Desperate Housewives

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

Evan Longoria (SF): 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB.

My wife and I were watching a Netflix show the other day called Get Organized with Home Edit. We’ve been watching to get some good pointers as we’re moving to a new place soon, and what better time to get organized. In each episode, this team of two organization experts helps a family to tidy up a space in their house and also helps a celebrity do the same. In one episode, Eva Longoria was getting a space ready for her son’s new room, and the closet was a mess. After the team was done, her son had an awesome, organized closet with racks of hanging clothes and everything stacked and binned to perfection.

Oh wait… that says Evan Longoria. Sorry about that. Yeah, Evan went 3-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB against Arizona last night with three hits over 104 MPH and a home run traveling 444 feet. With two on, he drove the pitch into left-center field just over the tall part of the wall in Arizona. Longoria’s April was quite a hot start, finishing the month with a 157 wRC+; however, he’s cooled off quite a bit through May. Until the 20th, he hadn’t homered in May and only had three extra-base hits. Yet, in the last four games, he has two three-hit games with two home runs and has struck out once. 

Longoria’s an aging player that hasn’t seen much success after leaving Tampa. He has one season with a wRC+ at 100 (not even above), which was also a 20 homer season. He would suit up for almost every game in Tampa, yet now he is only seeing 120 or so games a year, cutting his plate appearances by about 150 per season. Age can do that to you. He’s about on track for the same number this season as well. Despite the May struggles, he’s made some changes and has produced a solid 125 wRC+, hoping to defy the age curve one last time. The standout is his plate discipline. His walk rate is up to 13.4% this year, above an 8.8% career and 5.3% and 8.5% the previous two seasons. Despite less contact on pitches out of the zone, he’s taking more and being patient. His O-Swing is down to 23.9% when it has been in the low 30s previously.

A better eye gets him to swing at better pitches which should then result in better contact. And it is. His hard-hit rate is over 60%, by far his highest in the Statcast era. All his xStats are decent amount above his actuals (.289 xBA to .257 BA, .564 xSLG to .456 SLG). Another big disparity in his results is his righty lefty splits. He is crushing lefties and struggling a ton against righties (270 wRC+ vs. 73 wRC+), yet he’s facing righties so much more often. Last night’s output was all versus a righty, too, which could be an excellent sign for him. I still think he’s a sneaky pick-up if someone sent him back to the wire after his rough May.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR): 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

He’s back. He’s good again. In his last 10 games, he’s batting .409 with two homers and a 177 wRC+. He had seven multi-hit games in that 10 game span. He’s not striking out (or walking, for that matter), but he is actually being productive. Putting the ball in play can get you somewhere. He still is not hitting the ball as hard as the last few seasons, though. Looking at his rolling average hard-hit rate for his last 50 batted balls, it’s still in the low 30s, where he would be comfortably in the 40s the last few seasons.

Randal Grichuk (TOR): 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI.

Grichuk continues to hit as he continues to get playing time. With Springer and Biggio still out, Grichuk will keep playing. And if he keeps hitting like this, they’ll keep finding a spot for him in the lineup. He only has a 103 wRC+ in May, but he’s hitting behind a stacked lineup, so he’s piled up 20 RBIs. He’s putting the ball in play (almost no walks and an 18% K rate), so those RBIs should keep coming.

Jonathan Villar (NYM): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB.

Speaking of playing time due to injury, hello Jonathan Villar. Is he a good hitter? Not particularly. Will he play a lot while hitting leadoff and steal a bunch of bases? Probably. The Mets are ravaged by injuries, and Villar will be starting for a while. He should be able to provide at least a handful of steals if your team is in need. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the wire, too, as he is rostered in only 37% of Yahoo leagues.

Joc Pederson (CHC): 3-5, 1 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Two dingers and a double for Joc yesterday is a nice looking outing. He has strung together a nice performance after returning from the IL with left wrist tendinitis. Since the return, he has 73 plate appearances, many in the lead-off spot, and is slashing .369/.411/.585 with three homers. He could be a nice pick-up if no one else has noticed his solid output.

Josh Bell (WSH): 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB.

Bell was one of my first base targets in the draft this season and has struggled quite a bit. However, he’s been piecing it together in May with a 136 wRC+. And he’s been crushing the ball. His hard-hit rate over his last 50 batted balls is over 60%. He just needs to get the ball in the air. Unfortunately, his 50% plus ground ball rate is not giving him as good of results as he could have.

