Ah, the sweet sounds of summer. Managers chirping. The pop of the bats as they wake from their early spring hibernation. Hitters all going down with soft tissue injuries. Pitchers breaking down with overuse injuries. And of course, Rob Manfred trying to fix something nobody wanted fixed while ignoring the plight of minor leaguers sleeping in their Geo Metros.

Everything just as I remember it from 2019.

As we approach the summer months we’ll undoubtedly start to see some players break out of their early-season funk. Players finding their rhythm, returning from injury, and hitting flyballs into the hot summer air. We will also begin to see who is for real and who is pretending. To start off our hot bat summer, here are a few names that I have noticed around the league.

The Ins

Kyle Tucker – Over the last month, Kyle is hitting .327/.369/.577 with 5 HRs and 18 RBIs. As the weather warmed up so has he. Furthermore, he has improved his ratios this year with a 7.9%/16.2% BB/K rates, reducing his Ks by 4%. Also, his season-to-date AVG is now in line with 2020 at .268. It’s absolutely amazing because 2020 was .268 and 2019 was .269, so it’s pretty clear that is who he is. There was some concern in the spring (me included) that his long swing would get him in trouble and his average would fall into the .230 range, but he’s made some adjustments to get a bit more compact and has bounced back up to his “career” AVG. The steals, though, have been less prevalent.

Randy Arozarena – Over the last month, Randy is hitting .279/.336/.477 with 5 HRs and 20 RBIs, and 6 SB. Another beneficiary of the warmer weather. Season-to-date he’s on pace for a 25/25 season while raising his BB% to 9% and lowering his K% to 27.8% (23.8% last 30 days). Nice! That makes me feel Raaaaaaaaandy.

Cedric Mullins – He can’t stop, won’t stop. Since June 1, The Entertainer is hitting .452 with 3 HRs and 4 SB. That includes a 14.2% walk rate in that span and 10% on the year, nearly doubling his previous mark over the last 2 years. He’s definitely become a better hitter, but the power stroke is a bit of a mirage. I see his AVG dropping to around .280-290 as the season goes on to fall more in line with his 38.7% Hard-hit rate.

Justin Upton – As Walter said, “If you will it, there is no dream.” Upton has been telling himself in the locker room before each game, “You ARE a leadoff hitter.” Since moving up to leadoff, JUp is slashing .310/.419/.592 with 5 HRs. Is that good? Yes.

Tommy Pham – He has 2 HRs and 5 SB since June 1. After battling some early injuries looks like he’s finally coming alive in the summer by hitting .325 and walking 20% of the time raising his season walk rate to 16.8%, which would easily set a new career-high (previously 13.4%).

Andrew McCutchen – After a slow start I said he was due as we approached summer, and here we are. Since June 1, Cutch is batting .333 with 4 HRs and 12 RBIs. The player formerly known as The Dread Pirate is back and hitting for power with .778 SLG in June.

The Outs

Adolis Garcia16 games without a HR, and hitting .246/.266/.227 during that slump with a 3%/30% BB/K. Yuck. This is also sunk by a 58% GB rate, meaning, his splits have flipped. So we all witnessed the ceiling, and now you are seeing the floor. And if it continues much longer he’ll sentence you to the Gallos. (draining your ratios for spotty home runs.) Unfortunately with him, he also gimps your OBP. I speculated last time it might be a good time to sell high, and it looks like I might have been right. Although, summer has arrived and a bounceback is not unlikely.

Trey Mancini – He’s cooled off a lot recently, slashing .222/.340/.311 since the first of the month. He’s managed 1 HR, but has only produced a .089 ISO limiting his RBI opportunity. He could be getting tired as I feared in his first season back from cancer. He might require some rest, both mental and physical, so he can gain back his strength. Baseball is a marathon after all.

Jarred Kelenic – Sent down to AAA. Welp, Big Gulps huh? See you later. When they called up JK, I guess it was just that. A joke. Dipoto shouts from his pressbox, “I TOLD YOU HE WASN’T READY!” He struggled to get hits but his speed was on display. Hopefully, he can figure out his approach and come back soon.

