Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/17/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Lars Attacks!

Lars Nootbaar (STL): 1-3, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB. 

Nootbaar excited us last year as a breakout candidate but was hindered by a couple of stints on the IL. Last night, he gave us a glimpse, going 1-for-3 with a dinger, two RBIs, three runs, and a pair of walks. He kicked off the scoring by launching a 2-1 Brayan Bello changeup 430 feet (106.1 EV) to straightaway center for his fourth home run of the year.

Nootbaar has shown exemplary plate discipline in the past. This year, he’s been no different with a 97th percentile 19.7% chase rate leading to a top-five percent 14.3% BB rate. He’s also flashed an impressive 113.5 max EV, hinting at some good power lying latent in his bat. And that’s the thing that I think we’re all waiting for. Granted, you could probably say this about at least a handful of other hitters, but Nootbaar might stand to gain from hitting more pulled flyballs. His average flyball EV of 91.7 is just outside the top tenth percentile, but his flyball rate of 23.6% is in the bottom 9th percentile, so that’s a missing piece of the puzzle.

The other missing piece is a more aggressive approach. Nootbaar’s -9.7% swing aggression makes him one of the most passive hitters in the league. It’s not bad for OBP leagues, but he’s letting some good pitches go by. A more aggressive approach against pitches in the zone might pay off. Right now, he’s not a must-roster by any means, hitting just .209 with a .305 wOBA, but I also feel it would be a mistake to overlook Nootbaar. He is a talented player with another gear to unlock, and I’m very curious to see if he can get there.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Tommy Pham (CHW): 3-5, 2B, R, SB.

Pham hit 16 homers with 22 steals across 481 PA last year with the Mets and D-Backs, proving he can still provide when given regular playing time. That shouldn’t be a problem so long as his career .352 OBP is on a White Sox team with a league-worst .276 OBP. He’ll likely be a role player if he gets dealt closer to the deadline, but for now, Pham can help in five OF leagues.

Davis Schneider (TOR): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

It took the Jays a while but they came around to give this man everyday at-bats after relegating him to spot starts against left-handers early in the season. Schneider hit leadoff against Joe Ryan a week ago when George Springer missed the game with an illness. Last night, Schneider hit sixth against the lefty Tyler Alexander, which seems odd considering he would be second on the team with a .369 wOBA if he qualified. The home run came in the eighth on a cutter from Alexander, who was otherwise untouchable. His fourth of the year brought home Danny Jansen, who entered with a .428 wOBA, which would lead the Jays if he qualified.

Schneider has shown great power (121 via PLV) thanks to his pulled flyball approach. However, his weakness is below-average contact ability (86) with sub-par swing decisions inside the zone (85 zDV). His batting average might hurt, but he gets a bump in OBP leagues—think a right-handed Edouard Julien

Connor Joe (PIT): 3-5, R.

Like Schneider, Joe has earned more at-bats after being a short-side platoon bat. He entered last night leading the Pirates with a .374 wOBA and .285 average. Joe has modest power (100 or league average via PLV), but his career .345 OBP should give him a regular role for a Pirates team with the sixth-lowest OBP in the league.

Joey Ortiz (MIL): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Ortiz’s fifth home run (355 feet, 97.3 EV) came on a 93 mph fastball from Hunter Brown in the fourth and gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead. Ortiz has shown about average power (101 via PLV) with impressive contact ability (114) and a passive approach (-10.3% swing aggression) across 116 PA this season. Last year, Ortiz posted a .388 wOBA with 11 steals across 88 games with the Triple-A Norfolk Tide before being traded to the Brewers this past offseason. He’s given the Brewers some much-needed punch and is hitting .296 with a .390 wOBA.

Jake Bauers also went yard for the Brew crew and has shown big power (120 via PLV) but also a massive 36.5% K rate.

David Fry (CLE): 3-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Fry’s two-run shot (363 feet, 99.7 EV) came with two down and one on in the sixth, put the Guardians ahead 2-1, and came on a 0-2 pitch from left-hander Steven Okert. Fry showed some ability last year, posting a .414 wOBA across 29 games with Triple-A Akron. However, he’s just someone to monitor in deep AL-only formats for now given his role as a utility bat.

Nick Fortes (MIA): 3-3, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Fortes landed the big blow against Mets rookie Christian Scott, torching a hanging slider for a three-run homer to left (396.1 feet, 102.1 EV). He walked in his second plate appearance against Scott. He later loaded the bases on a single before scoring on a sac fly from Bryan De La Cruz. The big night pushed Fortes to a .204 wOBA as a part-time catcher, so there’s nothing to see here.

Michael Massey (KCR): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Massey’s two-run shot to right (368 feet, 102.5 EV) off Austin Adams put the Royals ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth. He’s hitting .259 with a .272 wOBA and is maybe showing just enough to warrant consideration as a stopgap MI in 15 teamers. He’s shown good contact ability (123 via PLV), but as you might’ve guessed by his lone walk in 90 PA, his swing decisions (70 DV) leave much to be desired.

Thairo Estrada (SFG): 3-5, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.

The former Yankee landed the big blow last night for the Giants, torching a 3-1 heater from Ryan Feltner for a go-ahead three-run tater in the fifth (369 feet, 104.2 EV). Estrada might be on his way to a career-high in home runs having already gone yard seven times after peaking the past two seasons with 14 dingers. However, his power still rates about league average (96 via PLV), and his one stolen base (23 last year) has made him an unexciting roster thus far.

Brendan Rodgers (COL): 2-5, 2B, RBI.

Rodgers is worth mentioning, having hit .300 across 15 games in May. He’s not doing much outside of providing empty batting average thanks to the Rockies’ putrid offense but keep an eye on him when they’re back home next Friday against the Phillies.

Javier Báez (DET): 3-4, 2 2B, R, 5 RBI.

Speaking of unexciting rosters, Báez entered last night’s game amidst a historically dreadful season, slashing .167/ .200/ .222 across 135 PA. Tigers skipper A.J. Hinch recently committed to giving Báez regular playing time despite his struggles, and the former WS champ rewarded him last night by putting them on the board with a single to right in the second off Ryne Nelson. He later added a pair of two-run doubles in the Tigers’ 13-0 rout of the D’Backs.

Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login