Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/3/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Hearn, baby, Hearn

Ryan O’Hearn (BAL): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Almost every night there seems to be news about an Orioles prospect making waves in the minors. Earlier in the season it was Heston Kjerstad, now it’s Coby Mayo and Jackson Holliday. They’ve got Slammin’ Sammy Basallo even further down the line, too. And yet one of the Orioles’ most productive hitters in the majors at least has been a 30-year-old castaway out of Sam Houston State named Ryan O’Hearn.

Last night, his bat proved pivotal again. With a runner on in the seventh, O’Hearn socked a 1-2 cutter from Emilio Pagán into the seats in right (397 feet, 103.5 EV) putting the O’s ahead three to zip. It was his fifth dinger of the season and he’s now hitting .307 with a .415 wOBA across 84 PAs.

Sure, he’s not playing against lefties, so his value in standard leagues is maybe a little iffy. Still, after hitting .289 across 112 games last year with the O’s, he’s awfully hard to ignore. The Orioles have two young stars at the top of the lineup in Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman. But, I think if you ask any O’s fan they’ll tell you that Mr. O’Hearn has had an uncanny knack for coming up with a big hit when they need it the most. He seems like one of those key role players that every winning team has.

The results have been fantastic and PLV loves him too, grading him with a 131 in power, two full standard deviations above average. He’s also shown a penchant for great swing decisions with a 122 in Decision Value. And then there’s the fact that he’s striking out at an 8.3% clip. Yeah, not bad. After hitting .219 with a .294 wOBA across 342 games with the Royals, O’Hearn has settled in and found his niche with the O’s and he’s here to stay.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Brett Baty (NYM): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Baty was hitting .250 with a .628 OPS this year. As a former prospect billed with plus power, Baty has been somewhat underwhelming. But at the same time, 533 career PAs across three seasons is far from an ideal sample. His first home run of the night was a Trop special that disappeared into the catwalks for a three-run shot to right on a 93 mph sinker from Aaron Civale that measured 378 feet. His second dinger was a much more aesthetically pleasing 421-foot jolt (107.7 EV) to the seats in right against interim closer Jason Adam that produced the game’s final score of 10-8. Ignoring tonight’s outburst, Baty hasn’t shown much pop this season with a 94 power grade via PLV (100 is average). However, he’s trimmed his K rate from 28.6% last year across 389 PA to 17.6% this year in 106 PA. The Mets recently sent Mark Vientos, one of his competitors for playing time at 3B, back to Triple-A Syracuse.

Mickey Moniak (LAA): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI. 

Mickey Moniak should be a fixture in the post-Trout Angels OF. He delivered the big blow in the Angels’ 6-0 win over the Guardians by torching a 94 mph fastball from Tanner Bibee 411 feet (109.9 EV) into the seats in right for a three-run shot, his second dinger of the season. The former Phillies first-rounder demonstrated good pop last year with 119 power via PLV but struggled mightily with pitch recognition (63 DV, 80 SZ Judgement). Nolan Schanuel also went yard for the Halos, his third of the season.

Randy Arozarena (TBR): 1-2, HR, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB.

Arozarena unloaded on a middle-middle, 97 mph heater from Mets reliever Dedniel Núñez and sent it 445 feet to the seats in left (109.1 EV). He’s been one of the year’s biggest disappointments thus far, to say the least, hitting .145 with a .237 wOBA. His grades on PLV aren’t incredibly encouraging either; his power has dropped about a standard deviation from 115 to 100 and his contact ability has similarly plummeted from 101 to 87. Not great, but maybe this can get him jump-started.

Jake Cronenworth (SDP): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, R, RBI.

Cronenworth followed a fourth-inning home run from Fernando Tatís Jr. with one of his own, a 398-foot shot to right (102.1 EV) off Slade Cecconi. The Padres’ first baseman has been one of the year’s early surprises, hitting .279 with a .377 wOBA, the latter being a career-best. Cronenworth’s contact ability is down a bit according to PLV at 112 compared to 123 last season. However, it’s come with a big bump in power from 92 to 115 this year.

Vidal Bruján (MIA): 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, 2 SB.

The former Rays prospect has logged time all over the infield with seven games played at 3B, 2B, and SS. Last night’s trade of Luis Arraez to the Padres should afford Bruján ample playing time. What he can do with the stick remains to be seen as he’s logged just 325 PA in the bigs. However, he’s got wheels, and could certainly be a difference-maker in stolen bases as he swiped two bags last night .

Oneil Cruz (PIT): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Cruz stepped to the plate in the ninth having gone 0-for-3 but he drilled a two-run shot to right (433 feet, 111.7 EV). The fact that it came against a left-hander and former Tampa Bay Ray in Jalen Beeks made it even better considering Cruz’s struggles against southpaws. Cruz has all the talent in the world but his pitch recognition and swing decisions continue to be troublesome (73 SZ Judgement, 82 Decision Value).

Willson Contreras (STL): 3-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, SB.

The Red Birds have had problems scoring runs. Last night, they scored just three runs against Brad Keller, who has compiled a 5.14 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over his previous three seasons (318.2 IP), and the White Sox pen. The Cardinals have a .286 team wOBA, fourth-worst in baseball and just a point above the Oakland A’s. Contreras, however, remains a lone bright spot. His .404 wOBA leads the team’s qualified hitters by a mile. Masyn Winn (.321) and Nolan Arenado (.318) are second and third and have just one home run between them.

Ronald Acuña (ATL): 2-5, HR, R, RBI.

It feels weird mentioning this line from last year’s MVP but this is just his second home run of the season. It was a big one though as it came on a 3-2 pitch from Daniel Hudson and tied the score at 2-2 with one out in the eighth. Sure enough, Acuña’s power is down a lot according to PLV, dropping from 123 to just a touch below average at 98.

Andy Pages (LAD): 4-5, RBI.

The Dodgers totaled just 9 hits over 11 innings against Charlie Morton and company. Pages, though, was nearly perfect and is now hitting .333 with a .395 wOBA. He’s been a revelation for the Dodgers who have had some trouble generating offense at the bottom of their lineup. His seeing-eye bloop single in between Ozzie Albies and Michael Harris (hey, they all count) proved to be the game-winner.


Photo by Scott Winters/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.

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