DJ LeMahieu (2B, COL) - LeMahieu reached base in all five trips to the plate, going 3-3 with two walks. After a slow start to the season he has returned to being an on-base machine, slashing .323/.384/.412. He hasn't given you much else besides runs scored though, with just four home runs and five stolen bases (in nine attempts). His hard contact rate is down four points from last year, returning to a mediocre 31%. His 90% contact rate remains elite, but with just 18% of his batted balls going into the air, the chances of an uptick in homer production are remote. He continues to spray the ball to all fields and is again maintaining a 26% line drive rate, so his .300+ average is very safe. Unfortunately, his lack of all-around production limits him to a mid-level second base option.
Alex Wood (SP, LAD) - Wood rebounded from two bad outings with a six inning, one earned run outing. He only struck out two batters though while walking another pair, and his velocity is a bit concerning. He was consistently sitting 93-94 MPH with his fastball in April, but has steadily lost velocity throughout the season and averaged just 91.7 in this start. He also got just five whiffs over his 87 pitches, which is an alarmingly poor rate. He threw only 60.1 innings last year and has been consistently injured throughout his career, so he could be injured or he could just be wearing down at 104.1 innings pitched. I wouldn't be selling him at all costs, but there are a couple of red flags here so given his injury history it might not be the worst idea to shop him around at full value.
Stephen Piscotty (OF, STL) - Piscotty was recently reinstated from the disabled list, but has just one hit in nine trips to the plate since his return after going 0-4 against the Brewers. He struck out twice and drew a walk as his disappointing season continues. Despite a solid bump in walk rate from 9% for his career to 13.1% this year, his hard contact rate hasn't seen any gains from his increased selectivity at the dish. He's still at 30%, and with a 46% ground ball rate he isn't turning any heads with his power numbers any time soon. He has just six homers over 282 plate appearances, good for a .131 ISO. His .278 BABIP is a bit low, which is feeding into his .232 average, but even if you prognosticate positive regression he just isn't that valuable in standard roto with such a lack of power.
Starling Marte (OF, PIT) - Marte was 3-5 with a double and three runs scored leading off for the Pirates. He didn't steal any bases in this game, but those who drafted him are glad to have him back as he's stolen five bases in 15 games since returning from his PED suspension. He has also scored 20 runs in 28 games, making him a difference maker in both categories. His power is completely gone so far though, with a disconcerting .076 ISO. His 23% hard contact rate is worth noting, which is peculiar given his career 31.5% rate. It's enough to make you wonder if the PED's were helping his power a bit...but at this point that is just speculation. His plate discipline numbers are all normal, and he's even cut 6% off of his chase rate from last year, so given this small sample size there's not too much we can take away. My eyebrow is raised, though.
Chris Taylor (2B/OF, LAD) - Taylor continued to mash, finishing 3-5 with a homer, three runs scored, and two RBI. He's hitting a ridiculous .313/.379/.534 with 13 home runs and 13 steals over 354 plate appearances, although the average is buoyed by a .416 BABIP that obviously will crash eventually. That is especially true considering his 27.7% strikeout rate, and a 33% hard contact rate that is unimpressive indicates a drop in power as well. He's stealing bags like never before though, and is 13-16 for an 81% success rate, so he isn't likely to stop running any time soon. That alone has plenty of value this year where power is plentiful and speed is scarce, but at the same time if you can sell him at this level of production I wouldn't hesitate to do it.
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