Kwanbo Meal for Two

Breaking down the best hitting performances from yesterday’s games

Steven Kwan (CLE): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 SB.

The Cleveland Guardians clinched the AL Central division crown on Sunday, in no small part thanks to the efforts of rookie Steven Kwan, whose 124 wRC+ on the season joins José Ramírez (136) and Andrés Giménez (145) for the three most productive hitters in the Cleveland line up. Kwan sits on top of them all in the past nine games however, surely carrying more than one fantasy line up to a championship with a three-hit, five RBI performance Sunday capping off a 239 wRC+ stretch that saw Kwan knock out a pair of bombs and steal four bases while slashing .442/.489/.698 through his last 48 plate appearances. Sunday’s jack marked just his sixth of the year, though four of them have been paired with at least one stolen base. This most recent Kwanbo Meal was the first that came with a pair of bags.

Kwan is not going to win Rookie of the Year, though he will surely receive a vote or two, but Kwan has already produced a 4.1 fWAR on the season, ranking him third among AL rookies, behind only front runners Julio Rodríguez (5.0) and Adley Rutschman (4.6). Kwan’s value surely isn’t derived from his power stroke as he’s only recorded 7 barrels on the season and currently sits with a 20.7% hard hit rate, but his speed out of the gate and sub 35% fly ball rate keeps his .321 BABIP sustainable and at the top of the Cleveland line up. As long as he’s there, he will continue to increase his value in both real life and on fantasy rosters.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday

Pete Alonso (NYM): 4-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, 5 RBI.

Oh hum, another home run from Pete Alonso. Sunday’s blast marks his eighth of the month and fourth in the past six games, though the four-hit performance marks just his fourth multi-hit game of the month. It did help raise his season-long batting average five whole points as he now sports a .270/.349/.521 slash on the season while now sharing the MLB lead in RBI with fellow New Yorker Aaron Judge (128)

Kyle Schwarber (PHI): 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Kyle Schwarber seems to prefer to pair up his homers. Sunday marked his sixth double bomb night on the season, giving him 42 on the year. Philadelphia’s lead off hitter leads the National League in long balls, pulling away from the aforementioned Alonso (39), and while the .214 batting average isn’t helping, it’s the NL fourth-best walk rate of 12.4% through 631 plate appearances that is surely helping keep him at the top of the line up, providing him ample opportunity to raise that total before year’s end.

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

Even with the injuries that kept George Springer out for a good period of time, the Toronto lead off hitter still has an outside chance at cracking 600 plate appearances on the season for the fourth time in his career. The two-homer performance Sunday brought his total in that category to 23, surpassing his 2021 total, though he did that in 200 less plate appearances.

Mike Trout (LAA): 3-4, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

As it turns out, Mike Trout is still pretty good at baseball. Sure, he may never crack double digit steals on the season, but literally everything else seems as fine tuned as ever as he sits just three homers away from 40 on the season while probably finishing with just about 500 plate appearances, at least 100 less than he needed to hit that mark previously (2015, 2019).

Brandon Drury (SD): 2-5, 2B, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI.

Ya ya, we get it. San Diego is no Cincinnati, especially when you compare the .274/.335/.520 production through Drury’s 385 plate appearances in Cincy to a slash of .226/.265/.453 through 147 plate appearances since joining the Padres in early August. Still, Drury is holding his own in the middle of the San Diego line up and will surely be looking for a decent pay day come this offseason thanks to a well timed break out season across the board.

Wil Myers (SD): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI, BB.

Sunday marked Wil Myers‘ fifth homer of the season. Look, I’m sure most of us have expected Myers’ production to continue to fall due to a waning skill set combined with limited playing time, but this seems like overkill. In the limited fantasy formats in which it made sense to roster (and start) Myers on Sunday, this was a nice reward in what has been a lackluster season overall.

J.D. Davis (SF): 4-5, 2 2B, HR, R, RBI.

San Francisco, somewhat surprisingly, has been very good to right handed Davis. Since joining the Giants at the trade deadline, Davis has knocked out six bombs, including the ninth inning, 409 foot insurance solo shot on Sunday, while slashing .271/.371/.514 through 124 plate appearances. Compare that to the four home runs he put up along with a slash of .238/.324/.359 in limited playing time (207 plate appearances) while with the Mets in 2022 and you have yourself a classic “he just needed a change of scenery” narrative.

Adam Howe

Adam resides in Indianapolis after spending the better part of a decade in Oakland, CA and growing up in Massachusetts. He co-hosts the On The Wire podcast with Kevin Hasting, analyzing your weekly FAAB options before your bid deadlines every Sunday.

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