Rowdy Tellez (MIL): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI.
Last night, the Brewers charged into PNC park and whipped the Pirates 19-2. It might be easier to note who didn’t hit one out for Milwaukee last night. In that case, looking at you, Christian Yelich! Anyway, one of the dingers came courtesy of Tellez, a three-run shot to right-center in the second that basically sealed the game and sent Roansy Contreras to the showers early.
For the former Jay, that’s five home runs in his past four games bringing his total to 16, which is tied with four others including José Ramírez for 16th. He’s now ninth in RBI too. And his xwOBA of .381 is 29th among qualifiers. Is it cheating to wonder what could’ve been if he were still in Toronto? I know, I know it was a roster jam, but still.
On pace for over 500 PA for the first time in his career, we’re getting a good look at what something resembling a full season from Tellez might look like. Right now, 30 home runs and 100 RBI seems like a reasonable guess with upside for more. I’m tempted to believe a strong second half might push him into consideration as a top ten option at first. But, similar to Joc Pederson, losing at-bats against LHP is the stick in the mud. On that note, his numbers against southpaws for his career aren’t terrible; a .736 OPS and 96 wRC+ in 309 PA. That’ll be worth keeping an eye on the rest of the way.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:
Nolan Arenado (STL): 4-4, 2B, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI.
He got the triple out of the way in his first at-bat; a high fly ball to left that caromed off the top of the wall and away from Kyle Schwarber which drove in Paul Goldschmidt for his 50th RBI. In his second at-bat, the former Rockie victimized Bailey Falter again by blasting a two-run shot just inside the foul pole down the line in left. After lining a clean double to left in the sixth, Arenado would need some help to complete the cycle in the ninth. And it came in the form of a wild throw from Phillie’s third baseman Matt Vierling; the groundball was ruled a hit with an error on the throw that allowed him to move to second. It was the first cycle for the Cardinals since April 27th, 2005.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR): 3-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.
Gurriel the younger has been an absolute hit machine lately. He’s, I think, easy to overlook given the Blue Jays’ star power, but how about a .375 batting average and .980 OPS over his last 26 games? That’ll play.
Christopher Morel (CHC): 1-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.
He was sent down to the nine-hole on Wednesday and responded by hitting home runs in back-to-back games. Hitting leadoff again, Morel belted a hanging slider from Hansel Robles for his third in as many games. His seventh of the year brings his slash to .281/ .339/ .503. But it comes with a 30.3% K rate.
Jarren Duran (BOS): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.
After missing the series in Toronto, Duran wasted no time and belted the first pitch from Adrian Sampson, a sinker down broadway, over the wall in center for his first of the year. He’s sitting at a 19.3% K rate through 62 PA this season. That probably comes up a bit; Steamer has him at 25.1% the rest of the way. Regardless, that’s a huge difference from the 35.2% he was at last year. Hitting leadoff with four steals already, you don’t need me to tell you there’s a lot to like here.
Vinnie Pasquantino (KC): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
Home run number one came off Michael Pineda in the fourth, a frozen rope line drive that just cleared the fence in right that was clocked at 112.7 MPH. Before his promotion, Pasquantino slashed .280/ .372/ .576 with more walks (12.5%) than strikeouts (12.2%) in 69 games with the Storm Chasers. With Carlos Santana now gone in a trade to Seattle, now we can get to see what he can do.
Nathaniel Lowe (TEX): 1-3, HR, R, RBI.
Lowe had just three home runs over the first two months. But, he’s since turned on the power switch with eight home runs and a .932 OPS over his last 26 games while also hitting a cool .308 during that span.
Darick Hall (PHI): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
He tagged Miles Mikolas for his third home run in as many games after being promoted this past Wednesday. The left-handed hitting first baseman had been leading the International League with 20 home runs and was slashing .269/ .346/ .548 across 72 games with the Iron Pigs.
Dansby Swanson (ATL): 4-5, 2 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Atlanta’s shortstop had a .953 OPS during the month of June and began July with a bang by launching a two-run blast to left-center off reliever Joe Kuhnel, his 14th of the year. Swanson had a shot at the cycle but Tommy Pham was able to cut off a line drive that was ticketed for the gap in left-center, holding him to a double in his final at-bat. He’s up to an .865 OPS and is tied with C.J. Cron and Xander Bogaerts with a .375 wOBA, 19th among qualifiers. Swanson and Bogaerts lead all qualified shortstops in wOBA.
Alek Thomas (ARI): 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
His slash of .258/ .315/ .442 doesn’t necessarily jump off the page, still, you have to be really impressed with the 22-year-old. He’s shown glimpses that have really caught my eye. One of them being an opposite-field shot off Sandy Alcantara for the first of his career. This one was also an opposite-field blast on a 97 MPH fastball from reliever Robert Stephenson. Sure, it was Coors Field, but it still gives you a glimpse of a dynamic hitter that can do damage to all fields. And he has wheels too; you don’t have to squint too hard to see something like 20/15 across a full season. Needless to say, D-Backs fans and dynasty managers should be excited.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)