Isaac Paredes (TB): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB.
Almost every night, it seems like the Tampa Bay Rays have at least one hitter showing out and appearing in a Batter’s Box article, and today that hitter is Isaac Paredes. It didn’t matter that three-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander was on the mound to face them, the Rays kept rolling with an 8-5 win in New York, powered by Paredes’ 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB batting line.
Paredes’ hit the first of his two homers in the third inning. He battled Verlander in a six-pitch at-bat, eventually powering a curveball that caught too much of the plate 365 feet down the left field line for a three-run bomb. Two innings later, Paredes would tag Verlander again. This time Paredes’ home run came on a four-seamer so far inside it didn’t even catch the strike zone, but Paredes was still able to sneak it out of the park and off the left-field foul pole.
After his two-homer night, Paredes’ is hitting .289/.368/.492 on the year, with six home runs, 24 runs, and 28 RBI. Those are pretty strong results, especially for someone who carries first base, second base, and third base eligibility.
The problem with Paredes is one he shares with most Tampa Bay hitters: his playing time is inconsistent. He cracks the starting lineup more often than not, but he’s still not an everyday player. He’s started eight of the team’s last 13 games at third base, with Taylor Walls grabbing the other five appearances.
Despite the good results, each of Paredes’ barrel rate, max exit velocity, and hard-hit rate are down from last year’s breakout campaign. That’s led to him overperforming his Statcast quality of contact metrics like xBA, xSLG, and xWOBA, all of which are in just the 30th percentile of hitters or lower.
While the underlying metrics don’t present a compelling case to roster Paredes, at the end of the day, the results on the field are what actually matter, and for now, the results are good. If you’re in a league with daily moves, Paredes could be a solid player to fill one of your last roster spots if you can fit him into your lineups on days that he’s starting. Paredes is currently available in 69% and 54% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues, respectively.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (NYY): 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.
After the Blue Jays alleged the Yankees may have been cheating on Monday, as you may expect, their game yesterday was full of drama. Domingo Germán was ejected due to having foreign substances on his hand. Aaron Judge hit his third homer in two days—the decisive blow in the Bronx Bombers’ 6-3 victory. Coaches from both teams got into a pretty obnoxious shouting match. Despite all that, the top performer of the day ended up being Kiner-Falefa. He tallied two extra-base hits, including his first home run of the year. It’s been a rocky two seasons for IKF in New York. Even after his big showing yesterday, he has a wRC+ of just 49, meaning he’s been 51% worse at producing runs than a league-average hitter.
Masataka Yoshida (BOS): 2-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Yoshida knocked both of his extra-base hits against Luis Castillo last night, helping the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Mariners. The 29-year-old outfielder has delivered on all of his preseason hype so far, slashing an impressive .301/.381/.507 with six home runs, 25 runs, 27 RBI, and a pair of stolen bases. Not only is Yoshida hitting the ball hard, but he’s also showing strong plate discipline. His walk and strikeout rates are identical at 9.7%—only nine batters have a better BB/K rate than he does.
Matt Mervis (CHC): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
Mervis hit his first career home run last night, lining a 110.7 mph bullet off the right-field foul pole. The big fly was just his second extra-base hit so far. Through 38 plate appearances, the left-handed rookie is slashing .250/.289/.361. It’s hard to be too disappointed with any player this early in their MLB career, but with the hype that Mervis was carrying, the slow start has been a letdown for fantasy managers. Perhaps yesterday’s home run will serve as the beginning of him getting things figured out at the dish.
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL): 2-2, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Mountcastle was supposed to be able to enjoy his first off day of the season yesterday, but he was called upon to pinch hit for Ryan O’Hearn when the Angels brought in a lefty to pitch in the fourth inning. Mountcastle made the most of his two plate appearances, collecting a home run and a double in Baltimore’s 7-3 win, and his batting line is up to .253/.279/.483. O’Hearn, who Mountcastle replaced yesterday, also homered in his one plate appearance—his first of the season.
Jake Burger (CWS): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Since returning from an IL stint on Sunday, Burger has started both games for the White Sox and gone deep in each contest. Yesterday, his home run came against an 0-2 slider from Shane Bieber in Chicago’s 8-3 division win. When he’s been healthy, Burger has been an everyday starter, and that should continue if he keeps flashing immense raw power—his 118.2 mph max exit velocity is the second-highest mark in the league.
Jarren Duran (BOS): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.
Duran’s breakout season continued last night as he ordered himself a combo meal. Like Yoshida, he also got the better of Luis Castillo, ripping a 417-foot homer against the Mariners’ ace in the fifth inning. He then appropriately swiped his seventh bag of the year in the seventh inning. Boston’s 26-year-old center fielder is having easily his best season yet with the big league club, and I dived deeper into that a few weeks ago when he was the featured player in a Batter’s Box article. Duran’s hitting .351/.406/.585 through his first 106 plate appearances.
Jose Siri (TB): 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB.
The only other combo meal of the day came courtesy of Siri. He’s now up to five home runs and four stolen bases on the season to go along with his .224 batting average. As I mentioned with Paredes, Siri’s biggest issue holding him back from being a more interesting fantasy option is his uncertain playing time. He’s been splitting centerfield duties with Manuel Margot most of the year, but Siri has started the last five games there, so keep an eye on him to see if he can fully win the job. If he does, his fantasy value will shoot up immediately.
Kyle Farmer (MIN): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.
In the Twins’ 5-1 win over the Dodgers last night, Farmer tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the ninth with a home run to left field. The big fly was Farmer’s third of the campaign, and he’s now slashing .293/.364/.483 in his first year as a Twin. Farmer has taken over the starting third base job since Jose Miranda’s demotion last week, so he may be worth a look in 15-team leagues if you need third base or corner infield help.
Teoscar Hernández (SEA): 2-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI.
The Mariners traded for Hernández over the winter to get a consistent power threat in the middle of their lineup, and so far they’ve been disappointed. Hernández has struggled early in his Seattle tenure, slashing .242/.282/.430 with eight home runs. That comes out to a 98 wRC+, well below the 132 wRC+ he’s posted over the last three years. The good news for Mariners fans is that it looks like Hernández is starting to turn things around. He was recently moved down in the lineup, and that’s maybe taken some pressure off of him. Entering play yesterday, he had a 125 wRC+ over his previous 12 games.
Jeimer Candelario (WSH): 3-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB.
Candelario has been a mainstay in the heart of the Nationals lineup this year, and that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about that team. Yesterday was his first perfect day at the plate this year, and it raised his batting line to .234/.298/.390. Candelario looked like a potential fantasy contributor back in the 2020 and 2021 seasons but hasn’t done much since. His consistent playing time makes him worth a roster spot in deep leagues, but outside of those you can steer clear of Candelario.
Tommy Edman (STL): 3-4, 2B, R, 2 SB.
Edman found success against Milwaukee’s bullpen last night, collecting each of his base knocks against a different member of the Brew Crew’s relief group. The Cardinals have been a tough team to figure out this year, but it seems like they’re settling into Edman leading off against lefties and hitting near the bottom of the order against most righties. As long as he keeps cracking the starting nine, Edman’s elite stolen base upside is worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues, and he’s surprisingly already added six home runs as well. He’s hitting .275/.333/.473 overall.
To be fair, Matt Mervis has been hitting the ball hard every game. His Max EV is up there and is a nice predictor of what’s to come.