Catch & Re-Luis
Luis Rengifo (LAA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Luis Rengifo has spent the past few years as a utility man for the Angels, but it seems like he has finally settled into an everyday role at second base. Rengifo had a rough first half of the season, batting just .202 (40-for-193) through the end of June. In July, though, Rengifo has batted .302 (14-for-43) and moved his way to the leadoff spot in the beleaguered Angels lineup.
Luis Rengifo (LAA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
On Sunday afternoon, Rengifo recorded his first multi-home run game of the season, blasting off against the Pirates to lead the Angels to a 7-5 victory. Rengifo took Mitch Keller deep in the fifth inning, smashing a first-pitch changeup for a solo shot. He added another home run in the sixth inning, taking a first-pitch fastball deep into the left field bleachers as Los Angeles extended its lead. With his recent hot hitting and the Angels’ lack of middle infield depth, Rengifo should continue to see regular at-bats in the second half and could be a deep league consideration at middle infield.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday
Anthony Rizzo (NYY): 4-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI.
After 45 games, Rizzo snapped the longest homer-less drought of his career with a third-inning blast off of Jordan Lyles. It was part of a 4-for-4 day from the plate for Rizzo as the Yankees defeated the Royals, 8-5, on Sunday afternoon. His teammates were well aware of his notorious streak, giving him the silent treatment in the dugout after his round-tripper, before eventually celebrating with the colorful veteran. Rizzo managers are in desperate need of a breakout from the first baseman who has batted just .131 (8-for-61) in July prior to Sunday’s games. Perhaps the 4-for-4 effort is a sign of things to come.
Lane Thomas (WSH): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, 4 SB.
With four stolen bases, Thomas almost earned the headline of today’s column. It would have been titled “Life in the Fast Lane,” but Rengifo’s double-dong effort took precedence. Thomas continued his career season with three hits, including a double, and swiped a career-high four bags. Thomas had a massive read on Anthony DeSclafani, swiping three of his bags against the Giants’ long man, including third base twice. The Nationals have seemingly changed their philosophy on the basepaths since the All-Star Break. Washington has stolen 14 bases in nine games in the second half after finishing the first half with just 48 stolen bases in 89 games.
JJ Bleday (OAK): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB.
A combo meal for JJ Bleday on Sunday wasn’t enough to lead the Athletics past the Astros as they fell to their division rivals, 3-2. Bleday blasted a first-inning four-seamer 434 feet into the Oakland stands to put the team ahead, 1-0. He added a lead-off single in the sixth, stole second, and then came around to score later in the inning. With eight home runs and five stolen bases, Bleday has displayed his potential as a five-tool player. However, his below-average hard contact rate (21.5%) and his .215 batting average will need to improve before he becomes fantasy relevant.
Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
After a putrid start to the season in April and May, Gunnar Henderson has become an absolute stud through the dog days of summer, leading the Orioles to the best record in the American League. On Sunday, he blasted a ball so far that the camera operator at Tropicana Field could not locate the landing area. The two-run home run measured at 446 feet, but anyone who watched it live would say it looked a heck of a lot longer than that.
Max Muncy (LAD): 1-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.
Max Muncy perpetrated some lefty-on-lefty violence in the first inning on Sunday, taking Martín Pérez deep for a grand slam. And that was it. The Dodgers inexplicably stopped scoring and fell to the Rangers, 8-4. Muncy turned on a 2-1 cutter and launched it 396 feet into the Texas heat. With 24 home runs and 63 RBI, Muncy’s power production has helped fantasy managers look past his .196 batting average.
Spencer Torkelson (DET): 2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.
When Spencer Torkelson makes contact, the ball goes a really long way. The Tigers’ first baseman launched his 15th home run of the season on Sunday afternoon, taking Joe Musgrove deep to left to help Detroit defeat the Padres, 3-1. Torkelson has blasted 11 home runs since the beginning of June, showing off the elite power production that the Tigers were hoping for when they drafted him first overall a few years ago.
Mike Ford (SEA): 1-1, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.
The Mariners haven’t had a designated hitter this good since Edgar Martinez retired. Ford welcomed Alek Manoah back to the big leagues with a 407-foot two-run bomb to put the Mariners ahead, 2-0 on Sunday afternoon before being pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth. Ford has hit 11 home runs in just 111 at-bats for the Mariners this season. His ridiculous pace can’t possibly keep up, can it? Well, his xAVG is 14 points higher than his batting average and his .381 xWOBA ranks 14th in the MLB… so there’s a chance that the production is at least somewhat sustainable.
Riley Adams (WSH): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Adams finished with a pair of hits, including a 348-foot home run to lead the Nationals past the Giants on Sunday. Adams led off the fourth with a single and came around to score a few batters later. In the sixth inning, Adams teed off on a DeSclafani curve ball, putting just over the left-field wall to give the Nationals a 6-0 lead. Adams doesn’t get many at-bats as the clear backup to Keibert Ruiz, but he has batted .289 with four home runs in 87 at-bats this season.