Teoscar Hernández (TOR): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
July has been kind to Teoscar as he’s been playing out of his mind at the dish. His 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, and 4 RBI night is not the only solid performance; he’s 8-for-his last 19 and only failed to reach base in a game four times. Furthermore, in that timeframe, he swiped a pair of bags. All-in-all, the continued success at the dish is shown in his 151 wRC+.
What makes Teoscar so unique is his ability to constantly square pitches up. His 52% hard-hit rate is the 14th best in the league, although second-place on his team as Vlad is slightly higher (53.2%). Furthermore, the entire Toronto team leads the majors in hard-hit rate(44%). So, it’s pretty easy to see how Hernández could put two into the bleacher. Hit the ball extremely hard, often, and elevate a couple of pitches left over the plate.
He won’t compile enough stats for the rest of the season to replicate last year’s 32 HR, 12 SB success. Although, if he keeps on pace with his current season, mid-20s HRs and ten or so SB is in the cards. That’ll return your draft day price and make any fantasy manager happy.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
José Iglesias (COL): 3-5, HR, R, 6 RBI.
Iglesias has been a hitting machine. In fact, he’s only been held hitless in two games during July. In that period, he’s batting a cool 14-for-43 (.326) but what’s more intriguing is the addition of power. In 3600 career at-bats, Iglesias has only parked 47 balls into the bleachers but two in the last 14 days. His .104 ISO suggests the power output is a result of luck rather than a new approach. Still, he’s not striking out (10.9%) and can provide a decent source of batting average off your bench.
Juan Soto (WSH): 1-2, HR, R, 3 RBI, 3 BB.
It’s been a rough go for Soto this season. Wait? Has it? He’s experiencing a career-low in batting average (.245), and that’s less than ideal for a player going in the top-three draft picks but the rest isn’t so bad. His O-Swing (21.4%) is six ticks higher than last year but slightly above his elite career numbers. And sure, maybe he’s pressing a bit with a lack of support around him, but 19 HR, five SBs, and 95 runs+RBI, again, isn’t so bad. Lastly, he’s shown the tools to break projection systems, especially if he goes on a hot streak, and there’s still plenty of time in the second half for him to prove you right.
Jose Miranda (MIN): 3-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.
After another productive night at the dish, Miranda touts a .260/.299/.463 slash line with eight dingers. Not bad for a rookie that spent the first month of the season in Triple-A. In only 187 plate appearances, we see a lot of positives from the 24-year-old prospect. His K-rate (18.7%) is well below league average, showcasing power (.203 ISO). Now, if he becomes more selective at the dish and walks more, there could be a new level to his game.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 2-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI, BB.
Ohtani put on a show as a pitcher (7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 12 K) and put the team on his back at the plate. Strip away the pitching for a moment; as purely a batter, Ohtani would be an All-Star. Among all active hitters, he’s tied with Paul Goldschmidt and Rafael Devers in HRs (19), has as many SBs (10) as Starling Marte and Trevor Story, and as many RBIs (56) as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. That’s pretty darn crazy-and he pitches.
Brandon Belt (SF): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.
After a brief mid-first half injury (nothing new for Belt), he’s back and putting up solid numbers. In the last 30 days, Belt has been putting up a 140 wRC+ with the pillars of success being his 13% walk rate and 23.1% barrel rate. Furthermore, he’s been dialed in as he’s 7-for-13 in his last three games. The power is down, and this doesn’t appear to be the season he’ll reach 30 HRs, but he should still be a fixture at someone’s corner infield position.
Stuart Fairchild (CIN): 2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.
Last night was Fairchild’s first pair of hits on the season, although it was not our first time seeing him. This is the third different uniform he’s donned this season. We’ve seen him as a member of the Mariners for three games, a member of the Giants for five games, and finally, two with the Reds. As Cincinnati continues to look for offense, Fairchild may get a few more looks, but I wouldn’t count on him sticking around very long.
Ketel Marte (ARI): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
Quietly, Marte is having a productive season. While he might not finish with 30 HRs, he’s on pace for a respectable 15 HR/7 SB season. Indeed, that’s a far cry from the level of excellence of years past. But remember that comes with a .269 batting average with little room for second-half improvement as many projection systems put him a notch above. On the other hand, if you’re in an OBP league, he’s been a stalwart due to the career-high 12.1% walk rate leading to his .363 OBP.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (NYY): 2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI.
Last night, with all the Yankees bats, IKF did the most damage. While New York only scratched six total hits, they still managed to make the most of them and put up seven runs to claim victory. Kiner-Falefa is not your “typical” Yankees player. What do I mean? Well, everything he gives you in defense (2.1 fWAR) and on the basepaths (13 SB), he gives back at the dish (84 wRC+). Now, I’m not here to say IFK is a subpar player, but perhaps he’s better suited for real-life baseball instead of your fantasy squad.
Cedric Mullins (BAL): 2-4, R, BB.
After last year’s breakout 30/30 season, Mullins was a staple atop draft boards in March. Fast forward till today, and he’s still giving up some pop (7 HRs) and an abundance of stolen bases (18). However, the batting average finally corrected itself as he’s putting up a .264 batting average. That’s about 30 points lower than the breakout, but an inflated BABIP (.322) aided the mirage. As we approach the break, he will still give you 30 SBs, but the power might be more like 15-18 HRs. Bummer, but mega-productive and a solid component to the Oriole’s recent 10-game win streak.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)