Anthony Santander (BAL): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.
It feels like we’ve been playing fantasy baseball for a while but last night was a reminder that a couple of good nights can make everything look a lot better. Heading into Thursday’s series finale with the Royals, Anthony Santander was slashing .233/ .299/ .369 with two home runs and 11 RBI. He kicked off the O’s 13-10 victory with a two-run shot in the first on a 3-0 meatball courtesy of his former teammate Jordan Lyles.
And then last night, he went 2-for-5 with two dingers and five RBI. With the game tied 1-1 in the fourth, Santander turned on a 95 mph fastball from Max Fried and sent it 401 feet just over the wall in left (103.9 EV). With the bases juiced in the seventh, Santander, batting left-handed, belted the first pitch from Joe Jiménez and sent it 397 feet over the right field fence (102.5 mph). After his first career grand slam, he’s now slashing .248/ .307/ .451 with five home runs and 18 RBI. All of a sudden, he’s pretty darn close to his career slash of .245/ .301/ .454.
But while it’s good to see him have a big game, I don’t think I feel too great about him repeating last season’s production.
Santander has never really been a disciplined hitter but he’s always had a low K rate. This year, though, things have gone sideways as his strikeout rate has climbed to 27.9% compared to his career mark of 20.7%. His chase rate has climbed almost nine points to 42.4%, the bottom sixth percentile.
He’s also shown wide splits this year: a .382 wOBA as a righty hitter and .264 as a lefty hitter. It’s a slight exaggeration of his career splits: a .336 wOBA as a righty and .312 as a lefty. His K rate as a lefty has spiked this year to 26.3%. (17.6% for his career). His SZ Judgment (35) and Decision Value (40) PLV grades are down relative to last year too. I have no idea what the mechanism is behind all of this. Maybe pitchers are attacking him differently after his career-high 33 home runs last year. To that note, he is seeing noticeably more pitches on the inside part of the plate compared to last season: his iLoc% of 42.2% is in the 97th percentile. Regardless, there’s enough weirdness in his profile right now for me to feel a little uneasy about his outlook.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Friday:
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD): 2-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
He victimized Clayton Kershaw twice. His second home run came in the fifth on a 1-2 slider down and in, a screaming line drive down the left field line (110.8 EV) that gave the Padres a 3-1 lead. The big night pushes his OPS to .802.
Elvis Andrus (CWS): 1-1, HR, R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB.
Seeing Andrus with a combo meal reminds me of that Jumanji scene, What year is it? Anyways, his first of the year came against Hunter Greene and tied the game at 3-3. As you probably figured, this one was the definition of a wall scraper at 355 feet to left. Funny enough the ball left…
Read More: Fantasy Baseball Daily Hitting Recap: 5/5/23 2023-05-06 14:00:57