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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: May 19, 2021

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Carlos Santana continues his excellence

Carlos Santana #41 of the Kansas City Royals hits a home run during the ninth inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Carlos Santana #41 of the Kansas City Royals hits a home run during the ninth inning of a game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on May 15, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Hello and welcome to another edition of Who’s Hot and Who’s Not, the show where we grade who is doing great and who is doing less than great with digital words on the internet!

If you’re thinking to yourself, “gee, wasn’t the last one a while ago?” you would be correct. I missed last week’s, and not only that, but this is going live one day later than I planned. In my defense, last Monday the Royals were at the tail end of their 11-game losing streak, and grading their performance was not exactly at the top of my list of things I wanted to do.

But, in fairness, I will award Hot points to Andrew Benintendi, Carlos Santana, Salvador Perez, and Hunter Dozier for their performance over the 10 games prior to last Monday. I am also retroactively awarding Hot points to Perez, Whit Merrifield, and Michael A. Taylor for the first 10-game stretch of the season.

Anyway, today covers the 10 games prior to this Monday, covering May 7 through May 17. Let’s see what’s up.

Who’s Hot

Carlos Santana

  • .308/.548/.538
  • 207 wRC+
  • 0.6 WAR

Salvador Perez

  • .324/.333/.541
  • 138 wRC+
  • 0.3 WAR

Another week, another Hot point to Santana, who has simply been crushing the ball and getting on base like his life depends on it. Over the previous 10 games, he walked over twice as often as he struck out, swatted a pair of home runs, and hit .308 with a .548 OBP. That’ll do. As for Perez, well, he’s hitting the ball well and hitting the ball hard, walks be damned. Perez has also played every game this year thus far, and his bat is the reason why.

Who’s Meh

Jorge Soler

  • .200/.317/.343
  • 90 wRC+
  • 0.0 WAR

Nicky Lopez

  • .276.323.345
  • 88 wRC+
  • 0.1 WAR

Andrew Benintendi

  • .303.351.303
  • 87 wRC+
  • 0.0 WAR

After a rip-roaring stretch there, Benintendi has cooled off. He hasn’t hit a single extra base hit over his previous 10 games, but he’s hitting north of .300 with an 8% walk rate, so you’ll take that—and since April 23, Benintendi has slashed .364/.419/.506. You can view Nicky Lopez through the opposite lenses: he’s been truly terrible, but he’s bounced back lately and has actually gotten some hits.

Jorge Soler has been extremely frustrating all year. It seems like he’s just on the verge of breaking out, but even though he’s usually not a huge problem on offense, the power just isn’t there. Still, a 14% walk rate buoyed his recent games.

Who’s Not

Whit Merrifield

.229.300.343

80 wRC+

0.1 WAR

Hanser Alberto

.250/.250/.292

48 wRC+

-0.1 WAR

Michael A. Taylor

  • .154/.185/.269
  • 24 wRC+
  • -0.1 WAR

Hunter Dozier

  • .000.077.000
  • -77 wRC+ (no, seriously)
  • -0.5 WAR

Very quietly, Whit Merrifield has been mired in a long, punchless slump. Since April 8—over his last 35 games—Merrifield has hit .241/.311/.331 and an ISO under .100. He hasn’t struck out much, but he has not the average or the power to show for it, and it might behoove him to sell out a little bit for some power if his contact-heavy approach isn’t working (which it really has not).

Hunter Dozier, well, it’s barely possible to be less productive than he has been at the plate. Truly, truly awful. As for Michael A. Taylor and Hanser Alberto, well, what do you expect? Both have been significantly below average at the plate for their whole careers. They’re gonna turn in bad stretches and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Hot Leaders

  • Carlos Santana (4)
  • Salvador Perez (3)
  • Andrew Benintendi (2)

Others

Whit Merrifield (1), Ryan O’Hearn (1), Jorge Soler (1), Nicky Lopez (1), Hunter Dozier (1), Michael A. Taylor (1)