Batter’s Box: Jacoby Killing Me

That’s what Jose Quintana had to be saying by the time he had surrendered three home runs in the White Sox defeat to Detroit Tuesday. The first of those came...

That’s what Jose Quintana had to be saying by the time he had surrendered three home runs in the White Sox defeat to Detroit Tuesday. The first of those came off the bat of Jacoby Jones during a 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, SB showing. He’s a young guy who only appeared in 13 games for the Tigers last year after debuting in late August, but with a showing like he had Tuesday versus Chicago, you’d like to think Brad Ausmus wants to keep plugging him into the Tigers lineup. A three-run shot as Jones’ first career MLB homer packaged neatly with a stolen base for good measure means I will be checking his stat lines religiously in the coming weeks to see what he’s capable of.

Let’s take a look at what else happened hitting-wise around the league:

Nomar Mazara – 2-4, R. Nothing too fancy about the line from this particular game, but Mazara has four hits in two days, including two doubles. Mike Napoli drove Mazara from second in to score during the Rangers’ ninth-inning rally that fell just short. Keep an eye on the Dominican youngster, as he’s putting himself in position to do big things with Texas’ robust lineup. Per Statcast, average exit velocity for Mazara is only registering at about 95 mph right now, but the clutch hitting in a productive offense is worth casually monitoring.

Michael Brantley – 2-4, RBI, 2 Ks. Getting back in the groove of things, Brantley generated what would prove to be the game-winning RBI in a 2-out situation T7. His third spot in the lineup, sandwiched between Francisco Lindor and Edwin Encarnacion, should also contribute to yielding dividends for his fantasy owners. Provided he stays healthy, Brantley is going to be a wonderful batting average booster for your squad.

Francisco Lindor 0-3, BB, K, CS. It was a less-than-stellar day for the Tribe’s star SS, and he is hitless thus far in 2017 with just a singular RBI in the Opening Day game. This is your aggressively early advice to be patient and not panic: it’s been two games, Texas is good, and the fantasy stats will pile up soon.

Melky Cabrera 2-4, R, RBI. Both hits for Cabrera were doubles off of Justin Verlander, so we’ll go ahead and call that a juicy outing for the veteran LF. He’s another one of those 3-spot hitters in a great situation: if Tim Anderson can find a way to get on base and maybe steal another with Cabrera on deck and then the latter can connect, it sets it all up for Jose Abreu to go yard and increase everybody’s fantasy appeal at the top of the White Sox order.

Ian Kinsler 2-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB. Kinsler’s absurd six total-base day paired with a couple of walks has his OPS hanging out at a hilarious 2.800 for the moment. But in serious fantasy terms, he’s monstrously talented and going to be accumulating a ton of leverage for his owners from Detroit’s leadoff spot. If you start lineup tinkering by worrying about BVP and benching Kinsler for a day on a whim, you’re wrong.

Nick Castellanos 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K. Ranking him tentatively as the 151st best fantasy player on a Top 150 list upset some people, so I’m taking his Tuesday home run as the opportunity to emphasize that he is good at baseball and was not abjectly snubbed.

Chase Headley 2-4, R, 2 RBI, SB. I stubbornly have it made up in my mind that Headley is not startable in fantasy, but he has torn it up the past couple of days, clearly just to spite me. Maybe Tampa Bay is just not that great and is temporarily making Headley look like a champion, but if you were creative enough to slot him in as a UTIL these past couple of games, then you probably look pretty clever to your opponent right now. Pay attention to how he fares against Baltimore in New York’s next series, and we’ll revisit this conversation.

Jacoby Ellsbury 2-4, R. He’s equipped to very productive in the heart of the Yankees order, more so than this tepid fantasy line would indicate. The runs and the SB will come.

Trevor Story 1-2, 2 R, 3 BB, SB. On-base percentage figures to remain high, and this a lovely notion for owners of the Colorado speedster who did swipe a bag in Tuesday’s game against Milwaukee. He’s got superstar Nolan Arenado at cleanup preceding him in the lineup, so that gives Story a chance at inflating his RBI count if the power results in driving multiple people in.

