Batter’s Box: The Grandy Man Can

Curtis Granderson has been on a serious hot streak as of late. Wednesday night he went 1-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI to add to a month where he’s been...

Curtis Granderson has been on a serious hot streak as of late. Wednesday night he went 1-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI to add to a month where he’s been slashing .338/.458/.727 with eight home runs. His stats on the year look more standard for Granderson, specifically that .235 batting average, and in all honesty, I don’t think Granderson’s changed all that much. I think he’s had an awesome month, but at this point we know what Curtis Granderson is. Now, the reason I mention him is this: if you’re in a standard league, you might want to consider riding the streak with him until it ends, but generally you won’t keep him all year. However, if you’re in an OBP league, Granderson is all of a sudden a somewhat intriguing player. While he’ll likely end the year with a batting average in the .230s (as is standard for him now), he may also have an OBP in the .330s. That doesn’t sound amazing but think of it this way: generally, the league average for OBP is .320, and the league average for batting average is around .250-.260. So if Granderson has an OBP of .330, that’s almost like him being a hitter with an average in the .260s. All of a sudden, Granderson’s power and RBI potential looks a lot more appealing if he’s a .260s hitter, and with his OBP, that’s kind of what he is. He’s going to kill you in batting average, that’s always been the biggest knock against him, but we all know he can end the year with 25 or so home runs, and if you’re in an OBP league (I’d say 12-team or deeper), I think he’s worth a serious look.

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

Jose Bautista (OF, TOR) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Jose Bautista is one of those guys you have to own because he’s going to end the year with 30+ home runs and 80 or so runs and RBIs, but he’s tough to own because he’s going to bat like .240 at best. In an OBP league, you love Bautista, he’s still walking just as well as he has in the past, and it’s good to see that that horrible start to the year has gotten better. Bautista’s gonna keep doing what he does, hit home runs with a below-average batting average. In a standard league, you’ve gotta throw him out there for the counting stats and bear with the average.

Jean Segura (SS/2B, SEA) – 3-5, 1 R, 1 SB. Hopefully you saw Segura’s great but also kind of hilarious to watch play from Wednesday’s game. It was nice to see Segura finally attempt a steal after coming back from his ankle injury, as much of his value is tied to his speed. He seems healthy, as he’s been batting .310 since coming back from his injury, and I would imagine he’ll keep it up. His BABIP is going to come down (it won’t stay at .391), but he’ll have an above-average BABIP, so I would imagine he hits in the .280s the rest of the way. Hopefully he stays healthy and gets up to 20 steals, which should be easy for him to reach.

Kyle Seager (3B, SEA) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Considering he hit 30 home runs last year and batted .278, Seager’s year this year has been pretty disappointing, as he has just nine home runs and is batting .253. His hard hit rate has dropped a pretty small amount, not enough to explain this big switch, but the key problem here has been his HR/FB rate, which sits at 7.8% compared to 14.6% last year. He’s hitting more fly balls but it looks like a lot fewer of them are going for home runs and more are just dying in the outfield. Given that his hard hit rate isn’t all that far off from last year, I’m pretty confident this will correct itself. I don’t think he’ll get to 30 home runs, but I think 25 is realistic.

Michael Brantley (OF, CLE) – 2-4, 2 RBI. I feel like Michael Brantley is a much better real-life baseball player than a fantasy baseball player. His batting average is great, and I don’t see any reason he can’t keep hitting right around .300, but I just don’t really see the counting stats to make him a real special fantasy asset. Should you own him? Yea, because he’ll probably get close to 20 home runs and will probably end up stealing around 15 bases, but I’m not seeing him getting much more than like 50-60 runs and 60 or so RBIs, which is fine, but nothing incredible. Not to mention he’s a giant injury risk, as everyone was reminded when he went on the DL for nearly two weeks.

Mike Moustakas (3B, KC) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. You know, Mike Moustakas might be one of the best steals in the draft this year. His ADP was around the 19th round in a standard 10-team league, and he’s been playing like a monster. He’s two home runs away from matching his career-high home run total and we haven’t even hit the halfway point of the season yet. What’s caused it? Not luck, but skill. His hard hit rate is right at what it was in 2015 with his 22 home run season, and his HR/FB rate is right in line with his career. What’s changed is how much he’s lifting the ball. Ground balls are down, fly balls are up, and his pull rate is up, he’s just making better contact. I think he’ll keep on trucking with an average in the high-.260s or so and I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends the year with 30-35 home runs.

Alex Avila (C/1B, DET) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Alex Avila is best owned in a daily league where you can play matchups. The Tigers are being smart and mostly only putting him out there against righties, which he hits much better against, but he’ll sit against lefties, which means you’ll be out a catcher a few nights a week. If you want to just take the empty spot, that’s fine, but if you can find another catcher worth having on your roster, it might not be a terrible idea. Avila has been killing the ball lately, and that’s going to slow down as his .426 BABIP calms down, but I still think he’s a useful catcher in a desolate position. Plus, he’s great in OBP leagues, as he’s a great walker. Enjoy the streak now, but know that he’s closer to a .250/.260 hitter than a .320 hitter.

Travis Shaw (1B/3B, MIL) – 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Wednesday’s game marks three-straight games with a home run for Shaw, who’s been fantastic so far this season. We’ve always known he had good power, but he’s really come into it this year, upping his hard hit rate to 37.2% and his HR/FB rate to 23%. Now, the HR/FB rate will come down a bit, but the power is real for Shaw, I really think he could end the year with 30+ home runs pretty easily. The average will come down though as his .321 BABIP comes down. He’s more of a .260s hitter than a .290s hitter

Miguel Andujar (3B, NYY) – 3-4, 4 RBI, 1 SB. What a debut for Miguel Andujar. He came up for the Yankees as Chris Carter went down to Triple-A, and Andujar is an intriguing prospect. He’s got decent power and can hit for a good average, he projects as a possible 20 home run, .270 hitter. Do I think he’ll be that now? No, I don’t even know how much playing time he’ll get, but he’s worth keeping an eye on.

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.

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