(Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)
Here at the Batter’s Box, we don’t like to keep leading with the same guy over and over again. In fact, across the site, we try to avoid that. You don’t need six different writers telling you how good Mike Trout is. However, sometimes a player doesn’t leave you a choice but to lead with him again. Today, that man is Christian Yelich who demanded the lead spot after his remarkable 6-6, 2 R, HR, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI night in a wild game against the Reds. Yelich hit for the cycle in this one and just continued to pad his MVP caliber line (93 R/26 HR/75 RBI/14 SB/.319).
Yesterday, there was a discussion in the Discord community channel about Mr. Yelich, and the conclusion was that he’s been swinging more efficiently especially on pitches over the middle. Seems logical, but he’s improved his plate discipline greatly this year by not swinging at every single strike he sees. Just the sexy ones. He’s making some of the best hard-contact in the NL at 51% this year, and that combined with his more disciplined approach has helped him hit the ceiling we’ve all been waiting for the past few years. I said he’s a locked-in 2nd rounder next year, but don’t be surprised if aggressive owners reach at the back of the 1st in 2019.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Wednesday:
C. J. Cron (1B, Tampa Bay Rays) – 4-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI. He just continues to pad his career-best HR numbers, and this makes it 25 dongs on the year. He’s cooled off a bit from his excellent July in the month of August, but he’s still giving you solid numbers in the power category…albeit with a .250 average.
Billy Hamilton (OF, Cincinnati Reds) – 4-5, 3 R, HR, RBI. This was his 4th dong of the year, and he needs just 3 more to set a new career high! Can he do it?! I wouldn’t bet on it. Hamilton has been a bit of a dud this year with just 29 swipes, modest counting stats, and typical .240 average, but he does have a great chance of crossing 80 runs scored again this year. Still, speed is down everywhere, and he is no exception.
Mike Moustakas (3B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 4-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI. He got a prove it deal from Kansas City this year, and that’s resulted in 55 R/25 HR/81 RBI/.256. I don’t know if that’s going to help him land a multi-year deal or not, but someone out there should be able to squeeze him in. He’s been very solid since coming over the Milwaukee as he now has 5 dongs, a .284 AVG, and .851 OPS with the Brew Crew.
Anthony Rizzo (1B, Chicago Cubs) – 4-5. Has it been a bad year for him? No. Is this the production you thought you were drafting in the 2nd round? No. He may not have met expectations overall, but he’s been fire in the 2nd half with a line of 20 R/10 HR/25 RBI/.361. He’s doing his best to make you forget about his underwhelming 1st half and should be able to end with decent stats by the finish line.
Mookie Betts (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, 3 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, BB. Taters Gonna Tate! MVPers gonna MVP? That was a stretch. I’ll distract you with his line! 108 R/28 HR/68 RBI/26 SB/.340. He’s been well worth the 1st round price tag and should be once again next year.
Lorenzo Cain (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-6, 3 R, 2B, RBI. He got a slight bump in drafts after coming to Milwaukee in the offseason, and that’s for good reason. Though his counting stats haven’t been eye-popping besides the SB numbers, he’s been among the best in OBP formats with his .400 mark on the year. Over his last 30 games, he’s rocked a .412 mark in that category as well.
Johan Camargo (3B, Atlanta Braves) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB. My opponent in the 1st round of a H2H league has him, and I’m not happy about this stat line. Despite that, he’s been quite good over his last 30 games slashing .304/.350/.478. He will never overwhelm with counting stats, but he plays in a lineup that has the ability to help produce big nights like this consistently.
Curt Casali (C, Cincinnati Reds) – 3-5, R, RBI. Typically a catcher, he started at first yesterday for the Reds as Joey Votto was not able to come off the DL. He doesn’t get nearly enough playing time…or produce enough…to be relevant. You can ignore this.
Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-4, 2 2B, BB. He’s had a stellar 2nd half so far with a line of 19 R/8 HR/19 RBI/.307. He’s more than doubled his line drive rate to 24% in this half, and he’s been hitting more to center and the opposite field as well. Those are all very encouraging signs. Let’s go, power bat!
Eric Hosmer (1B, San Diego Padres) – 3-5, R, 2B, RBI. Remember that this is year 1 of his 8 year/$144 mil deal. His current line is 59 R/13 HR/56 RBI/.253. As Missy Elliott once said…”is it worth it? Hosmer cannot work it…”
Ryan LaMarre (OF, Chicago White Sox) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 2B, 4 RBI. This was just his 2nd dong of the year at the Major League level. There’s no fantasy relevance here, but I just wanted him to get his name in the paper. Look, Mom! I made the Batter’s Box!
Manuel Margot (OF, San Diego Padres) – 3-4, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. That makes it 7 dongs on the year and about 13 shy of where I thought he would finish the year. Though it’s been a bit of a disappointing season, he has been trending in the right direction in the 2nd half. Well, except for that .277 OBP mark. Yikes. Still, he’s seen upticks in AVG, slugging, and power numbers this half.
Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York Mets) – 3-5, RBI. He’s coming off an August where he hit just 2 dongs and got 1 swipe, but he has been hitting .350 with a 1.060 OPS in the month. So, it’s all chill. I expect him to jump up to the OF 25-30 range in next year’s drafts.
Eduardo Nunez (3B/SS, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI. It’s been a tough first season in Beantown with just 9 HR and 7 SB for the utility infielder, and that’s well below his back-to-back seasons of double-digit dongs and at least 24 swipes. Despite the overall line disappointing, he has been trending in the right direction since June.
Roman Quinn (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 3-5, 2 R, 3B, SB. He’s an intriguing name down the stretch as he made a habit of stealing 30 bases in the minors. And that was usually in around 70 games too. Playing time is a question with a crowded outfield in Philly, but he does have 5 multi-hit games in his last 7.
Amed Rosario (SS, New York Mets) – 3-5, 2B. He just posted his best month of the season by far in August with a line of 21 R/3 HR/16 RBI/7 SB/.286. He’s found a groove this month and has produced despite being a Met. He’s owned in just 29% of leagues right now, and that tells me many a league member has moved on to fantasy football.
Eddie Rosario (OF, Minnesota Twins) – 3-5, R, 2B, RBI. He’s posting yet another fantastic season, and I think he’s firmly entrenched as a top 25 outfielder heading into 2019 drafts. He leaves a bit to be desired in OBP formats with his 5ish % walk rate, but he’s still producing well despite being on a mediocre Twins team.
Devon Travis (2B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI. This is his 11th dong of the year, and that ties his career-best mark from 2016. It’s been a pretty forgettable season overall, and promise me you won’t look at that triple slash. I said don’t look! Ugh. Anyways, he’s hitting just .217 with a sub-.700 OPS over his last 30 games. Nope.
Luis Urias (2B, San Diego Padres) – 3-5, R, 2B. This was just his 2nd career Major League game, and it resulted in his first…second…and third hit of his career. He’s pretty close to a must-add in all formats based on upside alone.
Willy Adames (SS, Tampa Bay Rays) – 2-5, R. The youngster has been very solid in August with a line of 17 R/5 HR/14 RBI/5 SB/.329 for the month, and he’s definitely worth an add in most leagues. The 30% K rate is a little scary, but he’s producing enough to offset that at the moment.
Tucker Barnhart (C, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-3, 3 R, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 BB. Did you lose Buster Posey like I did? Sucks. May I present to you Tucker Barnhart as a less-than-stellar-but-you-don’t-have-a lot-of-options replacement. He will obviously not come close to Posey’s AVG and OBP numbers (because who can really?), but he has decent pop and has been slashing .294/.419/.529 over the last two weeks. Catcher is a black hole this year.
Todd Frazier (3B, New York Mets) – 2-5, R, HR, 5 RBI. He’s been flashing that old power the last few weeks with 6 jacked dongs over his last 30 games. However, he’s produced a meager .250 AVG and .317 OBP over that time frame as well. He does have his warts, but the power upside could make it worth your while if he’s hot.
Scooter Gennett (2B, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-6, R, 2B, 2 RBI, SB. Make that 4 swipes on the year! Anyways, he hasn’t kept up his blistering pace from the 1st half (16 HR vs. just 3 in the 2nd half), but it’s been a very good season overall. Still, you have to be a little frustrated by the OPS falling from .894 in the 1st half to just .761 in the 2nd.
Adam Jones (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-5, R, HR, 5 RBI. There’s been a huge downtick across the board in his production, which I chalk up to a bad lineup and the age factor we knew would eventually catch up to him. This was just his 14th dong of the year, and it looks like the once-consistent producer will fall short of 26 HR for the first time since 2011. Still, he’s posted a slash of .316/.375/.462 in the 2nd half.
Trey Mancini (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. I want to apologize for crapping on him the other day. Mancini has actually been really good in the 2nd half with 8 dongs, a .301 AVG, and a .868 OPS. I didn’t give him the credit he deserves, and I actually think he’s worth an add in deeper leagues right now.
Adalberto Mondesi (SS, Kansas City Royals) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 3B, 4 RBI, BB. This was a fantastic night for the youngster, but the real value here is not power but speed. He’s hitting for a .290 average over his last 30 games to go with the good SB numbers, but his strikeout rate makes him a tough player to own especially in OBP leagues.
Carlos Santana (C/1B, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI. This dong gives him another 20 HR year, and that makes it 5 out of the last 6 seasons reaching that mark. However, the former OBP king hasn’t been great in that area over the last 30 games with a mediocre .333 mark. This was also just his 4th dong in that same time frame. I’d advise you to pass, but I think the Phillies lineup will continue to produce rest of season. He’s a hold for now.
Tyler White (1B, Houston Astros) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB. I’m becoming a really big fan of his in a hurry. This makes it 10 dongs with a slash of .327/.393/.703 over his last 30 games, and did I mention he plays for the Astros. If he’s not already been added in your league, stop reading and pick him up. He could be this year’s version of 2017 Rhys Hoskins/Matt Olson (lots of production in a very short amount of time down the stretch).