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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Justin Verlander Note
Justin Verlander photo 25. Justin Verlander SP
So far so good for Verlander, who has pitched just six innings over his last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His spring has gone as expected thus far, and he's on track for the start of the season, though he might miss the first turn as the Astros play it safe. Verlander is now 39 years old and has a ton of miles on his arm, and it's difficult to know exactly how his stuff will play after two years of not pitching competitively. But the bottom line is that the last fantasy managers saw of Verlander, he was as dominant as he has ever been, so there shouldn't be too many doubts about his performance. Given his age and his injury, it's likely the Astros will look to limit Verlander's innings a bit, but so long as he has no setbacks during the spring, draft him with confidence this year.
28 weeks ago
Ryan Pressly Note
Ryan Pressly photo 33. Ryan Pressly RP
Pressly was his usual excellent self in the bullpen last year, pitching to a 2.25 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP with a 32.4% strikeout rate, his fourth straight season with at least a 31% mark. His fantasy value was held in check by his oddly-low save total of 26, but that was hardly his fault. The Astros as a team had only 34 saves total, which was tied with the Blue Jays for the lowest mark by a .500 team or better. Houston averaged 46.5 saves over the team's previous two full seasons, so expect them to approach that mark again and for Pressly's save total to jump by at least five or more. If you can grab a discount based on his low number last year, do so.
28 weeks ago
Framber Valdez Note
Framber Valdez photo 45. Framber Valdez SP
Valdez fractured his ring finger just before the start of the season and although there were rumors he could miss the entire season, he wound up making 22 starts and throwing 134 2/3 innings. He lost some of the gains he had made with his control, but he induced ground balls at a 70.3% clip, an absurd rate. Valdez has one great pitch - his curveball - and his value is highly dependent on the quality of his defense. So the chances of him taking a great leap are minimal. But what he provides is plenty good enough to be a mid-tier starter for your fantasy team.
28 weeks ago
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 55. Luis Garcia SP
Garcia had a fine 2021 season, as both his cutter (.175 BAA) and slider (.133 BAA) were dominant, at least until the end of the year and playoffs. His upside is capped just a bit because his fastball is so mediocre, so he really needs to lean in to both of those other pitches and have them both working to be effective. That's what we saw most of last year, so another season of a mid-3.00 ERA and a passable WHIP may certainly be in the cards. Let's just hope the mini-swoon we saw over the final month of the season (4.67 ERA) was a blip and not a sign of things to come.
27 weeks ago
Jose Urquidy Note
Jose Urquidy photo 68. Jose Urquidy SP
If Urquidy could avoid dealing with injuries every season, then he'd probably be drafted much earlier, but he's missed time in each of the past three seasons. When he does pitch, he's almost always solid, with a WHIP that hovers around 1.00 thanks to an elite walk rate (4.5%, top four percent of the league). His pure stuff is well above average, with a fastball, slider, and curveball that can all induce weak contact. But, at least as of now, he hasn't yet gotten his strikeout rate to where it needs to be in order to be a true impact starter. There's potential for growth in strikeouts if his slider improves, but draft Urquidy for his safety, not his ceiling, and build in some missed time.
28 weeks ago
Lance McCullers Jr. Note
Lance McCullers Jr. photo 101. Lance McCullers Jr. SP
There's no doubting McCullers's stuff at this point. Already armed with an elite curveball, he added an equally dominant slider to the mix last season (.150 BAA, .242 wOBA), and set a career-high in innings with 162.1. Unfortunately, he ended the year on the shelf with an elbow injury and is now delayed in the spring because of a flexor tendon strain.The fact that he is still dealing with an injury at this point is extremely worrisome, especially for a pitcher with a history of elbow trouble. Drop him way down your draft boards, and take him only if you have plenty of depth or you are in desperate need of upside.
28 weeks ago
Will Smith Note
Will Smith photo 108. Will Smith RP
Smith was a bit maddening at times last year when he struggled with his control, but he ultimately tallied 37 saves en route to a championship season. He was slated to be the closer for Atlanta once again, but with the Braves signing Kenley Jansen, Smith is now nothing more than an insurance policy. Don't bother drafting him in mixed leagues but keep your eye on him on the waiver wire in case Jansen struggles significantly.
28 weeks ago
Cristian Javier Note
Cristian Javier photo 117. Cristian Javier SP,RP
Hector Neris Note
Hector Neris photo 163. Hector Neris RP
Ryne Stanek Note
Ryne Stanek photo 265. Ryne Stanek RP
Phil Maton Note
Phil Maton photo 272. Phil Maton RP
Rafael Montero Note
Rafael Montero photo 354. Rafael Montero RP
Tyler Ivey Note
Tyler Ivey photo 481. Tyler Ivey SP
Hunter Brown Note
Hunter Brown photo 501. Hunter Brown RP
Blake Taylor Note
Blake Taylor photo 515. Blake Taylor RP
Forrest Whitley Note
Forrest Whitley photo 581. Forrest Whitley SP
Brandon Bielak Note
Brandon Bielak photo 600. Brandon Bielak RP
Josh James Note
Josh James photo 622. Josh James RP
Bryan Abreu Note
Bryan Abreu photo 698. Bryan Abreu RP
Seth Martinez Note
Seth Martinez photo 716. Seth Martinez RP
Enoli Paredes Note
Enoli Paredes photo 749. Enoli Paredes RP