Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 8/25/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games

David John’s Dongs

DJ LeMahieu (NYY): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.

It gets talked about a lot but I really don’t think you can undersell how much the Yankees’ offense has struggled this year. Granted, there is a decent case to be made that some of the team has simply underperformed but with September on the horizon, the numbers are bleak: They’re 22nd in wOBA and 23rd in runs scored. Other than last year’s MVP, they don’t have a single player with an OPS over .800; Gleyber Torres is at .779. The point is they’re very much a one-man band. When Judge doesn’t do something, they seem incapable of scoring.

But last night it finally happened. Judge went hitless and the Yankees scored six runs. OK, technically that might have already happened this year but if it has, it’s been infrequent, to say the least. It was thanks to DJ LeMahieu who cranked his 10th and 11th home runs. The first of which came off Zach Eflin and broke a scoreless tie in the fifth. It was also his first multi-home run game since May 7th, 2021.

LeMahieu is certainly one of the hitters on the Yankees who have underperformed; he’s hitting .245 with a .714 OPS in relation to career marks of .294 and .770. He has also struck out 22.7% of the time, up nearly 10 points from his career mark. However, he has shown some life lately. In the second half (30 games), he’s hitting .311 with a .898 OPS. He’s also doing something that we’ve never seen from him– walking at a 15.4% clip. It’s probably an aberration but I’m interested to see if it sticks because it’s a big increase from his career mark of 9.1%.

So is he doing something different all of a sudden? I don’t know. I tend to think that at this point, players are who they are. But he has credited the help of hitting coach Sean Casey, who was hired on July 1oth to replace Dillon Lawson. I also think that irrespective of anything unique that LeMahieu may or may not be doing, there is simply value in whoever hits in front of Judge. You’d figure he’s gonna see some good pitches to mash. All this rambling is to say that we shouldn’t rule out LeMahieu ending the season on a strong note. At the very least, we know he can be a difference-maker in batting average.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Nick Allen (OAK): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.

It was that kind of night at Guaranteed Rate Field as the A’s teed off for a dozen runs. I’ll be honest, I had to look up Nick Allen, and as much as I want to dismiss him entirely as, you know, the A’s ninth hitter, he did slash .333/.420/.519 in 33 games with Triple-A Las Vegas. That’s the PCL by the way, so there’s probably a fair bit of inflation going on but still, I wanted to acknowledge he at least hit well in the minors. That aside, he’s in the majors because he’s an outstanding glove, so there’s nothing to see here.

Ryan Noda (OAK): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Noda is a little more interesting offensively. For one thing, he’s hitting leadoff and two, he’s shown power (60 via PLV). Last night’s 11th home run, a 378-foot solo shot to right off Tanner Banks in the seventh, pushes his OPS to .813, good for second on the team to rookie Zack Gelof’s .952. Strikeouts, though, are an issue (33.2%). That along with a high flyball rate should tank his batting average. He does have an exceptional walk rate of 17.5%, though, which boosts his appeal in OBP leagues.

Nick Martini (CIN): 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB.

Martini’s first came against Brandon Pfaadt, a 370-foot solo shot to right that opened the scoring in last night’s wild slugfest at Chase Field. His second of the night came against reliever Bryce Jarvis, a 367-foot line drive that just had enough juice to squeak over the wall in right. Martini, who got the call because of injuries to Stuart Fairchild and Jake Fraley, is a 33-year-old career journeyman, so there’s probably not much upside here. But he did post a .874 OPS in 93 games with Triple-A Nashville, so, you never know. At the very least, he’s got a shot to prove himself right now.

Parker Meadows (DET): 1-2, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Woah, how’s this for a first career home run? A three-run, walk-off dong to defeat Ryan Pressly and the Astros. The 23-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder, who is the younger brother of Austin Meadows, should play a lot for the Tigers in the final weeks as they look ahead to next year. He slashed .256/.337/.474 in 113 games with Triple-A Toledo.

