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Sunday Funday Stat Leaderboard: Gipson-Long announces himself, Florial getting a chance to play

Can Strider pay off as a top-five fantasy pick?
D.J. Short, Scott Pianowski, and Eric Samulksi run through their picks for a 2024 fantasy baseball mock draft. They discuss Bobby Witt Jr.'s upside, whether Spencer Strider was a reach at No. 5 and much more.

Welcome to the Sunday Funday Stat Leaderboard. If you were following my work ahead of my transition to NBC Sports then you might know this as the Samulski Sunday Tribune. It’s a new name, but it’s the same column with just a few sections removed since it’s now FULLY FREE.

If you’re new to this column, the goal is to present you with the top performers in a few key stats for this week of action. I then try to give some context to some of the names on that list, so we can begin to see just how real this hot week of production was. This way we can together decide if these are players we should be bidding on, bidding BIG on, or maybe trying to trade away or trade for.

We’re going to change these up a bit for these final weeks and focusing specifically on categories that correlate to your standings. With so many players being shut down or young players getting chances, I want to provide an easy way to simply see who is playing, who is producing in certain categories, and who we can believe in.

With that said, let’s dive into the leaders from this week. Happy Sunday!

Hitting Leaders (Week of September 11th)

Plate Appearances

  1. Marcus Semien , TEX - 28 plate appearances
  2. Brandon Nimmo , NYM - 28 plate appearances
  3. Pete Alonso , NYM - 28 plate appearances
  4. Aaron Judge , NYY - 28 plate appearances
  5. Gleyber Torres , NYY - 28 plate appearances
  6. Estevan Florial, NYY - 28 plate appearances
  7. Kyle Schwarber , PHI - 28 plate appearances
  8. Austin Riley , ATL - 28 plate appearances

Estevan Florial appears to be getting a chance to prove his worth as an every day outfielder in New York. With Everson Pereira banged up and not performing, the Yankees turned to Florial this week as their regular centerfielder with Oswaldo Cabrera in left. Florial has hit all over the lineup, batting first, fifth, seventh, and ninth, but the one thing he hasn’t yet done is actually hit. He’s 4-for-28 with two runs, four RBI, and seven strikeouts in six games this week. He does have a stolen base and did swipe 25 bases and hit 28 home runs in 101 Triple-A games this year, so there could be some upside there. However, he also struck out 30% of the time at Triple-A and has had strikeout issues throughout his minor league career, which make him a longshot to produce regularly at the MLB level.


  1. Corey Seager , TEX - 10 hits
  2. Luis Arraez, MIA - 10 hits
  3. Josh Naylor , CLE - 10 hits
  4. Randy Arozarena , TB - 10 hits
  5. Nico Hoerner, CHC - 10 hits
  6. Julio Rodriguez , SEA - 10 hits
  7. Michael Harris II , ATL - 10 hits
  8. Gunnar Henderson, BAL - 10 hits
  9. Six hitters with 9 hits, including Sal Frelick, Joey Meneses , Tyrone Taylor, and Trea Turner .

Sal Frelick is back to seeing every day at parts in part because he’s producing but also because both Christian Yelich and Mark Canha have been banged up. That has helped Frelick hit either first or fourth in the Brewers’ order, which is great for counting stats. This week, he was 9-for-26 (.360) but had just two RBI and two runs scored. However, he doesn’t strike out, which means that RBIs should be coming if he keeps hitting in the middle of the order and putting the bat on the ball. Frelick is not a major power hitter, but he can add some chip-in steals which will increase his fantasy value.

With the Brewers up 6.5 games in the NL Central, it’s also possible that the team continues to give Yelich time to heal, which would add more value for Tyrone Taylor , who went 9-for-19 (.429( this week with a home run, five runs, and five RBI. We’ve seen Taylor put together strong stretches before, so he could be a deep league waiver add tonight.

