Pecking Order

Reviewing last night's best batted balls.


Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR): 6-7, 2B, 3 R, 5 RBI.

My condolences to those who started Nathan Eovaldi. The Jays came into Fenway Park last night and pasted the Red Sox for four touchdowns; that’s a franchise record for Toronto. For the Red Sox, it was a dubious distinction, the most runs they’ve ever allowed. Boston might need to burn some incense, have a priest investigate a potential exorcism, or maybe bring in little orphan Annie for tonight’s first pitch. Anyways, let’s take a quick look at what some of the Jays did.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. picked up six hits (!!) and became the first player since Anthony Rendon on April 30th five years ago to do so while also knocking in five runs; he’s now hitting .453 across 16 games in July. On the year, he’s batting .318, just behind Alejandro Kirk, who had three hits last night and leads the team with a .319 average.

Danny Jansen walloped a pair of home runs and now has a Matt Carpenter-esque .973 OPS in just 82 PA.

Ironically enough, the Jays rested their usual leadoff man, George Springer, whose .804 OPS is the lowest he’s posted since 2018. Instead, it opened the doors for Raimel Tapia to be the beneficiary of one of the ugliest fielding gaffes you’ll ever see, courtesy of Jarren Duran in center, the result being an inside-the-park grand slam.

Teoscar Hernández had three hits, including a home run, and scored four times. A hamstring injury cost him a few weeks in April, but he’s since recovered and is slashing .272/ .323/ .489. That’s not too far off from last year. And his batted ball numbers this season, including an 8.7% barrel/PA, are close, too, so it’s not hard to imagine him coming really close to matching last year’s rate stats.

Matt Chapman picked up three hits, including his 16th dinger of the year. The former Oakland A is having a decent debut season in Toronto; most notably, he has lowered his K rate to 25.6% after being above 32% the past two years.

Bo Bichette also picked up three hits. For lack of a better word or any word, he’s been meh relative to expectations; a .728 OPS and .317 wOBA are career-lows in year four.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had two knocks. He’s been similar to Bichette in that Vladdy’s .836 OPS rings a little hollow in the wake of last year’s 1.002 OPS. But, we know what they’re capable of, and there are still two months left to play.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:

Ketel Marte (ARI): 2-4, 3B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

Facing Patrick Corbin, Marte seemed like a good gamble last night in DFS, considering he’s always been a stronger bat from the right side, and it paid off; in his second at-bat, he crushed a low and outside changeup from Corbin and sent it 423 over the wall in center for his ninth of the year. The D-Backs’ second baseman has been productive of late and entered last night’s game with a 1.017 OPS across 15 games in July. So far this season, he’s posted a .906 OPS as a righty and .790 OPS as a lefty. Hitting eighth, Daulton Varsho picked up three hits, including his 13th home run of the year.

Seiya Suzuki (CHC): 4-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The rookie’s seventh home run, a shot to straightaway center, came in garbage time in the eighth off backup catcher Garrett Stubbs which gave the Cubs their final two runs of the night in their dismantling of the Phillies. Still, the recent results have been favorable for Suzuki as he entered tonight with a .907 OPS across 13 games in July. Nelson Velázquez hit two dingers off the bench, with one of them also coming off Stubbs; he’s shown some power in the minors but remains well off the radar as a part-time player.

Cody Bellinger (LAD): 1-4, HR, R, 4 RBI.

Just one hit, but it was a big one, a grand slam to deep right that gave the Dodgers the lead. Facing lefty reliever Sam Long in the eighth, Bellinger worked the count full before unloading on a curveball that caught too much of the plate. Overall, it’s been a disappointing season for the 2019 NL MVP, whose OPS sits at .651.

Tyler Naquin (CIN): 2-4, 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI.

With the Reds up 5-4 in the sixth, Naquin roped a 99 MPH fastball from Jordan Hicks to center, where Dylan Carlson just missed it on a diving attempt which allowed two runs to score and the lefty to slide into third for a triple. He’s done yeoman’s work against righties this year with a .829 OPS. Jonathan India hit his fifth dinger of the year and now finds himself in the midst of a modest five-game hitting streak. Joey Votto hit his seventh of the year.

Hunter Renfroe (MIL): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

With the Brewers trailing 5-3 and down to their final out in the tenth, Renfroe blasted his 14th of the year to left off righty reliever Robert Stephenson to tie the game. After going 0-for-4 in his first game back from the IL due to a calf strain on July 12th, he’s hit safely in five straight and leads the Brewers with a .788 OPS (min 200 PA).

Aaron Judge (NYY): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

That’s 36 home runs for Judge, who leads baseball; Kyle Schwarber hit his 30th last night and is second. The Yankees outfielder continues to make his case for the AL MVP while setting himself up for a massive payday. He victimized Tyler Wells twice, the second of which came in the fifth on a 2-1 changeup right down broadway that ended up 465 feet past the fence in left-center. What can you say about this man? His barrel/PA of 15.9% leads baseball. Sure, why not?

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

He might not be the most exciting player from a fantasy perspective because of the lack of power, but the Guardians’ leadoff man can really put the bat on the ball. He’s strung together three multi-hit games in his last seven and has the second-lowest K rate among qualifiers at 8.7%; Luis Arraez is the lowest at 8.0%. Andrés Giménez hit his eleventh of the year and is now second on the team with a .846 OPS.

Paul Goldschmidt (STL): 2-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

The NL leader in OPS hit his 21st off Graham Ashcraft, a two-run shot to left. His current 1.010 OPS is the highest he’s produced since 2015 with the D-Backs. Tyler O’Neill also hit second in front of Goldy. I’ll be interested to see if that sticks. Maybe it gets him going?

Orlando Arcia (ATL): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

I really have no idea why Atlanta brought in Robinson Canó. He left last night’s game with what’s being called ‘dizziness,’ and Arcia stepped in and hit a three-run home run. It came off a brand name, too, in Shohei Ohtani. Let’s see what happens with Canó, as it could open more playing time for Arcia as a potential option in deeper leagues.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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