Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/13/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas


Wyatt Langford (TEX): 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 SB.

Fantasy managers began dreaming of a Wyatt Langford breakout season during his historic spring training when he hit six home runs, led the Cactus League in OPS (1.188), and made the starting lineup of the Texas Rangers less than a year after being drafted fourth overall in the 2023 Draft. Did I forget to mention that he made the big-league roster with only 18 games of minor-league experience at the Double-A level or above? His ADP shot up before 2024 fantasy drafts to a consensus ADP of 135th overall according to FantasyPros. The Rangers were sold. Fantasy managers were sold. The dream season was upon us.

However, Langford’s first MLB season started more as a nightmare than a dream. By the end of April, Langford was hitting a measly .238/.314/.314 with only one home run. The Rangers were spared the hard decision of whether to send the rookie down to Triple-A as he landed on the IL four days later with a hamstring strain.

Langford returned on May 28 and has come back a different hitter, slashing .289/.341/.421 in June. On Thursday, Langford went 2-for-4 with two RBI singles and two stolen bases. Has Langford turned a corner? Has Christmas come early for his owners?

Unfortunately not just yet. Take a moment to watch the highlights of Langford’s singles, the second of which MLB.com described as a “soft fly ball”. The Rangers’ TV announcer said it best: “I think if you combine the exit velocity of both these hits, you maybe get to 100.” Close enough. Langford’s singles clocked in at 67.3 mph and 58.8 mph respectively. Sorry to be a grinch, but last night’s hits were mostly luck, and until Langford consistently shows us the power that he showed in the minors and during the spring, he should continue to ride the pine of your fantasy teams.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday:


J.D. Martinez (NYM): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

J.D. Martinez hit the first walk-off home run of his 321-home run career, depositing an 86 mph slider from Tanner Scott into the Marlins’ bullpen to clinch the Mets’ 3-2 comeback victory over Miami. The home run was Martinez’s sixth of the season, and while no one was expecting the 36-year-old to carry the Mets offense this season, his power has been a bit of a letdown in the heart of the lineup, especially after slugging 33 homers for the Dodgers last season. Martinez’s ninth-inning homer, and double from earlier in the game, were his first extra-base hits since June 2. His .435 SLG on the season seems pretty pedestrian given his track record, but a .510 xSLG (92nd percentile) and .479 xwoBACON (96th percentile) should give J.D. owners hope that a summer slugfest is on the horizon.


Maikel Garcia (KCR): 1-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB.

A trendy sleeper pick who hit the ground running (literally, with 16 stolen bases this season), Maikel Garcia has cooled off considerably over the past two weeks, batting .167/.245/.208 since June 1. Many fantasy managers were beginning to wonder if Garcia’s magical start to the season was just that. The Royals, however, kept their faith in their starting third baseman, continuously batting him in the leadoff spot in front of Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, and Salvador Perez. Garcia might not walk as much as other leadoff hitters (6.8% BB%), but he doesn’t strike out either, with an 80th percentile or higher Chase%, Whiff%, and K%. He’s only struck out three times since June 1, and he finally came through in a big way on Thursday, lining a two-out 2-0 sinker off Yankees’ closer Clay Holmes for a two-run walk-off double. Fantasy managers should follow the Royals’ lead and keep starting Garcia.


Christian Walker (ARI): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Christian Walker had a double-dong performance on Thursday night against the Angels. He started the party with a towering three-run shot in the first inning and followed it up with a 464-foot solo blast in the third. Both home runs were off Griffin Canning to give Walker 15 HRs for the season. Walker is slashing .258/.341/.480, which is right in line with his numbers from last season (.258/.333/.497). His Statcast batting statistics however show an improvement this season in categories such as Barrel%, HardHit%, and xwOBA. Keep starting Walker and reaping the benefits.


Joc Pederson (ARI): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, BB.

