Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Stock Report: Seiya is Sensational!
In dynasty leagues, player values are constantly changing, and you need to stay on top of these changes to be successful long-term. That’s where this dynasty stock report comes in as I discuss four players each week, two on the rise and two falling, both at the MLB level and in the minors as well. This week’s report features a sensational rookie, a recent postseason hero, an electric arm from the 2021 draft class, and an overvalued Cubs’ top prospect.
MLB Riser: Seiya Suzuki (OF – CHC)
Is there anything Seiya Suzuki can’t do? So far, that answer has been a resounding no. Suzuki has blasted past the already high expectations set for him and has been one of the best hitters in baseball through the first few weeks of the season. After a 1/5 showing on Sunday, Suzuki’s slash line sits at an impressive .354/.492/.688 with four home runs, a steal, 13 RBI, and 12 runs scored. Equally as impressive is the 22.9% walk rate he’s posted thus far, which is one of the top walk rates in the Majors.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an area of Suzuki’s profile that doesn’t drop your jaw at least a little bit. On top of the great surface stats, Suzuki’s quality of contact metrics has been phenomenal. Suzuki has a 24.1% barrel rate, 91.5 mph AVG EV, and a 48.3% hard-hit rate with a .520 wOBA and .572 xwOBACON. He also has posted a better-than-league average whiff rate and zone contact rate with an elite chase rate. Sure, the strikeout rate is a tad high at 25.9%, but that’s the only gripe anyone can have, and even that rate is slightly worse than league average.
It’s still early in his Major League career. Still, Suzuki shows that he’s capable of being every bit of the offensive performer that he was in Japan, and possibly even more. Don’t expect more than 5-10 steals out of him, but those could come with 30 homers, 180+ R+RBI, and a good AVG/OBP. Suzuki is legit, folks, and will get to call hitter-friendly Wrigley Field home with a solid up-and-coming lineup around him.
MLB Faller: Randy Arozarena (OF – TBR)
Remember the 2020 playoffs for Randy Arozarena? That was a magical time, wasn’t it? Arozarena set the single-season postseason home run record that year and almost single-handedly carried Tampa Bay to a World Series title. But since then, some of Arozarena’s has worn off. He still posted a 20/20 season in 2021 with 94 runs and a solid .274/.356/.459 slash line, but the strikeout rate remained high at 28.1%, and that trend has continued this season with a 27.1% strikeout rate so far. ‘
Arozarena has also seen his walk rate plummet, his chase rate skyrocket, and he continues to whiff at an above-average rate. The only area that impresses you when you gander at his Savant page is the sprint speed, but that’s only translated to one steal through 15 games. This comes after he was only successful on 66.7% of his attempts last season, with his 10 CS leading the league.
Arozarena is still a valuable fantasy player, but it’s time we stop valuing him as a top-50 overall asset or even close to it. His aggressive approach will cause plenty of peaks and valleys each season, and he’s going to need to become a better base stealer as well. On top of all that, Arozarena’s quality of contact metrics have gone from decent to below-average this season without a single barrel yet and an 87.7 mph AVG EV.
MiLB Riser: Andrew Painter (SP – PHI)
If gaudy pitcher strikeout rates get you all hot and bothered, you came to the right place. After the Phillies took prep right-hander Mick Abel in the first round of the 2020 draft, they decided to follow that up with another prep righty, Andrew Painter, in the first round of the 2021 draft. And so far, they look like geniuses for doing so. These arms have immense upside, and Painter is striking out anything and everything this season.
After striking out 12 of the 21 batters he faced in six scoreless innings last season after the draft, Painter has hit the turbo boosters this season with a ridiculous 69.8% strikeout rate in 12 scoreless innings. Overall, he’s only allowed one unearned run through his first 18 innings with three walks and 42 strikeouts. That means 77.8% of his outs have been by way of the K with a 65.6% strikeout rate through 64 batters. Obviously, these numbers aren’t sustainable, but Painter is quickly showing that he has the potential to rise into the elite pitching prospect conversation sooner rather than later.
Painter attacks hitters with a mid-90s fastball that can touch higher and has a nice downhill plane, thanks to him being 6’7. He’ll also mix in a slider, curveball, and changeup, all of which have the potential to be above-average or better Major League offerings. Painter’s bat missing ability is top-notch, and he’s shown a good feel for pitching with solid command for his age. The ingredients for a frontline starter are all here, and Painter’s dynasty stock is on the rise. Your window to acquire him at any sort of reasonable cost is dwindling quickly.
MiLB Faller: Brennen Davis (OF – CHC)
Before I get into my reasoning, let me say that Brennen Davis is still a good prospect with a bright future ahead of him. But how bright is the question I have? As I dug into Davis’s profile this offseason after a solid yet inconsistent showing in the upper minors last year, I wondered why I had him inside my top-10 prospect rankings. Davis has shown good but not great power with around average speed and an average hit tool throughout his minor league career. Sorry, but a 50-hit, 60-power, 50-speed prospect certainly isn’t top-10 worthy. That’s not even top-25 worthy, which everyone will see in my next prospect rankings update in early May.
The contact and strikeout issues have really caused me to temper my expectations with Davis. In his 416 plate appearances last season, Davis struck out 28.4% of the time with a 14.9% SwStr rate, 73.2% contact rate in Triple-A, and 63.5% in Double-A, where he spent most of the season. Those issues are replicating themselves in Triple-A this season with a 32.3% strikeout rate, 15.1% SwStr rate, and a 62.3% contact rate through the first few weeks of the season. Davis has also been caught on his only SB attempt through 15 games.
Again, this isn’t me saying that Brennen Davis is bad. But he projects as more of a .260/25/5+ type for me and not one that will develop into an early-round fantasy asset. If you can still get a top-10 prospect return for him right now in dynasty leagues, I’d highly recommend selling.
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.