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Fantasy Baseball: Top 100 prospects for 2022

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Do you really need me to explain what I’m doing here? It’s prospects, a full 100 of them  … ranked.

The criteria may differ from other lists. This one being geared for Fantasy Baseball, defense only matters to the extent it could cost a player at-bats. Proximity carries more weight, and catcher values are suppressed, at least to the extent possible with so many big ones on the verge of breaking through. They just don’t have the same impact in the pretend game.

Pitchers are treated with more skepticism, too, and that’s especially true this year, with only 28 making the cut. Part of it’s because that’s just the state of pitching in the minor leagues right now. Part of it’s because there’s no predicting what any team will do with its pitchers anymore. Even those who make good are liable to land in a hybrid role, throwing three or four innings at a time, which isn’t well suited for the Fantasy game.

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But otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward. If you play in a Dynasty league, these are the 100 names most worth knowing.

Note: To qualify for this list, a player must be rookie-eligible, meaning no more than 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched or 45 days on the active roster.

1. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .347 BA (291 AB), 13 HR, 21 SB, 1.001 OPS, 43 BB, 66 K
He spent two-thirds of his 2021 at Double-A and hit .362 there, bringing the hype that’s been building from age 17 to a fitting crescendo. Once a generational talent like him gets a full head of steam, it’s a quick trip to the majors, and the contention-minded Mariners are in no position to slow him down.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

2. Bobby Witt, SS, Royals

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .290 BA (497 AB), 33 HR, 29 SB, .936 OPS, 51 BB, 131 K
He nearly won a job last spring and may be a foregone conclusion this spring after wreaking havoc on the upper minors. He doesn’t inspire the same awe as Rodriguez, but his talents are no less impeachable, with power and speed both likely on the menu from Day 1.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

3. Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .285 BA (452 AB), 23 HR, .899 OPS, 79 BB, 90 K
Not every No. 1 pick is built the same, but Rutschman, the top choice in 2019, is like something out of a baseball factory, a gleaming catcher prototype presented without blemish or flaw. He hits as well as he commands a pitching staff, presenting as the sort of face-of-the-franchise type that allows Dynasty purists to break from their usual boycott of catchers.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

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4. Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Tigers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .267 BA (431 AB), 30 HR, .935 OPS, 77 BB, 114 K
The top pick in 2020’s barnstorming tour ran through the Tigers’ entire system, with only his batting average lagging as he took some time to adjust to each stop. The power and patience were in ample supply, and his gradual transition from third to first base would suggest he’s on the fast track.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

5. Riley Greene, OF, Tigers

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .301 BA (485 AB), 24 HR, 16 SB, .921 OPS, 63 BB, 153 K
Some would swear Greene is the better prospect than Spencer Torkelson, and he does offer more of a speed element even if the power potential isn’t on the same level. His hit tool is considered his best, though, with some evaluators projecting batting titles, so don’t sweat the strikeouts too much.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

6. Anthony Volpe, SS, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .294 BA (412 AB), 27 HR, 33 SB, 1.027 OPS, 78 BB, 101 K
It’s an aggressive ranking for a guy who wasn’t on anybody’s list last year, but Volpe so excelled in every facet, from exit velocity to plate discipline, that I’m in no mood to play it safe. The strength training he did behind closed doors in 2020 was enough to transform him completely.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

7. Marco Luciano, SS, Giants

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .258 BA (395 AB), 19 HR, .815 OPS, 48 BB, 122 K
The Giants figure to slow-play Luciano after his move up to High-A saw him strike out 37.2 percent of the time while homering just once in 36 games. He still has a special power profile that could make him a perennial All-Star (whether at shortstop or third base), but there’s work to be done.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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8. Noelvi Marte, SS, Mariners

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .273 BA (444 AB), 17 HR, 24 SB, .825 OPS, 60 BB, 117 K
A shortstop in name only who’s hit over power and good for some stolen bases? That sounds like Hanley Ramirez, a one-time contender to be the top pick in Fantasy. It’s a dream scenario that seems all the more plausible after Marte’s first taste of full-season ball, but recognize that his future is likely at third base or the outfield.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

9. C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .296 BA (162 AB), 2 HR, 13 SB, .782 OPS, 15 BB, 36 K
Injuries have so far prevented the sixth pick in 2019 from delivering a full-season stat line, but he’s given us no reason to question his hit or speed tools, which both rate at the top of the scale. The way the new ball has played makes me less hopeful for power growth, but a Trea Turner-like outcome remains possible.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

10. Shane Baz, SP, Rays

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 5-4, 2.06 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 78 2/3 IP, 13 BB, 113 K
Major-league stats: 2-0, 2.03 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13 1/3 IP, 3 BB, 18 K
The same arsenal tweaks that worked for Tyler Glasnow first brought Baz into the pantheon of pitching prospects, but it was improved control that moved him to the top of the heap in 2021. The change was so stark that the notoriously slow-to-promote Rays relented to bringing him up for the stretch run, where his 80-grade fastball played just as big.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: pencil him in

11. Grayson Rodriguez, SP, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 9-1, 2.36 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 103 IP, 27 BB, 161 K
Though I give the edge to Baz for proximity reasons, most lists have Rodriguez as the top pitching prospect, and it’s easy to see why. He seems to add velocity and perfect a new pitch every year, and when you factor in the ease with which he’s handled every level, the whole package reminds me of Jose Fernandez.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

12. Corbin Carroll, OF, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .435 BA (23 AB), 2 HR, 2 3B, 2B, 3 SB, 6 BB, 7 K
Carroll looked like he was set to take the minors by storm when a torn shoulder labrum and capsule derailed his season a month in. He already showed a supreme batting eye and top-of-the-scale speed as an 18-year-old in 2019, and now we have reason to believe there’s power in his 5-foot-10 frame as well.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

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13. Josh Jung, 3B, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .326 BA (304 AB), 19 HR, 22 2B, .990 OPS, 31 BB, 76 K
Of the prospects poised to make the biggest 2022 impact, there’s Bobby Witt and then there’s Jung, who may have already gotten the call if not for an early-season foot injury. Blessed with a premier eye and bat-to-ball skills, he’s made big strides the past couple years in elevating and pulling the ball, unlocking middle-of-the-order power.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

