(Photo by Keith Birmingham/Zumapress/Icon Sportswire)
At the beginning of the year, one of my league-mates poked fun at those of us who were very high on Alex Bregman. He jabbed that we were letting playoff stats sway our opinions about the youngster. Well, who’s laughing now, you jerk! But in all seriousness, you are behind the curve if you aren’t up on Bregman. It shouldn’t take a Jensen Karp podcast to get you up on this. After his 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI night, his season production is up to 50 R/14 HR/49 RBI/7 SB. And forecasting an end to this production would be as foolish as standing in front of the train at
Astros Field Enron Minute Maid Park! It may be tough for him to cross the 20/20 threshold, but 25 HR/15 SB feels well within reach.
Though we all love to power-speed, high average thing he’s doing this year, I’m most impressed by the big step forward in plate discipline for 2018. His 1.02 BB/K rate is not only absurd and among the best in the AL, but it’s almost doubled from his 0.57 mark from a year ago. For those of you who didn’t realize, a 1.02 mark means he is indeed walking more than he’s striking out. Pair that excellent plate discipline with upticks in hard contact, exit velocity, and barrel percentage, and you’ve got a budding superstar on your hands. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know about his potential, but it’s good to have a reminder. You should get up on this.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Wednesday:
Ehire Adrianza (2B/SS, Minnesota Twins) – 4-4, 2B, RBI. He’s been getting regular reps at shortstop for the Twins so far, and he’s given them no reason to change that any time soon. He’s been particularly hot over the last two weeks slashing .340/.377/.560. He won’t give you much in terms of counting stats as he has very little pop to speak of, but he’s worth an add in AL-only leagues if you need a batting average or OBP boost.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS/2B/3B, New York Mets) – 3-4, 2B, RBI. When you go to Cabrera’s Fangraphs page, he’s still somehow listed as being in the Mets’ AAA system. Well, that’s a shame because he’s produced like anything but a minor leaguer this season. He’s still chugging along with a .284 average this year, but the train does seem to be slowing down, though, as he’s hitting just .242 in June with 6 R/3 HR/10 RBI. Those are all the worst marks of the year for him, and it may be time to jump off this train soon.
Rafael Devers (3B, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, SB. He’s already surpassed the counting stats he put up last year, and that’s good because he’s had about 80 more plate appearances to do so. That makes it 5 swipes on the year, and don’t forget that he stole 18 in A+ just 2 seasons ago. He’s a big boy so that speed is unexpected, but it’s still there. I’m not saying he will steal 18 ever in the majors, but don’t forget about it. Know what I mean? His 25% K rate concerns me as does his .241 AVG and .287 OBP, but don’t forget this man-child is just 21.
Mitch Haniger (OF, Seattle Mariners) – 3-6, R. Quick! Name the team that drafted Haniger 38th overall in 2012! Times up. It was the Brewers. Haniger has already matched his 16 HR from a year ago in about 70 fewer plate appearances, and it’s amazing what a little health can do for a talented ballplayer. He’s improved his walk rate while maintaining his triple slash from last year, and he has 4 multi-hit efforts over his last 6 games. Is Haniger going to finish as a top 15 OF? I would bet on it.
Kevin Pillar (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-4, 2 R, RBI. Since the calendar flipped to May, Pillar has been slightly better than unownable, but not by much. He does have 7 HR/10 SB on the year, but it’s coming with a slash of .249/.281/.412. Poop on that. Over his last 15 games, he’s hit just .175 with 4 R/0 HR/2 RBI/1 SB. Nope.
Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-5. He’s getting his hits by the bunches lately as he’s hitting .321 over the last week and .313 in the month of June. However, it’s not coming with a whole lot of production as he literally has just 1 R/1 HR/1 RBI/1 SB over the last week. Enough with the singles already! He’s giving you a nice average especially since May began, but we came here for the counting stats!
