Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/2/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Swung on and Belted

Brandon Belt (TOR): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Since joining Toronto in the offseason, Brandon Belt has enjoyed a little bit of a renaissance — not quite to the torrid pace of his incredible stint in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season — improving from career lows a year ago when he batted just .213 in 300 plate appearances with the Giants. Belt has batted .257 this season but has not had the predicted power stats that fantasy managers hoped would come with a move to Toronto (and the shortened right-center field power alley). The problem with Belt this season has been the swing-and-miss as his strikeout rate sits at a whopping 38.6%. If he can’t correct that, he’ll remain on fantasy waiver wires the rest of the season.

Brandon Belt (TOR): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

The swing-and-miss wasn’t too much of a problem on Sunday afternoon as Belt connected with a pair of home runs to help the Blue Jays build an early lead over the Red Sox. Belt homered in the bottom of the first, driving a sinker to right for his fifth of the season. He added another home run in the sixth, sitting back on a slow curveball and driving it deep to straight-away center for a solo shot. The two home-run game was a nice bounce back for Belt, who finished Saturday with a golden sombrero, but fantasy managers will need to see more from the veteran first baseman to justify a roster pickup.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday


Jarren Duran (BOS): 5-5, 4 2B, 3 R.

Duran put on a hitting clinic on Sunday afternoon, finishing with five hits including four doubles as the Red Sox earned a comeback 5-4 victory over the Blue Jays. After some tough sledding in his debut season last year, Duran has turned heads in Boston and around the league with a stellar June in which he hit .286 with eight stolen bases. If Duran can continue to make hard contact (29.7%) at an improved rate, he could be a nice fantasy asset in the second half after going mostly undrafted in 12-team leagues to begin the year.

Andrés Giménez (CLE): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.

A rain delayed start didn’t damper Gimenez as he finished with a double, home run and a stolen base to lead the Guardians to an 8-6 victory in extra innings. Stepping to the plate as the first batter of the game, Gimenez was hit by a pitch and then stole second. In the third inning, he swatted a high fastball to the right-field bleachers in Wrigley in the third inning to give Cleveland an early lead. He followed with a double in the fifth and came around to score later in the inning. Gimenez continues to be a middle-of-the-road second base option, but the position is shallow enough that he should retain his value all season.

Kerry Carpenter (DET): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI & Spencer Torkelson (DET): 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

The Detroit Tigers took full advantage of the Coors Field effect, swatting a season-high five home runs on Sunday afternoon to defeat the host Rockies, 14-9. Carpenter and Torkelson each contributed to the count with long balls. Carpenter drove a first-pitch fastball into the left field seats for a three-run shot in the third. Torkelson added a two-run shot later in the game, driving a hanging slider into the left field seats as well. Carpenter has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy managers who have scooped him off of waivers, batting at a .323 clip through the month of June. Torkelson meanwhile, seems to have figured something out recently. The former number one overall draft pick has now hit five home runs in his past five games. Torkelson has improved his hard contact rate and dropped his strikeout rate from a season ago and with a BABIP of just .267, could be due for some positive regression. He is primed for a second half breakout.

Stone Garrett (WSH): 2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.

If Stone Garrett faced a left-handed pitcher in every at-bat, he would be a top-25 outfielder. Garrett teed off on Ranger Suárez on Sunday afternoon, smacking a first-pitch cutter into the Citizens Bank Park bleachers for a grand slam in the third inning, giving the Phillies a 4-3 lead. Against left-handed pitching, Garrett is batting .289 with a .553 slugging percentage and 22 RBI. Against righties, he owns a .258 average, .310 slugging percentage and has just one run batted in. A deep-league only option as a short-side platoon bat, fire Garrett up any time he faces a lefty.

Brendan Donovan (STL): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Donovan was a rock star for the first week of the season but has been relatively quiet since. Although the Cardinals utility man hit .307 over the month of June, he hit just three home runs and three doubles over that span. He got his July off to a great start with a 3-for-4 effort on Sunday, including a two-run blast to the right-field seats in the seventh inning, extending the Cardinals’ lead to 4-1. With a .372 OBP, Donovan may be better-suited for leagues that value that as a sixth category, though his nine home runs are a significant improvement from just five a year ago.

Nick Gonzales (PIT): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Gonzales powered up to hit his second home run of his major league career. The former first-round pick hammered a belt-high cutter to left-center field to give the Pirates an early 2-0 lead against the Brewers on Sunday. After a slow start, Gonzales seems to be catching on to major league pitching, recording extra base hits in two of his last three appearances. With second base being such a shallow position, Gonzales could prove a valuable mid-season addition for fantasy managers looking for help at the keystone position.

Mark Canha (NYM): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, SB.

With Tommy Pham emerging as an everyday player for the Mets, Canha’s playing time has taken a hit. The Mets are finding ways to get his bat in the lineup though, including playing him at first base (with Pete Alonso at DH) on Sunday evening against the Giants. Canha finished with a pair of hits, including a 376-foot solo shot off of Alex Wood as the Mets defeated the Giants, 8-4, on national television. Canha added his sixth stolen base of the season to complete a combo meal later in the game. Mets fans and fantasy managers have not loved Canha’s performance so far this season, and with below-average contact metrics it doesn’t look like much hope for a turnaround for Canha.

Randal Grichuk (COL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

It took Grichuk until July 2nd to hit a home run at Coors Field this season. He finally put one out at his home park on Sunday afternoon, his third long ball of the season, as the Rockies fell to the Tigers. Grichuk teed off on a hanging slider to lead off the sixth inning, depositing it into the left field seats as the Rockies tried to claw back into the game. He added a ninth-inning single for a two-hit game. Fantasy managers have likely been hoping for Grichuk to tap into his power potential, especially at Coors Field. His ideal plate appearance percentage (30.3%) and hard contact percentage (28.8%) are encouraging, but until he starts flashing power, fantasy managers will continue to be disappointed by the Rockies’ slugger.

Brett Ford

Born and raised in #Birdland. Some days you win, Some days you lose, Some days it rains.

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