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Players Set to Benefit From Free Agent Departures (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

Jan 23, 2022
Players Set to Benefit From Free Agent Departures

We are all counting down the days where we get the breaking news saying “Lockout Over, Baseball is Set to Resume”. Until then, we are re-reading the stories of the signings that happened up until baseball shut down during the new CBA negotiations.

High-profile free agents signed with their new teams. Corey Seager and Marcus Semien both made their way deep in the heart of Texas. Max Scherzer went coast-to-coast from LA to the Big Apple in his deal with the Mets. Javier Baez is now the newest Detroit Tiger. All of these moves are set to have big impacts for their new teams. Now, who is set to benefit from the new opportunity that has presented itself?

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Out With The Old, In With The New

Gavin Lux (2B/SS – LAD)

Just a few years ago, Lux was one of the more tantalizing prospects in the game of baseball. A quick riser through the Dodgers farm system, he was already penciled in to be the next big thing in that lineup. He burst onto the scene with a strong performance to close out the 2019 season but has had trouble staying in the lineup ever since. Whether it was because of the logjam at the Major League level or the 29.3% K-rate he posted when he was called up, Lux just hasn’t been able to find his stride.

Now with Corey Seager out of LA, it opens up the opportunity for Lux to compete for the starting second base job in the Dodgers lineup. He will need to make adjustments on his approach at the plate, but seeing as the Dodgers were keen on not involving him in trades for other players as a prospect, there’s optimism that they are willing to give the former top prospect a chance to crack their Opening Day lineup.

Tanner Houck (RHP – BOS)

Drafted as a power arm out of Missouri, Tanner Houck has continued to impress many throughout his progression in the Red Sox system. He has been able to translate his swing-and-miss stuff from college into the professional level and it has a lot of people excited to see what he can now do with Eduardo Rodriguez leaving for Detroit, and the Red Sox looking to replace him in their starting rotation. 

In 2021, Houck shuffled from the rotation, the bullpen, and the minor leagues. Even with having to make all these adjustments, he still managed a 3.52 ERA (2.58 FIP and 3.20 xFIP) with 87 strikeouts in 69IP. The dominant 30.5% strikeout rate that he was able to achieve while limiting his walk rate to a very respectable 2.74 BB/9, should be more than enough evidence to prove that Houck is ready to be a staple in the Boston starting rotation going forward.

Luis Urias (2B/3B/SS – MIL)

David Stearns, President of Baseball Operations for the Milwaukee Brewers, has openly stated that Luis Urias has “earned the right to play regularly.” If that does not get you excited for what Urias will be able to provide for you this upcoming season, then prepare yourself for the following stats.

Coming into the 2021 season, Urias was more of an afterthought to many. It was no secret that the Brewers were trying to find an upgrade at third base by trying to acquire Josh Donaldson via trade or sign Justin Turner in free agency. Former top prospect, Orlando Arcia, was set to man SS to open the season and it left Urias as the odd man out. So, what did he do this past season that has the Brewers locking him into the everyday lineup?

Urias came out ready to prove himself and posted career highs in many different areas. New markers set in Hard Hit% (34.9%), Barrel% (9.2%), Launch Angle (14.2 degrees), and Average Exit Velocity (87.9MPH) are just some of the metrics that support the emergence that he had this past season. Add all of that to him posting an 11.1 BB% and he hits all the markers for a team finding a player that just “gets on base”.

With Eduardo Escobar now on the New York Mets, Urias is the clear beneficiary and will now be looking to continue to build off his career campaign in 2021.

Cristian Crespo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Cristian, check out his archive and follow him @CCres_26.

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