We have arrived at the end of the 2022 fantasy baseball season and what an exciting season this has been!  Whether it is Aaron Judge chasing the AL Home Run record or Albert Pujols shocking us all with a resurgence to fantasy relevance, there have been countless headlines to chase.  For our last hitter profiles of this season, we are going to take a look at who your favorite Razzball writers predicted as MVPs at the beginning of the season and compare them to the real MVPs of 2022.  We will also assess where the MVPs of this year should be going off the draft board next year.  Join us for one more lap around the warning track in our hitter profiles.

MVP Prediction Wins:

  • Daulton Varsho (Rudy) – Investing in a catcher during the seventh round is a bit of a gamble at times, but Daulton seemed to have little trouble handling the burden on a top five drafted player at his position in what could be a 30/15 season with a strong finish.  Those are J.T. Realmuto in his prime numbers right there.  Add in the kicker of positional flexibility that kept him in the lineup, I am going to chalk this one up as a win for our MVP predictions.
  • Jose Ramirez (Jakkers) – It is not often that we can claim a player that finishes below his ADP as an MVP in fantasy.  However, Jose delivered exactly what was asked of him by owners in the spring.  He put together a 5-category season hitting .274-86-28-119-18 with a week to go.  Sometimes it is a big win to simply live up to expectations when those around you (Soto, Harper, and more) fail to do so.  Jakkers was on to something by going the safer route in the MVP predictions.
  • Julio Rodriguez (The Itch) – If we only had one winner to declare, it would be the man, the myth, the legend that is Julio.  For a player that could be had in the 19th round of drafts, getting 130 games of solid production would be a thrill.  Getting 130 games of what Julio did, is something that is surely illegal in some states.  A full 150 game pace looks like .280-94-31-85-29.  That is a remarkable number for any player.  Remember that Julio is still just 21 years old and the sky has to be the limit.  A season of .300-100-30-100-30 is actually possible for this specimen of a baseball player.  For those of you that drafted Julio late, you can raise your MVP trophy high just like The Itch.

MVP Prediction Losses:

  • Seiya Suzuki (Grey, Coolwhip, MattTruss) – Well this was looking like a win right out of the gate for our triumphant trio.  After the first ten games of the season, Suzuki had four homers, eleven RBI and a .429 average.    Unfortunately, Seiya came back to earth quickly and only produced an additional nine homers the rest of the way with a .254 average.  There were glimmers of hope, but the hot start had many fantasy owners holding on too long even if the draft day investment was light.
  • Jo Adell (B_Don) – I loved this prediction in the preseason as Adell had all the makings of a breakout.  Unfortunately, his profile is highly volatile with strikeouts, speed, and swinging for the fences.  He is still young and incredibly athletic, but the prospect shine has clearly worn off.  He still has time to figure things out but that clock is ticking.  I will be looking the other way in 2023, which means he is likely going to find a way to break out!
  • Darin Ruf (Son) – That is a bold move Son, but unfortunately it did not pay off the way you were hoping.  When a player is virtually free at the draft, there is so much potential to earn MVP status.  Alas, there are reasons that some players are free.  Sorry Son, hitting .204 with 11 dingers will sink the fantasy dreams quickly.

The Real MVPs:

  • Aaron Judge – Is there really any question here?  Judge was slighted by many fantasy owners including yours truly for his inability to stay on the field in recent years.  This doubt pushed him to the third round of drafts in the spring.  With a fully healthy season, Judge might win the triple crown and has secured a win in gambling on himself as he is ready to cash in with free agency.  For the 2023 fantasy baseball season, Judge will likely be the first player off the board.  Historic season and all I definitely see him in the top 5, but still have some concerns with investing the #1 year overall selection next spring.
  • Julio Rodriguez – Anytime you make an article twice you are doing something right.  For 2023, Julio has a realistic shot at a 30/30 season which can easily carry a team.  Julio has dealt with some back concerns this year and still has to experience the league adjusting to him.  However, he will not be making it out of the first round next year.

As we wrap up another fantasy baseball season, I want to thank each and every one of you that has read my articles throughout the season.  This is certainly a labor of love and if just one of you got value out of the top 100 hitters or hitter profiles, then I will chalk that up as a win.  See you in the spring!