Miguel Vargas (LAD): 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, SB.
With all the recent talks about trade, the promotion of Miguel Vargas might have been swept under the rug. Since Justin Turner needed a stop on the IL, the Dodgers elected to have Vargas get some looks at the MLB level. While he didn’t get the start at 3B, he showed why he deserves consideration.
His 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, and SB performance provides a small insight into what might be expected from the 22-year-old prospect. He flexes a plus hit tool and collected 109 hits (.291 BA) throughout his time in the minors. Additionally, in 374 Triple-A at-bats, Vargas mashed 15 HRs while swiping 12 bases. In summation, he’s got a TON of raw tools, with the hit tool leading the way.
Unfortunately, his time on the MLB squad will likely be short-lived. As veterans like Turner, Chris Taylor, and company get healthy, Vargas will retreat to the minors. It’s always refreshing to see a team’s youth showcasing their skills, even for a brief span. Keep an eye out for Vargas’s name during draft time next season.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
Bryan Reynolds (PIT): 3-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.
Many of us wanted Reynolds to wear a different uniform at this point in the season, but that is not the case. We could blame his slow start, oblique injury, or paternity leave, but a .794 OPS is outstanding. Furthermore, he leads all his active teammates in HRs (16), runs (43), and RBI (33). He’ll continue to put up big nights, like yesterday, but the counting stats might not be what we hoped for at the end of the year.
Amed Rosario (CLE): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Rosario’s three-run HR in the fifth inning put the Guardians on top, and they never looked back. For Rosario, that was only his sixth HR of the season. Indeed, by now, we know he’s not going to take many deep but rather be a menace on the basepaths. Since joining Cleveland, he’s been much more efficient on them. During his stint with the Mets, Rosario was caught stealing 25 times in 78 attempts. With Cleveland, only three times caught stealing in 26 attempts.
Manny Machado (SD): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
As the Padres added more firepower to the lineup, last night was another explosive output for Machado. His 5th inning solo shot was not only HR #19 but put the game firmly out of reach as San Diego claimed its 61st victory. After scuffling a bit since his injury running the bases, he’s starting to look like the Manny of old. Since the All-Star Break, he’s showcasing a .840 OPS and 129 wRC+. With a loaded cast around him, the skies are the limit for his second-half production.
Luke Williams (MIA): 3-3, 2B, R, 3 SB.
As you scroll through the Marlins lineup, there aren’t many names the average baseball fan would recognize. However, if you fill up a stat sheet with three stolen bases like Williams, people will undoubtedly start learning your name. In fact, Williams has nine stolen bases in only 67 at-bats. The challenging part for fantasy managers is those 67 ABs are sprinkled over 49 games. So, beware! This looks like a night Williams took advantage of and not necessarily an insight into future events.
Sean Murphy (OAK): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Murphy drove in all three of Oakland’s runs on its way to only their 40th win on the season. While there isn’t an abundance of talent in the Athletics lineup, Murphy is putting up a career year. Additionally, what’s been very nice to see is him staying on the field. Among all active catchers, Murphy ranks #2 in terms of fWAR (3.0), and in terms of wRC+, his 118 is better than other catchers like J.T. Realmuto and Daulton Varsho.
Keibert Ruiz (WSH): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
Another catcher in the Batter’s Box? Indeed. Ruiz’s season has been anything but “career”. His promising prospect shine is about to wear off as the season progresses. One of the main reasons for his lackluster season is the power output-or lack thereof. In 302 at-bats, Ruiz only has four dingers and a putrid .099 ISO. Although, he does have a new career-high max exit velocity (109.4 mph), and K-rate under 11%. If you’re in re-draft leagues, it’s totally understandable if you’re ready to move on but dynasty managers need to wait for this one out, for now.
Jose Altuve (HOU): 4-4, 2B, R.
The Astros’ leadoff hitter was perfect on the night and reached base in every at-bat. The four-hit outing gave him 95 and bolstered his batting average to .280 on the season. Furthermore, his power output should bring him within a shouting distance of 30 HRs but fall short. However, the nice bonus has been the addition of extra stolen bases, and he’ll likely top double-digit steals for the first time since 2018.
Oneil Cruz (PIT): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Cruz has been a fantasy-wrecking force in a concise time(133 at-bats). Besides swiping five bags, his HR bumped his total to eight last night. Furthermore, when you forecast the rest of his season, we are looking at a potential 15 HR/10 SB player but with close to 300 at-bats. That’s incredible! Especially when you consider it’s his first 300 at-bats. Even so, there is room for improvement, with the 34.8% K-rate and 49.4% ground ball rate to start.
Carlos Santana (SEA): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
The HR gives Santana ten on the season; four with his former team (KCR) and six with Seattle. While the power has been helpful, it’s been more of the same for Santana. In his 212 plate appearances with the Royals, his 102 wRC+ and .216/.349/.341 slash line was borderline replacement levels. Since joining his new team in Seattle, he’s putting up somewhat similar numbers. In 115 plate appearances, he’s touting a 107 wRC+ and .196/.304/.412 slash line.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)