Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Sunday Funday Stat Leaderboard: Lewis firing on all cylinders, Moncada producing

MLB: Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins

Aug 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins third baseman Royce Lewis (23) hits a double in the fourth inning against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

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 if 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.

I also have a sections of minor league leaders over the last 30 days, so we can see if there are any under-the-radar names that might be worth stashing. So far this season, those leaderboards put us onto Matt McLain , Trey Cabbage , Tanner Bibee , Bryan Woo , Nolan Jones , Maikel Garcia , Dairon Blanco , and many more weeks (sometimes months) ahead of their call-up. That can be valuable insight in redraft leagues.

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

Hitting Leaders (Week of September 4th)

Hard Hit Baseballs

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr, ATL - 15 hard-hit baseballs (71.4% hard hit rate)
  2. Rafael Devers, BOS - 13 hard-hit baseballs (76.5% hard hit rate)
  3. Jose Altuve , HOU - 12 hard-hit baseballs (60% hard hit rate)
  4. Seiya Suzuki , CHC - 12 hard-hit baseballs (66.7% hard hit rate)
  5. Julio Rodriguez , SEA - 12 hard-hit baseballs (54.5% hard hit rate)
  6. William Contreras , MIL - 12 hard-hit baseballs (80% hard hit rate)
  7. Tommy Pham , ARI - 11 hard-hit baseballs (57.9% hard hit rate)
  8. Royce Lewis , MIN - 11 hard-hit baseballs (68.8% hard hit rate)
  9. Jose Abreu , HOU - 11 hard-hit baseballs (61.1% hard hit rate)
  10. Brandon Lowe , TB - 11 hard-hit baseballs (73.3% hard hit rate)
  11. Others with 11 hard-hit baseballs: Matt Olson , Cody Bellinger , Aaron Judge , Brandon Drury , and Yordan Alvarez

Pretty quietly, Royce Lewis has returned from injury and been tremendous in the second half of the season. Perhaps people are so worn down by his injuries or maybe they’ve fully moved over to talking about Jahmyr Gibbs , but it’s surprising to me that Royce Lewis is rostered in 70% of Yahoo! leagues despite hitting .313/.387/.627 in 21 games with seven home runs, 18 runs scored, 26 RBI, and three stolen bases. He’s checking basically every box. The only issue for Lewis has been staying healthy, but he deserves to be rostered in all leagues.

Home Runs

  1. Jose Altuve , HOU - 5 home runs
  2. Julio Rodriguez , SEA - 5 home runs
  3. Matt Olson , ATL - 4 home runs
  4. Edward Olivares , KC - 4 home runs
  5. Nine players with three home runs, including Corey Seager , Yoan Moncada , Nolan Gorman , Brandon Nimmo , Yordan Alvarez , and Nelson Velazquez .

Nelson Velazquez was one of my favorite under-the-radar trades at the deadline because he had flashed good power for the Cubs but couldn’t quite break into their outfield rotation. The Royals decided to give him a try (albeit after Kyle Isbel and Drew Waters were unavailable) and Velazquez has proved he needs to be in the lineup regularly. Since coming to Kansas City, the 24-year-old is hitting .256/.310/.641 in 22 games with nine home runs, 16 runs scored, and 17 RBI. Including his stats with the Cubs, he has 12 home runs in 37 MLB games this year. The power is absolutely real and while there is no speed and the batting average will likely always hover around .250, Velazquez has fantasy appeal.

Edward Oliveras being sent down to Triple-A also opened up at-bats for Velazquez, but Olivares was called back up this week and clearly was on a home run barrage. However, it’s important to note that he also started just four of the six games since he’s been up. He has always shown that he can be a valuable bat, but he doesn’t play enough defense to be locked into an every day role.

Yoan Moncada has burned many people in the past, but he’s been solid for much of the season and just downright good in the second half. Which makes him about the only thing (aside from Luis Robert) that has gone right for the White Sox this season. In 37 second half games, Moncada is hitting .296/.338/.467 with five home runs, 11 runs scored, and 21 RBI. He doesn’t steal bases anymore, which does put a cap on his ceiling, as does the mediocre lineup context around him, but that kind of batting average with some power and RBIs hitting every day out of the five spot can be valuable in most leagues.

Stolen Bases

  1. Corbin Carroll , ARI - 6 SBs
  2. Brice Turang , MIL - 3 SBs
  3. CJ Abrams , WAS - 3 SBs
  4. Bryson Stott , PHI - 3 SBs
  5. Ha-Seong Kim , SD - 3 SBs

All of these guys are pretty widely rostered and rostered specifically for steals, so there’s not much actionable info here. I guess Brice Turang would be the least rostered player listed above, and he’s starting every day for Milwaukee at 2B.

