Batter’s Box: Hicksy Thump

Ben Palmer takes a look at some of the best hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

Aaron Hicks has had himself quite the month, slashing .291/.354/.640 including yesterday’s ridiculous 3-4, 3 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI performance. Hicks had a pretty bad May, slashing .230/.306/.391 that was marked by a .236 BABIP and a significant increase in groundballs, but he’s bounced back in a big way so far. So what can we expect from Hicks going forward? Well there are definitely some reasons for optimism—namely the fact that his excellent June has come with a reasonable .306 BABIP and the fact that he’s got a 43.7% hard-hit rate on the year so far. However, what does concern me about Hicks are his xStats. You might look at his .268 BABIP and think some positive regression is in order, but he’s got an xBABIP of .252, and what’s worse, he’s got an xAVG of .232. There’s no doubt Hicks is crushing the ball, but I do wonder if the average is going to ever be much better than it already is. He’s available in 54% of leagues, I think he’s worth a grab even if he’s just on a hot streak, just keep an eye on him.

Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:

Kole Calhoun (OF, Los Angeles Angels) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Calhoun has struggled mightily this year but has been picking it up lately, with a .237 ISO over the past two weeks. I’m not advocating picking him up just yet, but keep an eye on him.

Mark Trumbo (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Trumbo’s been looking a lot more like regular Mark Trumbo than the terrible player he was last year. His barrel rate is up, his exit velocity is up, his hard-hit rate is up, I think there’s a decent chance Trumbo gives you the production you’d typically expect out of Mark Trumbo. Not 2016’s career-best year by any stretch, but certainly not last year’s garbage.

Nicholas Castellanos (3B/OF, Detroit Tigers) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Castellanos had a grand slam yesterday, giving him now four home runs in his past seven games, along with 12 RBI. He’s been awesome, but it’s worth noting that he has a .373 BABIP.

JaCoby Jones (OF, Detroit Tigers) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. A nice game from JaCoby, but he’s been bad this year, not much to see here.

Jose Peraza (SS/2B, Cincinnati Reds) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Would you believe me if I told you Jose Peraza has a .264 ISO over the past two weeks? Well he does, along with a .302/.373/.566 slashline and a hard-hit rate that has jumped from a pitiful 21.4% last year to a respectable 30% this year. We already know he has great speed and has hit for a solid average in the past—if he’s adding power now, this could be important.

Evan Gattis (C, Houston Astros) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Evan Gattis just keep hitting home runs, that’s now a .326 ISO over the past month.

Mallex Smith (OF, Tampa Bay Rays) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Mallex almost never hits home runs (he’s got a .365 SLG over the past month) so don’t get used to this, but it’s good to see a good game from one of my favorite players to watch. He’s had a rough month, hitting .257, but he’s still got blazing speed and is worth having in deep leagues.

Brian Dozier (2B, Minnesota Twins) – 2-3, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. Dozier has been really bad, slashing .185/.312/.380 over the past month. I still believe he’ll get better (he notoriously does a lot better in the second-half of the year), but I wouldn’t blame you for benching him until he does.

Ian Happ (2B/OF, Chicago Cubs) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Happ has been fine so far this year, his power/speed combo is decent, but his potential will continue to be limited by his awful strikeout problem, which stands at a career-worst 37%. He has drastically upped his walk rate to an impressive 15.9%, however, making him a lot easier to stand in OBP leagues.

Avisail Garcia (OF, Chicago White Sox) – 4-5, 3 R, 1 RBI. Garcia’s been great since his return from his hamstring injury, slashing .333/.333/.690. It’s easy to forget he slashed .330/.380/.506 last year, and based on that potential alone he’s worth a pickup in the 80% of leagues he’s available in.

Rougned Odor (2B, Texas Rangers) – 3-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Odor’s been rough this year, but it’s good to see him grab a stolen base in this game. Over the past month though, Odor’s been slashing .274/.380/.417, which is somewhat interesting, though it would be nice if there was a bit more power (which you would typically expect from Odor).

Francisco Lindor (SS, Cleveland Indians) – 3-4, 1 HR, 4 R, 2 RBI. Francisco Lindor is amazing, taters gonna tate.

Edwin Encarnacion (1B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. I’m still concerned about Edwin’s plate discipline numbers (as I’ve said about a billion times) but it’s hard to argue with the power production he’s had so far.

Yonder Alonso (1B, Cleveland Indians) – 4-6, 1 R, 3 RBI. Alonso’s been pretty up and down this year but he’s slashing .280/.349/.413 over the past month. I’d like to see a bit more power, but I can’t argue too much with those results.

Matt Kemp (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. The Matt Kemp renaissance has been fun to watch. He’s hit a slight slump lately (hitting .244/.300/.500 over the past month) but I’m not panicking.

Colin Moran (1B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Moran’s an interesting guy in deeper leagues, but his fantasy value is limited as he always sits against lefties.

Corey Dickerson (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 1-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Dickerson’s lost some at-bats lately, but he’s still putting up some solid production and is still worth holding onto.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-4 ,2 RBI, 2 SB. Dyson’s always got the ability to put in a game like this, but his playing is so inconsistent it’s hard to own him, especially while he’s hitting .191.

Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI. Aaron Judge hit a home run and also the sun rose yesterday.

Ben Palmer

Senior columnist at Pitcher List. Lifelong Orioles fan, also a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music, watch way too many movies, and collect way too many records.

9 responses to “Batter’s Box: Hicksy Thump”

  1. Palm the BOMB says:

    Hey, what’s your thoughts on Astudillo Williams? Triple, 2H, 0 S/O so far, and his batting profile is crazy. You think he gets regularly play time or what’s your thoughts on him as a player?

    • Ben Palmer says:

      His hit tool is kinda interesting, and I think that’s the foundation of a good hitter, but he hasn’t shown much power or speed in the minors so far, so I don’t really see a lot of fantasy value right now.

    • King Donk says:


  2. Jim says:

    Hey Ben. Any thoughts on J Polanco as an immediate add for those hurting at MI? Would you rather roll out Kipnis in that slot? Ty!

    • Ben Palmer says:

      I think Polanco is worth a speculative add, especially considering how good the Twins’ schedule is this week, but I have no idea what he’ll look like. I’m hopeful that he can re-capture what he did in the second half of last year though.

  3. Taylor says:

    Ohtani or Odor ROS? Your thoughts on Ohtani’s value as a DH only?

    • Ben Palmer says:

      Odor. I don’t think Ohtani is gonna have much value as a DH only, especially if he’s still hurt.

  4. Kevin says:

    Would you rather have A. Hicks or N. Castellanos ROS?

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