Jo Adell (LAA): 3-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, BB, SB.
Look who’s back after 23 home runs in 73 games in Triple-A with a 119 wRC+, 6.5% BB rate, and 29.2% K rate. It’s Jo Adell! His performance so far this season in Triple-A has been solid, and he did cut his strikeouts a bit (which is saying something), but there’s still plenty to be concerned about with his return to the big leagues. Adell had a rough introduction in 2020, striking out 41.7% of the time while hitting .161 with a 29 wRC+ in 132 plate appearances. He was not good. He also was only 21 and playing his first season during a pandemic. That was less than ideal.
Now he has more Triple-A experience under his belt and is back up again to the majors, ready to prove himself. This tweet from Brent Maguire illustrates a change in Adell, a stance change that brings his hands back and a bit higher while standing more straight up. Adell walked in his first plate appearance after falling behind with one ball and two strikes. That is great to see in his first time to the plate. In his second at-bat, he plated two with a double just out of reach of the left fielder on a 101.4 MPH liner. In the sixth inning, Adell hit a slow, easy grounder for an out, and in his next at-bat in the seventh, Adell hit another line drive past the infield playing in as the bases were loaded. That was his third RBI of the night. Finally, with one ball and two strikes in the ninth, Adell ripped a grounder down the left-field line for another double.
It was a promising showing for the return of the 22-year-old. Adell still has a lot to prove, but after watching his first game back to the bigs, I came away impressed.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:
Elias Díaz (COL): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.
Here’s a player that has had quite a surprise last month and a half. Since June 16th, Díaz has been slashing .309/.380/.691 with 11 dingers, an 11.1% K rate, and a 10.2% BB rate. His BABIP is also surprisingly low at .257 over that span. He has come back down to earth a bit more recently, with his peak in early to mid-July, but he still has been better than usual. Other than making more contact and limiting strikeouts, he is pulling the ball more, which is notable on his Baseball Savant spray chart where all of his home runs are. Colorado just finished a road trip, so if you are looking for catching and he’s available, now is the time to pounce.
Sam Hilliard (COL): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
Another Rocky on a tear, Hilliard has two home runs, four hits, and five RBIs in his last two games. Additionally, since rejoining the team on July 16th, he has been slashing .275/.370/.625. He is striking out over 30% of the time, but his hits are counting. He’s getting starting time in center now, and with a rough road trip ending, a little bit of Coors could help continue his excellent batting.
Starling Marte (OAK): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI, SB.
Marte was on the move again at the deadline, and this time he ends up in Oakland with an awesome offense, batting second. He is primed for a great finish to the 2021 season. He has back-to-back three-hit games and added a combo meal yesterday, making it four steals in the last two games. He has 15 stolen bases since the start of July. The usual power hasn’t been there, but playing in Miami can hurt that. He’ll easily rack up runs and stolen bases with a solid batting average the rest of the way.
Austin Nola (SD): 4-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI.
Nola returned from his IL stint with a knee sprain on July 22nd. It took a couple of games to get going, but he now has a five-game hit streak with last night’s four-hit night. Nola’s been a solid fantasy bat for a catcher since his rookie season in Seattle. He’ll hit around .270, not strike out a ton, and have some pop. As long as he has playing time in San Diego, he is worth a look if you need a catcher.
Willy Adames (MIL): 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI.
Adames just needed out of the Trop. Milwaukee and Tampa pulled the trigger early on this trade, sending Adames to the Brewers, and he has thrived. Since the trade, he is slashing .295/.379/.553 with a 148 wRC+ and 14 home runs in 269 plate appearances. He’s now hitting near the top of the Brewers’ lineup as well, getting plenty of run-scoring opportunities. If he is currently not owned in your league, make a move.
Teoscar Hernández (TOR): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Hernández surprised many people last season with his shortened season breakout. He was one of the many that people were not sure if he could continue his excellent hitting after the weird season. So far in 2021, he has shown it was not too much of a fluke. He’s not hitting as well, but he’s still kept his average around .300 while keeping a 30 home run pace. His hard-hit rate and barrel rate are still elite as well. One massive improvement from last season is how he’s handling breaking pitches. He slugged .207 in the 2020 season but is slugging .500 against them in 2021. That’s an outstanding improvement.
George Springer (TOR): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Since returning for the IL, Springer has been one of the best hitters in the game. And he’s hitting in the middle, or most recently at the top, of one of the most dangerous lineups in the league. He is slashing .287/.376/.607 with 10 homers in 141 plate appearances. Since the All-Star break, he’s been even better with a 228 wRC+ and an .815 slugging. He has scored 19 runs in 17 games while hitting either fourth or first in the Blue Jays order.
Abraham Toro (SEA): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Yesterday was Toro’s seventh game with the Mariners after moving over from Houston, and he’s been hard to stop. He has hit four dingers since the trade and even had two more in the final two games he played with Houston. He’s also had three multi-hit games since the trade. He very well could be a flash in the pan as his career average is .214 with a 93 wRC+, but in 2021 he’s kept his K rate to 16%. His hard-hit rate is nothing special, though, but he at least is no longer hitting grounders 50% of the time, like in his first two seasons.
Giancarlo Stanton (NYY): 2-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Stanton has struggled since the All-Star break, striking out over 35% of the time and hitting .164 with a 61 wRC+ until last night’s multi-hit game. He has not shown much power at all either, which is what he is drafted for. Yesterday’s game showed some promise with those hits, and his hardest-hit ball was a fly-out. It will be interesting to see how the Yankees play with their two new lefties and how that affects Stanton in the batting order and if he DHs or is in the outfield more often. Hopefully, that shake-up kicks him into gear.
Randy Arozarena (TB): 3-4, HR, R, RBI.
Arozarena is back again for his second Batter’s Box in two days. And that’s for good reason. Since the All-Star break, he is slashing .344/.394/.705 with three homers in his last four games and nine multi-hit games in that span of 16 games. He isn’t performing like the end of last season, but he’s still going to come close to a 20/20 season.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)