Home Runs

  1. Matt Olson , ATL - 4 home runs
  2. Luis Arraez , MIA - 4 home runs
  3. Michael Harris II, ATL - 4 home runs
  4. Rafael Devers , BOS - 3 home runs
  5. Royce Lewis , MIN - 3 home runs
  6. Shea Langeliers , OAK - 3 home runs
  7. Gunnar Henderson , BAL - 3 home runs
  8. Michael Massey, KC - 3 home runs
  9. Richie Palacios, STL - 3 home runs
  10. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR - 3 home runs

Richie Palacios is on this list despite only getting 10 plate appearances all week. He also only had three hits this week; they just all happened to be home runs. My point is just that I would not see his name on the leaderboard here and decide to chase this.

Michael Massey has seen a bit of a power boom in the second half of the season hitting 10 home runs in just 53 games, including four home runs in 12 games in September. However, he’s also hitting .235 in the second half of the season and is just 13-for-46 in September, even with those four home runs. The Royals offense has also been league average, so Massey has nine RBI and 11 runs scored in those 12 games, which are fine totals but not eye-catching with the power boost. The second baseman will always sit against lefties, so that’s something to keep in mind with the Royals seeing two lefties in their six games next week.

Stolen Bases

  1. Bobby Witt Jr., KC - 6 SBs
  2. Dairon Blanco , KC - 4 SBs
  3. Jazz Chisholm Jr., MIA - 3 SBs
  4. Nico Hoerner , CHC - 3 SBs
  5. Parker Meadows, DET - 3 SBs
  6. Elly De La Cruz , CIN - 3 SBs

I really need steals to maintain my league in an OC where I’m currently in first, and I dropped Parker Meadows last week, so it’s great to see him do this now. UGH! However, Meadows was also just 2-for-12 this week in five games and is hitting .200 in 24 games since making his debut. Detroit is clearly going to keep playing him, and he’s shown that he will run when he gets on, even if he’s not getting on that often. I still think he’s just a deep league option right now since he hits 9th for a really bad offense and hasn’t been getting on base much.

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Pitching Leaders (Week of September 11th)

SwStr% (Starting Pitchers)

  1. Sawyer Gipson-Long, DET - 26.8% SwStr%
  2. Bryan Woo , SEA- 22.9% SwStr%
  3. Keaton Winn , SF - 22.4% SwStr%
  4. Cristopher Sanchez , PHI - 21.9SwStr%
  5. Pablo Lopez , MIN - 20.0% SwStr%
  6. Freddy Peralta , MIL - 20.0% SwStr%
  7. Tarik Skubal , DET - 18.7% SwStr%
  8. George Kirby , SEA - 18.5% SwStr%
  9. Patrick Corbin , WAS - 18.4% SwStr%
  10. Tanner Houck , BOS - 18.1% SwStr%

Sawyer Gipson-Long is a favorite of Nick Pollack and Chris Clegg, who people I really respect, so I think it’s time he gets our attention. In two MLB starts this year, he’s allowed three runs on six hits in 10 innings while striking out 16 and walking just three. That’s pretty good. Rogelio Castillo, who runs to Tiger Minor League Report, did an interview with Gipson-Long where he talked about changing his arsenal and adding in a cutter and sinker this year. While he hasn’t been throwing the cutter much in the big leagues, the process of altering his grips and working with his arsenal enabled him to solidify grips on his change-up, which had an 83% whiff rate and 60% CSW in his last start. He faces Oakland next week and should be a priority add in all leagues.

I wrote about Bryan Woo’s arsenal change last week, and I truly do think it gives him a bit higher of a floor and is a solid alteration for him for the long-term. I’d encourage you to check out the article.


  1. Clay Holmes , NYY - 3 saves
  2. Devin Williams , MIL - 3 saves
  3. Eight players with two saves including Kirby Yates, Taylor Clarke, Tanner Scott , Pete Fairbanks , Tyler Kinley, David Bednar , Emmanuel Clase , and Ryan Helsley.

A few quick notes here. Ryan Helsley is back and appears to be the main closer in St. Louis again, while Kirby Yates was just filling in for Raisel Iglesias once due to Igelesias pitching three days in a row and then Yates also picked up an extra innings save. However, I do think the inclusion of Tyler Kinley and Taylor Clarke on here is actionable in the sense that both of them seem to have wrestled away the closer job for their respective teams. Kinley does pitch in Colorado and Clarke is pitching for a mediocre Royals team, so be careful. Yet, if you’re desperate for saves, they are names to consider.
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