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:
Welcome to the show, Gunnar Henderson! His first hit is a homer!!! pic.twitter.com/degCCLZTHP
— MLB (@MLB) August 31, 2022
Okay, daddy likes, can I see more ding-dong?
Gunnar Henderson blasts off! pic.twitter.com/lrs0RCTq0l
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 27, 2022
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:
Israel Pineda’s first big league caught stealing is a laser to nab Gunnar Henderson at 2nd.
September 13, 2022 pic.twitter.com/Kol4X6GVxx
— MLB Caught Stealing (@MLB_CS) September 14, 2022
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.
Henderson for severino and I get a 2nd and 6th round pick and give up a 4th and a 10th.
A nice addition to the 3B pool, the kid is settling in, getting comfortable and most importantly, has the backing of a club willing to give him the opportunity. With his knack for barrels, think your projection line is spot on.
Henderson or Dansby Swanson as my keeper ?
Dansby, but could flip soon
Hey Grey, I have a totally off topic question: I am looking for a new league to join that is relatively big money/4 figures and I was wondering what you recommend to look into to, and I apologize for being ignorant about what the league stakes are here on Razzball
We do those NFBC leagues every year…I do one in November and another in March…they’re $150 to enter, $40,000 grand prize and I think $1000 if you win your league…(2nd and 3rd get paid too)
great, thanks for the information!
NFBC has leagues from $50 to $400 to $1700 to $15,000 in entry fees. You can blow your brains out as big as you like!
Haha, there ya go!
10 teams with 12 keepers each. Scoring is 6×6 (h2h cats). No limit on how long you can keep.
Who would you rather have – LoGilbert or Freddy P?
Other SP keepers of mine are deGrom, Manoah, Ohtani (also U-eligible), and Yourson Rodriguez.
Keeper League Question. Would you keep Gunnar over the likes of LuBob if I’m already keeping Julio Rod and Betts? 3 OF, 1 DH.
Better than BWJr? Good to know I snuck Bwhitt in late round last year i think everyone will know about him now.
Go Phils Go Birds!
Hard to believe but Framber sure did look suspicious going to his right wrist, wiping it off in his pants then the umpire only checks his left hand. Once a cheater always a cheater.
Framber sure seemed pretty suspicious, right? Go Phils! Bobby Witt Jr.’s last year prolly better than Gunnar’s 2023
Phillies in 6! maybe his breaking ball was just nasty that night…..i don’t usually go for the conspiracy stuff but we were all saying it watching the game saturday. maybe just because it is the series you pay attention to every pitch but it seemed odd putting his fingers on his right wrist before rubbing up the ball and later changing gloves. plus after the illegal bat which was probably an innocent mistake.
Honestly I don’t think the Framber thing was anything…Maldonado definitely wasn’t anything, he was hitting .160 or something
the phillies would have been all over it if he was doing anything
Love Gunnar. Do you think he warrants keeping in a 5×5 mixed H2H (4 OF spots) where you keep five players (no salaries or contracts) from the below? It feels like he does…
Belated thank you for a terrific season of coverage and keeping it going into the offseason.
No problem! Yes, he’s in your top 5
a. Buongiorno! Buon viaggio domani! Seriously, the weather’s been fantastic but a cold spell is coming after this low pressure system that moves in tomorrow! Good timing on your departure, but you knew that you handsome devil.
b. Now the question everyone wants to ask… Do you have a connecting flight out of?
4 None of the above
c. Love Gunnar so much it hurts. He is already the captain of the infield. The Os were sneaky good last year and if it wasn’t for a September swoon (especially the home and home series against Toronto) they could’ve made the playoffs. So some fine tuning, better pitching and some luck and they’re there!
d. George Carlin quote of the day for November 1, 2022
‘The Nobel Prize in mathematics has been awarded to a California professor who has discovered a new number. The number is “bleen,” which he claims belongs between six and seven.’
Carlin on Campus (1984)
Buon gourno, Ante! Just-a getting out of town-a at right time! B. Direct flight, paisan! C. Si! D. Grazie!