Batter’s Box: Monde-Seeing Stars
(Photo by: Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)
I would like to start off today leading with a player you read about just two days ago. Our very own Dan Richards wrote a fantastic Going Deep article that you should most definitely check out about the baseball player formerly known as Raul Mondesi Jr. I apologize for the repeated subject, but we can’t deny the value Adalberto Mondesi is bringing to the table down the stretch. Last night’s 4-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB line now makes it 22 swipes on the year…in 58 games. In fact, he has almost as many swipes (22) as he does RBI (25). That’s not a good thing, but it tells you something about what he can do. Obviously, he’s an add in all formats if you need speed. And let’s face it, who doesn’t in 2018 aka The Year the Speed Died. You may scoff at a one-trick pony (after all, check out that .311 OBP and 26% strikeout rate), but think about how high
other clown shoe fools and not me we value Billy Hamilton. Go read Dan’s article for more info! And it’s just a good piece in general.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Wednesday:
Francisco Arcia (C, Los Angeles Angels) – 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI. That’s a double dong night, which means he gets the hashtag #CatchersWhoRake. Ok, so it was just numbers 4 and 5 on the year, but give it up for this career minor leaguer. It was his first time going yard since July 28th, so you can safely ignore this.
Nolan Arenado (3B, Colorado Rockies) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI. He will certainly be in the MVP discussion as his line now sits at 94 R/33 HR/99 RBI/.300. Sure, he’s a Tater Who Tated, but there’s more to him than that. Don’t box him in, guys! His 40% hard contact rate is his best since 2015, and his 11% walk rate is the best of his career. See? I told you there were layers here.
J. P. Crawford (3B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies) – 3-4, R, HR, RBI. He is most definitely NOT a Tater who Tated. But he did tate. Leave me alone. Anyways, this was just #3 on the year, and it’s strange how he seemingly took a step back this year compared to his cup of coffee in 2017. For example, his plate discipline, swinging strike rate, and contact rate all regressed in 2018. Not good. Next year (his age 24 season) will go a long way in determining his path.
Yasmani Grandal (C, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI. He’s slugged 10 dongs in the 2nd half, sure, but otherwise, he’s been virtually missing from fantasy productivity. He’s hitting .158 this month and just .200 for the 2nd half total. But wait…he’s an OBP guy, so let’s look at those numbers: .261 this month and .327 in the 2nd half. Nevermind.
Curtis Granderson (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, 3 R, HR, 3B, RBI. He’s been excellent since coming over to Milwaukee on September 1st slashing .455/.647/1.182. He’s also posted a 43% hard contact rate and 43% line drive rate since coming over as well. I would roster him in many a format to take advantage of this hot streak.
Ramon Laureano (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 3-5, R, 3B, 2B, BB, SB. 33 games this year has resulted in 5 HR and 5 SB for the young Athletic. He’s also now slashing .293/.372/.545 as well. For the record, that’s all pretty promising stuff! Anyways, he’s now hit leadoff in each of his last 6 games, and he has 3 multi-hit efforts over that stretch. If he continues to hit there, I think he’s worth an add in deeper leagues especially.
Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-4, 2 R, 2B, BB, SB. The noble swipe last night now gives him 16 HR and 15 SB on the year. One more swipe from him, and he will set a career high. Here’s a fun fact…last night was Puig’s first strikeout in the month of September. Just call him “Plate Discipline” Puig!
Tim Anderson (SS, Chicago White Sox) – 2-6, R, HR, 2 RBI. That’s now 19 jacked dongs to go with his 26 swipes in 2018. It was the game-winner in a pivotal September matchup between the White Sox and Royals as they jockey for top draft position. Both fans in attendance were thrilled. Anderson had just 1 dong over his last two weeks coming into this one, so hopefully, this spurns a hot bat down the stretch.
Alex Bregman (3B, Houston Astros) – 2-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI. Ready for his line? 100 R/30 HR/100 RBI/.296. All my OCD friends just cringed because the average wasn’t .300. Anyways, my biggest 2018 regret was trading him and some doofus I don’t remember for Miles Mikolas and Jean Segura. It happens, ok?! *curls up in the fetal position*
Kris Bryant (3B, Chicago Cubs) – 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB. Injuries have limited him to just 87 games, so calm down before you throw things. Want me to make you feel better about your 2nd round pick? If you extrapolate his 51 R/11 HR/47 RBI/.277 out to a full season, he cranks over 20 HR, scores over 100 runs, and ends up with about 85-90 RBI. It doesn’t help you this year, but he’s been good when he’s been out there is all I’m saying.
Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI. I’m getting all jazzed about him heading into 2019, but I better slow it down so he can be all mine at a decent value. His triple slash on the year now moves to .282/.363/.523 over 551 plate appearances, but be careful. Statcast warns us that he may be playing slightly over his head at the moment. Still, this has the appearance of a breakout, and I feel we should take heed.
