Jarred Kelenic (SEA): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Don’t look now but Jarred Kelenic is attempting to live up to the billing. After going three-for-four with a pair of doubles and his 13th homerun of the season, the Seattle rookie has now collected multi-hit performances in three of his past four games as he continues to man center field every day for a Mariners team fighting tooth and nail for an AL Wild Card spot.
One may ask themselves, who is this guy? Surely this is not the same rookie that started his MLB career with a .141/.236/.261 slash through his first 225 major league plate appearances. The name on the jersey is the same, but the output is seemingly night and day as the Seattle outfielder has now cracked seven of his 13 homers in the past four weeks, including three in the past three games, and while he still has recorded a strikeout rate north of 30% in the time, he’s maintained a 15% barrel rate and 48% hard-hit rate in that time, making the most of each time he does make contact.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday:
Tommy Pham (SD): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Heading into Sunday, Tommy Pham sat with a perfectly average 100 wRC+, so the two-for-four night was a welcome sight. The sixth-inning shot was Pham’s first home run in over a month, which is slightly surprising considering Pham’s career-high fly ball rate of 31.2% combined with a nearly 50% hard-hit rate in that time. With Fernando Tatis Jr. regularly back at shortstop, Pham has been getting regular run in left field and could be a useful piece in the final two weeks of the season, especially if he can stay in the middle of the San Diego lineup.
Tyler O’Neill (STL): 1-2, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB.
That’s a modest eight-game hitting streak for Tyler O’Neill, the third time this season he’s recorded the feat. That may play a part in his career-high .281 batting average on the season—that and what most may see as an unsustainable .371 season-long BAPIP of course. That would be until you realize O’Neill’s 2018 and 2019 BABIP was right in line at .364 and .386 respectively. Sure, those years didn’t see him in more than 61 games in each season, but who’s counting. Typically a 54% hard-hit rate will help sustain such high BAPIP rates, so there.
Edmundo Sosa (STL): 2-4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI.
The everyday shortstop for the surging Cardinals has been finding ways to provide value, despite hitting in the bottom third of the St. Louis lineup. In the last 30 days heading into Sunday’s match up Sosa had slashed .310/.386/.521 through 83 plate appearances while keeping his strikeout rate under 20% and his walk rate at a respectable 8.4%. The pop is slightly more than chip-in status, but as we head into the final two weeks of the season playing time is key, and Sosa is providing plenty of it without being an hindrance in any category.
Eddie Rosario (ATL): 4-4, 2B, 3B, HR, R, RBI.
Though Steady Eddie has not exactly lived up to the moniker, he still has the ability to put up games like this on any given night. Though you’d like to expect a bit more on the counting stat side of things when a hitter hits for the cycle, hey stop complaining. How many times have YOU hit for the cycle? Outside of that whiffle ball game from two summers ago. Man, those were fun times.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX): 2-3, R, RBI, BB, 2 SB.
See Texas. See Texas run. Run Texas, run. Isiah Kiner-Falefa leads the Rangers with 19 stolen bases and has recorded “just” a 74% spring speed across baseball. Nate Lowe has seven stolen bases on the year with a 55% sprint speed. Make note when drafting Ranger’s hitters next year.
Lewin Díaz (MIA): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Lewin Díaz has had a couple of stints at the major league level this season, with this recent call-up being the result of regular first baseman Jesús Aguilar being placed on the IL earlier this month. Díaz has made the most of the opportunity, launching three long balls and collecting four multi-hit games in his 10 starts at first base, recording a 130 wRC+ in the process. There’s no reason we won’t continue to see Díaz in the lineup through the final two weeks of the season and fantasy managers in need of some power down the stretch should be considering him, especially as Miami travels into an AL stadium later this week.
José Ramírez (CLE): 4-4, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, BB.
It seems as though as long as the entire Cleveland lineup isn’t being no-hit, José Ramírez is finding ways to impress, regardless of the supporting cast around him. Now with 35 home runs and 104 runs scored on the season to go along with his 24 stolen bases, J-Ram has been one of the few first-round draftees that have fully lived up to expectations this year.
Corey Seager (LAD): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.
The Los Angeles shortstop has been trying to make up for lost time ever since returning from the elongated IL stint in late July. Since his return, Corey Seager has slashed .304/.396/.494 with six home runs and an equal number of runs scored and RBI (24 of each) through 187 plate appearances. With the Dodgers continuing to push for another NL West division crown, Seager will continue to see everyday play at short, as he tries to make up for lost time and push up his own value as he looks toward his own free agency this winter.
Enrique Hernández (BOS): 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Hernández missed the final week of August and the first week of September, spending time alongside a majority of his Boston teammates on the Covid IL, but upon his return was placed right back at the top of the Red Sox line up. Though he’s had the benefit of the elite lineup position, Hernández hasn’t returned the same elite production that had been coming with it prior to his IL stint. In August, Hernández had slashed .305/.426/.500 through 101 plate appearances prior to leaving the active roster and despite his recent back-to-back two-hit performances, has only been able to muster a .182/.224/.273 slash through 49 plate appearances since his return. The value of a lead-off hitter on a lineup like Boston’s is real, especially with the positional flexibility Hernández provides, but fantasy managers probably need to think twice before setting and forgetting him in their lineups for the final two weeks.
Gavin Lux (LAD): 3-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
A pitching machine can’t keep a good hitter down – for long at least. Lux has made the most of his return earlier this month, moving to left field and collecting four multi-hit performances in his eight starts. The second inning homer was his seventh of the year, but his first since June 11th as he’s continued to see a decrease in fly balls throughout the season compared to his short 2019 and 2020 campaigns. With the current injury situation affecting other Dodgers’ outfielders, Lux should find himself in the back end of the lineup most days down the stretch, and given his new positional flexibility, he could find his way onto the roster of some fantasy rosters pushing for their own championship.
Carlos Correa (HOU): 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.
See notes from Friday’s edition. Spoiler: Correa has been very good in his walk year. Shocking.