Chris Clegg’s Prospect Report: Michael Busch, Andrew Painter, Drey Jameson (2022 Fantasy Baseball)
Minor League Baseball is back in full swing, and everyone is doing their best to make informed decisions on prospects for dynasty leagues. Samples are still small, but some things are worth looking at for some prospects who could be on the rise.
In my latest prospect report, we will tackle two position players and two pitchers that are on the rise that could be excellent buys in dynasty leagues before their price tag inflates. Which players have been off to a hot start of the season, and data have backed the numbers? Let’s take a look.
Fantasy Baseball Prospects on the Rise
Michael Busch (2B – LAD)
Michael Busch is off to a scorching hot start to the 2022 season after an inconsistent 2021. Over the last week, Busch collected nine hits, five of them being home runs. That pushed his batting average to .298 with seven home runs. This season, Busch has reached base safely in 14 of his 16 games, thanks to a high walk rate and solid hitting performances.
According to Baseball America ($), Busch has 12 batted balls with a 100-mph exit velocity or higher, and only one was a ground ball. Busch is hitting the ball hard and hitting plenty of balls to the pull side, which has helped his home run power. Busch currently has a 25.3% strikeout rate and a 20% walk rate. The plate discipline is excellent, and with Busch’s power coming around, he could be in line to see time in Los Angeles later this season.
Andrew Painter (SP – PHI)
Andrew Painter has been dominant in professional baseball since being drafted 13th overall last season. Painter is a massive pitcher, listed at 6-foot-7, 215 pounds. On the surface, Painter has been dominant. He has pitched 12 innings in three starts and has 30 strikeouts to just three walks. Painter has not allowed an earned run and has a -0.79 FIP.
Painter is 19 years old but is carving up Single-A hitters with an impressive arsenal and command. He predominantly throws his four-seam fastball (67.3%), averages 96.8 mph on his fastball, and has a 40.8% CSW. Painter has a 42% CSW on all pitches and an impressive 48% whiff rate.
Painter has a solid four-pitch arsenal but has yet to throw the changeup often. When Painter begins mixing all four pitches well, hitters should watch out. Painter is a top-100 prospect and could continue rising if he performs at this high level.
Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF – CHC)
If season-ending shoulder surgery had not limited Crow-Armstrong to just 32 plate appearances in 2021, we could be looking at one of the top prospects in baseball. Crow-Armstrong was drafted 19th overall by the New York Mets in 2020 but traded him to Chicago for Javier Baez at the 2021 trade deadline.
Pete Crow-Armstrong is the definition of what a five-tool player looks like. He makes excellent contact, has developing power plus speed, and is a superb centerfielder. It has been a strong 2022 season where Crow-Armstong has a .326/.463/.581 slash with two home runs and seven stolen bases.
Crow-Armstrong has shown excellent plate discipline skills and has the makings of a true leadoff hitter. He has eight walks and eight strikeouts this year, and his on-base skills have been impressive. He should continue to move up prospect rankings, and he is an excellent prospect to acquire now in dynasty before his price tag takes off.
Drey Jameson (SP – ARI)
Drey Jameson was a pleasant surprise in 2021 after being known as a flamethrower with poor command. Last year, he harnessed it, walking 36 batters in 110.2 innings while striking out 145.
Jameson was roughed up in his first start of 2022 when he walked three and allowed four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Since then, Jameson has looked dialed in, pitching 17 innings with one walk and 20 strikeouts. He has allowed just one earned run and seven hits, leading to a 0.53 ERA and a 32.8% K-BB%.
Jameson is 24 years old and will likely see a bump to Triple-A soon, and the final pit stop in Arizona is around the corner. With no one blocking him in Diamondbacks’ rotation, do not be surprised to see Jameson get a chance to potentially stick in the rotation.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.