Batter’s Box: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kip Me

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

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

Jason Kipnis has had a weird July so far. Yesterday’s 2-3, 1 SB performance brought his slashline in July to .257/.422/.514. Yes, that average is rough, but he’s had an excellent OBP and a ridiculous .257 ISO. So has something changed with Kipnis? Yes, though I hesitate to suggest that it’s a sign of things to come. First off, his walk rate in July has surged from 9.2% in June to 20%, the best of the year so far. It also marks the first time this year that he’s walking more than he’s striking out, which is always something I love to see. He’s also seen a rise in his average launch angle to a season-high 22 degrees in July. So yes, Kipnis has made some progress for sure, but I hesitate to say “JASON KIPNIS IS BACK ALL ABOARD THE KIPTRAIN” because this is a very limited sample size. Still, in OBP leagues if you need some middle infield help, you could do a lot worse than Kipnis.

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

Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. If Choo stays healthy all year, he’ll end up with one of the best seasons of his career, which is amazing at 36. I’m loving every minute of it, especially in OBP leagues.

Brian Anderson (3B/OF, Miami Marlins) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Anderson had himself quite a week, slashing .370/.414/.704. He’s had a solid year, though counting stats will be a bit hard to come by on the Marlins. He’s useful in deeper leagues though, and is available in 53% of leagues.

Cameron Maybin (OF, Miami Marlins) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Maybin stuffed the stat sheet yesterday. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been all that good this year (even the steals have been sub-par), so there isn’t much fantasy value to be had.

Corey Dickerson (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Over the past month, Dickerson has been slashing .305/.337/.500 and has been excellent this year. I was amazed that he was being drafted as low as he was this year, but he’s proven to be a major value to his believers and I don’t see any reason for him to get worse. For whatever reason, he’s available in 36% of leagues.

Adalberto Mondesi (2B/SS, Kansas City Royals) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Mondesi is someone to keep an eye on. Over the past two weeks, he’s slashed .297/.316/.514 with a couple steals. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up being a useful source of cheap steals this year, so keep him on your radar.

Yoan Moncada (2B, Chicago White Sox) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI. Moncada is always capable of a big hot streak and he’s seen that in July, slashing .327/.421/.592 so far this month. I’m intrigued by the fact that his strikeout rate has dropped to a season-low 24.6% in July and his walk rate has increased to a season-high 14%. He’s got loads of talent, and if there’s any sign that he’s fixed his plate discipline problem, he could be a major asset. Keep an eye on him if he’s available in your league.

Daniel Palka (OF, Chicago White Sox) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI. A nice game from Palka but he’s been pretty bad this year so not really any fantasy value to be had.

Leury Garcia (OF, Chicago White Sox) – 3-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. Garcia’s been hitting really well in July, slashing .353/.371/.559. He’s a streaky player and always has moments of fantasy relevance, so he might be worth a snag as a ride-the-streak guy. He’s available in 99% of leagues.

Brian Dozier (2B, Minnesota Twins) – 2-6, 1 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI. Dozier’s been heating up lately, slashing .298/.369/.632 over the past two weeks. I still think he’s primed to have a really good second half like he did last year, the buy low opportunity is closing fast.

Jim Adduci (OF, Detroit Tigers) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. A nice game for Adduci, but he’s a bench guy not getting much playing time, so nothing to see here.

John Hicks (1B/C, Detroit Tigers) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Hicks has had a decent year, but he’s been difficult to own lately, slashing .232/.292/.378 over the past month. He’s going to be streaky, so I wouldn’t own him unless you’re in a deep league or are very desperate at catcher.

Jefry Marte (1B, Los Angeles Angels) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Nice game from Marte, but he’s another guy not getting much playing time and not really performing even when he’s given playing time.

Yasmani Grandal (C, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 3-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Grandal’s had a really nice month, slashing .281/.403/.500 over the past 30 days. Believe it or not, he’s available in 16% of leagues which, considering how painful the catcher position is, is a shock to me.

Christian Villanueva (3B, San Diego Padres) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Villanueva’s fantasy value from earlier this year has all but vanished. That being said, he’s started four games at shortstop now (including yesterday), and if he gains shorstop eligibility, he could be somewhat interesting in deep leagues as he still does have good power.

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.

11 responses to “Batter’s Box: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kip Me”

  1. Peacecoast says:

    Disagree about Dickerson. He has the most empty 300 BA you will see. I dropped him a month ago. He is on pace for 12 HR and under 70 R/RBI!

    • Ben Palmer says:

      Unfortunately that’s one of the side effects of being in the Pirates’ lineup, but I think his slashline is still pretty useful in fantasy

  2. John Connors says:

    Kipnis or Peraza in ESPN points league?

  3. Will says:

    Hi Ben,

    What are your thoughts on inciarte? He’s been seriously scuffling of late and also not stealing bases. I have an extra outfielder and options on the wire – moncada, Olson, cargo. Is he getting close to drop territory in a 10 team H2H?

    • Ben Palmer says:

      In a 10-team, I can understand dropping him. Five stolen bases since June is pretty bad, and that’s his main value considering his average is pretty mediocre. I don’t have an issue dropping him for Olson or Moncada.

  4. Vinny says:

    If I own Grandal, would you recommend just being thankful that I have a top 10 guy or should I still be looking elsewhere when he goes cold?

    • Ben Palmer says:

      I like what he’s done this year and I’m good holding onto him unless you can find an owner willing to overpay for him.

  5. Jim says:

    Brian Anderson #16 OVERALL OF in Points leagues, with 3B elig. I would say he is useful in more than just deeper leagues. Dude is outperforming Bellinger, Upton, Desmond, K Davis, … you get the idea. His ownership proves that most people do not follow baseball closely enough, or are only interested in big market, big name players which is a mistake.

    • theKraken says:

      Isn’t hindsight great! The question is what will he give you going forward? Overvaluing a heater is a rookie move. Should everyone drop their name brand guy for a guy having a good first half? Probably not. If you were lucky enough to own his first half, then congratulations! What will his second half look like? I don’t claim to know…

  6. theKraken says:

    I think Kipnis has always been good at manipulating his swing. He has gone from high average to high power and all over the place throughout his career. He finds a way to be relevant every year. The trick is acquiring him when he is undervalued… Not sure how valuable he is, but he is fun to follow – one of my favorites. I think his value nosedived about 3/4 years ago when he started dealing with shoulder injuries – that was the last time he was elite and he never really dealt with the injury, just figured out how to cope with it which has been ongoing ever since.

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