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10 Burning Questions: Josh Hader, Jacob deGrom, Fernando Tatis Jr. (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Aug 10, 2022
Josh Hader

Josh Hader has struggled since joining the Padres, making him a possible buy-low candidate in some fantasy leagues.

Each and every week, 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.

We’ll be cutting this column for the year at the end of August, so let’s not waste any time.

Let’s get to it.

Is Josh Hader Broken?

Hader had his first save chance with the Padres Tuesday night … and he blew it. He had a three-run lead, and he blew it after throwing 37 pitches and generating just three Whiffs.

The Padres won the game, and it’s not the end of the world, but since July, Hader has been pretty, pretty bad with ratios. We know the Padres are going to be good despite their slow start to the Juan Soto era, and we know that Hader is going to be the closer moving forward.

While he’s not the locked-in No. 1 reliever like he has been, he’s worth trying to buy low if your league still has trades open. He’s also a player I’m going to be targeting at a likely sunken cost in 2023 redraft leagues.

What’s the Right Move with Jacob deGrom?

We finally, finally get to see the Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom duo for the Mets. And honestly, it’s been fun. But how long will it last? We saw deGrom pumping in the minors, and he’s done the same in two starts so far.

There’s no denying that deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball, but is he worth the risk in fantasy? You aren’t treating him like a typical sell-high, but it’s a smart call to look to flip in redraft and/or dynasty leagues.

The chance of reinjury for deGrom seems higher — especially if he continues to throw at max effort. I’d take a guy like Brandon Woodruff, Max Fried, Dylan Cease or Joe Musgrove for him straight up in dynasty or redraft.

What are Your Expectations for Fernando Tatis Jr.?

It’s so exciting for Tatis to be on his way back for the Padres. Baseball is better when its stars play, and there may not be a bigger or better star than him.

When healthy.

And that’s been the concern with him, and why I moved him down in my dynasty rankings (still top five). When healthy, only Shohei Ohtani is better for fantasy per game in my opinion. So when he gets back, I expect him to slot in at the top of the lineup, hit for power, steal bases and remind us all how much we’ve missed him this season. There is, of course, the fear of reinjury with him, too. But at his age and at his level, it’s hard to even consider trading him in a dynasty league unless you get an absolute haul.

I traded Tatis in a 30-team league this offseason because of fears of his shoulder for Bo Bichette and Eury Perez, and even that wasn’t enough.

Is Adley Rutschman Already C1?

He might be, right? Since his debut, he’s lit the league — and Statcast — on fire, making the Orioles competitive and a lot of fun from an outsider’s perspective.

Rutschman is, at worst, a top-five catcher right now, and heading into 2023, he probably only faces competition from Alejandro Kirk and Will Smith. Perhaps Daulton Varsho, too, given the outfield aspect.

But as someone who notoriously fades catchers in drafts — and in dynasty — he’s going to be a big target of mine next year in the Round 6 range.

What Would an Aaron Judge Deal Look Like in Dynasty?

Think the Yankees are worried yet about Judge? He’s having a career year in his contract year, and he could be — maybe — pricing himself out of New York (at least the Bronx).

It’s been a revolution for fantasy managers, too, as Judge has shed his unfair injury-prone label en route to his power-binging season.

But the question is — if you’re moving Judge in a dynasty league, what do you need for him?

It’s unlikely that you can land one of the top young players in the game, but a few players I think could get the conversation started are a combination of:

Wander Franco (SS – TB)

Gunnar Henderson (SS – BAL)

Corbin Carroll (OF – ARI)

Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – KC)

Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA)

Dylan Cease (SP – CHW)

Luis Robert (OF – CHW)

Eury Perez (SP – MIA)

Grayson Rodriguez (SP – BAL)

I’d want at least two of them — three of them if we are including multiple prospects — in any Judge deal.

In Hindsight, Are We Overreacting to the Chris Archer Deal?

When a team makes a bad deal, we instantly say “at least it wasn’t the Pirates trading away Shane Baz, Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows for Chris Archer.”

It’s become a joke because the Pirates, well, deserve it with how they are run.

And don’t get it twisted — the deal is, was and always will be terrible.

But is it as bad as we are making it out to be?

Meadows had a 4.4 WAR season in 2019 and a 1.7 WAR season last year. He’s a terrible defender, doesn’t hit for a higher average and while he has a 33-homer and 27-homer season to his name, he also had six homers in 2018 (59 games), four in 2020 (36 games) and zero this year (36 games). His profile is one that you can literally say INSERT NAME HERE and find the same production or lack thereof.

As for Baz, he’s probably the most talented player in the group, as we saw a brief glimpse of last year. But he’s missed all but 27 innings of ball this year with recurring arm injuries. He’s thrown just 40.1 innings at the big-league level.

And then there’s Glasnow, who turned into what the Pirates hoped he’d be but they had no idea how to develop him. The stuff, nasty. But he underwent Tommy John and is on his way back. When healthy, he was filthy but suffered from 2021 Dylan Cease-like inconsistency. We’ll need to see what the control and velocity look like after his surgery.

So is it an all-time bad trade? Yes. Are we exaggerating just how bad it was? Yes. Both can be true.

Who is Your Early 2023 Sleeper?

While I know that he’s struggled in Triple-A this year so far, I really think there’s a great buy-low opportunity on Jose Barrero of the Reds. The Reds promoted him to have him play third base daily, so he’s going to get a real shot to show what he can do.

Third base, as we saw this year, leaves a ton to be desired, and Barrero can be a guy you can get later in drafts who can really break out.

Other options:

Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN)

Brandon Marsh (OF – PHI)

Jarred Kelenic (OF – SEA)

Alex Kirilloff (1B/OF – MIN)

Jack Suwinski (OF – PIT)

Ke’Bryan Hayes (3B – PIT)

Bryson Stott (SS – PHI)

Who is Your MLB.TV Team?

I’m a huge NBA fan. Huge. It’s probably my favorite league, while baseball is my favorite sport. Ask any NBA fan and they’ll tell you who their NBA.TV teams are. They are teams who may not be the best, but they are exciting to watch. For me, it’s the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic.

For MLB, it doesn’t get discussed as much, but there are teams that fit the mold here, too. I watch the Blue Jays regularly, of course, but when I’m not watching them, I try to find pitching matchups I’m interested in or teams who are just flawless (on paper) that are fun to root for like the Padres.

But my MLB.TV teams that I like watching who I know aren’t the best but are still exciting are:

  • Miami Marlins
  • Baltimore Orioles
  • Detroit Tigers

Who are Some Players Rostered in 50% 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% of leagues (using Yahoo rostership numbers).

Hitters:

Tommy Pham (OF – BOS)

Christian Walker (1B – ARI)

Luke Voit (1B – WAS)

Franmil Reyes (OF – CHC)

Nick Gordon (2B/SS/OF – MIN)

Pitchers:

Dany Jimenez (RP – OAK)

Aaron Civale (SP – CLE)

Tanner Scott (RP – MIA)

Jake Odorizzi (SP – ATL)

Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN)

What About 20%?

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

Hitters:

Raimel Tapia (OF – TOR)

Brandon Marsh (OF – PHI)

Corbin Carroll (OF – ARI)

Bryson Stott (2B/SS – PHI)

Elehuris Montero (3B – COL)

Pitchers:

Ryan Pepiot (SP – LAD)

Dane Dunning (SP – TEX)

Jose Quijada (RP – LAA)

Roansy Contreras (SP – PIT)

Mitch White (SP – TOR)

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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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