Andrew Vaughn (CWS): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI.
After a third-inning double, Andrew Vaughn sent a moonshot into the stands in his final AB of the game. It was the game’s third hardest-hit ball traveling at 104.3 mph at a 35-degree launch angle. He concluded the impressive evening by going 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI. Additionally, in the past week, he’s been flexing at the dish by going 5-for-18 with four extra-base hits(two 2B, two HR). Given the team’s recent injury news, the White Sox need any help they can get.
It’s almost like deja vu from 2021 with Eloy Jiménez going down with an injury and Vaughn rises to the occasion. Furthermore, since the injury to Eloy, Chicago has made it a point to stick Vaughn in the two-hole of the time, and what we are seeing is a player developed nicely before our eyes. He’s swinging less outside the zone and the added patience is already paying off as his K% is well under 16%(down six points from 2021).
So, what will the future hold for the former third-overall pick from the 2019 draft? Well, soon as Luis Robert’s health returns, he’ll head back to the two-hole, and Vaughn likely drops to the latter half of the lineup. So we could see fewer runs in his future but there will be RBI opportunities and a chance to put up his first 20 HR season. All he needs is the playing time. ::cough cough:: Looking sternly at you TLR!
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
Max Kepler (MIN): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
In the top of the second inning, Kepler took a 1-0 four-seam fastball for a ride into deep left-center field for his this HR of the season. Then, in his next AB, Kepler launched another 1-0 pitch into the center-field bleachers. Both dingers were against his former teammate Michael Pineda. Furthermore, Kepler is a machine against RHP. Throughout his 2600 career ABs, he showcases a .802 OPS and wRC+ that’s 40 points higher against RHP. What’s the moral of the story? Find any way to start Max Kepler against a righty but never a southpaw.
J.D. Martinez (BOS): 2-4, 2B, R, RBI.
This season has started somewhat slow for JDM. Sure, he’s been able to chip in a hit here or a hit there, but where has the power gone? He’s still a maven with the bat as he’s 15-for-54 but a .278/.344/.481 but only one HR. Rather, Martinez has traded dingers for doubles, and eight of his hits are two-baggers. So, it’s not a shocker that he tallied yet another one late in last night’s game. JDM will still put up the well-above league average and provide an abundance of counting stats, but given the deaden ball outcomes, 20 HRs might be the ceiling and not the floor.
Eric Hosmer (SD): 2-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.
Hosmer is off to one of the hottest starts by slashing .410/.463/.607 with a 1.070 OPS. Before the season began, rostering Hosmer made you seem like the pariah, but how quickly things can change. He’s steadily climbing the transactional adds page after his near-perfect night, where he did a little of everything(except steal a base). The Padres 1B wound up on a base in every AB and assisted in dismantling Cincinnati’s pitching. As far as fantasy purposes, Hosmer is still available in 70% of Yahoo league, and given how challenging it’s been to find corner infielders, that roster% needs to be higher-even if it’s short-term while Hosmer is hot.
Chas McCormick (HOU): 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI.
The Astros CF found himself in the leadoff spot for the third time in the team’s last four games. However, that spot will likely belong to Jose Altuve upon returning from the IL, which is any day now. Last night is a good indication of how Chas can do as he launched his first HR of the season. He touts a career 9.3% barrel rate in nearly 380 plate appearances, so the power potential is there. But the biggest hindrance has been consistent playing time. If he can stave off Jose Siri and Jake Meyers (currently on the IL), a 15HR/5 SB season is in the cards. That kind of production and a decent batting average would play nicely as an OF5.
Kyle Farmer (CIN): 3-4, 3 2B, R, RBI.
The 3-15 Reds dropped yet another game but not due to the efforts of their SS. Kyle Farmer tried to keep the score closer by driving in Tommy Pham in the bottom of the third inning. A seven-pitch AB saw him fall behind in the count early, as he fouled off three pitches before connecting with a hanging curveball. Later in the game, he chipped in two more doubles, giving him seven on the season. Unfortunately, his power has been limited to doubles, and Farmer is only a multi-positional streamer (at home) in deeper league formats.
J.P. Crawford (SEA): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
There was speculation that Crawford would lead off for Seattle, but those duties belong to Adam Frazier. Crawford slid down to the five-hole to stagger the lineup and is flourishing. His HR in the 7th inning was his third on the season and jump-started the Seattle offense, which eventually fell a little short. But he’s already got 22 hits in 63 AB(.349 BA), and the newfound power adds up to a 1.042 OPS on the season. Now, it’s a little buyer beware for a player that’s never flashed HR totals in the double-digits. However, at the very minimum, Crawford should be rostered in more than 60% of leagues.
Taylor Ward (LAA): 3-4, 2B, 3B, HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, BB.
If you thought Crawford was off to a hot start, look at Taylor Ward’s numbers. After another fantastic night that Ward did everything, he’s slashing .395/.531/.816 with a 1.347 OPS. THESE ARE VIDEO GAME NUMBERS! Perhaps SPs are paying too much attention to Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, but they’ll notice Ward now. Point blank, he’s barreling the ball at a 20% clip and swinging outside the zone only 18% of the time. Please don’t delay; insert this human cheat code into your lineups as he’s available in 55% of Yahoo leagues. Tip of the day: It’s always best to get ahead of potential breakout
Chad Pinder (OAK): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
On the sixth pitch of the game, Chad Pinder sent Sam Long‘s changeup sailing into the bleachers. This was the only offense needed to take down the Giants. Additionally, the sputtering Oakland offense has only scored more than two runs once in the last eight games. Furthermore, Pinder missed the team’s previous eight games to the IL. Now, he’s not the only offense Oakland has, but the team is relatively depressed for talent, and Pinder has a chance to volumize his way into relevancy but only in deeper league formats.
José Iglesias (COL): 4-4, R.
Let’s get this out of the way early; Iglesias is a terrific real-life baseball player but not so much for fantasy purposes. His 13.6 career fWAR is wholly built on his infield defense. As for the bat, he’s only managed 39 barrels in 2611 batted ball events, which calculates out to a 1.5% barrel rate. This should be somewhat relevant because Iglesias sprinkled four singles around the diamond. Lastly, the best way to describe him is as a defense-first, light-hitting infielder. He’s only rostered in 2% of Yahoo leagues, and unless you’re desperate for batting average, best to look the other way while scouring the waiver wires.
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For some reason Max Kepler mashed lefties the year he had 36 bombs. This year he’s mashing lefties again.
Kepler was going to be the primary player but I elected to choose Vaughn because I’ve been a fan of his for a number of years.
Kepler is so streaky, it’ll be interesting to see if anything sticks to the entire season. The 36 HRs came in 2019 when we had the bouncy ball. From everything Im reading and seeing this year, the ball is not traveling as far. Its a tough call either way.
Plate discipline is unchanged by the bouncy/dead ball tho, and the depression of hr’s is league wide …. I bet he’s a league leader in homers this year (if what he’s doing now sticks) plus throw in the steals. Potential league winner
Bold! I like it!
But I don’t see it sticking. Kepler has a 50% ground ball rate and hitting nearly 10% fewer fly balls than his career norms. Plus, a 26% HR/FB ratio is unsustainable. However, his quality of contact is better…he’ll be a fun one to watch!
Would you pick up Hosmer for Hoskins?
No, I would stick with Hoskins for RoS.
Every year we get a hot flashy start from someone, and I’d make Hosmer a bench bat but not drop a player with Hoskins upside.