Garrett Cooper shines, while Adley Rutschman struggles

It’s Saturday, so it’s time to grab your morning/early afternoon coffee, tea, or other beverage of choice and dive into some notable Major League Baseball streaks and trends. We’ll watch some stars like Yordan Alvarez which is white hot, and guys love Garrett Cooper and Luis Guillorme which look like decent fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups. On the other hand, we look at some big name players including the rookie Adley Rutschmanwho struggle on the flat. Paul Goldschmidt and Trea Turner continued their long hitting streaks, as both stars are currently in their mid-20s. From the game’s best players to fantasy baseball’s hidden gems, let’s dive into some of Major League Baseball’s stat leaders and those who should hold attention in your fantasy baseball leagues.

who fired

Yordan Alvarez, HOU – Alvarez has just been rewarded with a nice contract for a designated hitter who sometimes plays in the outfield. The Houston slugger hits .448 with a .793 hitting percentage over his last seven games, hitting more home runs (3) than strikeouts (2) in that span. He’s still hitting just .232 against lefties in 2022 and .206 at home, but regardless of venue, any time a right-hander is on the mound, Alvarez is a threat for a monster day.

Garrett Cooper, MIA – Cooper is hitting .292 on the year, but he has five all-around hits in his last seven contests, and so far in June he is hitting .462. In terms of barrel rate and exit velocity, it’s all on par with the last few years, but he’s traded ground balls for fly balls and line drives and he’s reduced his smell rate slightly. The graph below shows that he has recently enjoyed a reduced withdrawal rate, and while it will likely increase over time, it is encouraging to see Cooper’s withdrawal rate approaching his mid-twenties. 20s rather than 27.2% last year, or its 26+ percentage mark every year from 2017 to 2019.

Luis Guillorme, NYM – Guillorme has been great lately, and there’s no denying it, but the potential to stay is highly unlikely for Guillorme. His .356 batting average is fueled by a .408 BABIP, and while his .297 xBA is still very good, it shows that regression is coming for Guillorme. He’s a career .283 hitter, so while there’s still some fantastic value to be had with Guillorme in that department, he doesn’t do much else. His batting profile compares to the likes of Nico Hoerner, Nicki Lopezand Jonathan Daza, so while Guillorme isn’t going to deliver anything below par, it’s a one-trick pony with limited fantasy appeal. However, for now, enjoy the increased batting average he provides.

Who is not

Andrew McCutchen, MIL – McCutchen is stuck in a major crisis. Over his last seven games he’s 1 for 31, giving a .032 batting average, and over the last 15 games he’s batted just .159 (10 for 63). Luckily for Milwaukee, if you can even say that, his only hit over the past week was a game-winning base hit, but Cutch has been really struggling lately. The veteran outfielder was a southpaw killer in recent years, hitting .291 with a 157 wRC+ against southpaws from 2019 to 2021. In 2022, however, he only hits .184 with a 56 wRC+ against southpaws. Beyond that, its average output speed is down, and its current GB/FB ratio of 1.22 would be its highest rating since 2019 (1.23). If you still care about McCutchen, it’s time to cut those ties.

Alec Bohm, PHI — After a hot start to the year, Bohm has cooled off a bit, hitting .252 in May and hitless in his first two June contests. Strikeouts are back and are actually at a high level, which isn’t ideal for the young third baseman.

He still sports a great .303 xBA, so he’s optimistic he’ll get out of this funk, but when he does, will the power return? In 20 games in March/April, he posted an ISO of 0.154, but since the calendar switched to May, it’s down to just 0.071. Fantasy baseball managers are hoping the strikeout rate drops, and Bohm begins to find the gaps and bleachers for a few more bases.

Adley Rutschman, BAL – Let’s put that aside. Rutschman is still an elite catching prospect with all the potential in the world behind the dish. His first 12 games at Major League level did not define his career. He hits an unusual .149 (.228 xBA) with an even more unusual strikeout rate of 26.4%. He’s playing the toughest position for a young player to face the MLB adjustment, so give him time. The vivacious future All-Star will struggle growing up, but when he does drop out, watch out. If you have an impatient Rutschman owner in your league, start sending them offers, gift cards, etc.

Statistical credits:
baseballsavant.mlb.com
fangraphs.com
baseballmusings.com

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