Batter’s Box: Correa, Boricua

Everything Dave Cherman thinks you need to know about Saturday's best hitters is right here in the Batter's Box.

I recorded my first podcast with Pitcher List in December 2017. I had just come out of a final exam for law school before heading to Nick Pollack’s apartment in Brooklyn to discuss my picks for the 2018 Pitcher List mock draft, in which I took Carlos Correa with the ninth overall pick. Today, I recorded my 30th (I think?) cast and a lot has changed, but one thing has remained the same: Correa just can’t stay healthy—playing 109 games in 2017, 110 awful games in 2018, and just 52 so far in 2019. If there’s a positive here, and I promise there is, it’s that his bat has woken back up after the frighteningly bad slump to end last season. You just wish there was some consistency because yesterday was just his second game in two months.

I’m here to tell you that if Correa can be healthy the rest of the way—a MASSIVE “if”—you will get rewarded tenfold. That started with last night’s 2/4, R, HR, 5 RBI showing, capped off with a grand slam. That brings his season line to .293/.356/.551 and that’s really good! It’s only come with one steal, but the Astros as a whole just aren’t running anymore, so you can’t be too upset about that. The rest of his numbers, scaled out to a 153 game season (his career high), gives us 35 HRs, 80 runs, and 117 RBI. I know it is easy to look at that and say But he won’t play 153 games! and you’re probably right. He even left last night’s game with another injury. The good news is he’s back in the lineup today because he just jammed his elbow.

My point in all of this is that we know who Correa can be—what his potential is. The rest of the season, you can treat him as damaged goods or you can treat him as if he’s healthy and if he truly is, you can ride him to a fantasy championship. He’s one of the few players that, in any given year, can provide value equal to the ninth overall pick, even if you don’t have to reach nearly that high for him anymore.


Will Smith (C, Los Angeles Dodgers)—3/3, R, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI.

You’ll see Smith talked about a lot in catcher streaming later today. He’s posted a .605 slugging at AAA with a 14.6% walk rate to an 18.3% K-rate. He’s now got 24 HRs in 301 PAs between both levels. That’s good. Just in case you were wondering. He’s got 4 HRs in 33 MLB PAs and I want to own him wherever I can.

Nick Ahmed (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks)—2/4, R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI.

This was a bit of a birthday party for Ahmed, but the SS has 105 R+RBI in 409 PAs after 131 in 564 last year. Factor in his 10 HRs and there’s value there in deep leagues, especially considering he’s got the average up to .268 from a career .237 mark. The BABIP is 30 points above his career mark, but the BABIP indicators suggest that it may not be all smoke and mirrors.

Teoscar Hernandez (OF, Toronto Blue Jays)—2-6, R, 2 HR, 2 RBI.

I’ve wanted Teoscar Hernandez to be good for so long now. The guy absolutely mashes the baseball, but also whiffs a ton (30.6% K-rate) and doesn’t make a ton of contact (.214 average). Despite that, he’s still got a .420 slugging and 14 HRs. If he can learn to make more contact without sacrificing power (a la Joey Gallo this year), he could become a superstar. I doubt it’ll happen. But it could.

Pedro Severino (C, Baltimore Orioles)—4-5, R, HR, 4 RBI, SB.

STOP MAKING ME WRITE ABOUT YOU. I DON’T LIKE WRITING ABOUT ORIOLES CATCHERS. Anyway, Severino stole his third career base yesterday in addition to his 10th HR in 221 PPAs after coming in with 4 in 282 PAs. I’m not buying the 19% HR/FB rate and there are bad times ahead for those who believe in Severino. The average could stay strong though, so if you’re ok with just one counting stat, Pedro is the guy for you.

Cavan Biggio (2B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays)—1-3, R, HR, RBI, 3 BB, SB.

Johnny Metzelaar touted Biggio as someone who could have a big second half… he’s responded by slashing .122/.294/.195. Yikes, Jon. Yikes. Here’s hoping this is the sign of bigger things to come.

Sean Rodriguez (2B/3B/SS/OF, Philadelphia Phillies)—3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI.

Yes, this is what I wanted to write about. A veteran with 80 career HRs over 1059 games. There’s nothing to talk about here, but it’s fun to celebrate a vet’s achievements.

Freddie Freeman (1B, Atlanta Braves)—1/1, 3 R, 2B, 4 BB. 

PITCH TO HIM, YOU COWARDS. Freeman is awesome. You know this. I know this. Pitchers know this. That’s why his walk rate sits at 12.4%. Were Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger not tearing the cover off baseballs, we’d be talking about Freeman in the MVP conversation. Instead we just have to settle for him being more quietly amazing.

Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, Chicago White Sox)—3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI.

Moncada has slowed down since his electric start (slashing .270/.333/.508 in the second half) but we can still call 2019 his breakout party. Where are you taking Moncada in next year’s draft? He could be the league’s only 30/15 2B and that’s crazy valuable. Expect the average to continue to fall as his .381 BABIP comes back to earth, but I think he settles somewhere around .280 and that’s not too shabby.

Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees)—0/5, 2 Ks. 

Even the best have bad games sometimes. It happens. We move on and live to swing another day.

Brandon Drury (2B/3B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays)—4-6, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI.

After a midseason deal sending him from the Yankees to the Jays last year, Drury has struggled to find consistency with the bat, but the average is up to .281 in the second half with a .594 slugging and in July he’s slashing .313/.333/.688. Something could be a brewin’ in Drury’s bat.

Kris Bryant (3B/OF, Chicago Cubs)—0-5, 3 Ks.

Just like Judge, there’s nothing to worry about here. Free swingers are gonna strike out and they’re gonna do it a lot. Don’t freak out.

(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)

Dave Cherman

Across the Seams Manager, also a former player and umpire and New York-based lawyer who spends his free time studying advanced statistics and obsessing over fantasy trades. Will debate with you about most anything.

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