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Look Who’s Streaking: Joey is a Meneses to Society

Welcome back to another edition of Look Who’s Streaking! In this season-long series, we’ll be taking a look at players who are streaking – both hot and cold. The idea is fairly simple: We’ll highlight players who are streaking in either direction and take a closer look at their performance, with the ultimate goal of aiding lineup and waiver wire decisions.

For this week’s write-up, we’ll highlight some players who have been taking advantage of their newfound playing time. On the flip side, we’ll take a look at some San Diego Padres who have been running cold. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some players who are streaking!

Look Who’s Streaking!

Running Hot

Joey Meneses (1B/OF – WAS)

Joey Meneses has been one of the few bright spots for the Juan Soto-less Nationals since the trade deadline. The 30-year-old rookie has taken advantage of his newfound playing time and is flat-out producing. Across 77 plate appearances, Meneses has a .324/.351/.595 slash line with six homers, 13 runs scored, eight RBI, and a .270 ISO.

Meneses makes a bunch of contact overall (82.2%) and the power is not surprising – he hit 20 round-trippers in 414 plate appearances in Triple-A this season. He’s also barreling the ball 13.1% of the time and has a 42.6% hard-hit rate. Meneses has been making noise from the top-third of the lineup and is a solid power source who is likely sitting on your waiver wire. Go get him!

Oscar Gonzalez (OF – CLE)

Oscar Gonzalez missed all of July with an abdominal injury, but he’s been a hitting machine since his August 2 return. In 80 plate appearances, Gonzalez is slashing .333/.350/.551 with eight doubles, three home runs, seven runs scored, nine RBI, and one stolen base.

Gonzalez has made improvements since his return — he’s hitting fewer ground balls (55.2% to 41.7%), and has more than doubled his barrel rate (5.2% to 11.7%) – both of which bode well for his 44.9% hard-hit rate for the season. Gonzalez swings at everything (49.5% chase rate), but he should still be able to provide balanced production from hitting in the middle of the order.

Jake Fraley (OF – CIN)

Jake Fraley has missed most of the season with an injury, but he’s been on fire since his return at the end of July. In 77 plate appearances, he has a .318/.403/.636 slash line with six homers, 16 runs scored, 14 RBI, and a stolen base. Fraley has both pop and speed to his game (think 20/15 player), to go along with strong plate discipline metrics. Since his return, he has a 20.3% chase rate and is making contact in the zone at a 90% clip. Fraley typically sits against lefties, but he plays in a great hitter’s park and has led off in nine of his last 10 games started. He’s a solid play in all league sizes.

Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TEX)

Nathaniel Lowe has been having a great season, but he’s really been crushing it in the past week. In his last seven games, Lowe is slashing .387/.424/.839 with four home runs, seven runs scored, and 13 RBI. He also has a whopping 28% barrel rate and 60% hard-hit rate over this span. Lowe is surging and he’s a great power play moving forward. He’s likely rostered in deeper leagues, but is worth checking on in shallower ones. Take advantage of Lowe’s power streak!

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Running Cold

Josh Bell (1B – SDP)

Josh Bell has scuffled at the plate since being traded to the Padres earlier this month. In 20 games with his new team, Bell has a .153/.274/.278 slash line and 65 wRC+. However, Bell was cruising prior to the trade. In 437 plate appearances, he still managed to be productive in an anemic Nationals lineup with 14 home runs, 52 runs scored, and 57 RBI, as well as a .377 wOBA and 142 wRC+. Bell’s power numbers are down this season, but he still has a strong plate approach (11.7 % BB% and 15% K%) and is making a good amount of contact in the zone (86.2%). Consider this a blip on the screen, and expect Bell to get back on track for the remainder of the season.

Brandon Drury (1B/2B/3B/OF – SDP)

Sticking with the Padres, let’s talk about Brandon Drury.   Similar to Josh Bell, Drury was traded to San Diego at the beginning of August.  He started his time in San Diego with a bang – three homers, seven runs scored, and 12 RBI in his first nine games with the Padres. But he’s cooled off recently. In his last 42 plate appearances, Drury is slashing .171/.190/.195 with a 9 wRC+. Not surprisingly, there’s also been little production over this span – zero home runs, three runs scored, and two RBI.

Overall, Drury is having a solid season. Across 463 plate appearances, he has a 23/72/73/2/.263 stat line with a .495 SLG. He’s also barreling the ball 10.5% of the time and is making contact in the zone at an 89.5% clip. Drury’s hit cleanup in the past seven games and should be a solid source of RBI with Juan Soto and Manny Machado ahead of him.  Consider Drury’s scuffles a transitioning hiccup, and stick with him — especially in deeper leagues.

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