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10 Burning Questions: Julio Rodriguez, Carlos Rodon, Tommy Edman (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
May 25, 2022
Manny Machado

Manny Machado is the current real-life NL MVP, but where does he rank in the fantasy MVP race?

Each and every Tuesday, I’ll address 10 burning questions that I’m looking either for answers to during the week or questions that may help fantasy managers navigate the week-to-week grind of their team.

Since we are nearly at the quarter-point of the season where just about every team has played at least 40 games, I figured we’d look at some award winners from a fantasy perspective.

Here are the latest burning questions about fantasy baseball.

Who is your fantasy MVP?

This is always a tough conversation in fantasy circles. Is it the player who is having the best season or the player who gave you the biggest return on your investment?

My answer is … both?

And, for this exercise, we will focus just on bats since we have a Cy Young pick later on.

The candidates:

If I had a vote for real-life MVP right now, it would go to Judge and Machado in their respective leagues. But for fantasy, given the conversation around him in the preseason and the question marks that surrounded him, I’m going to go with Edman as our fantasy MVP at this point in the season. His Barrel rate is up, and he’s quietly silenced the doubters. What’s more, he’s now playing shortstop so that Nolan Gorman can play daily.

Do I have faith in him to keep it up all year? No, I don’t, but he’s the frontrunner for fantasy MVP so far this season.

Who is your fantasy bust?

We have the same parameters here as we do with MVP, but we’ll include both hitters and pitchers here. For argument’s sake, I will leave Jacob deGrom out of the convo here and focus on players who weren’t a clear injury risk.

The candidates:

So, all three of these guys have been bad. We can’t sugarcoat it. I’m not worried about Woodruff in the slightest, and I think it presents a good buying opportunity for him. The others, though, I have pause around.

Overall, I’m going to give it to Semien, given the season he had last year and that he’s been the only one of the remaining three without an injury excuse to grasp on to. He’s pressing hard, and the batted-ball data is really, really bad.

Who is your fantasy Cy Young?

This is essentially the pitcher MVP award, FWIW.

The candidates:

This is probably the hardest pick so far, to be honest. And we didn’t even mention Logan Gilbert, Alek Manoah, Dylan Cease, Nestor Cortes, or Michael Kopech here.

Given the cost associated, I’m going to give this to Wright. He was off just about everyone’s radar during the draft season, and any positive return would have been great. So far, he’s been a top 16 overall player.

Not pitcher, player.

I’m high on all of the mentioned pitchers going forward, with McClanahan being a top-five arm for me this year and in dynasty.

Who is your fantasy rookie of the year?

Rookies are really missing that 2020 season, and it’s showing in a big way this year. But we have still seen some standout performances from first-year players this year.

The candidates:

The Kwan week was fun, but I hope you cashed in the chips on Michael Brantley Jr. It looked like for a while that it would be Pena who would run away with this award. Still, now that he isn’t getting squeezed at an excessive rate, Rodriguez is completely locked in and performing up to expectations.

He’s a first-round pick for the next decade-plus as long as he keeps running.

Who have you been most wrong about?

It’s important to highlight when we’ve been wrong just as often – if not more – when we are right.

Here’s to the crow I’m about to eat.

The candidates:

As wrong as I was about the other three, this is clearly Baddoo in a landslide. While it’s true he wasn’t exactly set up for success from Opening Day, in his opportunities, he didn’t exactly give the Tigers any real reason to play him.

I’m still hopeful in the long term, but he was easily my biggest swing-and-miss – pun intended – this season.

Who have you been most right about?

OK, time to redeem myself. I had some good calls about players, too, which is why they pay me to write, I guess.

The candidates:

I feel pretty good about all of these calls and my subsequent exposure to them. But to go with the value play, it’s Skubal.

He always felt like the best bet of all of the Tigers’ young arms who were coming up at the time, and we are seeing it come to fruition in a big way this year as he continues to keep hitters off balance and mess with their timing.

Who are you giving more time to?

It’s hard to say it’s still early when you see where you are in the standings, but these players still have time to turn it around.

The candidates:

It boils down to these three guys. Hayes has been really good but has zero home runs. The batted ball data is phenomenal, so we should see a power run coming soon.

I won’t ever quit Kirilloff, and that’s my toxic trait.

The winner, though, is Cobb, who everyone is discussing as a buy-low option, but his rostership numbers remain low. This year, Cobb has been extremely good with his peripherals despite the bad surface-level numbers. I’m giving him more time and looking to acquire him.

Who are you looking to sell high?

So this is essentially asking me which top-performing player I’m not buying, right? Or is it which player I like, but I don’t like as much as his current production?

Wait, why am I asking you?

The candidates:

This was tough, given the parameters that I set for myself. We’re all trying to find the person who did this.

Perez and Hosmer are the easy answers here, but they aren’t going to return anything because of their lackluster track records.

I’m more out on Gilbert than most due to his lack of stuff numbers, but there’s clear and present upside here with him.

So that leaves us with Ward, who I do believe in to an extent, but not at this level of play where he’s among the league leaders in all offensive metrics.

He’s in that middle ground where some people are fully bought in while others acknowledge the success and the sustainability around it with slight regression.

Who are Some Players Rostered in 50 Percent of Leagues or Fewer I Should Target?

Here are 10 hitters and pitchers who you should add to your watchlist who are available in 21-50 percent of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).

Hitters:

Pitchers:

What About 20 Percent?

Like above, here are 10 hitters and pitchers rostered in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues or fewer who should be on your deep-league radar.

Hitters:

Pitchers:

CTAs


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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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