Ed, Edd n Eddy-man
Tommy Edman (STL): 3-4, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, BB.
Over the last two seasons, Tommy Edman has been a solid fantasy bat reliant on scoring runs and stealing bases. In those seasons, he scored over 90 runs and stole over 30 bases while sporting just a .265 average. He was able to accomplish that by primarily hitting lead-off. But last year he also saw over 100 plate appearances hitting ninth. So far this season, 45 of his 72 plate appearances are in the nine spot. I don’t know if that says something more about the manager, the lineup, or Edman but it is worrisome for a full season of Edman.
Despite that, Edman led off yesterday and was a single away from the cycle. He bopped a 373-foot three-run homer and added a hard-hit triple knocking in two more. And with the solid Cardinal lineup behind him, they brought him home two of the three times he got on base (not including the homer).
Edman is showing more patience at the plate, swinging less on both pitches in and out of the zone. He’s making much more contact on in-zone pitches at a 95.9% rate. It has not been that great of contact, with a 12% line drive rate and 53% ground ball rate with a 28.8% hard-hit rate. He has never been a player to hit balls hard but he puts it in play.
If they keep batting him ninth he’ll get limited run-scoring opportunities and possibly less room to run which limits his fantasy production significantly. I wouldn’t panic just yet.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday
Jonah Heim (TEX): 2-4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Heim has surprised out of the gate in his first 52 plate appearances with a .311/.385/.556 slash line, hitting his third home run of the year and adding three runs and RBI each. Despite three hard-hit balls in this game, Heim’s overall hard-hit rate has not been much different than usual and yet his BABIP is hovering around .350. So a word of caution that I would not get too attached to this hot start of his.
Brandon Nimmo (NYM): 5-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Nimmo smacked his first dinger of the season, against his former teammate Noah Syndergaard; a 110 mph 431-foot shot to center. Nimmo added four more singles for a five-hit day, two of which were also over 103 mph. Nimmo has kept his walk rate around 20% while striking out under 10% of the time this year. And after this game, he has a 172 wRC+ while still maintaining a SLG less than his OBP.
Trea Turner (PHI): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.
Another player with his first home run of the year, Turner laced a 379-foot homer in his first at-bat of the game. He added three more hard-hit balls, including a 322-foot line out. He also added his fourth steal of the season. He’s getting on base plenty and scoring, but his power has been absent. His hard-hit rate is nearly 10 percentage points below his career average and he’s been hitting the ball in the air much more often, including a large amount of pop-ups. It’s been a rocky start but he should still be the first-rounder that you drafted him to be.
Rodolfo Castro (PIT): 2-6, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
The Pirates put up 14 runs against the Rockies, and Rodolfo Castro was a huge reason why. He crushed a 458-foot homer, and added three other hard-hit balls, including a 107 mph 415-foot flyout. The damage could have been much worse. This 23-year-old has been hitting nicely in the early goings this year. He is slashing .319/.418/.511 in his 55 plate appearances and was an above-average hitter last season in 71 games with the Pirates. His bat is showing promise while making important adjustments; swinging less, and making more and better contact.
Leody Taveras (TEX): 3-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Taveras was sidelined to start the year with an oblique strain but was activated on April 12. After only two hits in his first week of games, Taveras had a three-hit game with four total hard-hit balls including a 112 mph double, and a 345-foot triple. That 112 mph hit is close to his max career exit velocity. If he can display a bit more power and steal some bases, he’ll be an interesting pick-up candidate.
Andrew McCutchen (PIT): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Christopher Weber has been shouting about McCutchen all week and I suggest you listen to his and Jordan’s In The Deep episode where they dive a bit deeper on this old Pirate. He added a 106 mph homer and a 104 mph double with a 104 mph groundout to go along with it. He has been crushing the ball while only striking out 12.5% of the time. He has also swiped three bags too. Looks like he just needed to be back in the black and yellow.
Eric Hosmer (CHC): 2-5, HR, 3 R, RBI.
Hosmer has a new start in Chicago where he’ll try to find some more offense. He has been an above-average hitter the last three seasons but has made little fantasy impact. His power is practically gone, with ISOs close to .100 from 2021 and on, with a ground ball rate in the mid-50s. He still has yet to hit a barrel this season.
Nolan Gorman (STL): 1-3, HR, R, 4 RBI.
Off to one of the hottest starts in the league, Gorman came in for Taylor Motter in the fifth inning. He proceeded to hit a 417-foot grand slam in the sixth, his fifth of the year. That added four RBI to his season total of now 18. His K% is down to 24% from last season’s 33%. He is walking more often too with a solid 13.4% walk rate. His O-Swing is down to 24.8% from 34.2% while contact, in general, is higher. His BABIP is sitting .351 but mostly due to his 33% line drive rate which has no chance of being sustainable. The backbone of a breakout is there and he should be on your team if still on the waiver wire.
Pavin Smith (ARI): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.
Pavin Smith smacked two hard hits yesterday including his second home run of the season. Smith is in a platoon and is only hitting against righties so far this year but he is smoking them. In 24 plate appearances, Smith is slashing .381/.458/.810 with a 12.5% walk rate and a 16.7% K rate. With this start, he could sneak in more playing time if McCarthy or Gurriel aren’t hitting.
Spencer Torkelson (DET): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, RBI, BB.
Tork is one of those players I am just rooting for to turn a corner. I don’t have him on any of my teams and I don’t root for the Tigers. But I want to see him hit. And yesterday he smoked two balls, one a 395-foot double and the other over the wall at 110 MPH. He’s cut his K rate from last season despite swinging on pitches out of the zone much more often. He’s making a lot of contact on those pitches. That explains his 2% walk rate. This plate discipline is not a great sign but he is at least able to make contact. If he can wait for the right pitch, the contact quality could increase too.
Edouard Julien (MIN): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
With Jorge Polanco still on the IL, Twins’ rookie Edouard Julien has made a few starts at second. He smashed a 418-foot home run and added two singles for his second of six starts with a hit. His staying up will most likely depend on Polanco’s return so there is not much need to keep an eye on him or pick him up for fantasy unless things look a bit more long-term.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)