Davis Schneider (TOR): 2-2, 2 2B, 2 BB.
With a perfect night last night, Davis Schneider now leads baseball with a 1.607 OPS over the last 15 days. Just like we all drew it up at the beginning of the year, right? Well, maybe not quite, but besides there wouldn’t be any fun in all of this if we could simply see it all coming a mile away. Stories like Schneider’s are what make this game we follow worthwhile. Think about it. Six years ago, he was drafted 849th overall out of Eastern Voorhees High School in New Jersey. And now he’s not only in the major leagues but hitting cleanup for a team that’s trying to fight its way to the playoffs.
Last night’s line might not jump off the page but it’s a pretty amazing line when you consider he took all of three swings and netted two walks and two doubles. Sure, it was against…checks notes… Collin Snider and the Royals. Regardless, this guy is now slashing .403/.535/.881. Sure, fine, it’s 86 PA and those rates are just silly. Still, this is a historically good start to a career. Through his first 21 games, he’s been on base 46 times; that’s tied for the most in MLB’s modern era. Yes, I realize walks aren’t everything but how about another one: he now has just three fewer walks than Bo Bichette in 425 fewer PAs. And he’s up to 2.2 fWAR, that’s ahead of George Springer (1.7) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (0.6), in, uh a lot fewer games.
And just to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, yes, he was pretty darn good with Triple-A Buffalo where he accumulated a .969 OPS, with 21 home runs, an 18.4% BB rate, and a 21.9% K rate across 87 games. Again, the sample size is flimsy but I think it’s pretty clear that his plate discipline and power are legit. The one weakness when considering his profile on PLV is his contact-ability which is currently at 20 (20-80 scale), so that might be a concern. All things considered, he might, for the time being at least, fall a little short of the glorious moniker that Brandon Belt bestowed upon him, but he could prove to be a Max Muncy type of hitter. Not a bad outcome for anyone let alone a 28th-round pick.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:
Trea Turner (PHI): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB.
Remember when we were worried about this man? What a time that was. He’s hitting .413 with a 1.483 OPS over the last 15 days (11 games). And that’s with eight home runs and four stolen bases.
Chris Taylor (LAD): 1-2, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.
What? You’re not interested in the 33-year-old Dodgers utility man extraordinaire? In all fairness, Taylor has had himself a pretty decent season with 15 HR and 15 SB in 100 games. Not bad. He hit leadoff last night against a lefty with Mookie Betts on the shelf and could provide some short-term value. The multi-position eligibility is always a plus.
Evan Carter (TEX): 1-3, SB.
A Top 10 prospect, the lefty-hitting Carter wasted no time and whacked a groundball single through the right side of the infield for his first career hit. Carter had a .413 OBP in the minors this season along with 26 steals, so he’s an interesting gamble. His game power is probably well below average at this point though.
Carlos Correa (MIN): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, RBI, BB.
I feel like the old lady in Titanic whenever I think about Carlos Correa. He exists now only in my memory. I guess all he needed was a game against a team that almost signed him. In fairness, the home run was a bomb off Kodai Senga at 439 feet with a 114.3 EV. Still, a career-low .232 average and a .719 OPS, a few points ahead of his career-low in 2020, make him awfully hard to get excited about.
Royce Lewis (MIN): 2-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI.
It seems like we’ve heard about Lewis for ages as a big-time prospect and it’s great to finally see him thriving after being derailed by injuries. Through 47 games, he’s hitting .320 with a .915 OPS both leading the Twins. Lewis’ PLV profile indicates average power (50) and contact ability (50) with below-average swing decisions (45 DV) and the results have been exceedingly good (70 in HP).
Tyler O’Neill (STL): 2-4, 2B, R, BB.
Injuries cost O’Neill this year but he’s been excellent in the second half with a .854 OPS, a 12.9% BB rate, and a 19.7% K rate. His PLV profile is impressive and indicates excellent power (60) with good-quality swing decisions (60 DV), and also only slightly below-average contact-ability (45). That last bit is interesting because strikeouts have always been a big talking point against him. I’m curious to see where his ADP lands next year as he could make for a really strong buyback.
Jasson Domínguez (NYY): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
He’s now the youngest player since 1901 to go yard in at least four of his first seven games. Fine, that’s all well and good. Wait, now he’s stealing bases too? Well, yeah, he swiped 40 this year in the minors. The more impressive thing to me is that he has just a 17.2% K rate. Let’s see if that sticks.
Ha-Seong Kim (SD): 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, 3 SB.
It’s been a remarkable breakout season for Kim who has career-highs in OPS (.786), batting average (.273), home runs (17), and stolen bases (34). PLV notes Kim as one of the most passive hitters in baseball with a -12.6% swing aggression; that’s the lowest among all hitters with at least 550 pitches seen and a huge drop from last year’s -6.8%. His power (40) is the one weak spot in his profile though.
Yoán Moncada (CWS): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Moncada’s eighth of the year (374 feet, 101.9 EV) was the only blemish against Tiger’s starter Reese Olson. So that’s home runs in three consecutive games. Are we interested? Maybe? Although eight home runs in 273 at-bats is pretty bleak. The White Sox at least get three games at home next week against the Royals and it looks like they’ll miss Cole Ragans, so Moncada might get some good matchups there.
CJ Abrams (WSH): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.
Hard not to be impressed with Abrams, right? His 16th of the year was an impressive shot just to the left of straightaway center on an outside fastball from Emmet Sheehan. Abrams’ power is definitely on the upswing (45 via PLV) and now with 41 steals, the path to being a fantasy dynamo is evident. The only blemish is that the overall quality of his swing decisions is pretty rough (35 DV) so there might be some growing pains next year if pitchers attack him differently.
Nolan Jones (COL): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
Jones’ 15th of the year was a really impressive piece of hitting; he stayed back on a 3-2 slider down the middle from Kyle Harrison and launched it 399 feet to left-center (109.1 EV). It illustrated the sort of easy power he has (65 via PLV). He’s now sporting an eight-game hitting streak and is hitting .285 with a .895 OPS. However, his 31.9% K rate is the stick in the mud.
Image courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis and Aaron Polcare