Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/19/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games.

Psycho Gorman

Nolan Gorman (STL): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI, SB.

Nolan Gorman has been one of the few bright spots in St. Louis this year. This 23-year-old has solidly broken out with a 120 wRC+, 19 home runs and 61 RBI on the year. Looking at his full season so far is one thing, but it has been a roller coaster ride that isn’t totally unexpected for a player so young that strikes out over 30% of the time.

Gorman started off the season blazing hot. Through May 25th he was slashing .297/.389/.613 with a 170 wRC+ and a sub 30% K rate. He hit 13 dingers in that span of 180 plate appearances. He then precipitously dropped over the next 136 plate appearances with a .137/.206/.250 slash for a 27 wRC+ with a 40% K rate. He swatted only four home runs. An absolutely wild dichotomy.

But over the past five games, things seem to be clicking again, however briefly. He has two home runs including yesterday’s 419-foot blast and nine total hits in 19 plate appearances.

What about his peripherals over those spans? In his major slump, he still had a 48% hard-hit rate with a 10% barrel rate. He had a much higher fly ball rate and lower line drive rate driving his BABIP under .200. But he mainly was swinging and subsequently missing more pitches outside the zone sending his K rate to 40%. Yes, there was some bad luck but he was swinging and missing at more bad pitches. In this recent small sample, it’s all contact. He getting to those pitches out of the zone and restricting Ks. That was the same at the start of the year. It seems everything goes from there for Gorman.

If he keeps this plate discipline up and his luck changes back to normal, he’ll be a player to play once again.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday

Jonah Heim (TEX): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Heim ripped a couple of 105 mph plus extra-base hits including a 396-foot home run in the eighth inning. It’s been a theme this year, but every Ranger is producing offensively. Heim has exploded this year with a .287/.341/.494 slash with 14 dingers and 66 RBI. He has nine more RBI than Sean Murphy for the league lead and only one run behind Will Smith. A lot of the success is on his increased line drive rate with a slight bump in barrel rate but there is not much else different from his previous years.

Josh Bell (CLE): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Bell crushed a 401-foot dinger while adding a 109 mph single as well. His season has been a bit weaker than his norm but this past month plus, he’s been more classic Bell. Since June 11th, he’s smoked seven home runs and has a 129 wRC+. Two of those homers were in the last couple of days. Over those days, his hard hit rate is 47.6% with a solid 23.2% line drive rate with a much better contact rate than earlier in the year.

JJ Bleday (OAK): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Bleday took off after getting dealt to Oakland but he cooled a bit. In the past month, he’s been solid once again. Over the past month or so, he is sporting a 121 wRC+ with seven extra-base hits, including three dingers, two of which were from the last two days. He still has his awesome 14% walk rate with a not-too-bad mid-20s K rate. He may not be a pickup at this time but he’s watchable.

Leody Taveras (TEX): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.

Is Taveras the one secret success story from the Rangers’ lineup? Everyone on this team is raking but I hear little about Leody. After a combo meal, he has 11 home runs and 10 steals with a 121 wRC+. He may not quite reach 20/20 this year but with a near .300 average and 90 runs/RBI combined, he should be rostered. He’s never been a power guy, mostly speed, so I should expect more steals. But his 40% hard-hit rate is the best it’s been, plus a mid-20s line drive rate is bumping that BABIP up to .333. He’s also making more contact, getting the ball in play, and using that speed to his advantage.

Taylor Ward (LAA): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Taylor Ward had quite a breakout at age 28 last year. However, this season has been a bit of a letdown. Despite a similar fly ball rate and hard-hit rate, his barrels have been cut nearly in half. His line drive rate has fallen drastically with an increase in grounders. But he’s turned things around this past month with a 137 wRC+ and a walk rate greater than his K rate in that span. The batted ball data is not much different and probably worse than his season overall, but he’s changed his approach drastically to cutting Ks and drawing walks.

Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 1-3, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

Gunnar swatted another dinger and found his way around the bases two other times despite just one hit and one walk. This home run was a 431-foot moon shot for his 15th of the season. He has certainly lived up to expectations with a 51.8% hard-hit rate. He is still striking out quite a bit (close to 30%). He could improve his contact skills on pitches out of the zone (57.5% O-Contact). That shouldn’t hurt his value with how good he is when he makes contact.

Blake Perkins (MIL): 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.

Perkins has been a bench bat in Milwaukee for most of the year but has been regularly plugged in since the start of June. He added his fourth steal of the year yesterday as well as his fourth double. This 26-year-old rookie won’t see much playing time but he has great speed and has had some seasons of 20-plus steals in the minors.

Mike Tauchman (CHC): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Wow, I haven’t seen this name in a while. But he’s somehow put together a solid partial season with the Cubs mostly in center field. He’s migrated over to DH the past couple of weeks but he’s been in center and hitting lead off a lot as well. I’m starting to worry I’m looking at the wrong player page. But he did rip three hard hits yesterday, two doubles and a short 365-foot homer (one of his doubles was over 400 feet so it’s fine). But there isn’t much special here. 36.2% hard-hit rate with a 27% line drive rate that still produces just a .261 average, thanks to his 26.1% fly ball rate.

Franchy Cordero (NYY): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Franchy just returned to the Yanks after a long few months hiatus. The Yankees do need any kind of offensive spark and he helped yesterday with a 112 mph double and a 429-foot home run. You see things like this from Franchy but then he strikes out 35% of the time and has an 81 wRC+.

Nico Hoerner (CHC): 2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI.

Hoerner hit a grand slam so there was no Statcast data on that one. After watching the highlight, I don’t see why Statcast forgot about this one. It was a pretty standard deep fly ball to left. Nothing funky other than Nico hitting it out. But despite his solid average and low K rate, he’s been struggling to get his wRC+ up above 100. The solid counting stats (other than the homers) have kept him around too but he has very little power.

Photo by Keith Gillett/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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/19/23”

  1. Jim says:

    N Hoerner is ranked 114th overall on the season in OBP leagues. He has had a rough July, but perhaps there is still time to improve this month. I don’t agree with your assessment here. You make him seem like a below replacement level MI, which he certainly is not. He has been a BOON to anyone that drafted him.

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