Power of the Sun in the Palm of My Hand

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

Jorge Soler (MIA): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Jorge Soler bookended his night with a pair of home runs, accounting for all three of the Marlins’ runs batted in on the day. It would appear at first glance that Soler may have forgotten how to hit anything besides home runs. Of his last 12 hits, six of them have cleared the outfield fence. The pair of bombs Sunday would be his only two hits on the day, but he’d pair them with a walk, bumping his season-long walk rate up to 11%.

Those concerned Soler would lose his power stroke moving to Miami may have felt vindicated in their assumption after a lack luster April, where Soler slashed just .171/.284/.303 through 88 plate appearances, sending just two balls over the fence and recording just four barrels through 51 batted ball events. Flipping the calendar to May has proven to be a completely different story as Soler has slashed .253/.333/.614 with nine of his 11 home runs on the season and 12 barrels in 60 batted ball events on the month. Perhaps it’s the temperature around the country warming up, perhaps the humidor is doing its job in Miami. Whatever the reason, fantasy managers rostering Jorge Soler should rest a bit easier knowing his power stroke, the main reason he was drafted in just about every fantasy situation, is still here.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday

Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

The catalyst for the 21 run hail storm that was the Angels-Blue Jays game on Sunday was surely Shohei Ohtani. Shocking, I know. Setting the stage in his first at bat with the game’s first of five home runs, Ohtani would go on to impress even himself as he stared down his second jack of the day in the third inning to deep dead centerfield. The 425 foot shot would stand as the longest ball hit of the game. The two homer night was a nice distraction to the fact that Ohtani had been hitless in his previous 17 plate appearances. Perhaps this was just his way of telling us all not to worry, as if anyone was actually concerned.

Marcell Ozuna (ATL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Marcell Ozuna would pull his best Shohei Ohtani impression on the day, knocking out a home run in each of his first two plate appearances. The difference here is that Ozuna’s offensive production directly led to his team’s victory on Sunday, with his pair of solo shots driving Atlanta’s 6-3 victory over the Marlins. Ozuna has failed to produce to the tune fantasy managers thought he might, hitting in the three or four spot of such a potent line up, but has shown consistency through the season with a respectably 5% walk rate and 22% strikeout rate through 197 plate appearances.

Max Stassi (LAA): 4-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Welcome back Max Stassi. After missing just over two weeks on the IL, the Angels’ top catcher has continued to be a productive cog in their line up, going eight for his last 19 and three multi-hit performances in his last five games. Sunday’s power surge off four balls hit over 100 mph was exactly what Angels’ fans needed to see, especially with back up catcher Kurt Suzuki receiving a scare on Saturday. Stassi’s power is well documented, but unfortunately so is his health record. If he can stay on the field, he should be provided many more opportunities for games like Sunday, batting in the middle third of his team’s line up.

Omar Narváez (MIL): 3-3, 2B, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB.

A homer away from the cycle, Omar Narváez would not be denied with his perfect night at the plate Sunday. The Brewers’ starting catcher recorded his second career triple, with his first coming way back in 2018 when he was still with the White Sox, and scored his first run since May 9th. Despite the overall lack of counting stats being provided to fantasy rosters, Narváez has been a consistent producer at a less than consistent position, when healthy.

Lorenzo Cain (MIL): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

They say you never forget your first. For Lorenzo Cain and fantasy managers who roster him, Sunday marked his first home run of the season, and one that many, if not most, saw happen on their bench (or even waiver wire), as Cain has been as close to unusable in most formats as they come – slashing .178/.246/.215 (yes, that’s the correct order) coming into Sunday’s action. His three RBI on Sunday almost doubled his season total while his home run increased his extra-base hit total to five. But this three-hit game, his first such performance since July of last year, was still fun to see and hopefully sparks something more to come as we head into June.

Franchy Cordero (BOS): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

What if I told you Franchy Cordero has started 21 games for the Red Sox in the past 30 days? Ok, what if I told you that he’s recorded five multi-hit performances in that time and is slashing .282/.346/.479 through 81 plate appearances? Would that interest you? Cordero has seemingly found at least a piece of what many thought he was capable of, cutting down the strikeouts and focusing on getting on base, leading to consistent production in Boston this year, albeit without the counting stats that may be most attractive to fantasy rosters (just two home runs and no stolen bases). Perhaps this is all a trap, but for now one should be happy to ride the production and hope those counting stats can follow in short order.

Trevor Larnach (MIN): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Sunday marks back-to-back games with a long ball for Trevor Larnach, who now has three on the season, all of which have come in the past week. Since returning to the Twins a week ago, Larnach has jumped around the line up, hitting anywhere from third to eighth. With Minnesota’s roster in an ever-changing state lately, we should expect to see Larnach moving around a bit more before finding a more consistent, permanent home, making production a bit more difficult to predict in the short term.

Alejandro Kirk (TOR): 2-4, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB.

When you find yourself a way on base four times while the rest of your team is also crushing baseballs, good things will typically happen. Enter Alejandro Kirk who scored four runs despite only collecting two hits on the day. Kirk hasn’t been shy at finding his way on base as of late, finding his way there at least once in each of his last nine starts, mixing it up between DH and catching duties for the Blue Jays and slashing .400/.500/.567 in that time, driven by his 16.7% walk rate and 2.8% strikeout rate. If the Jays can continue to find regular plate appearances for Kirk he surely can build on that slash and provide necessary production at the catcher position for most fantasy leagues.

Gleyber Torres (NYY): 3-4, HR, R, RBI, SB.

The only combo meal to be ordered on Sunday went to Gleyber Torres, whose lead off solo shot in his first at bat provided the Yankees with their only lead of the day. After stealing 14 bags in 2021, Torres finally got things going on the base paths Sunday, stealing third base late in the game after advancing to second base on a wild pitch, marking his first attempt of the season. It’s typically more difficult to steal bases when you aren’t getting on base to begin with however, so Torres’ season long .282 OBP may be partially to blame for the lack of apparent production in that category.

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

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