Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 4/13/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Once in a Wilyer

Wilyer Abreu (BOS): 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB.

Acquired from the Astros in a trade for Christian Vázquez at the 2022 Trade Deadline, Abreu has certainly made his presence known in the Red Sox organization over the past couple of seasons.

In Triple-A Worcester, Abreu slashed .274/.391/.538 with 22 home runs, 65 RBI, eight stolen bases, and an OPS of .930 in 299 plate appearances. A big strong point for Abreu as a prospect in the Red Sox system was his plate discipline, and his 0.80 BB/K ratio in Worcester seemed to back that up.

The Red Sox gave Abreu a “cup of coffee” in the big leagues last year, and he made the most of his short stint in Boston. Abreu slashed .316/.388/.474 with a .862 OPS in 85 plate appearances, including two home runs, three stolen bases, and 10 runs scored. Even though Abreu didn’t have the prospect luster of Ceddanne Rafaela or the raw athleticism of Jarren Duran, it seemed likely that Abreu would be part of the Red Sox’s plans in 2024.

However, Boston acquired Tyler O’Neill this offseason in a trade with St. Louis for two Minor League pitchers. As a result, Abreu has become the “odd man out” on the Red Sox’s depth chart to begin the 2024 season. According to FanGraphs, he is behind Rafaela, Duran, Tyler O’Neill, and Masataka Yoshida as of Saturday.

Manager Alex Cora, though, gave him the start on Saturday against the Angels, and Abreu made the most of his start.

Going into Saturday’s game, Abreu was slashing .190/.261/.238 with an OPS of .499. He collected two hits, scored two runs, an RBI, and a stolen base against the Angels. As a result, his slash line is up to .240/.296/.320, and his OPS has risen to .616 in 19 plate appearances.

The Red Sox are getting production from their outfield for now.

O’Neill is producing a career year with a .279 average and six home runs. Duran is hitting .333 with six stolen bases. Rafaela and Yoshida have struggled, but they have the pedigree and history that will merit them an extended look in the lineup despite their slow starts. That leaves very few opportunities for Abreu in 2024.

Nonetheless, his performance today shows what Abreu can be capable of if given an extended shot with the Red Sox. Boston could be getting a polished hitter who can draw walks and hit for a high average and perhaps show some sneaky speed and power in the right situation.

Fantasy managers shouldn’t quite sleep on Abreu just yet. One injury, especially to O’Neill who has that history, could thrust Abreu into an everyday role. If that’s the case, fantasy managers should invest in Abreu sooner rather than later simply because of his consistent production at both the Minor and Major League levels.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday:


Thairo Estrada (SFG): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Estrada had a big day as the Giants won 11-2 over the Rays in the Trop. The Giants second baseman hit his second and third home runs of the year and collected three runs and three RBI to boot. It’s been a bit of a slow start for Estrada, as he is only hitting .220 with an OPS of .660, even after Saturday’s big day at the plate. If the Giants want to improve their 6-9 start, getting production from Estrada will be key.


Pete Alonso (NYM): 3-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

The “Polar Bear” had a monster performance against the Royals on Saturday, though it didn’t produce a win (they lost 11-7). Alonso hit two home runs, one against Royals starter Alec Marsh in the third and the other against reliever Angel Zerpa in the sixth. While teammate Francisco Lindor is off to a slow start, it’s the opposite for Alonso who’s hitting .281 with a .963 OPS that includes six home runs in 63 plate appearances. Alonso seems destined for another productive fantasy season in 2024.


Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 3-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB.

Schwarber had another banner day as the Phillies’ leadoff hitter against the Pirates on Saturday. He collected three hits, hit his third home run of the year, and reached base five times thanks to two walks. The goal of a leadoff hitter is to get on base and set the tone of the inning, and Schwarber accomplished that effectively in their 4-3 win over Pittsburgh. The power is a little down from a year ago (.414 SLG), but he is hitting .259, an improvement from his .197 average last year.


Kyle Tucker (HOU): 2-3, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

After losing three straight to the Royals on the road, the Astros returned home to beat the in-state Rangers 9-2. Tucker was one of the main catalysts of the Houston offense, as he had two doubles, two walks, and three RBI in the seven-run win. The Astros’ primary three-hole hitter is doing exactly what he did last year statistically: a .277 average and .888 OPS in 75 plate appearances. Expect Tucker to push for another 30-30 season in 2024.


Salvador Perez (KCR): 2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.

Remember when experts said Perez wasn’t a Top-10 catcher anymore? Well, it seems he took that personally and is having an offensive renaissance. At 33 years old, Perez is hitting .333 with a .915 OPS that includes four home runs, his latest coming on Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. The chase rate (first percentile) and walk rate (10th percentile) remain low. However, his ability to barrel the ball (92nd percentile) remains elite. The rumors of Salvy’s decline may have been exaggerated, even with an expected batting average regression coming.


Jordan Westburg (BAL): 3-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Westburg had an underwhelming rookie campaign, hitting .260 with a .715 OPS and three home runs in 228 plate appearances in 2023. Thus, it wasn’t surprising that teammates such as Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, and now Jackson Holliday overshadow him as a fantasy player on the Baltimore roster. However, Westburg is performing even better as a sophomore. On Saturday, he hit his third home run of the year, matching his total from a year ago in only 52 plate appearances. He also is hitting .261, roughly the same as last year, but his slugging is up from .404 in 2023 to .522 this year. His barrel and hard-hit rates also rank in the 82nd and 98th percentile, respectively. The hype is accurate, and he’s worth picking up, as he is available in 48% of Yahoo leagues.


Jake Bauers (MIL): 1-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.

The Brewers are getting all kinds of production these days from unlikely sources. Bauers is the latest example. On Saturday, he had only one hit. However, it was a big one, as he hit a grand slam in the fourth inning that helped widen the Brewers’ lead in Baltimore. Bauers isn’t a fantasy candidate, as he is hitting only .161 in 34 plate appearances. He could be an option in daily fantasy, especially when Rhys Hoskins gets the day off.


Josh Bell (MIA): 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

The Marlins aren’t competitive, as evidenced by their 3-12 record. On the other hand, they beat Atlanta on Saturday 5-1, and Bell had a decent day at the plate as he hit his second home run of the year. It’s the same issue with Bell this year as in years past: he hits the ball hard (82nd in average exit velocity) but doesn’t elevate it (13th percentile barrel rate). At 31 years old, it’s unlikely that things will change anytime soon.


Estevan Florial (CLE): 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB.

There was some hope that Florial would thrive in a new organization. Cleveland seemed committed to giving Florial a chance this year, as they designated Myles Straw for assignment to clear a space for Florial on the active roster. Unfortunately, it’s been a disappointing start for Florial. Even though he hit his first home run of the year, his batting average is only .150, and his OPS is only .692. To Florial’s credit, he doesn’t chase and he draws walks (16.7% BB%). On the other hand, he strikes out a lot (41.7%). With Cleveland giving up their division lead on Saturday after losing two to the Yankees, it’s hard to imagine patience will be high with Florial.

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

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