MLB Closing Bell: Acuna's on Fire
Greg Jewett dives into Monday's Closing Bell talking about Ronald Acuna's recent stretch, the possibility of Justus Sheffield being called up and much more!
After rocketing up preseason draft boards, the tantalizing upside which lies in Ronald Acuna ’s game has surfaced of late. In Game 1 of today’s doubleheader, Acuna homered for the third straight game. He’s also homered in five of the last six contests and hit nine since the start of the second half.
His hot start to the second half coincides with his transition to leading off. With this afternoon’s statistics included, Acuna’s scored 21 runs with six doubles, a triple, the nine home runs, 18 RBI and six stolen bases. He’s slashing a robust .329/.387/.741 in 22 games since the break. Acuna’s current stat line puts him on pace for 91 games with 21 home runs and 11 stolen bases. As of this writing, only eight major league players have accrued 20 or more home runs at least 10 steals: José Ramírez , Mookie Betts , Francisco Lindor , Mike Trout , Javier Báez , Trevor Story , Ozzie Albies , Manny Machado and Didi Gregorius .
It’s going to be difficult to depress his draft stock for next season, but it’s never too early to address how early Acuna could be targeted. Players who provide home runs and stolen bases seem to disappearing from the landscape, will Acuna be a top-20 pick next season? Food for thought.
That Just Happened
A terrific debut for Touki Toussaint of the Braves. He defeated the Marlins and limiting them to two hits, one earned run and two walks with four strikeouts in six innings. Toussaint generated only six swinging strikes but 18 called ones of his 82 pitches. Due to his joining the team as the extra-man on the roster for the doubleheader, he can return to the team in nine days (August 23rd) if needed to make another start. Fantasy owners should be interested if indeed he does. Not too shabby of a start for a player included as a sweetener for the Braves to eat Bronson Arroyo’s contract in 2015. Enjoy the gif from the Pitching Ninja:
Ozzie Albies , one of the aforementioned players above, finished 2-for-5 with two RBI in Game 1. He’s been through some ups and downs this year, but has 21 home runs with 12 stolen bases and hitting .329 (57-for-173) since June 17th.
Two more doubles for Johan Camargo , in four at-bats this afternoon, and he scored a run along with driving one in. Since taking over at third base, Camargo’s hit 11 home runs his last 70 games with a .271 average.
Freddie Freeman lost his 15-game hit streak. He’s had three different double digit hit streaks this year.
Two southpaws landed on the disabled list. CC Sabathia will be out until at least August 24th with knee inflammation. Many hoped Justus Sheffield would take his place in the rotation, but it could be Sonny Gray ’s last chance since he’s on turn following his last relief outing. New York could also turn to Luis Cessa . Kansas City also placed Danny Duffy on the disabled list due to shoulder stiffness. No word on who will replace him in the rotation as of yet.
As for Sheffield, over his last 10 starts, he’s 5-1 with a 1.56 ERA and 56:19 K:BB at Triple-A. Mercy.
Miami placed Martín Prado on the disabled list after Game 1 this afternoon with a quadriceps injury. It’s a lost year for Prado. They could promote Christopher Bostick since he’s already on the 40-man roster.
Two Blue Jays will debut against the Royals. Sean Reid-Foley will take the mound and bring with him his battery mate from Triple-A, Danny Jansen to catch. Reid-Foley’s 12-4 across two levels with a 2.98 ERA in 126.2 innings with 146 strikeouts. As for Jansen, keeper league owners and owners seeking for any upside at catcher will be watching. Jansen hit .275/.390/.472 in 88 games at Triple-A this year with 45 runs, 12 home runs, 58 RBI and five stolen bases. Here’s his spray chart courtesy of MLBfarm.com:
Wait, there’s more. Reports suggest the Angels will be promoting prospect Taylor Ward. He’s hit 14 home runs with 17 stolen bases while hitting .350/.445/.573 between Double-A and Triple-A this year. He should replace an anemic platoon at third base between Jeffrey Marte and Kaleb Cowart .
Last, but not least. Sending good vibes to Leonys Martín and his family. He faced life threatening conditions due to a bacterial infection. More news will surface, but sometimes there’s bigger things than baseball.
What To Watch For
Looking for a sweep, the Braves will send Mike Foltynewicz to the mound. Foltynewicz owns a 1.94 ERA in 12 starts against teams from the National League this year and he’s 4-1 against Miami in his career with 46 strikeouts in 43.2 innings.
Be sure to check back in the morning for the Round Up to stay ahead of your competition courtesy of Fantasy Alarm.