The Yankees weren’t very nice to Baltimore Tuesday, going yard at Camden Yards four times with the bats of just OF Brett Gardner and DH Matt Holliday en route to an 8-3 win. The symmetry of what Gardner and Holliday are up to is pretty satisfying: each went 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI while each launching their tenth and eleventh homers of the year. One more strikeout for Holliday is all that separated them Tuesday. Gardner is hitting .276 from leadoff, while a .261 Holliday is sandwiched in between Gary Sanchez and cleanup man Starlin Castro. While the heroics of guys like Aaron Judge and Luis Severino are prominent reasons the Yankees sit atop the AL East, efforts by other studs in pinstripes are not to be trivialized.
Let’s take a look at what else happened notably hitting-wise around the league:
Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS) – 4-5, R, HR, RBI, K, SB. Homer No. 2 for Bogaerts in as many weeks after a drought to begin the year. Super efficient night for him, and his average is now .339, while he’s on pace to score 86 runs overall this season with his 31 so far.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. (OF, BOS) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, K. He’s batted either eighth or seventh in Boston’s lineup in recent games with a measly .214 average, but the good news is that JBJ has now homered twice in his last four.
Leury Garcia (OF, CHW) – 3-5, 2 R, RBI, 2 K. Batting .287 from the White Sox’s leadoff spot and followed by a red-hot Melky Cabrera on a night where both enjoyed three hits, Garcia won’t get a ton of RBI chances but is on a decent tear lately. He’s scored 24 runs and has six homers.
Kyle Seager (3B, SEA) – 3-5, 3 R, 4 RBI, K. Seager finally homered for the first time in two weeks for his fifth overall and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. That stretch has seen him inflate his average from .241 to .262. The differential between his 28 RBI and his 19 runs scored is kind of a bummer for Seager’s fantasy owners who were likely expecting both metrics to already be pushing 30.
Jean Segura (2B/SS, SEA) – 4-6, SB. Segura’s average leapt up to .345 with his hit-heavy outing, and he swiped his seventh bag of the year. He has 29 runs, but just four homers and 20 RBI. He occupies the Mariners’ leadoff spot, and I liken his skill set from a fantasy perspective to that of aforementioned Xander Bogaerts. Power won’t necessarily be in droves, but the exceptional average and steals will make you a very happy owner.
Yonder Alonso (1B, OAK) – 3-3, 2 R, BB, SB. Just his first steal of the year, expect that to be an aberration. He scored by way of a groundout fielder’s choice and on a sacrifice fly, both by Matt Joyce. Alonso’s OPS is sitting at an engorged 1.052 after 131 at-bats.
Bradley Zimmer – 2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI. Eight total RBI and three multi-hit games for Zimmer in just 35 at-bats since his callup to the majors on May 16. His BA of .314 may not last, but he’s one of the more exciting young prospects in baseball right now.
Marcell Ozuna – 3-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. Not entirely sure why folks are doubting Ozuna, as his 13th homer and .314 average appear rather sterling to me next to his 36 RBI. His slugging percentage of .560 is 18th-best in MLB. Only 13 players have more home runs than him, and one is Marlins teammate Giancarlo Stanton who also launched one into the seats against Philly Tuesday for 14 total.
Josh Donaldson & Kendrys Morales (3B & DH, TOR) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Identical stat lines at home against the Reds for the Toronto sluggers. Donaldson is being injected into the lineup with caution after his lengthy DL stint and now owns a .289 average. This was Morales’ tenth homer and he’s hitting .264.
Jose Bautista (OF, TOR) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. Ten homers for Bautista as well, with nine of them occurring in May. He’s .320 this month and .251 overall, which is mathematically indicative of how terrible he was in April.
Zack Cozart (SS, CIN) – 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. He simply doesn’t stop. I keep waiting for a slump to happen because a .350 average for a guy who finished at .252 last year and .258 the year before that seems anomalous. The BABIP is at .394, so the cold streak has to come eventually. But he’s like the friend at your pool party who’s holding his breath underwater for 30 seconds longer than any other kid. It’s downright impressive what Cozart is doing in Cincy right now.
Elvis Andrus (SS, TEX) – 3-5, 2 R, HR, 5 RBI. Andrus’ 12th double of the year and his seventh homer came on a night when the Venezuelan would plate his 27th RBI. Texas is using him heavily, as the .288 average paired with 12 steals have arisen from 208 at-bats and counting on the year.
Albert Pujols (1B/DH, LAA) – 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K. The Angels scored all nine of their runs against Atlanta B3, and Pujols’ homer kickstarted everything. He’s on the cusp of an historic milestone, as this was his eighth jack of the year but the 599th of his career.
Michael Taylor (OF, WSH) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K. The 26-year-old Taylor is having a nice year so far. He has 11 XBH and is hitting .264 while also posting a career-high .432 slugging percentage. He’s on track for 15 steals and mid-50s in runs and RBI, which are more than enough to keep you afloat if you need some sneaky help at OF.
Austin Hedges (C, SDP) – 2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI, K. A two-run shot B2 and a two-RBI double three innings later made Hedges’ night both robust in fantasy and valuable in real life to the Padres as they defeated the Cubs. He’s got nine homers on the season but is wallowing around with a .209 average that’s limiting his appeal. The 25 RBI are not bad at all, and I place him in the same category as Detroit C James McCann in being a pleasant but flawed surprised in the power department.
Alex Bregman (3B, HOU) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. Bregman’s average of .261 is fine, but the fact that he’s only got 18 RBI and five homers after Tuesday’s bomb is a concern. The .153 ISO says he’s having a rough time connecting for power, but the 32.9% hard contact begs to differ. His strikeout rate is actually down to 19.9% from last year’s dispensable 24.0%. He’s not going to post superstar numbers, but Houston is providing Bregman with plenty of playing time opportunities to produce.
Bregman with another dong today. Is this the turnaround supported by the hard hit numbers or is this a hot streak we should try to sell on? Thanks!