Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/18/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

J.P. Crawford (SEA): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Craw & Forder

The AL West-leading Mariners have found success this year on the back of their phenomenal pitching staff. The club’s collective 3.42 ERA is the fifth-best in the majors. Conversely, the offense has struggled mightily, scoring the sixth-fewest runs of any team. That script was flipped on its head last night in Cleveland. The offense stole the show in the team’s 8-5 win, led by J.P. Crawford’s phenomenal 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB showing.

After breaking out with a 134 wRC+ last year, Crawford has struggled to match that performance in 2024. He’s slashing .208/.305/.375 with seven home runs, which comes out to an exactly league-average 100 wRC+.

Not only was Crawford’s day at the plate strong on the surface, but the underlying metrics are an encouraging sign that he may still get back to last year’s level of production. All three of his batted ball events were smoked with exit velocities eclipsing 100+ mph, adding to his career-best 39.3% hard-hit rate. That hard-hit mark has increased for the third consecutive season, as has his barrel rate which now sits at 7.6%.

Despite the better contact quality, Crawford’s results on contact have inexplicably suffered. His .234 BABIP is 60 points below his career average, and he’s underperformed his Statcast expected stats by a decent margin.

Crawford’s overall profile looks like a decent buy low in deep leagues, especially given that he’s entrenched as Seattle’s leadoff hitter. In 12-team and shallower formats, you can probably leave him on the waiver wire until he starts stringing together these kinds of performances, but he’s at least worth putting on your watch list.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Jesús Sánchez (MIA): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Sánchez finished a triple shy of the cycle, collecting all three of his hits against Cardinals’ veteran Lance Lynn. At 26 years old and with plenty of opportunity to stick in the middle of Miami’s lineup, I thought this may finally be the year that Sánchez broke out to a new level of performance, but that hasn’t been the case. His .241/.286/.365 slash line is especially disappointing given the pure pop in his bat. Sánchez’s hard-hit and barrel rates are both 80th+ percentile among big leaguers, and his .349 xwOBA far outpaces his actual .287 wOBA.

Dylan Moore (SEA): 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB, SB.

Crawford wasn’t the only Seattle middle infielder who had a big Tuesday night. Moore also got in on the action with a combo meal. He stole second base against Triston McKenzie in the third inning before homering against Cade Smith in the sixth. Moore’s one of the better utilitymen in baseball, and I don’t think I realized just how good he’s been. Moore’s posted a wRC+ of 105 or better in four of the last five seasons while playing all over the diamond. He’s not a household name, but we shouldn’t underestimate the value that he brings the Mariners.

Brenton Doyle (COL): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

A 7-run ninth inning led to an incredible comeback win for the Dodgers last night, stealing the headlines away from Doyle’s remarkable performance. His four hits weren’t even the best part of his nightthis catch was. The Rockies’ centerfielder has turned himself into a solid all-around player in his second big league season. He’s slashing .274/.342/.407 with six home runs and 18 steals, and that’s not even to mention his elite fielding in center and strong baserunning.

Mark Vientos (NYM): 3-4, HR, 3 R, RBI.

Vientos’ 113.2 mph homer off of Michael Lorenzen set a new season-high max exit velocity for the Mets’ young third baseman, and he’s now up to a .400 wOBA and 166 wRC+ over 112 plate appearances. That level of performance has cemented his hold on the Mets’ third-base gig. He’s available in most fantasy leagues69% of Yahoo! leagues and 91% of ESPN leaguesand is worth a look if you need power from your corner infield spot. Imporantly he’s cut his strikeout rate from 30.5% in 233 plate appearances last year to just 20.5% this season. I’d preach a little bit of caution though, as his .356 BABIP is doing a lot of work holding up his .317/.375/.554 slash line.

Corbin Carroll (ARI): 2-3, 3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB.

Carroll left Sunday’s game with an injury to his left side, so it’s great to see him back in the lineup and hitting well so soon after an MRI revealed no significant damage. Carroll’s power slump has been well-documented, so I won’t harp on it here. He’s still a fantasy asset with his speed, and it seems like his hitting (save for his power) is making a comeback. He entered yesterday slashing .273/.375/.382 in June. Carroll’s an incredibly interesting dynasty buy low right now if his current manager is getting antsy.

Josh Smith (TEX): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Smith having a prominent role in the middle of the Rangers’ lineup was not on my 2024 Bingo card, but neither was his .298/.386/.451 slash line after he posted a 65 and 78 wRC+ in his first two seasons. Despite the strong slash line, Smith’s playing time will dry up quickly as soon as Josh Jung is activated from the IL. He started a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Sunday, so it shouldn’t be long. Jung’s available in 18% of Yahoo! leagues and 64% of ESPN leagues, so I’d check to see if he’s just sitting on your waiver wire. He could be a real difference-maker down the stretch.

Tyler O’Neill (BOS): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.

O’Neill’s doing everything he can to join Randy Arozarena and Adolis García in the hallowed halls of Outfielders the Cardinals Shouldn’t Have Traded Away™. O’Neill’s 15th homer of the season knotted things up in the eighth inning last night before the Red Sox pulled ahead in the ninth for a 4-3 win in Toronto. O’Neill’s 146 wRC+ is a career-high and 30 points better than any outfielder still calling St. Louis home. His peripheral stats look almost identical to his 34-homer 2021 campaign. He has a 33% K%, 25.9% HR/FB, and 18% barrel rate this year, compared to a 31.3% K%, 26.2% HR/FB, and 17.9% barrel rate in 2021.

Dansby Swanson (CHC): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.

Watching the Cubs’ horrific play over the last six weeks is actually the punishment reserved for those unfortunate enough to find themselves in Dante’s until-now-undiscovered 10th circle of hell. On a serious note, Swanson eased the pain a little bit yesterday for the Wrigley-faithful, posting a combo meal in the team’s 5-2 win over the visiting Giants. Swanson’s had a season to forget thus far, but with barrel and hard-hit rates in the 60th+ percentile and a career-low BABIP, things should turn around soon for the two-time All-Star.

Nick Castellanos (PHI): 4-5, 2 2B, R, RBI.

Castellanos had the big hit last night, walking off the Padres with a double down the right-field line. Incredibly it was already his third walk-off knock of the season. It was also Robert Suarez’s first blown save of the season, showing just how stable the back of the San Diego ‘pen has been. The metrics on Castellanos’s game-winning hit are hilarious: a 77.9 mph exit velocity that had an xBA of .050.

JJ Bleday (OAK): 3-4, 3 2B, R, 2 RBI.

Bleday posted the first three-double game of his career last night, and they were all somehow hit between 102.2 mph and 102.6 mph. Talk about consistency. Bleday’s third go-around at MLB pitching has gone so much better than his first two. He’s cut his strikeout rate significantly. It’s down over five points to 18.8%. He’s done a much better job of controlling his bat and hitting the ball where it counts, upping his sweet spot percentage from 29.9% to 37.8%. He’s been one of the bright spots for the A’s, hitting .261/.342/.478 with 10 homers.


Mark Steubinger

Mark loves everything talking and writing about baseball - from every fantasy league format you can imagine to the unending greatness of Mike Trout. Mark has a degree in Sports Communication from Bradley University and works in radio production. He lives in central Illinois where his TV is permanently tuned to Chicago Cubs games.

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