Well… the Teoscar award should go to everyone who continued to believe in Teoscar Hernández during his early season slump.
In your fantasy baseball league, if you kept the man who won the Silver Slugger Award in 2020 and 2021, if you kept faith in a guy who hit 16 home runs in 50 games in 2020 and 32 home runs in 2021 you should pat yourself on the back. You are not a fan of fair weather and you are rewarded with what he does best. In yesterday’s game, the Orioles beat the Blue Jays 10-2, but Hernandez was a bright spot for Toronto, going 1 for 4 with a home run, a run and an RBI.
He hit his home run against Tyler Wells late in the fourth inning. The Blue Jays were already down by a touchdown. But Hernandez wasn’t ready to give up. It was a 95 mph fastball. The bat traversed the area in a way that made the terrain easy to shoot regardless of location. He went 429 feet to left field.
It was his second home run in two days. On Wednesday, Bruce Zimmerman tried to sneak a 90mph lead past Hernandez. The ground didn’t really sink.
But he certainly sank into the left field seats from a great height as Teoscar sent him 461 feet.
Through 100 plate appearances in the first two months, Hernandez had an AVG of 0.185 with a % Barrel of 7.7%. From June 1 to June 15, he shot a .364 AVG with a 14% barrel percent. In fact, the Sea of Red on his Baseball Savant page shows him in the 80th percentile or higher in Speed Out, Hard Hit%, Barrel%, and xSLG. That means he’s starting to look like the same hitter from years past.
Let’s see how the other batters fared on Thursday.
Mike Trout (LAA): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
So the running game can be over, because Trout hasn’t stolen a single base all season. Still, the man has 18 homers to go along with 44 runs and 38 RBIs. He remains a force to be reckoned with on the flat, and it was no different last night. He hit his first home run into the opposite field of George Kirby in the third inning. His second came off Sergio Romo in the seventh inning. Ahem, Trout is a good hitter. His line over the season is .294/.396/.647.
Kyle Schwarber (ISP): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB.
Schwarber is on 40 homer pace after hitting two bombs last night against Patrick Corbin and the Nationals. One came in the top of the third inning and the other came in the top of the fourth inning. This gives him 18 home runs over the year. It boasts a measly .212 AVG; however, in the past two weeks he has hit a .286 AVG to go along with six home runs and a 1.152 OPS. Schwarber currently ranks 6th in BA/PA% with 11.5%. Philadelphia seems to believe in using him as a leadoff hitter, so the good news is he’ll see plenty of batsmen if he can stay healthy.
Nomar Mazara (SOUTH DAKOTA): 2-3, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.
It seems like Nomar Mazara has been around forever, but he’s only 27 years old. He was a 21-year-old rookie for the Texas Rangers in 2016, when he excited everyone with 20 home runs the first year. In his time with El Paso, in nearly 150 plate appearances, he hit seven home runs and hit a .367/.454/.641 line. He’s a career .257 hitter, which is what you’d take in this current era of suppressed batting averages. Maybe he can return to relevance after hitting a home run yesterday against Chicago’s Matt Swarmer. He starts his season line in 43 plate appearances with a .350/.395/.475 line. The Padres seem to beat him 6th or 7th in their roster, but it’s a split field. He sits against lefties.
Marc Canha (NYM): 1-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
The Mets plugged Canha in first place yesterday, and he watched it all as he got on base, stealing and hitting a two-run homer against Aaron Ashby in the fifth inning to tie the game. Canha doesn’t hit for a ton of power, but it’s entirely possible for him to hit 18-20 homers this season. He hit 17 last year, and he’s at 5 for the season. He’s batting .295 for a team with the league’s highest scoring total. There’s a reason New York signed him to a two-year, $26.5 million deal.
Anthony Rizo (NYY): 2-4, HR, R, 2 RBI, SB.
It was the Rizzo Show yesterday as he left the Yankees in the 9th inning. The winner of the match came out of Shawn Armstrong. It was his 16th home run of the season, which seems to put him in line with José Ramírez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., except the only person with a lower batting average than him in the top 13 rankings for power is Kyle Schwarber, his former teammate. Although he hits .223, his career average is .266 and he’s come closer to .255 over the past two weeks. Everyone I know seems to make a joke about his power and the small home stadium, but in terms of batting average, he was actually unlucky with a .206 BABIP.
Christopher Morel (CHC): 2-4, HR, R, RBI, SB.
Like the hitter featured above, Morel hit his second home run in as many days. He came off San Diego ace Joe Musgrove. The Cubs leadoff batter also stole his seventh base this season. Morel seems well entrenched in Chicago’s lineup, regardless of the 25.6% K%. Even with his batting woes, he gets on base at a .359 clip. His sprint speed is listed at 29.1 fps, which ranks him 30th in the league. I feel like he should be listed in over 62% of Yahoo leagues.
Jurickson Profar (SOUTH DAKOTA): 1-4, HR, 2R, RBI, BB.
Later in that aforementioned Cubs game, against solid reliever David Robertson in the eighth inning, Profar went deep. Profar has been streaked with the power numbers this season. He sent many fantastic managers rushing to waivers in the first three weeks of baseball after hitting five homers. Then he was silent. Now he strikes again, with an OPS of 1.011 over the past two weeks. Profar has now doubled his home run total from 2021. Once upon a time, it looked like he would be an eternal 20 home run hitter. That’s when he accomplished the feat in consecutive seasons in 2018 and 2019.
Austin Hays (BALL): 1-5, HR, 2R, RBI.
Hays beats just behind Cedric Mullins, and his Yahoo League roster may be at 76% because he plays for Baltimore. But consider this: In his previous 107 at-bats, he hit six homers with 21 runs and 25 RBIs. He did it to the tune of a .299 BA with a .871 OPS. His homer from yesterday in the 10-2 rout of Toronto was beaten by Matt Gage’s cutter in the top of the eighth inning. It should be noted that many of his home runs came in away games. The left-field wall was moved back at Camden Yards this offseason, which had an effect on hitters like Hays. We still can’t ignore how hard he hits, even with less home power.
Josh Bell (WSH): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.
Josh Bell has been the go-to high average hitter so far this season. His average ranks 23rd (.294). Granted, his BABIP is higher than it’s ever been in his career, at .314. But he doesn’t hit as much. In 2021, his K% was 17.8%. This year, it’s 13.6%. He’s looking for less power, but his .ISO was 0.215 last year, and he’s showing signs of power coming in as the season progresses. He hit three home runs in his last 22 at bats. His home run last night came from Zack Wheeler.
Cedric Mullins (BALL): 3-5, 2 R, SB.
Cedric Mullins is batting .250 this season after giving fans an average of .291 in 2021. However, his bat is getting hotter in June. Over the past two weeks, he’s batting .271. Heck, last week he batted .323. The power numbers are not as high as the previous season. He can probably still handle 20 homers (maybe 25 if that higher batting average also leads to some extra balls going out of the park). But more importantly, getting to base more often means he has more opportunities to swipe sacks. He’s 13 stolen bases for 2022, and he can certainly remain a 20/30 force in a lineup.
Christian Yelich (MIL): 1-5, HR, R, RBI.
In the fourth inning, Yelich led Tylor Megill deep for his seventh homer of the season. He’s batting .242 on the year, and while he may never pull off that insanely brilliant 44/30 season again, he’s still been decent in a league where a .242 average is, well, average. . In 62 games, he has seven home runs and nine stolen bases. It’s possible he’s a 20-20 player, or maybe a 15-20 player. There is still value here.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)