It’s a Me, A. Rosario

Breaking down the best hitting performances from yesterday’s games.

Amed Rosario (CLE): 5-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.

With all of the hoopla going on with Francisco Lindor and the Mets recently, it is always fun (torturous might be the right word here) to go back and check on how those former Mets that were dealt to Cleveland are doing. Amed Rosario seemed like a lost cause at the plate and in the field when the Mets packaged him in the deal for Lindor and Carrasco this off-season. A few years ago, many felt he’d be the forever shortstop in New York, but not much came of him till he was dealt. Now in Cleveland, he is having his best season with a 105 wRC+, 10 homers, and 12 steals over 120 games. This season has been more reminiscent of his partial breakout season in 2019 (before the 2020 season messed things up for him).

I was looking at second-half leaderboards earlier this week (so before his five for five performance), and he was top 10 in batting average and had a remarkable wRC+. Since the break, he is slashing .345/.373/.532. I know he doesn’t walk, so he has to get those hits, but his speed can make up for that, especially if he’s hitting 50% grounders. He is getting more lift in the second half, though, hitting 30% fly balls now, which has led to 14 extra-base hits in August. He’s been one of the hottest hitters in August and has some speed on the bases, too (see his inside the parker last night off the wall). He’s not going to swipe 30, but I could see a 20/20 season at some point for Rosario.

Watching his hits from last night show how well he’s hitting the ball. He ripped the ball everywhere, hitting it hard all over the field. Also, I want to note I haven’t watched Rosario hit since last season with the Mets, and he’s notably bigger. He looks much stronger than his Mets’ days, and a 43.4% hard-hit rate (almost five percentage points higher than his previous high) may also be pointing that out.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Shohei Ohtani (LAA): 0-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SB.

Two walks, two steals, two runs, even with no hits? Lol. This guy is just unstoppable. He already was 40/20 on the year and has increased his stolen base total to 22. He’s sitting nicely atop the home run leaderboard and tied in fifth in stolen bases—an absolute fantasy monster without even calculating his pitching.

Leody Taveras (TEX): 1-3, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 SB.

A combo meal for the speed demon, Taveras, adding a second steal to that combo. He has only played 55 games in the majors (only 22 this year) while also only being 22 years old. This Texas prospect is not much of a hitter (the 1 wRC+ really stands out), but he is a speed and fielding first player that could be someone like Jonathan Villar, where steals are abundant enough to be drafting him if he is in the starting lineup every day.

Nate Lowe (TEX): 3-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Look who it is again! Since my write-up last week about Lowe, he has been solid. He added three doubles and then last night’s home run. He is still ripping ground balls, which is the main barrier to any further success. Get the ball off the ground, Nate!

Abraham Toro (SEA): 2-3, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB.

Toro came over to Seattle right before the deadline this season, and he has been a standout. Since the trade, he is slashing .311/.387/.459 with an 8.8% BB rate and a 10.9% K rate. Just to note, yesterday’s game was against his former team as well. He is hitting the ball in the air quite a bit, limiting grounders, but he’s not hitting many line drives, nor is he consistently hitting the ball hard. However, since the trade, his hard-hit rate had jumped from around 30% consistently to now around the high 30’s/40%. Good signs moving forward in Seattle.

Josh Harrison (OAK): 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB.

Harrison plays for Oakland now. I did not know that. Looks like he was in a deadline deal along with Yan Gomes. Welp, outside of a few minor injuries that have kept him sidelined a game or two, Harrison has been on the field for Oakland, and he’s been hitting. His slash line with the team is .289/.341/.434 with two homers and now four steals. He may have some deep league value, especially with his position versatility, but otherwise, he’s never been a fantasy impact player.

Matt Chapman (OAK): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

The defensive star in Oakland has been struggling more than usual at the plate in 2021, striking out over 30% of the time and hitting only .223 with an ISO under .200 for the first time in his career. He has only 12 doubles! However, in the past three weeks, Chapman has turned it into gear. Since August 7th, he is slashing .284/.415/.701 with nine homers and a 17.1% BB rate (despite a 29.3% K rate). He’s a solid hitter and will always be there with his walks.

Derek Hill (DET): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, RBI.

Hill bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors with the Tigers this season until the All-Star break. Since then, he has been sidelined by a few injuries but has been in center regularly. In those 1o3 plate appearances since the break, he is slashing .274/.330/.411 with a 103 wRC+. He’s holding his own out there as a speed-first 25-year-old rookie. He’s had a couple of seasons in the minors with 35 steals, but he’s only swiped six in 37 games this year.

Kyle Schwarber (BOS): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

Schwarber has been playing for the Sox now for about two weeks, and he’s put up numbers. Yesterday was just his third dinger (a 419-foot bomb), but his OBP is .492 with a hot 23.1 BB rate. He’s now moved into either the one or two spot in the lineup, just like in Washington. And with the bats that hit behind him, he’ll constantly be scoring.

Robbie Grossman (DET): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.

Grossman had a small breakout in Oakland last season at 30 years old. It was the shortened 2020 season, so it is hard to take at face value, but he’s continued a lot of what he did that season. His walk rate is even better for a solid .355 OBP and 114 wRC+. He also just popped his 20th homer of the year along with 15 stolen bases. A 20/20 season isn’t too far off. His August has been notably stronger with the bat on the swinging side of things. His average is .281 with a .494 slugging this month. He’s a solid player that should add value to most teams.

Andrew McCutchen (PHI): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

McCutchen was out for the beginning of August with a knee issue, and since his return, he hadn’t done much till last night. Even with yesterday, his wRC+ was 53 in those 66 plate appearances. He hopefully can pick up where he left off from his hot July now that he has a few weeks back. He’s still hitting mostly four or five in the lineup, which should help his RBI opportunities with Harper or Realmuto in front of him.

Carter Kieboom (WSH): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.

I forget how young he was in his first few appearances in the majors as he had such high expectations. But now, still only 23, Kieboom has been playing regularly in Washington since the end of July. He seems to be performing just about the same as he has for most of his early career but pop into Savant’s rolling charts and get ready. For about the past week, his past 50 PA rolling expected wOBA has been almost a flat line around .425 with a hard-hit rate that has been climbing since mid-August. Jump on him now if you want to ride Kieboom’s breakout.

Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Jim Chatterton

Jim has written for Razzball and now is a part of the Pitcher List staff. He is a Villanova alum and an eternally optimistic Mets fan. He once struck out Rick Porcello in Little League.

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