Matt the Bat
Matt Vierling (DET): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI.
Vierling, a fifth-round pick out of Notre Dame by the Phillies five years ago, hadn’t really shown much power and entered last night’s game with a .126 ISO in 190 PA this season. And he didn’t show much power in the minors either, the only blip being a .299 ISO during a 24-game stint with Double-A Reading while he was with the Phillies two seasons ago. PLV ranks his power a tick below average (45 on the 20-80 scale), the same as last season. He does, however, have a max EV of 113, which might suggest that he has some raw power that he hasn’t tapped into yet, or at least before last night.
His first home run of the night came in his second at-bat on a hanging sweeper from Joe Ryan, a flyball that traveled 428 feet to left-center (104 EV). And then in the ninth, he drilled his seventh of the season courtesy of a hanging slider from reliever Josh Winder, this one was also well-struck and soared into the second deck in left (430 feet, 108 EV).
Last season, he needed 117 games to hit six home runs and he’s now eclipsed that mark in just 51 games. So, maybe he’s added some power this season. Either way, he’s also shown very impressive contact ability (70 via PLV) along with four steals. Although, he’s been caught five times; he went 7-for-11 in attempts last season. All-in-all, he’s not the highest-upside profile you’ll find given the Tigers lineup and all, but he can at least do a little bit of everything making him a decent fill-in option for deep leagues. He also picked up five starts at 3B last year, so he just barely eked out eligibility for those on Yahoo.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:
Danny Jansen (TOR): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.
The two-run shot to left came in the fifth off the lefty Martín Pérez (384 feet, 96.4 EV). He’s gone yard three times since his return from a groin strain. Overall, Jansen is hitting just .216 with a modest .746 OPS but he showed some impressive PLV grades last season including a 65 in power and 70 in Hitter Performance (HP). And, hey, he now has as many home runs as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in about half as many at-bats.
Luis Arraez (MIA): 5-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
The reigning batting champion came into last night’s game mired in a horrific 0-for-12 drought that had sunk his average to .378. After singling in his first at-bat on a line drive to center that almost beheaded Trevor Williams, Arraez pulled a fastball in on his hands and sent it just over the right field wall (383 feet, 99.7 EV) for his second home run of the year. His second five-hit performance of the season has the hunt for .400 bat on track.
Christopher Morel (CHC): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
Morel had been losing playing time culminating in three consecutive games on the bench from June 6th-8th, but he’s come alive since and is now riding a modest six-game hitting streak. Morel’s 12th of the year, a solo shot to left-center (423 feet, 107.1 EV), capped off a brutal third inning for Cole Irvin who also gave up dingers to Miguel Amaya and Dansby Swanson. Morel also avoided striking out and finished the day with four hard-hit baseballs according to Statcast.
Travis d’Arnaud (ATL): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
With the Good Doctor in town and the resurgence of Marcell Ozuna, at-bats have been hard to come by for d’Arnaud. But at the very least this is a reminder that he’s still got some thump in his bat. His first home run of the evening came off a 94 mph fastball from Dinelson Lamet and was absolutely obliterated 474 feet to left-center (109.6 EV). He tagged Lamet again in his next at-bat with a laser to left at 433 feet (110.2 EV). The former Met is now hitting .281 with a .801 OPS across 97 PA.
Eddie Rosario also hit his 10th of the year in Atlanta’s 8-1 win over Colorado.
Andrew Benintendi (CWS): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
Hallelujah, he’s finally done it. Although, in fairness, he has apparently been dealing with pain in his hand which might be sapping him. Anyway, his first of the year came against Bryan Woo on a 94 mph fastball at the letters hit 394 feet to right. Benintendi’s batted ball data is less than stellar including an xwoBACON in the 16th percentile; That’s pretty low even by his standards so you at least have to wonder about the hand; hopefully, he’s able to get past it.
Justin Turner (BOS): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 6 RBI.
Let us pause with a moment of silence for those who had the misfortune of starting Domingo Germán. Thank you. Turner’s first of the night came off a hanging slider that he sent 366 feet over the Green Monster, a two-run shot that made it 4-1. He capped off Boston’s massacre with a grand slam to center 429 feet (105.6 EV), thanks to a 90 mph meatball from lefty reliever Matt Krook. The big night has Turner hitting .278, the same average he’s posted in each of the past two seasons.
Masataka Yoshida also had a whale of a game with his first four-hit performance of his big league career.
Joey Wiemer (MIL): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
Wiemer’s ninth came against righty reliever Carmen Mlodzinski, what a name, and was hit the opposite way to right (389 feet, 102.4 EV). The 24-year-old rookie has shown plenty of power and with 10 steals, too. But a K rate pushing 30% and a . 289 OBP makes him tough to deploy in standard formats, especially against good pitching.
Teoscar Hernández (SEA): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Teoscar crunched the go-ahead home run in last night’s 3-2 win over the White Sox; A solo shot to center off lefty reliever Tanner Banks (432 feet, 108.7 EV). The DR native has had himself a nice June so far hitting .364 with a 1.110 OPS across 12 games.
Luke Raley (TB): 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R.
He’s rostered at just 37% on Yahoo. That should probably be higher, especially in daily leagues where he’s a plug-and-play against RHP. I’m not sure he’s all that different from Josh Lowe, who is at 86%. OK, fine more steals. Regardless, Raley now sneakily leads the Rays in OPS at .943. Raley’s power grades out really well with a 75 via PLV and he has a 70 in Hitter Performance too. Not bad.
Leody Taveras (TEX): 1-3, HR, R, RBI.
The home run came off of Kevin Gausman as he continues to have a nice breakout season. Despite the career-best seven home runs, his power doesn’t really stand out relatively speaking and grades out at 40 via PLV. However, his plate skills are impressive including an 18.7% K rate, nearly seven points off of last year’s mark. He’s also shown off impressive Strikezone Judgement (65).
Willson Contreras (STL): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
The former Cub has been not-so-great lately and entered last night’s game hitting just .100 with a .550 OPS in June. His eighth of the year was the only blemish of the night on Tylor Megill’s ledger, a solo shot to left at 409 feet.
Josh Donaldson (NYY): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
I have to confess, I’m slightly interested in Donaldson given that he’s shown off 80-grade power via PLV. Although it’s a really flimsy sample (178 pitches). Last night’s dinger, however, was the definition of a garbage-time special as came against the ghost of Corey Kluber. Anyway, that’s six home runs for Donaldson in 50 at-bats, and that, of course, comes with a less-than-ideal .160 batting average.
Alec Bohm (PHI): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Bohm’s first home run since May 25th was one of three that the Phillies hit against JP Sears; J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Schwarber provided the other two. So far, we haven’t seen much growth in the power department from Bohm as his 50 power via PLV is the same as it was last year.
Alex Kirilloff (MIN): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.
Kirilloff’s fourth of the season came against righty reliever Mason Englert on a flyball to the opposite field (382 feet, 99.6 EV). He’s an interesting post-hype prospect who is getting an opportunity to prove himself after being de-railed by countless injuries. However, the power hasn’t been there so far (45 via PLV) which probably puts him off the standard league radar.