Andrew Benintendi- OF- KC- Hot- Benintendi had a miserable 2020, slashing .103/.314/.128 in 14 games for the Red Sox. His .182 BABIP didn't help but his Exit Velocity of 85.1 and HardHit% of 26.1% were career lows. Benintendi had a 21.2% BB% but also a 32.7% K%, way above his norm. A move to KC has helped him immensely. Yesterday, Benintendi hit 2 homers in a 3-5 game. His ISO for the season jumped from .088 to .155. Benintendi is slashing .262/.340/.417 with 3 homers, 15 runs, 10 RBI, and 4 steals. His Statcast numbers have improved greatly. Before yesterday Benintendi had an Exit Velocity of 88.9 and HardHit% of 35.0%. That is a better EV than he has finished any season with and the HardHIt% would be his second best. Benintendi's BABIP of .311 is a little lower than his career average of .320 so there is room for positive regression to the mean to help his average.
Alex Kirilloff- OF- MIN- Hot- Kirilloff hit a homer yesterday after slugging two on Friday. His power is coming out as he is now playing 1B. Kirilloff has a .176 average but that is due to his .136 BABIP. The rookie has an Exit Velocity of 95.4 and HardHit% of 62.5%. Those show that he is ready to live up to his potential as a prime prospect. There were questions when he was called up whether he would stay once Miguel Sano was ready to come back from injury. Kirilloff's chances of staying around are growing.
Jesus Luzardo- P- OAK- Cold- In his prior 2 starts Luzardo has allowed 3 runs on 9 hits, walking 3 and striking out 14 in 12 IP. Yesterday the 23-year-old exhibited the inconsistency that has plagued him this season. He was charged with 6 runs (3 earned) in 3 IP of work. He gave up 5 this, walked 2, and struck out 1. Control has been what has gotten Luzardo in trouble. Yesterday 34 of his pitches were strikes and 30 were balls. With a fastball that hits the mid-90s Luzardo still has promise, but his performance will be a roller coaster.
Yasmani Grandal- C- CHW- Stats- Grandal only has 1 hit in his last 4 games and is batting .111 in that span. However, he has walked 6 times, including 4 free passes yesterday. Grandal's .127 average is greatly impacted by his .128 BABIP. His Exit Velocity is 93.0 and HardHit% is 52.4%. Grandal has hit more ground balls and fewer fly balls than usual (56.1% and 31.7% respectively.) It doesn't look like there is anything wrong with Grandal that regression to the mean won't cure.
Triston McKenzie- P- CLE- Cold- The rookie really took the whole "three true outcomes" thing to heart yesterday. McKenzie faced 11 total batters in his 2 IP of work. Of those, 6 struck out, 4 walked, and 1 homered. Inconsistent control is what kills him. Yesterday, 31 of his 57 pitches were strikes. McKenzie struck out the side in the first throwing 9 strikes and 5 balls. Things really fell apart in the second inning. McKenzie started well enough, striking out Yermin Mercedes and Luis Robert after walking Jose Abreu leading off. Yasmani Grandal walked on four pitches and then Jake Lamb worked a free pass. Leury Garcia got an RBI when he walked on 5 pitches. Then Tim Anderson hit a grand slam. McKenzie ended on a high note by striking out Adam Eaton, but the damage was done. McKenzie's fastball velocity dropped in each of his 2020 starts and while it did tick up in his previous start this season it had dropped in the others and he hasn't been at the 94.6 he saw in his first 2020 start. McKenzie may be ready to go to the bullpen before too long.
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