This month’s Statcast report: Jake Meyers is a must add, Ty France has been great and more

Let’s switch things up a little and look at actual offensive runs above average the last month rather than the expected stats we normally look at. That’s basically factoring how productive a hitter is over average in generating runs, adjusted for the situations in which he found himself.

Again, expected and actual stats are closely aligned, there are few outliers. But I do have expected slugging and batting average in the period, too, and will cite them where relevant. This is May 4 to June 3, 100 PAs required to qualify. There were 113 qualifiers. Roster percentages are based on Yahoo leagues.

Here’s a list of all the hitters for the period through Monday. Note the actual run value more closely aligns with actual value over the last month.

Jake Meyers is the best of the generally available hitters. He’s 12th on the list and just 34% rostered. He is hitting .321 with a .382 OBP in the period. He has 10 runs and 15 RBI. His playing time seems secure with injuries on the Astros, most recently to Kyle Tucker. He’s hit cleanup  in a Houston lineup we expect to be good. He has to be rostered in all formats right now. He’s a righty hitter, so there are no platoon issues — meaning he should play every day.

Eddie Rosario (18th the last month, 16% rostered) is a strong-side platoon bat so not ideal for shallow formats. But he has 19 runs and 17 RBI the last month in limited at-bats. He’s slugged at a 30-homer pace. The Nationals don’t have many threats to playing time. Rosario is better if you need some cheap power, as most of us do.

Dylan Moore (22nd, 30%) was crazy good in the first 22 days of the period, slashing .284/.410/.597. He’s slumped the last week. He gives you good versatility for your lineup as a bench piece. His expected stats actually are pretty bad.

Josh Bell (25th, 28%) has been very productive with his .323 actual average and 17 RBI the past month. His OBP is over .380 too. HIs slugging is okay but his isolated slugging is a concern. Bell is the poor man’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Both also have hit homers historically but are bad bets to offer much surplus value in the category. Both are sound real-life hitters who don’t K much. Bell, a switch hitter, is really struggling vs. lefty pitching this year but that’s a fluke if you look at his career numbers, which are pretty tight, split-wise.

Ty France (26th, 18%) is the last name in the top 30. He’s had decent power and his average in reality hasn’t been bad. But if we look beyond the actual results, his expected average is sub-.200. I can’t recommend France, though he’s been a positive contributor for a month, especially given our very depressed and depressing overall MLB hitting.

Bottom line here is that Meyers is a must add followed closely by Bell. Rosario is someone I can see being useful going forward. I would stay away from the two Mariners but they are high on the list in actual runs over average, so, duly noted.

Now some quick notes on the hitting laggards of the last month. These aren’t cut recommendations; but you should try to trade the name brand if you get close to preseason return.

Elly De La Cruz was 112th of 113 and minus-10 runs vs. expected. His steals are still valuable. He has 13 in the period, the most in the game. That’s despite rarely getting on base. But he’s been basically Jose Caballero (11 steals over the same 30 days). De La Cruz is striking out 35% of the time. He’s hitting ground balls, though he did homer Tuesday (462 feet, again, all tools, no toolbox). The vitriol from the De La Cruz clan for me saying he was a bad pick at ADP has died down on my timeline. I stipulate he has top-of-the-scale tools and could figure it out and be great. It could happen any moment. He’s also super streaky, though mostly bad and rarely great. He’s a bad hitter right now. At some point, when you no longer need his speed in 2024, you may have to just release him (trading speed is so tough in fantasy). This is especially true in category, head-to-head formats.

Michael Harris II (106th, -6.3) we knew had subpar plate discipline. He was productive mostly because he had ample opportunities in a historic lineup in 2023. Now what is he? He’s going to bat leadoff for the Braves? I can’t see it. For the year, he has a .303 OBP. In our 30-day sample, .275. He has three steals and two homers with five RBI.

Randy Arozarena (104, -5.4) has hit for some power but is not running much (three steals in the period). He’s striking out a lot and all the numbers look really bad.

Riley Greene (103, -5.1) has decent full-season stats. He hit a homer again on Tuesday. But the K% is over 30% for the month. There are a lot of ground balls. The real and expected averages are all bad. The team doesn’t score. Would I drop Greene for Meyers right now? I would. Greene has just collapsed. But there is real trade value here, I suspect. Never cut a player when you can trade him.

Then there are three players who are near the bottom of our rankings who we always expect to be good if they’re healthy. Paul Goldschmidt, Ozzie Albies and Jose Altuve are killing their owners now. They’re doing nothing and it’s not bad luck, but just bad hitting.

Maybe Goldschmidt is just over the hill now. Note he’s been worse than Nolan Arenado, who everyone thinks is washed up; so what does that say for Goldschmidt? Altuve isn’t young but should not be aging out given he’s a borderline Hall of Fame player. Yes, he’s in his age 34 season compared with age 36 for Goldschmidt. But that’s a big difference. Albies has just lost his power. Checking his expected ISO for the season doesn’t make us feel any better. It’s still a horrible .120. Last year, it was .201, solid, though not 30-homer solid. More like 25. It looks grim for Albies but he’s 27 and I can’t rule out a dramatic turnaround starting at any moment.

I’d hold Albies and Altuve but look to trade the rest. I would hold out for a fan-boy/girl return for De La Cruz. For example, the day after a 462-foot homer.

(Top photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images, Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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