Du Haase Mich

Dave Swan breaks down last night's hitting performances.

Eric Haase (DET): 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

Detroit laid the wood to Tampa in last night’s affair. Three Tigers went deep in a 10-4 shellacking of the Rays, including Haase’s 416-foot shot in the fifth inning. The solo shot started the offensive onslaught that continued with Detroit putting up runs in every inning after that. Point blank, Haase is a tremendous source of power and is tied with Gary Sanchez for fourth place among all catchers in HRs. Not bad for a player that was on no one’s radar coming into the season.

The 2021 season may have begun with Haase in Triple-A, where he showcased a .353/.450/.471 with a .951 OPS in five games. Furthermore, beyond the ability to make quality contact, Haase demonstrated a keep batter’s eye by walking over 10% of the time in 2019 until the present. Although, what may have kept Haase in the minors so long was his massive strikeout rates. Throughout his minor-league career, all the way back to Double-A, Haase has carried a K% well over 30%. The stigma is players with such high K-rates can’t be productive MLB players, right?

Not so fast! Here is a list of five notable players with over 30% K-rate.

Well, Eric Haase currently has a 30.5% K-rate and a 107 wRC+. Will he be streaky? Yes! Is he going to drive fantasy managers mad at times with struggles? Yes! Does he belong in the MLB from 2021 and beyond? Absolutely! Do we hate him? Nein!


Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday.


Cedric Mullins (BAL): 1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB.

Mullins started the unlikely 6-to-3 victory over Blue Jays by hitting the fifth pitch of the game into the right-center field bleachers. However, his 28th HR simply wasn’t enough, as Mullins went on to steal second and third base later in the game. Forget the conversation about top-20 outfielder; Mullins is firmly in top-10 discussions.

Andrew Benintendi (KC): 4-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI.

As I said last week in the Saturday Batter’s Box, “To Benintendi and Beyond.” Well, this week, he didn’t make the featured player spot, but boy, did he have a night. Last night, the Royals needed every bit of his performance to squeak out a win against their division rivals. Benintendi started the game with a three-run dinger and ended the night in the 11th inning with a two-run shot. Hopefully, his teammates rewarded him with a Gatorade shower.

Alex Bregman (HOU): 3-4, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI.

After being on the shelf two months, Bregman hasn’t skipped a beat. In 14 games since returning from the IL, the four RBI night gives him 11, and the batting average sits comfortably at .404.  Furthermore, the plate discipline shows no signs of rust as he walks more than striking out. This is a monster addition to an already dangerous lineup gearing up to make yet another playoff run.

Eugenio Suarez (CIN): 2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.

Suárez now has 79 hits in 447 at-bats, which gives him a disastrous .177 batting average on the season. Sure, the 26 HRs are excellent, but any player that will drain your team’s batting average that much needs discussion. His .205 xBA gives a little room for positive regression, but his K% has ballooned to over 30%. There’s a hole in Suárez’s swing that might need an offseason to fix.

Yadier Molina (STL): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Yadi’s pair of hits gives him a four-game hitting streak with a 6-for-15 stretch. Additionally, the HR bolsters his season total to 11, and you have to go back to 2018 to see a greater HR total. Even at age 39, Molina is the type of backstop every team would desire. He plays nearly every day, no slouch with the bat, and handles defensive duties with the best of them.

Matt Olson (OAK): 4-5, 4 RBI.

We all knew the power was prolific for Olson; however, we also knew it came with a massive K-rate; until 2021. Olson has managed to cut his strikeouts in half while maintaining an elite barrel rate and walk rate over 12%. Olson has set new high-water marks in runs and RBI in what looks like a career year. Next up, HRs!

Matt Olson’s K% by season(according to BaseballSavant)

Leody Taveras (TEX): 2-5, 2B, R, RBI.

The month of April was so unkind to Leody, and after a dreadful start, he was demoted to Triple-A. However, after working on his craft and some new open slots in the outfield, Tavares is back. While he is making much more quality contact, the 3% walk rate will stunt his production, especially when you consider him the 11th fastest player in the MLB. Unfortunately, he remains a work in progress.

Henry Ramos (ARI): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

At age 29, the career minor leaguer finally achieved his first HR. And he got every bit of that pitch, as the ball sailed 395-feet at a 109-MPH exit velocity. Even though Ramos has only appeared in four MLB games(two of which were pinch-hit appearances), he’s been productive by collecting a hit in three of them. Thanks to the September roster expansion, Ramos will likely remain a bench bat for the remainder of the season but garner very little attention from the fantasy baseball world.

Anthony Santander (BAL): 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Although he didn’t start the game, Santander made a significant impact on the outcome. His three-run shot in the seventh inning was all the Orioles needed to finish the final three frames and proclaim victory. Even though Santander is a switch-hitter, he remains very streaky due to an elevated K%. Currently, Santander is riding a cold spell that includes a 7-for-44 stretch with a .423 OPS. Let’s hope last night’s HR breaks him out of the funk.

Evan Longoria (SF): 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Everyone’s favorite player, whose name is similar to a famous housewife, smashed his 11th HR of the season. The two-run blast broke the 1-1 tie in the seventh, and the Giants never looked back. Unfortunately, Longoria’s season has been riddled with injuries that have hampered his overall production. However, Longoria is a solid bat and carries a 148 wRC+ in his latest return(7 G) from the IL.

Myles Straw (CLE): 0-3, R, 2 BB, 3 SB.

With one of the more exciting stat lines of the night, Straw brings his stolen base total to 27. The leadoff hitter for Cleveland is walking like crazy lately and getting on base at a .345 clip. And while he isn’t providing much in the way of power, the speed-first outfielder continues to get green lights and will bolster any fantasy team’s SB category.


Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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