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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Rafael Devers Note
Rafael Devers photo 13. Rafael Devers 3B
Devers hit a career-high 38 HRs in 2021, and the peripherals say there's more where that came from. He was north of the 90th percentile in average exit velocity, maximum exit velocity and hard hit percentage. Devers doesn't take a lot of walks, but he drives the ball to all fields with authority and should provide a plus batting average. He doesn't run much, but with this sort of hitting profile, that's a minor complaint. He plays in a great hitter's park and has a strong supporting cast. Devers is building an impressive body of work, and he's still only 25. This is a rock-solid investment.
11 weeks ago
Xander Bogaerts Note
Xander Bogaerts photo 29. Xander Bogaerts SS
He was batting .321 at the All-Star Break last year, but a wrist injury sapped some of his mojo in the back half of the season. Bogaerts has one of the more stable skill sets in MLB. He has a .290 career average, and his run production has been remarkably stable. You can pencil in Bogaerts for 25 HRs, 90 RBI and 90 runs, and he's likely to hew pretty close to those numbers. Fenway Park and a strong lineup work in his favor. He's been so good for so long, it's hard to believe he's still in his 20s.
11 weeks ago
Trevor Story Note
Trevor Story photo 30. Trevor Story 2B,SS
In Colorado, Story was a menace. Away from the mile high air, he's just another guy. Since 2019, Story's batting average has been 80 points lower away from Denver, and his slugging percentage is 150 points lower. He's hit 60.1% of his career home runs at Coors Field, and 62% of his career RBI have come there. Now he'll be playing his home games in Fenway Park, arguably the second-best hitters park in baseball. But while Fenway is good for hitters overall, it actually depresses home runs slightly. Let someone else spend the year complaining that they weren't smart enough to dodge this overpriced bullet.
8 weeks ago
J.D. Martinez Note
J.D. Martinez photo 59. J.D. Martinez DH,LF
Martinez got the bad taste of 2020 out of his mouth with a fine 2021 season. After batting .213 and hitting only seven HRs in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, Martinez batted .286 last year with 28 HRs, 99 RBI and 92 runs. Martinez is 34, so there's some age-related risk, but his 2021 Statcast numbers and other peripheral stats suggest that his skill set is aging well. He plays in a great hitter's park, and batting behind Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts should provide plenty of RBI opportunities. FantasyPros rankers like Martinez much more than the general public does - an indication that he's probably a value.
11 weeks ago
Nathan Eovaldi Note
Nathan Eovaldi photo 126. Nathan Eovaldi SP
It always feels like Eovaldi should be better given how hard he throws and how good his control is, but it's always been difficult for him to put everything together. But now that he's enjoyed a rare run of health and largely ditched his underwhelming cutter, he's settled into a usable starter that you can draft with relative confidence. He's never going to be a star - his fastball is just too hittable and he pitches in a division with loaded lineups - but you could do far worse than a 3.75 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, which Eovaldi has given fantasy managers for two straight seasons. Expect a third in 2022.
8 weeks ago
Alex Verdugo Note
Alex Verdugo photo 143. Alex Verdugo CF,LF,RF
Verdugo is a reliable option for batting average, as he's batted at least .289 in three straight seasons. He doesn't have a ton of pop or speed, though he'll at least chip in with home runs and steals, and because he'll bat near the top of the Red Sox lineup, should be an asset in runs scored. Think of a poor man's version of Michael Brantley in his prime and that's what Verdugo will give you, and that's plenty valuable for fantasy.
8 weeks ago
Chris Sale Note
Chris Sale photo 174. Chris Sale SP
Sale returned from Tommy John surgery last year and mostly looked like his old self. His velocity was close to pre-surgery levels, and though his strikeout rate dropped a smidge, he was basically the same ace he's always been. A .358 BABIP against Sale last year suggests he got unlucky, yet he still posted a 3.16 ERA. Health is really the only concern for Sale, who was an All-Star for seven straight seasons from 2012 to 2018. Unfortunately, he's already hurt. A stress fracture in his rib cage will cause him to miss the start of the regular season.
8 weeks ago
Kike Hernandez Note
Kike Hernandez photo 217. Kike Hernandez 2B,CF
Hernandez had an extremely solid year batting atop the Red Sox lineup, hitting 20 home runs and tallying 84 runs scored. Very little about his underlying batted ball data and overall metrics were different - he just stayed healthy and became an everyday player. His batting average won't help you and he offers nothing in the stolen base category. But he should be a major asset in runs scored and contribute in homers and RBI. With the addition of Trevor Story, he'll likely be the everyday center fielder, but he'll retain his second base eligibility from last year, further strengthening his value. Hernandez won't win you your league, but he's the type of player you can leave in your lineup all year long.
7 weeks ago
Bobby Dalbec Note
Bobby Dalbec photo 218. Bobby Dalbec 1B
Dalbec has a ton of power, and ranked in the top nine percent of the league in average and maximum exit velocity. But he also struck out often, 34.4% of the time, which led to a middling .240 batting average despite him hitting the ball hard consistently. That's likely what we'll see again in his second year, though with more job security and perhaps a minor step up. Dalbec is one of a handful of 25-homer bats going very late in drafts, but he has enough upside to hit 35 without too much needing to go right. That makes him the ideal bench player or corner infielder in deeper mixed leagues.
