Eloy Jimenez continues power display and other fantasy nuggets

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 11: Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses after the game his first home run ball hit during the fourth inning of the game against the Washington Nationals on June 11, 2019 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Chicago White Sox's Eloy Jimenez finally homered at home for the first time in his career. (Getty Images)

Eloy Jimenez slugged his third homer over the last four games Tuesday, a span in which the rookie has raised his OPS 80 points. Jimenez entered 2019 with plenty of hype but has disappointed while battling injuries, but he’s healthy now, and his raw power is evident. After hitting a 471-foot homer in Kansas City over the weekend, Jimenez crushed his first career big fly at home Tuesday night, a 462-foot blast that was the longest at Guaranteed Rate Field since the existence of Statcast. Jimenez is a rookie with just 155 at bats, but he’s one of only five players to have multiple 460+ foot homers this season, with Ronald Acuna, Bryce Harper, Jonathan Schoop and Josh Bell the others.

Moreover, Jimenez entered Tuesday with a longer average home run distance (419 feet) than even Joey Gallo, who has 17 homers in just 170 ABs and leads MLB in exit velocity by a mile. It’s too late now to buy low on Jimenez, but it’s clear those who did are going to make a significant profit, as his raw power looks special, and playing in a park that’s boosting homers in a big way this season helps too.


A.J. Minter, Atlanta Braves

He entered the season looking like the team’s future long-term answer at closer, but then injuries and poor performance led to a trip to the minors a month ago. Minter proceeded to dominate Triple-A, recording a 2.53 ERA with a 15:2 K:BB ratio over 10.2 innings, and he was recalled by Atlanta on Tuesday. Luke Jackson has pitched well this year, but he’s also allowed a run in two of his past three appearances, while Craig Kimbrel signed with the Cubs, so Minter has a real chance to be a valuable fantasy closer for the surging Braves down the stretch. His velocity was down earlier this season after dealing with tightness in his throwing shoulder during spring. However, Minter owns a career 14.9 SwStr%, a 2.71 FIP and an 11.44 K/9 mark, so he’s worth grabbing in deeper leagues even though he gave up a run during his return Tuesday. Minter is available in more than 80% of Yahoo leagues.

Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

He hadn’t homered since May 4 before leaving the yard three times over the last two games (and tripling the game before that), which is certainly nice to see from the still 22-year-old. The move to the bottom of Atlanta’s order certainly hasn’t been great news for Albies’ fantasy value, but it has likely helped him produce a 2:7 K:BB ratio over the last eight games. It’s just too bad Albies hasn’t attempted a steal since May 6 after swiping 14 bags last year and possessing 70 speed. Meanwhile, teammate Austin Riley has an 11:0 K:BB ratio over his last six games.

Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

That’s two games in the majors and two homers for the rookie phenom, who hit .343 with 23 home runs and 71 RBI over 213 at bats in Triple-A before getting called up Sunday. Alvarez was batting fifth and playing DH on Tuesday, and there’s no turning back now. No prospects coming down the pike anytime soon look as intriguing as Alvarez, who’s going to have owners backing the Brinks trucks up for during upcoming FAAB periods in leagues in which he’s still available. He’s going to be a monster.

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Elieser Hernandez, Miami Marlins

He took a loss during his first start of the year Tuesday night but pitched well, allowing six baserunners with seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings. It’s disappointing Zac Gallen didn’t get the call with Caleb Smith going on the IL, but Hernandez is a Rule 5 pick who posted a 1.13 ERA with 69 strikeouts over 48.0 innings in Triple-A this season, so he’s an interesting flier. Marlins Park remains extremely helpful for pitchers, and Hernandez is available in more than 95% of leagues.

Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals

He was roughed up again Tuesday, yielding seven earned runs over five innings against a White Sox offense that entered with a lowly .688 OPS against left-handers this season. After tossing the second shutout of his career on May 25 (against the punchless Marlins), Corbin’s ERA sat at 2.85 and his WHIP 1.03 during his first year in Washington, but over three starts since, he’s been bombed for 20 runs (18 earned) over 12.2 innings. His season ERA is now up to 4.11 after Tuesday’s outing, and he’ll welcome a return home his next start after three straight on the road. After allowing 15 home runs over 200.0 innings last season, Corbin has served up 12 over 85.1 this year, as he picked a poor season to have his highest FB% of his career with the homer-friendly baseballs (and joining a park that helps boost homers). Corbin will bounce back, but this has been a rough stretch for his fantasy owners.

Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers

He slugged two more homers Tuesday night, putting him up to 15 this season. Muncy has really proven last year was no fluke, as he even entered batting .301/.370/.575 against southpaws, and he’s already added three steals as well. He’s hitting .320 from the second hole in the Dodgers’ lineup, a spot in which he’s comfortably settled into lately. Eligible at 1B, 2B and 3B, Muncy owns a 140 wRC+ and has played far better defense this season as well, making him plenty valuable both to the Dodgers and fantasy owners who bought into last year’s breakout.

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