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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Juan Soto Note
Juan Soto photo 2. Juan Soto RF
Ahh, the Juan Soto conundrum. Soto is one of the best hitters in baseball. At 23 years old, he's on a Hall of Fame trajectory. His raw power is astounding. But he plays for the suddenly terrible and powerless Washington Nationals. A few years removed from the World Series, the team is now a collection of "That guy is still playing?" and "Never heard of him" types. Soto's HR numbers will be huge, but his R and RBI numbers will take a big hit.
31 weeks ago
Manny Machado Note
Manny Machado photo 20. Manny Machado 3B,DH
It's a shame you don't get points for defense in fantasy baseball, as that would bolster Machado's falling stock. The former perennial top-10 selection is now going in the late second or early third round. Machado will turn 30 this year, and some positive regression seems to be in order. He's still a five-category contributor, and in a loaded Padres lineup, 80/25/80 with 10 SBs should be on the table. But expecting Machado to return to the 35 HR level would be downright delusional.
31 weeks ago
Josh Hader Note
Josh Hader photo 44. Josh Hader RP
Every year, there are arguments about the value of closers. Fantasy managers who consistently win leagues say having one or two elite closers is a season maker. Fantasy managers who say closers are always available on the wire and to never draft one before the 12th round usually spend August and September complaining that they lost the league by a half-dozen points because of a lack of saves and a bloated WHIP. Hader isn't just a closer. His numbers are so spectacular in just one or two innings of work at a time that rostering him is like getting half a season of an ace starter while also getting 35 saves. His Ks can cover for your lower-tier starters who can't reach that baseline K/IP number you want, and his paper-thin WHIP can move the needle. If you're on the wrong end of the snake draft and he's there at the fifth-round/sixth-round turn, grab him and start the closer run.
31 weeks ago
Joe Musgrove Note
Joe Musgrove photo 65. Joe Musgrove SP
If you're the type of manager who loads up on bats early, knowing that there are always pitchers who'll turn in solid numbers available later on - guys who'll give you 25-30 starts and won't have more than a few clunkers - Musgrove is your guy. In San Diego's pitcher's park with a good defense behind him, Musgrove should produce solid strikeout totals, with a mid-3.00s ERA and a low 1.10s WHIP. Draft him. Play him. Sure, you'll forget he's on your team half the time, but enjoy the pretty stats.
31 weeks ago
Yu Darvish Note
Yu Darvish photo 86. Yu Darvish SP
Missed out on some of the big strikeout pitchers early? Nobody on your roster is projected to pass the 250 K mark? Heading into the eighth round and worried? Darvish is your answer. He's going to get swings and misses. He still has an outstanding, varied pitch repertoire. Sure, his ERA won't win you any leagues, but it won't hurt you much, and he'll pair it with a low WHIP. Darvish's issue has always been his propensity to give up the long ball. Playing half his games in San Diego's generous dimensions should limit the damage.
31 weeks ago
Fernando Tatis Jr. Note
Fernando Tatis Jr. photo 99. Fernando Tatis Jr. SS,CF,RF
A fractured wrist has changed the draft calculus on Tatis Jr., who might be out for as long as three months. It's always taken an iron stomach to draft him and deal with the injury risk. When healthy, he's a multi-category box score stuffer. His counting numbers are so orbital, he's basically a seven-category player ... when he's on the field. Now, you simply can't consider taking him within the first seven rounds.
28 weeks ago
Josh Bell Note
Josh Bell photo 109. Josh Bell 1B,DH,LF
Bell had a horrid .464 OPS in April, likely because his timing was off after missing time because of a COVID-19 diagnosis. But once he found his footing, he was everything that Nationals hoped he would be. He batted .277 with an .887 OPS in the second half, and even played plenty of outfield so Washington could keep his bat in the lineup even with Ryan Zimmerman playing well. His walk percentage and strikeout rate largely returned to their pre-2020 levels, and he got better and better as the season went along. With Zimmerman now retired and the DH in the National League, Bell's bat should remain in the lineup nearly every day, and the presence of Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz should offer him plenty of RBI opportunities. He's not a fantasy superstar, but he's a capable starter at first base for your fantasy team.
28 weeks ago
Jake Cronenworth Note
Jake Cronenworth photo 115. Jake Cronenworth 1B,2B,SS
Cronenworth quietly had a very solid season for the Padres, totaling 21 home runs and exactly an .800 OPS. He's not an exciting player - he doesn't have a ton of power or speed and his batting average won't wow you. But he'll bat second for the Padres this year and so you can expect him to challenge the 94 runs scored he totaled last season. He also struck out just 14% of the time last year, which ranked in the top 10% in MLB, so he's unlikely to endure prolonged slumps, and consistent production goes further in today's fantasy landscape than it used to. Add to that his multi-position eligibility and Cronenworth makes an ideal part of any fantasy team, particularly one with daily lineup changes.
28 weeks ago
Sean Manaea Note
Sean Manaea photo 118. Sean Manaea SP
Manaea was traded to the Padres on the eve of the season, and it's a bit of a mixed bag for his value. His win potential certainly improves given the quality of the offense behind him now, but he'll see a downgrade in home park. Putting aside, the trade, Manaea was really inconsistent last year, and had just one month where his ERA was within two runs of the previous month. There were some overall gains, including a fastball that randomly found almost two miles of velocity. But in the end, Manaea just sort of is what he is. He doesn't have the secondary stuff to be a big strikeout pitcher, and his best-case scenario, absent a massively lucky season, is a mid-3.00 ERA with a WHIP that doesn't hurt you. Draft him for the back end of your rotation but do not expect a great leap.
