Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/20/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Will Brennan (CLE): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Will Brennan had quite the afternoon on Thursday. Hitting out of the six-hole, the Guardians outfielder took Seattle ace Luis Castillo’s fastball deep for his seventh home run in the second inning. Brennan continued to torment Castillo in the fourth with a hard-hit double off a changeup that would have scored David Fry if it hadn’t bounced over the wall for a ground rule double. In the eighth inning, he padded Cleveland’s lead with his second home run of the game off a Trent Thornton slider. He ended the day 3-for-4 with a double, two homers, two runs, and two RBIs.

While Brennan’s season-long ratios look mostly pedestrian (.254/.308/.421), he has turned it up in June, slashing .333/.375/.578. Not known for his power, this game still stands out as Brennan has success on three different pitches, as well as punishing Luis Castillo, ranked No. 8 on this week’s List, for two extra-base hits. Is Will Brennan mixed league-relevant? Let’s pop open the hood.

While Brennan’s recent streak has been red hot, his Statcast page is mostly icy blue. Brennan’s strength at the plate in his career has been his ability to not strike out, having a 97th percentile K% and an 83rd percentile Whiff%. However, Brennan has seen underlying improvements in 2024 in both his ability to hit for power and take walks. He already has 11 barrels this year, compared to nine last year, in less than half the at-bats. His Barrel% is up to 6.5% from 2.4% last year, and his HardHit% is up to 36.3% from 29.2% in 2023. While his 6.7% BB% is only 30th percentile in the league, it’s much better than his 3.5% BB% in 2023 which is in the bottom one percent of the league. Maybe there’s more to Brennan than meets the eye, but how much more?

Brennan isn’t someone I’m scooping off the wire in 12-teamers just yet, but he’s definitely on my watch list. You might as well ride the hot streak in 15-teamers and see how he does, especially now that he seems to be getting more playing time.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday.


Freddy Fermin (KCR): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Freddy Fermin did his best Will Brennan impression with a double-dong of his own against the Oakland Athletics. The backup catcher to Salvador Perez, Fermin had been getting more playing time over the past few games due to a knee injury Perez suffered on June 14. Perez was back behind the plate in last night’s game, sending Fermin to the bench, and today’s two-homer game came during a start at DH. Fermin does not get the playing time to cut it in a one-catcher league but is a solid second catcher in a two-catcher league.


Zack Gelof (OAK): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

A popular sleeper pick coming into the 2024 season after a solid rookie campaign, Zack Gelof has disappointed his fantasy owners, or should I say, former fantasy owners, slashing only .202/.254/.365, hitting eight home runs, and missing a few weeks with an injury that occurred at the end of April. Well, Gelof just hit his third home run in three games (meaning his slash line was .189/.245/.316 after June 17). Is the sophomore slump finally over? Should we be running to the waiver wire? The Athletics have been patient with Gelof, helping him make some mechanical adjustments to his swing starting at the end of May. Maybe the work paid off, as Gelof crept over the Mendoza line for the first time since May 23. He’s still a work in progress, but one to keep an eye on.


Royce Lewis (MIN): 1-3, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB.

Another day, another homer. With his ninth home run in 15 games this season, will Royce Lewis ever slow down? The question Lewis’ fantasy owners should be asking is, how much can I get for this guy? Lewis, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, has only 85 MLB games of experience due to numerous injuries over his career, but he’s managed to hit 26 home runs over those games as well. I get the urge to hold and see where this goes as fantasy baseball is supposed to be fun, and what’s more fun than what Lewis is doing right now? But will his value ever be this high again, especially with his injury history? At the very least, throw out some offers for struggling stars with more of a track record, like fellow third baseman Austin Riley, or Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.


Dylan Moore (SEA): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.

