Two Tickets To The Gunnar Show

Top hitting performances from Wednesday's action.

Gunnar Henderson (BAL): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.

It feels like every week, Baltimore is promoting some new hotshot prospect and turning heads. Last night was no exception to this rule in 2022 as Gunnar Henderson took Triston McKenzie’s slider on a ride over the right-center field fence. Additionally, he wasn’t done there and added a leadoff single in the 9th inning. When his first MLB game drew to a close, Henderson finished by going 2-4, HR, R, and RBI.

He’ll likely force his way into the lineup at the hot corner, which will signal a decrease in playing time for Ramón Urías unless Henderson should falter. And while every prospect’s growth isn’t linear, Henderson has been outstanding in the minor leagues. He started in Double-A, where showcased his power+speed skills by hitting eight HRs and swiping 12 bags in 157 ABs. Then, after a promotion to Triple-A, he swatted 11 HRs and stole another ten bags. Both while maintaining a double-digit walk rate.

Now, if there is any chink in his armor, it’ll be in the strikeout rate. The chart below depicts Henderson’s strikeout rates throughout his recent minor league stints.


Year Level (Games) K%
2021 A (35) 29.3%
2021 A+ (65) 30.1%
2021 AA (5) 58.8%
2022 AA (47) 18.3%
2022 AAA (65) 26.4%


As I mentioned, prospect growth isn’t linear, and we could see Henderson come in and fill the stat sheets on a nightly basis. Or we could see his struggles and whiff his way out of the lineup. Still, he’s got elite-level talent and upside like very few players currently on your waiver wire. You’ve fought for over 20 weeks so far; now is not the time to get gun-shy. Do me a favor, check your waiver wire, and click the ADD button before your league mates.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday

Lars Nootbaar (STL): 1-1, HR, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB.

If you’re looking for a fun one, look no further than Nootbaar. The St Louis outfield didn’t even start the game but ended with a combo meal (HR+RBI) of his own. Furthermore, he didn’t even enter the game until the 9th inning. After a pair of walks, he crushed a 1-0 cutter over the fences in right field in the 13th inning. If you’re looking for lightning in a bottle for your playoff runs, since August 18th, Nootbaar has been slashing .302/.439/.670 with a 209 wRC+. Oh yeah, and he’s still available in nearly half of Yahoo leagues.


Brandon Marsh (PHI): 3-6, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI.

The Philadelphia Phillies tagged D-backs for 18 runs last night, and while MANY Phillies deserve a highlight; Mr. Marsh gets the nod. His 5th inning triple brought in two runs, and he later scored via a wild pitch. He later tacked on a pair of singles to help put this game so far out of reach that Carson Kelly pitched for Arizona. Unfortunately, even after getting traded to Philly, Marsh continues to strike out over a 30% clip and bat towards the back half of the lineup. Until the plate discipline improves, the batting average will always suffer.


Xander Bogaerts (BOS): 2-4, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI, BB, SB.

Even though the power is down (12 HR in 2022 vs. 23 HR in 2021), Bogaerts is having an extremely productive season. Part of it is the re-emergence of his defense, but also, he’s managed to swipe a few more bags. Although, last night, Bogaerts did it all! In the 3rd inning, he started Boston’s scoring by hitting a grand slam to center field. Three innings later, he added a two-out RBI double and swiped third base shortly after.


Jose Altuve (HOU): 2-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB.

Houston’s leadoff hitter did precisely what he’s expected to do, get on base. In fact, among all qualified 2nd basemen, only Luis Arraez’s .383 OBP bests Altuve’s .374 OBP. Furthermore, Altuve has been piling up hits in bunches as this was his 7th multi-hit affair in his last 11 games. Over that timeframe, he’s actually touting a .420 OBP with a 200 wRC+. Lastly, he ranks in the top five in Runs(76), HR(22), and batting average(.278).


Jon Berti (MIA): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, SB.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before; Jon Berti stole a base. Although, I am pretty sure you have since last night’s thievery on the base paths was his league-leading 32nd. However, if you’re looking through the leaderboards, his name might not be there, and that’s because he isn’t a qualified hitter. In fact, Berti has only played in 75 games (292 plate appearances). If you’re looking for speed in a hurry, he’s still available in 42% of Yahoo leagues.


Michael Toglia (COL): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

While the Rockies aren’t known for developing prospects, Toglia did his part to re-brand that moniker. In only his eighth MLB plate appearance, he started the comeback by parking the first offering from Kenley Jansen into the right-field bleachers for a pair of runs. Unfortunately, that would be the only scoring of the inning. Furthermore, power is one of the aspects of his skill set that shines as he showcased a .231 ISO(23 HR in 363 AB) in Double-A, and carried it over into Triple-A with a .424 ISO(7 HR in 66 AB).


Franmil Reyes (CHC): 1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

Franmil’s HR in the 5th inning pushed the team up by four runs, and Chicago never looked back. Since joining the Cubs on August 9th, he’s been a much better hitter. In 92 PAs, he’s slashing .276/.304/.517 with a 124 wRC+ while cutting the strikeout rate down to a respectable 26%. For reference, in his 280 PAs with Cleveland, the strikeout rate was nearly 38% and the wRC+ suggested he was 40% worse than league average. Few players in the MLB have a 70-grade raw power, and Franmil can crush them in bunches, so scoop him off the wire(if possible) as he’s available in over half of Yahoo leagues.


Elvis Andrus (CWS): 1-4, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Father time may have caught up to the 34-year-old veteran shortstop, but an injury to Tim Anderson opened up playing time. Andrus, who most recently, was released by Oakland was in search of a landing spot. Since joining the White Sox, he’s started nearly every game. Indeed, the full-time role will end when Anderson returns, but until then, he’ll do what he usually does: provide solid defense and swipe the occasional bag while spraying the ball to all fields.

Abraham Toro (SEA): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Playing time opened up for Toro after J.P. Crawford and Dylan Moore suffered injuries. Additionally, since returning from the minors, he’s found quick success in both outings; especially last night as he swatted a two-run blast in the 7th inning to put the team up by a run. Unfortunately, this has been a lackluster season for Toro, who’s seen a dip in hard-hit rate (29.6%) and a batting average plummeting below the Mendoza Line.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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