Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 6/9/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games

The Say Hayes Kid

Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT): 5-5, 2 2B, 3 R, 4 RBI, SB.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, whose dad caught the final out of the 1996 World Series just a few months before he was born, had a whale of a night — the five hits and four RBI both tied career highs. His night started with a single to left off Tylor Megill in the second and then he scored the Pirates’ first of 14 runs thanks to a ground-rule double from Austin Hedges. In the third, he came up big with a bases-loaded, two-run single to left that sparked a five-run outburst and Megill’s untimely demise. But, to their credit, the Mets at least made it a one-possession game with a five-run rally in the ninth.

Something interesting from this outburst is that according to Justice delos Santos, who covers the Pirates for mlb.com, the team’s hitting coach Andy Haines had been itching for Hayes to use a toe-tap in his swing. Hayes had been reluctant but changed his mind after posting a career-low .570 OPS this past May. He started using it on May 31st and lo and behold good results have come forthwith: He’s hitting .559 over his last eight games.

He also hit two home runs during that span – something that Hayes’ game has always lacked. This year, PLV has tracked him with excellent contact ability (60 on the 20-80 scale) but below-average power (45). If you’ve ever looked at his batted ball profile, you’ll know that Hayes has always sported some lively max EVs; maybe he can parlay this mechanical tweak into more power.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Isaac Paredes (TB): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI.

Paredes has shown significantly better career splits against LHP (.813 OPS) as opposed to RHP (.687 OPS). He got the night started with an RBI double against Andrew Heaney and then got to him again with his first home run, a three-run shot to left (370 feet, 101.7 EV) in the third that broke a 1-1 tie. It was on an 0-2 fastball that caught too much of the plate. He hit his second of the night against the righty Spencer Howard (404 feet, 102.8 EV). Paredes has shown significantly better career splits against LHP (.813 OPS) as opposed to RHP (.687 OPS). The big night pushes his OPS to 1.023, second on the Rays behind Luke Raley. However, he’s shown decidedly below-average power via PLV (40 on the 20-80 scale).

Jake Rogers (DET): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Rogers doesn’t have the mustache anymore, unfortunately. Still, he tagged a 90 mph heater from Merrill Kelly in the seventh and hit it 390 feet to left (102.5 EV) for his seventh of the year. He hit his eighth of the year off Drey Jameson in the ninth. Rogers hasn’t played much (120 PA) but he’s flashed impressive power when he has — 75 via PLV.

Jordan Walker (STL): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

The big rookie’s fourth home run of the year came against a Ben Lively slider that I suspect he might want back. It travelled 430 feet to left field with an EV of 109.4. Walker has extraordinary raw power but has so far been held back by a groundball rate in the 99th percentile that’s muted his game power (40 via PLV). But this is his second home run since being called up last Friday, so maybe he’ll show more game power in his second go-around.

Leody Taveras (TEX): 2-2, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

This was a weird game for the Rangers as they were held to just three hits – all of them home runs. Taveras hit his first of the night on a 1-0 slider from Tyler Glasnow with one away in the third, a 389-foot (100.1 EV) shot to right that tied the game at 1-1. The other, his fifth of the year, came against a 95 mph fastball from Luis Patiño with the game well out of reach and was hit with more authority: 426 feet to right with a 108.7 EV. Taveras has shown a pretty solid profile across the board according to PLV with above-average plate skills, the weak spot has been power (40). However, his fifth ties a career-high so maybe he’s starting to lean into more power. Keep an eye on him.

Jarred Kelenic (SEA): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Kelenic entered last night’s contest hitting .240 with a .700 OPS over his last 32 games, so it was good to see him get off the deck. His contact ability has hit the skids lately and dipped near the bottom tenth percentile (40 via PLV). Last night’s home run, his 11th of the year, came on a hanging slider from Shohei Ohtani and gave the Mariners a 2-0 lead in the first. Kelenic has struggled lately in what has been a breakout season but this is a good litmus test; let’s see if he can bust out of it.

Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 2-3, 3B, HR, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB.

The home run was a walk-off job, a majestic, two-out shot against lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson in the ninth. Schwarber’s had a rough season overall considering he’s, you know, hitting .177 but the power has certainly been there and he’s getting on base at a decent .330 clip. Going by PLV, his contact ability has waned a little this year from 40 last season down to 35.

Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 3-3, R, 2 SB.

Henderson’s first three-hit game of the season brings his average up to .220. The strikeouts (30.2%) are still a problem but maybe a little less relative to very early on, so maybe he’s starting to turn things around. At the very least, he’s got a pretty solid .342 OBP so he’s taking his walks. The two stolen bases seem like an anomaly considering he now has just five on eight attempts across 89 games in his career.

Josh Donaldson (NYY): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.

The 2015 AL MVP broke up Garrett Whitlock’s shutout in the sixth and it was a serious no-doubter: 448 feet to straightaway center (112 EV). He has six hits on the year, and five of them have left the yard. Granted, it’s a potentially specious sample size (139 pitches) but he’s shown off 80-grade power via PLV thus far.

Corbin Carroll (ARI): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.

Do you think he’s got a chance at Rookie of the Year? Over the last 15 days (13 games), the wunderkind has hit six home runs with a 1.213 OPS that leads all qualified hitters. YTD: He has a .966 OPS, fifth among qualifiers. And he’s tied with Jorge Mateo for fifth in steals with 18.

Jack Suwinski (PIT): 3-4, 2B, HR, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB.

As mentioned earlier, the Pirates bludgeoned Tylor Megill and dusted the Mets last night. Suwinski’s 12th of the year came off Tommy Hunter in garbage time but it was a good shot – 415 feet to right-center (102.9 EV). Suwinski has shown really good power (70 via PLV) but the strikeouts (32.3%) have made him a tough hitter to hang on to in standard formats. Different story in OBP leagues where the walks (14.6%) have really buoyed his value.

Mickey Moniak (LAA): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Moniak had a little run where he was hitting leadoff against righties but that’s come and gone as he hit seventh last night. I’m skeptical about his staying power given the low walks and high strikeouts – that’s usually a red flag. But, hey, he’s been hitting home runs. Last night’s was a big, two-run shot off Luis Castillo that helped the Angels pull off a 5-4 win.

Gary Sánchez (SD): 1-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Just a reminder that Sánchez has been playing nearly every day hitting fourth or fifth for the Padres. You know the .275 batting average isn’t going to stick, but the bar for catcher is pretty low and he still has plenty of power; He’s gone yard five times in the past nine games.

Nolan Jones (COL): 0-2, R, 2 BB, SB.

No hits for the former Cleveland Guardians prospect but he’s now stolen a base in four straight games. He’s started in all but two of the Rockies’ last 11 games. Jones is an older prospect at 25 but he was having a very good season with the Isotopes before getting the call: A 1.193 OPS with five steals on five attempts in 39 games.

Joc Pederson (SF): 4-4, RBI.

Just a reminder that he recently came off the IL. Pederson has a great track record against righties (career .841 OPS) and proved it last night against Marcus StromanHe’s an underrated stick for daily leagues.

Ramón Laureano (OAK): 2-5, 3B, R, 2 RBI.

Don’t look now but the A’s have won three straight games. And Laureano is now riding a pretty decent 10-game hit streak. The two-run triple was a shot to the right field corner in the first off Adrian Houser. The .287 OBP is an eyesore but he’s at least got five home runs and six steals.


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.

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