Batter’s Box: Trout Season

Jake Bridges leads with Mike Trout for the first time all year and still finds time to highlight other great offensive performances from all of yesterday's action.

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Rarely will we at the noble Batter’s Box lead with the 1st round studs. Your Mookie Betts, your Nolan Arenado, your Paul Goldschmidt, etc. These guys are obviously good, and you don’t need us to tell you that. But sometimes, guys like Mike Trout have other plans and go 5-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI. When that happens, you throw your hands up in the air, and say, “well bust my buttons…it’s a Mike Trout lead kind of day!” Mike Trout is a tate, and last night, he tated. It brings his season-long line to 92 R/33 HR/68 RBI/22 SB/.314 on the year, and he’s headed for another MVP-caliber year. I’m not going to set the world on fire with anything else I say, but here are some quick #TroutFacts:

  • he leads the AL with a .465 OBP
  • he’s 3rd in the AL with a .623 SLG
  • he leads the AL with an absurd 190 wRC+
  • has a terrific shot at 30/30 for just the 2nd time in his career
  • he has a 20.6% walk rate which is better than his 20.2% K rate
  • he is a fantasy god

Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Saturday:

Aledmys Diaz (SS, Toronto Blue Jays) – 4-5, 3 2B, 2 RBI. Ok, so it looks like 2016 Diaz is back. So, now we must ask who the real Aledmys Diaz is. Is it poopy, demoted Diaz from last year or the one from 2016 who had us all excited? I’m going to side with this year and 2016 because I choose positivity! Anyways, his 2nd half has been excellent as his OPS has jumped from .670 in the 1st to .878, and his wRC+ has gone from 79 to 132.

Cesar Hernandez (2B, Philadelphia Phillies) – 4-4, 3 RBI, SB. That gives him 18 swipes on the year, and he now has an excellent shot at his first career 20 SB season. That 14% walk rate confirms what we already knew about his OBP abilities, but the 2nd half average has left a lot to be desired as it currently sits at .228. Perhaps last night will start to right the ship down the stretch.

Xander Bogaerts (SS, Boston Red Sox) – 3-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Take a look at his stat line! #TBT to 2016! Except it’s Sunday, so that doesn’t really work. He won’t match the 115 runs scored he posted that season, but his numbers are very reminiscent of that magical year. Like Diaz, he sandwiched a weird down year between this year and 2016, which leaves us wondering who the real guy is. Like Diaz again, I think this year and 2016 are more indicative than not.

Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI. That brings his dong total to 21, which means he’s low-key slugged 20 each of the last 3 seasons. That’s consistency, folks. Also, his 24% strikeout rate is the best it’s been in 3 years, and would you believe it if I told you the same can be said about his .304 OBP? Yeah. It’s like that. Regardless, Grichuk has been solid in the 2nd half with a .908 OPS, an increased line drive rate, and more hits to the center and opposite parts of the field.

Jeff McNeil (2B, New York Mets) – 3-5, 2 R, 3B. He has been labeled “legit” by more than a few staff writers here, and I guess that means I’ve been underrating him. After all, you can barely see that 9% strikeout rate. He’s raised his slash on the year to .329/.389/.483, and even though he isn’t giving you much production at all counting stats wise, he can sure hit.

Joey Rickard (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 3-5, R, 2B, SB. I used to get him and Joey Wendle confused, but I don’t think that will be a problem moving forward. This was just his 4th swipe of the year, and I think you can safely ignore Rickard. For what it’s worth, he does hit out of the 2-hole sometimes, and he is currently on an 8-game hit streak.

Ronald Acuna (OF, Atlanta Braves) – 2-3, R, 2B, 2 BB. You know he’s great. I know he’s great. We love you, Ronald Thump! He’s now raised his season-long slash to a tremendous .290/.362/.566, and it’s hard to envision anyone else taking home NL Rookie of the Year at this point.

Willy Adames (SS, Tampa Bay Rays) – 2-4, 2 R, 2B. He and Amed Rosario are going to be getting a lot of love from me this offseason. I can just feel it. The 30% strikeout rate isn’t pretty, but I’m chalking that up to being green at the majors this year. He’s been a terror to opposing pitchers in the 2nd half by doubling his wRC+ to 121, doubling his hard contact rate to 41%, and just generally flashing that power-speed combo more. Hype train leaving the station…

Adrian Beltre (3B, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Ok, old timer! He’s getting his last kicks in here as he more than likely will retire this offseason, but he’s going out with a bang. This makes it 5 dongs over his last 7 games, and he’s slugging 1.000 over that time frame. I would take a flier on him as a power boost while he’s hot, but I wouldn’t expect much rest of season.

Michael Brantley (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. That makes it 15 dongs to go with his 10 swipes as the resurgence of Michael Brantley continues. This has been an excellent rebound year for him, and it’s amazing what he can still do when fully healthy. The last two years have been marred by injuries, and as long as he’s healthy heading into next year, he should be valued off of this year and even 2015’s numbers.

Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-5, R, 2 2B, RBI. Since hitting just .186 in May, he hasn’t hit below .319 in a single month. He’s been blazing hot in the 2nd half clubbing 12 dongs, hitting .332 and rocking a 187 wRC+. Many, myself included, preferred the other Matt in Oakland last March, and now we see the error of our ways. I will be part of the hype train heading into next year.

Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. That’s his 22nd dong of the year, and he could very easily eclipse last year’s career-high mark of 27. He’s getting the dongs, but over the last two weeks, he’s hit just .189 with a .259 OBP. That just won’t do. He will probably hurt you in AVG/OBP down the stretch, but the power numbers could be nice.

Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. That makes it 29 jacks on the year, and raise your hand if you did not buy into his draft day price this year. Just me? Cool. I feel dumb. Oh well. Anyway, his .248 average isn’t cute, but he’s been a boss in OBP formats with that double-digit walk rate. I feel that’s the kind of guy he will be moving forward, and OBP players should take note of that and bump him up the rankings accordingly.

Nomar Mazara (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI. This is a guy who we always get to the end of the year with and say…oh yeah. Nomar Mazara plays baseball. He’s putting up yeoman-like numbers for the third year in a row, and while that may not be why you take home a crown, that’s very useful in fantasy. Don’t underestimate the power of a safe floor. I do feel he’s been a bit unlucky this half as he has just 5 dongs despite a .545 slugging percentage and increases to hard contact and flyball rates. Maybe he’s afraid to hit more than 20 dongs? He doesn’t want to be TOO good, you know?

Adalberto Mondesi (SS, Kansas City Royals) – 2-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI, 2 SB. Swipers gonna swipe as that makes it 20…in just 54 games. A ratio like that is going to help him shoot up draft boards next year on the speed upside alone. However, be wary of his ratios as he never takes a walk, and his strikeout rate is sitting around 25%.

Renato Nunez (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. There probably won’t be much to see this year in that lineup, but there is high upside in dynasty formats especially with the power. He routinely challenged for 25-30 HR a year in the minors, and he received a 60 raw grade power coming into this year. Hear that, dynasty people?

Roberto Perez (C, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, BB. This was a good day from a backup catcher, and that’s all this is. Unless something happens to Yan Gomes down the stretch, you can safely ignore Perez in all formats.

Anthony Rendon (3B, Washington Nationals) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. That makes it 19 dongs on the year, and injuries are the only reason this will not be his 5th consecutive 20 HR season. The production will never be 1st or 2nd round worthy, but he’s establishing an incredibly safe floor. I would feel very comfortable taking him around the 4th or 5th round range next year based on that alone.

Rowdy Tellez (1B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI, BB. Well, it’s been a down year for the 40 HR a year slugger. Sorry, my brain defaulted to my most recent OOTP franchise. My bad. Congrats on your first career dong, Rowdy! OOTP production not included, he does have some intriguing power upside moving forward, and I would have him on my radar in dynasty formats.

Jonathan Villar (SS, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-2, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB. Swipers gonna swipe as that gives him 26 on the season. He’s not as bad as last year’s numbers, but he’s certainly not as good as 2016. Maren Morris can help us out here as we can say “why don’t you just meet me in the middle?” That’s good advice with Villar.

Christian Yelich (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-4, R, HR, RBI, SB. I can’t spill enough ink about how aggressive I will be ranking him next year. He should fall no later than the 2nd round as he is most definitely entering his prime years. The combo meal gives him 28 dongs to go with his 17 swipes, and he raises his slash to .316/.380/.558. “Any questions?”-David S. Pumpkins.

Charlie Blackmon (OF, Colorado Rockies) – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Yes, we know this has been an underwhelming year for last year’s top 5 NL MVP candidate, but he’s turning it around lately. Ok, so maybe he hasn’t really been doing that, but he has been swiping and giving you modest power numbers in the 2nd half. That’s something! It’s fair to think 2016-2017 were his peak years, and now that he’s 32, we should value him closer to this year’s numbers moving forward.

Khris Davis (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 1-2, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. We haven’t done a 40 HR/.247 checkup on him in a while, so let’s do one now! Khris Davis leads the AL with 41 HR, and he is currently hitting .248. I believe! But like…why didn’t y’all listen when I tried to tell you he could finish with top 10 outfielder numbers this year?

Todd Frazier (3B, New York Mets) – 1-2, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI. That makes it 17 dongs on the year for him as he tries to be all sneaky chasing 20 homeruns. We see you, Todd! Despite the 20 HR plateau, he hasn’t been very good at all this year, but he has picked it up in the 2nd half. He currently has a .786 OPS with a 112 wRC+ this half, but I still probably won’t be rostering him down the stretch.

Marcell Ozuna (OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. That makes it 21 dongs on the year as Ozuna continues his excellent 2nd half. In this half alone, he now has 11 dongs with a slash of .302/.351/.547. The only big change in his underlying numbers is the amount he’s been pulling the ball. Maybe that’s worth a Going Deep article in the offseason?

Joey Votto (1B, Cincinnati Reds) – 1-2, R, HR, 4 RBI, BB. This is his 10th HR of the….what? 10 HR??? Seriously?! I don’t own him anywhere, so I guess I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten. It’s very bad. He’s still an OBP god with that .421 mark, but his line is 63 R/10 HR/61 RBI/.283. Is there no God anymore?

Jake Bridges

Jake is a proud native of Birmingham, Alabama and an avid Atlanta Braves fan. So, that basically means he's counting down the days until Opening Day 2020. Jake's first ever fantasy baseball draft pick was Roger Clemens in the 7th grade (1999), but don't worry, he's allegedly learned a lot since then. Previous writing stints include The Fantasy Report and as a prospect writer for The Fantasy Assembly. He currently writes his ramblings and musings for The Turf Sports and appears on the Sports in Short podcast "Whistle Blowers."

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