Batter’s Box: Melk And Cereal, Cereal And Melk

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

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

So Melky Cabrera is still a thing. Ever since being called up from the minors last month, Cabrera has become the Cleveland Indians’ primary right fielder with Lonnie Chisenhall hurt, and he’s been pretty good, slashing .286/.333/.452 since that call-up. It’s easy to forget that Melky’s had some fantasy relevance over the past couple years, slashing a solid .285/.324/.423 with 17 home runs last year and .296/.345/.455 with 14 home runs the year before. What’s more, this production from Melky looks kinda legit. He’s got a career-best hard-hit rate at 37.9% right now and a xAVG of .303. He’s not someone that needs to be owned in every league, but if you need some help in the average department or if you’re in a deeper league, Melky could be pretty useful given his production right now. He’s available in about 97% of leagues.

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

Joey Wendle (2B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Wendle has been excellent lately, slashing .321/.370/.512 over the past month. His playing time is a little inconsistent, though it’s been getting better. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues and is available in about 85% of leagues.

Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Grichuk has a .224 ISO over the past month. He’s a guy who can give you some good power with an average that won’t kill you, worth a look if you need some home runs.

Greg Bird (1B, New York Yankees) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Nice game from Bird but I want to see it before I’m buying, he’s been pretty bad lately, slashing .204/.276/.355 over the past month.

Jose Peraza (SS/2B, Cincinnati Reds) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Peraza has had an excellent season and just keeps going. I think the thing that shocks me the most is his .482 slugging over the past month, he’s not a guy known for power.

Starlin Castro (2B, Miami Marlins) – 5-6, 3 R, 1 RBI. Really nice game for Castro, five hits and three runs is great. Too bad he’s on the Marlins.

Isaac Galloway (OF, Miami Marlins) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Galloway has been really good when he’s been out there, slashing .333/.407/.542 over the past month. Problem is, he’s not getting consistent playing time, and once Lewis Brinson is healthy, it’ll probably get even worse.

Whit Merrifield (2B/OF, Kansas City Royals) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB. Merrifield has been the one bright spot on a terrible Royals team, he’s awesome.

Alex Gordon (OF, Kansas City Royals) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. A nice fantasty resurgence for Alex Gordon over the past couple days, with two home runs now in two days, but he’s still not good.

Rougned Odor (2B, Texas Rangers) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Odor just keeps on truckin’, even if this is just a hot streak, it’s one worth riding.

Martin Maldonado (C, Houston Astros) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI. Nice game from Maldonado but he’s a backup catcher who’s hitting .167 over the past month, nothing to see here.

Khris Davis (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Khris Davis doing what he does best: Khrushing bombs.

Justin Turner (3B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 4-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI. Turner has been tearing the cover off the ball, slashing .433/.514/.783 over the past month. The wait was worth it for him.

Chris Taylor (2B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 1-5, 1 R, 2 SB. Nice to see Taylor get some steals as he’s been lacking in that department, but overall this has been a pretty disappointing season for him.

Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 1-5, 2 RBI, 2 SB. Puig is awesome, he’s slaashing .274/.324/.500 over the past month with four steals. Just be aware that a suspension may be incoming from his fight with Nick Hundley, though he’ll keep playing while it’s on appeal.

Hunter Renfroe (OF, San Diego Padres) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Renfroe has been solid lately, slashing .270/.306/.562 over the past month. He’s got great power and can be useful if you need some home runs. He got hit by a pitch yesterday but X-Rays came back negative, so he should be fine.

Ben Palmer

Managing editor at Pitcher List. 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 Melvin says:

    I honestly don’t understand why you believe Odor is just riding a hot streak. Since June 15 (53 games), he has a 9.4% walk rate and a 23.2% strikeout rate. That isn’t terrific, but it is solid considering 22% LD, 39% GB, and 39% FB with an infield fly rate of 7%. His HR/FB ratio may fall slightly from 25% but he has a Carpenter-esque 12%/38%/50% soft/medium/hard hit rates. Sure the BABIP will fall from .372 and his stolen base success rate is horrible; however he’s still stealing like crazy with solid power (9 steals, 14 homers in the time period of interest). When does a “hot streak” become legitimate? Seems like Trout has been on a 6 year “hot streak”.

