Who's Hot/Not - Week 4 - 2021
Before we start this weeks Who' s Hot/Not, there's one player that needs to be mentioned. He usually doesn't make the list, given he's usually the best hitter in baseball and always hot. Mike Trout has been absolutely on fire. Here are his stats so far in 2021:
7 home runs/16 RBI's
Trout is currently on pace for the 6th best season ever by OPS standards. Here's an even more insane stat; Trout is on pace for a 14.2 WAR this season, good for BEST EVER (Babe Ruth finished with a 14.1 WAR back in 1923.) While we wouldn't think Trout would reach another level, there needs to be discussions about him making the Hall of Fame now. We all know he won't finish the season batting over .400, but this current pace is worth being noted. Now that we've recognized the best hitter in baseball, let's move on to the feature presentation.
Jared Walsh (1B, Los Angeles Angels)
When you think of two-way stars in the league, you immediately think of Walsh's teammate Ohtani, or legend Willians Astudillo. Jared Walsh was drafted by the Angels with that two-way promise in mind. The pitcher/outfielder made his way up through the minors and even pitched in five games for the Halos back in 2019. Now that he's focused on hitting, and the move to first base, Walsh has cemented himself as Pujols' replacement. This past week, he gathered two homers (which he hit yesterday) and recorded a .538 OBP all while batting .500. His Statcast numbers are favorable, with categories like xwOBA (83rd percentile) and xSLG (82nd percentile) bolstering his case to stay hot.
Buster Posey (C, San Francisco Giants)
It's weird to say a 34 year old is "turning back the clock" but it feels like Posey has been around forever. This past week, Buster enjoyed a .588 batting average, and scored five runs himself. The initial thought for Posey after taking last year off was for him to come back and play first base, but maybe that year helped him recoup some of his athleticism given that he's started all of his games at catcher. Statcast heavily favors Posey's continued success. He's in the 94th percentile in xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG.
Anthony DeSclafani (SP, San Francisco Giants)
1.80 ERA, 0.60 WHIP
DeSclafani enjoyed great success this past week against two offensively heavy teams. On Monday versus the Rockies, DeSclafani pitched a complete game while striking out nine and not giving up an earned run. Yesterday versus the Padres, he spun six innings giving up three earned on three hits. Statcast is unfavorable for Anthony, given his 17th percentile average exit velo and 30th percentile whiff percentage.
Jed Lowrie (2B, Oakland Athletics)
It was a tough week for Lowrie, only capturing one hit and striking out five times. The good news for A's fans is that their team has gotten off to a hot start, recently ripping off a 13 game win streak. Back to Jed, he's trending up on his Statcast numbers, being in the top 75th percentile for most hitting metrics.
Evan White (1B, Seattle Mariners)
Evan White was called up for his Gold Glove caliber defense. That was evident this past week, by his awful hitting performance. He failed to capture a hit or even getting on base. In his short career, White's slash line is an anemic .170/.244/.312/.556. Statcast backs this up with most of his metrics being under the 10th percentile.
Kohei Arihara (SP, Texas Rangers)
Arihara signed with the Rangers this past offseason, and fans were excited. He was a steady pitcher in Japan, with an ERA hovering around 3.75 for his career. One place that Arihara exceeded in was not allowing home runs. Well, this past start versus the Red Sox, he gave up four of them in 2.2 innings. The prior start, Arihara only went two innings while giving up five earned. Statcast is looking grim as well, putting Arihara in the bottom 8th percentile and lower for every pitching category.