Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire
It’s time we talked about Kole Calhoun, because he’s been crushing the ball lately. Over the past month, Calhoun is slashing .277/.337/.687, and over the past two weeks, he’s got a ridiculous .590 ISO, including yesterday’s 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI performance. Earlier in the year, Calhoun was unbearably bad, hitting .172 in April and .108 in May, but things have changed. Most notably, his hard-hit rate has jumped up. In May, it was sitting at 30.7%, then in June it rocketed up to 46.7% and it’s sitting at 44.2% in July. Similarly, he ended June with a 16.7% barrel rate and has a 17.2% barrel rate so far in July. He’s also sporting a .224 BABIP on the season, which is bound to get better—and so far it has. In July, he’s been hitting .311 with a .326 BABIP, much more realistic than the .129 BABIP he had in May or the .235 BABIP he had in April. Over the offseason, the Angels lowered the right field wall, and if there’s anyone on the team that was going to help, it was Calhoun. It seems like, after a rough start, he’s finally taking advantage and crushing the ball. He’s available in 84% of leagues and should be picked up. Even if this is just a hot streak and he goes back to being terrible (which I don’t think will happen), you should take advantage of this.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:
Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland Indians) – 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. I’m not sure there’s much to say about Lindor that hasn’t already been said, the guy is amazing.
Yonder Alonso (1B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. For whatever reason, Yonder Alonso is still available in 67% of leagues despite the fact that he’s been hitting the ball really well, slashing .280/.356/.507 over the past month. At the end of May, I wrote about the changes Alonso had made to start hitting better and it looks like it’s kept up. If you need a corner infielder, go grab him.
Jonathan Schoop (2B, Baltimore Orioles) – 3-6, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Over the past month, Schoop is slashing .354/.357/.677. He looks like he’s fully healthy and back to being the Jonathan Schoop we know and love. He’s still available in a few leagues—about 27%—so if he got dropped, go grab him.
Adam Jones (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Jones has actually been pretty disappointing this year. While he’s been hitting .281, which is great, he’s what Dave Cherman and I have called a bag of chips—he looks nice on the outside, but when you open him up, he’s mostly air. He’s on pace to have the fewest home runs he’s had in a single season since 2008, and it’s simply because he’s just not hitting the ball well. While his 31.3% hard-hit rate is pretty much in line with his career, he’s seen his barrel rate steadily decline—dropping from 8% in 2016 to 6.4% in 2017 to 5.4% this year. Similarly, his high-drive rate has dropped from 11.8% last year to 10.7% this year while his popup rate has jumped up from 17.4% last year to 21.3% this year. He’s still someone you should own in most leagues, but don’t expect him to improve on his .149 ISO all that much.
Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Conforto’s been heating up lately, slashing .343/.442/.743 over the past two weeks. He’s been inconsistent this year but should be owned for now, even if this is just another hot streak. He’s available in 57% of leagues.
David Freese (3B/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 3-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 5 RBI. Oh hey David Freese, how have you been? Freese has actually been reasonably productive when he’s played, but he’s not playing consistently at all, so there’s no fantasy value here.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. A nice game from JBJ but be wary—it looks like another JBJ hot streak is coming to an end, as he’s slashing .235/.278/.471 over the past two weeks.
Juan Soto (OF, Washington Nationals) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Has there been a more fun player in the MLB to watch than Soto? Okay, maybe Mookie and Trout, but man has Soto been a blast to watch. Somehow he’s available in 17% of leagues, which is too many.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (2B/SS, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. So here’s the thing—Lourdes Gurriel is slashing .410/.429/.672 over the past month. So is this legit? Is Gurriel going to break out in the second half? I’m inclined to say no. He’s batting .500 in July with a .438 BABIP. He’s also got a 23.5% HR/FB rate with just a 26.9% hard-hit rate. So no, I’m not inclined to trust this, but I do think you should grab him and ride out this streak—he’s available in 87% of leagues.
Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 1-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Don’t look now, but Randal Grichuk has a .265 ISO over the past month. The average has been pretty mediocre, as you’d expect from Grichuk, but the power has been there. If you need some power and can handle a mediocre average, Grichuk is worth a look—he’s available in 94% of leagues.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (3B/C/2B, Texas Rangers) – 4-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. I know, that position eligibility is really tempting, but there just isn’t much value to be had here unless you’re in a really deep league. Kiner-Falefa isn’t bad by any stretch, but he’s just not all that special, and he’s playing relatively inconsistently.
Evan Gattis (C, Houston Astros) – 3-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Gattis has been slumping lately, hitting just .206/.286/.456 over the past month. Part of owning Gattis means dealing with these awful cold streaks to enjoy the torrid hot streaks. Just power through for now.