Who's Hot/Not - Week 1 - 2021

Yermin Mercedes (DH, Chicago White Sox)


Quick Hits:

  • Started 8/8

  • League Leader in Hits: 15

  • 310 OPS+

Analysis: Mercedes stepped into the lineup after Eloy Jimenez tore his pectoral muscle trying to rob a home run during spring training. While the White Sox acted like Jimenez died (hung a jersey in his locker, held a tiny ceremony before their first game) Mercedes has filled that spot offensively. He started 8/8, the first time since 1900, and continued on hitting .368 after (for a total of 15/27). While the average exit Velo isn’t there (24th percentile), his xBA has him top 5 at .431.

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Joe Musgrove (SP, San Diego Padres)


Quick Hits:

  • First No-Hitter in SD History

  • .99 FIP

  • 3 Hits over 15IP

Analysis: In his first start, Musgrove went six innings with eight strikeouts while giving up three hits with no earned runs. Pretty solid for your first start of the year for your hometown team. Fast forward to his Rangers start, where Musgrove became the first Padre to throw a no hitter. He was close to a perfect game until he hit Joey Gallo in the eight inning. His slider was working perfectly, nipping the bottom right of the zone for strikeouts and groundouts. That starting rotation for that Padres is nasty in a good way, and it probably won’t be the last time their pitchers make it to this list.

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Tyler Naquin (OF, Cincinnati Reds)


Quick Hits:

  • Four homers in three games

  • Tied for first in RBI's (14)

  • 100th percentile in Hard Hit %

Analysis: Naquin is on an early season tear, smashing the ball out of the park. Out of his nine hits, five of them have been for home runs, four of them coming in between three games (kinda helps when you play the Pirates). He’s tied for the lead in RBI’s with 14. The Cleveland cast off has found a home in the outfield for the Reds, and currently is tops in the league for Hard Hit percentage and tied for the lead with 14 RBI’s.

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Sean Murphy (C, Oakland Athletics)


Quick Hits:

  • 1/18 to start

  • -11 OPS+

  • .095 xBA

Analysis: There's high hopes for Sean Murphy as a perennial all star level catcher, but 2021 has been a rough one for Murphy. He's started the year with one hit in 22 plate appearances, and really hasn't made an impact with the A's this year. He's at the bottom of the barrel in terms of xBA gathering a paltry .095. There's a good sign for Murphy and A's fans though. He's in the top third of Barrel %, BB %, and Hard Hit %. Look for Murphy to go on a tear soon.


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Paul DeJong (SS, St. Louis Cardinals)


Quick Hits:

  • 3/28 to start

  • 12th percentile in xBA (.170)

  • 4th percentile in EV (82.3 mph)

Analysis: DeJong, an All Star in 2019, has stumbled in the beginning of the 2021 season. He's off to a .107 batting average, but two of those three hits were home runs. Altough DeJong possesses great raw power, he's known for his glove which will keep him in the lineup. DeJong will most likely pull out of this funk, thanks to his plate discipline, and his top third tier exit velocity.


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Marco Gonzales (SP, Seattle Mariners)


Quick Hits

  • 10.45 ERA in two starts

  • 10.1 IP, 17 hits allowed, 5 homers allowed

  • 2.129 WHIP

Analysis: Gonzales is part of the dying breed of pitchers who throw below 95mph. In fact, this year, Gonzales is averaging an 88mph sinker. Reviewing his two outings, he's allowed five homers, three of which were pitches right down the heart of the plate. Much as you know, if a pitcher lacks velocity, they need to have control. Last year, he was in the 99th percentile in walk percentage, 45th thus far. Unfortunately, all of his Statcast metrics are unfavorable. I wouldn't be ready to jump ship just yet, but at least get your floaties ready.

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