The Cherry García on Top

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

Adolis García (TEX): 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB.

Adolis García may be one of the most surprising stories of 2022. A breakout season in his first full season last year at 28 years old and he keeps it up and even improves upon it this year (last night: 2-2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB).

Let’s start with last year. García had an interesting stat line. Only a 99 wRC+ slashing .243/.286/.454 but he managed to hit 31 homers, steal 16 bases, with 77 runs and 90 RBI. This seems like a very prime Eddie Rosario kind of line. It may not be a great realistic line but for fantasy it is top notch.

His hard hit rate was in the mid-40s with nearly a 20% HR/FB while hitting 40% fly balls. He did strike out over 30% of the time while walking only 5% but he did damage when he got wood on the ball.

And that has all continued into 2022 but is slightly better all around. He has a 48% hard-hit rate, a bit lower fly ball rate but he’s hitting many more line drives. He is striking out only 27.7% of the time with a one percent boost in walk rate. This all translates to a .253/.301/.461 slash with a 114 wRC+. Again that wRC+ and slash don’t knock your socks off, but he has 25 dingers and 24 steals! He may be a 30/30 guy when this year is all said and done. He also has more runs (79) and more RBI (92) than last year with 40 fewer plate appearances.

And after a bit of a rough start to July, he picked it up and since the All Star break is slashing .281/.335/.500 with a 138 wRC+, 10 homers, and 11 steals. I am not entirely sure how he pulls this off but he’s been doing it for two full seasons now while improving so it seems like it can stick.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Tuesday:

Mark Mathias (TEX): 3-5, 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI.

Mathias was acquired from the Brewers at the deadline, shipping off Matt Bush the other direction. Mathias is a utility guy that had performed well in Triple-A and got the call a couple of weeks after the trade. This was his second stint in the majors this season and he had played a few games back in 2020. He has started strong in Texas, slashing .366/.458/.732 over 48 plate appearances. He has a 44.4% hard-hit rate but a 52% ground ball rate. He put it all together last night, hitting a game-tying homer in the seventh and then a walk-off 395 feet in the ninth. It’s a nice August and September for him but he doesn’t play enough to merit an add down the stretch.

Aaron Judge (NYY): 3-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB.

He just keeps on trucking. After a streak of homering four games in a row, Judge went homerless for five, despite eight hits in that five-game span. These two homers were 56 and 57 on the year. They were both solo shots, one tying the game in the sixth and the other tying the game in the eighth. He now has 20 games left to hit five more home runs to break the AL record. He is well on pace to do it.

Yordan Alvarez (HOU): 2-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB.

Just yesterday I was looking at leaderboards with the qualified requirement removed since Trout had been on a tear. Alvarez’s name popped up which reminded me I hadn’t seen his name in a while. He was out with a hand injury for about a week from August 27 to September 4. Last night he crushed a 391-foot homer and a 110 MPH double. He now has two homers in his last three games after only having one homer in 129 plate appearances prior. That was by far his biggest home run slump of the season while he slashed .220/.318/.303. He only had seven total extra-base hits, three of which were after returning from the injury. Hopefully, he shakes off that hand injury and it seems he’s picking things back up.

Dermis Garcia (OAK): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI.

The Athletics have a hodgepodge of players starting for them nowadays and one of them is rookie Dermis Garcia. He is a 24-year-old rookie that spent a long time in the Yankees system but the A’s signed him to a minor league contract after the 2021 season. That Double-A 2021 season with the Yankees was a 31 home run year in just 443 plate appearances. He has some pop but strikes out an absurd amount. So far in 59 major league plate appearances, he has three dingers including last night’s 430-foot bomb and a 344-foot, 110 MPH double, but a 42.4% strike out rate. A regular Patrick Wisdom.

Ke’Bryan Hayes (PIT): 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

Hayes only played one game in the doubleheader yesterday but he made the most of it, cracking a 425-foot homer. He’s been quite a disappointment offensively since his stunning 2020 debut. Since then, both his 2021 and 2022 seasons have been sub-100 wRC+. He has been consistent, walking about nine percent of the time with a 22% K rate while hitting around .250. He has a solid hard hit rate in the high 40s but can’t seem to elevate the ball (48.4% ground ball rate this year). And playing on the Pirates means limited run-scoring opportunities so he has only 86 combined runs and RBI despite hitting in the top three of the lineup. At least he has 17 steals on the year. If he can start hitting the ball in the air, things will change for Hayes but for now, he is not of much value.

Jose Miranda (MIN): 2-2, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Miranda had a strong day at the plate with two walks and two hits over 100 MPH, one traveling 360 feet for a dinger. He has been stellar for the Twins this season. After a rocky start in May when he got the call, he settled in nicely. From May 26 on, he is slashing .308/.368/.502 for a 151 wRC+ with 14 dingers in 329 plate appearances. He has a solid 43.7% hard-hit rate coupled nicely with a 38.5% fly ball rate while striking out less than 20% of the time. After batting in the back of the lineup for most of the year, since August he has been hitting fourth or third which should provide plenty more RBI. Miranda is an excellent all-around hitter.

Andrew McCutchen (MIL): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI.

McCutchen’s season is quite a bit better than I expected when pulling up his stats. He still only has a 100 wRC+ which he has hovered around since 2020 but he has 17 dingers with eight steals! He still doesn’t strike out much and is still hitting the ball as hard as he had during his late-stage Pirate days. It is harder for him to get much playing time in the field so he DHs most of the time while still hitting in the top half of the Brewers’ lineup (which is a bit of a questionable move). He’s a fine deeper league play still but may be tough to roster in standard leauges.

Triston Casas (BOS): 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.

This 22-year-old first-round pick first baseman of the future was called up to the majors at the beginning of September. He has a bit of pop and showed it last night with a 411-foot dinger. He also added a steal which he only had 10 of across his time in the minors. Do not expect much more of that. If you are in need of some homers at first, Casas may be a lottery ticket if he catches fire in his early time up but that’s certainly a gamble.

Tommy Edman (STL): 2-4, R, RBI, 2 SB.

After a bit of a tough stretch from May through July (especially July), Edman has turned things around. Since the start of August, he is slashing .318/.353/.561 with six homers and eight steals. That is good for a 156 wRC+. And even since August 23, he is slashing .382/.405/.724 for a 216 wRC+ with five homers and five steals in just 79 plate appearances. He has eleven games with multiple hits during that span. Edman looks to be back.


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns 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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