Franmil Reyes (CLE): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
The Franimal has been set loose in the streets of Cleveland with an impressive night at the plate Friday from Franmil Reyes, going 3-4 with a pair of bombs and knocking in three on his way to leading his team back to a .500 record in this young season. Reyes’ two bombs each traveled over 400 feet and while they accounted for two of his four hard-hit balls on the night, it was his single hit in the 3rd inning that accounted for the game’s hardest-hit ball at 112.2 mph off the bat. Reyes continues his hitting streak as Cleveland plays host to the Tigers this weekend, as Reyes now has at least one hit in every game played except the season opener.
Franmil was aggressive early and often throughout the game, swinging at 14 of the 23 pitches he saw and collecting four whiffs along the way. He was given sliders during this one, but both his home runs came off fastballs. The early aggressiveness hasn’t yet translated to strikeouts, has Franmil sits at just a 20.8% K rate in the early going, but one should expect that to change. For now, we’ll ride this out as long as he wants to go with it.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:
Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL): 4-5, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI.
Acuña could not be denied on Friday. It should have been predicted from the onset as his only out of the game 95.6 mph liner in the first. From there, Acuna went on to hit four more balls over 100 mph including a 456 mph bomb in the fifth. Though Acuña saw 50% fastballs in this one, he was able to take advantage of the secondary offerings he was given cranking a 107 mph double off a changeup and his 114 mph home run came off a slider. Acuña is now nine for his last 16 at-bats, collecting three home runs and two stolen bases along the way. I believe that will play.
DJ LeMahieu (NYY): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI.
LeMahieu was moved to first base due to an impromptu move to the Covid-19 IL for Gio Urshela but was unfazed by the last-moment switch. After striking out to start the game, LeMahieu collected three hard-hit balls, including a 106.5 mph double in the 3rd and a 403 foot home run in the eighth. With a six-game hitting streak, 3 of them being the multi-hit variety, LeMahieu is locked in leading off for a string Yankees lineup.
Austin Meadows (TB): 3-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 BB.
Collecting three hard hits of his own, Meadows lead the Tampa Bay hit parade Friday as the Rays scored double-digit runs on the Yankees while only launching one home run courtesy of Willy Adames. Meadows did his part by getting on base 4 of his 5 times at the plate, setting the table for Brandon Lowe‘s three-RBI night. Meadows is locked in near the top of the Rays’ lineup just about every day.
Justin Turner (LAD): 3-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.
Turner’s solo shot in the sixth was the only scoring play of the game and it was one of two hard-hit balls on the night for the veteran third baseman. Turner is hitting the ball as well as anyone to start the season, collecting multiple hits in four of his seven games thus far and striking out just five times in the process.
Jesse Winker (CIN): 3-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI.
Back in the lineup after missing the previous four games with a stomach bug, Winker made use of his time back at the top of the Reds’ line up collecting three hard hits in his three at-bats before being replaced by Nick Senzel due to calf soreness. Why can’t we have nice things?
Tyler Naquin (CIN): 1-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB.
Just one hit on the night, but the combo meal typically deserves some attention. Not to mention this was Naquin’s fourth home run in his past three games as he does his best Jesse Winker impersonation at the top of the Reds’ lineup. With Winker back for this one game, Naquin moved down to the 6th spot in the lineup and was aggressive, swinging at half the pitches he saw but he made contact on every swing, including his 111.3 mph homer, the hardest-hit ball of the game.
Eduardo Escobar (ARI): 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
With two more hard-hit balls on the day, Escobar has had himself a nice start to the weekend. Escobar’s two-run shot in the eighth ultimately sent the game into extra innings and has now gone yard in back-to-back games for the Diamondbacks. Escobar took a large step backward in 2020 in just about every measurable way offensively after his very strong 2019 campaign. Hopefully, his early success can stretch out across 2021 to bring him back to what he showed prior to the shortened season.
Mark Canha (OAK): 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB.
Still leading off for the Athletics, Canha collected three hard-hit balls across his five plate appearances on the night. Canha showed the patience of a lead-off hitter too, swinging at just seven of the 24 pitches he saw throughout the night and failing to record a single whiff. His 395-foot homer put the game out of reach as the Athletics rode it to a four-run victory Friday.
Jared Walsh (LAA): 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB.
Now fully entrenched in the middle part of the Angels’ lineup, Walsh is taking full advantage as he collected four multi-hit games so far this season. Walsh only swung the bat three times on the night, connecting every time including his 403-foot home run in the fifth inning.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI.
A blister may be keeping Ohtani off the mound but that can’t stop him from knocking in runs for days at the plate. His bases-clearing double in the second inning was his first of three hard-hit balls throughout the game, as Ohtani continues to impress in all facets of the game. He did collect three whiffs on the night, but who’s counting?