Batter’s Box: Scoot Over

During last night’s game between St. Louis and Cincinnati, a friend texted both me and Nick this gem: “Who is Scooter Gennett and how is he doing this?” He was,...

During last night’s game between St. Louis and Cincinnati, a friend texted both me and Nick this gem: “Who is Scooter Gennett and how is he doing this?” He was, of course, referring to how Gennett somehow managed a 5-5, 4 R, 4 HR, 10 RBI performance in the game to etch his name into the history books as just the 17th player in MLB history to hit four jacks in a single game and the first ever to have five hits and 10 RBI with the quartet of bombs. One of them was a grand slam, which would have been a really cool event to witness among all else that transpired. Perhaps without realizing it, though, our mutual pal nailed the principle of how every flukishly awesome display of baseball excellence should be viewed from a fantasy standpoint: feel free to revel in the achievement as a fan of the sport, but do not allow it to convince you that a relative no-name is now a fantasy powerhouse. Gennett was batting just .270 entering Tuesday’s contest, a respectable average but nothing that is going to raise any eyebrows. I don’t put much weight in the fact that his average is now .302 after one exceptional night, but he had flirted with an average in the low .300s during the month of May so I can concede that point. Also consider, though, that Gennett had just 18 RBI to his name 48 hours ago. Unless it’s severely offset by a huge amount of runs scored or steals, that figure does not impress and I absolutely have more productive options available to me on the free agency market or waiver wire. A mere three homers, 14 runs scored and 20 RBI as of June 5 do not equate to fantasy excellence. There’s a reason Gennett was only owned in 5% of Yahoo leagues before his explosion last night: as a 2B/OF, he is a utility guy for Cincinnati but not an everyday starter. He has just 116 at-bats in 47 of Cincy’s 57 games, as compared to Joey Votto’s 202 AB. Hilariously, Gennett is owned today in 9% of Yahoo leagues because people are impulsive and made roster moves with a knee-jerk reaction to one stat line. I am advising you to steer clear and stick with the guys who have been consistent all season long, as detailed in my Hitter List.

Let’s take a look at what else happened notably hitting-wise around the league:

Mike Moustakas (3B, KCR) 4-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI. He walked it off B9 with the homer to end Houston’s 11-game win streak. Moose now has 15 HRs on the year and bumped his average up to .275 with the outing, which also included a double. He’s now got 32 RBI and 29 runs. He owns an active six-game hit streak and has been among the best so far this year at the 3B position.

Mark Reynolds (1B, COL) 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K. The homers were Reynolds’ 15th and 16th of the year, and his .299 average has also been a blessing for his fantasy owners. Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado might be the fantasy studs on the Rockies, but Reynolds is giving them a run for his money with his surprising 2017 campaign.

Carlos Gonzalez (OF, COL) 2-2, 4 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. The expectations for CarGo were extremely high to start the year, but April saw him hit just .216 with two homers. He was under the Mendoza Line as recently as May 11, so I wouldn’t say he’s turned it around entirely but an eight-game hit streak from May 18-25 helped and he’s hit safely in three of four June games. His average is still a disappointing .241, but at least he’s not hanging you out to dry in that category like he was a month ago.

Jonathan Schoop (2B, BAL) 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Schoop has finally cracked the double-digit homer threshold with his dual-bomb night against Pittsburgh. He’s averaging .288 and has 31 RBI to his credit. Over his last 10 games, Schoop has hit safely in eight of them and tallied multiple hits in four.

Hunter Renfroe (OF, SDP) 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K. Renfroe was literally all of San Diego’s offense in a 10-2 defeat to Arizona. The pair of solo shots took Renfroe’s homer total to 13 on the year, but he’s averaging just .232. 25 runs and 29 RBI have you in decent shape if you own him as a fantasy asset.

Nomar Mazara (OF, TEX) 4-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Mazara hadn’t homered since May 16, so this was good to see. The bleacher deposit was just his seventh on the year, but the .289 average is the highest it’s been since mid-April. Mazara ended May well, hitting safely in six of his final seven games. He has 37 RBI on his 2017 résumé.

Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, PHI) 3-4, R, HR, RBI, SB. Since his May 29 return to the active roster off the DL, Kendrick has hit safely in six of seven games and homered twice. The positional versatility is icing on top of a cake that features a .348 batting average. I’m going to be curious to see how Aaron Altherr’s playing time gets affected on a medium- and long-term basis with a resurgent Odubel Herrera and a healthy Kendrick doing well at the dish.

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) 2-2, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. June has treated Calhoun well, as he has homered twice during what is now a seven-game hitting streak that’s inflated his previously flagging average to .234. Seven RBI during the streak has his fantasy stock looking up as well.

Andrew Todd-Smith

Journalistically trained and I have written for SB Nation. Fantasy baseball & football nerd, and there's a solid chance I'll outresearch you. I live in Columbus, pull for Cleveland and could learn to despise your team if you give me reason to. Navy veteran and wordplay addict with an expat background.

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