Seiya Name Seiya Name
Seiya Suzuki (CHC): 3-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.
Seiya Suzuki’s rookie season was a bit disappointing. He came into the year with plenty of hype in 2022 starting off the season very strong but he started to struggle more than a month in and then went down with a month-long injury. He performed about the same the remainder of the year finishing with a 116 wRC+ and 14 home runs with nine steals. Nothing spectacular but it was a start.
I do not recall the same enthusiasm for him in 2023. The hype settled, but he now had a full season in the US under his belt, which could help settle anyone and get them more comfortable. And so far this seems to be the case. After a fine start, he has really turned it on lately, and since the end of April, he is slashing .306/.389/.597 with 72 plate appearances.
Yesterday, he belted home runs in his first two at-bats making it three straight at-bats with a home run continuing from the game prior as well. He added two walks and a 103 mph single later in the game. He also homered on the 14th so he has hit four of his five homers this season in the last four games he has played. Something is starting to click.
Despite only having five homers on the year and four so recently, Suzuki has a 50% hard-hit rate and an 8.3% barrel rate on the season. His 26.2% line drive rate with only a 34.5% fly ball rate can limit those home runs but he is hitting the ball hard and often. The power is there and I believe the Seiya Suzuki we were hoping for is here.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday
James Outman (LAD): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB.
James Outman capped off a six-run seventh inning with a go-ahead grand salami. He has been one of the best rookies in all of baseball with a 145 wRC+ and now five stolen bases. He is continuing to strike out with a current rate of 33.5%. He is still hitting the ball hard and in the air and that’s where he is getting his production.
Rodolfo Castro (PIT): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Castro has slowed down a bit after his hot start and also has had very little playing time lately. He is being used mostly as a platoon bat against lefties as he has sat for almost a week straight while the Pirates faced righties. He took his opportunity belting a 375-foot dinger and adding a 102 mph single. He is not worth a fantasy spot until he is a regular again.
Jake Cronenworth (SD): 2-3, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB.
I moved Cronenworth to my bench this morning, so of course, he homers immediately. He bopped a 106 mph dinger and added a 102 mph single with a couple of walks to boot. After this game, his wRC+ is back over 100 but his slash line is still a rough .220/.335/.393. The main redeeming quality is the 13.3% walk rate. There must be some significant bad luck here as he has a 25% line drive rate and yet a measly .259 BABIP.
Jorge Soler (MIA): 1-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
After an excellent start, Soler is still Solering. He belted a 407-foot dinger for his 11th of the year. Over his last 12 games, he has six dingers for a 203 wRC+. He has been smelting the ball all year with a 48.1% hard-hit rate and a nearly 20% barrel rate! There is not much to complain about with him and I don’t see much reason to doubt a solid rest of the season.
Corey Dickerson (WSH): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Dickerson has been a solid bat for a long time but the last few seasons he has struggled to stay on the field. He started this year on the IL with a calf injury and just came back. In his first start back he crushed a 432-foot home run in his first at-bat. He should be a platoon against righties moving forward so there may not be too much value here.
Luke Maile (CIN): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Luke Maile has been around the league since 2015 and I have only just heard about him. That is the life of a journeyman backup catcher that has a season-high 231 plate appearances back in 2018 with Toronto. Now with Cincy, Maile has been starting here and there but mostly coming in later in games. He hit his second homer of the season, a 424-foot bomb. And of course, it was at Coors.
Pablo Reyes (BOS): 2-5, 2 2B, R, 4 RBI.
Reyes kicked off the game with doubles in his first two at-bats bringing in four total runs. One was smashed at 109 mph and the other 104. Boston acquired him from Oakland about a week ago and he was already called up from Triple-A to replace an injured Enrique Hernández. Reyes has hit safely in each of the five games he has played in Boston. There is not much power here despite the hard doubles but he may swipe a few bags.
Stuart Fairchild (CIN): 2-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI.
Fairchild had an excellent game with two hard-hit doubles knocking in three runs. He also had a 104 mph line out earlier in the game. Hard hits have been few and far between for him this season with only 11 in 96 plate appearances prior to this game. He popped around a while in the league before making it back to the Reds who had drafted him in the second round back in 2017. He was solid in 2022 with a 146 wRC+ in 99 plate appearances with the Reds but has yet to reclaim that magic he had.
Christopher Morel (CHC): 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.
Despite a losing record, the Cubs have the third-highest run differential in the NL. And they somehow have lost five in a row even though they have had Christopher Morel in the lineup for over a week. He is slashing .371/.389/.857 in 36 plate appearances adding his fifth home run (a 110 mph bomb) and a 106 mph single. This young prospect is raking, yet has a near 40% K rate and only a three percent walk rate.
Alex Bregman (HOU): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Bregman has had quite an odd year. 14% walk rate and a 9.4% K rate but is only sporting a 103 wRC+. He has never hit the ball hard and his hard-hit rate has dipped to 34.7%. 50% fly balls and only 17.4% line drive rate without hitting the ball hard will get a lot of outs. The .217 BABIP should increase but without improving his contact Bregman’s power may be shot.
Adolis García (TEX): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Everyone’s favorite ‘How does he do it?’ guy, Adolis García popped two dingers in back-to-back innings both over 102 mph. He is having his best season so far continuing to cut his strikeouts and improving his walk rate. Despite his BABIP dropping over 40 points his batting average is still higher than the previous two seasons. His hard hit rate is up to 54.2% with a near 50% fly ball rate. Unlike Bregman, this is good. More hard hits in the air. Overall, there looks to be some sticky change here. He is swinging way less on pitches out of the zone and making more contact in. A recipe for success.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)