Bo Bichette (TOR): 5-5, HR, R, 3 RBI, SB.
Set It and Bichette It
Bo Bichette set a very high bar for himself in 2021 by blasting 29 home runs and collecting 102 RBI while stealing 25 bags. Understandably, many were disappointed with how the shortstop started his 2022 season, hitting just .213 in the first month. Bichette’s remainder of 2022 was somewhat up-and-down followed by a scorching hot final month that left him with stellar full-season numbers. After entering the season lower in the hitter rankings than last season, Bichette has put those doubts to bed with an impeccable start to the season.
On Monday, Bichette went 5 for 5 with a three-run home run and a stolen base. His home run off of Corey Kluber left his bat at 105 mph and three of his four singles were hard-hit as well. Out of the leadoff spot, Bichette looks to set the tone for the Blue Jays lineup on a nightly basis to eventually earn a playoff spot and make a deep run in October. He currently leads the team in hits and is tied with Matt Chapman for the RBI lead at 21.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Monday:
Sean Murphy (ATL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.
Atlanta played a doubleheader on Monday against the Mets, and Sean Murphy had a hand in seven of the team’s 12 runs. Since taking over the starting catcher role, Murphy has caught fire and earned his way into the cleanup spot. Both of Murphy’s home runs came in game 1 and both were three-run bombs.
Mauricio Dubón (HOU): 3-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.
Mauricio Dubón currently leads the Astros in hits and has played his way into starting in the leadoff spot. Monday was the infielder’s third three-hit game of the year. With Jose Altuve stuck on the injured list with a broken hand, Dubon seems to be a decent stand-in for the Astros at second base. Still available in over half of Yahoo leagues, Dubon can be a decent pickup in batting average leagues.
Mookie Betts (LAD): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
The Dodgers plated 13 runs against the Phillies on Monday and Mookie Betts was no small part of that effort. Amidst coming within a triple of the cycle, Betts hit a single that was the third hardest-hit ball of the game and took Craig Kimbrel 408 feet deep into left-center field. The thirty-year-old’s Statcast data has been down to start the season, but maybe a night like this can put Betts back into gear.
Dansby Swanson (CHC): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Dansby Swanson is off to a very good start to his Cubs career and, with his pair of extra-base hits on Monday, raised his OPS on the year to .817. The shortstop’s third-inning double off MacKenzie Gore left his bat at 94.9 mph and his fifth-inning homerun off of Gore had an exit velocity of 102.7 mph. Based on how they have played so far, the Cubs have a shot at a playoff spot this season, and if Swanson can keep this up and power this offense, Chicago will be in good shape.
Ha-Seong Kim (SD): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Ha-Seong Kim has had a slow start to the season at the plate but had a great night on Monday. His pair of extra-base hits came in back-to-back innings and were both hit hard off the bat. Several Padres hitters have struggled through the first month of the season, so if Kim can make something of this big night it will be crucial for the offense moving forward.
Alex Verdugo (BOS): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.
It seems Alex Verdugo is amidst a true breakout season after a rough 2022. Verdugo’s walk-off home run off of Jordan Romano on Monday was his third walk-off hit of the season and the eighth of his career. The outfielder now holds a .881 OPS and leads the Red Sox in hits and runs, giving them exactly what they need in a leadoff hitter.
Jason Heyward (LAD): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.
It has been years since Jason Heyward has had a successful full season at the plate, but it appears the outfielder may have rediscovered something with the Dodgers. Through 67 plate appearances, Heyward has slugged four home runs and four doubles and has an OPS of .925. Heyward is hitting the ball harder and hard more often. His home run off of Taijuan Walker left his bat with an exit velocity of 103.7 mph.
David Peralta (LAD): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
Even David Peralta could not stay cold on Monday. Entering the game, the outfielder carried a .416 OPS and nevertheless experienced a multi-hit game, reaching base three times. Peralta’s single off Luis F. Ortiz left his bat at 105.6 mph and his home run off Walker at 103.1 mph.
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)