Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 4/15/2024

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

The Little Engine That Could…Hit 30 HRs

Now at age 33, Jose Altuve continues to defy the odds and show all of the wannabe baseball players out there that size and athleticism are not all that matter in this game. After a two HR Sunday for Altuve raised his total to five on the early season, the Astros 2B is on pace to have one of the best seasons of his career. While he has eclipsed the 30 HR mark twice in his career (2019 and 2021), he sacrificed a bit of his AVG and OBP to do so. So far this year, Altuve hasn’t had to make that sacrifice, partially due to a career-best BB% (11.5) and best K% (12.8) since 2017. It also doesn’t hurt that he is smashing the ball with an astounding .505 wOBA and 238 wRC+. Altuve even managed to swipe his first bag of 2024 after stealing 14 and 18 the past two seasons. No doubt Altuve will cool off as the season progresses and hopefully he can avoid the injury woes that plagued him in 2023. But the 30 HR plateau is well within reach for the diminutive superstar and Houston would welcome that milestone as they attempt to turn their season around.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday


Tyler O’Neill (BOS): 2-3, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB.

What an introduction to Boston sports fans Tyler O’Neill has made during the first month of the season. After blasting a 110.6 MPH ball over the Green Monster on Sunday, O’Neill is now tied for the MLB lead in homers with seven. The Red Sox lineup is looking a little different these days, especially with the shoulder injury to Rafael Devers, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have some potential. O’Neill, Jarren Duran and Triston Casas have acquitted themselves nicely so far and when Devers and Vaughn Grissom return, this lineup could have some depth to it. If O’Neill continues to rake at this pace we could have a dark-horse playoff team in the AL East, which is rare to say about a Boston team.


Jack Suwinski (PIT): 2-4, HR, 1 R, 4 RBI.

Jack Suwinski stepped to the plate against Zack Wheeler in the top of the 6th inning with the bases loaded and the Pirates trailing by one run. The powerful lefty proceeded to rope a breaking pitch that looked headed for the right-center gap. Except it never came down and ended up in the first few rows of the stands at Citizens Bank Park, giving the Pirates the lead in a game they would eventually win 9-2. It hasn’t been an easy start to the season for Suwinski, as the Pirates have faced an inordinate amount of left-handed starters so far. On top of that, he seems to be getting a little unlucky with a .200 BABIP. Suwinski has always struggled with strikeouts (over 30% in his first two MLB seasons), but this year he has drastically improved that number to 17.2% despite his struggles. His power is obvious so keep an eye on Suwinski over the next few weeks as we could be seeing a major breakthrough coming.


Colton Cowser (BAL): 1-3, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB.

The Baltimore Orioles lineup is an interesting jumble of budding superstars, solid veterans and intriguing rookies trying to make it. There is a plethora of great options but it is hard to know who all to roster or play on any given night. Colton Cowser is starting to put his name into the conversation to be played every single night after he hit his 4th HR of the season on Sunday. The 5th overall pick in the 2021 draft brought his line up to .441/.474/.971 and has even swiped a couple bags. If he can get his walk rate back up to the 16.9% he showed in his MLB debut at the end of last season, which could be looking another budding superstar and a fixture in the middle of the powerful Baltimore lineup.


René Pinto (TB): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Who is René Pinto you ask? That is a fantastic question. The 27-year old long-time member of the Rays organization is now the team’s starting catcher and he showcased solid power with two HRs on Sunday, including one off reigning NL Cy Young award winner Blake Snell. While it was a great performance, there is not much here from a fantasy perspective, as Pinto’s extraordinary strikeout rate will prevent him from ever really having any fantasy relevance.


Amed Rosario (TB): 3-4, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI.

Amed Rosario has enjoyed an excellent start to what has become a crucial year in his career arc. After two solid seasons for Cleveland, Rosario’s power fell off quite a bit in 2023 and his role going into this year was up in the air. Sunday saw Rosario go 3-for-4 including a two-run shot off Snell to raise his line on the young season to .318/.333/.477. It will be interesting to see what effect Josh Lowe’s return will have on his playing time, but for now we are seeing the Rosario of old providing some much-needed juice for the Tampa Bay lineup.


Marcell Ozuna (ATL): 3-5, HR, 1 R, 4 RBI.

Now tied with the aforementioned Tyler O’Neill for the league-lead in HRs at seven, Marcell Ozuna has picked up right where he left off in 2023 when he hit a career-high 40 HRs in the middle of Atlanta’s historic offense. Also the league-leader in RBI with 21, you would think a guy coming off a 40 HR, 100 RBI season would have a higher ADP than 134.6. If you were able to get Ozuna in fantasy drafts, it looks like you got him at a great price and should reap the benefits all season long.


Aaron Judge (NYY): 1-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB.

A lot of concern has been flying around regarding Yankee superstar Aaron Judge in the early going and personally I don’t see it. All the injury speculation seems to be just that, speculation. A bit of bad luck (.220 BABIP) has plagued him at the plate but his walk rate is up and his K rate is down. If you can try and pry Judge away in a buy-low deal from a disgruntled fantasy manager I highly suggest you do because there will be many more performances like Sunday’s to follow for him this season.


Josh Naylor (CLE): 2-5, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI.

Josh Naylor may not have had the best day at the plate among Guardians hitters, but I wanted to mention him in this article because I am such a big fan of what he does in the batter’s box. The big lefty is just an incredibly tough out for pitchers, especially considering he follows the likes of Steven Kwan and Jose Ramirez in the lineup. A triple slash line of .347/.443/.673 and a BB/K rate of 1.14 makes me weak in my knees, and Naylor also already has four HRs on the young season. While the 26-year old has been very good for Cleveland the past couple of seasons, 2024 could see him transform into a veritable star.


Jake Fraley (CIN): 2-3, 3 R, 2 BB, 3 SB.

I am starting to think that Jake Fraley does not get enough attention in fantasy circles for the tools he brings to the table. Upon his arrival in Cincinnati in 2021, Fraley showcased his power hitting 12 HRs in just 247 plate appearances. He followed it up by hitting 15 HRs in 380 plate appearances in 2023, while adding 21 stolen bases as well. Fraley showcased the speed aspect of his game again on Sunday, swiping three bags off White Sox pitchers, leading to three runs for him in the game. While he might not play every day with Cincy employing a bit of a platoon strategy against LHP, Fraley has shown the ability to be a dynamic offense of player when given at-bats.


Manny Machado (SD): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB.

It seems to me that fantasy baseball managers have gotten bored with Manny Machado’s fantasy profile. He’s not some shiny new stud and he’s not quite in the elite tier of MLB hitters. But you could do much worse than the .277/.344/.494, 30 HRs and 100 RBI that Machado has averaged over the past three seasons. The 31-year old looks to be headed for another strong season and will be relied upon greatly in the middle of what should be an above average San Diego lineup.


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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