Batter’s Box: Seeing Double

With a couple games postponed on Friday, we got a double dose of our first double scoop of the year. The Braves and Indians fought it out for 18 innings while the Orioles and Twins battled over two games as well. I could’ve written an entire separate Batter’s Box just for those sets of games! Not only did those four teams play a ton of baseball, they sent a ton of batters to the plate and around the bases. Cleveland scored 15*** runs throughout the day which the Twins surpassed only in their second game! The Twins felt that they needed to take the double header to another level, having four players hit two home runs in either one of the two games.

The player of the day for those four teams was Twins’ outfielder Eddie Rosario. He finished the first game going 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2B, 2 RBI and kept it rolling into the second going 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. This is in addition to the two homer game from Thursday. That’s five dingers in three games for Rosario. He’s caught fire. Rosario looks to have a somewhat similar profile to last except he isn’t hitting many line drives. Rosario is barreling a lot of his hard hit balls and has an 18.4% barrel rate. His hard hits are perfect contact resulting in these home runs. So far this HR/FB of 25% is well above his career average, so expect that to drop a bit. Regardless, if he keeps up his success from last year, he’ll end the season with what you expected. However, this year he hasn’t gotten banged up just yet. If he keeps healthy, this could be his best year yet.

Let’s take a look at how the rest of the Twins and the double header darlings fared before getting into the remainder of the league.

Jonathan Schoop (2B/SS, Minnesota Twins) 1st: 1-3, R, 2B. 2nd: 3-5, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI. A few of the Twins needed this offensive pick me up, but not many more that Schoop. It definitely helps if you get to face Chris Davis on the mound. Coming off a down year with Orioles and switching to the Brewers part way through, Schoop has kept his struggles alive in Minnesota. Back to last year, he started chasing and whiffing more, something he’ll need to fix if he wants to keep turning it around.

Nelson Cruz (DH, Minnesota Twins) — 1st: 1-5, RBI. 2nd: 4-5, 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Another offseason addition for the Twins, Cruz hasn’t been off to a great start either. He had missed about a week and hasn’t hit much since returning. That stopped in the second game of the double header. Like his teammates, he blasted two homers and a double. He’s been performing under his expected stat lines so far while driving the ball at an average of 94.6 MPH.

Mitch Garver (C, Minnesota Twins) 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI. Garver already has been a hot waiver commodity in the thin catching market. He only started the second game of the double header as usual for a catcher, but he took full advantage. He added two home runs himself. If you still are looking to replace your catcher and Garver is on the wire scoop him up.

Renato Nunez (3B, Baltimore Orioles) 1st: 2-5, R, HR, RBI. 2nd: 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Nunez decided to join the Twins fun and added a handful of homers as well. Finding his way to the Orioles last year, Nunez was once a talented prospect that never got his shot. Now an Oriole, that shot is his to take. He has some power in his profile, crushing 32 homers in AAA over 126 games back in 2017. If he keeps getting playing time, he could be a decent power option in a tight spot.

Max Moroff (2B/SS, Cleveland Indians) 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SB. Moroff went out with a bang. In his last starting opportunity before Francisco Lindor returned from IL, Moroff went off. His first solid game of the year happened to be his last hurrah. Now that Lindor is back (he started the second game of the double header), it’ll be tough to find much playing time at short for Moroff. He may fit in at second if need be but with out consistent time, we won’t see these results affect our fantasy roster any time soon.

Jose Ramirez (3B, Cleveland Indians) — 1st: 0-3, R, 2 BB. 2nd: 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Last night was only his third multi-hit game of the year, and Ramirez was able to show some plate discipline and walk three times. Everything seems amiss with Ramirez and with his contact down, you may assume he’s struggling to hit the offspeed or breaking stuff. Surprisingly, he can’t catch a break against the fastball. He is hitting .085 with an expected batting average of .224 against it. Expect some improvements here. His expected wOBA is exactly 100 points higher that his wOBA is currently.

