Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/7/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’

Oneil Cruz (PIT): 1-2, HR, R, RBI, BB.

Oneil Cruz went yard for the second night in a row, depositing a 2-1 pitch from Joe Ryan 422 feet into the Allegheny River. His home run on Thursday night against Dodger reliever Evan Phillips also landed in the river. Cruz’s swing speed lands him in the 100th percentile, pushing his EVs into the stratosphere. Last night’s baseball left his bat at 114.2 mph. The poor thing.

Not surprisingly, PLV rates Cruz with a 116 in power, just about a standard deviation above the average (100). The home runs are terrific and not the least bit surprising but he’s also hitting a nondescript .247 with a .302 OBP. The big question we’re all wondering is can he take it to the next level? He certainly has the talent and we also have to remember that at 25 this is still his first full season so there’s a learning curve.

The key involves showing better pitch recognition and on that Cruz hasn’t shown much progress yet with a Strikezone Judgement rating of 70, two standard deviations below average meaning to me that he’s still a hitter that pitchers can get to expand. His 34.5% K rate is rough and about the same as when we saw him for half a season two years ago. On that note, his contact ability via PLV (92) is identical to two years ago. Again, I think Cruz’s case is still an open book but until we see him show a better eye at the plate, he might remain a tease with peaks and valleys aplenty.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Andrew Vaughn (CHW): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Oh no, he’s starting to make my heart sing. Vaughn tagged a 93 mph sinker from Greg Weissert 401 feet to right-center for his sixth of the year. The former top prospect is starting to show more power lately but having entered the season with a .319 wOBA and 103 wRC+ over 1,639 career PA, I’m not sure it’s enough to really move the needle. OK, I’m a little interested. Luis Robert Jr. and Gavin Sheets also went yard for the South Siders.

Bryan De La Cruz (MIA): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI.

De La Cruz’s 11th, a 432-foot shot that flew over the Jersey Mike’s sign in right-center, came at the expense of Logan Allen. A sub above indeed. De La Cruz has been decent, showing above-average power (111 via PLV) but he probably doesn’t move the needle much outside of deep leagues.

Brice Turang (MIL): 4-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.

The Brewers pounded Reese Olson for eight earned runs on ten hits through four-plus innings. Turang, meanwhile, leads all qualified 2B with a .303 average and 22 steals ahead of José Altuve (.286) and Bryson Stott (17). Turang has thrived in the leadoff spot with exceptional contact ability (118 via PLV; 100 is average) and good swing decisions (107 DV). Power is his only weak spot (85). Regardless, Turang’s imitation of prime Whit Merrifield has been a boon for fantasy managers and the Brewers.

Wilmer Flores (SFG): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

We’re used to seeing Flores as a role player since he has shown a wide split with a career .341 wOBA vs. LHP and .316 vs. RHP. Nevertheless, both shots came against right-hander Michael LorenzenHis other two homers this season came against LHP. Flores isn’t exciting but he’s playing regularly enough if you need a stopgap in a deep league. Fellow former Met Michael Conforto also went yard. Conforto’s two-run shot off of David Robertson broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh and was his first since returning from the IL this past Monday.

MJ Melendez (KCR): 1-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB.

Melendez helped engineer the Royals’ huge comeback. With the M’s ahead 8-1 in the fourth and two Royals aboard, he tattooed a middle-middle fastball from Bryce Miller 406 feet (108.7 EV) to right for his sixth longball of the year. He later added an RBI groundout. Melendez has shown glimpses of power this year (111 via PLV) but not much else to be intrigued about unless you’re in a league where he’s C-eligible.

Jurickson Profar (SDP): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI.

The Padres got the better of Brandon Pfaadt starting with Fernando Tatís Jr. who started the scoring with a solo shot in the first. Profar followed with a dinger that just barely had enough juice to get over the wall in the right field corner (357 feet, 100.7 EV). Profar also smacked a bases-clearing double into the right field corner in the eighth off righty reliever Humberto Castellanos. He’s hitting .325 with a .914 OPS, which is tenth among qualifiers. I don’t believe it but at the same time, he’s also hitting the ball pretty well with a 89th percentile xwOBACON. Not bad.

Jordan Westburg (BAL): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Westburg’s tenth came courtesy of a Chris Devenski cutter sliced just over the fence in right (369 feet, 101 EV). Westburg is hitting .280 and his power is impressive backed by an 86th percentile xwOBACON. However, his 26th percentile Zone contact and 91 contact ability according to PLV might make his 19.2% K rate somewhat spurious. Anthony Santander also crushed his 13th, and fourth since the calendar turned to June.

Yainer Diaz (HOU): 3-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

That’s four straight dingers for the Astros backstop who was the DH last night, hitting fifth. His seventh came on a room-service hanging slider from Hunter Strickland during the Astros’ five-run outburst in the seventh. Diaz has been a little underwhelming this year relative to last with a .701 OPS, ninth among qualified catchers, and hasn’t shown the same power yet this year (94 this year via PLV; 124 last year). However, his contact ability is much improved (119; 105).

Ryan Bliss (SEA): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

His first big league home run was a no-doubter off Daniel Lynch IV, staking the Mariners to a 7-0 lead in the first (421 feet, 106 EV). Bliss isn’t playing every day since being called up on May 27th but he stole 28 bases across 50 games with Triple-A Tacoma, so he could be someone to keep an eye on if he earns a clear role.


Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter/X)


Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/7/24”

  1. Giuseppe says:

    Ryan – We’ve been over this. Put the damn hitting line of the featured hitter in your recaps. I’m at a loss as to why this is so hard for you. Set up 30 min with me early next week. Thanks

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