(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)
Jose Pirela has really been lighting it up lately. He’s got five RBIs and four runs in the last three games, including yesterday’s 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 1 SB performance. He’s obviously not going to keep slashing at a .324/.351/.473 level like he is right now all year, but there’s something interesting here. Pirela has shown an ability to hit for average in the past, slashing .288/.347/.490 in 83 games for the Padres last year, and he’s shown flashes of low-double-digit homer power, and he’s certainly got an opportunity hitting at the top of the Padres’ lineup, but for now, I think he’s a ride the streak guy. Coming into yesterday’s game, Pirela had a .304 average that came along with a .389 BABIP and a .263 xAVG, which leads me to believe that there’s a fair bit of luck going on here. Personally, I think his luck is going to end this week, as the Padres have a tough series of matchups, but until that does happen, grab him and ride the streak while it lasts.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:
Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Nimmo is a talented hitter, he’s just far from guaranteed a role in the Mets offense. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up getting traded somewhere, and if he does, he’s an interesting potential pickup, so keep an eye on that.
Billy Hamilton (OF, CIN) – 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. I just wanted to specifically mention that I beat Dave Cherman in the Pitcher List staff league this week thanks in part to Billy Hamilton hitting one of the probably two home runs he’ll hit all year.
Adam Duvall (OF, CIN) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. I know it’s been tough owning Adam Duvall lately, but I promise he’ll get better. He’s currently sitting with a .160 average and a .156 BABIP. His batted ball numbers look normal, as do his plate discipline numbers, so the average will come up. The power is already solid so far, so just be patient.
Scott Kingery (2B, PHI) – 2-5, 1 R, 3 RBI. Kingery’s on a six-game hitting streak now, which has led to him getting significant playing time. He’s also probably going to end up with some interesting positional eligibility as the season goes on, considering he’s started at five different positions so far this year.
Josh Bell (1B, PIT) – 3-5, 1 R, 3 RBI. Hopefully Bell’s batting average sticks. The .255 mark with 26 home runs was odd last year considering he’s always been a high-average, low-power guy, but if he can keep up the power and increase the average, he’ll be an interesting fantasy asset. It’s worth noting that his .305 average right now also has a .370 BABIP.
Starling Marte (OF, PIT) – 5-5, 1 HR, 4 R, 1 RBI. Man, Marte is producing so far, slashing .305/.388/.559 with four steals and a .326 BABIP so far. He’s going to give you a solid average and loads of steals as long as he’s on the field.
Michael Taylor (OF, WAS) – 2-3, 2 R, 1 SB. Michael Taylor has flashed a lot of talent in the past, slashing .271/.320/.486 with 17 steals last year. He’s been struggling so far, his plate discipline has not improved at all, striking out 31.7% of the time so far this year, and that’s going to likely make him streaky. His .271 avearge last year didn’t seem particularly sustainable given that it came with a 31.7% strikeout rate and a .363 BABIP, but we’ll see what he ends up doing this year. At the very least, he can get you steals.
Jed Lowrie (2B, OAK) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Jed Lowrie’s been looking great so far, and I think it’s almost entirely due to him being healthy. He’s been very good in the past but has struggled with injuries. Now he’s healthy and he’s producing in a big way. He’s still available in about 50% of ESPN leagues, so he’s worth a grab while he’s healthy.
Chris Taylor (2B/OF, LAD) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. I’m not concerned about Chris Taylor. He’s had a slow start to the season, but I promise he’ll be alright. If you can find yourself a panicking owner who wants to sell low on him, I’d do it fast.
Christian Villanueva (3B, SD) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. This is a prime “ride the streak” player. Villanueva is slashing .293/.396/.756 on the year so far, but he’s also got a .350 BABIP and a 33.3% strikeout rate. The power is solid, he hit 20 home runs in triple-A last year, but the average isn’t likely to stick. However, he’s getting the opportunity to hit in the middle of the Padres’ lineup, so pick him up and play him while he’s hot.
Franchy Cordero (OF, SD) – 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Cordero has loads of potential, and we got to see that a little bit yesterday, especially his speed. However, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens to Cordero’s playing time once Wil Myers and Manuel Margot are back from the DL.