Adolis García (TEX): 4-4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, SB.
What a difference a day can make. One day Adolis García is hitting a pedestrian .239 through 382 plate appearances, sitting just under the MLB average of .243, and the next he sees his slash jump to .248/.292/.460. A perfect day at the plate (and on the base paths) will do that, even in late July. García enjoyed a productive Sunday, going 4-4 with a HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, and a stolen base thrown in for good luck.
To compare García’s first 387 plate appearances from his 2021 breakout campaign to his start of 2022 would be frivolous, but that won’t stop me from doing it. Despite striking out over 30% of the time, García had already swatted 23 home runs and stolen eight bags through his first 387 PA’s. Somewhat ironically, he also kept his swings in the zone, taking chances on less than 40% of the balls thrown out of the zone and swinging at almost 74% of the balls given to him over the plate.
Fast forward to 2022, where García hasn’t quite hit the ball over the fence at the break necking pace he set last year (17 home runs). We’ve seen close to a mirror image of discipline, making the same cuts out of the zone and swinging at even more pitches over the plate, with opposing pitchers giving him the exact same percentage of chances to that regards (41.3%) through those 387 plate appearances. Though it doesn’t appear García has developed much more discipline as a whole, he has decided to become more aggressive with the high percentage shots his opponents are giving him and the results are keeping pace with what fantasy managers fell in love with in 2021.
This approach has led to a slight dip in strikeouts (30.5% vs 28.2%) and an increase in line drives (16.3% vs 29.5%) and in turn a more sustainable BABIP (.309 vs .304). Though the power is real, it may not manifest the exact same way it did through the 2021 season. Fantasy managers should enjoy the more consistent approach García is showing the rest of the way and perhaps not expect the same collapse we saw in the second half of 2021.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday
Pete Alonso (NYM): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
Despite no longer being the reigning home run derby champion, Pete Alonso won’t stop hitting bombs when it counts. Alonso knocked out his 25th of the year, good for 5th most in the majors. Oh, and his four RBI brings him up to 82, also good for 5th most across MLB.
Paul Goldschmidt (STL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
What do you say about the guy who does everything? Paul Goldschmidt knocked out his 23rd and 24th home runs on Sunday, and is now sitting on a four game two-hit streak. Not a bad way to go out when you’re slated to take a few games off when your team is slated to head north next week.
Kris Bryant (COL): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
One would have thought Kris Bryant would be padding his career stats by heading to Colorado, but I guess it would help if he actually started playing games in Colorado first. Sunday marked Bryant’s 36th game in a Rockies’ uniform, with 20 of them being at Coors Field. It was his fourth three-hit performance of the season, despite the limited run of games, while hitting his fifth over the fence. And though it shouldn’t mean much with such a small sample, it may be worth tracking as it is Colorado after all; all five home runs have come on the road.
Chad Pinder (OAK): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Despite continuing to strikeout at a career high rate, July has been good to Chad Pinder, despite the limited playing time to start the month. After this two-hit game Sunday, including his third home run of the year, he is now slashing .304/.313/.609 through 48 July plate appearances. Pinder has eclipsed his trips to the plate compared to 2021 in less games, but continues to struggle with his over-aggressiveness to the tune of a 33% strikeout rate on the season (and on the month).
Yan Gomes (CHC): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
After receiving seven days off, Yan Gomes finally had a chance to follow up his two-hit performance with another, this time, knocking both hits out of the park for his fourth and fifth home runs of the season. However, it’s not too likely many fantasy managers outside of deep, two catcher leagues reaped the benefit of Gomes’ productive Sunday, as Gomes has not seen the production and playing time many expected to see in Chicago; Willson Contreras still continues to rack up plate appearances, with 50 of his 80 games coming behind the plate.
Sean Murphy (OAK): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB.
Volume matters and Sean Murphy has it in spades, leading all catchers in plate appearances (360) this season. That volume helps keep Murphy in the top five for fantasy-relevant counting stats (R and RBI) among catchers, despite the slightly above average slash of .245/.320/.428. Murphy has now reached base in 14 straight games and should continue seeing plenty of opportunities in the heart of the Oakland line up throughout the rest of the season.
Jonah Heim (TEX): 3-4, 3 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB.
Jonah Heim had already been racking up plenty of plate appearances for the Rangers this season, but the Mitch Garver injury news solidified him as a volume play everywhere. Just in the month of July, Heim has racked up 65 plate appearances and collected 20 hits, seven of those hits destined for extra bases. On the month, Heim has produced a .333/.385/.517 slash while providing the fifth-most plate appearances among catchers in the month.
Max Stassi (LAA): 3-4, 2B, 3B, R, 3 RBI.
Why does it feel like there’s always a bunch of catchers that hit well on Sundays? While Stassi aligns more with aforementioned Yan Gomes as far as playing time goes, that is typically due to health concerns and not so much depth chart order. Sunday marked Stassi’s eight multi-hit games, though his first since mid-June. The power production is rarely in question with the Angels’ backstop as shown with his 10.2% barrel rate, though his patience has chipped away at opportunities he’s had this season, as his 25th ranked 12.5% walk rate gives him less chances to collect.