Each July, the MLB trade deadline proves to be a source of excitement for fans, a source of hope for contending clubs, and a source of disappointment (or eagerness) for teams that have fell out of the race.
The trade deadline gives us moves that involve big name players and even players with no name at all (Ah, the classic “ptbnl”). No matter the case, we always see new faces in new threads and we get to watch them either thrive or struggle to survive.
The Three Spot Guys wanted to take a look at guys who are killing it with their new teams, and shine a light on a few who may not be game-changers now, but who we believe will be impact guys the rest of the way.
Oh, and we’re only taking a look at position players today.
*Stats provided per baseball reference represent performances with players’ current team and are official as of monday/ 8/8 @ 3 pm.
These Guys Are Killing It🔥
Starling Marte 🔥 – .425/.465/.625, 2 HR, 6 RBI, OPS 1.090
It’s a Marte Par-tay 🎉 in Oakland right now (Shoutout to Dallas Braden for that one). The Athletics are 7-2 with Marte who was already heating up before the trade from the Marlins. Friday night he blasted a 3-run homer to walk it off for the green & gold and honestly, he may be just what the A’s need to lock themselves up a Wild Card spot or even challenge the Astros for the division.
Cesar Hernandez 🔥 – .303/.410/.485, 2 HR, 6 BB, .895 OPS
As if this offense needed more firepower. The White Sox have been cruising this season. Granted, their division sucks. But to think about where they’ve come from even as recently as 2018 (62-100), their plan to rebuild this franchise back into contention has worked. Hernandez is getting on base at an outrageous clip (.485), which isn’t foreign for him. He’s a career .348 OBP guy. Oh, and he’s also providing some pop for the South Siders.
Anthony Rizzo 🔥 – .281/.400/.563, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .963 OPS
As one of the 3 former Cubbies who homered in their first game with their new teams, Rizzo seems to be enjoying his new environment. The Yankees went 8-1 with him since his first day in pinstripes before being placed on the COVID IL on Sunday. Once he returns, we’re sure Rizzo will continue to be a force to be reckoned with as the Yanks push for the 2nd AL Wild Card spot.
Eduardo Escobar🔥 – .273/.368/.576, 2 HR, 6 RBI .954 OPS
The Brewers needed Eduardo Escobar. For a team who ranks 15th in baseball in runs and 6th in strikeouts, it’s their excellent pitching that has held the Brew Crew atop the NL Central all year long. Adding a 2021 All-Star in Escobar was their attempt to add some sort of potency to this lackluster offense. It’s definitely paid off. He already blasted 22 bombs with the D-backs before the trade, and is currently the only Brewer who has 20+ homers. The Brew Crew is going to run away with the division, but they’re going to need guys like Escobar to keep producing if they have any real thought of making a deep October run.
Joc Pederson 🔥 – .295/.360/.474, 3 HR, 13 RBI, .835 OPS
Along with the Phillies, the Braves have taken advantage of the Mets recent struggles and their mini-resurgence can give a little thanks to Young Joc. Once Acuña Jr. went down for the season, it looked like the Braves were done. 5 days later, Pederson is traded over. He homers in his second game as a Brave, are 6-3 in their last 9 and have leapfrogged the Mets for 2nd place in the East. He’s going to strikeout a good amount, but when Joc connects, Joc don’t miss.
Jorge Soler – .310/.412/.621, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1.032 OPS
The man also known as “Soler Power” has been absolutely crushing it with the braves. In 8 games, the Braves are 6-2 with him as he’s racked up 9 hits and 5 walks. With Freddie Freeman out, guys like him and Pederson are going to have to continue to shine and provide some firepower in the ATL for the Braves to make a post-season push.
- Kris Bryant, Giants – .323/.382/.516, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .898 OPS
- Adam Duvall, Braves – .226/.333/.452, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .785 OPS
Slow Starts, But Big Contributors Long Term 📈
Javy Baez 🥶 – .176/.222/.353, 2 HR, .575 OPS
Including his Mets debut, Javy Baez has pretty much been the same player he was in his last 9 games with the Cubs (1 HR, 10 K’s, .735 OPS) as he has been in his first 9 with the Mets (2 HR, 11 K’s, .575 OPS). In fact, he might actually be worse on paper. Look, we know Baez is going to strikeout. We know he’s also going to continue to swing out of his shoes and connect on a few that leave the yard. If I’m a Mets fan right now, I have to think he’s going to provide them more than what they were used to before the deadline. The Mets rank 26th in homers and 24th in team OPS, which is worse than teams who aren’t even in the conversation for the playoffs (The Tigers and Orioles rank 18th & 19th respectively). We’re confident Baez will be a key contributor for the Mets, especially as Lindor gets back from the IL, which could relieve some pressure off his shoulders. And if Baez wants to get anything close to Lindor money this off-season, he’s going to have no choice but to be better in the box.
Joey Gallo 🥶 – .162/.295/.351, 1 HR, .647 OPS
Joey Gallo is just an all-around interesting player. The guy gets a lot of hate for being a strikeout machine (hand up, I’ve ripped him in the past). But he also hits majestic dingers, and actually gets on base at a really good clip (.379 with the Rangers before the trade) as he leads the majors this year in walks (81). He’s a no brainer for the short-porch in the Bronx and although he’ll see struggles and continue to get booed during his cold streaks, he’s a guy you’re always tuning in for to see how far (or high) he hits his next one.
Trea Turner 🏃♂️ – .250/.400/.375 in 10 PA, 1 SB
Don’t let the stats fool you, Trea is a freak of nature. It’s just too early to really put him in the conversation of guys who are killing it. He’s going to continue to shine on the West Coast for a team that desperately needed some speed. The Dodgers rank 22nd in team stolen bases with 40. Trea Turner has 22 on the season on his own. Think about that. Dodgers fans were going nuts for this play where he scored from 1st on a gapper. I guess they really didn’t know that players like him (not many) do that routinely. And it’s not even just his speed that will propel the Dodgers forward, but the guy can hit for power, go gap-to-gap, and play any position you want him to. Look for Trea to do some big things down the stretch as he gets more burn.
Nelson Cruz 💥 – .208/.263/.472, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB
Ah, the man, the myth, the legend, Nelly Cruz. The Rays needed a bit of firepower to overtake Boston in the East, and this is the guy to do it with. With 4 bombs and 10 RBIs, the Rays are 8-5 since his arrival. Plus, Nelly has tons of playoff experience that could help the Rays get back to the World Series and finish the job they were so close to completing last season. He’ll keep putting in work as the Rays look to put a lock on this division.
Adam Frazier 🥶 – .282/.333/.333, 11 H, 1 RBI
Quick Reminder: Adam Frazier was an All-Star this year. For the lowly Pirates. And that’s less of a knock on the Pirates moreso than it is a testament to Frazier’s talent. Aside from his 11 hits in his first 10 games, he’s started off a bit slow for the Friars. But the Padres got a guy who leads the majors in hits (138), gets on base, and will play great defense. The Pads already have boppers in Machado and Tatis when he returns, so don’t look for Frazier to be a guy who’s going to hit 15 tanks the rest of the way. He’s going to need to keep raking, moving guys over, and playing his game if the Padres want to keep teams like the Reds & Braves out of the 2nd NL Wild Card spot.
- Yan Gomes, A’s – .294/.294/.706, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1.000 OPS (5 Games)
- Josh Harrison, A’s – .280/.308/.400, 2 RBI, 2 SB (5 Games)