Vinnie, Vidi, Vici

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

It may appear on first look that Vinnie Pasquantino is struggling to adjust to major league pitching, so I’m overselling him with the title of this article. In 296 plate appearances in Triple-A, Pasquantino hit 18 home runs and amassed 67 RBI. With a slash line of .280/.372/.576, he picked up right where he left off in Double-A the previous year.

Given the promise in those minor league numbers, I have a fantasy baseball league mate who is unimpressed by Pasquantino’s first 162 plate appearances for the Kansas City Royals, where the 24-year-old is hitting .246/.343/.408. Certainly the batting average and slugging percentage are considerably lower than the minor league line, but just look at the numbers and remember this is a rookie. Not only is that his season line, so far that’s his entire career.

Last night, Pasquantino got an 87.7 mph slider from Dylan Cease in the second inning, and he golfed it 398 feet into the right field bullpen for a home run. It was his sixth home run in 142 at-bats. He finished the night going 1-for-2 with a HR, R, RBI, and BB. In the last two weeks, he has an OPS of .933 to go along with three homers in 48 at-bats and a .313 BA.

So maybe I can’t say that he came, he saw, and he conquered. I was originally going to title this article “My Cousin Vinny,” which dates me considerably. That non-existent article had me making some ancient joke about yoots (youths). But given the Kansas City Royals depth chart at first base, Vinnie is probably here to stay. I think we should get used to the name.


Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday.


Emmanuel Rivera (ARI): 3-5, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Rivera hit the baseball 437 feet last night. JT Brubaker tried to sneak a slider past him, but that didn’t work. It was an 85 mph cement mixer that floated in the center of the strike zone, and Rivera walloped it. It was his 8th homer of the season. The game’s final score was lopsided, with the Diamondbacks defeating the Pirates 9-3. In the previous month (47 at-bats), Rivera has an .838 OPS. In the last two weeks, that OPS is 1.271. He was batting second in the lineup last night, and though his name doesn’t ring any superstar bells, he plays at a position that can be tough to fill (the hot corner) and he could be worth a roster spot in deeper leagues.

Paul Goldschmidt (STL): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2R, 3 RBI.

Goldy is up to 27 home runs on the season after Alex Colomé made a mistake in the 8th inning yesterday. He left his cutter deep in the heart of plate country, and Goldschmidt popped it into that Colorado air. It sailed out, a thing of beauty. At 34 years old, Goldschmidt has an 1.030 OPS on the season, the highest of his career, and will be a National League MVP candidate after the season. He may be the counterpart to Aaron Judge in that regard. He certainly has a chance to top his career home run mark of 36 as well.

Alex Bregman (HOU): 2-2, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB.

Bregman is enjoying the previous month of play, managing a .290 BA to go along with his .814 OPS in 93 at-bats. Yesterday, in the bottom of the 5th inning, he smashed a homer off Cole Ragans. Overall, it has been a down year for Bregman. He has a .255 BA and 14 home runs. This is a hitter who managed 41 home runs in 2019. Still, he’s a solid presence in the Astros lineup, and in your fantasy league.

Steven Kwan (CLE): 1-3, HR, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB.

He doesn’t hit home runs often, but he hit his third one last night. He must like knuckle curves down and in, right? That’s what Garrett Hill threw him – at 75 mph – in the fifth inning. The 24-year-old rookie was a sensation at the beginning of the season, but then he faded. But young hitters need time. Kwan has returned to the top of the lineup in the last month, and in that time period, his batting average is .340 and his OPS is .884. His season BA of .300 is good enough for 16th in the entire league, right behind Tim Anderson. His .379 OBP is 13th in the league, right behind Xander Bogaerts.

Marcus Semien (TEX): 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB.

Remember when we all gave up on Semien? Okay, maybe some of you still don’t like to bring up the substantial regression from last year. I mean, the guy did hit 45 home runs for Toronto. But last night he did hit his 17th homer of the season. Amazingly, 15 of those home runs came after June, so if you held onto Semien, you’re starting to see a return. In addition, he’s running. Up to 19 stolen bases on the year, he’s tied for 10th in the league, just behind Trea Turner. He only had 15 in 2021.

Yasmani Grandal (CWS): 3-5, HR, R, 2 RBI.

Grandal has largely been a disappointment for fantasy managers this year. Owned in 48% of Yahoo leagues, I can only think this is a crowd that believes Grandal will return to that .940 OPS in the last six weeks (it’s currently at .565). The 33-year-old catcher was batting 5th in the lineup yesterday. In the top of the 8th, he hit a two-run home run off Jose Cuas. In his last 19 at-bats, Grandal is hitting .368, so maybe the streak is coming.

Nolan Gorman (STL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB.

If you want to see what a 430-foot bomb looks like, go check out the video of Nolan Gorman hammering Germán Márquez’s slider in the top of the 4th inning. The very young 22-year-old hitter must like pitches inside because that slider was off the plate and Gorman made it look easy. This was his 13th homer of the season. In the last two weeks, Gorman’s BA is .313, with an OPS of 1.045. His Barrel% is in the 94th percentile, though his slash line may not be as pretty (.242/.316/.464). Personally, given the averages this year, I think that line works well enough. I wish I had him in my dynasty league.

Brendan Rodgers (COL): 1-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.

Rodgers now has 56 RBI on the season. He’s hitting .288/.336/.440. Last night, Rodgers got to Génesis Cabrera, hitting a three-run home run in the 7th inning. Rodgers is now sitting at 884 at-bats in his career, which means it might be too late to invest in your fantasy baseball league. I like to chase hitters around 700 at-bats, just before they’re in that 800-1,000 window where they often kick it into another gear. Rodgers is also in a hitter-friendly ballpark.

Javier Báez (DET): 2-5, HR, R, RBI.

It has been a tough season for Baez in Detroit, both defensively and offensively. He had another two errors in the field and is nearing the 20-error mark. Last season, Baez hit 31 home runs, but this year, on August 11th, he hit his 11th. It was in the 6th inning off Zach Plesac’s slider. Baez is batting .167 in the last week.

Andrew Vaughn (CWS): 2-5, HR, R, RBI.

I’m looking at Vaughn’s season stats and wondering why I didn’t trade for him before my league’s trade deadline (which was yesterday). He’s hitting .294/.347/.468 with 12 home runs, the most recent of which came in yesterday’s matchup. It was a slider from Scott Barlow in the final frame. If you’ve got Vaughn on your team, I’m jealous. We’re all jealous.

Ryan McMahon (COL): 1-4, HR, R, RBI.

It was his fourth homer in a week’s worth of games, so McMahon is turning it on. He’s owned in 68% of Yahoo leagues, so if he has indeed figured it out, it might be time to put him on your roster. In the last two weeks, McMahon is batting .293 with a .982 OPS. In the last week, he’s tied for first in home runs.

Nolan Arenado (STL): 1-5, HR, R, RBI.

Arenado is hitting .429 in the last week. On the season, he has managed 57 R, 72 RBI and 24 HR. Yesterday, he went back-to-back with Paul Goldschmidt in the 8th inning, sending an Alex Colomé slider into the stands. Here’s that glorious slash line: .303/.369/.564.


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Josh Thusat

Joshua is a professor of English, but he's also an avid baseball fan who puts his research skills to work for fantasy baseball gamers. In addition to Pitcher List, Josh writes for FantasyPros. He teaches in the Chicagoland area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login