Clint Frazier (OF, New York Yankees) 3-5, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. What is going on with the Yankees? Aaron Judge will be getting an MRI to investigate his injured oblique and the rest of the team is already on the IL. This gives an easy opening for Frazier. He’s stepped up to fill this hole with five homers and a .649 SLG. As his first real extended opportunity in the bigs, Frazier is currently living up to the prospect hype he’s had. As Frazier had suffered a concussion last year, there is always a fear that may crop back up. With the Yankees’ luck, who knows, but as of now Frazier’s showing us what he’s got.

Paul Dejong (SS, St. Louis Cardinals) 2-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI. Dejong was back at it against the Mets tallying two more doubles, getting his total up to nine on the year. Dejong is performing similar to last year where he finished with nearly 20 homers, 70 runs, and 70 RBIs over only 115 games. He still hasn’t played more than that 115 games in a single season, but he is poised to do so this year, looking for career numbers across the board. He’s hitting the ball harder and striking out less. He has the upside for 30 homers and from a SS that is special.

Christian Walker (1B, Arizona Diamondbacks) 4-4, R, 2B, BB. Walker just keeps crushing the ball. He now has five multi-hit games in his last six. His main concern is strikeouts and if pitchers start to throw him more offspeed and breaking stuff his results may change. As for now, he’s as hot as they get.

Rowdy Tellez (1B, Toronto Blue Jays) 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. Another young prospect with a lot of pop that strikes out a bunch, Tellez showed off that power again last night. He hit a scorching double at 112 MPH and added a homer at 103.4. He hasn’t been consistent early on and is striking out 35.8% of the time. He’ll have to stop chasing pitches out of the zone and adjust to breaking stuff if he wants to take that step forward.

Curtis Granderson (OF, Miami Marlins) 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. The Grandyman can! The veteran presence of Granderson has most likely added a lot to the Marlins clubhouse, and adding Granderson to the leadoff spot will had a few homers and plenty of walks. Playing in Miami, he is not an attractive fantasy asset as the stadium is a bit too cavernous for his weak flyballs he is used to hitting.

Danny Santana (OF, Texas Rangers) 3-5, R, 2B, RBI, SB. It has been a while since Santana has had any consistent major league playing time. Like a few other players on this list, he’s getting his opportunity due to injury. Rougned Odor went on the IL with a right knee sprain that may keep him out for a while. Santana is proving he may be valuable fantasy asset with an intriguing power/speed combo. If you are starving for steals keep a close eye on Santana.

Charlie Blackmon (OF, Colorado Rockies) 4-5, 2 R, HR, 3B, 2 RBI. Blackmon kept the ball rolling after hitting a walk off for his first home run the other night. Now he has a dinger in back to back games. He also added a few more hits including a triple. Each of his four hits hovered around an exit velocity of 100 MPH. This may be the turning point for Blackmon’s season.

Eric Hosmer (1B, San Diego Padres) 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. As it is an odd yeared season, Hosmer is ready to post a three plus WAR season. So far, he is not on pace. However, with the improved roster, he may be able to do some damage. He is hitting the ball harder than last year and is lifting the ball more than ever. So far this season, he is hitting grounders at a rate of below 50%, something he has never done over a full season.

(Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

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Comments


Doug B

Twinkies’ C situation isn’t a great place to shop until Astudillo gains some additional positional eligibility, at least in ESPN w/the 10 start minimum to gain a new position. a 3-way time-share isn’t good for any of them, fantasy-wise. I snapped up Garver last season when Castro got injured and was quite happy with it and would do so again. Once Astudillo gained some extra versatility, I grabbed him too and was happy again. They’re both great options, as long as they’re not fighting for playing time against each other much, and especially not between 3 different players… It should be mentioned though, that my situation was after the trade deadline (at least it was MOSTLY after it, I don’t remember the exact date) and there was extra playing time to be had for both of them. The Twinkies have a LOT more of a log-jam these days, especially if Sano comes back and plays up to even 75% of his potential.

