Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, TOR
Guerrero Jr. went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI on Wednesday night in Boston. He added a pair of walks in the game, which really personifies his improvements at the plate this season. He has shown great patience at the plate this season, and it is paying huge dividends. Guerrero's 24.0% O-Swing% is 5.8% lower than his career average mark, and his 18.4% BB% is 10.2% higher. He is also displaying career-best percentages in Hard% (43.5%) and Barrel% (10.9%). Now that he is waiting for pitches inside the zone, the 22-year-old is producing at a truly elite level. He now has four homers and a stellar .383/.513/.650 triple-slash line on the season.
Kenta Maeda, SP, MIN
Maeda gave up seven runs and lasted just 3.0 innings on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland. He was mainly victimized by the long ball, as he gave up three homers that accounted for five of the seven runs allowed. This season, Maeda hasn't been the dominant pitcher he was in 2020, but this is the first time he was truly roughed up in 2021. It appears that Maeda is having a hard time locating his pitches as precisely this season. Coming into this start, he had a 28.5% CSW% (32.8% in 2020) and a 58.6% F-Strike% (64.5% in 2020), which has caused his walk rate to inflate. Fortunately, his barrel% was a lowly 2.1%, so he hadn't been hurt too much before Wednesday. Hopefully, this is something he will be able to fix as the season progresses.
Byron Buxton, OF, MIN
Buxton went deep in the top of the 10th inning on Wednesday afternoon. He finished the game 3 for 6 with three runs and two RBI. This was a very welcomed performance for Buxton after an 0 for 3, three strikeout game on Tuesday night. The talented 27-year-old is crushing the ball this season. He now has six home runs on the season and totes an impressive .432/.479/.977 triple-slash line. If he can kick the injury bug, he should be in for a career year here in 2021.
Yuli Gurriel, 1B, HOU
Gurriel hit a two-run homer for his only hit in four at-bats on Wednesday in Colorado. The big fly was his first hit in his last twelve plate appearances, and it was his first homer since the second game of the season. Despite his recent struggles, Gurriel has been sensational at the plate this season. He is now slashing .333/.452/.500 with a .419 wOBA and 181 wRC+. He is displaying a patience and an eye at the plate this season that he hasn't shown in the past. His 26.5% O-Swing% is down 8.9% from his career mark, which has him walking at a remarkable 17.8% rate (career 5.1% BB%).
Johnathan Schoop, 2B, DET
Schoop went 2 for 6 and hit his first home run of the season during the Tigers' double-dip against the Pirates on Wednesday. He is still just batting .182 with a wRC+ of 25 on the season. Scoop is striking out at a career-worst 30% clip this season despite having improved SwStr% and O-Swing% percentages. What's even more worrisome is that Scoop had registered just nine HardHit balls and ZERO barrels coming into play Wednesday. The good day is a step in the right direction, but he will have to do a lot more to prove himself fantasy relevant for the remainder of the 2021 campaign.
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