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Juan Last Time

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

Juan Soto (WSH): 1-1, HR, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB, SB.

In what very well may have been his final game as a National, Juan Soto put up a quintessential stat line – 1-1, HR, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB, SB.

Soto flashed the power in his bat, showcased his incredible eye at the plate, and even stole a base last night. In the fourth inning, Soto blasted a Max Scherzer fastball 421 feet to centerfield, and he surrounded that big swing with three walks, two of which came against Scherzer.

If it truly was his final game as a National, Soto’s huge performance put a bow on his time in the nation’s capital.  Since debuting in 2018, Soto’s 21.3 fWAR is the 10th highest among hitters. Over that time he’s hit .291/.426/.537 with 119 home runs, 358 RBI, 399 runs scored, and 38 stolen bases.

The 23-year-old phenom’s young career has been full of accolades – a World Series win, three top-ten MVP finishes, two All-Star appearances, and a batting title. Whatever team gets the pleasure of plugging him into their lineup every day for the next two years will be very lucky to have him.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Monday:

Jose Trevino (NYY): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

The Yankees victimized Mariners’ starter, Marco Gonzales, last night, scoring six runs and hitting three home runs against the lefty en route to a 7-2 win. One of those homers came off Trevino’s bat in the fourth inning, a ball he hooked 393 feet just inside the left field line. Trevino hit another home run in the eighth, this time against Ryan Borucki. In his breakout season, Trevino is up to a career-best nine home runs and a .740 OPS. After Monday’s trade with Oakland, I very much look forward to seeing the Yankees’ run out a Trivino/Trevino battery.

Cedric Mullins (BAL): 2-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The Orioles jumped on Jon Gray early, and Mullins got the party started with a leadoff home run. The 27-year-old centerfielder reached base three times in Baltimore’s 7-2 victory in Texas. Mullins’ season numbers now sit at .259/.320/.389 with nine home runs and 22 stolen bases. He’s not going to repeat last year’s 30/30 campaign, but he’s still put together a strong season. If you used an early-round pick on Mullins, you may be disappointed in the output, but he still has two months to keep producing. Many projection systems have him hitting six-to-eight more home runs and stealing another 10-12 bases.

Pete Alonso (NYM): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB.

The two matchups between Alonso and Patrick Corbin last night ended about as you’d expect – a walk followed by a 390-foot home run to left field. Alonso ended the day reaching base four times in the Mets’ 7-3 win in D.C. Last night’s big fly was Alonso’s 27th of the year as he’s up to a .279/.357/.548 batting line to go along with 86 RBI. His 152 wRC+ is a career-best for the All-Star first baseman.

Jarren Duran (BOS): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Boston’s young centerfielder is looking much more the part of a big league player in his second stint at the MLB level. He totaled all of his team’s RBI last night as he led the Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Astros. Through 153 MLB plate appearances this year, Duran’s hitting .245/.294/.406 with two home runs and seven stolen bases. That batting line equates to a 92 wRC+, and although that’s eight points below league average, it’s a huge improvement over the 49 mark he posted over 112 plate appearances last year. He’s also improved his strikeout rate from 35.7% to 28.8%, his walk rate from 3.6% to 5.9%, and his barrel rate from 4.4% to 6.3%. He’s available in 86% of Yahoo! and 95% of ESPN fantasy leagues and should be a solid stolen base and run contributor the rest of the way.

Aaron Judge (NYY): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Another day, another home run. Judge’s second-inning blast was his fifth home run in the past five days. He’s now up to 43 on the season as some of those home run records are starting to look reachable. Judge couldn’t have picked a better year to be on a tear as he’s a free agent at the end of the season, and someone will happily be writing him a VERY large check.

Andrés Giménez (CLE): 4-5, 2B, R, RBI, 3 SB.