Utilityman Dylan Moore is loving his combo meals lately. Moore hit a home run and stole a base in two of his last three games. Thursday’s home run, his eighth of the season, was crushed 418 feet off Cleveland starter Logan Allen. Moore now has four stolen bases in his last six games and has 13 on the season. While Moore has always been an interesting player due to his power/speed potential, he has never come close to replicating his breakout stretch in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. However, did you know that Moore leads the Mariners with 22 extra-base hits this season? Yes, the same Mariners who start Julio Rodríguez every day. Moore actually hit above him today in the two-hole, which he does on occasion. Success at the plate will bring more playing time. Maybe it’s time we start paying a little more attention to Dylan Moore.


Aaron Judge (NYY): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.

It was a day of mixed emotions for New York Yankees fans. Luis Gil looked human for the first time since April as the Orioles thumped the Yanks 17-5, but New Yorkers (and fantasy owners) can sleep easier tonight knowing that Aaron Judge returned to the lineup in a big way. Two days after getting lifted mid-game after being hit on his left hand by a pitch, Judge wasted no time on Thursday to return to his slugging ways, blasting his 27th home run of the season. Judge owners would have had a lot more at stake than Mookie Betts’ owners if Judge goes down with a lengthy injury. Judge leads the league in home runs (27), RBIs (67), OPS (1.128), xwOBA (.474), Barrel% (27.6%), and HardHit % (62.7%).


Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 3-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Speaking of sluggers coming back after a couple of days off and hitting a homer, the king is back in Houston. After missing two games due to a personal matter, Yordan Alvarez helped the Astros beat the White Sox 5-3, taking Chris Flexen deep in the first inning, and hitting a game-tying RBI single in the seventh. After hitting an uncharacteristic .283/.361/.415 through the end of May, Yordan is slashing a bonkers .386/.438/.825 in June. While Alvarez’s season-long .296 batting average is similar to his BA from 2023 (.293) and 2022 (.306), his OBP (.365) and SLG (.523) are down this season (compared to .407/.583 in 2023 and .406/.613 in 2022). Yordan has a 9.1% BB%, down from an identical 13.9% in his previous two seasons, and this drop probably has a lot to do with his 31.5% chase rate (28th percentile), the worst of his career. OBP league owners aren’t getting the usual bump they get from Yordan’s ratios, but if his June is any indication, he’s back to his regular tricks.


Brendan Donovan (STL): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

It was an emotional night in Birmingham, Alabama, as the baseball world used the first MLB game at the 114-year-old Rickwood Field to honor the life and legacy of Willie Mays. Alabama native Brendan Donovan had a big day at the plate, hitting a no-doubter and crushing another ball off the tall retro wall for a double. The bat has come alive for Donovan in the past 15 games, slashing .339/.361/.525, with three home runs and 11 RBI.


Willy Adames (MIL): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Willy Adames crushed his 13th home run of the season on Thursday, but it wasn’t enough to help the Brewers beat the Padres. The 28-year-old shortstop has been displaying his power in June, hitting four home runs in his last 15 games. Adames is a solid SS in OBP leagues (.337 in 2024, .400 in the past week) with an 88th percentile BB%, but his value takes a tumble in leagues that score BA (.244 in 2024, .217 in the past week). Still, his 54 RBI make up for his low BA, ranking him seventh overall in the league, and first overall among shortstops, ahead of Bobby Witt Jr. and Gunnar Henderson.


Jackson Merrill (SDP): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.

While many rookies, such as Wyatt Langford or Jackson Chourio, are still struggling to find consistency this season, Jackson Merrill seems to be handling MLB-caliber pitching just fine lately, going back-to-back with Manny Machado on Thursday against the Brewers. His first-inning bomb was his ninth of the season, tying him with Michael Busch and Colton Cowser for the most HR by a rookie this season. Most importantly, Merrill has only three homers going into June 12. He’s now hit six home runs in his last eight games. His expected numbers are better than his actual numbers, and all indications are that the 21-year-old will continue to crush the ball this season. Make sure Merrill is in your starting lineups.


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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