10 Important Stories From 08/10/17 Box Scores: Moncada’s Big Night, Buxton Shows Signs & More

by Ray Kuhn

Before we head into the weekend and celebrate the promotion of Dominic Smith, let’s first take a look at some of the performances that stood out from yesterday’s action:

1) Gennett Shows off the Power…

Granted a lot of Scooter Gennett’s production did come in one game, but the utility man has managed to turn it into a pretty solid season overall. It was Gennett’s four home run game that really put him on the maps of most fantasy owners this season, but after yesterday’s game, he is up to 19 long balls on the season. Gennett’s two hit day included a grand slam to put the Reds ahead for good. So far this season, Gennett is batting .294 with 64 RBI, and while I wouldn’t expect his 23.5% home run per fly ball rate to continue, you also can’t afford to ignore the production you are currently getting from him.

2) Bell Reaches 20…

Hitting for average was never a problem for Josh Bell, but he never received a lot of buzz due to his middling power production. However, in his first full season in the major leagues, Bell has showed off his long ball stroke. Now it hasn’t come as frequently as Aaron Judge or Cody Bellinger, and a comparison would be unfair to Bell, but fantasy owners shouldn’t be complaining either. Bell went deep for the 20th time this season last night; a two run shot. He later added another RBI, 62 on the season, but his power has come at the expense of his batting average (.255). There is some room for improvement in Bell’s .275 BABIP, but it’s also hard to argue with his .227 ISO.

3) A Replacement for Eaton…

Sharing a game with Giancarlo Stanton is getting a little tough these days, as all he does is go deep. Last night was the 39th home of the season for Stanton, but it is becoming routine at this point. Instead, let’s take a look at how the Nationals have been faring in the outfield with Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth. And thanks to the emergence of Brian Goodwin, things have been going pretty well. Goodwin put Washington up for good last night with his 13th home run of the season after driving in a run earlier in the game. In 242 at bats this season, mostly toward the top of the order, Goodwin has driven in 30 runs and is hitting .248. If you are looking to fill a hole, as the Nationals are, you can do worse than Goodwin.

4) Victory for the Mets…

We can easily continue on our trend with home runs from last night, but instead we can take a look at the one starting pitcher the Mets have left. There was a scare as Jacob deGrom was hit with a line drive and exited the game, but it turned out just to be a bruised triceps and no reason for concern. Prior to exiting, the right-hander shutout the Phillies over 6.2 innings as he allowed just four hits and no walks while striking out nine. It was the 13th victory of the season for the right-hander, who for the most part, has been pretty consistent this season as his 3.21 ERA shows.. deGrom has shown the ability to bounce back from a bad start, but they haven’t come nearly as often as his good starts.

5) Estrada Gets Back in the Victory Column…

For a pitcher who has been healthy and in the rotation all season, it makes you do a double take seeing that Marco Estrada has just five wins. He picked up his fifth victory last night by shutting out the Yankees. Estrada kept the Yankees scoreless through seven innings, his bullpen finished the job, and limited New York to five hits and three walks. The right-hander struck out six batters, but I wouldn’t necessarily let this start get him back into your starting lineup as his ERA dropped to 4.85. After getting off to a solid start this season, things have just gone downhill for Estrada. While his second half ERA is 3.93, he also has benefited from a .250 BABIP, so there is some risk involved when that normalizes.

6) Fowler Has a Grand Night…

As we have talked about in the space, the Cardinals are looking for anything that works so far this season. And currently, it’s hard to argue with those results as they have gotten themselves right to the top of the NL Central race. Having Dexter Fowler back of the DL is a plus, and last night St. Louis had him batting third. Fowler came through in the seventh inning to help lead the Cardinals to victory and to give himself, his 15th home run of the season. Overall, Fowler has been a disappointment this season batting just .251 with 42 RBI in 303 at bats, but with a .267 career average, it isn’t that far off than his career norm. Now that he is back in the lineup and healthy, he could be a solid option down the stretch for teams searching the waiver wire.

7) Clutch Moncada…

We can’t dispute the fanfare that has followed Yoan Moncada. It began before the Red Sox even signed him, and just hasn’t stopped. But in his second major league stint, this season with the White Sox, Moncada has had a tough time living up to those expectations. Now adjusting to the major leagues is difficult, and he only has 61 at bats this season, but fantasy owners are a naturally impatient bunch. Last night, Moncada came through in the ninth inning with a solo home run to tie the game, and then his RBI single in the 11th inning sent Chicago home happy. It is still way too early to make a judgement on Moncada, although 24 strikeouts in 61 at bats isn’t a good thing, but you had to like his clutch performance last night.

8) Buxton Picks up Three Hits…

If you want to talk about prospects that came up with large expectations, then Byron Buxton can’t be ignored. At this point, Buxton has already proven, multiple times, that he can handle Triple-A. Right now, it’s very much confidence related as Buxton just needs to stay healthy and find his groove. Last night, at least for one game, Buxton appeared to do just that. He picked up three hits on the night, scored twice, and also drove in two runs. In 288 at bats, Buxton has just 19 RBI and is batting only .226. With his speed and a BABIP of .321, you would expect to see a higher batting average, but the outfielder’s 96 strikeouts in 94 games help to put that notion to bed.

9) Darvish Gets Through Five…

When you see that your ace only went five innings, it generally isn’t a good sign. However, Yu Darvish did what he needed to last night against a tough Arizona team, and he got the job done. Darvish limited the damage to just two runs on five hits and two walks, but he needed 106 pitches to get through those five innings. The good news though, is that Darvish not only picked up his eighth victory of the season, but he also struck out 10 batters.

10) Mancini Goes Deep Twice…

Another prospect/rookie who is seeing some of their buzz go to Judge and Bellinger is Trey Mancini. After going deep twice last night (both solo shots), Mancini is up to 20 home runs and 60 RBI. These numbers, along with a .296 batting average and regular playing time aren’t going to stand out, but it’s also hard not to like the production. Mancini bats in the middle of the order for Baltimore, and for the most part, he has been consistent all season.

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