Kolten Wong (MIL): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
For someone who relies pretty heavily on walks to maintain that .322 on-base percentage, Kolten Wong surely didn’t mind swinging away on Sunday. Wong found a way to get on base without having to actually stay on them, recording his fifth two-homer game of his career on Sunday, and has now reached base in his last 11 games for the Brewers.
The pair of bombs would prove to be his only mode of transportation in his five trips to the plate, however, with his only other opportunity to sit on first base coming at the expense of Victor Caratini being forced out at second on Wong’s 105.4 mph bullet that went straight to the ground. That ball was just the latest in a long line of attempts to drive the ball to the center of the Earth, with six of Wong’s hardest-hit balls on the season all registering a negative launch angle, and all but one of those six directly led to an out. So that 31.1% hard-hit percentage (11th percentile) and 21.3% hard contact percentage (286th in MLB) looks that much worse knowing that of the few hard hits he does have on the season (46), less than half of them have resulted in a base hit and only five of them resulted in a barrel, two of which came on Sunday.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday
Eugenio Suárez (SEA): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB.
Remember that time Eugenio Suárez was traded to Seattle and was supposed to be a detriment to fantasy rosters after assuming T-Mobile park would sap the power created from years of hitting Great America SmallPark? Ya, me neither. With his 11th dinger on the season and a four-RBI day, Suárez crosses into the 30 R, 30 RBI club, a club that currently has accepted less than 20 members to date. Oh, and that batting average drain that Suárez has been pegged as? It’s not great, but thanks to batting averages being down across the league, his .236 looks just fine next to the MLB average of .239, being held up slightly by his current eight-game hitting streak, his second such streak in the past month’s worth of games.
Bryce Harper (PHI): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
Who says you need two fully intact UCLs to hit bombs? Not Bryce Harper, who belted his 13th home run of the season and third in as many games. One has to continue to worry if Harper’s production and playing time may take a hit later in the season in an attempt to preserve the integrity of those very expensive elbows, especially if the Phillies cannot take themselves out of their tailspin trajectory in the NL East, but for now, just enjoy the ride and try not to think about it too hard.
Brendan Rodgers (COL): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
After recording a pathetic slash of .149/.216/.239 (74 plate appearances) through the first four weeks of the season, Rodgers has bounced back in the best possible way, slashing .340/.381/.547 (114 plate appearances) ever since. This three-hit night surely didn’t hurt anything either, adding 3 more hard hits to his collection and keeping his strikeout rate below the 20% mark. Even with the early season struggles, Rodgers has found his way on base in all but nine of his 44 games played, including his current 28-game streak, dating back to May 4th.
Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL): 4-5, HR, 3 R, RBI, SB.
Breaking news: Ronald Acuña Jr. is still very good at baseball. Stay tuned for more. The 112 mph eighth inning jack was just his third on the season, while his swipe of second gave him 10 stolen bases on the year. The combo meal was his second of the season and the 14th of his relatively young career. I think this kid is going to be good.
Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 3-4, 3B, HR, 3 R, RBI.
Just a double away from the cycle, Yordan Alvarez has now recorded multi-hit performances in six of his last seven games. It would seem the only way the Royals could prevent Alvarez from hitting a ball over 104 mph was by having the baseball hit him instead of his bat. The four hard-hit balls are just the latest in a long line of hard-hit balls, as he sits comfortably on top of the entire league with a 45.5% hard contact percentage. The Astros should probably think of locking this kid up for a while.
Jake Cronenworth (SD): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB.
Jake Cronenworth had a nice little weekend in Milwaukee, racking up four hits, three walks, and a pair of home runs in his last two games. Over the last three weeks of play, Cronenworth has seen his production increase compared to what he was putting up to start the season. Unfortunately, raising his production to the tune of a .240/.293/.413 slash and .309 wOBA only gets you one point over league average (101 wRC+).
Salvador Perez (KC): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.
Just in case we all weren’t sure Salvador Perez was back after Saturday’s performance, he followed it up with an almost identical stat line on Sunday, collecting two more hits, including his eighth shot over the fence of the season. The second straight multi-hit night inched him that much closer to the .200 batting average mark. Perez has seen equal parts catching duties to designated hitter since his return, which should continue to provide him with ample opportunity to add to those counting stats without cutting into the playing time of the young backup, MJ Melendez, in the process.
Matt Chapman (TOR): 3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Don’t look now, but Matt Chapman might be good again. If Chapman had slashed .286/.403/.429 through his first three weeks in a Blue Jays’ uniform most would have thought it was a match made in heaven. Instead, that slash comes in the last three weeks, along with pair of bombs and a sub-20 % strikeout rate, good for a 146 wRC+ over that span. It may be easy to miss thanks to the overall slash of .215/.307/.373 on the year, but Chapman has seemingly made some adjustments to keep himself fantasy relevant. His overall volume will keep him as an option at the hot corner in most deeper leagues, as it’s well documented how valuable his defense is, keeping his bat in the lineup regardless of most offensive struggles he may show down the line.
Luis Arraez (MIN): 4-4, 2 R, BB.
Another day, another set of singles for Minnesota’s everyday first baseman Luis Arraez. With his four hits and four total bases, Arraez now has tallied 58 hits through 188 plate appearances on the year, only six of which have recorded more than one base (one home run and five doubles).