Kyle Seager (3B, Seattle Mariners) – 3-6, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. Corey’s brother slugged his 15th HR of the year last night, and he’s looking like he will hit 25 HR for the 5th year in a row. Pretty great right? Not when you look at the slash of .230/.279/.435! Buzz, your 3rd baseman….woof! That reference was a stretch, but hopefully, you’re on board. Did you know that Kyle Seager is 14 days older than me? #JustScorpioThings
Andrelton Simmons (SS, Los Angeles Angels) – 3-5, R, 2B, RBI. He’s giving you some real Brian Anderson-type production right now with just 4 HR/5 SB on the year and a slash of .314/.376/.426. Ok, sure! He is posting a hard to believe 4.2% K rate at the moment, which he’s pairing with a career-best 8.7% walk rate, and I’ll take both of those marks! Hopefully, this breaks him out of a little cold spell over the last two weeks where he’s hit .226 with 0 HR/0 SB.
Jose Abreu (1B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. This was “just” his 12th HR of the year, and while that may be good for Jed Lowrie, it’s not the Abreu 30 HR pace we expected. His average has also taken a slight hit this year down to .272, and the OBP of .326 is a career-low as well. I wouldn’t panic yet, though, as he’s maintaining his marks in launch angle, exit velocity, barrel percentage and hard contact. The power will catch up.
Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers) – 2-5, R, 2 2B. He’s been back for a week now and recorded a batting average of .188 since, but let the man get back into the swing, people! Last night was his 1st and 2nd extra base hits since returning, so that’s certainly encouraging. I would remain patient on him as his floor is relatively high, but keep in mind the Rangers have absolutely zero reasons to push him in 2018.
Javier Baez (2B/SS, Chicago Cubs) – 2-4, 2 R, 2B. The great season continues for him, and this was his 3rd multi-hit game over the last 4. He’s been smoking hot over the last two weeks with a slash of .409/.471/.750, and Ju, in general,al has been kind to him with that .301 average. His power has taken a slight step back this month with just 3 dongs, but he has swiped 6 bags as he is just adding to his career-best in that category at this point.
Cody Bellinger (1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. He hit just .180 in the month of May, but he’s turned it on here in June with a line of 18 R/8 HR/15 RBI/3 SB and a slash of .288/.409/.712. He’s been especially hot over the last week slugging 4 HR with an average of .385. He seems like a guy who will always have a high strikeout rate, but the blazing hot streaks will certainly make him worth owning. I don’t think he’s as good last year but not as bad as earlier this year.
Adrian Beltre (3B, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, R, 2B, RBI. The counting stats are definitely falling off this year, but his triple slash is as good as ever with a .313/.376/.451 triple slash. He’s producing that line even with a career-worst 19.5% K rate to boot. His BABIP of .371 hints at regression, but Adrian “Future HOF” Beltre has defied the odds for years, so who knows?
Starlin Castro (2B/SS, Miami Marlins) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI, BB. This was just his 5th dong of the year, but if you’ve been reading my previous articles, you know that’s not what we signed up for with him this year. It’s all about that AVG and OBP, but that has taken a hit as of late. After hitting around .300 through most of May, he’s really fallen off hitting just .248 in June. That brings his season average to .274, but I’m still confident in that coming up. I’ll roster him in NL-only and deeper leagues for that reason.
Willson Contreras (C, Chicago Cub) – 2-4, R, HR, 2B, 4 RBI. One of my bold predictions was him finishing as the #1 catcher, and so far, I’m well off that pace. Thanks to his average, he has a chance (a good one) to be more valuable than Gary Sanchez by season’s end, but no one saw this coming from Evan Gattis. Now, who had Gattis as the #1 catcher this year?! More on him later. xStats says Contreras should have more than 6 HR, but the triple slash and BACON are riding a little high and could come down. Considering his less-than-stellar numbers in those areas, that’s concerning.
Brandon Crawford (SS, San Francisco Giants) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI. Just like Mr. Metzelaar said yesterday, one month is a fluke. Two months is worth noting, but three months of production? That’s more than a fluke, and we should start making some drastic decisions. Crawford has had two productive months, so take notice! After hitting .189 in April, Crawford has been a wild man. Since May 1st, he’s slashed .383/.441/.611 with 27 R/7 HR/33 RBI. Yes, sir!
Chris Davis (1B, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-5, R, HR, 3 RBI. It was his 6th dong of the year, but I’m just here to tell you no. Don’t do it. Run far, far away. He’s hitting .152 on the year so far, and while is 37.9% strikeout rate is a career-worst, it’s actually not by much if you can believe it. He’s unownable until further notice.
