He’s on fire and has apparently restored his penchant for power. Yoenis Cespedes had his second multi-homer game in three days by going yard twice Thursday in a 9-8 extra innings thriller against Miami. The 31-year-old Mets LF managed a 2-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K line in the come-from-behind victory, and fantasy owners are welcoming the surge of longball production after an unremarkable Week 1. Cespedes currently leads the league in HR with six, surpassing George Springer last night.
Let’s take a look at what else happened hitting-wise around the league:
Marcell Ozuna – 2-6, R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB. Another MLB standout of late has been the Marlins’ Ozuna, who had the unfortunate distinction of hitting a B1 grand slam in a losing effort Thursday evening. He leads baseball in RBI with 16.
Travis d’Arnaud – 4-6, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI, BB. The Mets have their catcher to thank for whatever sleep they were able to finally enjoy after d’Arnaud knocked the game-winning HR in Inning No. 16 to put away the Marlins. He’s hitting .333 and while a perennially injury-prone guy, his health and stride seem to be just fine right now.
Eric Thames – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. Also enjoying a resurgent week is Thames batting second in Milwaukee’s order and seeming to be adjusting just fine to MLB arms after his stint in the KBO. He’s averaging .360, is on a six-game hitting streak and he has 5 RBI to show for his efforts as well.
Josh Donaldson – 1-3, RBI. Owners of Donaldson will appreciate what his .310 average and a final RBI offered to their fantasy box scores before he becomes either day-to-day or relegated to the DL with a calf injury. He had to leave Thursday’s game because of it and his temporary departure from fantasy relevance is sure to be devastating to rosters everywhere. The RBI drove in Jose Bautista, who himself went 1-4.
Zack Cozart – 3-3. As cut-and-dry as fantasy contributions get, Cozart leads the league in BA with a .481 to his name and owns the third-highest OPS. The Reds SS has 4 RBI and a steal too. If you’re struggling to tally a competitive team average, he’s a sage free agency snag to inflate it right now.
Billy Hamilton – 1-4, R, K, SB. I keep waiting for Hamilton to recede back into one-category relevance with his steals, but he’s hitting .300 almost two weeks into the season from Cincy’s leadoff spot. Jose Peraza is right there with him, going 1-4, SB against Milwaukee to cement a .293 BA. Hamilton finished 2016 with a .260 average, and even splitting the difference long term with a .280 would be lovely.
Joey Votto – 0-3, RBI. A .158 hitter thus far, he is not holding up his end of the bargain for those who drafted Votto super early. Patience is recommended, but start to make yourself aware of his upcoming BVP matchups to see whether or not occasionally streaming your backup 1B makes sense until Votto regains his composure at the plate.
Eugenio Suarez – 0-4, K. After this dismal outing, he still has a .375 BA and a top-15 OPS.
Domingo Santana – 2-4. Slow and steady wins the race. Santana was struggling last week but doubled Thursday as part of an effort that has his BA clocking in at .267.
Ryan Braun – 1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. I’m not digging the .226 average when so many are doing better across The Show, but at least Braun is generating some power and runs. His third homer of the year helped the Brewers beat the Reds yesterday.
Andrew McCutchen – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K. I asked the same question on Wednesday: is he turning it around? A .250 average with a sprinkling of power has me hopeful.
Starling Marte – 0-3, BB, K, CS. Off night for Marte, but he’s still getting aggressive in the baserunning department and registering a .270 average.
Gregory Polanco – 2-4, R, K, SB. Able to pull off what Marte couldn’t in a successful steal and reaching safely with his bat, Polanco is suddenly hitting .273 and providing some welcome relief to his fantasy owners.
David Freese – 1-1, 3 BB. Yes, that David Freese. Quietly stringing together a .381 average and a league-best OBP of .552, the Pirates DH is worth a look if you have very specific needs in those two categories.
Hanley Ramirez – 1-4, R, 2 RBI, K. He ensured the singular hit he got would be a meaningful one, as HanRam’s RBI double from the DH spot tied the game for Boston en route to a win over the Pirates on a Xander Bogaerts hit that plated the winning run B8. Ramirez is hitting .300 at present.
Mitch Moreland – 1-3, R, BB, K. A pretty unremarkable stat line, right? Wrong. Moreland hit his league-leading eighth double for the Red Sox and is the proud owner of a .324 batting average. He’s doing big things for Boston’s already potent lineup and if the XBH keep coming, so too will the runs and/or RBI.
Dustin Pedroia – 0-3, R, BB, K. Similar to the advice for Cozart, Pedroia provides consistently good hitting for average even in spite of a weak box score on any given night. He currently has a .278 BA.
Danny Espinosa – 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, K. The Angels 2B has 12 RBI with this performance against the Rangers. The .229 average is not to be celebrated, but he’s managing some production that should be noted if you’re looking a little meager in the infield. He has 2B eligibility in Yahoo leagues only and both 2B/SS in ESPN leagues.
Addison Russell – 1-4, R, HR, RBI. Russell’s solo shot was his first jack of the season and it complements a .256 BA at the moment.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI. Rizzo was more productive than his SS counterpart in the 4-0 Cubs victory, but he also was able to get HR No. 1 to assuage the concerns of fantasy owners who used an early draft pick on him. The .243 average will improve.
Jason Heyward – 1-4, 2 K. He’s hitting .290. No, I didn’t expect that to be the case either.
Corey Dickerson – 2-4. Tampa Bay’s DH is leading off with a sturdy .303 average that’s likely being overlooked by many.
Logan Morrison – 1-3, R, BB, K. Similar situation for Morrison, who’s hitting a largely unheralded .323 for the Rays at a time when Steven Souza, Jr. is crushing and both Evan Longoria and Brad Miller are apparently struggling to find their hitting identity.
Starlin Castro – 1-3, BB, K. He’s hitting .333 and is shockingly owned in only 45% of Yahoo leagues. Still just four runs and four RBI, but he’s absolutely worth monitoring if your 2B situation is questionable.
Jacoby Ellsbury – 0-3, R, BB, K. He benefited from an Aaron Hicks homer to plate after a fielder’s choice forceout allowed him to reach, and the lack of a hit is not too concerning especially when you see that he’s hitting .290 in spite of that.
Brandon Moss – 0-3, RBI, K. The fantasy freefall continues. His average sits at an excruciating .043, and it’s a good thing Kansas City has more reliable bats higher in the order because Moss is a 6-spot DH who is failing to muster much offense at all. A sac fly to drive in a run is a consolation prize that’s just too small to justify owning him at this point.
Lorenzo Cain – 2-3, R, RBI, BB. He was the beneficiary of the Moss SF and his average is a strong .345 as the weekend begins.
Mike Moustakas – 1-3, R, BB. Averaging .294, an OPS of .922 also does not hurt.
Avisail Garcia – 3-4, R, 3 RBI, BB. Second only to Cozart in BA, a .452 clip is going to be difficult to keep up unless Garcia extends his eight-game hitting streak to begin the season. Unbelievable work from the White Sox outfielder, and I’d advise riding the wave while it’s cresting if you need help at the position.
DJ Lemahieu – 2-3, R, BB. About time. His average is still lagging at .211 even after a good night at the office against San Francisco.
Trevor Story – 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K. The young star got his first HR of the year but has a long way to go in the effort to compensate for his .143 BA.