Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU
Altuve continued his ridiculous power surge on Thursday, going 2-3 with a HR in a blowout win over the White Sox. That's 8 HR's in the last 10 games for the diminutive second baseman, and 4 bombs in the last 3 contests. Altuve had a season to forget in 2020, but that's in the rearview mirror now, as he is hitting .294 with 16 HR's through 71 games this season. Altuve has completely transformed from a speedy base stealer with little power to a big slugger who doesn't steal bases. His pace will slow down, but his career high 41.2% HardHit% should give him a chance to surpass his career-high of 31 HR's set in 2019.
Bobby Bradley, 1B, CLE
Bradley continued his torrid pace since returning to the big leagues earlier this month, hitting his 4th HR for the Tribe in just his 10th game. During this 10 game stretch, Bradley is slashing .375/.429/.813 with 11 RBI and has quickly emerged as a middle-of-the-order bat. The BA will come down as he has a history of high strikeout rates, but the power is real. Bradley has hit 42 HR's in 133 AAA games since 2019 and has a strong 92.0 EV in his young MLB career. His power seems to have translated well to the big leagues, making him an attractive option off the waiver wire. In retrospect, it may have been better for the Indians to have opened the season with Bradley as their 1B, instead of giving another chance to Jake Bauers who was ultimately DFA'd anyways.
Matt Manning, SP, DET
Manning made his MLB for the Tigers on Thursday and it didn't go too bad, as he allowed 2 ER's in 5 IP to go along with a 3:2 K:BB in a loss to the Angels. It's tough to get excited about a pitcher who posted an 8.07 ERA at AAA this year, but his 36:10 K:BB across 32.1 IP at that level is a lot better, and he was dominant at AA in 2019. He's not a recommended pick up right now, but we'll see what happens down the road.
Jonathon Schoop, 2B, DET
Schoop went 2-4 with yet another HR against the Angels on Thursday, as he remains scorching hot at the plate. Over his last 23 games, Schoop is hitting .389 with 9 HR's and 19 RBI, and his 12.7% K% and 92.7 EV during this stretch indicate that this isn't just a complete fluke. This is the best version of Schoop we've seen in a long time, and while he obviously won't continue at this pace, he's well on his way to his best season since his 33 HR-campaign in 2017.
Gio Urshela, 3B, NYY
Urshela went 3-5 with a HR and 2 RBI against the Blue Jays on Thursday, breaking out of a 1-17 slump. It's been another solid year for Urshela who is hitting .269 with 8 HR's through 60 games, although his number are lagging a bit from his previous two seasons. From 2019-2020, he slashed .310/.358/.523 and this year, he's at .269/.313/.436. His K% is up to 24.7%, after posting a combined 17.2% K% in the two years prior. His GB% is up 4% from last year, while his EV is down by about 2 mph. He can still put up useful numbers, but don't count another .300 hitting season.
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