You’re probably familiar with the expression that goes “Don’t let the Odor hit you in the [expletive] on the way out.” Is that not how it goes? Well, at least, in that version of it Texas 2B Rougned Odor is hitting SOMETHING. I’m rapidly losing faith in Texas 2B Odor being able to turn it around this year, and he might be on his way out of my lineup at this point. After going 0-3, K against Cleveland last night, the woefully low wRC+ of 54 he has tells me it’s OK to be angry at how little he’s producing in what is theoretically an extremely potent Rangers order. Admittedly, a .233 BABIP lends a little hope to his currently bleak fantasy landscape. But the fact is Odor has batted so poorly that he recently got demoted in the order from fifth to the 7-spot, which doesn’t do his run/RBI chances any good. And while his hard contact rate is up, so is his whiff rate. Twelve homers unfortunately don’t make up for what he’s failing to do otherwise. Contact in the zone and contact in general are down, so I don’t know how much more patience I can recommend when his .205 average might actually be contributing to you losing a category. He’s especially wretched against changeups and sliders, so absolutely bench him against SP with those pitches featuring prominently in their arsenals. Let’s hope Odor can channel 2015, when his second-half splits were decidedly better.
Let’s take a look at what else happened notably hitting-wise around the league:
Mark Reynolds (1B, COL) – 2-6, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K. It felt as though Reynolds’ name was coming up a little less often recently, with regard to amazing outings at the dish: the stats only somewhat back up that assertion. By the high standards he has set for himself with the white-hot start to the year, Reynolds’ production has come down slightly but make no mistake, he’s still a top-notch guy to own. Reynolds is batting .280 this month, as compared to .298 in April and .319 in May: it’s a pretty great problem to have when .280 on the month seems like a letdown. With three days remaining, he’s got just 16 RBI and 13 runs in June whereas he had 21 and 16, respectively, in May. So, basically, a slight downtick but there’s nothing to worry about. He impressively broke through the 60-RBI threshold yesterday and has posted back-to-back games with multiple hits. Tuesday’s homer at AT&T Park was his 19th on the year.
Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Arcia is posting a far better batting average than many predicted he would before 2017 got underway. He’s improved steadily from month to month and is now at a season-high .276. The speed has not been as advertised, although the silver lining of Arcia only having five steals so far is that four of them have come in June so his baserunning could be warming up for a burst. Six homers, 29 runs and 25 RBI probably aren’t winning you matchups at this point and that’s my primary beef with Arcia’s fantasy stock. The BABIP is at .325 so this work rate might be as good as it gets, unfortunately. He’s a backup SS at best.
J.D. Martinez (OF, DET) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI, BB, K. After having just talked about Arcia’s meager production, it’s a testament to Martinez’s stud stats that he has tallied more runs and RBI even though the start to his season was injury-delayed by five weeks. Tuesday’s game saw him triple in addition to going yard. At 13 homers, 30 runs and 28 RBI, you have to be loving life as his owner even if stashing him for all of April was excruciating. I’d frankly like the RBI production to increase, if we’re splitting hairs, since Martinez almost always bats cleanup in the Detroit order. His walk rate is up, too, which I like. The .301 average is wonderful, and he’s basically unbenchable.
Maikel Franco (3B, PHI) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K. He’s been more like Meh-kel Franco this year. He’s doing marginally better in batting average now, i.e. not necessarily in danger of dipping below the Mendoza Line, but a .225 certainly isn’t what you were hoping for when you drafted him. While 38 RBI look decent on paper, he’s only generated 17 RBI since the start of May: in contrast, the 21 he plated in April were the saving grace of his otherwise unspectacular hitter’s portfolio. But now that those have slowed down, 10 homers aren’t enough for me to feel even remotely jazzed about owning him. There are so many guys who are better plays at 3B.
