Catching Fire

Breaking down the best hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Mitch Garver (MIN): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

With his second home run in just four starts on the season, Mitch Garver has been trying to remind us of what he’s capable of in the early going as he finished the day with a line of 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Garver made contact on six of the 14 pitches thrown his way on Thursday, recording just one whiff in the process. Garver was scorching the ball, with four hard-hit balls in play throughout the game, including his 106.3 mph bomb off Marco Gonzales that sailed 435 feet. Garver has now matched his total barrels he hit in his shortened 2020 season with three and will continue to push for more playing time over rookie Ryan Jeffers, who has yet to impress in his limited time behind the plate this season.

All around it seemed catchers were making fantasy managers happy on Thursday, batting .276 as a group (16 for 58) and tallying 1 HR, 8 R, 7 RBI, 1 SB. Along with Garver, the position was led by Luis Torrens of Seattle (3-4, 2B, R) and Christian Vazquez of Boston (3-5, 2 2B, R, SB).

Let’s see how other hitters did Thursday:

Byron Buxton (MIN): 3-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI.

Buxton continues his torrid start to the season, recording three more hard hits on the day, including a 109.6 mph home run, in Thursday’s matchup. All of his balls in play came off secondary pitches in this one, as Buxton did record two whiffs on the day, both coming at the hands of 92 mph fastballs. Assuming Buxton can stay on the field, which has proven to be a tall order, he can continue to be as explosive a player as any in baseball.

Andrelton Simmons (MIN): 3-5, 2 2B, 1 R.

Simmons now has a hit in each of his six starts this season, giving him a cool .400 batting average on the young season. Simmons made contact with every swing he took on Thursday but was caught looking for his one strikeout on the day. Simmons can continue to compile counting stats for his fantasy rosters if he keeps hitting, even at the bottom of the Twins’ lineup.

Carlos Correa (HOU): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB.

Correa now has home runs hit in back-to-back days and has collected hits in each of his past 5 games, three of which were of the multi-hit variety. The home run was only the 6th longest ball hit in the game at 350 feet and would have been caught in most other parks. Health has always determined the full outcome of Correa’s season, and if he can stay on the field he’ll continue to take advantage of Houston’s ballpark throughout the season.

Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI.

Like Correa, Alvarez recorded two hard hits on the game and launched a home run of his own. The difference here was there was little doubt Alvarez would be rounding the bases after scorching a 103.8 mph bomb 405 feet. With his second two-hit game in as many days, Alvarez continues to squash fears about his knees giving out and should continue to impress out of the clean up spot for Houston.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB.

Doing his best Yordan Alvarez impression, Vladito collected his second straight two-hit performance, adding in a 105.8 mph home run for good measure. Of course, the hit tool wasn’t necessarily the question with Guerrero, but he’s made strides in the early going to bring the ball up, averaging a 20.5 degree launch angle so far. It’s a good sign, especially when you compare it to his 4.6 degree average launch angle of 2020.

Mike Trout (LAA): 3-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI.

Not to be outdone on the other side of the ball, Mike Trout hit his third home run in as many games, launching a 110.6 mph bomb 444 feet. Now hitting .368/.556/.737 on the young season, Trout continues to show why he’s the best in the game.

Kris Bryant (CHC): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

Bryant, who may be playing this season with a slight chip on his shoulder, did what he could in this one, collecting two hard-hit balls and launching a 108.4 mph home run 419 feet, the longest hit ball in the game. Bryant did provide two whiffs on the day, both on changeups, and his aggressiveness was seen in the fact he only saw a total of 12 pitches across his four plate appearances.

Javier Baez (CHC): 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB.

Speaking of swing and miss, Baez provided plenty of his own as he recorded four whiffs on the night across three different pitches. Fantasy managers will look the other way as Baez collected his first combo meal on the year and did his best to make up for his 0 for 7 performance in his previous two games.

Rafael Devers (BOS): 2-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB.

Now collecting two hits in two of his last three games, Devers may be finding his way out of his slow starts (to go along with the entire Red Sox lineup). His first inning home run may still be going, as it was hit 111 mph for 452 feet. Devers showed a bit of patience as well, seeing 18 pitches across his four plate appearances and swinging at less than half of them.

Eduardo Escobar (ARI): 1-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB.

Another combo meal on the books courtesy of Escobar, who enjoyed playing in the friendly confines of Coors Field on Thursday. His 453-foot bomb in the 9th was easily the longest of the game. The crooked stat line for Escobar was a welcome departure from the rest of his lines he’s put up thus far this season, as he’s started the season with just one hit in his previous 21 at-bats.

Featured image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

2 responses to “Catching Fire”

  1. Catch me on the waiver wire says:

    Are any catchers worth a pick up? Curious if any are catching your eye particularly

    • Adam Howe says:

      Christian Vazquez has been great and should continue. Omar Narvaez has been looking good as of late as well. If you’re looking for more catcher breakdowns and target watch for Dave Cherman’s Catchers to Stream article coming out Sunday (and every Sunday).

Leave a Reply

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

Account / Login