Tatís Rakes, The MLB Steps on Them.

Your daily recap of all of yesterday's most interesting hitters.

When I woke up on Tuesday morning and caught myself up on the Fernando Tatís controversy, I shuttered as my thoughts darted to a very specific memory. I was playing a travel game when I stepped to the plate with runners on second and third. I took the first three pitches for balls, then looked to my third base coach for the sign before the next pitch. He did not give me the take sign and I saw a pitch I liked, so I drove it into center field for an RBI single. After the inning, I ran back to the dugout as the recipient of high fives and congratulations from my teammates, but my smile quickly faded. In the blink of an eye, my coach was towering over me, scolding me for swinging on a 3-0 count and making sure I knew that if I ever did such a horrible thing again I would be benched immediately.

At the time I didn’t know better so I let it slide off my back, but in retrospect, I now see the damage that these outdated baseball philosophies can have on young players. In a vacuum, these transgressions seem irrelevant, but when young athletes are discouraged by coaches and parents for making a positive impact on the game it is no wonder fewer kids are playing baseball now than ever. Of course, the scenario differs when we are talking about professional athletics, but in my view, that distinction makes what happened with Tatís all the more embarrassing. These guys are trying to get paid, and it is nothing short of absurd to knock a young player for seeing a pitch he likes and taking it deep. Furthermore, what Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after the game is an absolute joke. It is the job of the manager to protect his players when facing scrutiny, be it fair or not. For Tingler to throw the next face of the franchise under the bus and claim he “didn’t look down for the sign” as well as the Padres PR team making Tatís apologize for hitting a grand slam shows an astonishing lack of leadership and reinforces a problem in Major League Baseball I like to refer to as “Stepping on Rake Syndrome”.

Anyway, all of this brings us back to last night. A night in which Fernando Tatís Jr. *clutches pearls* hit another home run! While Tatís is due for some regression, his elite production should continue throughout the season. Between him, Gleyber Torres, and Juan Soto, the future of MLB is in good hands if the brass can get out of their own way and let the kids play.

Kyle Tucker (OF, Houston Astros)—4-5, HR, 2 3B, 3 R, 4 RBI. The 2020 Astros Shame Tour twitter page has become the darling of baseball twitter over the course of the season, but Houston did not provide the account with much content last night. Tucker starred in a 13-6 win over the Rockies that looked more like a demolition derby than a baseball game. The young outfielder racked up 11 total bases between two triples and a home run. Prior to last night, Tucker had been looking at a batting average south of .200, but his combination of speed and power may be worth taking a look at for a player who is rostered in about 68% of ESPN leagues.

Randal Grichuk (OF, Toronto Bluejays)—2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Grichuk hit two bombs last night to help his team to a 5-2 victory. The Toronto Blue Jay is a top 15 outfielder as of today but is only rostered in about half of ESPN leagues. Grichuk’s walk rate is up and his strikeout rate is down, which is leading to better results for him at the plate.

Rafael Devers (3B, Boston Red Sox)—3-4, HR, 2B, R, 3 RBI. After facing a demoralizing sweep at the hands of the Yankees, the Red Sox were due for some home cooking and they got it in the form of a dominant night from Devers. Boston’s third baseman wound up a triple short of the cycle in a three-hit day that will go a long way to restore some confidence in a season that has been a struggle thus far.

Carlos Correa (SS, Houston Astros)—2-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Correa has been the best player on the most hated team in America, sporting a .321 batting average on the year. He entered last night’s game in a 5-28 slump but used Coors Field to his advantage to break out of that skid and hit his third home run of the year.

Edwin Encarnacion (DH, Chicago White Sox)—2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Encarnacion’s struggles from last season with the Yankees have carried over into his 2020 campaign, the 37-year-old slugger sports an average exit velocity of just 81.1 mph, in the bottom 1% of the league. But if last night is any indication things are starting to look up for Encarnacion, who turned back the clock with two long solo home runs in a win.

Avisail Garcia (OF, Milwaukee Brewers)—2-4, HR, R, 4 RBI. Garcia produced more offense on his own than the entire Twins lineup did last night. The Milwaukee center fielder put together a multi-hit night to end up with four RBIs in the game. While Garcia is capable of stringing together nice stretches, the consistency to keep him in your fantasy lineup is just not there right now.

Manny Machado (3B, San Diego Padres)—2-5, HR, R, 4 RBI. There are few better moments in sports then superstars doing superstar things. Bottom of the tenth, down by one, bases loaded, and the $300 million man at the dish. What happens next? Of course, it’s a walk-off grand slam into the left-center field seats. Machado is one of the best athletes in MLB and he is making the Padres’ front office look smart for anteing up to pay him.

Keston Hiura (2B, Milwaukee Brewers)—3-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB. With just four hits in his last 29 at-bats heading into last night, Hiura was due for a bounce back. He reached base in four of his five plate appearances, showcasing power and plate vision with his home run and walk. The former first-round draft pick is still getting his feet wet in his second season in MLB but should be a household fantasy name in the next few years.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire

One response to “Tatís Rakes, The MLB Steps on Them.”

  1. Johnny C says:

    What do you make of Austin Slater? His XSTAT numbers look pretty solid. Are you buying the early production or is this just a hot streak?

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