Aaron Judge (NYY): 2-7, HR, 2 R, RBI.
All Rise! Aaron Judge clubbed the American League record-setting 62nd home run last night in the second game of the doubleheader in Texas. He launched the one-one pitch into the left field bleachers in the first inning. It was a 100 MPH 391-foot homer that looked like a classic Judge laser. Judge is now the sole leader in AL home runs in a single season and has also set the single-season Yankee record. Now with one more game to go, he has the opportunity to add on, but it is likely he’ll sit in game 162 to rest for the playoffs.
Judge will also finish the season just shy of the Triple Crown as Luis Arraez is batting .315, a few points higher than Judge’s .311 mark. Judge, however, leads the AL with 131 RBIs and is tied at the top of the majors with Pete Alonso. Judge’s 62 home runs are a good 16 more homers than Kyle Schwarber for second in the majors and 25 more than Yordan Alvarez for second in the American League. He is even top 30 in the majors in stolen bases with 16, seven more than his previous season high set in 2017.
Judge will come off this remarkable season as a free agent. Fantasy-wise, there is not much that would affect his value with where he winds up signing. He will still hit the crap out of the ball and be one of the best hitters in the game wherever he plays next.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:
Brandon Nimmo (NYM): 6-8, 2 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.
Nimmo spent the whole doubleheader crushing balls all over the field. In game one, he ripped three hits, all of which were over 100 MPH including a 398-foot dinger. In game two, he led off with a 397-foot home run and added a single and a 102 MPH double later in the game before being substituted out for rest. Scattering six hits across those two games increased his slash line to .274/.367/.433 on the season for a 135 wRC+. This will be his first season finishing with more than 600 plate appearances and over 100 runs. This is the type of season we had all eventually hoped Nimmo would have out of the leadoff spot since his breakout in 2018. He just never had the full season opportunity until now.
Victor Reyes (DET): 2-8, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Victor Reyes came out strong in the first game of the doubleheader with a double and homer but struggled in the second game. He has remained in the defensive replacement fourth outfielder role all season like he has the last few years as he has never shown much offensive prowess. His slash on the year is .254/.289/.362 with only three homers, two of which have come in the last four games. He has speed but he rarely puts it to use for stealing bases. He won’t see much more value than his first few seasons in Detroit.
Oswald Peraza (NYY): 2-8, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.
In the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, Peraza came through with his first major league home run. He launched it 105 MPH, going 399 feet. He added two more batted balls over 100 MPH that game, one for a single and the other a ground out. He also added a stolen base for the combo meal. He struggled the next game with a couple weak outs and two strikeouts. Before that second game though, he had a five-game hitting streak with four of those games being multi-hit affairs. He seems to be getting a bit more comfortable in the bigs now after 53 plate appearances.
Mitch Haniger (SEA): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.
Haniger has struggled all season with a bout of injuries, from COVID to a bad ankle that kept him sidelined from April until August. Recently, he’s had a back injury that kept him from playing a bit in September but he’s been playing regularly since the 18th. In that span, he’s hit three homers in 66 plate appearances with a 127 wRC+. However, he’s struck out about a third of the time, pretty high for him career-wise. At least he was able to be around for his team finally clinching that playoff berth.
Spencer Torkelson (DET): 5-9, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI.
Torkelson tore it up both games of the doubleheader yesterday. He destroyed a homer at 110.6 MPH and 426 feet. In the second game, he added three hard-hit balls over 100 MPH including another 400-plus foot dinger. These two games came after a stretch of 24 hitless plate appearances for Tork where he struck out nearly 40% of the time. Just like all other Tigers, Tork had struggled the majority of 2022, slashing .204/.285/.322 for the season across 400 plate appearances. Having a solid two-game stretch here is a pleasant reminder of what he is still capable of going into the 2023 season.
Chuckie Robinson (CIN): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.
This Reds rookie catcher has been playing backup since late August. He only has 60 plate appearances, mostly all the way back in the nine hole in the Reds lineup. So nothing too appealing there. Additionally, in those 60 plate appearances, he is slashing .136/.136/.271 with a -1 wRC+. That is including yesterday’s two-hit, one home run performance.
Willson Contreras (CHC): 2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.
Contreras ripped two hard hits over 103 MPH including a 408-foot bomb. Contreras was surprisingly held onto by the Cubs at the deadline, most likely as they waited for the right minimum package which no team was willing to deliver. In the final year of his contract, he kept doing what he does. He slashed .243/.349/.466 with a 132 wRC+ and 22 home runs. This was another consistently great offensive season for him behind the dish.
Elvis Andrus (CWS): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB.
Oakland let Andrus go before he hit a threshold in his contract that would give him a nice bonus. So the White Sox scooped him up while Tim Anderson was still sidelined, and he’s been a force. Since joining the Sox, he is slashing .277/.312/.475 for a 123 wRC+ with nine homers and 11 steals! That is over half his home run and stolen base totals for the year in only 186 plate appearances. He’s been a completely different player in Chicago and now has settled into the leadoff spot as well. This resurgence may be a nice boost for him on the market come the offseason, but I don’t see much fantasy value beyond this stretch.
Garrett Mitchell (MIL): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, SB.
This rookie speedster in Milwaukee nabbed a combo meal adding his seventh stolen base on the year in only 64 plate appearances. Mitchell has had quite an odd start to his career, hitting .310 with a .533 BABIP and a 40% K rate. All of those values should drop a bit but he’s showing he can snag a base if he gets on. If he’s regularly playing, he should have value with his stolen base ability given that a dedicated base stealer is so hard to come by these days.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)