Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 7/6/24

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Rice, Rice Baby

Ben Rice (NYY): 3-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 7 RBI.

It’s been a monumental rise for the Yankees first baseman, who started the season in Double-A Somerset.

After Anthony Rizzo went down to injury, the Yankees called up Rice on June 18. Unlike other heralded first-base prospects who fizzled once they got to the Major League level (Greg Bird particularly comes to mind), Rice has been absolutely on fire with the bat.

In 17 games and 60 plate appearances, Rice has a slash of .294/.383/.588 with a .971 OPS. He has four home runs and 12 RBI and has shown a solid eye at the plate, with eight walks drawn to only nine strikeouts.

On Saturday, Rice had the most memorable game of his still young career (against the rival Red Sox to boot).

In the Yankees’ 14-4 victory in the Bronx, Rice went 3-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBI. The former 12th-round pick from Dartmouth received a resounding curtain call from the Yankee faithful after his third home run, a memorable moment he got to share in front of his family, who made the trip from Massachusetts. Ironically, even though he grew up in a Red Sox family, Rice has long been a Yankees fan, thus making the three-home run game against the Red Sox even more special to Rice personally.

Rice was not ranked in the Yankees by any prospect list before the 2024 season. Rizzo was placed on the 60-day IL back on June 19 due to a right forearm fracture, so Rice will get plenty of opportunities to play first base this season.

The big question for the Yankees will be if Rice will be a long-term option in the Bronx. Rizzo was only hitting .223 with a .630 OPS before his injury. Furthermore, Rizzo’s barrel and hard-hit rates were the lowest of his career before landing on the IL. There’s no doubt Rizzo is a clubhouse and fan favorite. That said, if Rice continues to produce like he’s doing, it will be tough to find a spot for Rizzo when he comes off the IL.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday.


Shohei Ohtani (LAD): 2-2, 3B, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, SB.

Ohtani got on base four times and hit his 28th home run of the year in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win over the Brewers. He swiped his 18th bag of the year, just two away from his total a year ago. With Mookie Betts on the shelf, Ohtani has been a HR and RBI machine and an SB one. That’s not something fantasy managers expected when they drafted him, but they will certainly take it.


Brent Rooker (OAK): 3-4, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.

That was not a typo. The A’s scored 19 runs on the Baltimore Orioles and won 19-8 on Saturday at the Coliseum. One could have put a lot of names from the A’s on this Batter’s Box list, but Rooker stood out the most. Rooker had three hits and four RBI, hitting his 18th home run of the year. After a cold start, the 29-year-old slugger is not only back to his form from last year but is arguably even better. His .277 average and .891 OPS have significantly improved since 2023. Expect Rooker to be a hot name around the trade deadline.


Yandy Díaz (TBR): 3-3, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.

It’s been a down year for Diaz, as he is only hitting .270 with a .721 OPS this season. Last year, he hit .330 with a .932 OPS. Those numbers earned him a spot in the All-Star game and some MVP consideration. On Saturday, he looked like 2023 Diaz as he hit his seventh home run of the year, collected three hits and RBIs, and got on base in all his at-bats. After a .819 OPS in June, he is currently sporting a .865 OPS in July, a sign that better things may be in store for the Rays leadoff hitter in the second half.


James Wood (WSN): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI.

The heralded Nationals prospect debuted on July 1, and he’s been on a tear since making his way to DC. In 27 plate appearances, he is hitting .304 with a .885 OPS. On Saturday, he hit his first MLB home run, a two-run blast against St. Louis’ Lance Lynn. The Nationals are investing in their “youth” movement with a 42-47 record, as they recently parted ways with veterans Eddie Rosario and Nick Senzel. Wood has been a success story so far. One has to wonder if other “youthful” success stories are on the horizon for the Nationals this year.


Dane Myers (MIA): 3-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Myers is getting more playing time in Miami, as the Marlins have cut ties recently with many of their veterans. Last month, they released Avisaíl García, which opened up more at-bat opportunities for the 28-year-old from Rice University. Myers is hitting .268 with a .784 OPS, the latter an improvement on his mark a season ago. The Marlins outfielder is showing more power in year two, as he hit his second home run of the season on Saturday against the White Sox in a 4-3 win. He’s only had 81 plate appearances, but with the Marlins clearly in rebuilding mode, Myers could be a sneaky waiver pickup.


Ozzie Albies (ATL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

It was nice to see Albies have a vintage performance, especially against the rival Phillies. In Atlanta’s 5-1 win, the 27-year-old second baseman hit his eighth home run of the year and collected two hits and three RBI. It’s been a disappointing year for Albies, as he is far off the 33-HR pace he set a season ago. His .743 OPS is also over 100 points lower than his mark in 2023. There’s still a lot of time left for Albies, but he will need to turn it around quickly if he wants to recoup a fraction of his draft value.


Rafael Devers (BOS): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB.

Devers likes hitting against the Yankees, especially at Yankee Stadium. Devers welcomed Gerrit Cole back with two hits and a solo blast in the fifth. As expected, Cole didn’t appreciate Devers’ “gift” and ended up chirping at Devers as the Red Sox third baseman admired his 19th home run of the year. Cole got the last laugh as the Yankees won by 10 runs. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see some juice back in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, even in a blowout.


Byron Buxton (MIN): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Buxton may be back, everyone. After hitting .235 with a .646 OPS in April, Buxton has improved his numbers to .271 and .809 as of Sunday. Against the Astros, he collected two hits and two RBIs and hit his ninth home run. His Statcast sliders have a lot of red, especially in barrel rate, hard-hit rate, LA sweet spot, and average exit velocity. He is hitting the ball harder than ever and launching it more often, which should only bode good things for fantasy managers who generally roster Buxton and the Twins.


Steven Kwan (CLE): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Is Kwan a power hitter now? He has homered in back-to-back games and has upped his HR total to nine, nearly double his mark from a season ago. His barrel and hard-hit rates rank in the bottom of the league, but Kwan does launch the ball effectively and seems to know how to take advantage of Progressive Field dimensions. Six of his nine home runs this year have come at home. Nonetheless, Kwan, named as an AL All-Star game starter, is having a career year in his third MLB season. Furthermore, he could be due for 15+ home runs, which will only add to his already solid fantasy value.


Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login