Evan Gattis (C/DH, Houston Astros) – 2-4, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI. He’s already eclipsed his HR total from last year, and he needs just 9 more runs and 1 RBI to pass those marks as well. Thanks to the last 30 games, he’s become the best catcher in fantasy baseball with 20 R/11 HR/39 RBI in that time frame. He’s also slashing .296/.352/.657 over that stretch as well. I certainly do not anticipate this to continue, but this is an extended hot streak that has his owners dancing with glee. Go away, Matthew Morrison. I wasn’t talking to you!
Scooter Gennett (2B, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-5, R, 2B, RBI. Honk! Beep Beep! Did I do that right, Metzelaar? Who knows. Anyways, Scooter continues his year-and-a-half long hot streak as he’s now slashing .336/.375/.534 on the year. You don’t need xStats or that .386 BABIP to tell you a .336 average won’t last, but he’s a career .290 hitter, so the landing will be soft. I’ve been waiting for the bottom to drop out for almost two years now, but it refuses to. Let the good times roll, I guess!
Rhys Hoskins (1B, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI. This was his 12th dong of the year, and even though it’s well behind his pace from last year, it’s still pretty impressive. His strikeout rate has climbed to 26% this year, but that’s never been part of his game, so I expect that to normalize in the 2nd half. After a down May where he hit .161 with 2 dongs, he’s come back with 6 HR and a .303 average this month. And that’s even after missing a few games when he fouled a ball off his mug!
Jed Lowrie (2B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB. His hot April has buoyed his slash to a solid .291/.349/.494 for the year, and he needs just 4 more dongs to set a career-high. His 23 2B so far this year is actually 8th best in the AL. That, maybe Tony Kemp, and a cup of coffee will certainly get you AT LEAST 8th place in your league.
J. D. Martinez (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB. This was his 25th dong of the year, and “Just Dong” is certainly living up to his nickname. He currently leads the AL in HR and RBI, and he’s top 5 in runs scored, average, OBP, and slugging. He’s performing like a first rounder, and do you think he likes living in Boston or nah?
Jean Segura (SS, Seattle Mariners) – 2-5, 3 R, 2 2B, BB. He’s got a “Lowrie-esque” amount of doubles this year with 23, but what’s more impressive is his triple slash of .338/.367/.484. He’s been one of the better middle infielders this year in terms of across-the-board production, and I think he easily finishes as a top 5 fantasy SS this year.
One of my favorite things is coming to Pitcher List in the morning, cup of coffee in hand, and seeing my players featured in Batters Box. Bregman, Hoskins, and Gennett are all on my fantasy team. It was a good night.
This will not be what I post about my damn pitching staff on the SV+HD list today…
A real trifecta this morning! Kudos to your team.
Any love for Jose Peraza? Dinger and triple yesterday and has been running a lot lately. Ownable in a 12 teamer yet?
He just barely missed the cut. This was my largest slate of players to choose from to date. Tons of big nights, but yes I think he’s ownable. Especially if injuries have knocked out your middle infield. Plus the Reds are hot right now.
Where’s the love for Jesus Aguilar???? Two homers in his last two games. Leading the ENTIRE National League in slugging percentage!
It was a full slate yesterday! Didn’t have room for anyone who had less than 2 hits.
RE: Scooter, I usually go with “beep beep,” but it’s important to work in variations like “honk honk” and even “meep meep” to keep things fresh and exciting. You done good with the “honk/beep” combo.
Puig has been hitting 8th… as always – that is why the production sucks. Its crazy to me when teams do that to one of their better hitters. How much better would he be if he had a little more protection than the pitcher provides and a few more RBI opportunities? For years, Javy Baez suffered from this – look how moving him out of that spot turned out. Maikel Franco is probably the most notable example of this at the moment as he hits behind a heap of milb-caliber hitters… at least Puig hits in an MLB lineup.
Do you think Puig is still ownable even without the counting stats? Alternatives would be Teoscar, Josh Harrison, Moncada, Zobrist (leaning towards).
I wouldn’t blame you for dumping him for any of those depending on what you need. As Kraken said, he’s hitting 8th which limits upside. Out of that bunch, im most intrigued by Teoscar’s skillset.
Would u trade springer and r Lopez for ed Rosario and fulmer ?
I like springer more than Rosario but Fulmer gets the edge for me. He and Rey are frustrating to own in general. I’d hold as Springer is the best player in the deal.