Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/14/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Harris and Ford

Michael Harris II (ATL): 4-8, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, SB.

Something needed to start breaking Michael Harris II’s way with such a rough start to the year after an incredible rookie season. Through the end of May, Harris was slashing .174/.260/.266 with two home runs. This was only in 123 plate appearances, as he missed significant time in April with a lower back injury.

Now in June, it has only been two weeks, yet Harris has a 157 wRC+ with three home runs and two stolen bases. One of each game in game one of the doubleheader in Detroit (this is where the Ford part of the title pun comes in). That was now back-to-back games with a combo meal and more than three hits for Harris. He crushed a 112 mph double in the fourth and added a 360-foot homer in the seventh. Two singles bookended his game.

Game two was not as productive for him. He hit four balls in play all not hard hits and all for outs. At least he didn’t strike out. Even with that 0-4 appearance, he still is slashing .333/.362/.600 in June. His hard-hit rate is 58.3% in that span as well. Even extending it all season, his hard-hit rate is still 47.9%. He has been hitting the ball hard, just mostly on the ground. His BABIP is a good 100 points lower than in 2022. There is a good chance he won’t come close to hitting .300 like last season but getting back in the .260-.270 is doable.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday

Ronald Acuña Jr. (ATL): 4-8, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB, 2 BB.

Acuña dominated the doubleheader against the Tigers, belting two home runs across the two games while adding a steal. In the first game, he crushed a 429-foot homer and added two more singles. In the second, he hit one even further, a 461-foot blast. Acuña already has as many home runs and steals as 2022 but only in 311 plate appearances versus the 533 it took last year. 30/50 or maybe 40/60 isn’t a completely wild thing to speculate.

Miguel Cabrera (DET): 3-8, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The first game of the doubleheader suited Miggy much better, as he took Spencer Strider deep for a 406-foot blast for his first of the season after 120 plate appearances. He added a 100 mph single in the sixth and a 102 mph double in the ninth. There isn’t much to add outside of him finally having a day in 2023. I’m just glad he was able to add another dinger especially off of someone like Strider.

Mike Yastrzemski (SF): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

It’s been quite some time since Yaz’s breakout season at 28. He is now 32 and has struggled a bit the last couple of seasons, hovering around a 100 wRC+. This season seems to be a bit of a rebound, hitting .254 with a .450 SLG (much higher than last year). His hard-hit rate is around 45% which is even higher than 2019 and 2020. He surged early in the year before going down with a hamstring injury. And since that return, he has struggled more than those two previous seasons. And yet he’s still hitting the ball just as hard and in the air. I expect a bit of a bounce-back again.

Carlos Santana (PIT): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.

Santana kicked things off in the first inning with a two-run homer. He added an RBI single in the third and a sac fly later in the game. His four RBI were not enough to defeat the Cubs though. The last two seasons he belted 19 dingers and had about 60-ish runs and RBI. 19 homers doesn’t look likely, but the run and RBI totals could happen. He walks plenty but his .228 average even with a .262 BABIP has brought his OBP down to just .319.

Spencer Torkelson (DET): 2-6, HR, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB.

Tork took the other Spencer, Strider, deep for a 436-foot homer in the first inning of game one of the doubleheader yesterday. He walked three times the rest of the two games and added a 102 mph single. Prior to yesterday’s games, he has a 49.2% hard-hit rate and an 11.2% barrel rate with a solid 22.6% K rate and a 10% walk rate. And yet he only has a 98 wRC+. It’s not like he doesn’t hit the ball in the air. He has a 23% line drive rate and a 44.1% fly ball rate. The downside is playing at Comerica Park, an awful place to hit baseballs. I’m not sure if there is a way to overcome that and we may just need to wait til he gets out of there.

José Abreu (HOU): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Don’t look now but José Abreu has three home runs in five games after hitting his first homer of the season on May 28th. Abreu struggled offensively in the second half of last year and that continued into the beginning of this season. However, he now has five multi-hit games in his last six, including those three homers and two doubles. He has 10 RBI in there as well. While he has a 39% hard-hit rate on the season, the last month his hard-hit rate is 45%. Things seem to be turning a corner for this veteran first baseman.

Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 SB.

Tatis had a full day yesterday. He swatted a 364-foot homer that barely made it out. Then he ripped a 110 mph ground out, followed by a 107 MPH double. He added one more double later in the game. He swiped third base after that second double and added another steal in the eighth after a walk. In his first year back after missing all of 2022, Tatis now has 14 home runs and 10 steals in 217 plate appearances, good for a 145 wRC+.

Jake Burger (CWS): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Burger seems to be one of maybe two bright spots for the Sox this year. He continued that trend with two home runs, both over 102 mph, and added a 112 mph ball in play that ended in an error. These were Burger’s 14th and 15th of the year, bringing his slash line to .250/.299/.600. Wow. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like that before. He has a 4.6% walk rate and a 31.6% K rate but a .350 ISO. The only other two players with a higher ISO and more than 100 plate appearances are Aaron Judge and Christopher Morel.

Manuel Margot (TB): 3-4, 3 2B, 3 R, RBI.

Margot was a machine at the plate against the A’s (not too surprising) but he still laced three doubles all over 101 mph. Just like the rest of the Tampa, he somehow has a wRC+ above 100 (which would be his second season above 100). He is slashing .265/.335/.377. So not much power, and only a few steals so there isn’t much there for fantasy.

Matt McLain (CIN): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

One of the many Reds’ infield rookies competing to stay in the lineup, McLain made his case. He smacked a 428-foot homer, his third of the year and first since May 24th. Despite only three dingers, McLain is ripping the ball. He has hit safely in all but five games so far in his career (that is out of 28 games), so he is slashing .328/.379/.516 across 132 plate appearances. He hit 12 dingers and stole 10 bags in the minors in 173 plate appearances in 2023 so there is still more power and speed to come.

Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

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