Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire
Let’s take a minute to appreciate how absurd Jose Peraza‘s games was yesterday. He ended up going 4-6, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. Now, that’s a great game for anyone, but that’s an incredible game for Jose Peraza. Why? Because, excluding those two home runs, Peraza has hit eight home runs in his career. That’s in 246 career games, he’s hit just eight home runs. And then he hit two last night. Even more, he has a career 21.8% hard-hit rate, and has just a 27.5% hard-hit rate this year (though that’s a career best). You can’t expect much of any power from Peraza this year, but what you can expect is a decent average and some steals. Last year was rough, after hitting .324 with 21 steals in 2016, Peraza followed that up with a .259 average. While the 23 steals he had last year was still nice, one-category guys (like, say, Billy Hamilton) need to provide you with a lot in that one category to be worth the drain in all the others, and Peraza didn’t. However, this year Peraza’s looking better. His .286 average on the year comes with a .306 BABIP, and he’s been on a hot streak lately, slashing .387/.441/.581 over the past week. In deeper leagues, I think Peraza warrants a look, if he’s back to 2016 form, he could be a very useful fantasy asset.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday (and man were there a lot):
Pedro Alvarez (DH, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. We know that Pedro can hit home runs, he even hit 22 of them for the Orioles in 109 games in 2016 and hit more than 20 home runs every year from 2012 through 2016 except for one. If he gets consistent playing time (and he might, we’ll see), he’s a somewhat worthwhile guy to look at in deeper leagues given his power potential. However, this is wait and see right now. It is worth noting though that while he’s hitting .218 on the year, he’s got an OBP of .338 thanks to his stellar 15.4% walk rate. Small sample size and all, but still, worth noting.
Jace Peterson (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Ever since the Orioles got Peterson off waivers, he’s played every game. He might go back to the bench once Jonathan Schoop comes off the DL, but with the news that Tim Beckham will be out for at least six weeks, Peterson (or Alvarez) could slide in over at third. Peterson hasn’t done a whole lot in his major league career, but has shown some solid speed and, if given consistent playing time, could steal some bases. Maybe.
Odubel Herrera (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. The thing with Odubel lately has been a lack of speed. Last year, he hit .281 with 14 home runs, which is great and all, but he had just eight steals after stealing 25 bases the year before. He’s likely to have a good average and decent power this year, which makes him useful in some formats, but I would really like to see the speed come back. He’s got just one steal on the year so far, we’ll see what happens. Either way, while he’s on the hot streak he’s on, slashing .365/.404/.577 over the past two weeks, he’s worth starting. He’s still available in about 36% of ESPN leagues too.
Jorge Alfaro (C, Philadelphia Phillies) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Alfaro has been barely playing and playing poorly even when he is out there. Nice game for him though, but there’s nothing here.
Gregory Polanco (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-6, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. After a seriously hot start to the year, Polanco has been slashing .170/.264/.277 over the past two weeks. He’s also got a .220 BABIP on the year so far, so I’m not too worried, especially since he’s upped his walk rate to 14.2% and his hard-hit rate to 36.9%. Just be patient and buy low if you can find a worried owner.
A.J. Pollock (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. As long as he’s healthy, he’s awesome, and he’s been healthy. Here’s hoping he keeps it up all year.
Howie Kendrick (OF/2B, Philadelphia Phillies) – 3-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Kendrick’s been pretty solid this year, and as long as the Nationals are dealing with injuries, he’s going to get playing time. He’s available in about 83% of ESPN leagues and makes for an interesting short-term guy to pick up until the Nats get healthy again. The power will come down a bit in time, but his average will more than likely remain high. Ride the streak while you can.
Nomar Mazara (OF, Texas Rangers) – 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI. Nomar Mazara has quietly been having a really good year. The power hasn’t been overwhelming, but it’s been good enough, and the average has been great. Not to mention he’s got 14 runs and 12 RBIs on the year so far. The average will come down given his .377 BABIP, but enjoy it while it lasts.
Justin Smoak (1B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 4-4, 1 RBI. You know, for going 4-4, I was kind of hoping there’d be more counting stats from Smoak, but I’ll take what I can get.