The What-have-yous

Jake Fraley – Over the last 2 weeks since starting games he’s hitting .311/.475/.600 with 4 HRs and 15 RBIs, and 3 SB. Someone has been busy? Looking at his minor numbers, his BABIP is slightly high and he’s shockingly on pace with his minor power track record despite his scouting report only giving him a 45 for power. The 28% walk rate however will not stick just like the 33% HR/FB. I see more of an 18% from him, so enjoy the hot streak while it lasts. Digging a little deeper, his power is to his pull side, and all his home runs have come off of RHP. He might be sitting some vs lefties, but if there’s a RHP on the mound I wouldn’t hesitate to start him as his playing time right now is clear with Lewis on the IL and the aforementioned Jarred Kelenic sent down to the minors.

Austin Meadows – Since June 1, he’s got 3 HR and 13 RBIs… good news. In that time, he’s also batting .213, bad news, but a .233 BABIP. Hopeful. He’s not striking out as much 2020, but he’s still at 25% which is above where he was in 2019 by 3%. To recover that AVG he will need to trim down those Ks and get more balls in play or he’ll remain a feast and famine hitter.

Juan Soto – Heating up? 4 HRs and 12 RBIs since June 1. He’s batting .255 in that time, but also limited by a .258 BABIP (career line of .322) despite a .298 ISO. Better days are surely ahead. Now I’m sure you are saying, “That’s great and all, but why is he still at #2 on the list?” I’m glad you asked… If you head over to his statcast page, at the top you’ll be greeted by this:

Is that good? I’ve been told that’s good. I’m fairly certain that having more red than a Ferarri merch shop is good. His current AVG is .266 but his xBA is .309, oh baby. His current SLG is .426 but his xSLG .566, oh baby. And if that’s not enough for you his HardHit% is currently 54.3% (on pace for career-high) and a maxEV of 115.3 mph (also a career-high). All signs point to things turning around for him in the summer. The one hiccup is that his barrel rate is a tad lower, though it is hardly a concern when everything else points to a strong regression towards the previous Dr. Pepper mean.

