They say that not all heroes wear capes, but I’m convinced Commissioner Manfred has a Mets-themed hyper-powerful light signal with which he can page OF Jay Bruce. The former Cincinnati Red went 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI with a T9 grand slam with two outs that certainly had Atlanta’s pitching coach sweating profusely. Closer Jim Johnson came in to literally save the day with 0.1 IP for a 9-7 Braves victory, and thus Bruce’s clutch batsmanship was all for naught unless you own him in fantasy. He’s hitting .293 and that was his ninth HR of the season, not to mention 22 RBI to show for his month of work. Asdrubal Cabrera also homered for the Mets, while upstart Michael Conforto matched Bat-Man’s two-hit line to post a BA of .344 as New York’s current leadoff man.
Let’s take a look at what else happened hitting-wise around the league:
Miguel Cabrera (1B, DET) – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. About what you would expect from one of the best hitters in the game: upon the very day he’s reactivated from the 10-day DL, he smashes a two-run dinger off Cleveland ace Corey Kluber B3.
Ryan Zimmerman (1B, WSH) – 2-5, R, K. One of the hits was a double off Taijuan Walker, and the average is at what has to be an unsustainable .419 now. The current BABIP of .452 agrees with that statement, but you’re missing out if you’re not enjoying this ride while it lasts.
A.J. Pollock (OF, ARI) – 1-5, SB. He’s second-place in the majors in steals with 11. His Diamondback teammates Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings each swiped their eighth bag of the year in this game as well, and that’s tied for third with Seattle’s Jarrod Dyson and the sneaky Jose Altuve.
Aaron Judge (OF, NYY) – 2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, K. Just get used to seeing his name way more frequently in fantasy rankings, rundowns and literature of all kinds. He homered twice and now leads MLB with 12 four-baggers, and that’s married to a delightful .313 BA. Brett Gardner (Yardner? Yardner.) also smacked two into the stands for 3 total RBI, but his average is at just .232 after a 3-5 evening.
Aaron Hicks (OF, NYY) – 2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Guys named Aaron who play in the Yankees outfield are doing rather well. Hicks has a .300 BA and hit his fifth bomb in Tuesday’s game.
Matt Holliday (1B/OF/DH, NYY) – 3-4, RBI. That helps: Holliday’s average is now sitting at a digestible .274, and he has 15 RBI on the year. The former Cardinal is surrounded by hitters in the lineup who are in the .300s, and you’d be silly to expect this Yankees order to stop hitting and scoring at this point. They are smoking the competition to the tune of an AL-best +43 run differential.
Kevin Pillar (OF, TOR) – 2-5, CS. Looking back on it now, no Blue Jay who’s fantasy-relevant was going to have a good day in this ball game against Masahiro Tanaka at Yankee Stadium. Pillar is their leadoff man with the highest average and was unable to muster a run or an RBI. Outfield counterpart Steve Pearce did go yard twice off the Japanese hurler while going 4-4, but those were literally his first homers of the season. Jose Bautista continues to be mired in a slump at .194, so Pillar and a soon-to-be-healthy Josh Donaldson are the Toronto hitters to own at the moment, with Kendrys Morales coming in third.
Hanley Ramirez (1B/DH, BOS) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI. Both solo shots came against Baltimore’s Alec Asher, and that brings the homer count for Boston’s cleanup man to five on the season. It’s been a slow start, but the .267 and that quintet of bombs should both see rapid increases soon.
Billy Hamilton (OF, CIN) – 0-4, R, BB, K, 2 SB. About what you should come to expect from Hamilton. He’s the one beating out Pollock for the majors lead in steals, unsurprisingly. The .214 average means you should balance him out with some guys on your roster who are BA beasts. Fellow Reds Zach Cozart and Eugenio Suarez could do you that solid you require if you’re able to scoop them.
Joey Votto (1B, CIN) – 1-2, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB. To beat a dead horse, four things in this existence are certain over time: death, taxes, Joey Votto going yard and Joey Votto boosting his OBP with walks. Par for the course.
Devin Mesoraco (C, CIN) – 0-3. With pointed emphasis on the “meh” syllable of his last name, Mesoraco is batting .222 since his return from a looooong convalescent period after a hip injury last year. He is by no means on the fantasy map yet.
Josh Harrison (2B/3B, PIT) – 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 3 K. He’s leadoff and mashing effectively for Pittsburgh. This was Dinger No. 5 for Harrison, and it plated his ninth, 10th and 11th RBI of 2017. The .310 average is a nice bonus if you need some depth in the infield.
Logan Morrison (1B, TBR) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB, 2 K. He’s batting .262 and this was also Dinger No. 5 for Morrison. The 15 RBI are icing on the cake. He’s not doing eye-popping things, but he won’t sink your roster’s chances either.
