After a much-needed respite celebrating summer, home runs, and the best baseball players of 2019, we are back with second half baseball. The Astros and Rangers kicked off things with one game last night before the rest of the league gets rolling again today. With only one game, not much chatter-worthy offense can come out of it, so with all this extra space, I wanted to look ahead at what Batter’s Box stories may come.
Can Jose Ramirez return to any semblance of form? It’s been a tough ride for JoRam owners taking him in the first round, sometimes as high as third overall. There are plenty of other players ranked highly this offseason who haven’t panned out as expected, such as Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Lorenzo Cain, or Matt Carpenter. But none are quite like Ramirez as he was such a high draft pick and has been so abysmal.
Can Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger keep up their paces as they fight for top fantasy player and potentially a triple crown? These two may be the least interesting of the group fighting for the top spot in their respective triple crown categories. Pete Alonso put on a show at the Home Run Derby and is only one dinger behind Yelich. Alonso’s best bud, Jeff McNeil, is a good 13 points ahead of Bellinger in average. And Josh Bell has 84 RBI, 13 ahead of Bellinger. Bell also isn’t out of the running in both average and homers too.
Who will be the late season impact player? Will a trade occur that gets someone going? Is there going to be an August call-up that lights the fantasy world on fire, pushing a fantasy team into the playoffs?
There are plenty more stories to come and plenty more punny article titles to be written as the baseball season marches on. But as there was one game yesterday, let’s dive into some of the notable performances at the plate.
George Springer (OF, Houston Astros)—2-4, 2B. The only Astro of note as they got shutdown by Lance Lynn, Springer delivered a couple of hits with a double. He had an unreal start to the season but was sidelined for a month in mid-May. After returning in late June, Springer has kept on rolling with getting on base. As the injury was hamstring-related, there may be fewer stolen bases in his future. It’s not like he’s been stealing much these past few seasons anyway. Also, side note: I always feel Springer is like five years younger than he actually is. He’s 29?!
Shin-soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers)—2-4, R, BB. Choo had a solid first half of the year, outperforming his solid season last year. Always a bit of a boost in OBP leagues, Choo has picked up his average quite a bit with some extra BABIP, helped by increased line-drive and hard-hit rates. He’s also stealing a few more bags than usual, on pace to steal his most since 2013.
Joey Gallo (1B/OF, Texas Rangers)—1-4, R, 2B, RBI. Not much of a day for Gallo, but I have to write about some guys, right? At least he doubled in a run and scored as well. He’s been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, finally putting things together outside of just crushing home runs. A .275 average at the All-Star break? Who’d have guessed?
Rougned Odor (2B, Texas Rangers)—2-3, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB. The careerlong tradition continues. July is the month of Odor! He got the ball rolling in late June and has three multihit games so far this July. Every single season, something happens in July and Odor gets hot (maybe too literally?). Enjoy it while it lasts.
(Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)