Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/28/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Duran Duran

Ezequiel Duran (TEX): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Ezequiel Duran may not have had the most superlative game yesterday but one pop into his stat page and I knew I had to write about this hitter. Speaking of yesterday’s game, he started the game off with a single in the first, belted a 115 mph homer in the third, added a walk next, but then finished with two strikeouts.

Duran is one of the handfuls of young hitters the Rangers added Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to build around. He is a very versatile fielder so far playing multiple games at four positions and DH, while adding one game at first and in right. He has mostly stayed on the left side at short and in left. This has allowed him to stay in the lineup with Seager and Josh Jung playing regularly as well.

I know Texas’ offense has been a powerhouse this season and Duran is a major part of that. He is slashing .322/.364/.555 with a 154 wRC+ on the year. He now has 11 dingers on the season after hitting two in back to back games. His counting stats are a bit low (only 66 combined runs and RBI) since he is almost exclusively batting seventh or eighth in the stacked Rangers lineup.

In the past 11 games, Duran has turned on another gear. He is slashing .432/.457/.773 with eight extra base hits and eight multi-hit games. He is now firmly in left field with Seager’s return and I feel he may be starting to settle in to a routine.

I am a bit concerned about his Ks and plate discipline (41% O-Swing) and the elevated .396 BABIP is driving that average up well above where I expect in to be at season’s end. But he is hitting the ball very hard (47%) and hitting it in the air. He has put together a solid season at only 23 years old.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday

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

Castellanos is recovering from a power outage in 2022 and from May as well with a huge June. His June slash is .371/.408/.607 with five dingers, 21 RBI, and even three steals. He is still on pace for only 20ish home runs on the year but he is on pace for around 50 doubles. He is back to hitting the ball hard (45%) but his fly ball rate is the lowest of his career (32.3%).

José Ramírez (CLE): 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, SB.

Ramírez is having a quiet 138 wRC+ season. He’s not standing out with either home runs or steals as he usually does but he should reach at least 20/20 once again with a near .300 average plus 200 combined runs and RBI. So all in all still an easy first rounder. His K rate is down below 10% for the first time in his career. He is still switch hitting but cannot hit as a righty this year. It’s a 167 to 70 wRC+ split lefty to righty. He usually hits a bit worse as a righty but not this extreme.

Tommy Pham (NYM): 3-3, HR, R, RBI, BB, SB.

Pham has turned things on in June after getting pretty regular playing time out in left field. Since June 4th, he is slashing .321/.365/.603 in 85 plate appearances. He kept his drum going with a combo meal for his eighth homer and ninth steal on the year. His shot in the second was a 404 foot bomb and he had a 103 mph single later in the game as well.

TJ Friedl (CIN): 3-5, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 SB.

This guy has established himself as the Reds’ lead off centerfielder, establishing himself on top of the Reds fWAR leaderboard for a surprise season. With these two steals he now has 14 on the year. And he added his sixth homer after hitting his fifth the day before. He’s not going to give you much power (24.4% Hard Hit rate) and with a .376 BABIP the .320 average may drop as well. But he’s hitting plenty of liners and grounders using his excellent speed.

Seby Zavala (CWS): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

I’m finally starting to catch up with Ted Lasso so I am now assuming Zavala is god sent to help bring the White Sox unexpected success. But it turns out he’s just the backup catcher to Yasmani Grandal. He did however hit two homers, a 392 foot dinger in the second, and a 364 footer later in the game. He had a nice game but he’s still going to be a backup.

Jose Altuve (HOU): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB.

Altuve only came back to the Astros lineup near the end of May and already has four homers and five steals in his 120 plate appearances. Everything has been standard Altuve with a .275/.375/.471 slash. He is on top of the Astros lineup hitting first or second everyday and will be gaining plenty of counting stats for the rest of the season.

Josh Bell (CLE): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Bell annihilated the ball yesterday with a hard hit line out, a 103 mph double, and a 464 foot moon shot. After quite a weak start to the season, Bell is being more standard Bell in June. Since May 28th, he is slashing .263/.310/.525 with five homers and a 126 wRC+. Nothing amazing but pretty much back to a normal Bell (curve hahaha).

Bo Naylor (CLE): 3-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.

Naylor has burst back on to the scene in the majors after being called back up on June 18th. He had a three hit night including a 417 foot bomb. In Triple-A he had a nearly identical season to 2022 with a .253/.393/.498 slash and 13 homers in 270 plate appearances. He walked 18% of the time with a sub-20% K rate. If some of that power and plate discipline can translate to the majors, that smells like peak Yasmani Grandal to me.

Adolis García (TEX): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

The man that defies all of our preconceived notions cannot be stopped. García is having by far his best season with a 133 wRC+ and now 20 home runs with 60 runs and 66 RBI. He has hit three homers in his last three games with five over the last eight. He had a slightly down May but roared back in June, especially these last couple of weeks. Despite the down May, he was hitting the ball even harder and had nearly the same peripheral stats as other months. García is just on another planet this season. I am, however, missing the steals with only six all year.

Giancarlo Stanton (NYY): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.

Yesterday, there was a lot of discussion in the Pitcher List Discord about Stanton’s fantasy status. Is he a drop? Should he have been dropped a while ago? Is he going to turn things around? A .197/.260/.410 slash is not a happy slash line and with only seven homers, albeit in 127 plate appearances, there isn’t much there. But he did spank the ball twice yesterday. One was a 111 mph, 422 foot bomb and the other a 115 mph single. His 53.7% Hard Hit rate is still there despite the average but the last two seasons his BABIP has consistently been in the low .200s, driving everything else down with it.

Photo by Joe Robbins/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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