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Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 3/29/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games

The Manchourian Candidate

Jackson Chourio (MIL): 1-3, RBI, BB, SB.

We’ve heard about Chourio all offseason after having signed a record-breaking eight-year deal worth a guaranteed $82 million without a day of major league experience. Well how about hitting leadoff on Opening Day, too? According to Sarah Langs, he’s the fifth-youngest player to hit leadoff on day one. The youngest was Bobby Doerr, who turned 19 just 13 days before the 1937 season began. Doerr and Chourio are the only two who also made their debuts on Opening Day.

He began his career by drawing a four-pitch walk from Jose QuintanaThree pitches later, he swiped second base by beating a throw from Francisco AlvarezHis first hit came in the fifth when he slapped an outside changeup through the right side of the infield for a single. He picked up his first RBI in the seventh with a groundout to second. It was nearly a double play but he beat the return throw from Francisco Lindor. Yes, he’s quite fast. How fast? How about 30.6 ft/sec.

Last year he hit .280 with 22 home runs across 122 games in Double-A while also stealing 43 bases. He can do it all basically. I suppose the only question is how much power he taps into in year one. He’s billed with 65 to 70-grade power, depending on where you look, but it might not translate from the jump. The major projections are lukewarm, giving him anywhere from 14 to 17 home runs. Regardless, projecting rookies is just about the hardest thing to do, especially with someone like Chourio, who has already gotten so far at barely 20 years old. I think for me, at least, stolen bases seem like the thing I’m most confident in. Where he is as a hitter, is a bigger mystery. He had a pretty low K rate last year in Double-A at 18.4%, but it also came with a low 7.3 % walk rate, so his OBP might be a little on the low side. But then again the Brewers stuck him in the leadoff spot, so again, who knows? Really, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a player with a wider range of outcomes. Either way, this should be a fun ride and I have a sneaking suspicion we will be talking about him a lot this summer.

 

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

 

Teoscar Hernández (LAD): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Hernández has strong career splits (.370 wOBA vs. LHB / .329 vs. RHB) and stayed true to form last night. His first home run as a Dodger came in the second against left-hander Zach Thompson, a slicing fly ball that had just enough to clear the wall in right field (366 feet, 100.3 EV). Hernández tagged Thompson again in their second meeting on a sky-high flyball to left-center that put the Dodgers ahead 4-0. Last year’s .740 OPS was his low point since becoming a starter in 2018 but he couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot on a one-year deal than Chavez Ravine.

J.D. Davis (OAK): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Both shots came against left-hander Logan Allen. Davis should get plenty of at-bats for Oakland and has shown decent power but has been plagued by strikeouts. I’m tempted to remember when he hit .307 with the Mets his first year getting regular at-bats, but that was way back in 2019. The best scenario now is probably something like 20 home runs and a .240 average. It’s boring, but it’s the sort of boring that can still help if you’re banged up in a 15-team league.

Oswaldo Cabrera (NYY): 4-5, 2B, 3 RBI.

According to Katie Sharp, the switch-hitting Cabrera is just the fourth Yankee to have six or more hits and four or more RBIs through the first two games of the season. I know that means nothing, but I love stats like that, especially when the other names are Hideki Matsui, Yogi Berra, and Bill Dickey. Anyway, Cabrera hasn’t really shown us much to get excited about hitting just .231 with a .281 wOBA through 161 games in his career. He should get some run for as long as D.J. LeMahieu is out, but the Yankees also recently acquired Jon Berti, so there’s probably not much to see here.

Brandon Lowe (TB): 2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.

Lowe torched a down-the-middle 91 mph heater from Chris Bassitt for his fourth career grand slam. It was a shot at 444 feet with an EV of 111. Lowe’s back gave him problems last year and diluted his final line. However, he showed signs of life later in July before fouling a ball off his knee, ending his season. He’s not going to help your batting average, but he should be a great source of power provided he can stay healthy.

Matt Chapman (SF): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI.

Matt Chapman’s first at-bat as a Giant couldn’t have gone better. He drilled a 2-1 fastball from Joe Musgrove and sent it 407 feet (104.2 EV) just to the right of straightaway center. His second shot was an even louder blast against Pedro Avila in the ninth (111.7 EV, 424 feet). Chapman’s batted ball data last year was superlative, including a 16.3% barrel rate. However, his home run total was mitigated by hitting quite a few of them to the wrong side of the field. I kind of think that was flukey more than anything. Either way, Chapman was ignored during draft season because of the down year in Toronto, and signing very late didn’t help either. He’s far from the most exciting player but there’s a fairly decent chance he ends up being a solid bargain relative to his ADP when it’s all said and done. The only thing working against him is playing half his games at Oracle which probably caps his home run upside at around 25-27 home runs.

Fernando Tatis (SDP): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Tatis remains somewhat enigmatic after posting a career-low .331 wOBA during his first season back following a PED suspension. However, he also mentioned that his recovery from the two surgeries last year hampered his offseason regimen and pushed everything back, most notably his swing. Fast forward a year, and he has his eyes set on greatness once again. Well, so far, so good. His first home run of the season was a jaw-dropper to left off Kyle Harrison at 441 feet with a 114.7 EV. And it was also followed by a cold-blooded bat drop. His second dinger came against Tyler Rogers in the eighth on a line drive to left.

Joc Pederson (ARI): 4-4, 2B, R, RBI.

This was a pretty flukey final line from Pederson as at least two of the hits came courtesy of the scorekeeper on a couple of groundballs that Ezequiel Tovar couldn’t handle. The double was also a bloop that Nolan Jones couldn’t get to, again, this was kind of a fluke. However, Pederson still crushes right-handed pitching, so don’t rule out him being a really useful player in daily formats, especially now that he’s no longer playing half his games in Oracle Park.

Andrés Giménez (CLE): 3-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Last year’s results were not great, including a .307 wOBA backed by bottom-of-the-barrel exit velocity. However, the good news was that both of the doubles were hit well, with exit velocities of 101.3 and 102.6. Given his stolen base upside, Giménez could turn into one of the better options at second base if he can develop a little more pop.

Alek Thomas (ARI): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

The former top prospect went yard on a sinker from Jake Bird, a 398-foot shot to right. Given his .284 wOBA through 240 games, it’s easy to write off Thomas. However, this offseason he worked on altering his swing. He’s a tremendous glove and also started Opening Day for the D’Backs against a left-hander, so they’re going to give him every opportunity to develop as an everyday player.

 

Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

 

Ryan Amore

Writer for PL, artist, DFS enthusiast, and occasional Yankee fan. Once won a GPP with Henderson Alvarez. A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club. Appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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