Evan Longoria (SF): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
How would one announce they are back from injury? One might scream from the top of a mountain or send mass tweets. If you’re Evan Longoria, you put up a 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI night of production and help move your team up in the standings. Furthermore, these were Longoria’s first two HRs of the 2022 season and four of his six RBI. Yeah, it was a big night for the veteran at the hot corner.
Now, the missing time is not something new for Longoria. Heck, he’s never seen 600 plate appearances since putting on a Giants uniform, and he barely scapes to get to 500. Still, we can look the other way when it comes to playing time, especially when you see his barrel rates. It’s almost as if he bathes in the fountain of youth, as his exit velocities and hard-hit rate continue to climb in his elder years.
For fantasy purposes, it’s frustrating to roster a player like Longoria. On one hand, he smashes like last night, and on the other hand, he gets slight injuries or routine nights off. If you’re looking for locked-in everyday playing time, Longoria isn’t the bat for you. However, if you’re in a daily transactions league, he’s available in 97% of Yahoo leagues and bats in the heart of a VERY productive lineup.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday
Harold Castro (DET): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Harold(not Willi) Castro did it all for Detroit last night. His HRs in the 6th and 8th inning tied the ballgame and allowed for the extra-inning victory. Before you go racing to the waiver wire to see if you can scoop him up, keep in mind that this Castro is not an everyday player. His left-handed bat gets him in the lineup for about two to three games a week. He plays nearly every position and shows decent skills so it’s worth monitoring him in deeper leagues, but only if playing time increases.
Dansby Swanson (ATL): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Atlanta has so many dynamic bats that Swanson sometimes gets forgotten. How often is a team’s ninth hitting sporting a 12% barrel rate and hard-hit rate north of 43%? Right, the answer is next to never. At the moment, Swanson is on pace to make a run at a 20/20 season. We’ve seen this episode from Swanson before, so temper the expectations a little and settle for a SS that’s currently third in fWAR and off to a hot start. Remember, he can be streak because he strikes out at a 33% rate.
Kole Calhoun (TEX): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB.
If we polled the audience and asked who would be #1 and #2 for the Rangers in OPS, most would have guessed Corey Seager or Marcus Semien. Although, it’s not! At this moment, your OPS leaders are Jonah Heim(.850) and Kole Calhoun(.814). Additionally, Calhoun hasn’t only been hitting against RHP, and Texas has given him playing time vs. southpaws. He’s responded by putting up a 147 wRC+ and should be on way more Yahoo rosters than 27%.
Joey Votto (CIN): 2-3, 3B, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.
After a lengthy stint on the IL that surely drained your patience, Votto is back and making up for the lost time. Since returning from the IL, Votto is 6-for-19 with five extra-base hits(two doubles, one triple(???), and two HRs). Furthermore, he’s still doing Votto-esque things like walking three times and only striking out four. He’s back, crushing, and I hope you didn’t move on from him.
Seth Brown (OAK): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB.
Oakland has been pretty meh lately and looking for some bright spots. However, making some headlines is their first baseman, Seth Brown. His combo meal(HR+SB) led the way for the team’s 19th win of the season. Furthermore, Brown is flexing five HRs and four SB on the season. The power+speed is coming with a 28% K-rate that is sucking the life out of his batting average(.208). Is he worth a deeper league pickup? Absolutely, and he’s likely available since Yahoo has him rostered in only 3% of leagues.
Jose Siri (HOU): 2-3, 2B, R, SB.
Scoring one of Houston’s only two runs to claiming their 29th victory of the season was one of the Astros’ centerfielders. The team utilizess a mixture of Siri and Chas McCormick with the potential of Jake Meyers entering the fray. However, Siri showcases a skill-set between the blend that includes one of the fastest sprint speeds in the MLB(29.9 ft/sec) and a pair of HRs in 83 ABs. The biggest flaw is playing time, as the outfield is crowded, and finding everyday ABs isn’t happening without an injury.
Ryan McMahon (COL): 2-3, 2B, R, BB.
The Rockies lost by a final of 10-5, but not for McMahon’s efforts. His second-inning double was his 12th extra-base hit and helped bolster a .253/.341./.400 slash line. In contrast, that might not sound like MVP numbers(and it’s not), but McMahon is enjoying one of his more productive seasons. The power(.147 ISO) is down, but he’s still walking over 10% of the time and turning in a 101 wRC+. Furthermore, nearly all his damage has been done at home, and he should ride your fantasy bench in all away games.
Joc Pederson (SF): 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.
The San Francisco Giants seemingly strike gold every season with some free agency pickup. This season’s riches have been Joc Pederson and his ten dingers in 102 ABs. Outside of an eight percent spike in barrel rate, Joc is doing most of the things we’ve seen before. The flyball rate is in the 40% range, the pull rate is relatively high(40.7%), and an attractive strikeout rate is below league average. Now, the 31% FB/HR rate will regress at some point but until then, ride the wave with him as your last outfielder.
Trevor Larnach (MIN): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.
After a brief IL stint in early May, Larnach is back in the Twins lineup. Everyday? No, not quite yet. In 2021, Larnach struggled vs. southpaws by nearly 38% of the time, which led to a 44 wRC+. Fast forward to 2022, and the K% is under 24%. But wait, it’s only been about 26 plate appearances. So, if you’re in a deeper 15-team league, Larnach could be a nice little stash if the improvements stick and he continues to showcase the 50/60 game power and 65/65 raw power grades.
Jake Burger (CWS): 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Burger’s fifth inning HR was a mammoth shot! No, really! The no-doubt 110 mph shot traveled a projected 444 ft and carried a perfect 1.000 expected batting average. Yeah, he crushed it. Additionally, all scoring ceased from that point, and the White Sox are now one game over .500 for the season. This was Burger’s first game back on the big-league roster since a trip to the minors. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really have a spot to play in the field, and this won’t be the last time he’ll be jettisoned between playing levels.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)