(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)
Another car reference?! Ugh. Anyways, it’s time to talk about the hottest hitter on the planet over the last week of games. Sit down, Matt Carpenter truthers. I’ll get to him later. I’m talking about Arizona’s favorite son not named Paul, David Peralta. Last night’s 4-5, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI performance means he now owns an OPS of 1.529 over his last 7 games. 1.529! That’s something I’d expect from the couch potatoes who have already unlocked immortal Babe Ruth on MLB The Show…not David Peralta!
And it’s not like this is a recent turn of events for him. No sir. In fact, Peralta has been great over his last 30 games hitting .371 with an OPS of .973. He’s slashed .306/.361/.524 on the year so far, and he’s putting up career-best marks in hard contact (46%) and barrel percentage. Health has always equaled production for the 30-year-old, and guess what? He’s healthy, locked in, and producing in a very solid lineup. Take heed!
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Wednesday:
Tyler Flowers (C, Atlanta Braves) – 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. It’s time for another edition of Catchers Who Rake! Ok, so Flowers doesn’t deserve that title necessarily having only slammed 5 dongs this year. Also, Kurt Suzuki is the guy you want in the Braves’ catching platoon. Flowers had just 2 hits over his last 6 games coming into this game, which is just a microcosm of what he’s been doing all year. Leave him on the wire.
Joey Gallo (1B/3B/OF, Texas Rangers) – 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI. Taters gonna tate! After the double dong night, Gallo now has 31 big flies on the year, and another 40 dong season should be well within reach for the slugger. This game just eeks him over the Mendoza Line (.202 AVG), but he has been heating up over the last 7 games hitting .379 with 5 bombs.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (2B/3B, Texas Rangers) – 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B. This now makes it an astounding 6 multi-hit games over his last 7 as he’s been blazing hot as of late. He’s not giving you a ton of counting stats, but you can’t deny the triple slash of .413/.426/.630 over the last two weeks. He’s defintiely worth an add in AL-only leagues but also mixed if you need that jolt to your batting average.
Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York Mets) – 3-5, 3 R, 3 2B, 3 RBI. Nimmo is working his way back from an awful July where he batted .205 with just 1 dong and zero swipes. That even made its way over to his plate discipline game where he usually excels, and his OBP last month was a underwhelming .308. Hopefully, for his owners, this is a sign of things to come as he tries to get back to his May/June form.
Ronald Acuna (OF, Atlanta Braves) – 2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, SB. Hey! It’s a combo meal! That makes it 12 dongs and 7 steals for the literal kid, and dong number 12 was a memorable one traveling 452 ft. That’s a long dong! Anyways, he has struggled a bit over the last 2 weeks with an average of .218 and an OPS of .750. It’s also worth nothing that his K rate has been over 30% in both July and August.
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI. This makes it 28 dongs on the year for the breakout Brewer, and don’t forget about the 82 RBI that go with the homers. His power output has slowed a bit since the calendar flipped to July, and he was hitting just .148 in the 2nd half coming into last night. Despite the slight dip, I expect him to challenge for 35-40 HR by season’s end.
Andrew Benintendi (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 2-2, R, 2 2B, RBI, 2 BB. He’s now hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games, and his underlying metrics are backing up the fantastic season he’s having. He’s matching or on pace to match his totals from last year counting stats wise, but I’m most impressed with the step forward in plate discipline this season. It was already solid, but he’s gained about 100 points on his BB/K ratio, which is now up to a cool .722 on the year.
Lorenzo Cain (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-5, 2 R, SB. Swipers gonna swipe as this makes it 20 on the year for Cain. That also makes it 4 out of the last 5 years with 20 swipes, and that basically equals about 60 a year in 1980s baseball. He’s never going to give you a ton of power (0 HR in his last 30 games in fact), but he’s been hitting .309 with a .387 OBP over his last month of games. Average, runs scored, steals, and OBP. Look elsewhere for the other categories.
Kole Calhoun (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI. That makes it 15 dongs on the year, but that doesn’t do justice to how hot he’s been in the 2nd half so far. In that time frame, he’s amassed an impressive line of 16 R/6 HR/18 RBI. In the 2nd half coming into last night, Calhoun had been hitting .303 with a 49% hard contact rate. Ride. The. Streak.
Willie Calhoun (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-3, 2 2B, RBI. Just wanted to do a quick pulse check on the prospect. *checks pulse* He is still alive, guys. Joking aside, this brings his line for the year up to .267/.303/.400. Like many youngsters, he’s still finding his footing in the big leagues and the 4.5% walk rate proves that. He also has just 1 dong this year, which is 29 shy of the 30 HR I called for in my Bold Predictions article in March.
Rafael Devers (3B, Boston Red Sox) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. This was his 1st game back from the DL, so I guess you could say he was making up for lost time. Before going down with an injury in July, he had been scuffling slashing just .214/.302/.304. He hit in the 8 hole yesterday, and I would expect him to stay around that spot while he gets his legs back under him.