It’s fantasy football season! Dominate your draft with the 2023 Rotoworld Football Draft Guide. Get regularly updated rankings, profiles, mock drafts and more. Click here and use promo code Berry20 to save 20% at checkout.

Pitching Leaders (Week of September 4th)

SwStr% (Starting Pitchers)

  1. Cole Ragans , KC - 21.7% SwStr%
  2. Tyler Glasnow , TB - 21.4% SwStr%
  3. Merrill Kelly , ARI - 20.9% SwStr%
  4. Nick Pivetta , BOS - 18.8 SwStr%
  5. Tarik Skubal , DET - 17.9% SwStr%
  6. Mike Clevinger , CWS - 17.8% SwStr%
  7. Grayson Rodriguez , BAL - 17.8% SwStr%
  8. Chris Bassitt , TOR - 17.5% SwStr%
  9. Max Scherzer , TEX - 16.9% SwStr%
  10. Lucas Giolito , CLE - 16.9% SwStr%

Mike Clevinger may not be the dominant starter that he flashed back when he was in Cleveland, but he’s been pretty good this year. Through 108.2 innings, Clevinger has a 3.64 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 12.3% K-BB%. He also has a 5.27 xFIP and 4.90 SIERA. The strikeouts are way down, but he’s allowing the least amount of hard contact in his career, and I like the pitch mix change he’s made as the season has gone on. In the second half of the season, Clevinger has dialed back the usage of his mediocre cutter and leaned more heavily into a changeup that has been a good pitch for him. He’s essentially become a three-pitch pitcher with a four-seam, slider, and change while mixing in a few other pitchers at a combined 6% of the time. Over those 46 second half innings, he has a 3.33 ERA, 11.6% SwStr%, and 4.5% barrel rate allowed. He likely won’t be the pitcher we saw in 2017 and 2018, but he can remain valuable in deeper fantasy leagues.

The popular narrative was that the Guardians, as a smart organization, would find something to tweak with Giolito and recapture some of his old magic. While they certainly still could, through two starts, he’s given up 11 hits and 13 earned runs in 10 innings and has made no real noticeable change to his pitch mix. He does have 12 strikeouts in those 10 innings, but it’s not a lot to get excited about yet.


  1. Paul Sewald , ARI - 3 saves
  2. Tanner Scott , MIA - 2 saves
  3. Emmanuel Clase , CLE - 2 saves
  4. Trevor May , OAK - 2 saves
  5. David Bednar , PIT - 2 saves
  6. Pete Fairbanks , TB - 2 saves

We felt like Tanner Scott was the most likely candidate to take over for David Robertson in Miami and that has borne out. Miami is fighting for a playoff spot and tends to play in a decent amount of close games, so Scott deserves to be rostered if you’re looking for saves to close out the year.


    While the call-ups have slowed a bit this week, there are still a few names worth mentioning who were promoted this week. I’ll just give my thoughts on these guys here and also give a hat tip to some of the main prospect writers I follow who help provide this info. Guys like James Anderson, Eric Cross, and Chris Clegg. I highly recommend you search them out on Twitter.

    Jordan Lawlar - SS, ARI: Lawlar is a very talented player. He’s also 1-for-11 with six strikeouts and one steal in his first three MLB games. He’s just 21-years-old and started this year in Double-A where he hit .263 with 15 home runs and 33 steals in 89 games. He only has 16 games in Triple-A, so I think we can expect some growing pains for Lawlar early on, but the speed is legit. This also hurts Geraldo Perdomo a bit too.

    Evan Carter - OF, TEX: Carter is a bit of a surprise call-up considering he’s just 20-year-old and Texas seemed like a playoff favorite just a few weeks ago. But now Texas is reeling and looking for a spark. Carter hit .288 with 13 home runs, 67 RBI, and 26 steals in 108 games across three levels this year. He does have 111 strikeouts over that span and might struggle with his batting average early on, but he has a well-rounded game and is one of the top prospects in baseball, so he’s worth a gamble, especially if you need speed.

    Edward Cabrera - SP/RP, MIA: Cabrera is back up and appears to be in a bulk relief role, which is actually perfect for him right now with his inconsistent control. He struck out eight batters in four innings in his first multi-inning relief appearance while earning a win. That type of outing can still be super valuable in 15+ team leagues.

    Darius Vines - SP, ATL: Vines had a rock solid MLB debut in Coors Field and was one of the minor league leaders in SwStr% in the month of August with a 20.3% mark. His change-up appears to be his best pitch, and he doesn’t get much velocity on his fastball, but he mixes speeds and sequences well enough to keep hitters off-balance. With Mike Soroka out, Vines could get a few starts in Atlanta , which could make him a decent deep league streamer.

    Subscribe now