Batters Box: Just Joshin’ Ya

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

(Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Josh Reddick started off the year somewhat slow, with an 0-7 slump. He was already a guy that was kind of borderline owned, maybe went undrafted in some smaller leagues, and starting off the season slow certainly didn’t help his fantasy case. But that’s all a distant memory now, as the guy is currently slashing .346/.452/.692 after his 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI performance yesterday. Here’s the beauty of early-season small-sample-size stats: On the year so far, Reddick’s hard-hit rate is over 60% (as is his HR/FB rate), while his walk rate is nearly 18%. Obviously those stats are absurd and not in any way indicative of what’s to come for Reddick, but in that Astros lineup, Reddick is going to be productive. He had just 13 home runs last year and 10 the year before, but he’s flashed 20 home run upside before. The average is going to be good, I’d say .280s is very likely, though I don’t think coming close to his .314 year last year is entirely out of the question. If the power’s boosting up closer to the 20 we saw in 2015, he’s going to be a very valuable fantasy asset.

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

Anthony Santander (OF, BAL) – 3-6, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Hey, good for Anthony Santander. The guy is a slightly sorta kinda interesting prospect for the Orioles who’s guaranteed a spot on the major league roster, but there’s nothing to see here as far as fantasy goes unless he somehow ends up with consistent playing time and really turns it on.

Craig Alan Gentry (OF, BAL) – 3-6, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 SB. I listed Gentry’s full name because, for whatever reason, that’s how he’s listed on ESPN. Gentry is pretty good at two things: defense and speed. He’s mediocre at best when it comes to batting average, and if he had a consistent, everyday gig in the Baltimore outfield, I might recommend him as a source of very cheap steals (he could easily get 20-25 steals in an everyday job), but he isn’t going to have consistent playing time.

Giancarlo Stanton (OF, NYY) – 0-7. Fun fact: with his performance today, Giancarlo Stanton became the first player in the live ball era to have two games with zero hits and five strikeouts in the same season. DROP IN ALL FORMATS WHAT A GARBAGE PLAYER. I’m kidding, it’s a long season, Stanton will be fine. Power hitters are often streakier than your typical player, just be patient. And if you see a panicky owner, buy low for sure.

Austin Romine (C, NYY) – 3-5, 3 RBI. If anything, I think Romine has shown that, if Gary Sanchez misses time because of an injury, Romine is a perfectly-capable replacement, and in deeper leagues, could be an interesting play if Sanchez’s calf injury gets worse.

Gregory Polanco (OF, PIT) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Maybe Gregory Polanco’s just been hurt all this time? Because he looks healthy and awesome now. It also doesn’t hurt that the Pirates as a team have been on fire lately, and Polanco is a big part of that.

Corey Dickerson (OF, PIT) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. I was really surprised how low Corey Dickerson fell in most drafts. He went undrafted in some of the leagues I play in, but he’s been tearing things up, batting fifth in the Pirates’ lineup most of the time, and should continue to be solid. Don’t expect a good average to stick around, but enjoy it while it lasts.

Ben Zobrist (2B/OF, CHC) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. A BEN ZOBRIST SIGHTING. Honestly though, Zobrist is slashing .360/.448/.520 now, but sadly he doesn’t have a steady gig, so it’s going to be hard to trust him until that happens.

David Peralta (OF, ARI) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. David Peralta is a player that I always feel doesn’t quite get the respect he deserves in fantasy. He’s a guy who hits for a decent amount of power with a high average. He may not be the flashiest guy in the world, but he slashed .293/.352/.444 with 14 home runs last year. He just gets it done somehow. He’s especially useful in daily leagues given his righty/lefty splits, as he slashed .269/.338/.373 against lefties last year and .302/.357/.468 against righties.

A.J. Pollock (OF, ARI) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. I’ve always said, if A.J. Pollock can stay healthy, he can be a major fantasy asset. He’s been healthy so far and it’s why he’s been so good lately (including his four-game hitting streak). I’m hopeful he can keep it up all year and impress us with a healthy season.

Kendrys Morales (DH, TOR) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. I understand why not many people own Morales. He’s DH-only, which is tough on your roster, and he’s been slumping like crazy. It’s still early though, and I think the chances that Morales ends the year as a .250 hitter with close to 30 home runs is pretty decent.

Ozzie Albies (2B, ATL) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Really good to see this performance from Albies, who’s been struggling to start of the year. Keep the faith though, he’ll be fine and brings a ton of upside.

Mike Trout (OF, LAA) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Oh hey, there’s the Mike Trout I know and love, about time.

Bryce Harper (OF, WAS) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Bryce Harper is just inhuman. The guy is slashing .357/.535/1.000 (yes, a 1.000 SLG) right now. The man is on fire and looks like he’s set to prove everyone who called him a risky top-five pick wrong.

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.

4 responses to “Batters Box: Just Joshin’ Ya”

  1. Adam says:

    I’m in a shallow 9-team mixed OBP league, and trying to decide whether my hitting churn spot is currently occupied by Brad Zimmer or Michael Brantley, wavering between MB’s ability to stay healthy vs. BZ’s R/SB upside. Based on the boxscores, and his 14:1 K:BB ratio, Zimmer has looked clueless at the plate – any thoughts to tip the scales for me here?

    • Ben Palmer says:

      I’m not sure what your waiver wire looks like, but if it’s a shallow league, I would bet there are better OF options out there than both Zimmer and Brantley, so I’d look there.

      • AC says:

        Thanks, Ben. There are, for sure, options better than both – just wondering which of the two is more worthy of hanging onto in the early going. I have DeShields on my DL, so vs. Brantley I find Zimmer’s speed a bit more enticing (but of course worthless if he can’t reliably get on base).

  2. theKraken says:

    Everyone who called Bryce a risky top 5 pick for the past several years was right… because he is. I am not one of those owners that is not looking to gamble with my first pick. Dude is on fire though… as he typically is in April. Its interesting how some guys always come out of the gates on fire.

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login