14. Triston Casas, 1B, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .279 BA (308 AB), 14 HR, .877 OPS, 57 BB, 71 K
Of all the first base comps made for Casas in recent years, the Freddie Freeman one is looking the most apropos given that his power still lags behind his hit tool. But as happened with Freeman, the power is coming. Seven of Casas’ home runs came in his final 20 games, and you can add another three from his stint with Team USA in the Olympics.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

15. Zac Veen, OF, Rockies

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A
Minor-league stats: .301 BA (399 AB), 15 HR, 36 SB, .900 OPS, 64 BB, 126 K
Veen’s pro debut is all the more impressive when you consider he went homerless in his first 138 at-bats, but once he got going, he showed the sort of skill set that should one day make him a monster at Coors Field, combining loud contact with a launch-sequence launch angle. The steals may not translate, having been inflated by the quirky pickoff rules of Low-A.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

16. Oneil Cruz, SS, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .310 BA (271 AB), 17 HR, 19 SB, .970 OPS, 28 BB, 69 K
Major-league stats: 3 for 9, HR, 0 BB, 4 K
Cruz somehow made it all the way to the majors as a 6-foot-7 shortstop, and his size hasn’t proven to be a detriment on the offensive side either, instead bringing about the massive power evaluators had hoped for. He needed only two games to set the Pirates record for hardest-hit ball, so even if major-league  pitchers find holes to exploit, there’s damage to be done.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

17. Brennen Davis, OF, Cubs

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .260 BA (350 AB), 19 HR, 8 SB, .869 OPS, 50 BB, 118 K
Despite his two home runs in the Futures Game, Davis remains a work in progress, having only recently grown into his power potential. But while his willingness to take a walk gives him a developmental advantage, it’s his athleticism that stands out most, him being the son of an NBA point guard and college track star.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

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18. Nolan Gorman, 2B, Cardinals

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .279 BA (480 AB), 25 HR, .814 OPS, 38 BB, 115 K
Could it be that Gorman has become underrated? The one-time Dynasty darling is now poised to break in at second base rather than third and has greatly reduced his strikeout rate at the upper levels. His numbers have lagged because the Cardinals have moved him aggressively, consistently promoting him as soon as he’d catch fire, but he still has transcendent power.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

19. Jordan Walker, 3B, Cardinals

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .317 BA (325 AB), 14 HR, 14 SB, .936 OPS, 33 BB, 87 K
No other player in the 2020 draft class made the sort of headway Walker did, going from the 21st overall pick to maybe the best long-term prospect at the hot corner. Teenagers aren’t supposed to deliver the exit velocities he did nor understand the strike zone the way he does. Advancing to High-A at his age was an accomplishment in itself.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

20. Nick Gonzales, 2B, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .302 BA (324 AB), 18 HR, 23 2B, .950 OPS, 40 BB, 101 K
Billed as a contact-first bat when the Pirates selected him seventh overall in 2020, Gonzales ended up striking out 27.4 percent of the time in his professional debut … and hit over .300 anyway. Make it .335 with 14 homers and a 1.055 OPS over his final 56 games, those home runs being the reason he’s 10 spots higher than in last year’s top 100. 
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

21. Tyler Soderstrom, C, Athletics

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A
Minor-league stats: .306 BA (222 AB), 12 HR, 20 2B, .957 OPS, 27 BB, 61 K
Soderstrom’s bat is well ahead of his glove at the most premium of positions, which is precisely why he’s so highly regarded in Fantasy. He won’t stick at catcher, where Dynasty dreams so often die, but instead move to a corner spot, where his beautiful swing and patient approach will generate all the exit velocity and OBP he needs.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

22. Alek Thomas, OF, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .313 BA (435 AB), 18 HR, 13 SB, .953 OPS, 52 BB, 99 K
Most evaluators disregard Thomas’ power production at Triple-A Reno, considering it a product of the environment, but he still slugged .507 in his 72 games at Double-A Amarillo. That’s more power than at one point seemed attainable for a player who excels in every other facet, making for a potential high-end outcome.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

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23. Robert Hassell, OF, Padres

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .302 BA (443 AB), 11 HR, 34 SB, .863 OPS, 66 BB, 99 K
Hassell is already so developed as a hitter — working the count, spraying the ball to all fields and handling lefties as well as righties — that it’s hard not to fantasize about the player he could be if he grows into power. Even if he falls short in that area, his stolen base contributions should make up for it.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

24. George Kirby, SP, Mariners

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 5-3, 2.53 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 67 2/3 IP, 15 BB, 80 K
Kirby originally rocketed up the rankings due to his freakish ability to control the strike zone, which was reminiscent of Shane Bieber at a similar stage. His stuff made another leap in 2021, bringing his fastball to near triple digits while his slider and changeup piled up whiffs to give him potentially a higher ceiling than even Logan Gilbert.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

25. Jack Leiter, SP, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: did not play — newly drafted
The son of former Mets great Al Leiter was the second pick in 2021 but got the second-highest bonus ever for a pitcher, behind only Gerrit Cole. His time in the vaunted Vanderbilt program, not to mention his baseball upbringing, has blessed him with four quality pitches and little need for development. It might take some doing for the Rangers to keep him down all year.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

26. Gabriel Moreno, C, Blue Jays

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: complex, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .367 BA (139 AB), 8 HR, 10 2B, 1.060 OPS, 14 BB, 25 K
We’ll never know how the season would have played out if Moreno hadn’t fractured his thumb midseason, but scouts are buying the small-sample breakout. He never had trouble connecting with the ball but now has the strength and swing to send it out of the park. Alejandro Kirk may have beaten him to the majors, but Moreno is the answer behind the plate.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

27. Francisco Alvarez, C, Mets

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .272 BA (327 AB), 24 HR, .941 OPS, 55 BB, 89 K
While it’s rare for any catcher to generate enthusiasm in Dynasty circles, it’s rarer still for a teenager to do so, which says the world about Alvarez’s ability to impact the baseball. He’s already to the point where he’s facing serious competition and doing serious damage against it, so it may be only his defense that slows him down.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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28. Cade Cavalli, SP, Nationals

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 7-9, 3.36 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 123 1/3 IP, 60 BB, 175 K
The final numbers sell Cavalli’s performance a little short. He had a 2.37 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 13.8 K/9 in 18 starts between High-A and Double-A before being pushed too hard at the end. There are some command issues to sort out, but nothing disqualifying, and the arsenal, both deep and flashy, is built for missing bats.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

29. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2021: complex
Minor-league stats: .275 BA (91 AB), 3 HR, 7 SB, .817 OPS, 15 BB, 27 K
The fourth pick in the 2021 draft could have been the first and is the most projectable of the four big shortstops from that class thanks to preternatural hitting instincts that have drawn comparisons to Corey Seager. He’s well beyond most high schoolers in terms of barrel control and plate discipline, providing a strong foundation for a star outcome.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

30. Luis Matos, OF, Giants

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A
Minor-league stats: .313 BA (451 AB), 15 HR, 21 SB, .853 OPS, 28 BB, 61 K
Matos gets the bat to the ball like a slap-hitting middle infielder but impacts it like a superstar slugger, generating exit velocities in excess of 105 mph. It’s a skill set that could make him a regular source of both batting average and home runs, but we’ll need to see how he acclimates to more breaking balls at the higher levels.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

31. Nick Yorke, 2B, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .325 BA (378 AB), 14 HR, 13 SB, .928 OPS, 52 BB, 69 K
Yorke went from looking like the biggest reach of the 2020 draft to an out-and-out hitting savant, controlling the barrel and strike zone in ways that belie his youth. He needed a month to adjust but then batted .365 over his final 77 games. His shaky defense won’t matter if he hits like that.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

32. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2021: complex
Minor-league stats: 2 for 5, 2B, SB, BB, K
There isn’t much separating Lawlar from fellow 2021 first-rounder Marcelo Mayer, who both stand out most for their polish. Mayer might have a higher floor as a hitter, but Lawlar is more athletic, giving him hope for some stolen bases as well. His power is mostly theoretical at this point but easy to project given his raw strength and hitting instincts.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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33. Max Meyer, SP, Marlins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 6-4, 2.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 111 IP, 42 BB, 130 K
Meyer’s fastball and slider are both about as good as you’ll find in the minors, but until he shores up a third pitch, a move to the bullpen remains on the table. There’s no better organization at teaching the changeup than the Marlins, though, and notably, Meyer’s K/9 jumped from 8.7 in his first 12 starts to 12.7 in his final 10.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

34. Hunter Greene, SP, Reds

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 10-8, 3.30 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 106 1/3 IP, 39 BB, 139 K
It took a while — four years, to be exact — for Greene to show what made him deserving of the second choice in 2017, but now that he’s lighting up the radar gun at 104, it’s plain to see. His slider is what’s helping him get the most out of it, but when all’s said and done, he may be the hardest-throwing pitcher ever.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

35. Kahlil Watson, SS, Marlins

Age (on opening day): 18
Where he played in 2021: complex
Minor-league stats: .394 BA (33 AB), 2 3B, 3 2B, 4 SB, 8 BB, 7 K
Watson, like fellow 2021 draftees Marcelo Mayer and Jordan Lawlar, is remarkably skilled for his age. He’s an unimposing presence at 5-feet-9 but whips the bat through the zone so quickly that power won’t be in short supply. He’s disciplined. He’s speedy. He’s possibly underrated by the mere existence of those other two.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

36. Jasson Dominguez, OF, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2021: complex, low Class A
Minor-league stats: .252 BA (206 AB), 5 HR, 9 SB, .731 OPS, 27 BB, 73 K
Hyped unlike any 16-year-old before him, Dominguez failed to live up to those Mike Trout comparisons when he finally debuted two years later, and his body is already developing in a way that removes speed from the equation. He still clobbers the ball, though, and the ceiling will become more apparent with more reps.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

37. Miguel Vargas, 3B, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .319 BA (483 AB), 23 HR, 11 SB, .906 OPS, 45 BB, 89 K
Vargas is yet another example of why a plus hit tool offers the best foundation for growth. He more than tripled his home run total from 2019, making contact at the same high rate while learning to elevate the ball like a true slugger. Now, it’s mostly about bringing his glove up to speed.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

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38. Nick Pratto, 1B, Royals

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .265 BA (445 AB), 36 HR, 12 SB, .988 OPS, 83 BB, 157 K
The Royals invested big in hitter development after the 2019 season, and Pratto, who hit .191 with a .588 OPS that year, was a prime beneficiary. Unusually athletic for a first baseman, he got more out of his natural gifts by shortening his stroke and making better swing decisions. Even if strikeouts limit his batting average, his patience should make up for it.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

39. Brett Baty, 3B, Mets

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .292 BA (332 AB), 12 HR, 22 2B, .855 OPS, 46 BB, 98 K
Baty has the makings of an impact bat with his ability to work the count and barrel up baseballs, but he’s still selling himself short by putting the ball on the ground so often. It’s a minor flaw that many hitters before him have overcome, and his on-base skills are such that his entire future doesn’t depend on it.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

40. George Valera, OF, Guardians

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .260 BA (285 AB), 19 HR, 11 SB, .910 OPS, 66 BB, 88 K
Valera was something of a Dynasty darling even before this breakthrough season, but nobody’s sleeping on him now. The strikeout rate ballooned again with his late move up to Double-A, but his swing is so pretty and approach so disciplined that you want to give him every benefit of the doubt. The .405 OBP in particular stands out.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

41. Oswald Peraza, SS, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .297 BA (465 AB), 18 HR, 38 SB, .834 OPS, 37 BB, 111 K
Peraza’s breakthrough was overshadowed by Anthony Volpe’s, but he may actually be the Yankees’ shortstop of the future, with Volpe shifting to second base. Peraza mostly just changed his approach, putting the ball in the air more while still making high-quality contact. A lot’s riding on the hit tool since he’s not a big on-base threat otherwise.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

42. Orelvis Martinez, SS, Blue Jays

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .261 BA (395 AB), 28 HR, 26 2B, .895 OPS, 43 BB, 113 K
Martinez announced his presence as a power hitter with 28 home runs, a particularly impressive feat for a 19-year-old, but his move up to High-A revealed there’s still work to be done. He wasn’t able to deliver the same high exit velocities against offspeed stuff, and he’s still looking to yank everything. He’s on a good trajectory, though.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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43. Austin Martin, OF, Twins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .270 BA (330 AB), 5 HR, .414 OBP, .796 OPS, 60 BB, 83 K
Maybe the Blue Jays were just really excited to acquire Jose Berrios at the trade deadline, but they were probably also disenchanted with Martin, who delivered maybe his worst-case outcome after being selected fifth overall in 2020. His on-base skills remain second to none, but he’ll need more power to factor at a corner spot, where he’s likely to end up.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

