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.
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Here’s the original post. No dilly-dallying, let’s dive in.
Kwan walk more than he stuck out, and while he only hit six home runs, he stole 19 bases and slashed .298/.373/.400 (124 wRC+). Only five qualified hitters had a better strikeout-to-walk ratio (K/BB), and only Luis Arraez had a lower swinging strike rate (SwStr%). Ultimately, Kwan finished the season 19th among outfielders on Razzball’s Player Rater. The haters will point to volume (he accumulated 622 plate appearances) but Kwan finished 20th among qualified outfielders on a per-game basis—that is, ignoring volume.
You may remember Kwan started the season scorching hot, then predictably fell back to earth, which entailed a somewhat grueling slump. Da Haters pointed to this slump as an indication of Kwan’s lack of viability as a Major Leaguer rather than simple gravity. The slump actually cost Kwan some starting time—he could’ve notched 700 PA if the Guardians didn’t lose faith in him in May, like everyone else did—but he rebounded by showcasing his tools. More excitingly, his counting stats increased as the season wore on, and he compiled three home runs, seven steals, and a .309 average in September alone.
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.
Yesterday, I reviewed my bold hitter league leaders and actually got one right! Now let’s flip over to the pitching bold league leaders. Do I get another right or will my horrible injury luck get the best of me this time?
Each year, in addition to my bold predictions, I also predict the league leaders in each of the five traditional fantasy categories, in each league, and for both hitters and pitchers. Let’s begin by reviewing my bold hitter league leaders.
With the 2022 regular season officially in the books, it’s time to review alllllll the predictions, calls, and dreams I shared heading into the season. Let’s start with the bold predictions. I have not even looked at them since publishing, so I honestly cannot remember the players involved, let alone any of the specific predictions. I’m eager to find out not only how I did, but what my predictions were in the first place!
Writing my ten bold predictions is one of my favorite things to do each season. Be bold! Be wild! Stake a claim and go out on a limb!
But then, October rolls around, and you have to reap what you sow. Today, I reap.
The Predictions Episode of the Beat the Shift Podcast – a baseball podcast for fantasy baseball players.
Guest: Scott Pianowski
Podcast (beat-the-shift): Play in new window | Download
It’s Bold Prediction time. Here are mine!
My love for the 23-year-old Rule 5 pick is well known, and I really think he could be this year’s Cedric Mullins in terms of a breakout 30-30 player, though he certainly didn’t come as cheaply as Mullins did a year ago. Baddoo started out hot last year (1.070 OPS after 2 weeks) but with a 44% K and 3% BB rate in April, it felt like a mirage. His improvements were evident over the remainder of the season with a 24% K and 11% BB rate from May 1st on. Upping his competence against lefties will be required (.523 OPS last year) for this to come through, though the AL Central features just three projected lefty starters so he might see a smaller starter/reliever split for his lefty plate appearances (78% v. SPs last year). Lefty SP count in the ALC matters because so many games come against the other four teams in your division.
Ahh, an April tradition like no other. With real baseball just scant hours away, it’s time to fulfill the obligation that every good tout must provide for our loyal constituency.
Let’s get weird.