In the Nick of Time

Dave Swan breaks down last night's hitting performances.

Nick Solak (TEX): 3-4, 2B, R.

Solak is swatting everything in sight! In fact, he’s riding an 11-game hitting streak, and since re-joining the MLB squad on August 21st, Solak has been an outstanding hitter. His .395/.447/.605 slash line with .449 wOBA has fueled a 190 wRC+. For those unfamiliar with wRC+, it is a linear weighted metric that helps establish a baseline for all players, with 100 being average. That means that Solak has been 90% better than league average, which is pretty remarkable when you consider he was demoted a little more than a month ago.

The real question is, how is he doing it? Well, those pesky strikeouts aren’t showing up. The chart below gives an excellent visual of just how apparent the lack of Ks is. Solak has only been back in the MLB for two weeks, so essentially the tail end of the chart that nosedives under a 15% K-rate.


At first, I wasn’t ready to buy into the changes of Solak. However, the changes look like they are sticking, even though Solak won’t get a hit in every game he plays. We should consider him a decent source of batting average with a bit of pop and some stolen base potential for the rest of the season. He was added in 11% of Yahoo leagues, so run to the wire quick and get him for your fantasy playoff push.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday.

Austin Riley (ATL): 2-4, 2B, RBI.

Riley is enjoying a breakout season as she destroys his career numbers. What stands out the most is his .306 batting average since he previously barely sniffed .240. Well, while still maintaining the power, Riley has stayed in more ABs and walking more than ever while also dropping his K% at bay. Additionally, Riley is only 24, so he can still take plenty of steps to get even better.

Edmundo Sosa (STL): 2-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

Sosa has a skill set that is going overlooked far too often. The 25-year-old St Louis middle infielder touts a 114 MPH max exit velocity and 98th percentile in sprint speed. Since moving into a more full-time role in the last month, Sosa has repaid the decision by going by 20-for-55 with a 1.064 OPS. His power+speed combination and recent production need to make him rostered in more than the 6% of Yahoo leagues.

Darin Ruf (SF): 2-4, 2 BB.

The Giants have an uber platoon-heavy approach to hitters this season. However, they don’t need to with someone like Ruf. He touts a 166 wRC+ vs. LHP and a 140 wRC+ vs. RHP. He has made incredible strides when you consider he left the MLB in 2016 to play in the KBO for three seasons. Nevertheless, he is a highly productive player on a first-place team.

Andrew Benintendi (KC): 3-4, 2B, 3B, RBI.

Falling just an HR short of the cycle, Benintendi had himself a night! The Royals’ outfielder helped solidify a 7-2 victory over division rivals. While he hasn’t lived up to his prospect hype, he remains toolsy enough to consider fantasy rosters. However, the jump in K% is causing his OBP to plummet, and he’ll need to make adjustments to get back to a season-long contributor.

Teoscar Hernandez (TOR): 1-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The 384-foot shot was Teoscar’s 23 HR of the season, and the pair of RBIs brings him to 89, which puts him in a tie for tenth overall in RBI. Put him in Dunedin, Buffalo, or the Rogers Centre; it won’t matter because flat out, Teoscar can rake. He is enjoying another outstanding season for power while also dropping his K% by five points.

Mitch Haniger (SEA): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

If you started the year by thinking Mitch Haniger would rebound and hit 30 HRs, I would say you were lying. Sure, he smashed 28, but that was back in 2018 and before a lengthy recovery from injury. However, the Seattle faithful stuck with their guy and reaping the rewards. He might be selling out a little for power because the batting average is down compared to his career numbers, but who cares? Dingers!

Tony Kemp (OAK): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Kemp used all of his 5 foot 6 frame to send one over the fences in Toronto. Although, the ball left his bat at a meager 92 MPH with a 30-degree launch angle before traveling only 351 feet. While the HR may have accounted for two runs, the exciting part is the HR only had a .150 expected batting average. The wall scraper is his sixth HR on the season, and Kemp is only a viable fantasy playing in AL-only or OBP leagues.

Andres Gimenez (CLE): 2-4, R, SB.

Giménez might be turning a corner. In the last two weeks, he is enjoying a .278/.350/.389 slash line with a pair of stolen bases. While the SBs might be what we have expected, it’s the lousy plate skills that have suffocated his potential. Cleveland is going to keep him in the basement nine-hole until he can consistently showcase the improvements needed. At this point, we can only add him to the watch list and hope.

Anthony Alford (PIT): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

The pair of jacks gives Alford three dingers in his last 13 plate appearances. This is pretty interesting because he’s always been a speed-first type of player with minimal power. In fact, Alford had only managed four HRs in his previous 150 plate appearances scattered from 2017 to the present day. His enormous strike-out rate throughout his career is going to render him useless for fantasy purposes.

Dustin Garneau (DET): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Detroit’s catchers keep smashing HRs. Only this time, it’s not Eric Haase, but rather the backup backstop. However, Garneau has an MLB career dating back to 2015, and it’s not overly productive. Let’s let him have a night, but keep him off your fantasy rosters as we advance.

Jesus Sanchez (MIA): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Sánchez is one of the many toolsy outfielders with playing time opened up by the departure of Starling Marte. In his 40 games with the big league club, Sánchez showcases an 8.5% barrel rate and near 43% hard-hit rate. When you put his ability to make decent contact and his above-average(28.0 ft/sec) sprint speed, you get a very intriguing player in fantasy. You should consider him in all five outfielder formats or NL-only leagues.

Freddy Galvis (PHI): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI.

Back in Philly, and batting leadoff as well. The infielder wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard as he took Jesús Luzardo deep in the top of the first inning. While the dinger only brought his season total to 10, he should remain a decent source of power from either side of the plate. However, he holds more value in daily transactions leagues since his ISO is far greater against southpaws.

Jonathan Villar (NYM): 4-6, 2B, RBI.

Villar was not supposed to be an everyday player, but he keeps finding playing time due to his ability to hit a few HRs and steal a few bases. While he didn’t go deep or swipe a bag, he is still a 17/10 player with a .264/.335/.461 slash line. If he’s on your bench, start him; his last two weeks include a 17-for-37 stretch with a pair of HRs. If not, check your wire, as Villar is a multi-positional player available in 61% of Yahoo leagues.


Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

2 responses to “In the Nick of Time”

  1. Mike says:

    Wilson Ramos is on Cleveland so that shouldn’t impact Garneau’s playing time lol.

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