Up, Up, and Away

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

Justin Upton (LAA): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.

After missing the previous two games with back stiffness, Justin Upton returned in a big way Friday going 2 for 4 with a double and belting a 410-foot grand slam in the seventh inning that ultimately put the game out of reach for the Twins. Though Upton still sports a 28.3% K rate on the season thus far, he did not record any whiffs in this one making contact on all six of his swings on the day.

Upton had a bit of hype coming out of spring training as finished off the preseason hitting .364/.404/.727 with four home runs and two stolen bases through 44 at-bats. More importantly, he was feeling and looking healthy after missing a bit of time over the course of the past few seasons. Hopefully, the issues that kept him out of the lineup are behind him and he can build off this recent performance.

Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday

Freddy Galvis (BAL): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 R.

After hitting his first home run of the season, Galvis extended his hit streak to 5 games and collected five total bases on the day off his two hard hits, leading the Orioles over the Rangers on Friday. The last two games have been a bright spot in what has been a pretty grey start for Baltimore’s everyday shortstop. With the multi-hit performance Friday, Galvis raises his batting average to .200 and continues to see time at the bottom of the Oriole’s lineup. It was a nice day for Galvis, but nothing to hold your hat on.

Zach McKinstry (LAD): 3-6, 1 2B, 2 RBI.

McKinstry continues to make use of the opportunities given, this time starting at second base for the Dodgers with Gavin Lux nursing an injury Friday. Still batting seventh in the loaded Dodger’s lineup, McKinstry did collect three strikeouts during the game to go along with his three hits including his 106.1 mph single in the second inning. With multi-hit performances in three of his last 4 starts, McKinstry should continue to force himself into the lineup, and with AJ Pollock nursing a groin issue McKinstry may have another avenue to playing time in the next couple of games.

Manny Machado (SD): 2-4, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SB.

Machado followed up his Thursday performance with just his second multi-hit game of the year Friday, collecting 3 hard-hit balls including both singles coming off the bat at 103.7 and 108.6 mph respectively. Machado also doubled his stolen base total on the year with his pair of bags Friday. His two hits and two walks helped raise his OBP on the young season to .397.

Mitch Garver (MIN): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB.

Back in the leadoff spot for the Twins, Garver put up his third multi-hit performance on the year Friday. Garver saw five different types of pitches throughout the game but only put two balls in play, both off sliders. Garver continues to see the majority of playing time behind the plate for Minnesota but that may be more thanks to rookie Ryan Jeffers‘ 4 for 21 start than it does with Garver’s own performance.

Jared Walsh (LAA): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI.

Once again starting in right field, Walsh continued his hot start to the 2021 season with a bomb of his own, going back-to-back with the aforementioned Justin Upton. Walsh is now hitting .341/.426/.707 through his first 12 games of 2021 and with Dexter Fowler out for the season, he gained duel eligibility at first base and the outfield in short order in most fantasy formats.

Ty France (SEA): 2-4, 2 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI.

Sure, teammates Evan White and Mitch Haniger also had multi-hit nights, but it was France that stole the show with his 4 hard-hit balls, including three of the five hardest balls of the game. France is impressing early on in his new uniform hitting .288 with a .300 xBA in the early going and should continue to hit near the top of the lineup for the foreseeable future.

Jean Segura (PHI): 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI.

If anyone has lost a step due to the recent postponements it’s not Segura. After his three hits Friday, Segura extended his hit streak to six games going 11 for 25 with four RBI and 5 runs scored in that span. Both his doubles were of the hard-hit variety in this one as he led the Phillies with 5 total bases on the day.

Willson Contreras (CHC): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

Contreras continues to impress near the top of the Cubs lineup, extending his own six-game hit streak on Friday. Contreras collected three hard hits on the day, including a 415-foot solo shot in the fifth inning, the second hardest-hit ball of the game at 111.2 mph. He’s still striking out a lot with a 28.3% K rate on the season but makes up for it a bit with his 10.9% walk rate.

Joey Votto (CIN): 2-4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI.

Votto hit two almost identical balls with somewhat different results. In the third inning, Votto took Phil Maton deep on a 381-foot shot traveling 103.6 mph off the bat. Fast forward to the 6th inning when Votto decided to hit a ball from Trevor Stephan harder (104.3 mph) but only sent it 380 feet, settling for a long double. I’m sure Votto will take it as he seems to be finding his groove after a slow start to the season. The two-run shot was his third home run in the past four games.

Nick Castellanos (CIN): 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

Castellanos was aggressive at the plate Friday, swinging at 8 of the 14 pitches he saw. The aggressiveness translated into production as he collected three hard hits on the night, including his solo shot in the fifth inning that came off the bat at 105.2 mph. Castellanos now has six multi-hit performances on the year and has an early slash line of .328/.345/.698 to show for it.

Josh Naylor (CLE): 3-4, 1 2B.

The ability to hit the ball hard has never been a question for Naylor, who collected three more hard hits on Friday. Naylor still sits in the 97th percentile in max exit velocity this year to go along with his 38.2% hard-hit rate. Unfortunately, those hard-hit balls have not translated into counting stats fantasy managers can use as Naylor has yet to collect any RBI or have any of those hard-hit balls leave the stadium for a home run this season.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. (MIA): 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

It’s always nice to see a player hit a single harder than their home run in the same game. To be fair, Chisholm’s 373-foot solo home run in the 5th inning may have been caught almost a 25% of the time, but not his time. This was the rookie’s second bomb in the past 3 games and for some reason is still rostered in less than half of leagues across Yahoo!. Go figure.

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.

One response to “Up, Up, and Away”

  1. The Malachi Brothers says:

    Do you think Andrew Vaughn is worth hanging on to? Yuri Gurriel is on waiver wire and I can try claiming him.

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