Danny Santana, OF, TEX
Santana hit a Grand Slam for his 27th homer of the season on Thursday afternoon. It was his only hit in the game, but it was a big one. To say Santana is having a career year would be a massive understatement. Coming into 2019 he had just 13 home runs, 100 RBI, and batted just .256 in his six big league seasons. He now has 27 home runs, 78 RBI, and is batting .284 this season. He doesn't seem to have changed up his approach at the plate, and he is actually striking more this season (29.5%), yet he has been hitting the ball extremely well. His 44.5% Hard% is 11.7% higher than his career mark and his 12.2% Soft% is 5.8% lower than his career mark. This is really his first season as a full-time starter, and he is still just 28, so it will be interesting to see how he follows this up in 2020.
Jonathan Schoop, 2B, MIN
Schoop went 2 for 5 with a homer and three RBI on Thursday afternoon in Detroit. The 27-year-old hasn't seen the field as much as he would like to in his first season in Minnesota, but he has still managed to put up solid power numbers (23 HR, .220 ISO) in his 453 plate appearances. Schoop signed just a one-year deal with the Twins, and with the rise of Luis Arreaz, he might be on the move in the off-season. Wherever he finds himself next season, he should be a solid fantasy second baseman; he has the third most homers (101) and the 8th highest ISO (.199) for a second baseman since the start of the 2016 season.
Jordan Zimmermann, SP, DET
Zimmermann surrendered seven hits and six runs (four earned) in 4.1 innings on Thursday against Minnesota. The veteran righty couldn't take advantage of a Twins lineup that was basically made-up of bench players. The good news is that this dreadful season has finally come to an end for Zimmermann. He finished with a 1-13 record and 6.91 ERA. Zimmermann really hasn't been the same since he left Washington after the 2015 season:
2012-2015: 58-32, 810.1 IP, 3.13 ERA, 3.34 xFIP, 7.33 K/9, .82 HR/9
2016-2019: 25-40, 504.1 IP, 5.59 ERA, 4.90 xFIP, 6.42 K/9, 1.61 HR/9
As you can see, Zimmermann was a top-end starter during his years in Washington, but age and injury have hit him hard in his days with Detroit. It is unlikely that we will see the 33-year-old as a fantasy relevant hurler ever again.
Victor Reyes, OF, DET
Reyes collected a pair of hits in four at-bats against the Twins on Thursday afternoon. After starting the season in Triple-A, the young outfielder has shown a vast improvement in the Bigs from a season ago. In 216 plate appearances in 2018, Reyes hit just .222 and posted an abysmal 38 wRC+. This season (280 PA) he is hitting .298 and has a fair wRC+ of 97. He has taken a much better approach at the plate in his second season. His O-Swing% is down 7.4% and his SwStr% is down 1.1% from a season ago. The improved plate discipline has him walking twice as much this season (4.6% BB%) and has helped him make better contact (-7.4% Soft%). The 24-year-old is unlikely to hit for much power (career 4 HR and .101 ISO), but his line drive percentage is a solid 27.1% across his 499 career plate appearances, so there is potential for him to be a quality big league hitter regardless.
Jose Abreu, 1B, CHW
Abreu went 2 for 5 with a triple and a double against the Indians on Thursday night. After a disappointing injury-shortened 2018 campaign, Abreu has put together a fine season here in 2019. He currently has 33 homers and a career high 123 RBI with still a few more games to go. He is batting .284, but only totes a .343 wOBA and 116 wRC+; which are fine numbers for an average hitter, but not for the likes of Abreu. He has struck out 151 times this season while walking just 35 times. That comes out to be career low BB% (5.1%) and K% (22.1%) numbers for the big first baseman. He is still a very accomplished hitter and will probably slide down the draft board next season, so he might come at a bargain.
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