Wil Myers, OF (SD)
Wil Myers continued his strong start to the season, finishing 3-for-5 with his third home run in San Diego's 6-2 win at Pittsburgh. Myers had a 127 ADP throughout NFBC drafts this offseason, and that is too low for a player with his widespread production. Injuries scare people away and understandably so as Myers hasn't reached 500 at-bats in a season since 2017. That was also the last time he finished 20/20 (actually 30/20) and a fully healthy season could see the multi-skilled slugger reach those milestones again. Twenty stolen bases may be a lot to ask in a loaded Padres lineup, but Myers is exhibiting top-notch speed. He has one stolen base so far to go along with his three home runs. He is also showing further improvement in contact and patience. Myers hit .288 in the shortened 2020 season and may be validating that output. Surrounded by studs, am I crazy to dream of a 20/20/100/100 season? It's not crazy if he maintains health. IF.
Keston Hiura, 2B (MIL)
Hiura was back at his original position of 2nd base, as Kolten Wong is out with an oblique injury. He recorded his first stolen base of the season after driving in his fourth run on an RBI-single in the 6th. He left the game as part of a double switch after finishing 1-for-3 with an RBI and stolen base. His average improved to .129. After a disappointing 2020 season, it is concerning to see Hiura begin 2021 with such awful results. He hit .303 with 19 home runs and nine stolen bases in his rookie season in 2019 but regressed to .212 with 13 homers and 3 steals last year. He started this year reaching base once (via hit by pitch) in his first 20 plate appearances. Perhaps an encouraging sign is he has four hits in his last three games including two extra-base hits. Hiura has to make the normal adjustments of a young slugger. He was very good against velocity in his first season, but he struggled against breaking pitches. As pitchers got the book on him, the rate of breaking pitches he was seeing increased. This was a big factor in last year's struggles. If he can improve his work against the secondary and tertiary pitches, he will start to see more fastballs and he should feast again.
Adbert Alzolay, SP (CHC)
Alzolay was cruising through five innings until the Brewers finally got to him on Monday. The young right-hander had only allowed one hit without a walk in the first five innings. Then he opened the sixth frame with a single, a walk and another single. Shortly thereafter he was removed from the game only to see the Cubs bullpen allow the three runs he left on base to score. Incredibly the 5.1 innings pitched makes Monday's outing the longest of his career. However, he gets stuck with a loss and another slap to his ERA. The good news is he continues to show potential. He struck out six batters in the five innings and nearly completed his first MLB appearance without a walk. If Alzolay can't get his walks under control, he will struggle to remain a starting pitcher in the major leagues. His walk rate has been in the double digits for the past three seasons. He has the stuff to be a successful pitcher. He has a good fastball/slider combo with a workable curveball and changeup, but he struggles pitching into the zone and major league hitters are pretty capable so his opposing swing rate continues to decline. In other words, until he shows he can command his pitches, batters will lay off the ones outside the strike zone. Opposing hitters swing at one out of every four pitches outside the strike zone. That is below average and not encouraging for a pitcher with high-strikeout upside. Until he learns better command, Alzolay's ceiling will be capped.
Kevin Newman, SS (PIT)
Kevin Newman's grip on an everyday role with the Pirates is loosening. He was moved down to 8th in the lineup on Monday and proceeded to go hitless in three plate appearances. He even struck out, only his third K of the season. Hitting 8th in Pittsburgh's lackluster offense is telling. Gone are the memories of Newman hitting .606 with a 1.429 OPS in spring training. Perhaps his 83-mph average exit velocity tells the true story. The fact Newman has never had a hard-hit rate in the 30's is also telling. It's entirely possible his 12 home runs in 2019 were an aberration. He is more fit to be a contact hitter with minimal power and average speed. Is that an everyday starter? Maybe in Pittsburgh. The truth is a contact rate of 90% is good enough for a better average than he has. He is being pulled down by a .188 BABIP, which should deviate to the mean. Yet don't expect the .333 BABIP of 2019. He just doesn't hit the ball hard enough for that. Newman's average will stabilize. He will steal a few bases, but his overall shine is becoming murkier by the start.
Aaron Sanchez, SP (SF)
Sanchez was palatable in his second start. After impressing with only one run allowed in five innings at San Diego, Sanchez lasted five innings again, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in a loss to Cincinnati. He struck out three and allowed his first home run of the season to Jesse Winker. Somehow he was outdueled by Wade Miley in a battle between pitchers I spent too much FAAB on five years ago. The good news is his velocity was up a couple ticks from his first start. He was sitting around 92 miles per hour and induced 12 swings and misses in his five frames. Sanchez is still only 28 years old, but his body may resemble a 48 year old's with all the injuries he has dealt with. He topped 140 innings once, back in 2016 (you know, when I spent all that FAAB on him). Otherwise, he has been in and out of rehab assignments and MLB returns and back on the IL and so forth for the last several years. If he can stay healthy, the Giants are committed to a rotation spot for him and his first two starts have given them no reason to question his role.
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