Doug B

I personally try to draft 2 later-round decent C’s that are starting, &/or on the STRONG side of a timeshare &/or have C eligibility but are expected to play regularly elsewhere… if my bench is versatile &/ or large enough in a certain league to do so. I research them relentlessly before I choose my rankings.

If I don’t think I can do that, (usually because the league is very shallow or I’m sure the league members are very baseball-educated and savvy fantasy managers,) I’ll spend draft capital earlier than usual to grab a guy in the top two tiers, (also researched relentlessly.)

Having a useful option almost every day gives you a huge volume advantage against most of your competitors considering there are less and less true “Starters” and “Backups,” the talent pool growing shallower every year in general, and DGAaNG is a thing. Even having a slightly above replacement C every day will match you with all but the best and most resilient C’s in the game… if you build your team with that in mind.

This is easier with C’s from two different teams (and regions) if you’re smart about it (and track managers’ usage over a period of time.)

Picking up a quality timeshare has its merits as well… Don’t worry about the double-move to grab Garver and Astudillo as primary and a back-up with other places he can play… but not when there are three and those two aren’t the “primary” C option to the MGR.

I even carried John Hicks for a bit as a 2nd C when Miguel Cabrera was hurt last season and he was a C regularly playing 1B/DH with an OK AVG.

*(I lost TWO H2H cat match-ups total last season, tied two more, and won a very educated, DEEP 14 team league in this particular instance. Not gloating, just giving some bona fides.)

The Twins C’s aren’t on my watch-lists. Quality AND volume are co-regents.

Both players are definitely on my radar though, (Castro isn’t.) Catchers get hurt a lot, and I wouldn’t hesitate to AT LEAST stream either of them if playing time opened up, even DTD. Until it does, they stay on waivers for my teams.

(I will probably regret this, but you might want to keep an eye on how AZ treats Swihart… Lovullo knows him well from his Sawx days.)

TheKraken

You could write these without the progressive stats and I dont think it would be any less value. Personally I dont care a bit about whether a hr was also a barrel or thr avg ev over a few swings. We are here for the real outcomes and one game doesnt tell you anything predictive about the future.

Orange WHIPs

What a dumb take. The whole point of the “progressive stats” is to help determine if the results were a one game fluke or correlated with some underlying skills that could be predictive of continued success.

Doug B

This is… a weird comment. Does their addition get in the way of learning the things you actually want to learn? If not, why say this? Personally, I read this every day, and I have pretty decent recall of the things I read, so I notice continuing trends and I can see them helping me substantially in managing my teams. Granted, this early in the season, there’s less meaning in said trends, but in a couple weeks you may see more of a benefit.

Launch Angle

Better counting stats between H. Dozier and R. Nunez in a standard roto? Looking for a 3B replacement until Shaw decides to show up.

Doug B

They’re both pretty unproven and hit clean-up on less than stellar offenses buuuuut…

Dozier has made some obvious adjustments in his game tohis game making me think he’s got an expanding baseball I.Q., has a couple veritable speed-demons in front of him in the order for RBI’s, he knocks the snot out of the ball, he’s faster, (which will lead to extra bases and runs even if he doesn’t swipe bags,) has more positional versatility (1B & 3B instead of 3B & DH in ESPN at least,) and has a 5% lower K rate than Nunez in the early going… So if it were me, I’d go with him.

Nunez’s batted-ball profile (pulled grounders, IF pop-ups,) will lead to a lower BABIP and that’s going to cancel out the power gains he’ll get from playing at Camden through less runs and AVG, IMO. That .345 BABIP isn’t going to last.

That being said, I suspect it won’t be too long until Shaw gets his timing down and becomes a huge asset in the middle of that wrecking-crew of a line-up in Milwaukee. He’s going straight-away and oppo right now rather than pulling like usual (which is why I think it’s just a timing thing.) He’s also swinging at less crap outside the zone in the early going than he has in his career, so his AVG and OBP might actually be better than usual this season.

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