Steven Duggar (SF): 3-5, 2B, 2 3B, R, 3 RBI.
Steven Duggar has had an interesting season. For the most part, he is a defense-first player in center who has yet to play a full season. Since his rookie year in 2018, Duggar has only seen 73 games at most in one year (until this season) and 281 plate appearances. He also hasn’t done much at all at the plate. His wRC+ has not exceeded 87 until this season. However, this season has been solid. Up until August 5th, he was the primary center fielder and had put up a 113 wRC+—way better than anything we had seen previously at the dish. He was striking out 30% of the time, but he still had a 9.1% BB rate and was barreling the ball at almost 8% (much better than anything he had done before).
But after August 5th, he was sent down to Triple-A. It seemed that he was just the low man on the list when the Giants needed the extra roster space. As a team fighting for first place unexpectedly, some moves can be tough to make. However, Duggar was called back up to start again on September 5th, and he picked up where he left off. He has six hits in those three games, three of which are triples, and all three hits from yesterday’s game were hard-hit balls. He has some power and some speed in a strong offense, so I can see some deep league value, but I am worried about playing time too.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:
Alex Bregman (HOU): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Bregman has seemed pretty lost after his stellar 2019 hitting 41 homers and batting nearly .300. Since then, his walk rate has dropped, and his power has fallen off a cliff. Bregman has been injured this season quite a bit and came back on August 25th after being away for two months. After returning, he has sizzled. He’s hit in all but one game, slashing .357/.426/.476. The power still needs to return as the homer was just 384 feet.
Justin Turner (LAD): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
It was a night of two home run hitters. Turner slammed a couple for his first since August 15th. He has cooled off in the second half after a stellar first half, only slashing .230/.326/.421. He’s still walking and striking out at his excellent rates. A .229 BABIP does hurt alongside the 50% fly-ball rate when many of those fly balls had been line drives. Regardless, he’ll get on base plenty, and in the Dodgers lineup, he’ll score frequently and easily.
Will Smith (LAD): 4-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Speaking of easy runs in the Dodgers lineup, Will Smith belted another homer last night alongside three singles. His home run was the 23rd of his season, adding to a spectacular season at catcher for fantasy only behind Sal Pérez in value this season. Notably, since the beginning of August, Smith has been unstoppable. He is slashing .306/.429/.635 with nine home runs. His K rate has jumped slightly over this span, but nothing else is concerning in the slightest.
Alejandro Kirk (TOR): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI.
Kirk had been out since the beginning of May with a hip injury, and after a long recovery and some time in Triple-A, Kirk made it back to the Jays on July 23rd. Since his return, he hasn’t played every day, but he’s played as he should. A .321/.379/.548 slash line with a 148 wRC+ is spectacular, but it is just over 95 plate appearances. He’s belted three homers in his last two, really buffering that slash as it would just be a 102 wRC+ without those last two games.
Ozzie Albies (ATL): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
Albies is hot. He has a homer in each of his last four games with six runs and seven RBIs. Going back one month to August 8th, he has 10 homers, 20 runs, 23 RBIs, and four steals. He’s had another amazing season, and it is hard to believe he is still only 24 years old. It seems likely he’ll have put up a 30/20 season by year’s end with 40 doubles once again.
Nelson Cruz (TB): 4-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.
Two absolute monster shots by Cruz last night. A 410 foot 108 MPH laser followed by a 438 foot 115 MPH laser. He has reached 30 home runs for the eighth time in his career and seven straight full seasons (just removing 2020, where he was also on pace for well over 30). Remember, this guy is 41. He’s started to pick it up with the Rays, as these were his third and fourth homers in four games and his 10th RBI in five games.
Bobby Dalbec (BOS): 2-2, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Another multi-home run gamer joined in the fun with Boston’s home run hitting strikeout champ, Bobby Dalbec. He also did it at a disadvantage as he came into the game in the eighth inning, where he hit a 406 foot home run and then did it again in the ninth! Dalbec has cut his strikeouts the last month or so as his August rate is 25% (way better than his nearly 40% rate across the previous three months). He’s also had a wRC+ of over 200 since the start of August. He should not be overlooked.
Jordan Luplow (TB): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Luplow had been hurt most of the year but was then dealt to the Rays at the deadline. There was potential for him to make an impact, especially as a platoon bat. He’s been doing plenty of pinch-hitting as a Ray with the occasional start at first base. He had been struggling until last week and has had quite a six-game run with a heap of luck. He is not hitting the ball particularly hard but is finding the holes batting .409 with an .864 slugging in his last six. For example, all three of his hits, including the home run, were not hard hit.
Mike Zunino (TB): 3-4, 3B, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Zunino is having a very Zunino year but also a somewhat breakout season. He hit his 28th and 29th home runs last night, both over 400 feet. He is having the best offensive season of his career, but he’s still striking out 36% of the time and batting .211. The catch is his ISO is .354, and he is walking 10% of the time. He’ll hurt you with average, but the rest of his numbers for a catcher are fantastic.
Pete Alonso (NYM): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
With last night’s two home runs, Alonso became the second-fastest player to hit 100 home runs, only behind Ryan Howard. The homer in the first traveled 425 feet, while the one in the ninth went 407 feet. His second half has been something to marvel at. He is slashing .298/.378/.596 with 15 home runs, 1o doubles, and two triples! He has kept his K rate below 20% for the season as well.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)