Yoán Moncada (CWS): 5-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.
Until last night’s 5-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI outburst from Yoán Moncada, if you drafted him, it might have felt like a wasted pick. After not taking a single AB in April and putting up a lackluster May that included a 30% K-rate with only two HRs, I wouldn’t have faulted you for rage-dropping the White Sox third basemen. The words that come to mind from his start are ones like “broken,” “outlier,” and “droppable.”
As the calendar flipped to June, the results (including last night) aren’t very serviceable (.244/.306/.356 slash line and 87 wRC+). So, what are we to do? Is it time to make a change or wait it out? Indeed, if you’ve stuck by Moncada’s side thus far, you’re in for the long haul. However, he’s available in 50% of leagues and likely on the trading block for someone.
Here’s the plan: Scoop Moncada up in as many places as possible. It’s been an up-and-down career for him, and perhaps, he’s in another one of his slumps. The acquisition cost may never be lower, and he’s shown a power and speed combo, at third base no less, that isn’t available on the wire. If he continues to slump, you cut bait, but I’m willing to take the gamble, are you?
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
Jon Berti (MIA): 2-4, 2 SB.
If you haven’t by now, it might not be too late since he’s available in 68% of Yahoo leagues. Since May 27th, when he started seeing regular playing time, Berti has been on a mission. The mission? To steal every base humanly possible. But seriously, he kind of is. In that time frame, he’s swiped a remarkable 12 bases. For a point of reference, that would tie him for the 7th most in the MLB…but in only 64 at-bats.
Austin Riley (ATL): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
After back-to-back innings that featured a longball, Riley’s HR total sits atop the leaderboard with 18 for 3B. Furthermore, he’s also top-five in runs (37) and RBI (39). Having all sorts of success this season comes on the heels of an equally accomplished 2021. As his career progresses, we should expect enough power to easily reach 30 dingers and counting stats for days.
Manny Machado (SD): 3-4, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB.
Speaking of dynamic players at the hot corner, Machado is putting together an MVP type of season. The K-rate is sitting below 20% for the 11th consecutive season, and the stats sheet is filled on a nightly basis. Oddly, from a Statcast perspective, he’s having an unusual season since his barrel rate is under 7%, and a 36% hard-hit rate is below league average. Still, the massive production continues, and he’s on his way to a potential 30/15 season with a healthy batting average.
Amed Rosario (CLE): 3-5, 3B, HR, 4 R, RBI, SB.
Falling a double shy of the cycle, Rosario had himself a night to remember. However, the more important news might be that he finally went over the HR schneid. In the third inning, the Cleveland infielder his first HR of the season on a 447-foot shot. Additionally, he wasn’t done as the swiped bags gave him six on the season. He’s only rostered in about a third of all Yahoo leagues, but his ability on the base paths and solid batting average should make him at least a bench bat in 12-teamers.
Brandon Belt (SF): 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.
If you didn’t know Belt was back, perhaps his solo shot in the 5th inning is his way of a wake-up call. Last night was his first game back as a starter since he pinch-hit on Tuesday. Before that appearance, Belt had been sidelined since May 18th. As we see more from Belt, the areas to pay attention to are his pull% and flyball rate. If those two metrics continue to surge in the right direction, his power will follow, as it did last season.
Ryan Mountcastle (BAL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Mountcastle’s second HR stole the show in Toronto as the Orioles tied the game up late. Sadly, they lost it in extra innings. However, the team looks like they’ve found their first basemen of the future. The 25-year-old is touting a 122 wRC+ and 12 HRs on the season, which would put him on pace for his second 30-HR season. Furthermore, he’s shaved two points off his K-rate, causing his batting average to rise ever so slightly.
Orlando Arcia (ATL): 4-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.
Arcia is trying to build a case as Atlanta’s everyday second basemen. In his two games since the Albies injury, Arcia is six-for-eight with two dingers and four RBI. Arcia has never been much of an offensive stalwart as he hasn’t seen full-time plate appearances since 2019. Instead, he’s been unleashed in more of a utility role. He’ll be a hot name on the waiver wire, but I wouldn’t go bonkers unless you’re in a deeper league.
Alex Verdugo (BOS): 3-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.
Maybe a performance like last night is the get-right spot for Verdugo, who’s having an uncharacteristic season. The stout 94% zone contact remains, but this batting average barely scraps north of .250. Additionally, the Statcast metrics (111-mph max exit velocity and 7.4% barrel rate) look healthy as well. He might be an excellent little buy-low candidate since his BABIP (.263) is 50 points lower than his career marks.
Willy Adames (MIL): 3-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI.
Since his return to the lineup on June 8th, Adames is still trying to get things situated. In his seven games, he’s 6-for-30 (.207), but the power output (two HR and two doubles) is still on display. Let’s cut him a little slack since, after all, he missed three weeks due to injury. Furthermore, Milwaukee seems confident in him and continues to bat him in the two-hole, and he’s not really striking out(20% K-rate). He’ll be fine; just stay patient and more games like this will occur.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)