Ramón Laureano (CLE): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

In case you forgot, like I did, the Guardians claimed him off waivers a few weeks ago. His seventh dinger of the year came on an 0-2 pitch from the hound Chris Bassitt, a three-run shot hit the other way to right-center (393 feet, 100.4 EV). I think at this point, it’s hard to get excited about him but he does have some power and speed; however, I’m not sure about his playing time (Will Brennan was a late scratch) so probably best to just eye him from the wire in the off chance he gets a more secure role.

Austin Hays (BAL): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

The 28-year-old right-handed hitting outfielder has been sneaky good over his last 12 games during which he’s slashing .310/.408/.667. Would you believe it? The Rockies actually had a 4-2 lead in the sixth. That’s when Hays stepped to the plate and kicked off the comeback by launching a flyball to right off Kyle Freeland that just barely snuck over the glove of a leaping Charlie Blackmon. Hays’ profile isn’t overly exciting; he’s got above-average power (55 via PLV) but he’s a career .263 hitter with a .314 OBP.

Will Benson (CIN): 1-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB.

The former Guardians prospect walloped his eighth of the year off reliever Justin Martinez, a grand salami to straightaway center (426 feet, 105.9 EV). Benson has been quiet lately but he’s got some power lurking in his bat and a very good eye at the plate; he’s earned a 70 in PLV’s Decision Value. Add in the 14 stolen bases and you’ve got an interesting player to watch the rest of the way.

Rowdy Tellez (MIL): 1-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Tellez clobbered a hanging curveball from Yu Darvish for his 13th of the year. After hitting a career-high 35 home runs, I was really high on Tellez coming into the season but he struggled immensely with a .672 OPS before a weird finger injury sent him to the IL. The Brewers do have some rotating parts at DH with the likes of William Contreras and Carlos Santana but I think they’ll make an effort to get Tellez’s bat in against most RHP. Keep an eye on him if you need some pop at first base; he could be a difference-maker in HR/RBI the rest of the way.

J.P. Crawford (SEA): 3-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

He doesn’t get mentioned a lot because he’s a glove-first guy who hasn’t really shown much power. But he’s been sneaky good this year with a career-high .380 OBP and 11 home runs. After they finish their series with the Royals, the Mariners have a set against Oakland, so Crawford might be a decent stopgap if you’re in need of a middle infielder.

Carter Kieboom (WSH): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

I have a thing for post-hype prospects, so I’m obliged to mention Kieboom’s second home run since being recalled from Rochester on August 20th. As much as I want to be excited by it, his Triple-A slash of  .264/.362/.429 makes me want to fall asleep. His OBP might be decent, so there’s that.

Gabriel Moreno (ARI): 2-4, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB.

In case you missed it, the D-Backs released Carson Kelly on August 15th. Moreno, meanwhile, has done nothing but hit with a .378/.395/.649 slash through 10 games this August. The prospect pedigree checks out, so he looks like a pretty decent add if you need some catching help.

Max Kepler (MIN): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB.

Is he boring? Certifiably so. But he’s also got a .819 OPS against RHB so there’s enough juice here for five outfielder leagues. And that might be underselling him a little. PLV grades him with 60-grade power and 55-grade Decision Value, so that’s something. His 21st dinger of the year is also the most we’ve seen from him since 2019, you know, that one year he hit 36 out of nowhere. Those were the days.

Michael Harris II (ATL): 3-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB.

I’m a fan of arbitrary endpoints so how about this: Since July 1st, a span of 45 games, Harris II is slashing .313/.354/.491 with 10 steals. Corbin Carroll, meanwhile, has slashed .250/.343/.410 with 15 steals during that timeframe. Of course, I’m leaving out valuable context clues, but the point is, I’m very curious to see where these two end up in relation to one another in ADP next year. Are they that different? Maybe. But maybe not. It’s also probably not an ideal process to compare the two simply because they happen to be the two latest NL Rookies of the Year. But I can’t help it, that’s where my mind drifted to.

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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