Please Sir, I Want Some Moore
Dylan Moore (SEA): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Dylan Moore has been a curious fantasy baseball player the past two seasons. He has had over 20 steals in each of those seasons in under 400 plate appearances. It only took him 255 last season. Coming into 2023 with the rules changes, he had a big shot to stand out, except for an oblique injury which has kept him sidelined until the beginning of June.
Despite the tasty stolen base rate, Moore is still a utility role player that didn’t have much room on the roster for a starting spot. After his return, he was mostly a pinch hitter and pinch runner. However, that fate changed after Jarred Kelenic fractured his foot. Since then Moore has played nearly every day. And he’s surprised with a bit of pop.
Yesterday, Moore smoked a 379-foot dinger in his first at-bat. Later in the game, he added a 429-foot bomb. He’s now at four home runs on the season through 49 plate appearances after hitting just six last year in five times as many PAs. However, Moore has not stolen many bags with only two this year. I could see a surge now that he is going to be starting more often.
With a bit more consistent playing time, I can see Moore settling into a production more akin to the last two seasons. If you are in the market for steals and don’t mind a rough batting average, Moore could be appealing here.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday
José Ramírez (CLE): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, SB.
José Ramírez has had a good season. More walks than strikeouts, a 125 wRC+, on pace for another 20/20 season, but it hasn’t seemed like the superstar levels that he’s played at since 2017. Notably, his ISO has been hovering around .200 when it usually lives mid-.200s and sometimes closer to .300. Yet, he had himself a day, hitting two bombs and stole a base, reaching 16 and 13 on the year respectively. And notably, he hasn’t hit as a righty this year which is not usually the case.
Matt Wallner (MIN): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
This is Wallner’s third stint in the majors this season. This time he arrived due to Jose Miranda’s time on the IL. This is his 10th game since and he has been hitting in the middle of the lineup. He hit his second and third homers in two games yesterday, one of which was a 426-foot oppo shot out to left center. He strikes out quite a bit, but he has the power that can play.
Julio Rodríguez (SEA): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI.
Julio drove three extra-base hits including a 113 mph double in the first and a 422-foot homer in the third for his 17th of the season. His power has been more absent than last season, despite a higher hard-hit rate than last year. His ISO is down to .177 from .225 last year with a slightly lower barrel rate as well. Also, he’s been pulling the ball slightly less often. All this to say, I understand why he’s not performing as well as last year, but I also believe he’s underperforming with how he’s hitting the ball.
Nolan Gorman (STL): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Wait, didn’t I just write about this guy? This is his fourth game since I wrote about him last week (not including the game he appeared in with no plate appearance) and he has two games with no hits and two games with a home run or more. I feel that has summed up Gorman’s season to a tee. Yesterday, he annihilated two baseballs. Both of his home runs were over 430 feet. I feel like he’s done with that awful stretch but he’ll still give you some rough games here and there.
Whit Merrifield (TOR): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
After a couple of down years offensively, Merrifield has had a solid 2023 in Toronto. He’s slashing .299/.350/.413 with 20 steals and seven homers after hitting one last night. He added four RBI and a couple of runs. Getting out of Kansas City and into the Toronto lineup can’t hurt, but he’s taken his own hitting up a notch as well. He’s rebounded his line drive rate after a career low of 19.7% last year and brought it up to 26.7% this season. That has done wonders to his BABIP (up nearly 80 points from last year too). I can’t imagine that sticks but it should stay better than last year at least.
Christian Walker (ARI): 3-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
After a strikeout in the first and a sac fly, he finished the game with three straight hits over 101 mph including a ninth-inning, 391-foot homer. After a rough start to the year (87 wRC+ in April), he has settled into how he played last season. Since the start of May, he is slashing .276/.362/.566 with a 145 wRC+, 18 dingers and six steals. Everything else is similar to his great 2022, a fly ball rate in the high 40s, a hard hit rate in the low 40s, a 10% walk rate and a 19% K rate. In the end, he’s looking at a better season than last year too.
Andrew Knizner (STL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Knizner has been the backup catcher in St. Louis the last few years but recently was on the IL with a groin injury. He has shown some pop this year but with his role and full line, there isn’t much reason to roster him in fantasy. He did have a great game with a couple hits including a home run that just made it out.
Corbin Carroll (ARI): 3-4, 2B, 3 R, BB, SB.
Carroll keeps being all over the place keeping his stock up for running away with the Rookie of the Year. With the steal last night, he is officially a part of the 20/30 club with plenty of time left in the year. He has a shot to get to 30/40.
Alex Bregman (HOU): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Bregman has had quite a power push lately with five home runs in his last 10 games. He’s slashed .421/.476/.868 in that span with 10 runs and 10 RBI as well. He is now up to a more respectable 17 dingers on the season, which has changed the outlook on his season quite drastically. Before this span, his season wRC+ was just 102 with only a .238 batting average. He’s been barreling the ball much more often in that span with a 60% fly ball rate.
Nathaniel Lowe (TEX): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.
After last year’s breakout, Lowe has had a quieter season, especially on the power front, but he still is sporting a 133 wRC+, and is about to surpass his run total from last season already. Lowe is also on a 10-game hit streak and in a 20-game stretch with a 190 wRC+ and four home runs. Despite the homers not being there, he has more doubles than last year at 27. He has a lower hard hit rate with still a low 30% flyball rate but he’s walking about five percent more often and has cut his Ks slightly from last year.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Featured image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)