Tellez me about the Torres and the Harris

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

Michael Harris II (ATL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

What more can be said about the legend of Michael Harris II that hasn’t been told? Sunday marked the latest chapter as the expected Rookie of the Year went two for four with a pair of late inning homers and four RBI. The 21-year old now sports 18 long balls on the year and is well on his way to finishing with a 20-20 rookie season, paired with a 24.5% strikeout rate and .311/.352/.557 slash line, and doing so with well under 450 major league plate appearances on the year. What Harris has been able to do in his first season provides some similarities to another then 21-year old bat that took the league by surprise in his rookie season. Gleyber Torres’s rookie campaign in 2018 resulted in 24 bombs through 484 plate appearances, paired with 25.2% strikeout rate and a .271/.340/.480 slash. Alongside that, Torres’ plate discipline on pitches within the zone in his rookie campaign was nearly identical to what Harris is seeing and swinging at this season, with both rookies swinging at 69% of pitches they saw in the zone and just over 40% of all pitches being framed within the strike zone.

Just start coloring outside the lines and that’s where the similarities end however, as Harris has been much more of a free swinger outside the zone – chasing nearly 43% of those pitches and making contact on 59% of those swings, compared to Torres’ 34% swing rate on pitches outside the zone, while connecting with 56% of them. Perhaps Harris is just better and grabbing those pitches just outside the zone than Torres was and perhaps, more likely based on the .376 season long BABIP, he’s gotten at least a little bit lucky and will need to make adjustments come 2023 Spring Training to avoid major regression in his sophomore season.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday

Gleyber Torres (NYY): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Speaking of Gleyber Torres, look who else knocked out two bombs on Sunday. This may or may not be a running theme of this entire article. To cherry pick from the last paragraph, Torres has made a few adjustments from his rookie campaign and through 2022 has swung at even less pitches outside the zone (31% vs 34%) and makes more contact when he does (62% vs 56%), while seeing roughly the same amount of pitches outside the zone (58% vs 59%) on the season. Low and behold, this has resulted in an increased walk rate, decreased strike out rate, and gotten Torres back above the 20-homer mark once again.

Rowdy Tellez (MIL): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Is it double dong Sunday? Rowdy Tellez has entered the chat, knocking out number 29 and 30 on the season. The Milwaukee first baseman slash designated hitter hasn’t done much as of late (.182/.270/.394 in the last three weeks), but those who kept with him thanks to the every day playing time, power output, and on base skills (.317 OBP despite a .228 batting average, thanks to a 10+% walk rate and 20% strikeout rate) were pleasently rewards on what could have been the final day of their round one playoff match up.

Tony Kemp (OAK): 3-4, 3B, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI.

No, no. Tony Kemp did not hit two home runs on Sunday, but the fact that he knocked one out at all is cause for celebration. It was his fifth long ball on the season and though he does sport a 55% hard hit rate, he’s paired that with a 1.6% barrel rate on the season so simply put, all those hard hit balls have been making a whole lot of dents in the Oakland dirt, which is typically fine for a guy with the speed that Kemp brings to the table – oh wait, that’s simply not as true as many might think as he sits in just the 24th percentile for sprint speed this season and has not found his way to double digit stolen bases in any season of his career. Celebration over, everyone go home.

Justin Turner (LAD): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program of double dong Sunday. Next up, Justin Turner, who knocks out two in the same game for the second time this season, recording numbers 12 and 13 on the year. Turner has been scorching hot as of late, slashing .403/.468/.746 through his last 77 plate appearances, collecting 10 multi-hit performances in his last 18 games. The man has played just about every day for the Dodgers and though he may get extra rest down the stretch, as I expect many Dodgers’ regulars to get, he shouldn’t be denied an opportunity to win you a fantasy championship playing like this.

Brian Anderson (MIA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Brian Anderson joins the Sunday homer club, knocking out numbers seven and eight on the year. back to his everyday role in Miami, Anderson has done more harm that good since returning from injury in mid-August (.167/.262/.356 through 103 plate appearances) so it’s unlikely this one day outburst made up for the damage his volume may have caused teams that were forced to play him. Moving on.

Eugenio Suárez (SEA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

Now talk about a playoff round winner. Eugenio Suárez didn’t just knock out two on Sunday, but this past Wednesday as well. Throw in a Saturday bomb and you have a category clincher on your hands. The power hitting third baseman crossed the 30-homer mark for the fourth time in the past four full length seasons and now has the most MLB home runs since the start of the 2018 season (two more than Aaron Judge).

Julio Rodríguez (SEA): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

We’ll bookend this double dong Sunday with Rookie of the Year front runners I guess. Julio Rodríguez knocks out numbers 24 and 25 on Sunday, marking his first career multi-homer game and surely solidifying more than a few playoff matches, on top of everything else he’s done for your fantasy teams throughout the season. You don’t need me to tell you how good he is or will continue to be, just enjoy the ride.

Alejo Lopez (CIN): 3-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Ok, no more double homer night, I promise. Still a perfect night at the plate for Alejo Lopez is worth throwing in the mix. Sure, his playing time is sporadic at best, and yes, this was his first major league homer, and no this night surely did not help any fantasy team as he’s surely not rostered. Even with nine games on the docket for the Reds this week, Lopez will need some help getting any sort of regular playing time, but in a daily move league keep an eye on him if the right circumstances present themselves.

Jake McCarthy (ARI): 4-6, 3B, R, 3 RBI, SB.

Jake the Snake out here winning leagues with his second half performance. Since the All-Star break, McCarthy is slashing .342/.405/.516 through 174 plate appearances, most notably also pitching in league leading 15 stolen bases in that time. The addition of Corbin Carroll hasn’t pushed McCarthy out of the line up – if anything he’s become an even more prominent player as he’s recently seen more time in the top third of the line up as opposed to the middle portion, giving him even more plate appearances down the stretch, which should provide even more opportunities to run as often as his on base percentage will allow.

Brandon Nimmo (NYM): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB.

Brandon Nimmo has now scored a run in each of his last six games. Leading off for the Mets on a regular basis will provide these types of opportunities, though the stolen base may not be something anyone should be getting used to, as it was his first of the season.

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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