Batter’s Box: I Should Polanco-co

Ben Palmer takes a look at the best hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

Jorge Polanco was a pretty trendy sleeper in the preseason this year, and I was right on board that train. He had made some major changes to his approach last year and I was totally on board with him being a nice, cheap shortstop option this year. But then he went and got suspended for PED use and everyone basically forgot about him. But he’s been back for a bit now and he’s been pretty solid, slashing .290/.353/.419 over the past month including yesterday’s 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI performance. Now, he’s got a .366 BABIP on the season which I would imagine will come down (though being a fast, contact-oriented hitter, maybe not a ton), but I still expect him to be solid as he’s got a .275 xAVG on the year. He’s not going to have a ton of power, but he’s never had that. What he will give you is a little bit of power, some speed, and a good average. If you’re in a deeper league or are desperate at the shortstop or middle infield position, he’s worth a grab. He’s available in 92% of leagues.

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

Hunter Renfroe (OF, San Diego Padres) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI.  That’s now four-straight games with a home run for Renfroe, giving him a  .279/.324/.672 slashline over the past month. We know Renfroe has awesome power, he’s just never been able to put the average together. Still, even if this is just a hot streak, it’s worth riding out. He’s available in 98% of leagues.

Franmil Reyes (OF, San Diego Padres) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Since being called on Sunday, Reyes has three home runs and five RBI in four games. He’s got great power, it’s just going to be a matter of playing time and plate discipline, so keep an eye on him.

Travis Shaw (3B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, 1 R, 1 SB. Shaw had a bit of a slow start to the year but he’s been looking awesome again, now slashing .296/.376/.556 over the past month.

Neil Walker (2B/1B/3B, New York Yankees) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Walker hasn’t been playing a ton but he’s looked really good when he’s out there, slashing .317/.368/.567 over the past month. If you’re in a deep league and can handle the inconsistent playing time, he might not be a bad add.

Mookie Betts (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 4-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Mookie hit for the cycle because he’s basically a god. I love watching him play, even if I can’t stand the Red Sox (and I really can’t).

Eduardo Nunez (2B/3B/OF, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. The steals haven’t really been there like I would’ve hoped with Nunez lately (just two steals over the past month), but he’s been hitting fairly well, slashing .291/.307/.372 over the past month. But without the speed and power, he’s not worth a whole lot.

Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI.. That’s now two straight games with a home run, giving him a .309/.356/.545 slashline over the past month. I don’t really believe in the batting average, but he’s got great power and always has. This seems more like a hot streak to me but it’s worth taking advantage of. He’s available in 89% of leagues.

Mitch Haniger (OF, Seattle Mariners) – 4-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Haniger’s actually been kinda disappointing lately, especially from a power perspective, with just a .083 ISO over the past month.

Denard Span (OF, Seattle Mariners) – 3-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Span’s playing time has been somewhat inconsistent but he’s been hitting well lately, slashing .310/.350/.507 over the past month. He’s available in 84% of leagues and is worth a look in deeper leagues.

Tyler White (1B, Houston Astros) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. White has looked really good since being called up, slashing .361/.425/.889. If he keeps hitting like this, he’s going to get consistent playing time and might be worth a look in the 99% of leagues he’s available in.

Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Nice game for Bellinger, but he’s got just a .128 ISO over the past month, and that’s pretty rough.

Chris Iannetta (C, Colorado Rockies) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Iannetta with a nice game but he’s not playing much, there’s no fantasy relevance here.

David Freese (3B/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Freese has been pretty good lately, slashing .345/.400/.621 over the past month, but his playing time is fairly inconsistent so I wouldn’t really advocate picking him up.

Ben Palmer

Lifelong Orioles fan (which can be....painful at times) and a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music and watch way too many movies.

  • Avatar Jim says:

    F Reyes is one of those guys that will absolutely win you your fantasy league. Problem is, you gotta start him when he is hot, like right now. The downside is when he cools off, the team will slot him to the bench where he does us no good. So frustrating.

    • Avatar Beego says:

      Ill take the under on reyes as a fantasy mvp. Everyone helps when they are streaking. The fact that he doesnt have a steady job for the pads is telling. He sounds a lot like hunter renfroe who is more trouble than hes worth.

    • Avatar Ben Palmer says:

      Reyes is definitely useful during a hot streak, you’ve just got keep him on a short leash

  • Avatar CC says:

    Ben, do you still like Polonco more than Nick Ahmed or Ketel, or Addison?

    • Avatar Southern Marylander says:

      Marte has been fantastic since the start of June with a .950 OPS over that time. His R and RBI totals (36 and 32 across 59 G, respectively) are okay, too. I just wish he ran at all anymore and then he’d be a clear leader among those in my opinion. His home / road splits are worth keeping an eye on, too.

    • Avatar Ben Palmer says:

      I would take Russell and Marte over Polanco. Ahmed and Polanco are closer.

  • Avatar Paul says:

    Need help boys. Only 6 weeks remaining including playoffs. Do I cut altuve and judge? My lineup is stacked and I replaced them with Calhoun and odor. I want to carry more pitchers with only 5 person bench. Stripling and pivetta are available. …. Please help!

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