Batter’s Box: ManBearPuig

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

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

Ever since he joined the league, owning Yasiel Puig in fantasy baseball has been frustrating to say the least. He’s got immense levels of talent, but between his streaky nature, injury problems and attitude issues over the years, he’s been difficult to own. This season so far has been no different, as he’s slashing .215/.278/.364 on the year. However, things have been picking up lately, and over the past two weeks, Puig has been slashing .273/.351/.667, including yesterday’s 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI performance. I think Puig is an excellent buy low right now because I think he’s due to get better, and if I have a team without him, I’m looking to acquire him. Coming into yesterday’s game, Puig had a .214 average with a .248 xAVG, which makes sense considering his .244 BABIP. In fact, if you look at Puig’s batted-ball stats, they all look right in line with last year’s aside from his 10.3% HR/FB rate, which I think will get better. I think you can likely get Puig for crazy cheap right now (he’s even available in 32% of leagues), and I’d be trying to do it.

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

Andrew Benintendi (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 3-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Andrew Benintendi is finally picking things up after an awfully slow start that was mostly due to some bad luck. Over the past two weeks, he’s been slashing .345/.409/.603. Welcome back to being awesome.

J.D. Martinez (OF, Boston Red Sox) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. What’s the hitter version of aces gonna ace? Studs gonna stud?

Marcus Semien (SS, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Marcus Semien’s been hitting well lately, slashing .302/.328/.429 over the past two weeks. I’m actually surprised he’s available in 43% of leagues.

Yangervis Solarte (SS/2B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Solarte’s really found his power stroke this year, with a .220 ISO. I would imagine the home runs will come down some considering his 17.5% HR/FB rate, but 25 home runs is looking like it’s in the cards this year.

Kyle Schwarber (OF, Chicago Cubs) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Even though Schwarber’s been hitting just .194 the past two weeks, he’s got a .408 OBP, which makes him extremely useful in OBP leagues. He’s got a good set of matchups this week, so I think things could turn around soon.

Javier Baez (SS/2B, Chicago Cubs) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. After his hot start, things have slowed down quite a bit for Baez, which makes sense considering he was due to regress some. Still, he’s got great power and there’s no reason he can’t hit in the .260s with 25+ home runs and double-digit steals.

Lewis Brinson (OF, Miami Marlins) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. Lewis Brinson is an interesting prospect, but for now, there’s not really any fantasy value as he’s still getting adjusted to the major leagues. It looks like 15 home runs might be doable, and his average will come up as his .208 BABIP gets better, but he’s still striking out 32.1% of the time, so there’s not gonna be a lot here until that gets better.

Miguel Rojas (SS/1B, Miami Marlins) – 3-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI. An excellent game from Rojas who’s put up respectable numbers so far this season, slashing .264/.322/.429, but a mediocre player on the Marlins is a bad player for fantasy, since there won’t really be much in the way of counting stats available.

Nick Markakis (OF, Atlanta Braves) – 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Nick Markakis continues to be awesome, I’m really happy for the guy.

Christian Villanueva (3B, San Diego Padres) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Villanueva’s average has come down quite a bit since his hot start, but the power is and always has been real, though I do expect the 26.1% HR/FB rate to come down. It’s worth noting though that the Padres will see three left-handed starters this week, and Villanueva is slashing .386/.426/1.023 against lefties this year.

Austin Meadows (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. As it stands, Meadows is just up to fill in for Starling Marte while he’s hurt, but if he keeps hitting the ball as well as he has been, the Pirates will be hard-pressed to send him down.

Welington Castillo (C, Chicago White Sox) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Castillo has been tearing it up lately, slashing .344/.364/.656 over the past two weeks. The White Sox have a very favorable schedule this week and Castillo is available in 57% of leagues, so go grab him now if you need help at catcher.

Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Aguilar has been performing exceptionally well standing in for Ryan Braun while he’s on the DL. Aguilar’s slashing .333/.395/.608 on the year so far and a lot of it looks somewhat legit. The average is going to come down as his .370 BABIP regresses, but he’s got a .275 ISO that’s supported by a 40% hard-hit rate and an 18.9% HR/FB rate. He’s been a big power bat in the minors before (he hit 30 home runs in Triple-A in 2016), so it’s not really a shock he’s hitting the ball so hard. He’s available in 83% of leagues and I think he’s worth a pickup while he’s hot.

Tyler Austin (1B, New York Yankees) – 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. Austin’s been fairly hot and cold this year. Coming into this game, he was slashing .154/.179/.269 on the month. He’s got talent, but considering his playing time is inconsistent and Greg Bird is nearing a return, there’s not much fantasy relevance here.

Miguel Andujar (3B, New York Yankees) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. I’m actually really surprised Andujar is available in 59% of leagues. He’s been slashing .311/.314/.476 over the past month. Those numbers aren’t life-changing, but they’re still solid (unless you’re in an OBP league).

Tyler O’Neill (OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Tyler O’Neill is one of my favorite prospects, and now he’s got four hits, four runs, and two home runs in three games. He was tearing up the minors and should be a great major leaguer, the only question will be playing time. Right now, I don’t know how he gets consistent at-bats in the crowded Cardinals outfield. That being said, he’s absolutely worth monitoring in case he gets a bigger role, and if he does, he should be owned.

Brandon Belt (1B, San Francisco Giants) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Is Brandon Belt going to have the best season of his career? It looks that way. Yes, the .379 BABIP will come down, but that 49.1% hard-hit rate is no joke.

John Hicks (1B, Detroit Tigers) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Hicks has been serving admirably while Miguel Cabrera has been out, slashing .346/.386/.596 over the past two weeks. He’s got a .369 BABIP on the year so far, which will likely come down, but he’s also got a 48.6% hard-hit rate. He’s worth a look if you need some help at the corner infield position, at least while he’s hot.

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: ManBearPuig”

  1. Vinny says:

    I have to ask, since you mentioned both guys in this article. Which side would you take:

    Andujar & Corbin
    Belt & Greinke

  2. Take 2 says:

    Since you mentioned both in this article


  3. Southern Marylander says:

    After O’Neill’s first call up and subsequent riding of the pine, I dropped him. Now another team has picked him up and I’m staring enviously at him while Franmil Reyes is nailed to my bench. I hate everything.

    • Ben Palmer says:

      Well, you never know. O’Neill’s going to have a tough time working his way into the outfield, so he might not do much this year.

  4. Johnny Rico says:

    It’s worth noting that Jordan Hicks is Catcher eligible on Yahoo (not sure about other platforms), he’d probably help there more than corner infield

    • Ben Palmer says:

      I think you meant John Hicks? But yea, that’s cool, I didn’t know that. He’s definitely worth a pickup if he’s catcher-eligible

  5. Swfcdan says:

    Would you offer up one of these arms for Haniger in an OBP league?


    I think Haniger’s legit, if so which of those arms would you rather deal. They’re all no3 type starters and very little between them I guess.

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