Alec Bohm (PHI): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Appearing to be a prospect not living up to the hype, drafters were turning their backs on Alec Bohm. However, the former 1st round (third overall) draft pick has something to say about this. After last night’s 2-4, HR, R, 3RBI evening, Bohm raises his slash line to an impressive .476/.483/.714 in 11 games. Furthermore, what really stands out is the new plate discipline.
Bohm always showcases an outstanding batter’s eye in the minors and displayed the ability to take walks at double-digit rates. Then, as many young prospects do, they struggled against MLB-caliber pitching. His power was zapped, the strikeouts piled up, and the walks eroded. It’s safe to say; things looked bleak for Bohm as a mainstay in the Phillies’ infield.
So what’s changed this year?
Well, for starters, we see a significant drop in GB%. Bohm is elevating the ball more than ever before. Furthermore, when you make as much quality contact(49% career hard-hit rate), getting the ball off the ground will lead to more barrels(12.5% barrel rate). Lastly, he needed to cut the Ks.
It’s still too early to say this is the new Alec Bohm. But, he’s taking steps in the right direction to become what many expected of him.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday.
Josh Naylor (CLE): 2-4, R, RBI.
Welcome back, Josh Naylor! After enduring a fractured ankle that caused him to miss significant time in 2021, the sturdy-built OF/1B returned to the Guardians lineup last Friday. While he’s still looking for his first long ball of the season, his bat remains lively. Now, it’s only been seven ABs, but he’s registering a 60% hard-hit rate and walking 14% of the time. Naylor has 18-20 HR potential but is rostered in only 1% of leagues. Given the dual eligibility, he’s worth at the very least a bench spot in 12 and 15-team leagues.
Francisco Mejía (TB): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
In the first inning, Mejía took a Marcus Stroman fastball for a ride. Traveling at only 98.5 mph, with a launch angle of 32 degrees, the dinger managed to go a whopping 355 feet. While it counted for two runs, the shot only had an xBA of .410-quite low for an HR. Additionally, in only seven games, Mejía has collected ten RBI. This is interesting when you consider he only had 35 RBI in 84 games last year.
Seth Beer (ARI): 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI.
In 435 Triple-A PAs, Beer mashed 16 HR with a sub-18% K-rate. The D-backs hope for similar results with a full-time move to the majors. He doesn’t necessarily have a defensive position, but given how valuable his bat has been, Arizona has no choice but to lock him into the DH role. Small sample, but in his first 32 ABs, he’s touting a useful .485 wOBA and 214 wRC+. These numbers won’t hold up all season, but Beer could do the trick if you need a power bat with a decent batting average.
Raimel Tapia (TOR): 1-5, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.
After a trade out of Colorado and an untimely injury to Teoscar Hernández, Tapia finds himself as a fixture in the Blue Jays lineup. Batting near the bottom of the lineup, he showcased his talents with the combo meal. While the power shouldn’t be expected, Tapia’s forte is getting on base and swiping a bag. He’s available in 85% of Yahoo leagues but could steal upwards of 10-15 bases and chip in 5-10 HRs. Check your waiver wires as he’s a fine OF5.
Cody Bellinger (LAD): 2-4, 2B, 3B, RBI.
Cody Bellinger was done, right? Well, not so fast. After a disastrous few seasons, Bellinger re-worked his swing mechanics, which appears to be paying dividends. In his first 43 PAs, Bellinger has 12 hits and a .279/.354/.535 slash line. But we finally see the return of some power. Sure, the strikeouts remain an issue, but the upside is immense.
Josh Lowe (TB): 2-3, 2B, 3B, R, RBI.
Tampa sent Austin Meadows over to Detroit, which opened up a roster spot for Lowe. As we typically do for Rays players, there was a question on playing time. Will he be platooned? The most straightforward answer is no. Lowe’s a left-handed bat, so he’ll get the starts against RHP, but we’re also seeing him start against LHP. While Wednesday night was one of his first solid games at the dish, he remains an upside play with 20/20 ability.
Anthony Rizzo (NYY): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.
Rizzo is doing a little bit of everything these days! Mainly, he’s providing some much-needed OBP for a Yankees team needing a leadoff hitter. Additionally, he’s still providing terrific quality contact, and his two XBH last night bring the season total to six. All combined, Rizzo’s touting a 1.002 OPS and walking more than striking out. Is he in for a career year? I think so.
Tommy Edman (STL): 2-4, SB.
Edman was expected to lead off in St Lous, and then Dylan Carlson happened. Thrust to the nine-hole for the Cardinals, Edman’s fantasy value took a hit. However, the speed-first OF has shown he can do plenty more than steal 30 bases as he’s already knocked three into the bleachers. With Carlson struggling, Edman was placed back in the leadoff spot. Given his .421 OBP and abilities on the basepaths, there’s a good chance we will see more of this.
Jurickson Profar (SD): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.
The Padres needed someone to step up in the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Profar is on a mission to begin in 2022. The HR in the fourth inning already gives him four on the young season, and he even added his first stolen base. Furthermore, he’s already got 11 RBI on the season. There aren’t many hitters as hot as Profar, and he’s eligible all over the diamond, making him super helpful in nearly every format.
Daulton Varsho (ARI): 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.
In an offense that’s sputtering, Varsho has been a bright spot. He’s still eligible at the catcher position, so his fantasy relevance lies in the ability to take one deep and bat leadoff. Sure, the .184 BA isn’t what we like to see, but a .319 OBP and .421 SLG% provide plenty of value. He’s rostered in 88% of leagues, so a trade is a more likely outcome if you want a unicorn at your backstop position.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)