Marcell Ozuna has had one seriously impressive year so far, hasn’t he? With five home runs in his last eight games and a batting average over .300, he’s been killing the ball. He continued that on Monday night, going 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. How legit is this? Well the power has always been there, we know that. Even at the beginning of the year he was projected to hit 20-25 home runs fairly confidently. What’s been surprising is the average, as he’s often been a guy who would hit in the .260s. Well here’s what I’ll say: to his credit, his walk rate has gone up a couple points this year, it’s actually at a career high. But, his chase rate is right about where it was last year, and his whiff rate is at a career high. Plus, his strikeout rate is at a three-year high. Add all that in with his .364 BABIP, and you’ve got a guy who’s prime for an average regression. Like I said, I think the power is legit, and I think he could have a slightly higher average than he did last year, but I’m betting he’s a .270 hitter at best the rest of the way. But if you’re able to find someone who will pay you a king’s ransom based on his performance so far, I’d jump on that.
Let’s take a look at some of Monday’s other performances:
Joey Rickard (OF, BAL) – 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Rickard started a home run rally in the first inning that lead to three total home runs off of Gio Gonzalez. Rickard is in a platoon and is honestly not all that great of a player, so there’s really nothing here.
Mark Trumbo (OF, BAL) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Trumbo was second in that first-inning home run rally for the Orioles, mashing a solo shot off of Gonzalez. I know it’s been hard to own Trumbo so far, but things will level out, I promise. He’s already heating up a bit, batting .311 with nine runs and eight RBI over the past nine games.
Trey Mancini (DH, BAL) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Mancini capped off the home run rally with a two-run shot of his own. When he’s against lefties, he’s a really useful fantasy player, but with his DH-only eligibility in most leagues and the fact that he plays very inconsistently, he’s hard to own in anything but the deepest of leagues or AL-only leagues. But watch out, if he starts getting regular playing time because of an injury or something, things could get interesting.
Ryan Goins (2B/SS, TOR) – 1-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Goins hit his third home run of the year, which is great and all, but he’s been pretty pitiful otherwise, hitting below the Mendoza line so far and not cracking double digits in runs or RBIs yet.
Hunter Pence (OF, SF) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Good to see Hunter Pence getting some offense going. He’s had some decent run and RBI numbers so far, but has been generally slow-starting this year. Hopefully he can kick it into gear while simultaneously staying healthy.
Buster Posey (C, SF) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. It’s too bad Posey’s run, home run, and RBI totals have been so pedestrian so far this year, because that .350+ average is pretty sick.
Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) – 1-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. A nice night for Gardner overall, he’s been really racking up the run totals, and the steals have been nice too. Does he get 90 runs this year? I think that’s more likely than not.
Matt Holliday (OF, NYY) – 2-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI. If he stays healthy, Matt Holliday is a good fantasy option. That’s just a big if. But as long as he’s playing, keep trotting him out there. He’s still available in like 70% of ESPN leagues.
Drew Butera (C, KC) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Hey, good for the Royals’ backup catcher, but I’d be surprised if anyone owned him.
Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) – 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Man, what a night for Jed Lowrie. He’s on quite the hot streak and if you’re in a deeper league, I’d ride it while it’s hot and then dump him as soon as he cools off.
Trevor Plouffe (3B, OAK) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Plouffe was able to knock out a solo shot on Monday night, but he’s been overall pretty rough this season, barely getting above the Mendoza line.
Chris Taylor (3B, LAD) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. A really nice night for Chris Taylor who has been a more-than-capable fill-in for the Dodgers while Chase Utley and Logan Forsythe have been out. In deep leagues, he’s worth a shot while he’s got a job.
Yasiel Puig (OF, LAD) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. A solo shot for Puig gave him a nice line on the night. He’s slowed down since his crazy hot start, but he’ll still be a very useful fantasy option.
Shin Soo Choo (OF, TEX) – 1-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Choo hasn’t really been much in standard leagues, but if you’re in an OBP league, he’s really worth a grab, as his OBP is really solid and he still provides modest pop and speed.
Corey Spangenberg (2B/OF, SD) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Spangenberg is in a platoon and in the right matchup, he can prove useful.
Austin Hedges (C, SD) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Man, it’s been rough owning Hedges, and I get why he’s been dropped, but this week should prove to be a good one for him, as it’s full of nice matchups.