Nelson Cruz (DH/OF, Seattle Mariners) – 2-3, R, HR, 2B, RBI, BB. Taters Gonna Tate! The ageless one now has 35 on the year, and he’s once again among the league’s best in barrels, exit velocity, and hard-hit rate. He’s been remarkably consistent well into his 30s, and there is no reason to doubt him at the present moment.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-4, R, 2B, SB. A swipe from Goldy! A blast from the past! It’s like when your ex texts you at 3 am and says “remember when we used to play with the blindfold and cherry-flavored Greek yogurt?” Just me? This got awkward fast. Anyways, everything else is consistent to previous years for him besides the speed. I don’t think he’s a first-rounder next year, so I’m interested to see how much of a discount I can get on him in 2019.
Billy Hamilton (OF, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-3, 3B, 2B. This performance actually got him above the OBP “Mendoza Line” of .300, and that is just dandy. He hasn’t been a total liability over the last two weeks slashing. 291/.310/.473. Here’s a fun fact: he is among the worst in the majors with 2 barrels all season. 2. All year. That’s horrendous.
Austin Hedges (C, San Diego Padres) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. He’s finding his power stroke here in the 2nd half as he now has 9 jacks over that stretch. He’s also raised his hard contact up to 47% in the month of September. He has been mentioned as a catcher streamer target on this very site, and I couldn’t agree more. He’s 21% owned at the moment, and who doesn’t need a productive catcher?
DJ LeMahieu (2B, Colorado Rockies) – 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. The Rockies couldn’t think of a better time for LeMahieu to jack his first career walk-off as they try to stay on top of the NL West down the stretch. This was also jacked dong #15 on the year, which is a career-best. That number is supported by his improved hard contact rate (43%), and career-best marks in launch angle and barrel percentage.
Evan Longoria (3B, San Francisco Giants) – 2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB. He’s now slashing just .248/.286/.427 on the year, and the negative Nancys who spelled out his demise in the preseason look to be right. As bad as it looks, it does appear that he’s getting slightly unlucky in the Bay Area. His xBA (.269) and xWOBA (.337) back that statement up, but that doesn’t encourage me enough to draft him next year. Nor should you.
Matt Olson (1B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI. He’s mashed 26 on the year now, and that’s a far cry from the 75 he was on pace for down the stretch last year. Either way, the power is legit, and you can confidently start him down the stretch. He has upside, a 52% hard contact rate, and an excellent lineup surrounding him to make him a fantasy asset in all formats.
Joc Pederson (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI. That’s his 21st jacked dong of the season, and that means he has posted at least 20 HR in 3 of his first 4 Major League seasons. He’s picking it up here in September after an absolutely dreadful August. Last month, he rocked a 79 wRC+, batted .175, and had a line drive rate of just 7%. Things are looking up!
Anthony Rendon (3B, Washington Nationals) – 2-4, R, 2 2B. It’s been a very productive season for the National as he’s now slashing .298/.361/.507 on the year. He has a .906 OPS over his last 30 games, and I expect that excellent floor to continue rest of season despite playing for the Nationals.
Justin Turner (3B, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-5, R, 2B, 3 RBI. He just went through a blazing hot August where he hit .402, and he’s kept that momentum going into September. His plate discipline has been in line with last year (and one of the best in the NL), and he’s increased his line drive rate to a season-best 37.5% this month. He’s a stud and still an elite talent in OBP leagues.
Ryan Zimmerman (1B/3B, Washington Nationals) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Sure, he’s been limited to 73 games this year, but this was just his 13th dong of the year. Nobody paid for last year’s production though…right? If you did, woof. Anyways, he’s been very solid since returning from a nearly 2-month absence in late July slashing .308/.388/.594. I wouldn’t set expectations too high down the stretch, but he does seem to be healthy and productive here late in the season.
Bryce Harper (OF, Washington Nationals) – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Taters Gonna Tate, and that makes it 33 dongs on the year. He’s been hitting quite well the entire 2nd half with that .319 mark, and even though the batting average will be ugly by season’s end, it’s been a great season for Harper.
Whit Merrifield (2B, Kansas City Royals) – 1-5, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 SB. Swipers Gonna Swipe! The double theft gives him 35 on the year, which officially tops the mark he posted last year. I think it’s fair to label him a Swipe Artist moving forward. Or some other creative name for routine swipers. Many thought he couldn’t top last year’s numbers, but he most certainly has albeit with fewer dongs. Still, I’d be comfortable with him in the Round 5-7 range next year.
Amed Rosario (SS, New York Mets) – 1-5, R, HR, 3 RBI. I’m gonna need my boi to stop producing so much. I really want to snag him for next year, but I don’t want the price to get crazy. Know what I’m saying? This makes it 8 dongs to go with his 18 SB on the year, and he’s slashing .328/.358/.547 over the last two weeks. He’s been fire in the 2nd half.