[brid autoplay=”true” video=”1128907″ player=”13959″ title=”2022%20Razzball%20BUY%20SELL%20HOLD%20for%20Fantasy%20Football%20Week%209″ duration=”167″ description=”It’s the Razzball BUY, SELL, HOLD for Fantasy Football Week 9! Keenan Allen (:40) Michael Carter (1:24) Rashod Bateman (1:58)” uploaddate=”2022-10-31″ thumbnailurl=”https://cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/snapshot/1128907_th_1667244600.jpg” contentUrl=”//cdn.brid.tv/live/partners/9233/sd/1128907.mp4″ width=”480″ height=”270″]

I said something in my Corbin Carroll fantasy the other day, that people might take the wrong way, so to clarify. I think Gunnar Henderson can be better than Bobby Witt Jr., especially in real baseball. I think Corbin Carroll can be excellent, a top 25 overall type bat. When I said I thought Julio Rodriguez was better than Carroll, and Witt Jr. was better than Gunnar, I meant their rookie 2022 seasons vs. these rookies’ 2023 seasons. Can’t expect insane years like what Julio and Bobby did every year. It just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean Gunnar Henderson or Carroll can’t be great. Gunnar likely has better contact than Witt Jr., which will lead to a better average. He just doesn’t have the speed as BWJ, so his fantasy value isn’t going to be as pronounced. Fahn-tah-see val-ewe, that’s how fantasy value is pronounced. If I’m being honest, I think we’ve been a little spoiled in recent years with rookies. Haven’t had a real stinker since Michael Fulmer in 2016. Ha, Fulmer out here taking strays in his Google alerts for no reason. In 2017, Aaron Judge hit 52 HRs and .284 as a rookie and Cody Belinger went 39/10, and since then we’ve had some incredible rookie years (I’m ignoring 2020, but Kyle Lewis wasn’t bad in a goofy year). All of that is totally irrelevant for today, but also kinda spoiling us, even if it’s subconsciously. I am merely setting your expectations. Gunnar Henderson is going to rosterable and great, but just try to be realistic. The top of the rookie class will just be a bit lower than last year’s top of the class. So, what can we expect from Gunnar Henderson for 2023 fantasy baseball?

Unlike most posts where the player is known to us, I like to start my fantasy baseball rookies with videos of them doing what they do and Gunnar Henderson has some real purdy highlights:

Okay, daddy likes, can I see more ding-dong?

The power is undeniable. It’s your standard lefty salami launch angle. That 2nd one was a 428-foot blast to the centerfield bleachers at Fenway. Just a 111.1 MPH blast off the bat to No Man’s Land. The 1st homer was his 1st career hit, and went 429 feet with a 24-degree Launch Angle. I mention the Launch Angle, because he had a 2.0 for his Launch Angle in his 116 major league at-bats with a 4/1/.259 statline, which isn’t relevant. It’s a small sample size. He had a 7.9 degree Launch Angle in the minors; 10.3 on 95% of them; 26.7% were 10-30 degrees. He’s not super steep, but that’s why he murders high heaters. Spray chart shows balls to all field, and the only real “bye-bye go to sleep” pitches that get him are the ones down and away, but no one hits those well.

Gunnar Henderson is going to hit for power and average. Sure, his strikeouts peaked in the minors to over 30% but he was 20 years old, I’m not worried. Maybe he has a 24-26% strikeout rate, but he’s going to pound balls with a flat swing (that you’re admittedly not seeing as much in these video clips). The upside here is 30/.280, the downside is 20/.250. I hate what they did to the park in Balty-more, but he’ll be okay, as the home run to the deepest part of Fenway shows. Okay, about that speed:

That was Gunnar Henderson’s one caught stealing in the majors, but, I mean, is that by three feet or what? By Israel Pineda who I found this scouting report on “doesn’t have a great arm.” Mm-kay. Um, dot dot dot, kay. Steals are so tricky translating for a guy like Gunnar Henderson, who isn’t a burner. He needs to pick his spots, and if he doesn’t know pitchers, or catchers can he pick his spots? Will the limited pickoff moves help? He did steal 22 bags in the upper minors and those guys can arm. Not cannon arms, but can arm. I think Gunnar Henderson’s steals can be anywhere from five to 20. Both numbers are laughable possibilities, but the actual number will be in there. For 2023, I’ll give Gunnar Henderson projections of 68/25/81/.269/12 in 537 ABs with a chance for more. Also, a point in his favor: They’ll move him around the infield, so he’ll likely have like 2B, SS & 3B eligibility. Though, obviously personnel could change during the offseason.