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Benny’s Batting Depot

Breaking down the best hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Andrew Benintendi (KC): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Five trips to the plate, five times on base. It was a huge day for Andrew Benintendi on Monday, as he went 3-for-3 with a home run, two runs, three RBI, and two walks.

Benintendi’s off to a red hot start, hitting .538/.625/.769 through the first four games of the season. His two-run home run on Monday was his first of the campaign, and it came against Cleveland’s lights-out closer Emmanuel Clase.

This is Benintendi’s second season in Kansas City and he’s entrenched himself in the third spot of the batting order. While the Royals’ offense isn’t exactly one of the game’s best, hitting third in any order gives a player an incredible opportunity to put together an impressive season.

Benintendi may be in his seventh season at the big league level, but he’s still just 27 years old. He’s established himself as a reliable everyday player, and as he’s entering his prime, there’s still reason to believe he could elevate his game to another level. Benintendi will be a free agent at the end of the season, and with a shot at a big payday, this could be the best season of the left fielder’s career.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Monday:

Maikel Franco (WSH): 4-5, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI.

The Nationals made Braves’ pitchers look like they were throwing batting practice on Monday, putting up 11 runs in a rout of the defending champions. Franco was a big part of Washington’s offensive outburst, collecting two extra-base hits and knocking in five runs. He went deep off Huascar Ynoa in the third inning, but his hardest hit ball of the day was actually a 111.7 mph single. With Carter Kieboom sidelined for an indefinite amount of time, Franco has a stranglehold on the third base job in D.C.

Jesús Sánchez (MIA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

The Marlins only collected three hits in a loss to the Angels yesterday, and Sánchez had two of them. He hit two home runs, one against starter Michael Lorenzen and another off closer Raisel Iglesias. Sánchez is just 24 years old and in his first full season of MLB action. He wasn’t a top-ranked prospect, but the Marlins have high hopes for the young outfielder, and so far he’s delivered. He has a 1.041 OPS and should continue to hit in the middle of the Marlins’ order, especially against righties.

Luis Arraez (MIN): 3-4, R, RBI.

Arraez singled three times in the Twins’ 4-0 victory over the Mariners on Monday. The 25-year-old infielder has hit second and third in the Minnesota batting order during his two starts this year, and it seems like he’ll stay there whenever the team is facing a right-handed starter. Arraez has one of the major’s best hit tools, so while he may not provide much power, he’ll be a high average hitter and should compile a good amount of runs and RBI with his lineup position.

Anthony Santander (BAL): 2-2, 2B, 2 BB.

Santander got on base four times yesterday as the Orioles picked up their first win of the season, downing the Brewers 2-0 in a low-scoring affair. The 27-year-old outfielder has impressed in the early going, hitting .500/.667/.900 thus far. Santander is a staple of the Baltimore lineup, and if he stays healthy, a 25-homer season with solid counting stats seems possible.

Sheldon Neuse (OAK): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Neuse started for the first time this season yesterday, and he made an argument for deserving more playing time. He notched two singles – one stung at 106.9 mph – and a ninth-inning grand slam. Yes, the home run did come against Brett Phillips, the Rays outfielder who came in to pitch during the shellacking, but no matter who’s on the mound, a home run is a home run. After an offseason of tearing down their roster, the A’s will need all the offensive help they can get, so if Neuse can take advantage of his opportunities, they should only increase.

George Springer (TOR): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Monday was the first of what should be many hotly-contested games between the Blue Jays and Yankees this year, and George Springer helped Toronto take round one. The star centerfielder batted in all three of the game’s runs, two coming on a home run in the second inning off Jameson Taillon and the other on a seventh-inning double. Springer’s doing what Springer does, starting the year with a slash line of .389/.450/.833.

Javier Báez (DET): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

The Tigers’ huge offseason acquisition made his first huge play for his new team on Monday. Báez worked a strong at bat against Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier in the eighth inning, eventually winning the battle by hitting his first home run as a Tiger down the left-field line. The two-run blast was the difference-maker, giving the Tigers a 3-1 lead that they’d hold on to for the win.

Adolis García (TEX): 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

García did something on Monday that he rarely ever does – he walked. Twice. García broke out in 2021 with 31 home runs and 17 stolen bases, but a high strikeout rate and low walk rate really limited his overall impact in both the Rangers’ lineup and in fantasy leagues. García’s two walks against the Rockies on Monday raised his season total to four in 18 plate appearances. Last year, he walked just 32 times in 622 plate appearances. If the plate discipline skill he’s shown so far holds out, García could be in store for a monster season.

José Iglesias (COL): 4-5, 2B, R, RBI.

The Rockies won a wacky game in Texas on Monday, ending a 6-4 victory by successfully challenging a slide interference no-call that was overturned to be a double play in the bottom of the tenth. Looking past the weird circumstances of the win, Iglesias’ performance shouldn’t be forgotten. He collected four hits and raised his batting average to .455. The veteran shortstop is only worth rostering in the deepest of fantasy leagues, but a starting job in Colorado always brings at least a hint of fantasy intrigue.

Owen Miller (CLE): 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R.

Miller collected three hits in the Guardians’ 10-7 win over the Royals on Monday, and all three were hard hit with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph. After not starting the season’s first two games, Miller’s now started two in a row at first base for Cleveland. He doesn’t have an everyday job at the moment, but a few more games like this one should be enough to make him a regular in a lineup that could use whatever help it can get.

Brandon Marsh (LAA): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.

The Angels need one of their young outfield prospects to hit this year, and early on, it looks like Marsh may actually do it. He’s had a strong start to the 2022 campaign, and yesterday was his best game yet. He reached base three times, had two extra-base hits, and drove in four of the Angels’ six runs. Marsh’s 1.371 OPS is out of this world, and it’s gotten him rewarded. He hit fifth for the Angels’ on Monday, up from the eighth spot he’d occupied in two of his three earlier starts.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Mark Steubinger

Mark loves everything talking and writing about baseball - from fantasy leagues to the legitimate defensive prowess of Kyle Schwarber as a left fielder. Mark has a degree in Sports Communication from Bradley University and works in radio production. He lives in central Illinois where his TV is permanently tuned to Chicago Cubs games.

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