44. Jose Miranda, 3B, Twins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .344 BA (535 AB), 30 HR, 32 2B, .973 OPS, 42 BB, 74 K
Miranda’s numbers look like something Albert Pujols would have delivered in his prime, his improved selectivity bolstering his already excellent bat-to-ball skills, but he remains a relative no-name in prospect circles because his glove doesn’t profile anywhere. His sudden emergence isn’t a gift the retooling Twins are in a position to waste, though, making it a moot point for Fantasy purposes.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

45. Michael Busch, 2B, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .267 BA (409 AB), 20 HR, 27 2B, .870 OPS, 70 BB, 129 K
If Max Muncy’s elbow keeps him out for any length of time, the Dodgers have a ready-made replacement in Busch, another unconventional second baseman whose power is exceeded only by his on-base skills. They’ll want to see him some at Triple-A first, but he did hit .297 with a .949 OPS from July 1 on, having been hampered by a hand injury early.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

46. Vidal Brujan, 2B, Rays

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .262 BA (389 AB), 12 HR, 44 SB, .785 OPS, 49 BB, 68 K
Major-leaguer stats: .231 BA (26 AB), 2 2B, 2 SB, .618 OPS, 3 BB, 5 K
The fervor over stolen bases puts Brujan about 20 spots higher on most Fantasy-specific rank lists, and no doubt the man can run. But power is paramount in today’s game, and after homering seven times in his first 16 games last year, he has regressed back to zero. Particularly in the organization most known for mixing things up, I’m not confident there’s much incentive to find him at-bats.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

47. Brady House, SS, Nationals

Age (on opening day): 18
Where he played in 2021: complex
Minor-league stats: .322 BA (59 AB), 4 HR, 3 2B, .970 OPS, 7 BB, 13 K
Unlike the other three first-round shortstops from last year (Marcelo Mayer, Jordan Lawlar and Kahil Watson), House’s power is already well established, but he doesn’t have the quite same hit tool and is perhaps the least likely to stick at shortstop. It’s nitpicking, though, with what’s another obvious Dynasty target.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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48. Sixto Sanchez, SP, Marlins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: did not play — torn shoulder capsule
Majors (2020): 3-2, 3.46 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 39 IP, 11 BB, 33 K
This ranking is the definition of fence-sitting. If Sanchez returns from a torn shoulder capsule with his stuff fully intact, then we already know he’s capable of navigating a big-league lineup with ground balls aplenty and latent swing-and-miss potential. But if he’s lost a few ticks off his fastball, heretofore his best pitch, he may be on the path to irrelevance.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

49. MJ Melendez, C, Royals

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .288 BA (448 AB), 41 HR, 1.011 OPS, 75 BB, 115 K
If Melendez leading all the minors in home runs as a catcher wasn’t impressive enough, note that when last we saw him in 2019, he was batting .163 with a .571 OPS at High-A. And you thought Nick Pratto’s turnaround was dramatic. The big question now is where he fits alongside Salvador Perez.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

50. Henry Davis, C, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: complex, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .308 BA (26 AB), 3 HR, 1 3B, 2 2B, 4 BB, 10 K
The top pick last year wasn’t as obvious a No. 1 as Adley Rutschman two years earlier, and in fact, he’s only the sixth member of his own draft class depicted here. It’s partly a reflection of how reluctant Dynasty leaguers are to invest in a position so volatile, but Davis is disciplined and powerful, the sort of bat-first prospect you look for in Fantasy.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

51. Michael Harris, OF, Braves

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .294 BA (374 AB), 7 HR, 27 SB, .798 OPS, 35 BB, 76 K
Harris is liable to fly under the radar in some leagues because of his modest power production, but there are few prospects better primed to improve in that area. He’s already able to recognize his pitch and impact it with force, so it’s mostly a matter of him elevating, getting strong and moving out of a pitcher-friendly environment.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

52. Joshua Lowe, OF, Rays

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .291 BA (402 AB), 22 HR, 26 SB, .916 OPS, 61 BB, 123 K
Major-league stats: 1 for 1, SB, BB
The younger brother of Nathaniel (now with the Rangers) is on the opposite end of the skills/tools spectrum but appears to have learned to hit enough to get the most out of his athleticism. His 26.2 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A was still suboptimal, but the bigger concern is whether the capricious Rays have everyday ambitions for him.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

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53. Bobby Miller, SP, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 2-2, 2.40 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 56 1/3 IP, 13 BB, 70 K
My intention with this ranking is to be the high guy on Miller, whose scouting reports read a lot like Walker Buehler to me: high-90s heat, plus control, deep arsenal with two distinct breaking balls. His starts were by and large only 3-4 innings, but the Dodgers’ track record earns him more patience.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

54. Nick Lodolo, SP, Reds

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 2-2, 2.31 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 50 2/3 IP, 11 BB, 78 K
Thought to be a floor play when the Reds picked him seventh overall in 2019, Lodolo has so far averaged 14.1 K/9 compared to 1.4 BB/9 in his minor-league career. Some of it has been him beating up on younger competition, but his ability to manipulate the shape of his slider has made it more of an out pitch.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

55. Reid Detmers, SP, Angels

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 3-4, 3.19 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 62 IP, 19 BB, 108 K
Major-league stats: 1-3, 7.40 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 20 2/3 IP, 11 BB, 19 K
Detmers’ story is similar to Nick Lodolo’s, but with a velocity bump also contributing to his unexpected dominance. He’d rank even higher if not for his sobering stint in the majors, where the long ball killed him, but he was clearly rushed there after only 13 starts. His curveball is straight-up bananas, and improved sequencing could take him far. 
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

56. Edward Cabrera, SP, Marlins

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 3-4, 2.93 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 61 1/3 IP, 25 BB, 92 K
Major-league stats: 0-3, 5.81 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 26 1/3 IP, 19 BB, 28 K
Another pitcher whose hurried climb to the majors only served to take the wind out of his sails, Cabrera clearly needs to work on his command. It was so bad in his seven big-league starts that it’s impossible to evaluate anything else he did, which is comforting in a way. His 13.5 K/9 in the minors is reason not to give up.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

