Welcome to the final day of the MLB regular season.  After two weeks of my fantasy highs and lows followed by my 3B report card last week, I wrap up the season today with my 1B report card.  If you read last week’s report, you’ll note a similar look with this one.  I’ll be going back to school to break down the 1B position and name The Overachievers, The Teacher’s Pets, and The Class Clowns.  So, without further ado, join me in the fantasy classroom, and together we’ll take a look at the report cards.

 

The Overachievers:  As the name implies, these players outperformed their pre-season projections and may have led your squads to fantasy title games.

Christian Walker, Diamondbacks:  During draft season, practically everyone was down on Christian Walker making fantasy noise in 2022.  In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say he started the season on the waiver wire in most 12-team redraft leagues.  With projections like 17 HRs and 63 RBIs, those passing over him on draft day were justified in doing so.  Fast forward to October…36 HRs and 93 RBIs lands Mr. Walker the leadoff spot on my “overachievers” list.

Paul Goldschmidt, CardinalsThis list of overachievers wouldn’t be complete without including the likely NL MVP.  Goldy lived up to his name and surpassed his already lofty pre-season predictions in almost every category, including almost 20% more HRs and 30% more RBIs.  He also surpassed his career average of .295 by a whopping 25 points.  There are a number of great stories coming out of St. Louis this season, including Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, but it was Goldy who put the team on his back and led them to the NL Central title.     

Nathaniel Lowe, Rangers:  Arguably, the most impressive campaign was provided to us by Nathaniel Lowe.  Lowe was predicted to deliver a .258/.352/.425 slash with near 20 HRs.  Instead, he delivered a .300/.355/.493 with 27 HRs.  If you were adept enough at rostering Lowe in April, you’ve probably enjoyed a very successful season.  Good on you!

 

The Teacher’s Pets:  Teacher’s pets are those players who are expected to be class leaders and delivered on their promise.    

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue JaysAfter putting together a career year in 2021, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was predicted by many to lead the 1B class this season.  Although he didn’t quite hit those lofty landmarks once again, he did put together a strong fantasy season, bashing north of 30 HRs and reaching the century mark in RBIs.  That 2021 season may turn out to be the career year for Vlady, and unreachable by most MLB players, but if 2022 is the norm year-in and year-out, we’ll all take it.  Just draft accordingly next season.

Pete Alonso, MetsPete Alonso broke into MLB in 2019 with 53 HRs and 120 RBIs.  A return to a full schedule in 2021 saw a dip in overall production with 37 HRs and 94 RBIs.  Despite this, many prognosticators felt his true numbers this season would be closer to 2019 than 2021.  Although he didn’t win the HR Derby again, he did put up 40 HRs and 131 RBIs (a Met’s single-season record).  As it turns out, the prognosticators weren’t wrong.

Freddie Freeman, DodgersIt doesn’t matter if he’s playing on the left coast or the right coast, Freddie Freeman just does Freddie Freeman things.  In his last season in Atlanta, Freddie slashed .300/.393/.503.  In his first season in LA, Freddie slashed .325/.407/.507.  His HRs may have been down a bit but XBH, RBIs and SBs all saw a bump.   See, Freddie just continuing to do Freddie things!

 

The Class Clowns:  Remember last week when I described class clowns as those kids in school who had potential but never quite lived up to it…only to find themselves years later writing for Razzball?  You thought I was referring to myself, right?  Nope, I’ll let the cat out of the bag…if you look this one up in the fantasy dictionary, you’ll find a picture of my Razzball colleague, Mitch Staniger, is the model for this one.  I kid of course but feel free to give him the business on the Razzball Sunday morning football podcast.  By the way, if you haven’t tuned in for one of those yet, do yourself a favor and subscribe so you don’t miss the next one.  But first, let’s finish out the baseball season here first.

Jared Walsh, AngelsI led off the list of clowns last week with an Angel and do the same here with Jared Walsh.  Many of us, myself included, had high hopes for Walsh after his 2021 season that saw 29 HRs and a .849 OPS.  Boy, what a letdown.  Over only 118 games, the HRs were cut in half and the OPS ended at a disappointing .643.  In hindsight, there’s little doubt his season was affected by what turned out to be thoracic outlet syndrome.  Our best wishes to Jared for a quick recovery and return to baseball activities.

Spencer Torkelson, Tigers:  Spencer Torkelson started out on the Opening Day roster, and we all rejoiced.  It turns out that was probably the highlight of his season.  The maiden voyage included only 107 total MLB games and a summer vacation in the minors.  Temper expectations a bit for his sophomore season but in the end, I fully expect the .195/.279/.299 slash in 2022 will be an outlier.

Joey Votto, RedsJoey Votto’s 2022 season will be more remembered for his TikTok videos, which were fantastic by the way, than his production on the field.  A .205 average and 11 HRs are not what fantasy managers were hoping for when they took a flyer on him late in their drafts.  Despite an offseason recovering from a torn rotator cuff, I don’t expect him to retire before next season.  However, when he does finally hang them up, count me in on the petition for a prominent broadcasting job.

 

Where do the other 1B fit into our fantasy classroom?  Let me know your thoughts in the chat below.

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Mitch Staniger
4 months ago

I am not sure if I should be offended or ecstatic about being in this column. Great stuff again from The Lineup Builder!

MarmosDad
Reply to  Mitch Staniger
4 months ago

Haha! Yep I think there’s a few of us that qualify there for sure.

Good stuff again and I can always appreciate a Nate Lowe nod!