Adalberto Mondesi (KC): 2-4, 2 2B.

He’s back! In his first game of the season, Mondesi doubled twice, both hard-hit balls. He also struck out twice. It’s nice to see him on the field, and hopefully, he’ll rack up those sweet, sweet stolen bases.

Rob Refsnyder (MIN): 3-4, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI.

Refsnyder has been bopping around the league since 2015 but has ignited in Minnesota. With Cave and Buxton sidelined (and Kepler in and out of action), the Twins did not have many other options. Refsnyder only had 457 plate appearances prior to this season over the span of five seasons while not seeing any major league action in 2019. He’s been performing well at the plate, so I can see him stay as long as Buxton and Cave are out, but I don’t see him much as a fantasy asset.

Justin Turner (LAD): 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Turner’s age still doesn’t matter as he continues to rake. Interestingly, his K rate is up quite a bit, so he’s only hitting .271. Regardless, he’s just putting up another solid season as a Dodger.

Jurickson Profar (SD): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB.

After missing a week due to being on the COVID-19 IL, Profar has put together a solid few games, including 10 runs in eight games. Profar has upped his walk rate to 13% and has been getting on base at a rate of .350. This is giving him the opportunity for some stolen bases, which he added another last night. He’s now at eight on the year, which is two shy of his season-high. Eight is tied for fifth in the league, too. He should have some positional flexibility, and at 26% rostered on Yahoo, this sneaky base stealer could be a solid waiver grab.

José Abreu (CWS): 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI.

Not much to say about this MVP. He’s still crushing the ball. Just not as many line drives as he usually has. Most of those liners are ground balls this year, so if that starts regressing to his career average, we might see his batting average rise a bit more. Regardless, he’s been excellent this season once again.

Nick Madrigal (CWS): 3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI.

This is what Madrigal is going to do. Hit the ball. Singles everywhere. It also was the 24th game this year with three or more plate appearances without a walk or strikeout. He just puts the ball in play. His slash on the season is .289/.331/.395. He’ll get you some runs and plenty of batting average if that is something you need.

Jared Walsh (LAA): 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

That is back-to-back games with homers for Walsh. It is tough when you have to step up your performance because Trout is out of the lineup. For the year, he’s been fantastic, batting .321 with a 167 wRC+. He is sustaining that with a line drive rate close to 30%, which is wildly high. That is difficult to keep up. Additionally, his xBA is around .270, quite a bit lower than his .321 average, yet still much higher than the league average. I find it hard to see Walsh continue his excellent start, but he should continue to be a good roster-worthy player.

Justin Upton (LAA): 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Upton is yet another player the Angels are hoping to rely on with Trout out. However, he’s been struggling quite a bit. Despite nine homers on the year, he has not done much else. Since the start of May, he only has 10 hits, four of which are home runs. His K rate in May is also in the mid-30s. The pop interests me, but I can’t see him being worth a roster spot right now.

Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

 

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

  • Avatar Mike Honcho says:

    Would you cash in on J. Turner and target a guy like Rendon?

    • Avatar Jim Chatterton says:

      Oh yeah. If you can swap Turner for Rendon definitely. It may need to be a better package than that.

      • Avatar Mike Honcho says:

        Not to a hard core Dodger fan ;)
        Why so quick to recommend that trade? All the trade analyzers I’ve seen have it the other way. I’m with you. Rendon is younger and the Dodgers use a lot of load management, but production according to the analyzers seem equal.

  • Avatar Jim Chatterton says:

    I think Rendon has the edge. He’s been a better hitter for the last couple years. Just a rocky start with the injury which shouldn’t affect much since it was a contusion from a foul ball on the knee. He’ll pick it up again despite his recent struggles. Rendon has been a top 30 draft pick for a few years now and Turner hasn’t been up that high too.

  • Avatar Kelly Leak says:

    Aside from the obvious focus on steal (but keeping it in mind) – for general production to help your team, who do you like as the best grab?
    Sano
    Lourdes G. Jr.
    Mondesi

    Thanks!

    • Avatar Kelly leak says:

      If you could rank them, that would be great.

    • Avatar Jim Chatterton says:

      Mondesi
      Gurriel
      Sano

      Mondesi’s value is all about steals but he’s a mystery after coming back. I like his upside though over the other too. Gurriel will have better production than Sano but won’t have nearly as much power. Sano is just homers and those haven’t been there as much as usual so he’s hard to roster. He is picking things up a bit.

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