Freddy Galvis (SS, PHI) – 3-5, R, 2 RBI, SB. Galvis is playing worlds better in June after a horrendously bad May at the plate. He has five multi-hit games in his last seven, and hitting .301 this month has bumped his season average up to .252. Run production is too slow, though. To clarify, getting RBI is generally not a strong metric across the SS position this year, as only Chris Owings, Elvis Andrus, and Carlos Correa have amassed 40-plus. As such, it’s hard to knock Galvis for 31 RBI. But there are a ton of guys who are in the mid-30s in runs themselves, so to only have 26 probably isn’t enough to merit plugging him in at SS in your lineup. He’s a slightly better option than Arcia and potentially streamable if you’re in serious trouble.
Christian Vazquez (C, BOS) – 1-2, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB. It took Vazquez 135 at-bats to belt his first homer of the year. Even if he didn’t split time with Sandy Leon—which obviously severely hampers his chances to rack up counting stats—the only thing Vazquez brings to the roto fantasy table is an excellent batting average of .296. Eleven runs, 15 RBI and three steals do not comprise sufficient production for you to waste a roster spot on him.
Michael Taylor (OF, WSH) – 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB. He co-headlined Monday’s Batter’s Box for a reason. Taylor is having a strong home series versus the Cubs with consecutive multi-hit games, and the pairs of RBI and steals last night were a nice touch. The average now sits at .281 and keeps inching upward. I’d absolutely consider owning him as a solid fourth OF if you have the roster space.
Trea Turner (2B/SS/OF, WSH) – 2-4, 2 R, BB, K, 4 SB. And just like that, Turner leads the league in steals. He usurped Billy Hamilton’s steals throne with another (!) quartet of swipes after doing the same thing on June 18. Hamilton has only three steals this month, compared to Turner’s 19. The Nats exposed a glaring weakness in Chicago’ tandem of Jake Arrieta and Miguel Montero to the tune of a franchise-record seven total SB, and Turner did most of the work. He’s got a .274 average and a lopsided but still salivating résumé of 51 runs, 32 RBI, seven homers and 32 steals.
Dustin Pedroia (2B, BOS) – 3-3, 2 R, RBI, BB. Only two homers in 231 at-bats? I’d rather have DJ LeMahieu if I wanted a high-average, low-power guy because at least the Colorado 2B is doing something in the runs and RBI departments. Pedroia has 27 of each, and that’s not getting it done for me. I’d much rather have balance across my 5×5 categories with guys like Jed Lowrie or Jedd Gyorko and accept a slightly lower BA for the compensatory counting stats they bring me. And actually, better yet, Jonathan Schoop is the perfect 2B example of elevated production that can go hand-in-hand with a great batting average. Don’t compromise. Proponents of Pedroia are unrealistically hoping for better instead of just accepting that he’s not a good fantasy asset right now.
Eugenio Suarez (3B, CIN) – 1-2, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB, K. Suarez was in the middle of a rough slump until last night’s homer—his 12th of the year—broke the spell. He’d gone 2-21 during the previous seven games he appeared in, and the .205 average he’s posting for the month of June has been tough to stomach. The run production has been fine despite the BA struggles: he has 15 runs and 12 RBI this month for 45 and 42 overall. I’d recommend being patient with Suarez, as he’s still on pace to outperform his counting stat totals from a strong 2016.
Joc Pederson (OF, LAD) – 1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI. When Pederson came back from the 10-day DL on June 13, he owned a .200 batting average. He has since quietly hit .319 over the last two weeks with five homers to inflate that number to .237. The plate discipline is improving too, as he’s earned more walks than strikeouts this month. Cody Bellinger might be getting all the attention for his rookie exploits, but Pederson is also doing a nice job in L.A.’s outfield. If the power he’s exhibiting with a .745 slugging percentage in June continues, he could be a fantastic acquisition for the second half of the season.
Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU) – 3-4, R. The same spin I put on Franco is equivalent to the advice I would give regarding Marisnick. An underwhelming average, that was just .239 before his 3-4 night against Oakland, is not helped by Marisnick’s failure to amass 30 runs or RBI yet. Ten homers when we’re almost in July are essentially just solid in real life but insufficient for fantasy relevance without dominating some other stat. I can think of at least 60 outfielders I’d rather own, and his Astros teammate Josh Reddick is a way more valuable asset. Both pale in comparison to George Springer, needless to say.