10 Important Stories From 09/20/17 Box Scores: The Emergence Of Snell, Weaver & Mengden & More

by Ray Kuhn

Does it really get any better than this? We had a full day of baseball on Wednesday, and that meant fantasy owners fighting for a championship had a lot to keep them occupied. Let’s jump right into some of the performances that piqued my interest from a busy day in baseball:

1) Sanchez Goes Deep…

Unfortunately, the biggest story out of the Yankees game was a young fan being hit with a fly ball, as it should be, but New York also continued their winning ways. After slumping for most of the second half of the season, Aaron Judge has found his power stroke. The outfielder went deep again on Wednesday, his 45th of the season, but we should’t forget about Gary Sanchez. The catcher hit his 32nd home run of the season on Wednesday, a two run shot, as part of a three hit effort. Sanchez, who is hitting .282 on the season, is up to 88 RBI and he isn’t showing signs of slowing down. So far in September, Sanchez is hitting .339, and we should also note that he missed about a month of the season with injury in April.

2) More Power in Miami…

Multiple home runs for the Marlins is becoming an ongoing theme, and once again, it was led by Giancarlo Stanton. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but Stanton hit his 56th home run of the season on Wednesday as part of a nine run effort by the Marlins. The outfielder wasn’t the only Marlin to go deep, and that brings us to Justin Bour. Bour missed about a month and a half of the season this summer, and in roster crunches, it is very possible that he had to be cut loose. At this point, he likely has been snatched up in all leagues, as Bour is hitting .359 this month. Yesterday, Bour went deep for 23rd home run of the season while raising his RBI total to 71 while batting .297. We have to note, that Bour’s production is coming in just 340 at bats.

3) A Streamer Wins in Oakland…

Welcome to September, the month of the streaming starting pitcher. Yesterday brought us Daniel Mengden, and he didn’t disappoint. In his fifth start of the season with Oakland, Mengden threw seven shutout innings for his second victory of the season. The right-hander scattered seven hits while not walking a batter and striking out four. After struggling through a two start stretch in late May, early June, Mengden has returned to the major leagues and found success. Through three starts, he has allowed just two runs in 22 innings with 16 shutout innings in his last two starts. Last season, Mengden showed flashes, but overall, he was more bad than good, but he clearly is worth a second look.

4) Sale Reaches a Round Number…

Is 294 strikeouts really any different than 300? The obvious answer is no, but we like round numbers. And how can we ignore Chris Sale reaching the 300 strikeout milestone yesterday as he continues on a dominant season? The southpaw is moving right to the top of the 2018 draft board for pitchers as he picked up his 17th victory of the season. Sale didn’t exactly limp to the finish line either as he threw eight shutout innings while limiting Baltimore to just four hits. While lowering his ERA to 2.75, Sale struck out 13 batters, and we are at the point where doubting him is just foolish.

5) Althrerr Goes Deep…

Perhaps the 2017 would have looked differently for Aaron Altherr if he didn’t have to take a trip to the disabled list, but it could prove to be a good thing as it might help to suppress his value for next season. But as he finishes the season strong, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope. As part of a three hit effort, Altherr went deep for his 19th home run of the season and drove in four runs overall to give him 60 RBI on the season. In 334 at bats this season, the outfielder is batting .281, with much of his damage coming in the first half of the season. He is one, of many, players I am watching down the stretch before fully evaluating them for next season.

6) The Moose is Loose…

In what very well could be his final days in a Kansas City uniform, Mike Moustakas continues to make a good impression on whoever his employer will be for next season. As part of a three hit night on Wednesday, Moustakas went deep for the 37th time this season. It speaks to some of the struggles that the Royals have had this season, that despite the home runs, Moustakas is only at 83 RBI on the season to go along with his .275 batting average. We must note though, that what we are seeing Moustakas this year is likely his ceiling. While his 18% home run to fly ball rate is well above his career average of 10.6%, it was 19.4% last season, so Moustakas is clearly generating more power. With a 46.6% fly ball rate, as compared to 39.6% last season, he also followed that up by trading ground balls for fly balls. It will be interesting to see if this is something he is able to maintain next season.

7) Snell Dominates the Cubs…

Blake Snell is a top prospect. Or was? At this point, I’m not exactly sure of the correct way to describe Snell, but he is still a young, talented pitcher who has yet to really get his major league career off the ground. Yesterday, we saw what he is capable of, as he shut the Cubs out over seven innings for his fourth victory of the season. Snell limited Chicago to just two hits and three walks as he struck out five while lowering his ERA to 4.01. In 22 starts this season, Snell has been mediocre at best, and his 4.29 FIP and 4.70 xFIP show that things could have actually been worse for the southpaw. When he was sent down to Triple-A for seven starts earlier this season, Snell didn’t appear to have any issues as he pitched to a 2.66 ERA. At this point, the jury is still out on Snell, but you shouldn’t forget about him either.

8) Weaver Continues to Dominate…

You would like to see Luke Weaver get through more than five innings, but the Cardinals are going to be cautious with their young right-hander. Weaver also needs to be more efficient, as he needed 87 pitches yesterday to pick up his seventh victory of the season. Yesterday, his victim was the Reds as he allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven. That actually made his ERA climb to 2.05 on the season. Through 52.2 innings, Weaver is striking out 11.11 batters per nine innings while walking just 1.88 batters and getting 53.9% of his outs via the ground ball. With a 2.36 FIP and 2.51 xFIP, you can also be confident in what you are seeing out of the former first round pick.

9) Renfroe’s Power Was on Display…

I know we recently talked about Hunter Renfroe, but his performance on Wednesday was pretty tough to ignore. All three of Renfroe’s hits left the yard, as his massive power stroke was on display. With 24 home runs in 415 at bats, you can deal with the .234 batting average; or at least tolerate it a little more. As Renfroe continues to improve his approach and the Padres get better overall, his 54 RBI will increase, so at least he will become a two category contributor.

10) Yuli Continues to Produce…

There are certainly rookies with more buzz and excitement around them than the “veteran” Yuli Gurriel, but he also shouldn’t be ignored. Settling into first base for the Astros as a secondary player, he has become a consistent run producer and all around solid hitter. While he doesn’t provide the power you would generally expect from first base, finding power has never been easier than it currently is. Plus, someone like Gurriel, can help to balance out a power hitter like Renfroe. After three hits last night, Gurriel’s average is up to .298 on the season as the Astros look to finish the season out strong. Gurriel doubled for the 39th time this season while driving in two runs to raise his RBI total to 69. Nothing spectacular, but there is value here.

5 comments

  1. Carlito says:

    Thoughts on Pham for next year? CBS calling him a top 25 OF in 2018

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      That’s a stretch for me. He’s certainly proven usable, but I don’t think his stats come close to what he’s done this season (there’s big risk of regression in the numbers)

  2. Bbboston says:

    Moose is a misused star…. KC has batted him on average in 6 th position. Come on!!!!!!! A guy with a 40hr pace AND A GOOD BA, should not be hitting 6+… the RBIs are not a surprise!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      No disagreement, though it’s also worked for him. It will be interesting to see where he lands in the offseason though

  3. Bbboston says:

    If he goes to yanks, which is possible, the term “Murderer’s Row” will be resurrected and ticket sales will go nuts when the yanks are in town.

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