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10 Burning Questions: Jackson Holliday, Jo Adell, Shota Imanaga (Fantasy Baseball)

10 Burning Questions: Jackson Holliday, Jo Adell, Shota Imanaga (Fantasy Baseball)

Fantasy baseball season is in full swing, and the questions keep coming. Every week, FantasyPros has a new article on the 10 Burning Questions you need answers to for your fantasy baseball leagues. After one month, most questions are what is real and what is just a fluke. There are a few of those questions below mixed in with others. Read on to see what this week’s version entails.

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10 Burning Fantasy Baseball Questions

Are Jackson Holliday and Jordan Walker droppable?

Two of Major League Baseball’s promising young batters were sent to the minor leagues last week. The St. Louis Cardinals sent down outfielder Jordan Walker, and the Baltimore Orioles sent down Jackson Holliday.

Both were off to exceedingly slow starts. In his first 20 games, Walker had not yet hit a home run and was batting only .155. Holliday had only been up for 10 games. His first try at the major leagues ends with him going 2-for-34 (.059 average) with 18 strikeouts (50%). Both of them still have immense upside in the future. As for now, no one will be looking to add them if you drop them in your redraft league. Go ahead and do that if you need the roster spot.

How do we value Mason Miller moving forward?

If we drafted players based on pitching GIFs, Mason Miller would be a top-five selection. He has been blessed with a fastball that averages over 100 miles per hour (MPH). His other pitch is a wipe-out slider that helps him lead baseball with a 51% strikeout percentage.

It’s only one of many categories where he leads the league. He also leads in expected batting average, ERA, fastball velocity and whiff rate. He is also in the top five percentile in chase and hard-hit rates. He is arguably the most dominant pitcher in the game. However, he also has extreme injury concerns. He has been in the major leagues since 2021. He has pitched a career total of 45.2 innings, including the 12 innings he has pitched this season. On a per-inning basis, I expect him to be one of the best closers the rest of the way.

Is this a new version of Jo Adell?

Jo Adell is a former top prospect with a power and speed blend that has tantalized fantasy owners for years. It has also come with far too many strikeouts at the major league level. There are early signs, though, that this may be a later-than-expected post-hype breakout.

In 49 at-bats this season, Adell has three home runs, five stolen bases and a corresponding .327 average. As his elevated batting average on balls in play (BABIP) continues to drop from its current .382 mark, his average should settle in closer to .240. His speed and power are real, evidenced by his 12.9% barrel rate and 91st-percentile sprint speed. Playing time could be an issue as Mike Trout, Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak are all options in the Angels’ outfield. Moniak’s .143 batting average is not likely to block Adell very long.

Was James Outman a one-year wonder?

Much was expected of James Outman coming into this season. He was coming off a season in which he finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. Early in the season, though, there are some concerning signs of a repeat.

Even in his breakout rookie season, Outman still struck out too much. He has cut that rate this season, but his strikeout rate is still over 30%. His expected batting average is the same as last season at .228. Last season, he was lucky to have a .248 batting average, and this season, he has been unlucky so far, which has pulled his average down to .173. As he has struggled, Andy Pages has had a nice start to his big-league career. It mucks up Outman’s playing time projection. While he should be better going forward, he likely won’t repeat his rookie season.

Is Shota Imanaga really this good?

In the offseason, the hype was about an Asian pitcher coming to the United States for his rookie debut. Yoshinobu Yamamoto was that pitcher, and he has performed admirably. However, the less-heralded Shota Imanaga has taken Major League Baseball by storm in the first month.

At this point, he has won four of his five starts with a 0.98 ERA. He has struck out 28 batters while only walking three batters. He has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball and one of the best fantasy draft values. As his BABIP (currently .227) and strand rate (88.5%) normalize, his ERA and WHIP will rise. As many batters get their first look at him, his splitter has been especially effective, with a 42.9% whiff. He has been a top-10 pitcher so far this season. While that likely slides, this looks like a top-25 starting pitcher the rest of the way.

Where are the power and speed from Wyatt Langford?

When a rookie settles in with a FantasyPros consensus average draft position (ADP) of 137, it requires a special talent. In his debut season, Wyatt Langford showed that special talent. In his first 161 professional at-bats in the minor leagues, he hit 10 home runs, stole 12 bases and batted .360.

His first major league season has started at a much different pace. Through 101 at-bats, he has just one home run and a stolen base. The home run was an inside-the-park version this past weekend. His batting average is .248 in the early going. He hasn’t impacted the ball particularly hard in the early going, with only an 87 MPH average exit velocity. He is fast, though, with a 97th percentile sprint speed. If you drafted Langford early, you’ve been disappointed so far. Keep the faith in this talented outfielder.

Are the Diamondbacks losing faith in Corbin Carroll?

Corbin Carroll had a magical rookie season. For a personal accolade, he was the unanimous winner of the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He also helped lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to the World Series as a regular near the top of the lineup.

At the beginning of this season, he was right back in his usual spot atop the lineup. He batted first or second in the first 23 games of the season. But he hasn’t looked like the same player from last season. There have been concerns about his shoulder after a midseason injury suffered last year. That is a possibility, but one thing that is certain is that the Diamondbacks have decided to move him down in the lineup. He has batted either seventh or eighth over the past four games. If that continues, all the playing time projections will be drastically off. Hopefully, he returns to the batter we’ve seen before and returns to his usual place.

Is Erick Fedde breaking out?

It has been a disappointing start to the season if you are a Chicago White Sox fan. However, there have been glimmers of hope recently. The team doubled their win total over the weekend with a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays. Plus, they may have found a breakout starting pitcher in Erick Fedde,

Fedde returned to Major League Baseball after one season in the Korean Baseball League (KBL), where he was the best pitcher in the league. He was a popular breakout selection within the fantasy baseball community. He prevented runs at an acceptable rate in his first few return starts, but it came with a disappointing strikeout rate. Then, in the last two starts, the strikeouts have come. He has 20 strikeouts over his last two starts. It should be noted those starts have come against the Twins and the Rays, who have each been among the top 10 for most of the season in strikeouts. His next starts are against the Cardinals and Rays; you should play him.

Is William Contreras the top fantasy catcher?

William Contreras has certainly performed as the top fantasy catcher to this point. He has performed as a top-10 hitter overall to this point. He has 26 runs scored, five home runs, 22 runs batted in, two stolen bases and a .352 batting average.

It’s been a remarkable first month. His BABIP is currently .423, so the average is going to drop. He has maintained BABIPs in the .340s for the last two years. While his current number will dip, it may not be as far as you think, and a near-.300 average is within the range of outcomes. The power production should be maintained as well. The Brewers recognize the importance of his bat and are playing him as the designated hitter when he isn’t starting at catcher. It has helped him lead all catchers in plate appearances to this point. Talent plus volume means don’t be surprised if Contreras finishes as the top fantasy catcher this season.

What are the expectations for Joey Loperfido in his major league debut?

The Astros are off to a 9-19 start, something they are not accustomed to. In need of a spark, the team is turning to one of their top prospects in Joey Loperfido. If he comes anywhere close to matching the production he has had in the minor leagues so far this season, it will be more than a spark Loperfido provides.

At this point, Loperfido is the minor league leader in home runs. He has hit 13 in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League (PCL). He was hitting .287 when recalled, though he had an elevated strikeout rate. That will be something to watch as he begins his big-league career. If he can keep the strikeouts in line, this is a fantasy-friendly skill set, as he has shown power and speed. He has just outfield eligibility for now, but it’s possible he also adds first base. A wide range of outcomes are in play here, but the possibility of a big return makes him an add in all leagues.

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