Steven Souza Jr.
When the Arizona Diamondbacks completed a three-team trade to acquire Steven Souza Jr., they imagined him blasting home runs left and right. They did, after all, lose a fine hitter in the exchange — Brandon Drury. By the time the 2018 All-Star Game came around, though, Souza Jr. had missed more games than he’d played, and was hitting less than .200 in the ones he did play in.
It didn’t last, thankfully, as Souza Jr. has been clutch, energizing, and red-hot in 15 games post-All-Star break. The former third-round pick raised his average from .195 to .252 with 19 hits in 58 at-bats, notching eight extra-base hits in the process.
One of his clutchest hits came just a few days ago in Arizona’s wild, 14-inning win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Souza Jr. forced extra innings by knocking in Eduardo Escobar with an RBI single.
Besides his offense, Souza Jr. gives maximum effort in the outfield and is as fiery as anyone on the team. Coming into the stretch run, guys that like become even more valuable. He’s got dog in him, and dog will be needed to outlast the Dodgers.