57. Keibert Ruiz, C, Nationals

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .310 BA (284 AB), 21 HR, 24 2B, .993 OPS, 30 BB, 33 K
Major-league stats: .273 BA (88 AB), 3 HR, 3 2B, .742 OPS, 6 BB, 9 K  
Ruiz has never had a strikeout rate as high as even 13 percent in the minors, and those outlier contact skills on their own would have been enough to make him relevant at such a weak position. His newfound power has upped the ante, and his move to the Nationals has granted him the sort of playing-time assurances few up-and-coming catchers get.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: pencil him in

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58. Bryson Stott, SS, Phillies

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .299 BA (418 AB), 16 HR, 26 2B, .876 OPS, 65 BB, 108 K
Getting a real Jonathan India vibe from Stott, whose power projection is dicey enough to put him on the mixed-league bubble. His on-base skills alone should get him a job, with his 24 walks in 26 AFL games standing out in particular, and his stock is trending up overall. It’s a profile I like to bet on, but it’s not a flashy one.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

59. Jose Barrero, SS, Reds

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .303 BA (330 AB), 19 HR, 16 SB, .919 OPS, 36 BB, 84 K
Major-league stats: .200 (50 AB), 3B, 4 2B, .606 OPS, 3 BB, 17 K
Back when he was still known as Jose Garcia, Barrero stood out mostly for his defense, struggling to keep his head above water in his 2020 debut, but he learned to lay off junk last year and got to his power more as a result. The path is clearer in center field right now, and he could maybe contribute Dansby Swanson numbers out there.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

60. Jarren Duran, OF, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .258 BA (244 AB), 16 HR, 16 SB, .873 OPS, 30 BB, 66 K
Major-league stats: .215 BA (107 AB), 2 HR, 2 SB, .578 OPS, 4 BB, 40 K
Duran’s Fantasy stock has charted about like Bitcoin over the past year, and right now, it’s on the downswing. That newfound power that got us so excited last spring lasted about two months at Triple-A, and the tradeoffs in batting average and stolen bases didn’t seem so worth it without it. There’s talent here, but he’s still figuring out how to maximize it.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

61. Garrett Mitchell, OF, Brewers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .258 BA (221 AB), 8 HR, 17 SB, .800 OPS, 46 BB, 71 K
Mitchell has 80-grade speed and the swing to match — one designed for putting the ball on the ground and beating out the throw to first. What makes him so interesting, though, is his potential for power, which could play big if the Brewers can set him on the right path. The brick wall he hit at Double-A might serve as a wakeup call.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

62. Daniel Espino, SP, Guardians

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: 3-8, 3.73 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 91 2/3 IP, 39 BB, 152 K
Overpowering is a uniquely suitable description for Espino’s fastball, which was primarily responsible for the highest K/9 rate (14.9) among minor-leaguers with at least 75 innings. He has the makings of a plus slider, with some other offspeed offerings in the works, and if he learns to make better use of them at the next level, his stock could soar.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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63. Cristian Hernandez, SS, Cubs

Age (on opening day): 18
Where he played in 2021: complex
Minor-league stats: .285 BA (158 AB), 5 HR, 21 SB, .822 OPS, 30 BB, 39 K
The part of me that thinks I can’t possibly rank Hernandez high enough is for now conceding to the part that recognizes he hasn’t played a single game stateside yet. As those prospects go, he feels unusually safe, already standing out for both his discipline and explosiveness. I give him a 50/50 shot of becoming a top-10 prospect someday.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

64. Jordan Groshans, SS, Blue Jays

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .291 BA (278 AB), 7 HR, 23 2B, .817 OPS, 34 BB, 61 K
Have I downgraded him too much? There’s still a lot to like about Groshans, who was making the jump to Double-A despite having hardly played since 2018. While the home run output left something to be desired, the 50-double pace shouldn’t go unnoticed, and the hit tool and approach are both good enough to bank on continued improvement. He’s probably a third baseman, though.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

65. Colton Cowser, OF, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: complex, low Class A
Minor-league stats: .375 BA (120 AB), 2 HR, 7 SB, .982 OPS, 25 BB, 23 K
Last year’s fifth overall pick has a plan at the plate and good feel for the barrel, as evidenced by him walking more than he struck out in his pro debut. His swing is geared more for line drives right now, inviting Michael Brantley comparisons, but he could still add the strength and loft needed to become a middle-of-the-order force.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

66. Andy Pages, OF, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A
2019 stats: .265 BA (438 AB), 31 HR, .933 OPS, 77 BB, 132 K
Not many minor-leaguers hit 30 homers these days, particularly in the lower levels, and with 60 homers in 235 career games, Pages’ power is well established by now. He also had the fifth-most walks among minor-leaguers, so we could have the makings of an old-fashioned OPS hog here.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

67. Mick Abel, SP, Phillies

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A
Minor-league stats: 1-3, 4.43 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 44 2/3 IP, 27 BB, 66 K
It’s easy to nitpick the numbers, but pitchers drafted straight out of high school never have an easy path. The fact is that Abel has all the ingredients of an ace: a fastball with high velocity and spin, some promising secondaries in the cooker, a projectable frame and the drive to succeed. It’ll take time but should be worth the wait.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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68. Eury Perez, SP, Marlins

Age (on opening day): 18
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: 3-5, 1.96 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 78 IP, 26 BB, 108 K
Perez was the youngest minor-leaguer at the start of 2021, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he pitched, playing his changeup off his fastball to maximum effect. Given both his youth and his size (6-feet-8), he may have to adapt his mechanics to his changing physique, which presents a potential pitfall, but that’s the Debbie downiest of outlooks.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

69. Jackson Jobe, SP, Tigers

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2021: did not play — newly drafted
The risk for high school pitchers is great, but the talent for Jobe is such that the Tigers invested the third overall pick in him last year. His slider is what sets him apart, featuring high spin and sharp break, but he also has an advanced feel for pitching and uncommon ability to locate. Still, seeing is believing with pitchers, and we haven’t had the pleasure yet.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

70. MacKenzie Gore, SP, Padres

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: complex, high Class A, Double-A, Triple-A
2019 stats: 1-3, 3.93 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 50 1/3 IP, 28 BB, 61 K
Little did I know my No. 2 prospect last year was already on a bad path, his mechanics having unraveled during the 2020 shutdown. He spent most of last season out of sight, trying to recapture his signature leg kick, and when he did show up, his velocity and command were fleeting. If he finds it again, he’s in business, but that’s a big if.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

