Tommy Pham (SD): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
The chorus of Dean Martin’s song “Wham! Bam! Thank You, Ma’am!” ends with the line “I hope you’re satisfied.” I know because I googled it. I’m not 97 years old. I swear.
Anyway, the line seems particularly pertinent given that the song was the titular inspiration for this article, and because after Tommy Pham’s combo meal last night (3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB), teams who rostered Pham during his brutal first month are starting to finally reap the satisfaction of a hot streak. Pham is now up to six homers and seven stolen bases with a .339/.434./.606 triple-slash over his last 30 games. That elite plate discipline has helped Pham remain entrenched in the leadoff spot for the Padres over the past few weeks, and he’s soaked up 24 runs there in the past month alone. Pham has already established that he has the tools to perform at an unquestionably elite level when he’s locked in and is now pacing towards a 20/20 season despite producing next to nothing over the first few weeks of the season. Patience isn’t always rewarded in fantasy baseball, but in Pham’s case, it’s paying off in spades. I hope you’re satisfied.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday
Gavin Sheets (CWS): 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
The White Sox have exhausted Plans A, B, and C when it comes to their outfield depth this season, and last night they turned to rookie Gavin Sheets to fill their right field void. I wish Sheets could’ve mustered a third hit so I could say that Chicago was “three Sheets to the win” last night. But alas, two hits were all the Sox needed from him to pull out the victory. Sheets has flashed solid plate discipline and a decent hit tool in the minors and was tabbed for 70-grade future power by Fangraphs. That power never manifested itself during his minor league career, though he was flashing a notably higher home run output during his stint in AAA this year. In 16-teamers or AL-only leagues, he could be worth a flier to see if you can catch lightning in a bottle.
Brandon Lowe (TB): 1-2, HR, R, RBI, BB
This was the second straight day in which Lowe homered, and the playing time crunch that many expected for him once Wander Franco was recalled hasn’t manifested itself yet, as he’s sat just twice over the past two weeks. The strikeout rate is still prohibitively high, hovering in the 35% to 40% range in recent weeks. But he’s an asset in the home run and counting stat departments if you can stomach the hit to your batting average.
Marcus Semien (TOR): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, SB
That’s another combo meal for Semien, who is now just a home run shy from entering the All-Star break with 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases—output you’d be happy with by season’s end for most hitters. He’s pulling the ball more in the air than he ever has before, which is the exact recipe you’re looking for from a guy who you’d like to see up his power game. The peripherals don’t love the prospect of him continuing to post a high batting average going forward, but as long as all those flyballs continue to leave the yard and evade outfielders’ gloves, the good times should keep on rolling.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR): 2-3, 2B, R, BB
If you don’t believe in the concept of “streaky hitters,” you should pay close attention to Gurriel over the course of a full season. He’ll make you a believer. Gurriel posted wOBAs of .250 and .289 the first two months of the season. But over his last 30 games, he’s hitting an even .300 with six home runs. Gurriel’s hot streaks can be absurd—he hit .368 with seven homers to close out the final month of the 2020 regular season. And he may be in the midst of another one as we speak.
Ty France (SEA): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI
France has been dealing with a wrist injury for over a month now. An IL stint a few weeks back seemed to help, and his production was starting to pick up, but then he was pulled from a game with a flare-up and experienced a bit of an offensive lull in the days afterward. The bad news is he hasn’t mustered too many hits over the past week. The good news is, three of the hits he has mustered have been home runs. If he’s healthy, I could see him flirting with a .280 average and 20+ home runs over a full season while soaking up counting stats in the Mariner’s cleanup spot. The only real question right now is health.
Kyle Schwarber (WSH): 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Another day, another Kyle Schwarber home run. He’s a big, strong boi. Who needs advanced analysis when you’re dealing with a big, strong boi?
Michael A. Taylor (KC): 3-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB, SB
Remember when the season was still young, and everyone was rushing to their waiver wire to pick up Michael A. Taylor? Pepperidge Farm remembers. There’s still a smattering of power and speed here, and Andrew Benintendi’s injury means there’s some playing time available in the short term. He’s still not somebody worth rostering outside of a deep AL-only league, though.
Ryan O’Hearn (KC): 3-5, HR, R, 2 RBI
Ryan O’Hearn can hit the ball very hard. He’s the proud owner of a 44% career Hard Hit rate. The problem is, he sells out for that power, pairing an extreme pulled-flyball approach with poor contact rates and mediocre plate discipline. He’s having a nice week, hitting .310 over his last seven games. But don’t expect this to last.
Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
That’s two more home runs for Ohtani last night as we got to daydream about what he could do if he played half his games in Yankee Stadium. He’s now leading baseball with 28 taters, and there are no words to describe it any more. It’s ineffable. Ohtani defies language. He is a vibe.
Miguel Andujar (NYY): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
This was a big performance from Andujar, as it further pushes Clint Frazier into the background of the starting outfield picture in the Bronx. Over a full season, you’re probably looking at something like 20 home runs and a .270 average from Andujar if things break right. And that’s more than anyone can say for Frazier at this point. Andujar will have to string a few more performances like this together to stake a firm claim to the starting job, but it’s a good launching point.
Whit Merrifield (KC): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, SB
The baseball gods were giving out more combo meals than McDonald’s last night, and Merrifield couldn’t help but get in on the action. Two-Hit Whit has been white-hot lately, hitting .406 with three home runs and five stolen bases over his last 15 games.
Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)