Hitters to Watch

Pardon the brief intro, but I’m coming to you live from Disney World! I wanted to give you a few guys to look for on your waiver wires this weekend!

Mike Tauchman OF – NYY | 141 wRC+

With the absurd number of injuries that have struck the Yankees, it’s kind of surprising that Tauchman is just now breaking through. He got some playing time in April, but couldn’t make it happen, posting just a .177/.282/.387 line as a .211 BABIP held him back. He has become a lineup staple since the All-Star break and he’s absolutely raking. He has a .413/.471/.825 line with 6 HR and 4 SB in 70 PA and I’m sure Alex Chamberlain’s wife is tired of hearing about his crush’s numbers every night! With Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks on the IL, Tauchman’s playing time should be solidified for the foreseeable future. Buy!

Willie Calhoun OF – TEX | 125 wRC+

Calhoun has bounced up and down from Triple-A throughout the season, but he should finally stick for the remainder of the year. Since returning on July 26th, he’s gone off in a 10-game run including a .325/.357/.775 line with 4 HR in 42 PA. The 24-year old kinda sleepwalked through last year, making his frustrations about being in Triple-A known, but he hasn’t made those same mistakes this year. He’s crushed it while in Triple-A (138 wRC+) and made the most of his limited MLB samples prior to this recent call up (101 wRC+ in 99 PA). Calhoun should be a power/AVG asset the rest of the way while sitting in the middle of the lineup.

Aristides Aquino OF – CIN | 244 wRC+

Aquino probably deserved more attention for hitting 28 HR in 78 games at Triple-A, but the bouncy ball has undercut a lot of interesting seasons as it’s obviously a key factor. Aquino has displayed power throughout his minor league career, but this is another level with a .337 ISO behind those 28 dingers. He has hit the ground running with the Reds, smacking 3 homers and posting a filthy .429/.455/.905 line in his 22 PA. When Yasiel Puig was dealt, attention turned to Phillip Ervin possibly nabbing the bulk of that playing time, but Aquino has usurped the role and will be a fixture in RF (and the middle of the order) if he continues to show top shelf power.

Anthony Santander OF – BAL | 118 wRC+

Santander got going just before the All-Star break and has maintained that momentum since, posting a .312/.345/.541 line with 8 HR in 169 PA since June 21st. He has been rewarded by ascending the lineup and locking into the #3 spot over the last few weeks. The switch-hitting former Rule 5 pick never really got a chance to finish developing in the minors because of that Rule 5 status so he’s essentially learned on the job. It’s not a particularly dynamic profile, but there is some juice here for deeper leagues, especially those in need of volume since there’s no reason he won’t remain in the heart of lineup the rest of the season.

Ryan Goins 2B, 3B, SS – CWS | 144 wRC+

Yes, that Ryan Goins. He only has 81 MLB PA this year, but he also posted a 139 wRC+ in 316 PA at Triple-A thanks to a .322 AVG and 10 HR. The one-time glove-only utility infielder has found some punch in his bat at age-31 thanks to work at Triple-A Charlotte with former MLBer Frank Menechino. Goins is elevating and hitting the ball harder than ever. His 36% flyball is 6 points better than his career mark while his 35% hard-hit rate is well above the 28% clip he had each of the last three seasons in a part-time role with Toronto and Kansas City.

J.D. Davis 3B, OF – NYM | 133 wRC+

Once relegated to a lefty-masher role, Davis has been installed as the full-time leftfielder since Robinson Cano’s injury (which moved Jeff McNeil from LF to 2B) and he’s running with it. He has started 14 of his last 17 games and he’s hitting .412/.492/.706 with 3 HR and even a chip-in stolen base. Davis absolutely crushes the ball regularly. Since July 20th (the start of that 17-game run), he has a 55% hard-hit rate and just an 8% soft-hit rate.

Jon Berti 2B, 3B – MIA | 117 wRC+

Berti was recalled on July 31st and he’s hit a cool .412 with 3 SB in 34 PA. He’s batted 1st or 2nd in each of the seven games he’s started and he could add more positional flexibility the rest of the way. In addition to qualifying at 2B and 3B in most leagues, he’s been playing SS and OF this year.

We hoped you liked reading Hitters to Watch by Paul Sporer!

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Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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17 Comment authors
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Jim
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Jim

Jeff McNeil is playing mostly RF. He’ll move to LF when Lagares goes to CF and Conforto moves to RF. That means Davis will sit sometimes with a lead.

Moelicious
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Moelicious

Yes, Davis frequently gets removed for defense after his third at bad.

carter
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carter

Teams are so weird removing someone for defense when more balls are put in play in the early innings. I get they don’t want to burn warm bodies, but you’d figure a hitter should enter early in the game, not later. The Mets have good pitching, so they don’t need to use bulk guys, but I would think the ideal sort of set up, would be you have your defensive liability bat for your opener when he comes to the plate. Franmil Reyes would of been perfect for this, then double switch your bad defense offensive guy out.

Trotter76
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Trotter76

There is no such thing as Early Inning Pressure Situation.

carter
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carter

Doesn’t matter. It has nothing to do with pressure.