71. Aaron Ashby, SP, Brewers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 5-4, 4.41 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 63 1/3 IP, 32 BB, 100 K
Major-league stats: 3-2, 4.55 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 31 2/3 IP, 12 BB, 39 K
Ashby’s Dynasty appeal could skyrocket or collapse this year depending on the direction the Brewers decide to go with him. Having only recently grown into velocity, he’s still figuring out how to make it all work but may be too valuable of a bullpen piece to get that chance, leaving us to dream about his wipeout slider and ground-ball profile.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: pencil him in

72. Dustin Harris, 1B, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .327 BA (404 AB), 20 HR, 25 SB, .943 OPS, 47 BB, 73 K
After homering three times in his first 301 minor-league at-bats, something clicked for Harris last July, leading him to hit .351 with 18 homers and a 1.085 OPS over his final 60 games, split between two levels. Skepticism is a reasonable response, but with his contact rate and exit velocities, it makes sense he would mash. And he can run a little, too.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

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73. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: did not play — torn ACL
2019 stats: .236 BA (517 AB), 12 HR, 22 SB, .661 OPS, 38 BB, 123 K
The top overall pick in 2017 hasn’t played since 2019 and didn’t look right even then, his complicated mechanics having gotten out of whack. A torn ACL likely won’t take away from his natural gifts, but what matters more is how he looks with a bat in his hands. He could regain top form quickly or never be the same.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

74. Joey Bart, C, Giants

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .294 BA (252 AB), 10 HR, 15 2B, .831 OPS, 21 BB, 82 K
Major-league stats: 2 for 6, 0 BB, 2 K
Buster Posey’s sudden retirement may have spared the Giants a messy situation with Bart, who’s already 25 and needs to begin making inroads. Injuries have inhibited his development in the minors, dashing hopes for a superstar outcome, but if he gets the at-bats, he’ll put the ball over the fence enough to matter at a weak position.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

75. Justin Foscue, 2B, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: complex, high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .275 BA (229 AB), 17 HR, 19 2B, .960 OPS, 25 BB, 72 K
The hope for Foscue entering his first professional season was that he would flash some power. Unfortunately, that’s about all he flashed (and nine of the home runs came over an eight-game span). He showed better bat-to-ball skills in college and may have become fixated on the long ball, but given his pull and fly-ball rates, it’s understandable.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

76. Mark Vientos, 3B, Mets

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .281 BA (310 AB), 25 HR, .933 OPS, 33 BB, 100 K
The Mets may soon have a Pete Alonso at both corners of the infield. Such is the power of Vientos, who just hit 25 homers, most to the opposite field, in what would amount to half a major-league season. He still has some contact issues to sort through, but having made it to Triple-A as a 21-year-old, his development is ahead of schedule.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

77. Luis Campusano, C, Padres

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .295 BA (292 AB), 15 HR, 21 2B, .906 OPS, 27 BB, 66 K
Major-league stats: 3 for 34, 4 BB, 11 K
The enthusiasm for Campusano, at least in Fantasy circles, appears to be waning, but his offensive profile is still so impressive to me. He won a batting title in 2019 swinging a 40-ounce bat like some sort of caveman and hit .332 with 14 homers and a 1.039 OPS over his final 56 games last year. The universal DH could benefit him.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

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78. Diego Cartaya, C, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A
Minor-league stats: .298 (114 AB), 10 HR, 1.023 OPS, 18 BB, 37 K
If he had managed to play more than 31 games in his first year of full-season ball, we might view Cartaya in the same light as the Mets’ Francisco Alvarez right now. He got some looks in dynasty leagues even as a 17-year-old and already seems like a natural both at the dish and behind it. Hop aboard while you still can.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

79. Roansy Contreras, SP, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 3-2, 2.64 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 58 IP, 13 BB, 82 K
Major-league stats: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K 
The Yankees might want a do-over on that Jameson Taillon trade seeing what Contreras has become for the Pirates, his fastball picking up and his breaking balls working in tandem to make him a bona fide bat-misser. He did miss considerable time with a forearm strain, and at only 6 feet, it’s possible he won’t withstand the rigors of the role.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

80. Matt Brash, SP, Mariners

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 6-4, 2.31 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 97 1/3 IP, 48 BB, 142 K
Brash’s slider might be the best pitch in all the minors. If the Padres had seen it coming, they wouldn’t have given him up for Taylor Williams, a nothing reliever who masqueraded as a closer for like a month in 2020, but here we are. Brash could stand to improve his changeup and throw more strikes, but the one pitch may ultimately be all he needs.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

81. Taj Bradley, SP, Rays

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: 12-3, 1.83 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 103 1/3 IP, 31 BB, 123 K
No minor-leaguer had a better ERA last year than Bradley, who upped his power game with 3 mph of additional velocity and a slider in place of a curveball, mirroring the arsenal change that helped Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz take off. Finding the strike zone isn’t a problem for Bradley either, so the Rays may have trouble slowing him down.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

82. Joe Ryan, SP, Twins

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 4-3, 3.41 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 66 IP, 12 BB, 92 K
Major-league stats: 2-1, 4.05 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 26 2/3 IP, 5 BB, 30 K
Between 2019 and 2021, Ryan put together a 2.47 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 13.0 K/9 across four minor-league levels, and he did it by pounding the zone with a low-90s fastball that doesn’t spin, doesn’t sink, but nonetheless leaves hitters scratching their heads. The gimmick may eventually wear off, but early returns in the majors are just as promising.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: pencil him in

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83. Asa Lacy, SP, Royals

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A
Minor-league stats: 2-5, 5.19 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 52 IP, 41 BB, 79 K
The fourth overall pick in 2020 still has a workhorse build, an overpowering fastball and a bunch of secondaries capable of generating whiffs. What he’s lacking is strikes, his oh-so-bright future being held captive by his inability to find the zone. It’s too early to write him off, but it feels like a bait-and-switch after the way he looked in college.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

84. DL Hall, SP, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Double-A
Minor-league stats: 2-0, 3.13 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 31 2/3 IP, 16 BB, 56 K
Scouts keep giving this bat-misser a pass for his ridiculous walk rates, pointing to his “repeatable delivery” or some such, but given how much development time he’s lost to injuries, including a stress reaction in his elbow last year, the rubber is about to meet the road. Another year without substantive progress could tank his Dynasty value.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