Brad Miller (1B/2B/SS, TBR) – 0-1, R, 4 BB. This is a fun shoutout to my OBP league brethren, and nothing more.
Ender Inciarte (OF, ATL) – 3-5, 3 RBI. The average is up to .257, and despite no runs scored personally on Tuesday, he has 19 on the year. If Brandon Phillips and the noble Freddie Freeman can continue do Inciarte some favors from the 2- and 3-spots in Atlanta’s order, the Venezuelan OF is going to be a nice, quiet fantasy play from here on out.
Aaron Altherr (OF, PHI) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI. Remember the schtick about OF named Aaron doing well? OK, so it applies for the time being in Philadelphia, too. Altherr owns a .333 average and you’d like to hope his work is earning him some continued playing time even when Howie Kendrick gets healthy again. It was his third homer of the year.
Javier Baez (2B/3B/SS, CHC) – 4-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI. A double away from the cycle, Baez clearly surpassed expectations with a robust night as the 9-spot hitter against Philly’s Jeremy Hellickson. He would be joined in the triple and HR departments by Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber also homered to knock the Phils starter off the mound for good Tuesday. Baez is batting .269, but I’ll admit I don’t think he keeps up his ISO of .239.
Brian Dozier (2B, MIN) – 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, K. He doubled his HR count on the year with Tuesday’s outing, and he sits at a .250 average and 10 RBI that complement five steals.
Miguel Sano (3B, MIN) – 1-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K. Bleacher Bomb Numero Ocho for the Twins’ .317 hitter.
Marwin Gonzalez (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, HOU) – 2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB. Houston would go on to allow two Texas runs T9 that made for a sticky save situation, but Gonzalez’s B8 grand slam ended up being enough to cap the eventual ‘Stros victory. He had two HRs on the night, however, and that makes for seven on the season. He has the most positional eligibility of anyone in fantasy, but his belonging to a pretty stacked team means that his playing time is sometimes limited. Gonzalez can clearly be a valuable dart throw as a UTIL streamer if you know when he might start or pinch-hit.
Carlos Beltran (OF/DH, HOU) – 3-5, 2 R, 2 K. His fourth double of the year and a .250 average means the old-timer still has value.
Jonathan Lucroy (C, TEX) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Goodness, did his average need the help Tuesday’s outing provided. Now just at .232, to say Lucroy had a disappointing April is an understatement.
Nomar Mazara (OF/DH, TEX) – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. He’s at .245 now, as the regression monster had to rein in his hot start, but the young outfielder is still having a fine campaign.
Geovany Soto (C, CWS) – 2-3, R, 2 RBI. He’s back from the DL and probably rendering Omar Narvaez moot for the foreseeable future. You can do better than Soto from a fantasy standpoint anyway, though.
Avisail Garcia (OF, CWS) – 2-2, 2 R, RBI, BB. Three out of nine starters for the White Sox have the surname of Garcia, but this guy is the one to pay attention to. He is now batting .382 and has 21 RBI under his belt.
Robinson Cano (2B, SEA) – 3-5, 2 RBI. Double No. 7 and a .269 average have owners feeling decent today. Same can be said for Jean Segura’s owners after he stole his fourth base and is boasting a .308 BA after Tuesday.
Albert Pujols (1B/DH, LAA) – 3-5, R, RBI, BB, 2 K, SB. Yep, he stole a base too! Pujols has a .248 average and the two-double showing means his XBH appeal in points leagues is especially tasty.
Ian Desmond (1B, COL) – 1-4, R, 2 K, SB. Nothing remarkable about the .222 average yet, but he got his first steal and actually managed to score on a throwing error by Padres catcher Austin Hedges, so that’s pretty sweet. Desmond notably moved to LF when Mark Reynolds came in to pinch-hit for Gerardo Parra. The upshot is maybe this model keeps both Desmond and Reynolds fantasy-relevant if and when they can both establish a simultaneous hitting groove.
Manuel Margot (OF, SDP) – 1-2, R, RBI, 2 BB, K, CS. The one hit was a triple, and he was reaching base in other ways and trying to be a creative nuisance with his baserunning as well. A truly exciting player already, he’s got a .265 average and it was his ninth RBI.
Yasiel Puig (OF, LAD) – 3-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, K. It’s honestly more impressive to me when a line this strong does NOT feature any XBH fireworks because that’s just opportune and well-placed hitting as opposed to a reliance on pure power. Puig is at .245 after the strong Tuesday. His teammates Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and Franklin Gutierrez collectively provided seven of the nine non-Puig RBI.