Gerardo Parra 3-5, R, 3 RBI. This looks delicious. He was responsible for one of Story’s runs with his third-inning double. Mark Reynolds follows Parra in the lineup and is deciding he wants to make a case for keeping his job when Ian Desmond gets off the DL, so that means Parra could crank up the scoring if he’s able to keep up this hitting clip.

Jonathan Villar 0-4, 2 K. Just like the there-there addressed to Lindor owners, Villar is going to be fine. He’s a no-brainer everyday fantasy start.

Travis Shaw 2-4, R, 2 RBI, K. Mimicking the aforementioned Mazara, Shaw had two doubles today and that puts his 2017 2B count at four. He’s 37% owned in Yahoo leagues and just 15.8% owned in ESPN leagues, and those minorities have to be feeling pretty good about his temporarily spiked batting average of .500. Milwaukee’s five-spot hitter is worth checking in on every few days in the near future.

Ryan Braun 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. Tasty work. Solo shot B4, and Shaw’s second double on the day scored Braun B6. You can count on plenty of fantasy juiciness from Braun.

Nelson Cruz0-4, 2 K. He is the DH batting cleanup, so I’m going to be a little harder Cruz than I am on Villar. You’re probably annoyed by his lack of a hit thus far, but two games are two games. Cool your jets because Cruz’s bat will heat up, hopefully sooner than later.

George Springer 1-3, BB, K, 2 CS. Not an ideal day, but if anything, I’m optimistic because Springer is at least gutsy and trying to steal bases.

Brian McCann ­1-3, R, HR, RBI. Just how I mentioned Castellanos just missing the Hitter List cut, McCann was right behind him at 152. His solo homer off Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma means he’s poised to make a jump into list inclusion if things continue on this track.

Stephen Piscotty 0-1, R, K. This is more bizarre than anything: Piscotty managed to reach by getting HBP, advancing to second on a wild pitch from Jake Arrieta and then managed to score on Kolten Wong’s RBI single after Javier Baez committed two errors on the same play. Well, OK then. Piscotty is entrenched as a starter in St. Louis and is worthy of ownership, despite the peculiar showing he had yesterday.

Manuel Margot 2-4, R, SB. In what we figured was going to be a fluid, often-changing San Diego lineup, Margot did indeed bat second in the Padres’ Tuesday outing against the Dodgers instead of leading off like he did against Clayton Kershaw the day prior. Travis Jankowski and Margot are going to be doing each other favors with their bats and speed all year, and Wil Myers could help out their scoring chances as well.

Erick Aybar 3-3, BB. Anybody batting 1.000 on the day with two doubles is going to get a look. He’s occupying the Padres’ 8-spot, so that tempers expectations, but I know I’ll be checking Aybar’s average next week to see how he’s faring.

A.J. Pollock ­1-4, BB, K, SB. He’s heating up. 4-9 and a steal through two games, as we have come to expect from Pollock.

Paul Goldschmidt & Jake Lamb BOTH 1-3, 2 R, HR, BB. Lamb had an extra RBI because of a two-run homer and also struck out twice to Goldy’s once, but both had solid days and it’s kind of fun they had such similar score lines. Unfortunately, not very many other Diamondbacks did against Johnny Cueto.

Brandon Crawford 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. He’s the backup SS to Xander Bogaerts in one of my leagues, so this is a PSA that he can do solid things on off days even if you already own a stud at the position.

Gorkys Hernandez 2-5, R, 4 RBI, BB, K. That’s how you lead off. Brandon Belt did Hernandez the favor of getting a B5 RBI double.

Joe Panik 3-4, 2 R, BB. One of those hits was a double, too. He hasn’t been terribly fantasy relevant of late, but pay attention if he can stay hot and you need depth.

Hunter Pence 3-6, K. He’s batting .400 through two and has Buster Posey following him in the lineup. Just saying.

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.

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