85. Emerson Hancock, SP, Mariners

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 3-1, 2.62 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 44 2/3 IP, 17 BB, 43 K
A shoulder impingement prevented us from getting a good read on Hancock, who was solid but unspectacular across the 12 starts he did make, failing to record a strikeout per inning despite his deep arsenal. Or maybe that’s precisely the read: solid, but unspectacular, which is how the reports were trending leading up to the 2020 draft. More data is needed.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

86. Vinnie Pasquantino, 1B, Royals

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .300 BA (437 AB), 24 HR, 37 2B, .957 OPS, 64 BB, 64 K
Nick Pratto got all the headlines, but Pasquantino had the better numbers of the Royals first base prospects. It’s rare to find a hitter with as many walks as strikeouts (64), rarer still to find with as many extra-base hits as strikeouts (also 64). He’s a plodder, which gives him a narrow path, but could settle in at DH if Pratto performs as expected. 
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

87. Jhonkensy Noel, 3B, Guardians

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: complex, low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .340 BA (265 AB), 19 HR, 1.005 OPS, 17 BB, 62 K
It feels like real-life evaluators are still sleeping on Noel, whose power is unimpeachable and whose strikeout rate is anything but disqualifying. He just hit .393 at Low-A, for goodness sake, and it’s not like he was old for the level. He’s destined for first base and, as a low-walk righty, may have a narrow margin for error there, but the bat could be special.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

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88. Cole Winn, SP, Rangers

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 4-3, 2.41 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 86 IP, 31 BB, 107 K
The numbers may overstate the extent of the breakthrough for Winn, whose pitchability makes up for the lack of a wipeout pitch. The four that he has play well off each other, and he’s able to locate them to maximum effect. Still, his fly-ball tendencies could get him in trouble if he doesn’t miss as many bats in the majors.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

89. Matthew Liberatore, SP, Cardinals

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A
Minor-league stats: 9-9, 4.04 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 124 2/3 IP, 33 BB, 123 K
It feels like Liberatore has been hanging out on top-100 lists since the beginning of time, yet he’s always been young for his level, having just turned 22 in the offseason. It grants him some grace for last year’s ERA, which improved to 2.55 over his final nine starts. He’s always been a smarts-over-stuff sort of pitcher, which should make him more steady than spectacular.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

90. Seth Beer, 1B, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 25
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .287 BA (362 AB), 16 HR, 33 2B, .909 OPS, 39 BB, 76 K
Major-leaguer stats: 4 for 9, HR, 2B, 1 BB, 3 K
Introducing the DH to the NL would help clear things up for Beer, who the Diamondbacks seemed reluctant to install at first base even as he mashed at Triple-A. He’s in fact done nothing but mash since being drafted in 2018. The dislocated shoulder that interrupted his debut could impact his start to 2022, but he’ll spend most of the year with the big club.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

91. Brayan Rocchio, SS, Guardians

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .277 BA (441 AB), 15 HR, 21 SB, .807 OPS, 33 BB, 106 K
Rocchio’s defensive aptitude and baseball instincts will place him higher on real-life lists, but he showed enough power in 2021 to put him on the Fantasy radar as well. He has an easy path to the majors and an outside shot at becoming a 20-20 man there, making him a better bet in Dynasty leagues than, say, Andres Gimenez.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

92. Joey Wiemer, OF, Brewers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .295 BA (396 AB), 27 HR, 30 SB, .958 OPS, 63 BB, 105 K
Purists see Wiemer’s goofy setup and swing as harbingers of doom, but this isn’t some beer leaguer masquerading as an athlete. Just look at the way he evades tags. He’s so gifted physically and already has such command of the strike zone that it’s silly not to see the glass half full, even if he may need some adjustments along the way.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

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93. Gunnar Henderson, SS, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .258 BA (399 AB), 17 HR, 16 SB, .826 OPS, 56 BB, 143 K
The Orioles may have moved Henderson too fast for his own good last year, but his numbers were still respectable considering. If he had stayed at Low-A, where he hit .312 with a .944 OPS through 35 games, we might regard him even more highly now, but it’s the tools that matter. Chiseling away at his 30.9 percent strikeout rate will be critical.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

94. Curtis Mead, 3B, Rays

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .321 BA (411 AB), 15 HR, 38 2B, .911 OPS, 34 BB, 71 K
Signed out of Australia, Mead has the aura of an older prospect but is in fact just a remarkably skilled hitter for his age, producing premium exit velocities with superior contact skills. His power manifests mostly as doubles now (he led the minors with 38), but it wouldn’t take much to change that. The trick will be finding a position for him.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

95. Austin Wells, C, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .264 BA (382 AB), 16 HR, 16 SB, .867 OPS, 71 BB, 117 K 
The expectation is that Wells will transition to first base or left field when all’s said and done, which is the preferred outcome in Fantasy since it’s his best shot at regular playing time. He’s hit over power but should deliver enough of both to be worth our while. It’s the on-base skills that stand out most, though.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

96. Everson Pereira, OF, Yankees

Age (on opening day): 20
Where he played in 2021: complex, low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .303 BA (188 AB), 20 HR, 9 SB, 1.084 OPS, 28 BB, 61 K
Pereira slugged .686 between two levels, hitting 14 home runs in only 27 games at his final stop, and if that kind of power output doesn’t get your blood pumping, check for a pulse. It’s only a 49-game sample, which of course merits some scrutiny, but particularly since he was a highly-regarded international signee, it’s surprising there isn’t more hype.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

97. Jeremy Pena, SS, Astros

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: complex, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .297 BA (145 AB), 10 HR, 6 SB, .942 OPS, 8 BB, 41 K
The heir apparent to Carlos Correa is just as gifted defensively and did much to close the gap offensively last year. If he had a full season to prove the power was legit, not losing so much of it to a wrist injury, he might rank 40 spots higher here. A big acquisition for the Astros could change things, but he’s trending up now.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

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98. Nolan Jones, 3B, Guardians

