Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 4/27/2024

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

A Benny For Your Thoughts


Andrew Benintendi (CHW): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.


It’s been rough sledding for Benintendi since he came to the South Side of Chicago.

Two years ago, after an All-Star campaign with the Royals in 2022, Benintendi signed the largest free-agent contract in White Sox history. It was a five-year, $75 million deal. White Sox fans hoped that Benintendi would bring some stability to the Chicago outfield and clubhouse, especially after a rocky 2022 in which they underachieved after a 2021 Central Division title.

Unfortunately, the 29-year-old former Arkansas Razorback has failed to do much in his first two seasons with the White Sox. That is even more painful, considering the White Sox are one of the worst teams in baseball, with a 4-22 record.

Last year, in 621 plate appearances, Benintendi posted a .682 OPS. That was his worst season since injury-plagued 2020 when he posted a .442 OPS in only 52 plate appearances.

This year has been even worse. He currently has an OPS of .501 in 98 plate appearances. Furthermore, he has a .191 batting average, and his hard-hit rate of 28% is the second straight season in which it has been under 30%. That is not good for a player making nearly $15 million annually.

On Saturday, though, Benintendi and the White Sox showed some flashes of hope.

The White Sox won their second straight game against the Tampa Bay Rays 8-7, the first time they have won back-to-back games this year. Furthermore, Benintendi hit two home runs (his first two home runs of the year) and a walk-off home run off of Tampa’s Phil Maton. The dramatic victory was much-needed not just for the White Sox but also for Benintendi, who’s been a target of South Siders’ frustrations this season.

There is still a long way to go this year, and it’s unlikely that the White Sox will do much to lift themselves out of the basement of the AL Central this year (especially with the division doing better than expected).

Nonetheless, Benintendi’s big night could help turn things around for him and get him going after a rough start at the plate in 2024.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday


Ceddanne Rafaela (BOS): 4-4, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, 7 RBI, SB.


Rafaela has failed to meet expectations this year after signing an eight-year extension in the offseason. Going into Saturday’s game against the Cubs, he only hit .156 with a .463 OPS. However, in the Red Sox’s 17-0 win (you read that right), he had four hits, an HR, and seven RBI. The strong performance brought his average and OPS to .191 and .576, respectively. Red Sox fans are hopeful that Rafaela has a few more games like that in him for the remainder of the season.


Richie Palacios (TBR): 3-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SB.


The Rays lost back-to-back games to the White Sox, bringing their record to 13-15 for the year. Even though the Rays are under-achieving, Palacios isn’t at fault for Tampa Bay’s struggles, as he is hitting .298 with a .920 OPS. On Saturday, he hit his third home run of the year and stole his second and third bases of the season. Now the Rays’ leadoff hitter, Palacios should be rostered in most fantasy league formats.


Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.


It was just another night of Yordan being Yordan. In the Astros’ 12-4 victory over the Rockies, Alvarez hit two home runs and collected three RBI. He is now hitting .283 with a .867 OPS  and seven home runs for the year. As for the Astros, the win was their eighth of the season. Perhaps they should think about playing more games in Mexico City.


Tyler O’Neill (BOS): 3-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.


O’Neill hit his ninth home run of the year, which matches his HR total for 2023. The main difference is that O’Neill has hit nine home runs in 66 plate appearances this year compared to 238 last season. It’s not just the long ball where O’Neill has improved. He is also hitting .333 with a 1.208 OPS, which is carrying the Boston offense. Health will always be a concern for O’Neill. That said, he has been a massive boost to fantasy managers who took a flyer on him this season, whether through the draft or waivers.


Carlos Santana (MIN): 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.


The Twins are suddenly surging. They have won six straight games and brought their record to 13-13. They are still in fourth place in the Central Division, but Fangraphs believes that they have the best odds to win it. A big reason for that has been the turnaround of Santana, who hit an HR and had four RBIs in the Twins’ Saturday night win over the Angels. On April 20, Santana was hitting .123 with a .346 OPS. Since then, he has brought that average and OPS up to .181 and .594, respectively. With Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa out, the Twins need all the production they can get from the 38-year-old veteran.


Jonathan India (CIN): 4-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.


It hasn’t been a great year for India, as he is hitting .222 with a .656 OPS in 90 plate appearances with the Reds this year. On a positive note, he isn’t chasing or whiffing much, and his walk rate is strong at 14.3%. However, his average exit velocity and barrel rate are down from a year ago. Against the Rangers, India did collect four hits and hit his second home run of the season. Thus, he may be starting to get back to form, which can be compounded positively thanks to the hitter-friendly confines of the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.


Alex Verdugo (NYY): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.


The move from Boston to the Bronx has suited Verdugo well. His average is up (.274), and his OPS is up (.831). He’s not hitting the ball any harder than he did a year ago, as his exit velocity and hard-hit rates are lower than his 2023 marks. That said, he’s taking advantage of the Yankees’ field dimensions and not striking out either. His 7.9% K% is nearly half his mark from last year, which is still excellent. With much more support around him in New York, expect Verdugo to continue producing sneaky value offensively in fantasy.


Jesse Winker (WSN): 2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.


After disastrous seasons in Seattle and Milwaukee in 2022 and 2023, respectively, Winker has been on fire for the Nationals. He is hitting .291 with a .869 OPS and has hit three home runs in 104 plate appearances. Winker’s exit velocity, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate are all up from a year ago, thus showing that the improvement isn’t just a fluke. Winker could be a good waiver option for fantasy managers who need outfield production, especially since he is rostered in only 27% of Yahoo leagues.


Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.


After a letdown loss to the A’s on Friday, Henderson led the Orioles to a 7-0 victory on Saturday. Henderson had a stolen base, two RBIs, and hit his ninth home run of the year. Henderson is a legitimate MVP candidate, hitting .302 with a 1.003 OPS as the Orioles’ leadoff hitter. Don’t be surprised to see the Henderson “MVP Campaign” get more steam in June, especially if he can keep these numbers up.


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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