26 weeks ago
Blake Snell Note
Blake Snell photo 122. Blake Snell SP
Snell is an every-other-year pitcher. Over his six year career, his ERA has been good in even years (averaging 2.89) and pedestrian in odd years (4.17). Is that scientific? No, of course not, but you're playing a game based on other people playing a game. Let's have some leeway here. Well, friends, it's an even year. So go ahead and make Snell your SP3.
31 weeks ago
Trent Grisham Note
Trent Grisham photo 128. Trent Grisham CF
Grisham was . . . fine last year. His 15 homers and 13 steals contributed, particularly given that he missed time with injury. But there just wasn't much to get excited about. There's probably more to be had in the stolen base department, as Grisham ranks in the 91st percentile in sprint speed. And he should bat atop the lineup this year with Fernando Tatis set to miss time. But your best-case scenario is a 20-15 line with a batting average that hurts. That's a startable player in fantasy, but not one you should reach for in drafts.
28 weeks ago
Mike Clevinger Note
Mike Clevinger photo 167. Mike Clevinger SP
Clevinger is on track to be ready for Opening Day after missing all of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. That was Clevinger's second such surgery so there's certainly reason for long-term concern, but for just this year, he's someone to buy. He was a top flight fantasy starter for the last several years before his injury, and has a wipeout slider to go along with his fastball. His control has never been elite and there will probably be a fairly hard innings cap on him coming off of surgery, but on an inning-by-inning basis, he should provide elite production if healthy.
28 weeks ago
Wil Myers Note
Wil Myers photo 238. Wil Myers 1B,LF,RF
Myers couldn't sustain the many gains he made in the shortened 2020 season, but he didn't fall off a cliff entirely. His .256 batting average was his best (other than 2020) since 2016, and he offered 25 combined home runs and steals. The thing is that Myers' strikeout rate rose to 28.2%, but that's a number he can live with if he continued to make the quality of contact we're used to seeing from him. But, he didn't. His hard hit rate and exit velocity fell off a cliff (his 29.8% hard contact rate was one of the worst in baseball). It would seem like an odd decline for Myers, who was just 30 last year, so it may have just been a blip. But, it's worth being cautious before you head into the season assuming he'll bounce back. Given his ADP, however, you won't need to have confidence in him for him to be worth drafting.
27 weeks ago
Robert Suarez Note
Robert Suarez photo 349. Robert Suarez RP
Pierce Johnson Note
Pierce Johnson photo 390. Pierce Johnson RP
Ha-Seong Kim Note
Ha-Seong Kim photo 392. Ha-Seong Kim 2B,3B,SS
Austin Nola Note
Austin Nola photo 405. Austin Nola C
Jorge Alfaro Note
Jorge Alfaro photo 415. Jorge Alfaro C,DH,LF
Jurickson Profar Note
Jurickson Profar photo 489. Jurickson Profar 1B,2B,CF,DH,LF,RF
Craig Stammen Note
Craig Stammen photo 493. Craig Stammen SP,RP
Nick Martinez Note
Nick Martinez photo 521. Nick Martinez RP,SP
Drew Pomeranz Note
Drew Pomeranz photo 569. Drew Pomeranz RP
Tim Hill Note
Tim Hill photo 598. Tim Hill RP
Ryan Weathers Note
Ryan Weathers photo 731. Ryan Weathers SP,RP
Austin Adams Note
Austin Adams photo 760. Austin Adams RP
Adrian Morejon Note
Adrian Morejon photo 765. Adrian Morejon RP,SP
Nabil Crismatt Note
Nabil Crismatt photo 886. Nabil Crismatt RP
Reiss Knehr Note
Reiss Knehr photo 895. Reiss Knehr SP,RP
Thomas Eshelman Note
Thomas Eshelman photo 912. Thomas Eshelman SP
Luis Campusano Note
Luis Campusano photo 933. Luis Campusano C
Brandon Kintzler Note
Brandon Kintzler photo 957. Brandon Kintzler RP
Jose Castillo Note
Jose Castillo photo 1081. Jose Castillo SP,RP
Steven Wilson Note
Steven Wilson photo 1095. Steven Wilson RP
Michel Baez Note
Michel Baez photo 1140. Michel Baez SP,RP
Webster Rivas Note
Webster Rivas photo 1154. Webster Rivas C
Ray Kerr Note
Ray Kerr photo 1408. Ray Kerr RP
Jorge Ona Note
Jorge Ona photo 1518. Jorge Ona LF,RF
Eguy Rosario Note
Eguy Rosario photo 1527. Eguy Rosario SS
Domingo Leyba Note
Domingo Leyba photo 1581. Domingo Leyba 2B,3B
Brandon Drury Note
Brandon Drury photo 1626. Brandon Drury 1B,2B,3B,DH,LF,RF
Luis Liberato Note
Luis Liberato photo 1638. Luis Liberato CF
Brett Sullivan Note
Brett Sullivan photo 1645. Brett Sullivan C,LF