Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR): 2-3, 2 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI, 3 BB.
What a Sunday for Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who posted a heavenly stat line in the Blue Jays’ 22-7 blowout of the Orioles, going 2-for-3 with two homers, five runs scored, seven RBI, and three walks. Those who have Gurriel Jr. rostered have been experiencing some divine intervention lately, as he’s now hitting .367 with seven home runs and 34 RBI (!!!) over his last 30 games. He’s always run hot and cold throughout his career, but those who left him for dead after he posted a lowly .297 wOBA in July are now experiencing something of a revival. And it’s worth noting that, historically, Gurriel Jr.’s hot streaks have burned with the intensity of hellfire. He put together a similar run in September 2020, in fact, when he slashed .368/.394/.653 with seven home runs to close out the season. Patience is a virtue, and those who stuck with Gurriel Jr. through his disappointing first half are now reaping what they’ve sown.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday:
Brett Phillips (TB): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB.
Phillips didn’t waste any time in his first start since returning from the IL, producing a combo meal and throwing in two walks for good measure. That gives Phillips 11 homers and 14 stolen bases on the season over just 222 at-bats, a pace that would give him 30 home runs and 38 stolen bases over a full season. That’s obviously not something Phillips would probably ever actually manage to do over 600 plate appearances, but it’s mid-September and we’re having fun. It’s hard to see him getting steady playing time with so many mouths to feed on the Tampa Bay Rays’ roster, but he’s a surprisingly decent fantasy bench piece for those in deeper OBP leagues with daily transactions.
Yuli Gurriel (HOU): 4-4, R, RBI.
Not to be upstaged by his younger brother, Yuli Gurriel put on a show of his own yesterday, racking up hits in every one of his at-bats and pushing his batting average up to .315 on the season. It’s a little disappointing that his power has tailed off in the second half, as he’s hit just four home runs since the break after racking up 10 in the first half. But he’s got a decent shot at getting to 80 runs and 80 RBI by season’s end, and he’s as steady as ever when it comes to piling up the base hits.
Wilmer Flores (SF): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Flores did his best Brandon Belt impression yesterday while filling in for the “Captain” at first base, racking up three hits including a home run. Flores primarily found himself in the lineup as the result of the Cubs starting lefty Justin Steele, and it’s hard to see where Flores might carve out additional playing time going forward on a Giants team that is practically overflowing with talented hitters.
Seth Beer (ARI): 2-4, 2B, R, RBI.
A Beer and a shot! Seth Beer has now scored a run, driven in a run, and collected a base hit in all three games he’s played since his promotion. As mentioned during my guest appearance on the critically acclaimed On the Wire podcast, Beer put together an excellent season in the minors this year, hitting .287 with 16 home runs in just 100 games. He profiles as a disciplined hitter who could hit for a solid average with slightly above-average pop: think .270 with a .345 OBP and 25 home runs over a full season. Those in keeper leagues should consider scooping him up and seeing how he finishes the year with an eye towards 2022.
Yonny Hernandez (TEX): 1-4, R, SB.
That’s now five stolen bases for Yonny Hernandez over the past week, and nine stolen bases in his last 30 games. Hernandez also possesses what appears to be an above-average hit tool, posting excellent whiff, Z-Contact, and strikeout rates so far. He’s taken on something of a utility role with the Rangers but lately has been getting a majority of the starts at third base. He’s available in a lot of leagues right now and is a good target if you need speed.
Avisaíl García (MIL): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Raise your hand if you had Avisaíl García listed as the 73rd-most valuable player in fantasy baseball this year! I can’t see you through my computer, but I’m just going to assume that nobody is raising their hand because, I mean, come on. García has been a revelation for fantasy managers this season, compiling 27 home runs and seven stolen bases while posting a solid .269 average. Though he whiffs a ton, he’s a master when it comes to swinging at strikes, posting an elite 82.2% Z-Swing this year. García comes with a lot of volatility baked in, but in the years where things break right, he’s an unbelievably good hitter.
Kolten Wong (MIL): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
It was nice to see Wong square up some baseballs after experiencing a bit of a power drought lately. Though he’s struggled with some calf injuries this year, Wong has been a really steady producer in every fantasy category except RBI this season, and should continue to be a solid all-around fantasy hitter with mid-teens power and speed heading into 2022.
Danny Jansen (TOR): 4-6, 3 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI.
When your team scores 22 runs, it’s going to result in a lot of fun offensive stat lines. This performance should help Jansen stave off the hot-hitting Alejandro Kirk for playing time at catcher and actually makes Jansen an intriguing streaming option, as he’s hitting .381 with five homers over his last 15 games.
Teoscar Hernández (TOR): 2-3, HR, 4 R, 5 RBI.
And the Teoscar goes to… this amazing offensive outburst. It’s been great to see Teoscar confirm that his 2020 breakout wasn’t a fluke, as he’s continued to hit the ball extremely hard (48% Hard Hit) while consistently squaring it up (37% Sweet Spot). That’s contributed to the elite 14% barrel rate this year, and will surely make him a hot commodity in next season’s drafts.
Jeimer Candelario (DET): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Candelario is a guy I’ve been talking up for those looking for a steady offensive presence in your lineups. He’s Detroit’s cleanup hitter at the moment and has been keeping his xwOBA in the .360 range over the past two months—an impressive feat. Though the power ceiling is probably somewhere in the 25-homer range over a full season based on his current profile, he’s a solid source of counting stats and should continue to produce at an above-average rate rest-of-season.
Jesús Sánchez (MIA): 3-4, 3B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
I think I expended all my religious wordplay in the introduction to this article, so I won’t touch this one. Sánchez has been plugged in as the Marlins’ cleanup hitter for the past week thanks to the eight home runs he’s hit over his last 30 games. He’s got slightly above-average power, but the high groundball rate and his contact issues mean the bottom could fall out here at any time.
Garrett Hampson (COL): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.
I had such high hopes for Hampson coming into the year; he has the power-speed profile to be a really interesting fantasy player. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans of mice and men oft are destroyed by the Rockies’ inability to function as a competent sports organization. Playing time issues and a cold spell cut into Hampson’s playing time earlier in the year, but he’s finishing strong, particularly in the power department. Here’s hoping he can get steady at-bats in 2022.
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL): 2-5, HR, R, RBI.
Though the hits haven’t been falling like they were a few weeks ago for Mountcastle, the power is still showing up in spades, as he’s blasted three home runs over the past week alone, and 11 over the last month. After an up-and-down season, Mountcastle seems to have gotten his strikeout issues under control, and is practically a lock for 30 home runs and 85+ RBI before the year is through.
J.T. Realmuto (PHI): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB.
It hasn’t been the season you hoped for if you used an early-round pick on Realmuto, as he’s scuffled at times and been injured sporadically. But the stolen base yesterday gives him 10 on the year—not something you almost ever see from the catching position. And he’s still managed to be the 88th-best player in fantasy according to Razzball’s player rater, so things could certainly be a lot worse. Here’s hoping for a strong finish to the year.
Francisco Lindor (NYM): 3-4, 3 R, 3 HR, 3 RBI, BB.
I mean, wow. After a tumultuous first season in New York, Francisco Lindor exploded last night in what was easily his biggest performance as a Met. Over Lindor’s last 30 games he’s looked a lot more like vintage Lindor, slashing .272/.372/.553 with eight homers and three stolen bases. His xwOBA has been trending up over the past week, sitting comfortably above .370 over that span. This may be the performance that gets Lindor back on track.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)