Giménez’s breakout season continued in Cleveland’s 6-5 win over Arizona last night. The All-Star middle infielder had four hits, stole three bases, and had one of the luckiest best bunts I’ve seen this year. Giménez now has 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases as he’s pacing pretty close to a 20/20 campaign. His 21% strikeout rate is a career-best and nearly five percentage points better than last year’s number, and he’s hitting the ball harder than ever. He’s more than doubled his barrel rate from last year, moving it from 3.6% to 7.5%. At just 23, Giménez is looking like a foundational piece for the Guardians.

Albert Almora Jr. (CIN): 3-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB.

In his first game back from a bout of COVID-19, Almora stuffed the stat sheet with two extra-base hits and a stolen base as the Reds downed the Marlins 3-1. With the trades of Tyler Naquin and Tommy Pham, Almora should see a lot of playing time in the Cincinnati outfield going forward. On the season, he’s hitting .246/.270/.392, and while that only comes out to a 77 wRC+, that’d be his best mark since 2018. In really deep leagues Almora may be worth picking up just for the playing time alone, but in standard leagues, I wouldn’t chase this until he shows more.

Adley Rutschman (BAL): 3-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB.

Although he got off to a slow start in his MLB debut, Rutschman has quickly shown that he doesn’t just belong in the big leagues, but that he’s already one of the game’s best catchers. His three-hit performance yesterday raised his rookie year slash line to .251/.347/.441. Since he debuted on May 21st, Rutschman’s 2.0 fWAR is the fifth-most among catchers and his 11.1% walk rate is the second-highest. The former number one overall draft pick is going to be fun to watch for a long time.

Jose Miranda (MIN): 2-4, R, 3 RBI, BB.

The American League is chock full of standout rookies this year. With Julio Rodríguez, Bobby Witt Jr., and Jeremy Peña all putting up massive rookie campaigns, it’s understandable that Miranda’s has been overshadowed. The Twins’ rookie infielder is slashing a sterling .280/.323/.477 with 10 home runs through his first 232 plate appearances, and his big day Monday led the Twins to a 5-3 win over the Tigers. Miranda’s early-career success has made him a regular in one of the best lineups in the American League – Monday was his ninth straight start. He’s somehow still available in 49% of Yahoo! and 78% of ESPN fantasy leagues. Miranda has a hit in seven of eight games since the All-Star break, four of those being multi-hit performances.

Salvador Perez (KC): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.

After a power surge for the ages in 2021, Perez has struggled to follow up his 48 home runs from last year as his season has been plagued with injuries. He returned from a lengthy IL stint on Friday and has hit three home runs in the four games since. At this point, there’s no way that Perez returns anywhere near the value fantasy players expected if they made him one of their early-round picks, but he’s prone to hot streaks and it looks like he may be starting one now.

Corey Seager (TEX): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.

Seager returned to the Rangers’ lineup last night, making his first appearance since fouling a ball off of his leg in Thursday’s game. Texas wasn’t able to get much going against Spenser Watkins, with their lone run they scored against the Baltimore righty coming on Seager’s sixth-inning home run. Seager had an incredible month of July in which he hit .318/.394/.647 and his August is off to a similarly strong start.

Brandon Nimmo (NYM): 4-5, 2B, R.

Nimmo smoked the ball three times last night, collecting exit velocities of 102.3, 104.5, and 110.5 mph as he reached base four times in the Mets’ win. Nimmo’s playing well in a contract year, as he’ll be able to test the free agency waters for the first time in his career after the season wraps up. The soon-to-be free agent is putting together another solid offensive season – his 126 wRC+ marks his sixth-straight season with a wRC+ of 115 or better. In fantasy, it’d be nice if he had more pop in his profile or offered even a little bit of stolen base upside. His toolset is incredible in OBP and points leagues, but in standard formats, he’s an end-of-the-roster type.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Mark Steubinger

Mark loves everything talking and writing about baseball - from fantasy leagues to the legitimate defensive prowess of Kyle Schwarber as a left fielder. Mark has a degree in Sports Communication from Bradley University and works in radio production. He lives in central Illinois where his TV is permanently tuned to Chicago Cubs games.

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