    • Ben Palmer Ben Palmer says:

      I didn’t say he’s on a hot streak, I said even *if* it is a hot streak (which implies it may not be), it’s worth riding out. Yes, he’s made some strides in his plate discipline, which is awesome, but the fact remains that he’s got an xAVG of .251 on the year with an elevated BABIP, so some regression should be incoming. I’m not saying drop him or anything when he struggles, but be prepared for a cold spell.

      • Avatar Melvin says:

        Sorry, but the only reason I ask is you’ve been saying it won’t happen for a while. On July 23, you “it’s fair to wonder if, after a slow start to the year, Odor is coming back. The short answer is no” and “In short, this is a hot streak that will end, but for now, you should pick him up and ride it out.” More recently (August 3), “he’s sitting at a career-best walk rate of 8.5% right now, up from 4.9% last year. If this is legit, this could mean a lot for Odor and somewhat legitimize the .341/.433/.683 month that he’s had.” On August 4, “We’ve talked about him a bit and why this is likely just a hot streak, but it’s a hot streak you need to own him [Odor] for.” Just trying to figure out how long before people are convinced this is legitimate. If you don’t believe it’s legitimate, I’d like to hear why not. I mean his xAVG includes his awful first few months, but even that doesn’t mean a ton. He’s hitting .279 on the year, so the difference is 0.028 in BA, which equates to about 11 hits over 400 at bats. Regardless, a .250 player with second base eligibility and 30/30 potential is definitely an incredibly useful player. Not everyone can be Jose Ramirez. Is there something else that hints at an incoming cold spell, e.g. his swing or some other underlying statistic that I’m not seeing. I’m honestly trying to understand his long term value and want to know why other’s are low on him.

        • Avatar Melvin says:

          Sorry for the typo: *On July 23, you said

          • Ben Palmer Ben Palmer says:

            So what you’ve outlined is essentially the progression in my changing view on Odor. Initially, I thought there was no legitimacy to this at all (remember, he had slashed .239/.319/.378 in the first half of the year).

            But, as the performance continued, I realized that there had been a noticeable skill change from Odor (an increase in walk rate and hard-hit rate), so I think there’s a bit more legitimacy to what he’s doing. That being said, the guy is hitting .347 with a .322 ISO in the second half so far, that’s not going to stick, those numbers are absurd, which means there will be some regression coming. So what I advise is ride this out while it’s amazing, but be prepared for a slump, and when that slump comes, see what’s changed with Odor’s approach. If nothing and his approach is largely the same (within a few standard deviations), then hold tight as this is just some regression to the mean. But, if he reverts back to his old ways and that’s noticeable in his approach, strongly consider your options and whether he’s worth keeping.

  • Avatar Kyle says:

    That ain’t Melky up top. I think that’s Yandy Diaz.

  • Avatar Eric says:

    Need both HR and BA.
    R Zimmerman, Muncie, Grichuk, Renfroe. How would you rank order ROS?
    Thanks!!

  • Avatar larry says:

    Is Odubel Herrera droppable. Could he be losing playing time to Quinn. I have Altuve coming off DL and Herrera’s only a bench bat now-could use his spot for a streamer.

    Thanks

    • Ben Palmer Ben Palmer says:

      In your situation, I don’t mind dropping him. I think his slump is just regression to the mean. I don’t like that his groundball rate has jumped up and that his hard-hit rate (which was pretty sad to begin with) has dropped, but I kind of figured this was eventually coming.

  • Avatar Rougned says:

    F-ing hate u rougned odor!

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