Ronald Acuña homered twice and stole a base Tuesday, now sitting one homerun shy of a 40-40 season. He's really in the midst of one of the best seasons in MLB history slashing .338/.418/.596 with the 39 homers, 67 stolen bases, 138 runs and over 200 hits. He's a slam dunk number one pick in drafts next year since Ohtani won't be producing on the mound and with the Braves having almost their entire offense locked up for the next decade there shouldn't be much of a falloff for the team around him for a long time.
Taj Bradley had a great start against the Angels with six strikeouts and one run over five innings. His rookie season has been filled with highs and lows and most of the lows have been isolated to June and July where he had ERAs of 6.26 and 7.89 respectively. His 29% strikeout rate is well above average across the league but the issue he's going to have to overcome is the hard-hit rates that are leading to a lot of the power numbers against him. He allowed a pair of homers in each of his first two months (15 innings each) and followed that up with five homers in each of the next two months (23 and 21.2 innings). He's allowed six homers already in September in his 21 innings as well. There's a ton to like here but he'll really need to limit this, but should enter next season as a trendy mid-to-late round sleep in drafts.
Bryce Harper hit homerun number 19 on the season and is turning in a great season considering he's around 100 ABs short for a full season. He's up to the 19 homers to go with nine stolen bases and a .290/.394/.615 slash line. His average was in a fine spot over the first half of the season but now he's matched the average in the second half, upped the OBP a hair, and has 16 homers compared to the three in the first half in less than 20 more at bats. Harper is exactly the star as we'd hoped post-TJ and next year he'll have first base eligibility to start and could potentially get some outfield usage next year with his elbow fully healed from the Tommy John surgery.
Ke'Bryan Hayes hit homer number 14 as his second-half tear continued on Tuesday. Since the All-Star Break he's hitting .309/.349/.562 and has nine homers. In the first half of the year he had just five long balls and that was in 130 more at-bats than his nine have taken in the second half. He's lifting the ball significantly more this year and that's been the biggest worry with Hayes. His exit-velocity numbers are elite but the ground balls have always been the issue and this year we've seen his fly-ball rate spike to 27% for the season. This absolutely puts him on the radar for leagues next season and will be a trendy breakout pick heading into next season.
Blake Snell threw seven no-hit innings on Tuesday but was pulled after 104 pitches. He struck out 11 in the game, and in classic Snell fashion he walked four in the game. This has got to be one of the strangest Cy Young seasons in recent memory. Snell is up to 227 strikeouts and a 14-9 record, owns a 2.33 ERA, but is walking 13% of the batters he faces this year which is amongst the highest in the league. That's about all batters have been able to do against him though. His hard-hit rate are back down towards the Tampa Bay years, his groundball rate is also back towards where it was in Tampa and batters are having a very hard time barreling him as a result. He's going to be drafted near the top of the SP pool next season but the walk issues are probably going to scare me off of rostering him anywhere.
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