The ROS Board

# Name Team Y! $
1 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL OF 59.7
2 Juan Soto WSH OF 37.2
3 Mookie Betts LAD OF 35.5
4 Nick Castellanos CIN OF 32.0
5 J.D. Martinez BOS OF 28.7
6 Whit Merrifield KC 2B/OF 28.3
7 Kyle Tucker HOU OF 27.2
8 Aaron Judge NYY OF 26.3
9 Bryce Harper PHI OF 25.5
10 Randy Arozarena TB OF 25.0
11 Jesse Winker CIN OF 22.8
12 Mike Trout LAA OF 22.3
13 Christian Yelich MIL OF 21.6
14 Yordan Alvarez HOU DH/OF 18.8
15 Kris Bryant CHC 3B/OF 17.7
16 Jared Walsh LAA 1B/OF 17.3
17 Austin Meadows TB OF 17.2
18 Byron Buxton MIN OF 17.2
19 Teoscar Hernandez TOR OF 17.2
20 Alex Verdugo BOS OF 16.8
21 Giancarlo Stanton NYY DH/OF 15.4
22 Starling Marte MIA OF 15.2
23 Eddie Rosario CLE OF 14.6
24 Mitch Haniger SEA OF 13.6
25 Trent Grisham SD OF 13.4
26 Raimel Tapia COL OF 13.2
27 Austin Riley ATL 3B/OF 13.0
28 Mark Canha OAK 1B/OF 12.9
29 Trey Mancini BAL 1B/OF 10.5
30 Adolis Garcia TEX OF 10.4
31 Tommy Edman STL 2B/SS/3B/OF 10.3
32 Joey Gallo TEX OF 10.0
33 Charlie Blackmon COL OF 9.9
34 Ramon Laureano OAK OF 9.1
35 Tommy Pham SD OF 8.2
36 Bryan Reynolds PIT OF 8.2
37 Kyle Schwarber WSH OF 7.7
38 Chris Taylor LAD 2B/SS/OF 7.7
39 Justin Upton LAA OF 7.6
40 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF 7.2
41 Cedric Mullins BAL OF 7.1
42 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. TOR 2B/OF 7.0
43 Michael Brantley HOU OF 6.9
44 Franmil Reyes CLE OF 6.5
45 Tyler O’Neill STL OF 6.1
46 Ketel Marte ARI 2B/SS/OF 5.6
47 Josh Rojas ARI 2B/SS/OF 4.3
48 Andrew McCutchen PHI OF 4.2
49 George Springer TOR OF 3.3
50 Brandon Lowe TB 1B/2B/OF 3.3
51 Wil Myers SD 1B/OF 3.1
52 Nick Solak TEX 2B/3B/OF 3.0
53 Ryan Mountcastle BAL 1B/OF 2.5
54 Randal Grichuk TOR OF 2.1
55 Hunter Renfroe BOS OF 1.4
56 Dylan Carlson STL OF 0.8
57 Robbie Grossman DET OF 0.3
58 Joc Pederson CHC 1B/OF 0.2
59 Andrew Benintendi KC OF 0.0
60 Anthony Santander BAL OF -0.5
61 Max Kepler MIN OF -0.7
62 Avisail Garcia MIL OF -1.0
63 Amed Rosario CLE SS/OF -1.4
64 Jeff McNeil NYM 2B/3B/OF -1.6
65 Michael Conforto NYM OF -1.8
66 Manuel Margot TB OF -2.2
67 Adam Frazier PIT 2B/OF -2.8
68 Brandon Belt SF 1B/OF -3.6
69 Ian Happ CHC 2B/3B/OF -3.7
70 AJ Pollock LAD OF -4.0
71 Garrett Hampson COL 2B/SS/OF -4.4
72 Mike Yastrzemski SF OF -4.5
73 Victor Robles WSH OF -4.6
74 Adam Duvall MIA OF -5.2
75 David Peralta ARI OF -5.4
76 Tyler Naquin CIN OF -5.6
77 Cavan Biggio TOR 2B/3B/OF -5.8
78 Dylan Moore SEA 2B/SS/3B/OF -5.9
79 Dominic Smith NYM 1B/OF -6.1
80 David Fletcher LAA 2B/SS/3B/OF -6.2
81 Willie Calhoun TEX OF -6.5
82 Willians Astudillo MIN C/1B/3B/OF -6.7
83 Adam Eaton CHW OF -7.3
84 Jorge Soler KC OF -7.4
85 Alex Kirilloff MIN OF -8.1
86 Josh Naylor CLE OF -8.3
87 Austin Hays BAL OF -8.3
88 Myles Straw HOU SS/OF -8.8
89 Akil Baddoo DET OF -8.9
90 Marcell Ozuna ATL OF -9.0
91 Luis Robert CHW OF -9.5
92 Jurickson Profar SD 2B/OF -10.8
93 Taylor Ward LAA OF -11.9
94 Clint Frazier NYY OF -12.3
95 Jarred Kelenic SEA OF -12.3
96 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF -12.6
97 Enrique Hernandez BOS 2B/SS/OF -12.9
98 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF -13.0
99 Hunter Dozier KC 1B/3B/OF -13.6
100 Nick Senzel CIN 2B/OF -13.7
101 Odubel Herrera PHI 2B/OF -13.9
102 Gregory Polanco PIT OF -13.9
103 Pavin Smith ARI 1B/OF -14.0
104 Mauricio Dubon SF 2B/SS/OF -14.2
105 Austin Slater SF 1B/OF -14.3

Next week we take a deep dive into what Taijuan Walker has been doing.

If you want more Coolwhip to top-off your baseball experience, fantasy or otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter: @CoolwhipRB.