Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/14/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games

Naylor made

Bo Naylor (CLE): 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Josh Naylor (CLE): 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Rookie catcher Bo Naylor stepped to the plate in the third and blasted a 2-0 changeup from Jon Gray far into the right field seats. The second of his career was quite the shot at 434 feet (108.3 EV) and broke a scoreless tie. Three batters later, his big brother, Josh Naylor, hammered a slider from Gray for his 12th of the year. His was one of those low, frozen rope line drives that just had enough height to get over the wall (354 feet, 103 EV). In case you’re wondering, yes, this is an especially rare occurrence.

We’re all of 68 plate appearances into Bo Naylor’s career, so it’s impossible to judge. But last night, he gave us a glimpse of the sort of power that made him one of Cleveland’s top prospects, their first-rounder from 2018. This year, he showed off a .244 ISO in 60 games with Triple-A Columbus, so he’s certainly someone to keep tabs on if you’re looking for a replacement catcher. But for now, he’s probably more of an option for two-catcher formats.

His older brother Josh, on the other hand, has turned into a quality option for all formats. He’s now up to 66 RBI, tied with Ozzie Albies for fifth in baseball. Josh’s power has been basically league average this year (50 on PLV’s 20-8o scale). That’s actually down slightly from last year (55). A quick look at his max EVs reveals that Josh probably has a lot more raw power but he doesn’t get to it as often because he’s an exceptionally aggressive hitter who makes a ton of contact. According to PLV, his 10.7% Swing aggression is the ninth highest among all hitters who have faced at least 450 pitches. That, combined with his 86th percentile K rate, makes him a dynamic cleanup hitter.

This year he’s surged to a career-best .306 batting average, thanks in part, at least, to an uptick in line drive rate. Line drives tend to be fluky so I don’t know how sustainable that is, but either way, I’d feel pretty good about him being a rock in batting average and RBI. Really, this was all about appreciating one of those unique moments that remind us why we watch and love the game.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Rafael Devers (BOS): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Devers kicked off the scoring by blasting a 0-1 changeup from Kyle Hendricks and sending it over the ivy in right (416 feet, 104.9 EV). He tormented the Professor again in the third with another solo shot; This one off a fastball but hit every bit as well (407 feet, 104.2 EV).

In the fourth, Triston Casas lifted another home run off Hendricks, a solo shot to left-center (395 feet, 101.8 EV). Casas has shown a good approach at the plate (60 Decision Value via PLV) and very good power (60 via PLV), so I wouldn’t rule him out as a rookie who could put it all together and make a lot of noise in the second half. Adam Duvall also went yard off Hendricks (yes, he gave up four total, if you’re counting).

Cedric Mullins (BAL): 3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.

Mullins led off the fourth by walloping a first-pitch fastball from Sandy Alcantara and sending it 382 feet to right (104.3 EV) for his ninth of the year, breaking a 1-1 tie. Mullins missed about three weeks after suffering a groin strain in late May and entered the break hitting .192 in 14 games since returning, so it was good to see him jump out of the gate with a big game. His walk rate is at a career-high this year of 12.1%, up from 7% last year. Interesting lineup note for the Orioles: Ryan O’Hearn started, and Ryan Mountcastle pinch-hit for him late in the game.

Adam Frazier (BAL): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Fine, I’ll admit it; I want to ignore Frazier. But, alas, here we are, Tossed salad and scrambled eggs. He grooved a middle-middle fastball from Alcantara in the fourth that extended the O’s lead to 3-1 (412 feet, 101.9 EV). He hit his 12th of the year off Bryan Hoeing in the eighth. In deference to Frazier, the 12 home runs are a career-high and he has shown a little more power this year (40 via PLV as opposed to 35 last year). Still, he seems more like a Whit Merrifield type with significantly less stolen base upside, that is to say, batting average and not much else.

Nathaniel Lowe (TEX): 4-4, 2B, HR, 4 R, RBI, BB.

The Rangers won a blowout last night, but they were actually in an early four-run hole. Lowe led the comeback bid in the fourth by blasting his tenth of the year, a solo shot to center off Aaron Civale (415 feet, 101.5 EV), which put the home team on the board. The big night pushes Lowe’s OBP to a career-best .368; However, his power has been down a bit this year at 45 on PLV’s 20-80 scale (55 last year).

Taylor Ward (LAA): 2-5, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Ward’s 10th of the year off Hector Neris in the seventh (409 feet, 104.2 EV) brought the Angels to within two runs. If you took a chance on Ward after his big first half last year, you’ve been left disappointed. According to PLV, his power has dropped a bit from 55 last season to 45. However, his Decision Value has surged lately, i.e., he’s showing high-quality swings and takes, so don’t rule him out as a difference-maker in the second half.

Nolan Jones (COL): 1-2, HR, R, RBI.

Jones didn’t start last night; The Yankees started the lefty Carlos Rodón. The home run, his sixth of the year, came in the eighth off Albert Abreu with the game already decided, and it was some shot, 469 feet to right (109.9 EV). Jones has struggled a bit with strikeouts (32.9%), but he has shown impressive power (60 via PLV), making him someone to keep an eye on if his playing time trends back up. He pinch-hit for Randal Grichuk, who had two hits, including his fifth home run of the year while raising his average to .300.

Mickey Moniak (LAA): 3-5, RBI.

I have a lot of doubts about Moniak, given his 31.9% K rate and 2.8% BB rate. He also leads all hitters (450 pitches faced min) with a 16.7% swing aggression, which more or less means he loves to swing. This seems like the sort of plate approach that will bottom out sooner or later. But, hey, he’s hitting .319 and in the same lineup as Shohei Ohtani, so that’s something. Moniak was hitting leadoff against RHP for a while but hit cleanup last night with the Angels lineup in disarray at the moment.

Cody Bellinger (CHC): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Last Friday, before the break, we featured Bellinger and I mentioned that his recent surge seemed to be the result of a more aggressive approach that cut his K rate. The one missing piece was that his batted ball data overall wasn’t great; His power via PLV was still slightly below average at 45. As much as I want to say that Bellinger’s power is back, full steam ahead, both of the home runs last night featured EVs under 100 and were actually both 371 feet on the nose. So, there might have been some Wrigley Field magic last night. Either way, Bellinger remains one of the more interesting hitters to keep tabs on, given his recent success and especially with the deadline looming.

Kerry Carpenter (DET): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Carpenter showcased impressive power with a .314 ISO last year in Triple-A Toledo (35 games). Before that, he carved up Double-A to the tune of a 1.005 OPS. This year, PLV has him pegged with 60-grade power, lending credence to his boomstick. He’s an interesting gamble if you’re in need of power in 5 OF leagues.

Image courtesy of Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis and Aaron Polcare


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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