Nick Gordon (MIN): 3-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.
Nick Gordon had been filling in nicely during his rookie campaign in Minnesota as a utility fill-in throughout the season, and with the number of injuries the Twins have sustained, there’s been plenty of opportunities for Gordon to find time. His Thursday performance (3-4, HR, R, 4 RBI) was simply a reminder to those not paying attention to what he’s capable of if given the opportunity. This past week or so has been no exception, with the recent placement of Rob Refsnyder to the IL, the Twins have created a new hole to fill and Gordon has fit in nicely while still filling in around the infield from time to time.
Through his 51 September plate appearances, Gordon is slashing .362/.412/.638 with three home runs and five stolen bases, fueled at least in part by a nice .438 BABIP and a 65.7% hard-hit rate in that time. There’s little reason to suspect Gordon won’t continue to be a mainstay in the Twins’ lineup through the final nine days of the regular season and despite hitting at the bottom of the lineup, looks to be a piece that will help fantasy teams win championships with his late hot play.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday
Juan Soto (WSH): 3-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
What more could I say about Juan Soto? He’s firmly in the discussion for NL MVP, regardless of team status, thanks to his individual efforts, including a league-leading walk rate of 21.4%, batting average of .325, on-base percentage of .470, and fifth lowest strikeout rate of 13.7%. If you roster Soto, simply enjoy the ride for the final week of the season and prepare to pay up first-round value going into 2022 drafts.
J.T. Realmuto (PHI): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
There’s no reason to think J.T. Realmuto can’t be useful in every game, even if he’s slated to sit on the bench. The Phillies’ backstop entered Thursday’s game as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and still found a way to tally three hits, including his 16th home run of the season, and score two runs while driving in four more. Hopefully, if you roster Realmuto, you didn’t overthink it in a daily moves league and left him in your lineup despite the scheduled non-start.
Carson Kelly (ARI): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.
Thursday was a nice reminder of what Carson Kelly can be when he turns it on, though overall lately this performance has been the exception rather than the norm. His start of the season really weighs heavily on his positive season line, with half of his now 12 home runs coming in April, along with a .340/.507/.717 slash through his first 73 plate appearances. In comparison, Kelly has slashed just .211/.302/.336 since the start of May through his next 258 plate appearances.
Tim Anderson (CWS): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
It would seem Tim Anderson did not want to wait until the second game of the White Sox’s doubleheader to clinch the AL Central title and did everything in his power to ensure no one in Chicago would have to wait either. The White Sox shortstop should be expected to miss a few games down the final week as there’s little reason for Tony LaRussa to push him and his hamstring with their playoff situation clearly in focus already.
Tyrone Taylor (MIL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.
Tyrone Taylor did his best Tim Anderson impression, though unfortunately, his two home run performance wasn’t enough to clinch the division for the Brewers. Taylor, who was activated from the IL earlier this week, should continue to spell time for the rest of the Milwaukee outfield for the remainder of the season, but beyond a daily moves league may not be enough of a guarantee to plug in for the final week in most formats.
Paul Goldschmidt (STL): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
In case there was any doubt, Paul Goldschmidt continues to impress with back-to-back three-hit performances. The Cardinals are primed to make the playoffs and a big reason for their late-season success has been Goldschmidt’s play, including his .341/.411/.637 slash line through his 207 plate appearances stemming from the start of August. There’s little reason to suspect the St. Louis first baseman won’t continue the trend in the final week of the season as the Cardinals try to sure up their Wild Card berth.
Corey Seager (LAD): 4-5, 2 RBI.
Speaking of unlikely Wild Card competitors, the Dodgers find themselves playoff-bound but still fighting for the right to play a full series rather than a single wild card matchup. Shortstop Corey Seager continues to do his part to push Los Angeles back on top of the NL West, while simultaneously increasing his impending free agency value in the process. Since returning from his IL stint at the end of July, Seager has slashed .310/398/.485 through 201 plate appearances, while striking out just 15.4% of the time compared to an impressive 12.4% walk rate. It would seem the presence of Trea Turner has done nothing but fuel Seager’s production since his return.
Trea Turner (LAD): 3-4, R, RBI, BB, SB.
Speaking of Trea Turner, he hasn’t been too shabby since joining the Dodgers’ infield either. The now everyday option at the keystone for Los Angeles has slashed .318/.369/.465 with a .357 wOBA through 187 plate appearances since moving out west after the trade deadline. Perhaps most notable to his fantasy rosters have been the five stolen bases in the past 10 games, giving him 31 on the season and squashing any concerns some may have had about whether Los Angeles would “allow” Turner to run as readily around the bases as we saw him do in Washington.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)