The year was 2008 and the Pittsburgh Pirates had star power with the likes of Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez on their roster. One man stood above the rest and spearheaded a bizarre season in the MLB. Nate McLouth had one heck of a year as he came out of nowhere to produce a 3.8 WAR. The Week 22 Hitting Planner remember Nate and his accomplishments.
Week 22 Hitting Planner
Gary Sanchez, NYY (vs CLE, vs BOS)
The Yankees catcher has a career 217 wRC+ in August. It is safe to assume Gary Sanchez will continue to hit well for the remainder of the month. With vital matchups against the Indians and Red Sox, Sanchez should get plenty of playoff time as the Yankees try to make the playoffs.
Rhys Hoskins, PHI (vs. ATL, at MIA)
The Phillies young slugger has been on fire over his last 30 PA. With a slash line of .394/.533/.937 in that span, Rhys Hoskins has been fantasy owners dream pickup, but playing so well has carved him some steady at-bats in the Phillies lineup. After a high scoring series against the Marlins last week, the Phillies are set to face them again at the end of the week. I am predicting another slugfest with Hoskins right in the middle of it for the Phillies.
Ian Kinsler, DET (at COL, vs. CLE)
Ian Kinsler was around for Nate McLough spectacular 2008, but it’s what he has been doing in terms of exit velocity over the last two weeks that lands him on the Week 22 Hitting Planner. Kinsler has bumped his EV up 8 mph over the last week (from 85 mph to 93 mph) but hasn’t seen too much success in standard categories over his last 7 games. That should change as the Tigers begin the week in Colorado, which should help balloon his power numbers in the Week 22 Hitting Planner.
Josh Donaldson, TOR (vs. BOS, at BAL)
The Blue Jays have decided to let Josh Donaldson play some shortstop down the stretch. Whatever place he plays, they need his bat in the lineup. In his last 27 PA, Donaldson has hit four home runs (only 1 other hit). The hits have not been falling yet for him (except the one that leaves the yard), but 4.7 mph increase in EV (from 89 to 93.7 mph) should allow him to cash in more base hits and help produce in multiple categories in the Week 22 Hitting Planner.
Dansby Swanson, ATL (at PHI, at CHC)
Since being demoted and recalled, Dansby Swanson has been on fire. A .304/.400/.457 slash line shows his value to standard league owners, but a rise in EV could signal more power numbers to come in the Week 22 Hitting Planner. Over the last two weeks, Swanson has seen his EV rise from 88.7 mph to 93.1 mph. Any sort of home run production would be helpful with 0 hits leaving the yard since his recall.
Jake Marisnick, HOU (vs. TEX, vs. NYM)
Check out this article on Jake Marisnick’s new swing, but for the Week 22 Hitting Planner, all you need to know is that he is on fire. Over his last 14 at-bats, Marisnick has a .429 batting average with a homer, a stolen base, and three runs scored. The only issue with starting him is playing time. Currently, he is platooning with Derek Fisher (hitting .125 over last 7 days), but that might change this week.
Carlos Gonzalez, COL (vs. DET, vs. ARI)
2017 has not been the best season for Carlos Gonzalez, but the Week 22 Hitting Planner sees an opportunity to take advantage of Coors field. The Rockies play all of the Week 22 Hitting Planner at home. Gonzalez’s EV has plateaued at around 91 mph and has allowed him to convert 9.1% of fly balls into home runs over the last two weeks. In that same time span, 52.4% of his contact is in the air, so this is a boom or bust pick as the home run potential is there for the Week 22 Hitting Planner
Kevin Kiermaier, TB (at KC, at CHW)
Since returning from the DL, Kevin Kiermaier has been playing out of his mind. I wrote about his potential break out in here, but for the Week 22 Hitting Planner, you need to know that he’s hit three home runs in six games. No his 42.9% HR/FB ratio is not sustainable, but with 33.3% of his contact being graded as hard, a .446 BABIP isn’t out of the question for the Week 22 Hitting Planner.
Nate McLouth slugged 26 homers, scored 113 runs, and stole 23 bases. He also drove in 94 runs. They all were career highs (he ended up stealing 30 bases in 2013) in his third full season. Eventually, he was traded to the Braves, and unable to stay healthy, he found himself out of the league by 2014. We miss you, Nate McLouth. Thank you for reading, and tune in next week for…
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