by Will Overton
It was a lighter load yesterday with just seven games on a getaway Monday. Fewer games doesn’t mean fewer stories though as we are still recapping the top 10 stories of the night from the seven games that were played:
1) Age is Just a Number: Adrian Gonzalez Goes Deep Twice
At 35 years old Adrian Gonzalez is clearly on the downside of his career, but he showed us last night he still has some pop in his bat. Gonzalez was 3 – 4 last night against the Reds with 3 R, 2 HR and 2 RBI. Gonzalez isn’t the hitter he once was, but he is still getting very regular playing time, only sitting against left handed pitchers. He continues to have a strong eye at the plate, and while his power has dipped he has five HR’s so far. Gonzalez is certainly not a must own corner infielder any longer, but he has a place in some deeper leagues.
2) We May Not be Giving Eugenio Suarez Enough Credit as a Fantasy Contributor
After missing a big chunk of April, Eugenio Suarez has been hot fire since returning from the DL. Suarez kept it rolling last night and was 2 – 4 with 2 R, 1 HR and 1 RBI. In his last eight games Suarez has 5 R, 3 HR and 13 RBI and he is hitting .290 now with a .390 OBP. Suarez is also hitting a HR every 14 AB’s, and while that might not continue at that pace, he clearly seems to be taking a step up in power. Suarez is currently owned in just 61% of leagues in ESPN which just seems crazy and should probably change.
3) Second Consecutive Quality Start for Zach Eflin
The Philadelphia Phillies called up Zach Eflin at the beginning of May and he took down the Marlins allowing just one run in six innings. He followed up that outing last night against the Giants by throwing 6.2 scoreless innings. Eflin allowed just four hits and three walks in the game, and he struck out nine batters. Eflin is a former second overall pick in the draft, and he has had an interesting road to get here as this is his seventh year as a professional, with multiple cups of tea in the majors that have never panned out. Eflin is still just 24 though and far from finished. I would proceed with caution here though as he has never sustained success in the majors and he has no history of being a top notch strikeout pitcher so this might be more of an aberration.
4) Odubel Herrera is Raking as the Phillies Top Hitter
At 26 years old Odubel Herrera is just starting to enter his prime and he is looking like he has a shot to be a top end fantasy player. Last night Herrera helped take down the Giants going 3 – 4 at the plate with 3 R, 2 HR and 5 RBI, walking once. Herrera is now hitting .341 with a rock solid .401 OBP. The Phillies are not an offensive juggernaut per se, but they have some solid bats and with Herrera hitting in the middle of this lineup he should rack up the counting stats this year.
5) The Second Start is in the Books for Fernando Romero and He Still Hasn’t Allowed a Run
Fernando Romero’s major league debut was last week against the Blue Jays and he was solid, not allowing a run in 5.2 IP. Romero was even better in his second start last night where he held the Cardinals scoreless for six innings. Romero allowed three hits and three walks and struck out nine in the game. Romero’s trouble with walks seems to have followed him to the big leagues as he has walked six in 11.2 IP, but the stuff is bailing him out thus far. There are going to be bumps in the road for him, but Romero has a considerable amount of upside and is worth the gamble in all formats.
6) A Slumping Max Kepler Comes Alive a bit Last Night
We keep getting glimpses of what Max Kepler is capable of, but we aren’t getting enough of it. Kepler came into last night on a downturn, 3 for his last 21 at the plate. Kepler snapped out of it last night though going 2 – 5 with a run scored and a run batted in. The Twins clearly believe in Kepler as he continues to hit third in the lineup which is a positive sign. Kepler also has shown some extra base power, hitting his 10th double of the season last night, though it’d be nice to see a couple more of those translate into HR’s. I think Kepler is still someone you hold onto in five outfielder formats and in the long run the numbers are going to be solid, even if there’s a little up and down.
7) If Nothing Else, Ian Happ Can Still Pack the Power
It’s been a rough year for Ian Happ so far who is trying desperately to stick around in the starting lineup. Last night we saw the upside of Happ at it’s finest as he went 2 – 5 at the dish with 2 R, 2 HR and 5 RBI. We saw the power of Happ last season and the power is still very much there. The strikeout rate closing in on 50% is a big alarm though and until that changes it’s going to put a huge dent in his fantasy value. If you need power you’ll get it from Happ, but that might be all you get.
8) Nomar Mazara Keeps Racking Up the Home Runs
The ball just keeps on flying out of the park for Nomar Mazara. The 23 year old outfielder had four straight games with a HR last week, and after taking two days off from the long ball he was back to it last night going yard against the Tigers. Mazara was 2 – 3 on the night with 2 R, 1 HR and 1 RBI, bringing his season total to 8 HR’s and 24 RBI. Fantasy owners forget that Mazara topped 100 RBI last season at just 22 years old and he’s well on his way to doing it again this year. Mazara is a must own for fantasy owners who is going to be a serious force in a couple more seasons.
9) A Career Best Night for George Springer
Some nights a guy is just locked in at the plate and the pitcher can’t do anything about it, that was George Springer last night. The Astros leadoff man was an incredible 6 – 6 at the plate, tying an Astros record for most hits in a game. Springer also added 4 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI. After a bit of a slow start Springer has picked things up in the last 10 games hitting .400 with 12 R, 4 HR and 8 RBI. Hitting at the top of this lineup Springer has a chance to put up some eye popping numbers this season.
10) Mat Adams is Just Killing the Ball Right Now
The Nationals are on a hot streak right now and a big part of that success is their first baseman Mat Adams. The Nationals won again last night and Adams was 2 – 5 with 2 R, 2 HR and 5 RBI in the game. Adams has now hit 7 HR’s in his last seven games with 10 R and 13 RBI in those seven games as well. Adams is laying claim to a regular playing time gig for Washington and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Ryan Zimmerman comes back from injury. Power isn’t easy to find on the waiver wire, but Adams is available in 75% of leagues right now. He may have his playing time cut into eventually, but right now you have to ride this kind of hot streak.
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