Some new faces this time around.
Offensive stud: Adolis Garcia (OF, Rangers). Over the past week, Garcia has put together a tidy line of .333/.462/.667 with 2 home runs (including a grand slam), 6 RBI, 7 runs and 5 walks.
Talk about coming out of nowhere. The 28-year-old outfielder debuted with the Cardinals in 2018, hitting .118 in 17 at-bats. He didn’t play in 2019 and went hitless in a cup of coffee with Texas last year. Then—KABLAM! He burst onto the scene in 2021, leading the Rangers by far in home runs (29) and RBI (77), earning an All-Star selection and being a bright spot on that disappointing 47-87 club.
In 2019, he hit 32 dingers at Triple-A Memphis, so the power has always been there, but to see it show up on the big league stage so suddenly was a surprise.
Honorable mention: Juan Soto (OF, Nationals; .381/.519/.857, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 BB).
Offensive dud: Paul DeJong (SS, Cardinals). This just hasn’t been DeJong’s year.
After making the All-Star team in 2019, he’s hit just .198/.289/.383 in 95 games this season, and these past seven days haven’t helped his numbers none. In 5 at-bats, he struck out 3 times; in the field he committed an error. It’s been an unpleasant fall for the slugger who averaged 31 home runs and 89 RBI per 162 games from 2017 to 2019 and just 22 and 75, respectively, since.
Though he’s always been a low-average guy—even in his All-Star campaign, he batted just .233—his mark has dipped to almost intolerable levels. And what’s worse—he’s 28 and supposed to be in his prime.
Dishonorable mention: Gio Urshela (3B, Yankees; 1-for-13, 4 K, 2 E).
Pitching stud: Logan Webb (SP,Giants). If anyone suggested Logan Webb would one day be pitching like a Cy Young Award candidate, I would’ve said they were crazy. But that’s exactly what he’s been doing of late.
In his past two starts, he tossed 14 innings and had 16 strikeouts, while allowing just 1 earned run on 9 hits and 2 walks. The Giants’ lead in the NL West is tenuous, but Webb is doing all he can to keep it from slipping away. Since his ERA peaked at 5.87 on April 20, it has been 2.04; since the beginning of August, it’s been 1.39.
2021 is a crazy year and Webb’s stunning line is part of the craziness.
Honorable mention: Frankie Montas (SP, Athletics; 2-0, 13 2/3 IP, 4 BB, 7 H, 1.98 ERA).
Pitching dud: Dillon Tate (RP, Orioles). It might be hard to believe, but Tate was the fourth-overall pick in the 2015 draft and Major League Baseball once ranked him the 36th-best prospect in baseball.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. In the past week, He has made four appearances and lost his last three; in 2 innings, he’s allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk for an 18.00 ERA. This run makes him 0-6 on the year and 1-9 for his career; his season ERA has risen half a point in this short stretch alone. Perhaps there is a reason he was traded twice before making his major league debut.
Despite his middling 2021 performance, he has been one of the Orioles’ most oft-used relievers, appearing in 51 games.
Dishonorable mention: Andres Machado (RP, Nationals; 2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 ER, 0-1, 1 BSV, 13.50 ERA).