Mike Zunino (C, Seattle Mariners) – 2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB. That makes it 16 dongs on the year for this Catcher Who Rakes. And hey! Look at that! It’s a Mike Zunino walk! With 13 on the year, he officially has more HR than walks this season. I know he bashes taters sometimes, but I cannot justify rostering a guy with a 38% K rate, 13 walks on the season, and a slash of .210/.265/.440.
Orlando Arcia (SS, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, R, HR, RBI. We keep waiting for Arcia to break through and tap into the tremendous potential we projected him for, but as the old saying goes…prospect growth ain’t linear. Since coming up from AAA in late July, he hasn’t been much to write home about with a .584 OPS and an over 30% K rate. I’ll pass on him for now.
J. D. Martinez (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB. Just Dong didn’t dong in this one, but I just wanted to remind you that he is a beast. His line is now up to 82 R/34 HR/98 RBI/.332 on the year. I never thought I’d say this, but it looks like he’s going to make 2017 look like mere child’s play.
Justin Smoak (1B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-4, R, 2B. Don’t look now but Smoak is continuing his OBP “breakout” from 2017. Ok, you can look because you need to get him on your team, OBPers. His 2018 line of 49 R/18 HR/57 RBI/.260 may make you say “meh,” but he’s maintaing that .560ish BB/K rate from last year. Basically, he’s definitely a factor in OBP leagues, and I’d give him a little boost in those formats. He’s also coming off a red-hot July where he posted an OPS of .969.
Jose Abreu (1B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB. It’s looking dicey for him to cross the 30 HR threshold for the 4th time in 5 years even though he’s still producing decently well. Is he producing on the level you drafted him at? Probably not. However, he has really been turning it on over the last two weeks with 6 dongs and a slash of .373/.424/.780.
Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers) – 2-5, 2 R, 2B. That makes it a 19-game hitting streak for the Rangers shortstop, and over that stretch, he’s slashed .342/.369/.532. He’s also acting like a full-on slugger during this streak with a .190 ISO and 42% hard contact. Unfortunately, that has only resulted in 2 HR during the 19 games. I guess the whole slugger comment was a bit hasty, afterall. You can’t have it all, I guess.
Charlie Culberson (OF, Atlanta Braves) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI. This was the 8th dong of the year for
Dansby Swanson Charlie Culberson. It’s also his 3rd consecutive game with a dong as he went yard in both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader with the Nationals. He may not play every day, but over his last 7 games, he does have an OPS of .952.
Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-5, R, HR, 3 RBI. This is his 15th jacked dong of the year, and although the whole season line may not be pretty, he’s been slashing .302/.353/.492 over his last 15 games. He’s always had the power profile, and for what it’s worth, he’s #10 in the MLB in barrels per plate appearance in 2018.
Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland Indians) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. Taters gonna tate as Lindor knocked the walk-off in this one. His line is now up to 99 R/29 HR/71 RBI/17 SB/.297 as he has a chance to put up his best statistical season to date. Tell me again why he wasn’t a first rounder in a good bit of leagues this year?
Yadier Molina (C, St. Louis Cardinals) – 2-4, R, HR, 2B, 3 RBI. Catchers who rake alert! While the 15 dongs may not be a career-high, he is actually posting the best ISO (.187) and HR/plate appearance rate of his tenure so far. In fact, the 0.43 HR/PA rate is actually a bit higher than his 2012 season where he bashed a career-best 22 dongs. Very interesting…
Brett Phillips (OF, Kansas City Royals) – 2-3, 2 R, 3B, RBI, BB. He was one of the big pieces that came back to Kansas City in the Mike Moustakas trade, so expectations are high for him down the road. So far, he hasn’t given the good people of KC much to cheer about with his uninspiring .185/.241/.370 slash coming into this game. The 48% strikeout rate isn’t doing much to throw water on that fire either. Still, it’s just 29 plate appearances since coming over, so y’all just chill, alright?
Miguel Sano (3B/DH, Minnesota Twins) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, RBI. Taters gonna tate! Yeah, you don’t lose the label just because you suck it up one year. You know, I’m starting to think that most MLB players read this column because any time I talk smack about a dude being trash, he goes out there and rakes the next time I write. Anyways, this is Sano’s first dong since coming back to the big leagues at the end of July, but he was only slugging .344 (since returning) before this game. I’m still not convinced. That means go pick him up, by the way.
Travis Shaw (3B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI. That’s 23 jacked dongs on the season for Shaw, and I’d like a count on how many times I’ve used that phrase so far this year. Actually, I don’t want to know. It’s best if I dont. Anyways, that makes it 3 dongs in Shaw’s last 4 games, and he already has 5 in the 18 second half games he’s played. 2nd half power surge alert!
Matt Carpenter (1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals) – 1-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. Taters gonna tate, and that’s number 31 this season. You know, I just want to thank the guy who handed me a title back in May when he kicked Carpenter to the curb. You the real MVP, dude.