Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/2

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

The Wong Show

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

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

The Red Sox and Blue Jays starred in one of Tuesday’s wildest games. Boston got out to a three-run lead after four innings, and then the Blue Jays put up a six spot on Tanner Houck in the fifth. The Red Sox didn’t just call it quits after that big blow, though, they battled back and Connor Wong played hero.

Wong put a Zach Pop sinker 368 feet over The Green Monster in the sixth inning to tie the game at 6-6. Then, with the score still tied in the eighth, Erik Swanson left a fastball right over the heart of the plate and Wong didn’t miss it. He sent that one over The Green Monster too, putting the Red Sox up for good. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, the game was played in Boston; Fenway Park is just one of two ballparks where Wong’s second home run would’ve gotten out.

All told, Wong’s career day ended with a 4-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI line. Perhaps his best hit ball of the day actually didn’t leave the yardhis second-inning double was hit at 113.6 mph, a new career high from the Boston backstop.

After yesterday’s big showing, Wong is slashing .290/.353/.516 this year, and he’s on an absolute tear right now. Yesterday was his third straight multi-hit game, and he is 9-for-13 over that stretch with three homers.

Wong’s 136 wRC+ jumps off the page, especially for a catcher, but it’s good to remember it’s still early in the year so these numbers have changed quickly. Before his three-game hot streak, his wRC+ was just 46.

The Red Sox catching situation is about an even split between Wong and Reese McGuire, but Wong seems to have a very slight edge in playing time. He may be worth a roster spot in 15-team two-catcher leagues to see if this torrid stretch continues, but in shallower formats, he’s better left in the free-agent pool until he shows that his recent performance is more than a flash in the pan.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Ryan Mountcastle (BAL): 3-6, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI.

Mountcastle’s first two hits of the day both cleared the outfield wall in Kansas City, and the second landed 433 feet from the plate as the third-furthest hit ball of the day. Tallying 10 total bases in one game is quite the feat, and Mountcastle did just that last night continuing his strong start to the year. He’s now slashing .256/.275/.504 with eight home runs and 26 RBI. Both his home run and RBI total are top-10 among all hitters. Mountcastle’s cut his strikeout rate from 25.3% last year to 20.8% this year, but he’s actually swinging at pitches outside of the zone more often, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can maintain the improved strikeout rate.

Salvador Perez (KC): 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

On the other side of the Orioles/Royals game, Perez would not be outdone by Mountcastle, blasting two home runs of his own. Through the first month of the season, Perez is looking like his typical self. He’s hitting .279/.321/.490 for a 120 wRC+ which is right in line with what we’ve come to expect from the 32-year-old power-hitting catcher. Unfortunately, Perez left the game after being hit during a swing follow-through by Anthony Santander. Thankfully x-rays came back negative so Perez is day-to-day with a bruised finger, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him miss a game or two.

Adley Rutschman (BAL): 4-5, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB.

Tuesday was a big day for catchers! Rutschman is our third backstop making an appearance here, as the Orioles’ young catching phenom continues to impress. Rutschman is hitting a sterling .315/.429/.472 with four home runs, 15 runs, and 18 RBI. He’s a huge reason the Orioles are sitting in second place in the AL East and are positioning themselves to make a playoff push.

Ezequiel Duran (TEX): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Duran has essentially taken over the Rangers’ starting shortstop job in Corey Seager’s absence, and he’s done an admirable job trying to fill those big shoes. Even against Zac Gallen who came into Tuesday’s game on an absolute heater, Duran managed to collect two hits. He has a .879 OPS with three home runs and two stolen bases, but his .413 BABIP means there’s regression around the corner. He may be worth a look in deeper leagues if you need infield help. He’s only third base eligible now but will gain shortstop eligibility soon.

Daulton Varsho (TOR): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Varsho’s disappointed early in his Blue Jay career, but maybe yesterday will prove to be the turning point. He hit the ball hard three times against Tanner Houck, and two of them fell for extra-base hits. Varsho’s shown great raw power in Toronto by setting a new career-best with a 112.5 mph max exit velocity, but he’s just not getting to it often enough. His average exit velocity is almost unbelievably in the first percentile of hitters and his barrel rate has nearly been cut in half, down from 10.2% last year to just 5.4% this year.

Anthony Volpe (NYY): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB.

With no Aaron Judge to anchor the offense, Volpe stepped up and led the Yankees to a 4-2 win over the Guardians yesterday, snapping the team’s four-game losing streak. Volpe got the Yankees on the board and started the team’s comeback by putting a Tanner Bibee fastball just over the right-field fence in the sixth inning. He later singled in the eighth inning, stole second and third base, and then came around to score an important insurance run. Volpe now has 10 stolen bases this year to go along with his .230/.336/.370 batting line.

Harold Ramírez (TB): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.

The two best teams in baseball, the Rays and Pirates, squared off yesterday. Yes, it’s still surprising that these two, especially the Pirates, have been as good as they have. The Rays came out on top, winning 4-1, in large part due to Ramírez’s big showing. He opened the scoring with an RBI single in the fourth and followed that up with a 430-foot solo shot in the sixth. Ramírez is crushing baseballs right now. He has three homers in his last eight games and his 201 wRC+ is one of the best in baseball.

Ozzie Albies (ATL): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI, BB.

Albies’ strong start to the season continued in the Braves’ 6-0 win over the Marlins yesterday. Atlanta’s second baseman got the better of the reigning NL Cy Young winner, taking a 99 mph Sandy Alcantara four-seamer 367 feet over the right-field wall to get the Braves rolling in the second inning. Albies is slashing .252/.298/.513 and his eight home runs are the same amount he had in last year’s injury-plagued season, but it’s taken him 145 fewer plate appearances to reach that number.

Elias Díaz (COL): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Another catcher! Díaz has proven to be one of the best catcher value picks in fantasy baseball thus far into the season. In the fourth inning of yesterday’s game, Freddy Peralta left a slider over the plate and it didn’t stay there long. Díaz deposited the pitch 453 feet into the left field stands; it was the furthest hit ball of the day. Díaz is slashing .330/.385/.500 and should continue to be a solid fantasy option, especially if you’re in a daily moves league where you can swap him out when he’s not playing in Coors Field.

Miguel Vargas (LAD): 4-5, 3 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI.

The Dodgers plated 13 runs in their win over the Phillies last night, and Vargas played a part in five of them. All of his doubles had exit velocities over 100 mph, and let’s hope this proves to be the start of Vargas putting things together at the plate. After his four-hit game yesterday, he’s slashing .236/.367/.382 with just one home run and one stolen base. He’s still showing his trademark strong plate discipline, so if he can bring his barrel rate up from 3.1% to the 8.6% mark he flashed in his cup of coffee last year, he could become a valuable fantasy piece quickly. If he’s sitting on the wire in your league, especially in a points or OBP league, I’d stash him if you have the room.

Bryce Harper (PHI): 0-4.

Yes, this isn’t a good line, but it’s certainly a great day for baseball when one of the sport’s best players returns to the field. He struck out three times, but it was his first live game at-bats since the World Series, so he may need a bit of time to shake off the rust.


Mark Steubinger

Mark loves everything talking and writing about baseball - from every fantasy league format you can imagine to the unending greatness of Mike Trout. Mark has a degree in Sports Communication from Bradley University and works in radio production. He lives in central Illinois where his TV is permanently tuned to Chicago Cubs games.

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