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10 Burning Questions: Riley Greene, Brett Baty, Aroldis Chapman (2022 Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Aug 18, 2022

Each 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.

What’s Up With Riley Greene?

It’s been disappointing, but that’s been the story for the Detroit Tigers, to be honest. For Riley Greene, there were arguments that he was the top prospect in baseball prior to a Spring Training injury that put him on the shelf before breaking camp with the big-league team.

In 240 big-league plate appearances, Greene is slashing .231/.288/.335 with three home runs and 50 runs and RBIs.

Am I panicking about him long-term? No, I’m not, but I think expectations should be tempered for the rookie who has been profiled as a better real-life player than fantasy. I don’t trust Detroit to develop anyone successfully, and Green is outside my top 100 in dynasty leagues.

Was Dennis Eckersley Right?

If you missed it Tuesday night, the Hall of Famer Red Sox broadcaster called the Pirates a “hodgepodge of nothingness” and a “no-name lineup.”

It had the baseball world – at least in Pittsburgh – talking Wednesday with players, past-their-prime broadcasters and the Pirates’ manager offering reactions to it. But is Eckersley wrong?

He isn’t, and more people around the Pirates – and baseball, in general – should be saying the same. The Pirates are an embarrassment, and they have a fanbase who does care, but why should they?

More attention should be paid to the lack of caring by the team, and I give Dennis Eckersley credit for saying what we are all thinking.

Who is Brett Baty?

He’s that player who went deep in his big-league debut, but he’s also an underrated prospect who the Mets will look to contribute during their pennant chase.

Brett Baty has really raised his stock this year, especially after handling the transition from Double-A to Triple-A this year. He has a nice fantasy profile – especially for power and batting average. He should have a strikeout rate in the mid-to-low 20s, with an above-average walk rate.

Moreover, he should be starting regularly for the Mets from now on. Pick him up.

Who is the Next Brett Baty?

It’s another third baseman, but this one plays for a team that is making big changes, recently firing its head coach and longtime front office executive, Jon Daniels.

We’re talking bout Josh Jung in Texas. Jung, like Greene, was supposed to break camp with the big-league team but suffered an injury.

Back in the minors, Jung has been red hot in Triple-A, posting a .350/.435/.800 slash with two home runs and a steal in 23 plate appearances. He was doing the same damage in Double-A, too, and should get some run with Texas before the season is over.

What Would Rivalry Week Look Like for Baseball?

The NBA just gets it. I’ve talked about it before, but it’s worth repeating. They just make every event feel like a big deal.

The latest was the NBA schedule release, which is always a big deal to hoops fans. One nugget the league is doing is having an “NBA Rivals Week” with 11 rivalry games from Jan. 24-28.

It had me thinking – if the MLB adopted this idea, what would the rivalry week look like?

Here’s my rough outline to pitch to the commish – assuming MLB would eventually care about marketing its game.

  • Yankees vs. Red Sox
  • Cubs vs. White Sox
  • Padres vs. Dodgers
  • Braves vs. Mets
  • Blue Jays vs. Mariners
  • Brewers vs. Cardinals
  • Athletics vs. Giants
  • Orioles vs. Nationals
  • Astros vs. Rangers
  • Pirates vs. Tigers

Is it Aroldis Chapman Season?

Sadly, it seems like it is. Not only has Clay Holmes been more of the Pittsburgh version of himself, but he’s also now on the IL. That means that Aroldis Chapman will likely raise his stock as the clear ninth-inning pitcher for the Yankees.

That is if they return to their winning ways to give the Yankees some true save opportunities.

Is Jarred Kelenic a Lost Cause?

It’s sad because, typically, top prospects are a lock at the next level. At least they were for some time, but Baseball Prospectus just did a good piece looking at the rising level of hitting busts over the years.

The article is mainly around Jarred Kelenic, and it makes sense. I was in on him last year. I was in on him this year. I’ll probably be in on him again at some level – but it’s time to worry.

Kelenic does well each time he gets demoted, but he’s looking more and more like a Quad-A player. On the year, Kelenic is hitting .124/.187/.265 with four home runs and five steals in 123 big-league plate appearances, but he’s slashing .291/.357/.545 with 11 home runs in Triple-A.

If I have him in dynasty, I’m holding. You aren’t going to even get 10 cents on the dollar for his fantasy value right now, so the only move is to hold him.

On the other hand, it’s worth checking in on him if you don’t roster him, as the manager might want to cut bait on him. Is it likely he reaches his ceiling? No, hardly. But there’s still a chance he can be a good fantasy player, but the time is running out.

Is Now the Time to Acquire Fernando Tatis in Dynasty Leagues?

When the suspension news came out, a manager in a 30-team league I’m in posted Fernando Tatis on his trade block. I instantly sent an Aaron Judge offer straight up. After two hours, I deleted the offer and had to ask myself if I was sure I really wanted to do that.

I wasn’t, even though it sounds crazy on paper. But Tatis has a shoulder issue, then the motorcycle crash, and now the suspension that puts his dynasty value in question. He’s arguably the top player in fantasy when healthy, but when will that be?

It’s unlikely that he will be made available in many leagues, but if I can give a top-25 player for him or a package of many top prospects, I think I’d consider it even with the risks we’ve seen.

He’s a 23-year-old generational talent, and we should not forget that so soon.

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

Here are 10 hitters and pitchers 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:

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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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