Batter’s Box: Todd Only Knows

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

Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

In case you didn’t know, Todd Frazier is back. After spending nearly a month on the DL with a hamstring injury, Frazier is back and healthy, and after yesterday’s 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB performance, he’s now got two home runs in his past two games. So is there value to be had in Todd Frazier right now? On the year so far he’s slashing .239/.344/.433, which on the surface seems somewhat tough to own. I don’t think the average is going to get too much better, .240s seems about right for Frazier, but that’s certainly better than the .213 average he had last year. It’s also important to note that right now, Frazier is on pace for about 25 home runs and—more importantly—about 15 steals, the latter of which is something he all but totally abandoned last year with just four steals on the season. In deeper leagues, I think you can handle the .240s average for the power/speed combo that Frazier will give you, and in OBP leagues, he’s a lot easier to own, given that he’s walking 13.1% of the time on the year. Frazier’s available in 68% of leagues and I think warrants a grab in deeper leagues and in OBP leagues.

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

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI. Talk about a sophomore slump. After having a season good enough to garner Rookie of the Year votes, Mancini has been quite awful this season, slashing .233/.309/.381 on the year. The positives—his plate discipline looks fine, and his hard-hit rate is right about where it was last year. So what’s changed? Well, he’s seen a slight increase in groundball rate which, while not damning, isn’t great—however the big difference has been in his BABIP, which was .352 last year and is .280 this year. Still, I anticipate he’ll get better, he’s got a .268 xAVG, I still think a .270s average is perfectly possible for him. He’s available in 55% of leagues—if you’ve got the roster flexibility to pick him up and wait out this cold streak, I’d do it. If not, keep a close eye on him and be prepared to pick him up once he starts to heat up.

Curtis Granderson (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 4-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. Granderson, along with the entire Blue Jays lineup, enjoyed an offensive feast at the hands of Alex Cobb. Granderson’s batting average is still terrible and will likely continue to be terrible thanks to his career-worst 31.3% strikeout rate, but he’s a lot more bearable in OBP leagues considering his 15.4% walk rate (the best of his career so far). In deeper OBP leagues where you need power, Granderson is worth a look.

Teoscar Hernandez (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Hernandez joined the party against the Orioles yesterday with a nice game. He’s been hitting the ball well lately, slashing .304/.333/.696 over the past two weeks and warrants a look as a “ride the streak” guy for right now.

Kevin Pillar (OF, Toronto Blue Jays) – 2-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Pillar has been awful lately, with a .188 average over the past month, but hopefully things are starting to pick up, as he’s got a .375 ISO over the past week.

Kyle Seager (3B, Seattle Mariners) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Seager’s been hitting for a lot of power lately but that’s about it. Since May 10, he’s got a .267 ISO with a 37.8% hard-hit rate, which is awesome, but he’s also been hitting just .210 in that same timespan. His average will get better as his .238 BABIP improves, but I don’t expect him to hit much better than about .250.

Mike Zunino (C, Seattle Mariners) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Zunino is absolutely launching balls, with a 17.9% barrel rate on the year, but that .210s average isn’t going to get much better, especially when he’s striking out 38.8% of the time. Still, catcher is a painful position, and if you can get 30 home runs out of Zunino, you’ll probably bear with the awful average.

Jake Cave (OF, Minnesota Twins) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Cave was called up by the Twins on Saturday and had a great game during his first start yesterday. He’s likely nothing more than a bench bat though.

Josh Harrison (2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB. One of the appeals of Josh Harrison has been his high average with a solid power/speed combo. So far this year, we’ve seen almost no speed at all, as his stolen base yesterday was just his second attempt on the year. We also haven’t seen much in the way of power, as he’s got just a .124 ISO on the year. Still, I’d expect close to 10 home runs from Harrison this year, I’m just worried that we won’t see the double-digit steals we’ve seen in years past.

Gregory Polanco (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – 1-3, 1 R, 3 RBI. I’m still a believer in the Gregory Polanco comeback. He’s got the highest walk rate of his career (12%), the lowest chase rate of his career (27%) and the second-highest hard-hit rate of his career (34.4%). That .238 BABIP isn’t going to stick around all year, and considering he’s got an xAVG of .240, I’m anticipating he’ll be better. I’m buying low.

George Springer (OF, Houston Astros) – 2-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 1 RBI. George Springer continues to be amazing at all times.

Ketel Marte (SS/2B, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Marte has been just brutal this year, but all of a sudden he’s heating up, slashing .326/.356/.791 over the past two weeks. His low BABIP wasn’t going to stick around forever, and I anticipate he’ll continue to get better. I don’t have a problem grabbing him if you want to ride the streak and see if he’s figured something out.

Ian Desmond (1B/OF, Colorado Rockies) – 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 SB. Ian Desmond is so confusing. He’s on pace to have close to a 20/20 year, but he’s batting .195 spending most of his time in Coors Field. I understand if you don’t want to own him, but that .195 ISO with speed is hard to turn down.

Matt Chapman (3B, Oakland Athletics) – 1-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Matt Chapman doing what he does best—hit home runs. I don’t anticipate his average getting to be much better than the .240s where it is right now, but he’s pretty likely to hit 25-30 home runs this year, and there’s plenty of value in that. He’s surprisingly available too, owned in just 48% of leagues.

Brandon Crawford (SS, San Francisco Giants) – 4-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Crawford is still available in 23% of leagues and even that surprises me given how good he’s been lately. Yes, his .401 BABIP is going to come down, but until he starts getting cold, he should be owned and started.

Enrique Hernandez (SS/2B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers) – 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. Great game for Hernandez, but I’m not seeing much fantasy value 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.

7 responses to “Batter’s Box: Todd Only Knows”

  1. Launch Angle says:

    In a standard, season long roto- R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG – in what order would you want these C:

    Sal Perez, Willson Contreras, Posey?

  2. Southern Marylander says:

    The Mac Williamson bubble appears to have popped since he returned from the DL. As noted in your “Hitters to Start and Avoid in Week 11 (6/11 – 6/17)” article, Longoria is a good play because of facing three lefties this week, so I assume the same would be true of Williamson. Do you think that this week will be a good determination of his value going forward or should a move on a replacement be made now? Not that there’s an abundance of good OF available in my league: Trey Mancini, Adam Duvall, Mallex Smith, Jason Heyward, Franmil Reyes, Harrison Bader (who I dropped on Sunday to take a flyer on Forrest Whitley as a stash), Hunter Renfroe…

  3. Edgardo says:

    Absolutely no love for Max Muncy. Probably other than Goldy there isn’t a hotter hitter in the league. What does a dude have to do?

  4. Dan says:

    Polanco’s issue is he can’t beat the shift. Its miserable for him. He needs to learn to go the other way at times to keep the defense honest.

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