Teoscar the Grouch

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

Teoscar Hernández (TOR): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

For a few, this Monday is one they don’t want to face since they lost a championship. However, a few benefitted greatly from Teoscar Hernández’s 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, and 3 RBI performance. Most certainly the Blue Jays did, as his 24th HR started the team’s offensive gears in motion. Then, in the fourth, he wasn’t fooled by Michael Wacha’s changeup and took it on a ride for HR #25.

As the season winds down, plenty of teams are gearing up for postseason baseball. That’s where games get extremely entertaining to watch, especially when someone can carry a team through a series. For Toronto, that hero could be Teoscar. He’s playing solid ball at the right time, and his stats show it. Since September 1, Hernández has been slashing .279/.312/.558 with a .870 OPS. Furthermore, he’s put six over the fence, three in the last two nights.

Right, the Blue Jays have any number of bats that can overcome anyone they face. But, among all qualified hitters on Toronto’s squad, Teoscar leads the team in barrel rate (15.6%) and hard-hit rate (53.2%). Lastly, if your fantasy season is over, take the least three days of the regular season and enjoy a game without checking stats or looking at standings. No need to be down in the dumps.

 

Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday:

Shea Langeliers (OAK): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.

Power has never been an issue for Langeliers, who swatted 19 HRs in 353 minor league plate appearances. So, putting a pair of pitches over the fences on a Sunday shouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibilities. However, the one aspect of his game that surely needs to improve is the unsightly 36.6% K-rate. At only 24 years old, he’s got time to make adjustments.

Will Brennan (CLE): 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Brennan, who’s more of a speed-first type of player, flexed his power and smashed his first career HR. Furthermore, he put it into gears as he wound up with his first triple, as well. He’s making worlds of contact, specifically inside the zone (94.4% z-contact), and that’s helping bolster a decent .344/.400/.500 slash line. Yes, it’s in only a 32 AB sample size, but it showcases all the tools.

Whit Merrifield (TOR): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Point blank, it’s been a down season for Whit. His overall production (88 wRC+) is the lowest of his career, and the speed seems to be drying up. While he might not repay the early-round draft pick price, a sub-16% K-rate with 16 stolen bases isn’t the worst player on a fantasy roster. However, unfortunately, it’s also a bench bat that’s only getting starts when there isn’t a better option.

Albert Pujols (STL): 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

The farewell tour continues with another dinger, and last night’s HR pushes the total to 702. Additionally, even from just a 2022 standpoint, he’s racked up a whopping 23 HRs. That’s more HRs than the following 1B: Freddie Freeman (20), Ryan Mountcastle (22), and Josh Bell (17). The only question left is, how many is he going to end this season with?

Jeremy Peña (HOU): 3-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

After another solid night from Peña, his wRC+ sits at…100-replacement level. But wait, he’s his 21 HR and amassed 71 RBI with 61 runs. Furthermore, he’s swiped 11 bags and holding his own at the dish with a .252 batting average. Now, before you come at me with pitchforks or try to erase wRC+ from statistical existence. Remember, it’s one of many numbers used to formulate a player’s performance, and Peña is a terrific player, especially for a rookie.

Bobby Dalbec (BOS): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Dalbec was recently recalled from Triple-A, where he still demonstrated his power by crushing five HRs in 48 ABs. However, it still came with an above-average strikeout rate (26.5%).  Additionally, when you glance has his MLB K-rate from this season, it’s 33.5%. No, this type of production isn’t going to keep his name on a lineup card regularly. So, are we buying back in next season? Sure, if the price is low or we see better plate discipline.

Bryson Stott (PHI): 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB.

After an up-and-down start to the season, Stott has started to come into his own during the second half. In his last 217 ABs, he’s batting .272 with three HRs and stealing bases (nine SB) at will. Additionally, what’s really outstanding to see is an improved eye at the dish. His K-rate is below 19%, which is partially why his debut was stunted. Now, if he can just elevate a few more batted balls and keep the groundball rate under 50%, he could be a tremendous target next year.

Josh Naylor (CLE): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Naylor has power for days. After last night’s bomb, he’s already got 20 dingers in under 450 ABs. You’d think maybe someone with that level of thump would be an all-or-nothing type of approach. Conversely, Naylor only strikes out at a 16.2% clip. Furthermore, his 8.6% barrel rate and 42.7% hard-hit rate are too outlandish. There are quite a few trends going in the right direction, and at only 25 years old, Naylor should be on your radar.

Jake McCarthy (ARI): 3-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB.

Man, if you picked up McCarthy, you truly caught lightning in a bottle. Except that lightning lasted for over 300 ABs. Additionally, during that time, your team collected 23 SBs. All that was needed was some playing time to open up, as McCarthy showcased his speed quite nicely in his previous season. Over three stops (Double-A, Triple-A, and MLB), McCarthy swiped 32 bags. Unfortunately, he’ll be a must-own in 2023 drafts, and if you want speed like McCarthy’s, you’ll have to pay up.

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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