The new Steamer is here!
The 2023 Steamer Projections are live, and we all have our favorite ways to consume. Some run right to the top and see what the stars expected to do, but I like running to the bargain bin looking for gems.
Here are 5 hitters with strong projections who could find more playing time and exceed expectations:
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Last year, I did a Roster Review series throughout the fall/winter looking back at the 2021 season for all 30 teams while also including a Best Buy and Hot Take for 2022 (as well as an On the Rise and Off the Radar players, but I’ll probably review those in a separate piece down the line).
Let’s see how it all turned out!
BEST BUY: José Ramírez
I took the layup and didn’t miss as J-Ram earned his 1st round draft price, finishing as the 5th hitter according to the Auction Calculator. I expect more of the same from Ramirez in 2023. You can make a case that Andrés Giménez was really the best buy as a late-round pick who wound up as the 35th hitter.
Top 5 Undrafted from 2021
REVIEWING PAUL’S SP RANKS
For this I used the Auction Calculator which includes the ADP pulled from the NFBC and focused on the guys who weren’t complete injury washouts. Adalberto Mondesi was indeed a bust, but he managed just 54 PA so you had a replacement all year. Injuries certainly play a role in bust seasons, whether it’s something that costs a player time or a nagging injury that compromises their play but doesn’t take them off the field. I used a 300 PA cutoff here which is admittedly arbitrary and does include guys who hit the IL, but figured it gave us a better group of guys whose bust status is more performance-based.
Wander Franco | 58.9 ADP
-$2 in 344 PA – .277 AVG, 6 HR, 8 SB, 33 RBI, 46 R
Among the hitters drafted in the top 100, Franco was the only negative value who eclipsed 300 PA. He did have a pair of IL stints that essentially cut his season in half, but the production while on the field didn’t really match his draft price. The 22-year-old shortstop still has incredible upside, and the market definitely won’t run away from him based on this season. He went 89th in the one draft I’ve done so far and I expect him to slowly rise up the board over the winter and wind up around the Top 75 come draft season in March.
REVIEWING JUSTIN’S SP RANKS
EARLY DC DRAFT REVIEW
BEST BUY: Giancarlo Stanton
It’s Judge… obviously. Stanton gave you 31 HRs in just 452 PA, but with a .211 AVG.
HOT TAKE: Gleyber Torres has a 30 HR season.
By letter of the law, it’s a miss as he hit just 24, buuutttt he more than doubled his 2021 output of 9 and didn’t give back all the SBs, either, netting his first double-double (24 HR/10 SB) so if the Hot Take moved Torres up on your board, you are happy with the results. I know there have been a billion jokes about his age, particularly when he smashed 38 HRs at age-22, but it’s worth remembering that he’s entering his age-26 season next year. While he might never hit that many again, he has upside at a fair price.
HRs dropped by 729 to 5215, a 12% decline from 2021.
The league SLG fell to .395, the first time below .400 since 2014.
Aaron Judge led the league with 62 HRs, easily outpacing the NL leader, Kyle Schwarber, and his 46.
Two other players hit 40+ with Mike Trout and Pete Alonso (40 each) joining Judge and Schwarber, giving us four hitters with 40+ HRs, down from the five in 2021.
Six players hit 35-39: Austin Riley (38), Yordan Alvarez (37), Christian Walker (36), Paul Goldschmidt (35), Mookie Betts (35), Rowdy Tellez (35). Down from 14 in 2021.