Batter’s Box: I’m With Herrera

A lot of people, myself included, were ready to give up on Odubel Herrera in June, and I think that’s perfectly fair. Through the beginning of June, Herrera was slashing .223/.267/.340...

A lot of people, myself included, were ready to give up on Odubel Herrera in June, and I think that’s perfectly fair. Through the beginning of June, Herrera was slashing .223/.267/.340 with just three home runs and four steals. He looked bad, he didn’t look like the nearly 20/20, .280s hitting guy we saw last year. But since then, he’s been on a tear, slashing .335/.378/.569 from June 4th on, and he continued that on Monday, going 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. What’s been interesting, and somewhat disappointing, is what’s come along with Herrera’s streak. He’s been hitting plenty of home runs, but he’s only stolen one base since June 4th. It seems Herrera is focusing more on hitting home runs than he is stealing bases. From the beginning of the season through June 3rd, his hard hit rate was just 29.9% and his HR/FB rate just 6%. From June 4th on, his hard hit rate has shot up to 35.9% and along with it, his HR/FB rate has jumped up to 18.2%. Now, I believe the home run numbers will come down, he’s not going to keep that HR/FB rate up, but if he keeps hitting the ball as hard as he’s been hitting it, the average and the home runs will certainly be serviceable. Sure, it would be nice if he’d steal more bases, and I still think he might break 10 stolen bases on the year, but that’s far from what you wanted at the start of the season. That being said, I think Herrera could bat in the .280s the rest of the way and end the year with nearly 20 home runs, and that’s a useful player who’s available in around 52% of ESPN leagues.

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

Cesar Hernandez (2B, PHI) – 2-4, 2 R, 1 SB. I think Hernandez has been more useful than his ownership numbers show. I’m not saying he should be owned in every league, but he’s available in around 75% of leagues, and he’s a guy who may not win you your week, but provides a solid floor for your team. He’s got a solid batting average that will likely be in the high-.270s/low-.280s the rest of the way, he’ll get a good number of runs, and he’ll probably end the year with nearly 20 stolen bases. He’s also got a solid OBP if you’re in an OBP league. His power surge has been a little odd (and I say surge simply because he’s at six home runs now and that’s a career-high) considering his hard hit rate dropped to 21.1%, but it’s likely due to his increased HR/FB rate, something that likely won’t continue.

Chase Headley (3B/1B, NYY) – 3-4, 1 R, 2 RBI. Headley has quietly been slashing .345/.394/.483 over the past month, but you likely haven’t noticed because it’s come with just one home run and zero stolen bases. Sure, there’s been 16 runs and 10 RBIs, which is nice, but considering that slash line over the past month, you’d kind of expect them to be higher. If you want to ride that streak, go for it, but I don’t see a whole ton of use in it when it doesn’t come with much in the way of counting stats.

Rougned Odor (2B, TEX) – 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Odor is having quite a week, slashing .360/.407/.880 with four home runs over the past seven days. He’s been interesting to own, as the average and OBP have been pitiful, but the power has been there and he’s increased his stolen base numbers. He’s not been dropped in too many leagues, only available in about 13% of ESPN leagues, but if he’s out there for some reason, he should be owned.

Russell Martin (C/3B, TOR) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. I don’t know about you, but Russell Martin has been on and off my teams multiple times this year. His average has been awful, but in an OBP league he’s walked enough to be useful, especially with his power and with how barren the catcher position is. He’s also got third base eligibility now in ESPN leagues, for whatever that’s worth. If you’re in an OBP league, you could do worse than him at catcher, but otherwise, it’s likely he’s best left on the waiver wire.

Matt Davidson (DH/3B, CWS) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. This is what Matt Davidson does, he’s power and nothing else. He’ll end the year with 30+ home runs, and along with that will come a nice bump in RBIs, but you’ll need to stomach his godawful average that comes along with striking out over 38% of the time. If you need the power though and can deal with the average, he’s available in just over 90% of ESPN leagues.

Corey Dickerson (OF, TB) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Monday’s game was a nice night for Dickerson owners who have been dealing with his awful month in which he’s slashed .218/.274/.425. It’s fair to wonder what’s been going on, but in all honesty it’s just the law of averages working. Through June 30th, Dickerson was batting .326 with a .374 BABIP. Since then, he’s hit .211 with a .281 BABIP. Things are evening out, he’s fine, he’ll still be a solid player, just endure the slump, hopefully you had the foresight to know it was inevitably coming.

Jake Marisnick (OF, HOU) – 3-4, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI. What a night for Marisnick, and what a way to break out of a 2-15 slump. Unfortunately though, there’s just not a whole lot here. The power is nice, but these 13 home runs this season have been a career-high thanks to a very elevated HR/FB rate that hasn’t coincided with any meaningful increase in hard hit rate. The power will slow down, the average is mediocre, and the playing time is relatively inconsistent. It’s a nice night, but there’s nothing here.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login