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Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/11/2024

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

The Things We Kerry

 

Kerry Carpenter (DET): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

After sprinting out of the gate in March, Carpenter had a somewhat lackluster performance in April, which had many questioning whether he was indeed the fantasy sleeper that he was hyped up to be during draft season.

In 88 plate appearances, Carpenter hit .247 with a .707 OPS, which included four walks and 25 strikeouts. While he did hit two home runs in the month, his second one came on April 17, and he did not hit another one for the rest of the month and into May.

Carpenter wasn’t alone in the Tigers’ offensive struggles in April, as Spencer Torkelson and top prospect Colt Keith also failed to get things going at the plate. It was disappointing to see Carpenter, who had a breakout season in 2023, fail to do much at the plate and strike out so much.

May has been a different story for the former 19th-round pick. In 24 plate appearances, Carpenter is hitting .316 with a 1.224 OPS. On Saturday against the Astros, he hit two home runs, which matched his April total. He also has walked three times and only struck out three times, showing that his eye has improved a bit at the plate during this second month of play.

At 20-19, the Tigers are 3.5 games behind the division-leading Cleveland Guardians as of Sunday. If the Tigers want to make a run at the division crown in 2024, Carpenter must carry the offense for the remainder of the season to make that reality.

 

Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday.

 

Davis Schneider (TOR): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB.

Schneider made an awful misplay in the outfield that led to a three-run inning in the top of the first for the Twins. However, Schneider made up for that error with his bat, collecting three hits, two RBI, a stolen base, and his fourth home run of the year. Schneider has settled in as Toronto’s leadoff hitter, and considering that he’s hitting .287 with a .905 OPS, he may be there for a while.

 

Yandy Díaz (TBR): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI.

It hasn’t been the same kind of season for Diaz in 2024, as he is only hitting .250 with a .650 OPS in 171 plate appearances. That is a far cry from his .330 and .932 OPS marks in 2023. A big issue has been the power, as his barrel rate is down to 3.8 percent, a nearly six percent decline from a year ago. Granted, Diaz’s career barrel rate is only 6.9%, so it’s possible that what we’re seeing this year is more aligned with who Diaz is as a hitter, and 2023 was an aberration. Diaz went yard against the Yankees on Saturday, so maybe he’s returning to that 2023 form.

 

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

Santana seems to be enjoying his time in Toronto, as he has two home runs and three hits in two games at the Rogers Centre. Overall, it’s been a mixed-bag season for Santana in Minnesota. He’s only hitting .203 with a .665 OPS. On the flip side, he does have six home runs, and he seems to be heating up along with a Twins team that suddenly looks like the club everyone predicted they would be in Spring Training. Is Santana worth rostering in traditional league formats right now? Not yet, but he could be in a week or two if this keeps up.

 

Yasmani Grandal (PIT): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

All the focus was on Paul Skenes in Pittsburgh on Saturday. However, the Pirates’ offense stole the show as they collected 10 runs in a 10-8 win over the Cubs. Five Pirates players hit home runs on Saturday, but Grandal’s home run sticks out, especially since he just joined the Pirates from Triple-A Indianapolis (along with Skenes). Grandal struggled in his last two seasons on the South Side, and many expected his career to be done after 2023. It’s a limited sample (18 plate appearances), but Grandal has a .749 OPS this year, aligned with what he used to do with the White Sox before things went south.

 

Matt Chapman (SFG): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.

The pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park haven’t suited Chapman well in 40 games this season. In 165 plate appearances, Chapman is hitting .213 with a .616 OPS. That includes a K% of 26.1% and a walk rate of only 5.5%, 5.2% lower than a year ago. His 8.9% barrel rate is also nearly half his mark from a year ago, which is also a concerning sign. Chapman hit his fifth home run of the year in the Giants’ 5-1 win on Saturday over the Reds. Thus, he may be turning it around, which the Giants need after starting a disappointing 18-23.

 

Nico Hoerner (CHC): 1-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The Cubs fell short against the Pirates, but Hoerner had a day. He hit his second home run of the year and collected two RBIs. Hoerner isn’t hitting for as much power as in years past, but his plate discipline is better than ever. As of Sunday, he ranks in the 94th percentile in whiff rate and 98th percentile in K rate. His .282 xBA is also 10 points higher than his actual BA, a sign that better days may be ahead for Hoerner.

 

Freddie Freeman (LAD): 2-2, 2B, HR, R, RBI.

It’s easy to forget about Freddie Freeman, especially with teammates like Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani stealing most of the spotlight in Hollywood. However, Freeman is once again having a stellar year, even if it isn’t as eye-popping as his previous seasons. As of Sunday, he is hitting .309 with a .901 OPS. On Saturday, he hit his fourth home run of the year. A significant improvement for Freeman is that his walk rate is 13.7%, a 3.8% improvement from a year ago. His K rate has also stayed around the same from last year. Thus, the signs are there for Freeman to have a major breakout soon.

 

Ryan Mountcastle (BAL): 3-5, 2 2B, 3B, R.

The Orioles improved to 26-12 thanks to a three-hit game from Mountcastle. As Baltimore’s primary cleanup hitter, Mountcastle is hitting .288 with a .842 OPS, both significant improvements from a season ago. The barrel rate is slightly lower from 2023, but he is hitting the ball harder (1.8% increase in hard-hit rate) and launching the ball more in 2024. Mountcastle has always been affected by Baltimore’s new left-field dimensions. It seems like he’s adjusted this season to overcome those unfortunate park factors.

 

Vidal Bruján (MIA): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

With the Marlins clearly in rebuilding mode and not getting much from Tim Anderson, Brujan has stepped in, getting an extended shot in the lineup, something he couldn’t get in Tampa Bay. For the season, Brujan is hitting .268 with a .756 OPS in 78 plate appearances. He also has two stolen bases, and on Saturday, he hit his first home run of the year. On a fantasy end, the 26-year-old can play multiple positions, and he could be an excellent stolen base threat as he gets more games under his belt. He’s worth targeting in deep leagues if he’s still available.

 

Michael Harris II (ATL): 3-3, R, RBI.

We haven’t heard much about Harris, and it makes sense that he is hitting .264 but only has a .685 OPS. A big issue is the power, as his slugging is only .382, and his barrel rate is only 4.4% as of Sunday. Then again, we also saw Harris get off to a slow start in 2023, only to be one of the better fantasy outfielders by season’s end. It may be easy to be skeptical of Harris right now. That said, don’t be surprised if he gets back into form by Memorial Day, much to the relief of all fantasy managers who currently roster him.

 

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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