Dominic Smith (NYM): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Smith recorded his first career multi-homer game on Thursday with two solo shots in the Mets’ loss to Atlanta. It was a welcome power move from the New York left fielder as Smith has relatively failed to live up to the lofty marks he set for himself in the 2020 shortened season and continues to move along 2021 as a purely average bat, as marked by his 98 wRC+ on the season.
The two-homer day may be a sign of things to come, however, as Smith has made strides recently to increase his overall hard-hit rate and increasing his line drive rate at the expense of his ground ball rate. Through June, Smith has found himself with a 47.7% hard-hit rate, compared to the 33% rate he put up through the first two months of the season. Perhaps Smith was simply waiting for the air to heat up in New York before heating up himself. Keep an eye on him leading up to the All-Star break.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday:
Jonathan India (CIN): 2-3, 2 2B, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB.
Now leading off for the Cincinnati Reds, second baseman, Jonathan India. Since moving into the leadoff spot in early June, India is slashing .287/.417/.426 and making it very difficult to justify moving him out of the top spot, never mind out of the lineup altogether. Perhaps the .379 BABIP in that time is unsustainable, especially with just a 37% hard-hit rate, but India will continue to be a source of runs and apparently stolen bases (he’s recorded four in this time span) as long as he’s producing from the top of the Reds’ line up so ride it out while you can.
Elias Díaz (COL): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Díaz clocks his third homer in as many games at the most opportune time Thursday, coming in the form of a three-run walk-off to ensure the Rockies’ victory over the Cardinals. Ultimately, here is where the accolades end for the Colorado catcher, who has not been able to take advantage of the thin air and wide-open field in Denver beyond this recent hot streak. Díaz’ 57 wRC+ ranks him third to last among catchers with at least 150 plate appearances and his current five-game hitting streak has yet to be enough to raise his season-long batting average over the .200 mark. It’s fun to watch, but nothing worth speculating on beyond a two-catcher NL-only league (and I pray for those in such a league).
Josh Reddick (ARI): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Since joining the Arizona outfield in late May, Josh Reddick is doing Josh Reddick things – failing to stand out but at the same time failing to be a real detriment either. The fourth inning homer was Reddick’s first of the season, which comes as no surprise to most, especially as he now has the same amount of homers as barrels on the year and has put up just a 28% hard-hit rate through his 119 plate appearances. Still, if Reddick finds himself still roaming the outfield for Arizona by the end of the month, he very well could find a way to volume his way into relevancy in deeper formats down the stretch.
Kyle Farmer (CIN): 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.
The everyday shortstop for the Reds recorded his first career combo meal Thursday after smoking a 407-foot game-tying blast in the ninth inning against the Padres. Despite the late-inning heroics on Thursday, Farmer continues to be a defensive plug at a position that has plagued Cincinnati all season. The only benefit Farmer gives to fantasy managers is his multi-positional eligibility in some formats and his current everyday playtime. In a very deep league with daily moves he could be a bench piece worth plugging in when desperate, but don’t go out of your way to bring him on based on this single performance.
Brendan Rodgers (COL): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
While the speed hasn’t shown itself for Rodgers, which shouldn’t come as much surprise after his Spring Training injury derailed the start of his season, the once-heralded Colorado prospect has found ways to produce. Thursday’s performance marked Rodgers’ 10th multi-hit game, marking 32% of his starts this season with at least two hits, and raising his season-long slash line to .290/.374/.486 through 123 plate appearances. As long as Rodgers continues getting just about every day playing time at the keystone for the Rockies he looks like he’ll continue to be an asset, especially as a ratio stabilizer in both batting average and on-base percentage leagues.
Marcus Semien (TOR): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Semien showed off why he’ll the starting American League second baseman in the upcoming All-Star game with a performance Thursday that brought him within a triple away from the cycle. To be fair, Semien has been doing this all season (hence the All-Star game nod).
Danny Santana (BOS): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI.
After making a positive impression in his late May Boston debut with a pair of home runs in his first two games, Santana has collected just one extra-base hit since, before Thursday’s three-hit performance. The eighth-inning double was his first of the season, while the five RBI collected in the game total more than he had put up through the rest of the season. The Thursday outburst at the plate may very well have been a result of feeding off the rest of the Boston lineup’s success, who put up 15 runs on the Royals.
Rafael Devers (BOS): 3-5, HR, 3 R, 5 RBI.
The American League starting third baseman did not miss the memo given out to the Red Sox offense Thursday, collecting a third of the team’s RBI on the day and moving him into the MLB lead with 69 on the season. Dever now leads all third baseman with a .393 wOBA and 146 wRC+ on the season and absolutely deserves the All-Star starting nod.
Nate Lowe (TEX): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Nate Lowe extends his on-base streak to 16 straight, raising his season-long slash line to .260/.360/.424 in the process. As I mentioned in this article last week, the tied has once again turned for the Rangers’ first baseman who recorded a 114 wRC+ through June while recording a 47% hard-hit rate through the month, leading to his two home run performance to start the month of July, which equals his total homers hit in the entire month of June, despite the impressive peripheral numbers he put up at the plate during the month. Lowe continues to spend a majority of his time in the top third of the Rangers’ lineup and should continue to produce there into the summer.
Zack Collins (CWS): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
Though the White Sox backup catcher has not found himself in the lineup beyond splitting time behind the plate with Yasmani Grandal, he very well may be forcing himself into the lineup more often moving forward with his recent play. Collins’ June performance combined with his start of July has him slashing .342/.419/.526 through 43 plate appearances. He’s worth a flyer as a streaming catcher option in two catcher leagues with the hope he sees added playing time, perhaps supplementing his catching duties with a few games at DH, moving forward.
Joey Gallo (TEX): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Joey Gallo continues his best Kyle Schwarber impression with his fifth straight game with a home run and his seventh overall in that span. The two singles from Thursday mark Gallo’s first non-home run hits since June 25th. He’s good at hitting the ball out of the park and be happy if he’s doing it for your team. How’s that for in-depth analysis?
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)