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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not: June 8, 2021

It’s a-me: Benintendi!

Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals heads to third to complete the triple play against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 5, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals heads to third to complete the triple play against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning at Kauffman Stadium on June 5, 2021 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Welcome to Who’s Hot and Who’s Not, the weekly or biweekly column that is either weekly or biweekly solely due to the mood of its writer, me. It’s suspenseful!

This week, we’ll be covering the ten games from May 27 through June 6. This stretch yielded some weird numbers that nevertheless help explain why the team is so hot and cold offensively. Eight players accrued the 20 plate appearances needed to qualify. During the last ten games, three of those eight players had zero walks and two of the others had zero extra base hits.

Before we get started, I’ll award last week’s Hot Points to Michael A. Taylor and Adalberto Mondesi, who were the only winners. Of other note: Jorge Soler had a -11 wRC+ in the 10 games ending on May 30. Yikes. Moving on.


Who’s Hot

Andrew Benintendi

  • .353/.378/.618
  • 169 wRC+
  • 0.3 WAR

Salvador Perez

  • .275/.293/.675
  • 156 wRC+
  • 0.4 WAR

Whit Merrifield

  • .341/.333/.561
  • 140 wRC+
  • 0.5 WAR

Benintendi continues his recent hot streak with more hot streaks. Though he isn’t walking at all—he walked once in 37 plate appearances this go-round—that hardly matters if you’re hitting .353, which he is, and hitting with power, which he is. Advanced defensive statistics continue to judge his defense poorly, but you’ll take it if he hits 69% above league average, which is very nice.

Like Benintendi, Perez has had an aversion to walking. It’s why, despite a .400 ISO and five homers swatted in his last 41 PAs, he has a lower wRC+ than his almost painfully Italian teammate. That .293 OBP drags everything down.

As for Merrifield, well, he’s been nothing short of vintage Merrifield excellence. In his last 10 games, Merrifield hasn’t walked but has struck out only one (1) time, and has hit .341 over that time with six extra base hits. When he’s going well, he’s the best hit machine in baseball.

Who’s Meh

Hunter Dozier

  • .172/.273/.414
  • 90 wRC+
  • 0.1 WAR

Michael A. Taylor

  • .290/.281/.419
  • 86 wRC+
  • 0.1 WAR

After so much time in the Who’s Not Basement, Dozier has been pretty ok over the last 10 games. His Batting average is still low, but he’s not gonna run a .200 BABIP all year, so that’s gonna come up. He’s back to hitting with some power, which is nice.

Taylor should arguably be in the Who’s Not category this time around, but I can’t really blame him too much. He’s doing exactly what the Royals picked him up to do—play good defense and be ok at the plate. He’s been just that, even if he wears the ignominious distinction for having an OBP (.281) lower than his BA (.290) recently.

Who’s Not

Carlos Santana

  • .212/.357/.212
  • 76 wRC+
  • 0.0 WAR

Kelvin Gutierrez

  • .222/.222/.333
  • 47 wRC+
  • -0.2 WAR

Jorge Soler

  • .167.286.167
  • 39 wRC+
  • -0.2 WAR

Santana has been quietly slumping lately. Believe it or not, but Santana doesn’t have a single extra base hit in his last ten games. Of course, Santana is still finding ways to contribute, with a 19% walk rate over that time period and a .357 OBP. It’s kind of a similar thing with Soler, who also didn’t have any extra base hits. Unlike Santana, Soler only walked three times in 22 PAs, and needs to hit for power to be remotely effective.

Gutierrez had an extra base hit this time around! Yay! Unfortunately, all Gutierrez ever does is hit ground balls and that’s just not gonna cut it at the big league level.

Hot Leaders

  • Carlos Santana (5)
  • Salvador Perez (5)
  • Andrew Benintendi (4)

Others

Michael A. Taylor (3), Whit Merrifield (2), Ryan O’Hearn (1), Jorge Soler (1), Nicky Lopez (1), Hunter Dozier (1), Kelvin Gutierrez (1), Adalberto Mondesi (1)