Bryce Harper (OF-PHI)
Harper went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles Thursday afternoon. It's been more than a disappointing start for Harper, but he may be coming into one of his patented hot stretches as he recorded his 3rd consecutive multi-hit game to boost his line to .252/.370/.490 - which now very closely resembles the .889 OPS he compiled last year. While he hasn't drawn a walk and had struck out 3 more times (31% on the season) 6 of his 8 hits over the past 3 games have gone for extra bases, including 5 doubles - bringing his total to 19, tied for the league lead. Harper is now in 8th season - and putting aside his two 1000+ OPS season - he may be a .850-.900 OPS player on a regular basis - good - but maybe not as good as some are expecting. Its advisable to ride his hot-hitting in fantasy for as long as it continues for.
Marcell Ozuna (OF-STL)
Ozuna went 2-4 with his 16th home run of the season Thursday. Ozuna's 16-home run, 49-RBI start to the season has him much closer to his break out 37-home run 124-RBI season of two years ago. His 2019 outburst can be attributed to an increased 49% hard-hit rate, with his flyball rate up 5%, and his groundball rate down 8%. While this has led to a .286 ISO the batting average has taken a hit as he is hitting just .241. A low babip of .230 is also to blame - but I would still expect him to pull his average up at least a bit closer to his career mark of .275. His .859 OPS is still strong - and he is even walking at a rate of more than 10% for the first time is his career.
Carson Kelly (C-ARI)
Kelly went 2-3 Thursday. That's back-to-back multi hit games for Kelly who has had a great month of May posting a 1.1168 OPS with 5 home runs, 8 RBIs and 9 runs scored - excellent production from the catching position. He looked much more comfortable at the plate in May and that may coincide with him being the Diamondbacks primary catcher during the month. He sported an ugly 1:13 BB:K ratio over the seasons first month but has completely flipped that in May, drawing more walks (10) then strikeouts (5). While he has never been much of a power hitter in the minors, perhaps if he is able to maintain his improved hard-hit rate of 46% it could go a long way in making a very viable offensive option at the catcher position.
Kevin Newman (2B/SS-PIT)
Newman got the start at 2B and hit leadoff, going 1 for 5. 2019 has been a new look for Newman who reportedly shed 15 pounds in the offseason and its showing as he looks much more comfortable at the plate. He has dropped his Swinging Strike rate to 6.7%, more than doubled his walk rate to 8.4%, and cut his strikeout rate down to 18%. While he only has 1 stolen base this season, he has a good speed grade and his .338/.398/.475 line makes him a prime candidate to continue hitting atop the order. He has also upped his hard-hit rate to a respectable 26% - and has been great at using all fields - he's split his hits identically 33% to the left, right side and up the middle. He should help fantasy hold up the slash line splits in their fantasy leagues.
Eric Thames (1B-MIL)
Thames went 1 for 4 with a solo home run. It was his 6th home run of the season, after launching 47 in the past 2 seasons combined. Thames has seen mostly regular playing time year and has parlayed that into a .239/.366/.427 line. Strikeouts are still a major issue as he whiffed 2 more time and has a 34% K rate on the season. One the flip side he did draw another walk and has drawn walks in 15% of his plate appearances. He only makes contact at a 68% clip but mashes the ball when he does with a 49% hard hit rate which would be a top-15 number if he were qualified.
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