Brad Miller (PHI): 3-5, 3 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI.
Brad Miller still had some fireworks leftover as he had himself a celebration Thursday, collecting three hits in his five at-bats, all of which left the yard, scoring three times to go along with five RBI on the night. Each of Miller’s three jacks traveled at least 400 feet, with his seventh-inning bomb outdoing them all flying 418 feet at 113.9 mph, the hardest-hit ball of the game and Miller’s hardest-hit ball of the season. The three hard-hit balls helped raise his season-long hard-hit rate to 50%, with nine of his last 11 batted balls leaving his bat at a minimum of 99 mph.
Unfortunately, all of this damage to baseballs comes at a time that sees the Philadelphia bench piece as nothing more than a dangerous pinch hitter and injury replacement for the regular Phillies’ lineup pieces. Thursday marked Miller’s seventh start in the past 30 days and without another injury to open up playing time, Miller should be expected to continue doing what he’s doing off the bench regularly. Luckily, however, Miller has shown his ability to fill in almost anywhere on the field, so he should be considered the first option regardless of the starting position that needs the rest.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday
Didi Gregorius (PHI): 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.
In what was easily Gregorius’ best night at the plate since returning from injury, the Phillies’ shortstop collected his first three-hit game of the season, making contact in all five at-bats and collecting three more hard-hit balls throughout the game. The hard hits were a welcome sign as Gregorius has struggled in that department to the tune of just a 26% hard-hit rate on the season.
Bobby Bradley (CLE): 2-2, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB.
The Cleveland rookie first baseman clobbered his ninth homer through his first 110 plate appearances on the season. The power has never been in question with Bradley, as shown by his .320 ISO thus far, while he’s shown the ability to take his fair share of walks with an 11% rate, helping to alleviate some of the strikeout concerns and should keep Bradley in the middle portion of the Cleveland line up for a while, giving him a decent opportunity to add to his fantasy counting stats as the summer progresses.
Trea Turner (WSH): 3-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, SB.
Draft Trea Turner in the first round for the stolen bases, stay for the bombs, or something like that. The first-round talent is delivering on his draft slot and then some with his 16th and 17th jack of the season to go along with his 19th stolen bag of the year. Surprisingly, with all opportunities to overlap, this was just Turner’s second combo meal of the year.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.
Tatis becomes the league’s first 20-20 performer this season with his 28th home run and 20th stolen base on Thursday. Not bad for a guy who was once thought to miss the entire season.
Carlos Santana (KC): 2-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Santana, who was hitless in his only other two appearances in Cleveland this year back in early April, collected his first two hits at Progressive Field since signing with the Royals early in the off-season. The Kansas City first baseman welcomed himself back to Cleveland in style Thursday, jacking two bombs at least 402 feet out of the stadium, bringing his season total up to 15. Santana continues to be productive in every fantasy category, even chipping in two steals on the season, and should continue to produce from the heart of the Royals’ lineup as he shows patience through his 1.05 BB/K ratio, helping keep him on base at a .373 clip through the season.
Dylan Moore (SEA): 1-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
There are not many teams that show loyalty toward a player like Seattle does toward Dylan Moore. Regardless of his struggles as shown by his .192/.263/.329 slash since returning from the injured list, Moore continues to start at the keystone for the Mariners just about every game; which, for fantasy teams that can absorb the ratio hits, can be just fine for the potential of hitting on the power/speed combination Moore has shown in the past, as Thursday’s combo meal was Moore’s fourth such performance of the season. Over half of Moore’s hits this year have been extra bases, so if he can just start collecting more hits overall he could return to being a fantasy stud. It sure seems Seattle is going to give him ample opportunity to get back to form, especially as they don’t necessarily have an immediate replacement ready to push him out of the way.
Dom Nuñez (COL): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB.
There might just be something to Dom Nuñez playing against the Diamondbacks. The Rockies’ second catcher collected just his 5th multi-hit performance Thursday, three of which have come against Arizona. It was a nice game for Nuñez surely, but not necessarily a sign of good times ahead as evidence by his 55 wRC+ on the season and overall .174/.275/.362 slash. Though he does have nine hits in 27 plate appearances against the Diamondbacks, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
Franmil Reyes (CLE): 1-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Typically a one-for-four night doesn’t make the list, but sometimes you get lucky when that one hit is a three-run walk-off bomb. It also doesn’t hurt that there was a slightly lower amount of competition with just nine games on Thursday. Either way, the Franimal deserves your attention.