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Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Stock Report: Sugar Shane Shoots Up Rankings (2022)

by Eric Cross | @EricCross04 | Featured Writer
May 16, 2022
Shane McClanahan

Shane McClanahan has developed into a full-blown fantasy stud and no-doubt top-10 dynasty arm.

In dynasty leagues, player values are constantly changing, and you need to stay on top of these changes to be successful long-term. 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 an arm that should be considered top-5 for dynasty now, a former top prospect that continues to struggle, an electric LHP prospect, and a former top-5 draft pick that can’t seem to muscle up.

MLB Riser: Shane McClanahan (SP – TB)

Without question, one of the most exciting pitchers to watch this season has been Shane McClanahan. The new Rays ace has a stellar 2.52 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through seven starts with a 6.6% walk rate and a pristine 38.2% strikeout rate. That strikeout rate trails only Carlos Rodon‘s 39.3% mark, and McClanahan leads all qualified pitchers with a 31.6% K-BB. We began witnessing McClanahan’s breakout last season, and now he’s developed into a full-blown fantasy stud and no-doubt top-10 dynasty arm.

In 2021, both Dylan Cease and Corbin Burnes had whiff rates above 40% on three offerings and were the only two arms to do so. McClanahan missed by 0.1% on his slider. McClanahan has joined the 40-40-40 club this season with a 40.3% whiff rate on his curveball, 48.1% on his slider, and a 52.8% mark on his changeup. All three offerings have a BAA under .150 and have only given up three extra-base hits combined. McClanahan’s changeup has been one of the best pitches in baseball this season, with that 52.8% whiff rate and zero hits allowed. One could find issues with his fastball metrics (.395 BAA, .684 SLG, .515 wOBA), but McClanahan only throws the fastball 37.3% of the time, down 3.6% from last season.

McClanahan has already established himself as one of the league’s best when it comes to missing bats. Overall, he’s recorded a 31.3% chase rate, 17.5% SwStr rate, and 38.8% whiff rate, which rank 17th, 3rd, and 3rd, respectively, in baseball right now. Only the aforementioned Burnes and Cease currently have a higher whiff rate, with Burnes and Gausman ahead in SwStr rate.

The improvements and exciting metrics don’t stop there, though. On top of his bat missing ability, McClanahan has improved his barrel rate allowed by 2.3 %, dropped his zone contact rate by 9.7%, and has improved the walk rate from 7.2% to 6.6%. On top of that, McClanahan is allowed fewer fly balls and line drives while seeing his ground ball rate spike to 61.4%, which only trails the groundball maestro, Framber Valdez. Ranking 2nd in groundball rate, 3rd in SwStr rate, and 3rd in whiff rate is an excellent recipe for pitching success.

When you put all of the above into a box, wrap it up, and throw a nice bow on top, you have a no-doubt top-10 dynasty arm that I now have ranked as my #5 dynasty SP only behind Corbin Burnes, Gerrit Cole, Walker Buehler, and Brandon Woodruff. It’s also not inconceivable to see McClanahan rise as high as 3rd on that list by the end of the season.

MLB Faller: Jo Adell (OF – LAA)

Entering the season, Jo Adell was one of the more popular breakout picks in draft rooms and pre-season content. After showing some improvements at the plate down the stretch in 2021 and posting a .286/.311/.595 slash line with three homers and three steals in spring training, it wasn’t hard to see why. Plus, Adell was a former first-round selection with a high prospect pedigree that rose into the top-5 overall of many prospect rankings, mine included. However, Adell hasn’t been able to make that transition to the majors and has only shown us brief glimpses of his potential in between much larger samples of immense struggles.

Adell has received 338 plate appearances over parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues and only has a .210/.257/.352 slash line to show for it. All his raw power has only translated to 10 homers so far due to his contact skills and approach exposed by Major League pitchers. Overall, Adell has a 4.7% walk rate and a 32.8% strikeout rate. That 28.1% K-BB rate is the 7th worst mark since 2020 for hitters with 300+ plate appearances, only behind Patrick Wisdom, Keston Hiura, Jake Cave, Jorge Alfaro, Evan White, and Mike Zunino. Yeah, not exactly the best list to be on.

This season was even worse for Adell, with a 36.4% strikeout rate and 38% whiff rate compared to a measly 1.5% walk rate. But despite that, Adell showed us enough to keep us interested enough to not throw in the towel on him. In 66 plate appearances, Adell posted a 17.1% barrel rate with three home runs and a steal. The 30-homer, 10-steal upside remains for Adell, but at this point, one has to strongly consider if he’ll ever improve his contact skills and approach enough to deliver on that power/speed upside, or even be a Major League starter. Adell is still only 23, so there’s time for him to right the ship, but the arrow is pointing down for him in dynasty leagues right now.

MiLB Riser: Kyle Harrison (SP – SF)

There have been plenty of impressive pitching prospect performances to start the 2022 season, and Kyle Harrison’s name sits near the top of that list. Through his first six starts of the season, Harrison has a stellar 1.88 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 9.2% walk rate, and a ridiculous 52% strikeout rate. Yes, that means that over half of the batters who stepped into the box to face Harrison have had to walk back to the dugout following a strikeout. Harrison has been outstanding this season, and there’s no reason to believe that his dominance and rise up rankings can’t continue as the season progresses.

Harrison will sit in the 92-95 mph range on his fastball, touching higher with solid life out of a lower 3/4 arm slot, and will mix in an above-average to a plus slider with a serviceable changeup that has shown improvement over the last year. His ability to miss bats with all three offerings, especially the fastball and slider, has led to a 17.4% SwStr rate overall. But what’s been equally as beneficial to Harrison’s success this season has been his continued gains in the command and control department. Harrison is far from a pinpoint command arm, but he’s shown steady improvements since being drafted in the 3rd round back in 2020.

Harrison has moved up to my #10 overall pitching prospect and is knocking on the door to my top-50 overall. If he continues to perform at this level and make further gains in the command and control department, Harrison will kick that door down very soon. You have to imagine a promotion to Double-A will happen soon.

MiLB Faller: Austin Martin (2B, SS, OF – MIN)

Expectations were high for Austin Martin as the #5 overall selection in the 2020 MLB draft following an exceptional collegiate career at Vanderbilt. Martin received some Nick Senzel comps thanks to his advanced hit tool and solid yet unspectacular power/speed blend. We’re now 123 games into his minor league career, and Martin hasn’t really shown much to excite us for fantasy purposes. On the positive side, he’s been getting on base at a high clip with a .402 OBP thanks to a 13.4% walk rate while keeping his strikeout rate in check at 18.4%. However, the power just hasn’t developed.

In 56 games with Toronto’s Double-A affiliate last season, Martin posted a .383 SLG and .102 ISO and then .381 and .127 respectively with Minnesota’s Double-A affiliate after being included in the Jose Berrios trade mid-season. This season, Martin has only been able to muster a .339 SLG and .093 ISO, again in Double-A. His contact skills and approach have remained strong, and he even has 17 steals without being caught, but a lowly .246 AVG and one lone homer accompany those 17 steals. Martin can hit .270 or so with 20+ steals annually, but his minimal power really caps his fantasy upside.

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