Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/25/2024

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Full Nelson


Nelson Velázquez was one of the trendiest sleepers in most drafts this year.

In 179 plate appearances between the Cubs and Royals last season, he hit 17 home runs and posted an .888 OPS. Granted, he struck out 28.5% of the time, but with a 21.4% barrel rate and 49.1% hard-hit rate, fantasy managers could live with the strikeouts as long as he maintained that quality contact.

This year has been a different story.

In 156 plate appearances, Velazquez only has five home runs and an OPS of .695. His barrel rate is down to 7.3%, and his hard-hit rate is also down to 35.4%. To make matters worse, the strikeouts are higher than ever, as evidenced by his 29.5% K rate.

However, things appear to be looking up for Velazquez after a brutal April that saw him hit .212 with a .612 OPS in 86 plate appearances.

In 63 plate appearances in May, he’s hitting .241 with a .750 OPS. He also has three home runs this month (his latest coming in his first at-bat on Saturday) and a slugging of .448, 127 points higher than his slugging mark in April. On May 9, his OPS was .594, which means he’s raised it 101 points since.

Is Velazquez rosterable in most traditional 5×5 formats? Probably not yet.

However, he’s worth watching, as another strong couple of weeks could result in his being picked up off waivers.

It may be worth reinvesting in him sooner rather than later.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday.


Aaron Judge (NYY): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Judge continued his MVP quest in San Diego on Saturday when he hit his 17th home run. He is hitting .280 for the season with a 1.050 OPS in 241 plate appearances. Having Juan Soto in the lineup certainly helps, but Judge is again showing that when healthy, he is one of the best power hitters in the game.


Alex Kirilloff (MIN): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Kirilloff is one of the more frustrating hitters in fantasy. His 11.3% barrel rate and 43.3% hard-hit rate showcase his potential as a power bat. However, he is hitting .215 with a .701 OPS and only has five home runs in 144 plate appearances. May certainly hasn’t been kind to the 26-year-old 1B/OF. He is hitting .146 with a .608 OPS. Granted, he did hit his fourth home run this month on Saturday against the Rangers. He needs to do a better job producing in other categories.


Jordan Westburg (BAL): 3-4, HR, R, RBI.

The Westburg breakout continues in 2024. On Saturday, he collected three hits and hit his eighth home run of the year in a comeback victory over the White Sox on the road. The former Mississippi State product is hitting .285 with a .850 OPS and is sporting some of the best-batted ball exit velocities in the league. He ranks 29th percentile in chase rate and 22nd percentile in whiff rate, so some regression may be coming soon. Still, he’s producing, so fantasy managers who roster him should continue to enjoy the ride.


Taylor Ward (LAA): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

The Angels couldn’t stop the Guardians’ winning streak, but Ward at least made it enjoyable. He hit his 11th home run of the year, a three-run blast that put them within one. Ward will likely be a hot trade commodity in another month, especially with him hitting .271 with a .805 OPS. The Angels may be bad this year and should only worsen without Mike Trout in the lineup. Angels fans should enjoy Ward as much as they can now because he likely won’t be with this team by August.


Jonathan Aranda (TBR): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, RBI.

Aranda has had a rough go since returning from the IL, but he had an excellent game on Saturday. He collected two hits: a double and his first home run of the year. For the season, Aranda is hitting .242 with a .718 OPS. Aranda has position flexibility as he can play multiple positions in the infield, so from a fantasy perspective, if his bat can get going, he can be a nice utility piece for any roster.


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

The Tigers’ 25-27 record has been a bit disappointing, but Carpenter has continued to be a productive hitter. He is hitting .285 with a .916 OPS, and on Saturday, he collected two hits, including his eighth home run of the season. Detroit may be a .500 team this year, as they are not taking the next step as many experts predicted in the preseason. However, at least Carpenter has lived up to his preseason fantasy hype.


Lars Nootbaar (STL): 3-5, 3B, R, RBI, SB.

The Cardinals beat their rivals from Chicago in dramatic fashion, highlighted by a four-run eighth inning. Nootbaar was a primary catalyst in the big win, as he had three hits on Saturday. Nootbaar is only hitting .227. However, his 9.8% barrel rate and 52% hard-hit rate hint that some positive regression may be coming soon, which would be huge for a sub-.500 Cardinals team.


Brett Wisely (SFG): 3-4, 2 R, RBI.

After a disappointing start to the year, the Giants are again over .500 after their 7-2 victory over the Mets on Saturday. A big surprise has been Wisely, who had a great 14-plate appearance at the start of the 2024 season. He is hitting .385 with a .742 OPS, and on Saturday, he collected three hits as the Giants’ nine-hole hitter. Is he a fantasy option? He’s far from it, but he’s worth watching and could be a deep-league possibility if he gets more at-bats.


Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TOR): 2-3, 2B, R, BB, SB.

Kiner-Falefa is a weird hitter. He’s hitting .264 with a .687 OPS, which isn’t bad for a hitter who typically sits at the bottom of the order. However, his hard-hit and barrel rates rank in the bottom percentiles of the league. Thus, it feels like some epic regression will always happen with him. And yet, he continues to produce, which is much-needed for a disappointing Blue Jays team in 2024. The Blue Jays seem destined to continue to underachieve in 2024, but on a positive note, Kiner-Falefa seems destined to overachieve. I guess Blue Jays fans have to keep things in perspective.


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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/25/2024”

  1. Giuseppe says:

    Another hitting recap where I don’t even know what the featured hitter did yesterday. Why is this so hard for you guys? Put the batting line from the featured hitter in bold like the rest of the recap. I don’t need to know his career life story – just put the damn line in the recap.

    Please set up 30 min with me if you do not understand. Thanks

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