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .238 BA (341 AB), 13 HR, 25 2B, .787 OPS, 59 BB, 122 K
Jones is something of a legacy pick, retaining a spot here because he’s been such a fixture in the prospect world, but on the verge of his promotion, his outlook has taken a turn. He did hit a more respectable .260 with an .855 OPS from June 4 on, his strikeout rate dropping to 26.5 percent, but no one’s turning cartwheels over that.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: fighting this spring

99. Eddys Leonard, SS, Dodgers

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: low Class A, high Class A
Minor-league stats: .296 BA (425 AB), 22 HR, 29 2B, .929 OPS, 51 BB, 116 K
Leonard profiles less as a shortstop than a bat-first utility man, but fortunately, that bat looks like it’ll play. He gets it through the zone quickly, generating power that sustained across two levels, and he’s disciplined enough to make it work against upper-level pitching as well.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: don’t count on it

100. Camilo Doval, RP, Giants

Age (on opening day): 24
Where he played in 2021: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 1 SV, 4.99 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 30 2/3 IP, 24 BB, 44 K
Major-league stats: 3 SV, 3.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 27 IP, 9 BB, 37 K 
Relievers make for poor Dynasty investments given that their fates are tied to the whims of their manager, and there are few managers more whimsical than Gabe Kapler. Doval sort of already has the closer job, though, and saves are precious enough that it’s worth a roll of the dice to see if he keeps it.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: pencil him in





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Mike Trout injury: Angels star returns from IL, records hit in first start since July 12 vs. Tigers

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USATSI

The Los Angeles Angels reinstated outfielder Mike Trout from the injured list and slotted him in as their center fielder and No. 2 hitter on Friday against the Detroit Tigers in what served as his first game since July 12. Trout, for his part, delivered a hard-hit single in his second at-bat as part of a 1-for-4 effort with two strikeouts. The Angels won by a 1-0 final all the same (box score) with lefty Patrick Sandoval throwing his first career shutout.

Trout had missed more than a month because of a rare back condition. In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned outfielder Steven Duggar to Triple-A.

Trout, now 31 years old, batted .270/.368/.599 (169 OPS+) with 24 home runs over the course of his first 79 games this season. His contributions earned him election to the All-Star Game (which he did not appear in) and were worth an estimated 3.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference’s calculations. 

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Trout was dealing with what the Angels’ trainer described as “costovertebral dysfunction at T5.” It’s a condition that he’s expected to deal with for the rest of his career, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be limited in availability or output. 

It should be noted that Trout did not partake in a rehab assignment. Usually, players who miss more than a couple of weeks are sent out to the minors as a means of rebuilding their rhythm through the use of low-pressure in-game repetitions. Clearly, Trout and the Angels did not think that was necessary in this instance.

The Angels began a three-game weekend series in Detroit on Friday night, the first step of a 10-game, three-city road trip. Trout’s next opportunity to play in front of his home crowd won’t be until Monday Aug. 29, when the Angels welcome the New York Yankees to town for a three-game set.

Duggar, for his part, was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers earlier this month. In nine games with the Angels, he went 1-for-19 with a triple and 10 more strikeouts than walks. 



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Gausman continues to shine as Blue Jays shut out slumping Yankees

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NEW YORK – Kevin Gausman is having a tremendous season, despite regularly encountering dumb luck. Consider that the Toronto Blue Jays right-hander headed into his outing Friday against the New York Yankees worth 4.4 wins above replacement, as calculated by Fangraphs, third among all big-league pitchers. Yet his ERA of 3.16 more was more than a run above his FIP of 2.08, and then of course there was his batting average on balls in play, or BABIP, of .372, highest by a wide margin among qualified pitchers.

The way the Cleveland Guardians bled him for five runs last weekend in a 7-2 victory, finding holes on pitches that beat them, was a prime example of why the Blue Jays went 11-11 through his first 22 starts.

“It’s weird,” interim manager John Schneider said before the game. “When you put his stuff in a vacuum, he’s like, really, really, really good. So part of it is I think everyone goes through those fluctuations of up and down, lucky, unlucky, whether you’re a hitter or a pitcher. We like his stuff. Obviously, we trust it and I’m sure things will turn in his favour.”

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In start No. 23, they certainly did, Gausman dominating over seven shutout innings in pushing the Blue Jays to a third straight win, 4-0 over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

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Initially, it looked like he could be on for a night of struggle when DJ LeMahieu rocked his first pitch of the game, a get-me-over fastball at 91.2 m.p.h., 404 feet to centre where Whit Merrifield tracked it down on a play that had a 35-per-cent catch probability, and Aaron Judge followed with a walk. But Gausman escaped that inning unscathed, struck out the side in the second and allowed just three hits over the next frames while striking out seven.

The Yankees, already out of sorts for an extended period, flailed away helplessly at his mostly fastball/splitter mix, with eight of their 15 swings at splits resulting in a whiff. Even with his fastball velocity down a tick, sitting at 94.1 instead of his season average of 95, he was in command from the second inning onwards.

The offence, meanwhile, missing George Springer who fouled a ball off his knee during a five-hit effort in Thursday’s 9-2 win, didn’t make it one-sided in the same way but again posed a steady threat from the jump. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., was robbed of a home run in right by a leaping Oswaldo Cabrera on the game’s first pitch and the pressure was on from there.

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Yankees starter Jameson Taillon kept them in check until the third when Merrifield opened the inning with a single, advanced to third on Cavan Biggio’s double and scored on a Gurriel groundout.

An inning later, Alejandro Kirk opened the frame with a base hit before Teoscar Hernandez launched home run No. 18 over the wall in left-centre, having just missed a shot to centre in the second.

The Blue Jays wasted a chance to bury the Yankees in the sixth, when they put men on second and third with none out, but Lou Trivino came in for Taillon and stranded the runners. They did eventually manage to add on in the ninth when they loaded the bases against Aroldis Chapman before Ron Marinaccio surrendered a sacrifice fly to Danny Jansen that made it 4-0.

Jordan Romano then locked things down in the ninth, ensuring a brilliant night from Gausman didn’t go to waste. He’s now thrown at least six shutout innings in three of his last four starts, surrounded by that one bad-luck outing against Cleveland.

It’s a reminder of how great a season he’s having, one even better than his impressive stats suggest.

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Paul Goldschmidt launches a deep solo homer vs. Diamondbacks

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Paul Goldschmidt helped the St. Louis Cardinals grab an early 1-0 lead against the Arizona Diamondbacks, thanks to his solo homer in the first inning.



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