Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 9/9/23

Breaking down notable hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Wilyer Be There?

Wilyer Abreu (BOS): 5-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, SB.

The Red Sox are in evaluation mode in the season, especially with a 72-70 record and a 1.1% chance of making the postseason as of September 10th.

That means Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office are determining who will be part of Boston’s plans in 2024, and who may be on their way out this offseason.

Right now, Wilyer Abreu is making his case that he needs to be part of the Red Sox’s plans not just in 2024, but perhaps beyond.

A former product of the Houston Astros farm system, Abreu has mashed in his first 12 games in the Major League this season.

In 38 plate appearances, he is slashing .353/.421/.559 with a .980 OPS. This includes a home run, eight RBI, and six runs scored. Earlier this season, in Triple-A Worcester, he also flourished with the bat, as he hit 22 home runs and posted a .929 OPS in 298 plate appearances.

Granted, Abreu isn’t an “elite” prospect by any means.

MLB Pipeline currently ranks him as the Red Sox’s 17th-best prospect. This puts him behind fellow outfield prospects such as Roman Anthony (No. 2), Ceddanne Rafaela (No. 3), and Miguel Bleis (No. 5). Rafaela is also on the Red Sox roster, and is hitting .471 with a 1.059 OPS. On the other hand, it may be another year until Anthony’s debut and could be a couple of years for Bleis.

Thus, it will be interesting to see if Abreu will be able to hold an outfield spot in Boston in 2024, especially if the Red Sox are committed to getting back in the postseason hunt next year.

Kiké Hernández didn’t work out, and they jettisoned him at the Deadline to make room for prospects like Abreu and Rafaela. However, it will be interesting to see if they will pursue a free-agent outfielder aggressively this offseason in order to shore up their lineup.

For now, Abreu is “there” in the Boston lineup, making his case that he should be in the Opening Day lineup.

Whether that will still be the case come Spring Training is yet to be determined.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday

George Springer (TOR): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

The Blue Jays continued to maintain their slight lead in the Wild Card race over the Rangers, thanks to their 5-1 win over the Royals on Saturday. Springer hit his 18th and 19th home runs of the year and also drove in four RBI as well. Springer’s slugging (.414) and OPS (.749) are both down from a year ago, so a power surge over the next few weeks would be nice to see as the Blue Jays fight for a Wild Card spot.

Aaron Hicks (BAL): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

After just getting activated off the IL on September 3rd, Hicks has slowly gotten back into form, as he collected three hits, three RBI, and his eighth home run of the year on Saturday against the Red Sox. Injuries will be a concern for Hicks down the stretch, as he missed roughly a month due to a back strain suffered in August. He is hitting .284 with an .843 OPS since coming over from New York, so if he can stay on the field, it’s likely that Hicks will help the Orioles down the stretch and in the postseason.

James McCann (BAL): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

With Adley Rutschman on the roster, McCann is pretty much expected to hold the fort behind the plate somewhat on days when Rutschman needs a day off. That said, the Orioles will take performances like Saturday, as McCann garnered two hits, three RBI, and his sixth home run of the year. The slugging is up for him at .402, but his average (.229) and OBP (.271) leave a lot to be desired, which makes him a hard play in most fantasy formats, even as a streamer.

Bryan Reynolds (PIT): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

The Pirates are 10 games under .500, but they are still showing some fight down the stretch (or willingness to fight, as in Johan Oviedo’s case). After being the subject of trade rumors this offseason, Reynolds has collected another solid season, as he is posting a .794 OPS with 20 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 556 plate appearances, as of Sunday. Reynolds signed an eight-year extension to stay in Pittsburgh, so Pirates fans can look forward to Reynolds leading this young core in 2024.

Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

One has to wonder what Alvarez’s season would’ve looked like had he not missed over a month due to an oblique injury. Alvarez’s counting stats this season (26 home runs, 84 RBI) are down from a year ago (37 home runs, 97 RBI). However, he also has only 415 plate appearances, which is far down from the 598 in 2021 and 561 in 2022. Alvarez showcased “vintage” Alvarez with a home run, two RBI, and two hits against the Padres on Saturday, and it’ll be worth watching to see how close he can get to his 2021 and 2022 numbers, despite playing fewer games.

Jurickson Profar (SD): 3-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Profar is back with the Padres after getting designated for assignment by the Rockies on August 27th. Profar was a tremendous disappointment in Colorado, as he hit .236 with a .680 OPS in 472 plate appearances with the Rockies. In his first game back with the Padres though, he collected three hits, two RBI, and his ninth home run of the year. The Padres are pretty much out of the playoff race, but it will be interesting to see if the once-heralded Profar can boost his stock this month to perhaps entice another interested MLB team for a free-agent contract this offseason.

Jordan Westburg (BAL): 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.

With Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson on the roster, it’s easy to forget about Westburg and his impact on the Orioles this year. However, the 24-year-old rookie is off to a solid start in September, as he is hitting .400 with a 1.255 OPS in 22 plate appearances. On Saturday, he hit his third home run of the year, in addition to collecting three hits. For the year, Westburg is hitting .277 with a .765 OPS in 190 plate appearances. That’s a solid rookie debut, even if it pales in comparison to Henderson’s.

Tyrone Taylor (MIL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB.

After a promising 2021 in which he hit 12 home runs and posted a .778 OPS in 271 plate appearances, it’s been a sharp decline for Taylor, who is only hitting .209 with a .625 OPS in 182 plate appearances this year. On Saturday, he showed flashes of his 2021 self, as he hit his 6th home run, stole his eighth base, and collected two hits overall. While performances like this are nice for the 29-year-old, it’s likely more of a flash-in-the-pan than a sign of things to come.

Garrett Hampson (MIA): 3-4, HR, R, RBI.

After years of being designated as a “sleeper” in fantasy leagues while he was with the Rockies, Hampson has finally become the productive player many thought he could be. He is hitting .290 with a .779 OPS on a Marlins team that is still somewhat in the playoff race. The only problem? The at-bats and counting stats aren’t there. Due to a crowded outfield and infield in Miami, Hampson has only gotten 184 plate appearances this year and he only has three home runs and three stolen bases, not exactly useful totals in any fantasy format. Too bad this batted ball luck (.396 BABIP) couldn’t come in Colorado when he had less competition.

Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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