Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 8/4/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday's games

No Lane, No Rain

Lane Thomas (WSH): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI.

With Washington ahead 4-3 in the 10th, Thomas cranked a two-run shot to left off Reds closer Alexis Díaz. It wasn’t a massive blast (388 feet, 107.9 EV) but his second of the night now has him at a career-high 18 home runs. And he’s got plenty of time to add to it.

Thomas’s PLV profile hasn’t changed a whole lot since last year. Actually, his Decision Value has dropped from 55 to 50. But otherwise, this looks, to me at least, like a case of the results simply being better as opposed to any marked change in his ability. But sometimes availability is the best one of all and in that case, he’s played in 109 games and is seventh in baseball with 434 at-bats.

One thing to monitor is his splits. He’s recorded a .435 wOBA against LHPs versus just .309 against RHPs. That was also the case last year, although a little less drastic: A .321 wOBA against LHP versus .300 against RHP. We’ll have to see if he can close the gap in the final two months.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Luis Rengifo (LAA): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

Rengifo owns a .980 OPS over his last 14 games. Is he breaking out? Maybe? You certainly can’t rule it out and he did have some moments last season. He’s shown weaker splits as a left-handed hitter, so last night’s dinger off Luis Castillo was good to see. And he’s been walking a lot more this year, which is usually a good sign. We’re firmly in the dog days of summer and sometimes you just need someone who can cover multiple spots. Enter Rengifo, who is 2B, 3B, SS, and OF eligible. Plus, as the old cliché goes a rising tide lifts all boats, such is the case with anyone who is hitting in front of Shohei Ohtani.

Brandon Drury returned from the IL and went 1-for-4. Also, don’t look now, but Mike Moustakas served as the Angels’ cleanup hitter and hit his 10th of the year.

Jordan Westburg (BAL): 2-2, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Selected 30th overall by the Orioles in 2020, Westburg got called up in late June after posting a .939 OPS through 67 games with Triple-A Norfolk. He also stole six bases. Last night’s three-run shot to straightaway center off reliever Reed Garrett iced a blowout win over the Mets. He’s only had 95 PA, so it’s hard to say if Westburg has one standout trait but I think there’s enough upside here that I’d give him a look if you need help at MI.

James McCann also had a whale of a game and poured salt in the wounds of his former club by going 3-for-3 with a double and five RBI. Revenge is a dish best served cold or so I was told.

Adolis García (TEX): 3-3, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

García’s career season continued with a pair of dingers in last night’s 6-2 win over Miami. He got to Jesús Luzardo twice and the second, a solo shot to left was an absolute rocket to the second deck: 432 feet with a 110.8 EV. The 30-year-old is on pace to race past his career-high 31 home runs and 101 RBI. Overall, he seems to simply be swinging at better pitches shown by a bump in PLV’s Decision Value from 40 last year to 50 this year.

Davis Schneider (TOR): 2-5, HR, R, RBI.

How’s this for a first at-bat: A solo shot off James Paxton. Schneider, a New Jersey native who was drafted in the 17th round out of high school back in 2017, slashed .275/.416/.553 across 87 games with Triple-A Buffalo this year. He also demonstrated exemplary plate skills with an 18.4% BB rate and a 21.9% K rate. I’m not entirely sure what his role will be, but he played 2B, 3B, and LF in the minors, and that’s an awfully good way to ensure yourself some playing time.

Andrés Giménez (CLE): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Giménez blasted a high and tight heater from Mike Clevinger for his 10th of the year (373 feet, 97.5 EV). The lefty-hitting second baseman’s OPS sits at .697, a far cry from last year’s .837. He has, however, slashed his K rate for the third consecutive year, so we’re seeing some growth there at least.

Jake Bauers (NYY): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.

Last night’s home run was very much a Yankee Stadium special: A 323-foot flyball to left field that just had enough juice to squeak past the foul pole in left. Still, it was a late swing on an outside fastball from Hunter Brown, and the fact that he had enough on it was impressive. The Yankees have been desperate to generate any sort of offense other than Aaron Judge (he sat last night) and now that Anthony Rizzo is on the shelf, Bauers has a clear path in front of him. The power is legit (75-grade via PLV) so he’s certainly worth a look.

Julio Rodríguez (SEA): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

With the game tied at five, Rodríguez lifted a two-run shot to right-center off Reid Detmers that proved critical in the Mariners’ 9-7 triumph over the Angels. J-Rod is hitting .251 with a .740 OPS; Not awful, but certainly not what people were hoping for. However, he is, of course, a remarkable talent and there’s time left to flip the script. One thing to look for is better plate discipline: His chase rate has climbed this year to 37.9% (league average is 30.7%) also noted by a drop in DV from 45 to 40.

Nolan Gorman (STL): 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Gorman’s second of the night came at the expense of Rockies’ reliever Jake Bird: a 429-foot shot to right (109.7 EV). Earlier in the year, Gorman’s outlook seemed pretty good but his contact ability (35 via PLV) has since cratered near the bottom 10th percentile. Still, you have to appreciate his power (95th percentile xwoBACON, 70 via PLV).

James Outman (LAD): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.

Outman got the Dodgers on the board by turning on a fastball at the letters from Yu Darvish for his 13th of the year (385 feet, 104.6 EV). He’s really come alive in the second half (18 games) and is walking (22.4%) more than he’s striking out (20.9%).

Jarren Duran (BOS): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

With the Red Sox trailing three zip in the third, Duran roasted a 94 mph sinker from Alek Manoah and sent it over the Green Monster for his eighth of the year (361 feet, 100.6 EV). Since July 1st, Duran is hitting .384 with 1.122 OPS. Similar to Outman, Duran has seen his K rate plummet, almost 10 percent in his case to 16.2%.

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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