Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 3/31/2024

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

As The World Turners

For those of you who don’t know, and I’m sure 99% of the people reading this article don’t, As The World Turns was one of the original soap operas and aired for an astounding 54 years from 1956 to 2010. At the rate he’s going, Justin Turner may be able to keep mashing baseballs in the MLB until he is 54 years old. The geriatric ginger hasn’t reached Julio Franco levels quite yet but his 3 for 4 performance on Sunday showed that Father Time has nothing on him.

Turner’s four RBI powered the Blue Jays to a 9-2 win over Tampa Bay and his spot in the middle of the high-powered Toronto offense belies his fantasy draft average of 199. As usual, Turner’s fantasy profile went undervalued and his lack of a sexy fantasy profile benefitted those patient enough to scoop him up late.

The 39-year old bounced back in 2023 in the power department with 23 HRs, up from the 13 in 2022. He also managed a career high 96 RBI with Boston and he will have every opportunity to match or exceed that in 2024 in a lineup with George Springer, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Bo Bichette. His batting profile shows no signs of a significant regression and barring a significant injury Turner will continue to laugh in the face of the baseball reaper.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday


Taylor Ward (LAA): 1-4, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI.

That makes HRs in back-to-back games for Ward, whose two-run blast in the first inning gave the Angels all they needed for their first win of the season. Without Ohtani in the lineup anymore, the Angels are starving for impact batters and are really banking on Ward to help fill that role. If he can stay healthy (he only played in 97 games in 2023), Ward has 25 HR potential. If he can match his .281/.360/.473 line from 2022, he could even be a top-50 position player in fantasy hitting behind Mike Trout (if he can also stay healthy).


Bobby Witt, Jr. (KC): 3-5, 3B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.

I don’t care what team you root for, if you are a baseball fan you are a Bobby Witt, Jr. fan. The question is not will he win an MVP but when, and if his start to this season is any indicator the answer could be 2024. Witt’s monster Sunday brought his early triple slash line to .545/.615/1.273. After coming up one stolen base short of a 30/50 season in 2023, Witt could flirt with the elusive 40/40 season, especially if his strikeouts continue to trend down (21.4% in 2022 to 17.4% in 2023).


Salvador Perez (KC): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.

Speaking of ageless wonders….wait I’m being told Perez is only 33-years-old. Considering the amount of games he’s caught in the Majors he might as well be 43, but Perez still has a bat that can produce top-five numbers at his position. I’m fairly confident he will never even sniff the the anomalous 48 HRs he smashed in 2021, but 25 could certainly be in reach. On any given day you can do much worse than plugging Salvador Perez into your lineups, especially considering the improvements to the Kansas City lineup.


Will Benson (CIN): 3-5, 2B, HR, 1 R, 3 RBI.

If I am being honest, I did not think I would be writing about Will Benson a ton this season. And I still don’t. I have just never thought he’d make enough contact in the Majors to unlock his impressive physical tools considering he was often struggled to do so in the Minors. But 30+% K rates aside, Benson is in a prime position batting 2nd in the Cincinnati lineup against righties and under the PERFECT circumstances could flirt with a 15/25 season.


Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT): 2-5, 3B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB.

Tip for the readers: I am a Pirates fan. And boyyyyyy am I excited about the 2024 season ahead for Ke’Bryan Hayes. The Platinum glove-level 3B started to break out when he got healthy during the 2nd half of last season (.366 wOBA and 129 wRC+). Four games into the young season and four multi-hit games for Hayes, who has a knack for hitting the ball hard (92.2 EV in 2023, 14th in MLB). He more than doubled his career-high in HRs in 2023 with 15 and a full season of prime Hayes could see that number go up.


Rowdy Tellez (PIT): 1-5, HR, 1 R, 3 RBI.

Down 6-4 in the top of the 7th, Rowdy Tellez battled with Miami reliever Vlad Gutierrez and finished off the nine-pitch at-bat with a go-ahead three-run HR to dead center. Unfortunately for Tellez, the Pirates faced four consecutive lefties to start the season so the career 88 wRC+ hitter against LHP struggled a bit. A career 103 wRC+ hitter against RHP, Rowdy makes a nice platoon option for Pittsburgh, and let’s not forget he hit 35 HRs in 2022 for Milwaukee.


Jazz Chisholm, Jr.(MIA): 1-4, HR, 1 R, 4 RBI, BB.

Jazz Chisholm, Jr. capped off the Marlins five-run 1st inning with a Grand Slam off Pittsburgh lefty Bailey Falter. The dynamic lefty batter will never have even average plate discipline numbers but there is no denying he has an exceptional fantasy profile. Chisholm put up 19 HRs and 22 SBs in just 383 plate appearances last season and a healthy 2024 will have the 26-year old in the top tier of OFs.


Jose Altuve (HOU): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, BB.

It was a difficult opening series for the Astros, but if there was a silver lining in the sweep at the hands of the Yankees it was that Jose Altuve is still one of the best 2B in the game. While his .348 BABIP from 2023 may be unsustainable, his second consecutive season of a 10+% walk rate seems legit. The power is legit and I guess what I’m saying in this article is the veterans still got it.


Ian Happ (CHC): 4-5, 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, BB.

Ian Happ is a player that doesn’t seem to get the respect he deserves in fantasy circles and that was evident with his 158 average draft position. He has cut down on his K rate each of the last two seasons and bumped up his walk rate from 9.0% to 14.3% as well. I think we’ll see some positive regression from his .299 BABIP as well and couple that with a leadoff spot in an above-average lineup and Happ should easily outperform that draft position.


Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. (ARI): 2-4, 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, SB.

Few hitters have been as hot as Lourdes Gurriel, Jr., who has started the season with a .471/.526/1.118 and three HRs in just four games. Arizona will not get to face the Rockies’ terrible pitching every game but Gurriel will be an intriguing option for daily fantasy players all season.


Luis Campusano (SD): 3-5, HR, 1 R, 4 RBI.

Catcher is a weirdly deep position in fantasy this year and one of the late round options worth taking a shot on was former top prospect Luis Campusano. The 25-year old showcased an interesting combo of power and plate discipline in 2023 with 7 HRs and a 12.1 K% in 174 plate appearances. He has gotten off to a hot start and any fantasy managers looking for a high-upside catcher would be wise to scoop him off the waiver wire.


Ha-Seong Kim (SD): 3-5, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

A fan favorite, Ha-Seong Kim seemed to profile as a better real life player than a fantasy one. That was until last year when he hit 17 HRs and upped his stolen base total from 12 to a whopping 38. This Padres lineup provides a lot of opportunity for second-tier position players like Campusano and Kim and with more performances like this, they won’t be second-tier for much longer.

Kyle Stanzel

New Jersey-born and North Carolina-bound, Kyle is as die-hard a Pittsburgh Pirates fan as there is, attending the last ever game at Three Rivers Stadium and the first ever game at PNC Park. Follow him on Twitter @style_kanzel

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