Walker was kind enough to save a home run for teammate Joc Pederson, who hit a monster 430-foot grand slam to make it 10-1 for the Diamondbacks in the seventh. Joc is in the 94th percentile for both average exit velocity and Hard-Hit%. He also knows how to get on base, as evidenced by his 11.2% BB% and .384 OBP. However, Pederson is strictly a platoon player and sits against lefties. He holds almost no value in weekly leagues and is best used as a streamer in daily leagues.


Andrew Vaughn (CHW): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Andrew Vaughn got Chicago on the board against the Mariners on Thursday, slugging his eighth home run of the season. The White Sox have had a season to forget, but can fantasy owners still find some value and role for Vaughn on their fantasy roster? Vaughn’s overall numbers are down this year, hitting a paltry .227/.285/.380 on the season. However, Vaughn has been hitting better lately, slashing .305/.349/.559 with four home runs in his last 15 games. Still, even a small glance at Vaughn’s blue Statcast page should be enough to convince you that he is not a long-term solution for your roster. Ride the hot streak while you can.


Paul Goldschmidt (STL): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Former first-round fantasy star Paul Goldschmidt hit a home run on Thursday, his first since May 27. Take a look at the video of the homer. This ball barely left the park. Hitting only .226/.299/.354 with eight home runs in 2024, Goldy is just not the same man he used to be. The 36-year-old’s Statcast page will attest to that too. He still has name value though. If you’re the unlucky manager who is stuck with Goldy, shop him around after Thursday’s line and see what you can get. If not, you might find yourself dropping him by the end of June for something more productive off the wire.


Byron Buxton (MIN): 3-3, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Speaking of name value, let’s talk about Byron Buxton. The oft-injured Twin returned from the IL on May 18 after missing some time due to knee inflammation. Except for a two-homer game on May 21, he hasn’t done much since, though he’s come alive in the past week, hitting .333/.400/.444 with one home run. Is this a sign that Buxton is back? Unfortunately, probably not. All three of his hits were singles, two of them were ground balls, one of which Buxton barely beat out with his speed. It’s nice to know the speed is still there (96th percentile sprint speed), but his expected stats are all lower than his actual stats, his Barrel% is down from 14.6% in 2023 to 6.9% in 2023, and his BB% is down from 10.1% last season to only 4.9% this season. Yikes. Use the name value and sell Buxton after this mini-hot streak.


Justyn-Henry Malloy (DET): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

We’ll end today’s Batter’s Box with a couple of recent call-ups. Justyn-Henry Malloy is barely two weeks into his MLB career but is looking a lot older at the plate than most 24-year-old rookies. Touted as an OBP machine, Malloy has reached base 11 times in 29 PAs, slashing .217/.367/.522 for the Tigers after hitting .253/.410/.472 at Triple-A to begin the season. On Thursday, he crushed a hanging slider 407 feet for his second home run and added a hard-hit two-run double for good measure. Hitting almost every day out of the six-hole, Malloy’s a player I’m adding in OBP leagues and watch-listing in standard leagues.


Tyler Locklear (SEA): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.

Tyler Locklear was brought up to the big leagues to start after only 10 games at Triple-A Tacoma, replacing Ty France on the Mariners roster after France went on the IL. Locklear was hitting .293/.404/.520 with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 51 games across Double-A and Triple-A in 2024. He smoked an RBI double to the wall in his first MLB game on June 9 and hit his first home run on Thursday off White Sox ace Garrett Crochet, the same pitcher who struck out 13 Mariners during the game. Ironically Thursday’s home run was barely a homer, as it bounced off the top of the wall on its way out. Either way, this Mariners rookie is starting his career swinging and Seattle is giving him the playing time to show what he’s got.


Jonny Gordon

As a native Montrealer living in Philly, Jonny bravely drives his minivan around with a Habs magnet on it and is always complimented when wearing his vintage Expos hat. Guilty of having an absurd amount of baseball-related tabs open on his browser at once, he loves sharing his fantasy baseball takes and helping his fellow fantasy athletes win some championships, as long as they're not in his home league.

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