Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 4/16/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Wink and You’ll Miss it

Jesse Winker (WSN): 2-2, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

It feels like ages ago that we witnessed Jesse Winker’s career year in 2021 during which he hit 24 home runs for the Cincinnati Reds while posting a .950 OPS across 110 games. Since then, Winker has bounced around the league and struggled mightily for both the Seattle Mariners in 2022 and the Milwaukee Brewers in 2023 before finding a home with the Washington Nationals in 2024.

Winker’s struggles in recent years can at least partially be attributed to injury, as he had neck and knee surgery following the 2022 season. The Nationals took a chance on Winker by giving him a minor-league contract and a chance to prove himself in Spring training, during which he posted a .915 OPS. Winker has shown this performance wasn’t just a fluke, as he’s off to a scorching hot start in 2024, slashing .373/.500/.608 in his first 16 games.

Winker hit his sixth double in the first inning before adding his second home run of the season off Ryan Yarbrough in the third. The two home runs and six doubles are both already more than Winker hit in all of 2023 in 61 games, showing a chance that the thirty-year-old has found his power again after getting healthy. Winker’s expected stats show a slight regression may be in order (.294 xBA and .459 xSLG), but these numbers still support a strong start to the season backed up by a 16.7% K rate and 15.0% walk rate.

One final wrinkle to add for Winkerhe has two steals in 2024, which is already a career-high. The Nationals have been running with reckless abandon this season, a trend that doesn’t seem to discriminate based on bag-swiping history. There’s a nonzero chance we see double-digit steals from Winker this year, which, if he can sustain a fraction of this resurgence, means he’s a waiver wire steal that can be a mainstay in your lineups. Winker is currently available in 96% of ESPN leagues. Do yourself a favor and pick him up if he’s available.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Ketel Marte (ARI): 4-6, HR, 3 R, RBI.

There are a plethora of hitters worth covering in this slugfest in the desert, but we’ll start with Ketel Marte, whose late-inning heroics for the Diamondbacks led to an extra-inning victory over the visiting Chicago Cubs. After two quick outs in the ninth, Marte hit a laser beam to right-center field that just stayed high enough to tie the game at 11 before the D-Backs walked it off in extras on a Randal Grichuk double. Marte is among the league leaders in runs, trailing only Mookie Betts as the leadoff hitter for Arizona. Marte is building upon a bounce-back 2023 and could be a draft-day steal if he manages to recapture his 2019 All-Star form in a much-improved lineup.


Ian Happ (CHC): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.

Ian Happ gets our “Unsung Hero” award for Tuesday night’s games, as he hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to put the Cubs up 11-8 before the bullpen collapsed. Happ has frequently been the leadoff hitter for the Cubs in 2024 but slid down to 7th with lefty Tommy Henry on the mound and ceded leadoff duties to Nico Hoerner, who also had a fantastic night (4-5 with 2 runs and an RBI). It seems new manager Craig Counsell will allow Happ to lead off against righties (.830 OPS against in 2023) but will move him down against lefties as we saw tonight (.694 2023 OPS). While the power hasn’t been there yet, Happ’s .363 OBP will give him plenty of chances to get on base and score runs.


Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 3-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

That marks three straight multi-hit games and back-to-back contests with a home run for the Orioles’ leadoff hitter. Henderson is up to a .275/.338/.565 slash line on the season to go along with five home runs and four stolen bags. The young star is showing improvement in all areas of his game, as he’s hitting the ball harder (60.4% hard-hit rate compared to 52.0% in 2023) in addition to getting on base more frequently. Henderson was drafted with lofty expectations this season, but it’s possible he was still undervalued as the leadoff hitter for one of the league’s best offenses.


Bryce Harper (PHI): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

It’s been feast or famine for Bryce Harper this season, who hit his fourth home run of the season on Tuesday night to cap off a 5-0 win for the Phillies. Harper also added his fourth double earlier in the night to drive in Trea Turner. The numbers haven’t quite been there for the superstar first baseman thus far, as he’s slashing .215/.301/.462 and saw the majority of his production come in two games between tonight’s performance and his three-homer night a couple of weeks ago. Still, there’s no reason to panic with Harper, as he’s still hitting the ball hard when he makes contact and can get red-hot at any time. Hopefully, tonight’s game was a sign of things to come.


Connor Wong (BOS): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

If you find yourself looking for a catching stream, you might be tempted to grab Connor Wong, who boasts an impressive .925 OPS on the season after hitting his second home run Tuesday night. Wong’s .355/.344/.581 slash line may be impressive (and yes, his OBP is lower than his average), but don’t be fooledStatcast has Wong at a .236 xBA, which is much closer to his career average of .240. When you consider this alongside the platoon split with Reese McGuire, you should be looking elsewhere for help at the catcher position.


Michael Harris II (ATL): 1-5.

The stat line here isn’t impressive, but there is something crucial to note about Michael Harris II’s night on Tuesday. With Ozzie Albies set to miss at least a few weeks with a toe fracture, Harris took his place in the Braves’ order and hit second. This is a big upgrade for Harris’s short-term outlook as he’ll now have Austin Riley and Matt Olson hitting behind him to drive him in.


Ha-Seong Kim (SDP): 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.

The .232 batting average doesn’t look as pretty as 2023’s .260 mark, but Ha-Seong Kim is still drawing plenty of walks and finding ways to contribute to your fantasy teams. Tuesday’s home run was Kim’s third of the season, perhaps showing last year’s total of 17 homers wasn’t a fluke. Kim is an underrated speed asset with a little pop that will contribute across several categories at a much less expensive price than other options at his positions. He’s a worthwhile trade target for several infield positions if you need a replacement amongst the cascade of injuries 2024 is dealing us.


Kerry Carpenter (DET): 2-3, 2B, 3B, RBI.

Despite a .302/.362/.558 slash line, Kerry Carpenter is still available in over 90% of ESPN leagues. The likely reason? The Tigers simply refuse to bat Carpenter against lefties. The strategy is well-founded, as Carpenter posted a .657 OPS against southpaws in 2023 (compared to an .841 OPS against… northpaws?) and as a result rides the bench or gets subbed out when a lefty takes the mound. Still, he does mash right-handers, as evidenced by his pair of extra-base hits today, so if there are plenty of righties on the Tigers’ schedule, he’s certainly worth an add if you need some power in the short term.


Kyle McCann (OAK): 2-2, HR, R, 2 RBI.

There wasn’t much offense to be had in Tuesday’s contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics. All of the Cardinals’ runs came via a groundout and sacrifice flies, while Kyle McCann provided the offense for the A’s with an RBI single in the second and a solo shot in the fifth. It was the first major league home run in McCann’s career after making his MLB debut with the A’s back on March 30th. He’s still not a viable fantasy option unless he manages to carve out more playing time as the season goes on.

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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