Mitch Haniger (OF, Seattle Mariners) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. THIS MAN IS NOT HUMAN. Haniger owns a 41.8% hard-hit rate and an absurd .375 ISO on the year. He looks amazing. He is amazing.
Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland Indians) – 3-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. If you can find yourself a Lindor owner who’s panicking, buy low on him. He’s got a 40.8% hard-hit rate, which is a career high, and has just been a victim of some bad luck. I am slightly concerned about the fact that his strikeout rate has jumped up to a career-high 21.4%, but I’m not overly worried. He’ll get back to being Francisco Lindor soon enough.
Michael Brantley (OF, Cleveland Indians) – 3-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. I know he’s a massive injury risk, but Brantley is being criminally underrated this year. He’s available in just over 50% of ESPN leagues right now and is likely going to keep an average close to or at .300 with a nice mix of power and speed. Here’s hoping he stays healthy.
Daniel Robertson (SS/2B, Tampa Bay Rays) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Daniel Robertson is a ride the streak guy if I’ve ever seen one. He’s slashing .364/.507/.636 on the year so far with a .459 BABIP. It’s not going to stick, but he’s hitting the ball well right now, so go ahead and grab him until the streak is over.
Chad Pinder (SS/OF, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Ever since Pinder started seeing regular playing time a little over a week ago, he’s been great, slashing .304/.333/.478. It’s not likely to last, given his .450 BABIP, but while he’s getting consistent playing time, he’s an interesting ride the streak guy.
Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Matt Chapman‘s chugging along with a solid season, slashing .278/.375/.557 on the year and there’s no reason he can’t keep on doing exactly what he’s doing.
Joey Votto (1B, Cincinnati Reds) – 3-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. For everyone who was panicking about Joey Votto earlier this year, I hope you hung onto him, cause he’s back to being awesome, slashing .286/.453/.571 over the past two weeks.
Eugenio Suarez (3B, Cincinnati Reds) – 4-6, 2 R, 1 RBI. Welcome back Eugenio Suarez. He’s fully healthy with a .324/.419/.595 slashline on the year so far and is available in about 54% of ESPN leagues. Go grab him if he’s out there.
Logan Morrison (1B, Minnesota Twins) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Logan Morrison looks bad man. His batted ball stats look alright compared to last year, his hard-hit rate is at a solid 36.2%, down only slightly, but his HR/FB rate has plummeted to 8.7% from 22.5% last year. Keep an eye on him, it’s still early, and if he starts heating up he could be useful, but for now, stay away.
Matt Davidson (3B, Chicago White Sox) – 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Davidson’s rocking a sick 57.8% hard-hit rate and a 60% HR/FB rate. Obviously that’s not going to stick, but he’s a great power hitter, so he should still club plenty of home runs this year. It’ll likely be at the sacrifice of a good average given how much he strikes out, but it’s worth noting that his walk rate is up to 13.3%, making him an interesting OBP league guy.
Mike Moustakas (3B, Kansas City Royals) – 2-6, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Moustakas’ power from last year is legit, I think he’s proving that to all of us again this year.
Didi Gregorius (SS, New York Yankees) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. I just can’t with you Didi. I can’t. I’ve said a billion times that Didi’s power makes no sense, we’ve written about it at-length here, it’s almost become a running joke at this point. But hey, good for fantasy owners, enjoy it, I have no idea if it will last but I hope it does.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS/2B/3B, New York Mets) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Asdrubal looks fully healthy and back to being Asdrubal, which means a good average, decent power, and not a whole lot else. Still, worthwhile in deeper leagues.
Franchy Cordero (OF, San Diego Padres) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Franchy doing what Franchy does best, hitting home runs. He’s going to be rough in the batting average area and a liability in OBP leagues, but he’s gonna hit home runs while he has playing time.
Yasiel Puig (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. I believe in a Puig bounce back. He’s a streaky guy anyways and his batted ball stats all look fine, he’s just been the victim of some bad luck. I don’t know that I’d start him until he starts heating up again, but I wouldn’t drop him.