home runs (26 in 2019), which makes him relevant in virtually all formats thanks to his plate discipline and lineup spot. He’s already three home runs away from what he had in all of 2018.

Rougned Odor (2B, Texas Rangers)1-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. Just a reminder that he’s still a good power hitter and that his slow April can be overcome.

George Springer (OF, Houston Astros)1-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. It’s an MVP-like start for the Astro, who had a less-than-ideal 2018 campaign. Those who believed in a comeback are getting more than they hoped for.

(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. In addition to being a writer and content manager at Pitcher List, he podcasts with Friends with Fantasy Benefits and contributes to Lineup Logic. If you want to chat about baseball, fantasy curling (AS SEEN IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!!), sports in general, deaf culture, being a twin, or the oddities of having Irish and Korean ancestry, Chu's your guy.

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Comments


Chris

question: would you drop Dansby swanson for Polanco at this pt? Polanco obviously raking, but swanson hasn’t been too shabby either. i’m very tempted given polancos ridiculous run thus far, and my team is hurting in avg. thanks.

Scott Chu

Hey Chris! Yes, I would drop Swanson for Polanco. Polanco can do everything Swanson can do, but with a better batting average and in a better lineup spot.

Scott Chu

Agreed, theKraken. We’re seeing a HUGE spike in high quality contact from him, and even if he falls off a little, those who took him in drafts (even if they did so reluctantly) will see nice profits.

Tony

Scott,

Great content. I’ve been offered J Polanco and C Carasco for my Chavis and Chirinos. It’s a keeper league with the followig stats. I have Baez at SS currently but can move him to 3rd if needed. (R), (HR), (RBI), (SB), (AVG), (OBP), (OPS), (CYC), (SLAM) (W), (CG), (SHO), (SV), (ERA), (WHIP), (K/9), (QS), (SV+H).Would you accept this offer?

Scott Chu

I would be strongly considering it, Tony — how many do you keep each year?

I ask mostly out of curiosity, as I’m not sure there is any scenario where I don’t accept the offer and take the Carrasco-Polanco side.

Kyle

Moncada, Voit, Muncy – pick 2 to keep

In my 8 team OBP league. I own 2 but could swap one for Muncy. Moncada seems to have fallen off a bit, so has Voit as Muncy is picking up.

Scott Chu

Hey Kyle – I think you should hold on to Moncada, but you’ve got a coin flip with the other two. They have very similar profiles. Pick the one you like best! If you need a tiebreaker, Muncy can play at 3rd, if you ever need him to.

Swfcdan

Ender cut in my league, and I could use speed (who couldn’t). He’s only 28, can’t be done already surely?
Firstly do you still like him even if he bats 8th, and secondly would you cut Heyward or Renfroe for him (OBP league)?

Scott Chu

Regardless of his upside in the 8 spot, I’d take Ender over Heyward for sure. Simply not a Heyward believer.

Scott Chu

Even if he is to some extent (he’s making good contact), I’m not sure it matters for very long. He won’t get anything close to a full time role the rest of the way. Andjuar’s return along with the rest of the team getting healthy will send him back to the bench.

Scott Chu

Sorry for the late reply, David — In a shallow points league, I would do this (assuming we’re talking about Jorge Polanco). I still like Shaw but Polanco is a stud in most points formats, especially if there’s a penalty for strikeouts.

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