7 weeks ago
Matt Barnes Note
Matt Barnes photo 221. Matt Barnes RP
Barnes was one of the best pitchers in baseball over the first half of the season, harnessing his control and dominating with his fastball/cuveball combination. But he fell apart in the second half, seeing his ERA rise by almost four points. There's speculation that his decline was related to MLB cracking down on foreign substances but, either way, the first half version of Barnes disappeared. His job security was in doubt heading into the year, but the Red Sox didn't bring anyone into challenge him and the biggest internal competitior for the job, Garrett Whitlock, has been stretched out for a starter or long-relief role. Expect Barnes to begin the year as the closer but whether he remains all year is anyone's guess. Draft him as a low-end second reliever and hope we say the first-half 2021 version of him.
7 weeks ago
Tanner Houck Note
Tanner Houck photo 239. Tanner Houck SP
Houck will begin the year in the rotation despite an uneven spring, and he showed a lot of upside last year. His strikeout rate sat at 30.5% while his walk rate was just 7.4%, and his 3.52 ERA was inflated according to all metrics. He's got an outstanding slider, which is what really propels his success, but his lack of other pitches in his arsenal often forces him to go deep into counts and shortens his outings. He should be on your sleeper list because he has huge potential, but understand that if he struggles, he could be moved to the bullpen, even with Chris Sale currently on the shelf.
7 weeks ago
Christian Vazquez Note
Christian Vazquez photo 262. Christian Vazquez C
Vazquez's power fell off a cliff last year, as his barrel percentage and hard-hit rate plummeted to some of the worst in the league. He's 31 years old now, about the time that a catcher begins to head downhill, so expecting a rebound is probably overly optimistic. He'll likely still have decent runs and RBI for a catcher just by virtue of playing for the Red Sox, but he's no longer someone to draft as your starting backstop in a one-catcher league.
7 weeks ago
Garrett Whitlock Note
Garrett Whitlock photo 271. Garrett Whitlock RP
Whitlock pitched out of the bullpen last year and many speculated that he might be a candidate to close this season after Matt Barnes struggled down the stretch. But instead he's being stretched out and is battling it out for a rotation spot. If he fails, he'll likely be a long-reliever and have little fantasy value. But, if he does lock down a starting spot, he has a great deal of upside. His fastball sits at 95 miles per hour and both his changeup and slider are above average. Monitor the reports as we head into the season but keep him on your radar in case he does land in the rotation.
7 weeks ago
Nick Pivetta Note
Nick Pivetta photo 377. Nick Pivetta SP
Jarren Duran Note
Jarren Duran photo 397. Jarren Duran CF
Jake Diekman Note
Jake Diekman photo 427. Jake Diekman RP
Rich Hill Note
Rich Hill photo 477. Rich Hill SP
Triston Casas Note
Triston Casas photo 510. Triston Casas 1B
Josh Taylor Note
Josh Taylor photo 582. Josh Taylor RP
Hansel Robles Note
Hansel Robles photo 603. Hansel Robles RP
Michael Wacha Note
Michael Wacha photo 615. Michael Wacha SP
Ryan Brasier Note
Ryan Brasier photo 651. Ryan Brasier RP
James Paxton Note
James Paxton photo 665. James Paxton SP
Hirokazu Sawamura Note
Hirokazu Sawamura photo 666. Hirokazu Sawamura RP
Jackie Bradley Jr. Note
Jackie Bradley Jr. photo 698. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Matt Strahm Note
Matt Strahm photo 701. Matt Strahm RP
Bryce Brentz Note
Bryce Brentz photo 768. Bryce Brentz LF
Darwinzon Hernandez Note
Darwinzon Hernandez photo 778. Darwinzon Hernandez RP
Kevin Plawecki Note
Kevin Plawecki photo 779. Kevin Plawecki C
Kutter Crawford Note
Kutter Crawford photo 841. Kutter Crawford SP
Jeter Downs Note
Jeter Downs photo 857. Jeter Downs SS
Austin Davis Note
Austin Davis photo 952. Austin Davis RP
Carlos Martinez Note
Carlos Martinez photo 982. Carlos Martinez SP
Connor Seabold Note
Connor Seabold photo 991. Connor Seabold SP
Christian Arroyo Note
Christian Arroyo photo 1017. Christian Arroyo 2B,RF
Connor Wong Note
Connor Wong photo 1132. Connor Wong C
Eduard Bazardo Note
Eduard Bazardo photo 1164. Eduard Bazardo RP
John Schreiber Note
John Schreiber photo 1207. John Schreiber RP
Kaleb Ort Note
Kaleb Ort photo 1262. Kaleb Ort RP
Rob Refsnyder Note
Rob Refsnyder photo 1294. Rob Refsnyder CF,LF
Franchy Cordero Note
Franchy Cordero photo 1343. Franchy Cordero 1B,LF
Taylor Cole Note
Taylor Cole photo 1358. Taylor Cole RP
Christin Stewart Note
Christin Stewart photo 1363. Christin Stewart LF
Tyler Danish Note
Tyler Danish photo 1372. Tyler Danish SP
Geoff Hartlieb Note
Geoff Hartlieb photo 1395. Geoff Hartlieb RP
Jonathan Arauz Note
Jonathan Arauz photo 1429. Jonathan Arauz SS
Jaylin Davis Note
Jaylin Davis photo 1464. Jaylin Davis LF
Michael Feliz Note
Michael Feliz photo 1520. Michael Feliz RP
Yolmer Sanchez Note
Yolmer Sanchez photo 1547. Yolmer Sanchez 3B
Phillips Valdez Note
Phillips Valdez photo 1583. Phillips Valdez RP