Hold the Lindor

Breaking down the best hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Francisco Lindor (NYM): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

This is my final Batter’s Box of the season so I thought it was a good idea to indulge myself a tad. I’m going to dive into Francisco Lindor and take a look at what he can provide to fantasy rosters for 2022 now that the 2021 season is behind us and year one of the largest contract in New York Mets’ history is behind us as well.

Lindor has played 120 games this year with 502 plate appearances missing out on a good chunk of time due to an oblique strain which I can’t imagine is good for swinging. Lindor has been a first or second round pick for a few years now due to his hitting close to .300 with 30-plus homers and around 20 steals. He didn’t reach anywhere close to that in any category this year. Based on his rates for this season, if he were to have gotten closer to 700 plate appearances as he had in the past, he would have been around 26 homers and 14 steals which is better but not close to what we’d want from him.

What made this season so different? Well first, he became a Met so get your laughs out of the way. He was taking more balls which led to a higher walk rate but he also has been making less contact on pitches out of the zone. A lot less. His o-contact rate was 63.6% this year while his career average is 72.1%. His zone contact rate is down four percentage points from his career average as well. Not as high but still noticeable. But with the increased whiffs came an increased hard hit rate and barrel rate. That did not translate well outside of underperforming his xStats from Baseball Savant pretty drastically.

I have a difficult time seeing him have another season like 2018 but a return to something closer to 2017 or 2019 makes some sense if he can get his whiff rate a bit more under control.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Luis Robert (CWS): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Robert has been on fire since returning to the White Sox back in the beginning of August. In those 176 plate appearances he is slashing .367/.403/.645 with 11 homers and a 15.9% K rate. Last night he added two monster homers both at 111 mph traveling 415 and 445 feet. He’s recovered from his early season injury and will be a huge fantasy player moving forward.

Andy Ibáñez (TEX): 3-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI.

Ibáñez has been in Triple-A since 2018 and finally made his debut this season after putting up big numbers (a .640 SLG) in his first 30 games in the minors. He’s been in the bigs for 71 games now and has shown he belongs with a 106 wRC+. Notably, he’s a much more of a contact hitter. His K rate usually is no more than 15% across all minor league levels and he has continued that into his rookie season with 13.9%. The power is not there as it was in Triple-A this year. It’s looking more like the rest of his time in the minors so I would guess this is more like who he will be as a batter moving forward.

Jake McCarthy (ARI): 2-2, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

McCarthy has been up for about a month now in his rookie season and hit his second home run of his career yesterday. He is known for his speed and glove in the minors as he stole 31 bases across all levels so far in 2021. He is most likely going to remain a piece that comes off the bench late in games and get the occasional due to injury but his only impact would be a handful of steals.

Colin Moran (PIT): 2-2, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB.

Moran started off his game with a 406 foot homer for his 10th of the season matching his total from the shortened season last year. He has some bright stretches like early in the season where he was maintaining some success from 2020, but he fell off quick barely getting any hard hits. It seems more and more that his 2020 success was just a flash in the pan.

Bryan Reynolds (PIT): 3-4, 2B, 3 R.

Reynolds scattered three hits and three hard hit balls yesterday to add to his resurgent season. After a solid rookie campaign, he struggled mightily in 2020. But he may have been the only bright spot for the Pirates in 2021. He now is slashing .296/.384/.508 with 24 home runs. That is very nearly the coveted .300/.400/.500 line that only Soto, Vlad, and Harper can call their own this season.

Nick Martini (CHC): 4-4, 2 RBI.

After pretty exclusively pinch hitting for his short time up in May and now again in September, Martini has three starts behind him. In these three starts he is six for ten with the four for four from yesterday. His lone out was a productive sac fly. He’s had decent plate discipline in the minors (walk rates around 12% and K rates around 15%) but he’s been striking out in the mid-20s in his short time in the majors. He won’t have much fantasy impact especially on a team like the Cubs.

Aaron Judge (NYY): 2-2, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Judge is doing what he can to help propel this Yankee team to the playoffs. He hit a short 366 foot homer which was still enough as well as a 103 mph sac fly. In his last 16 games, he has 14 hits and seven of which are home runs. He is completing an excellent season with enough health to call it a full year.

Giancarlo Stanton (NYY): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

This man is on another planet right now. He has homered in four straight and has 13 RBIs in this span with nine hits. He also has nine homers in his last 15 games for a 213 wRC+ in that span. Yesterday’s exit velocities included a 108.6 mph groundout, a 107-mph, 421-foot home run, and a 105.3 mph double. His rolling hard hit rate for his last 50 batted balls is now 64% and climbing. If there’s one player the Yankees can point to for this current streak, it is Stanton.

Luis Urías (MIL): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Urías has been quietly solid in the back half of the Brewer’s lineup. His 11.3% walk rate has led to a .345 OBP despite a .249 average. He’s added 22 dingers including one last night. He’s also been handling the strike zone better this year lowering his K rate to 20.3%. He is making less contact overall, but he is swinging more often specifically at strikes. His zone swing rate went from below 60% to 69.2% this season while showing no change to his o-swing. This has been a journey through the season too as he started with a K rate around 25% through the end of May. Since the start of June, his K rate has been 17.8%. Excellent improvement across the board for a 122 wRC+ in that time.

Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

 

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

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