We are officially 11 days, 22 hours and 37 minutes into the regular season. Is that accurate? No, but we should not be counting days or stats at this point in the season. There are early season upstarts like Steven Kwan and Owen Miller and slow starters like Marcus Semien and Bryce Harper. To really assess potential at this point in the season we have to look at playing time behaviors and the early indications of who has a full time job and who is actually going to be a platoon player (looking at you Jo Adell). For this week we are going to look at some hitter profiles and what we should think for the rest of the season potential. So hold on and let us dig in!
As a self-proclaimed Jo Adell truther, the start of the 2022 season has been nothing short of frustrating. Joe “Mad Man” Maddon has decided that Adell will best be developed in an ugly and confusing platoon ceding time to the likes of Jose Rojas. Including Friday night, Jo has started five of eight games with the majority of opportunities in the bottom of the lineup. While he has struck out in over half of his at bats, I will give a pass for now due to the anemic playing time.
So how has he been playing? Well, league leading exit velocities (101.5) and barrel rates (43%) are looking pretty decent. We also see that Adell is running with sprint speeds in the top 10% of the league. So at this point, we have to hold with Adell. Do I still believe in the skill set? Absolutely! Do I believe Joe Maddon is going to drive the fantasy community nuts? That is unfortunately true as well…
Suzuki was a force for the Hiroshima Carp making him a great candidate for our early hitter profiles. Just last season he delivered a .317 average with 38 homers. That is more or less the same line he has had for the past five years. The biggest question has been how much of that will translate to the big leagues as he is still just 27 years old. Well coming out of the gate with 3 big flies, 10 RBI and a .350 clip over the first week and a half certainly will put folks on notice. Batting right in the middle of the Chicago lineup should provide decent counting stats and he seems to be the real deal. I guarantee somebody paid up at draft time and that is looking like a pretty wise decision.
A late bloomer at age 29, Joe had a nice little cameo at the end of last season. Hitting .285 with eight longballs in just under half a season is nothing too exciting. However, it is always worth a look anytime a player shows a little potential in the thin Colorado air. It also helps that the DH looks to have secured his playing time. A nice little hot start has put him on the radar, but what should we really expect? Looking back to 2018, Joe has been solid in the batting average department to the tune of .290-.300 in the minors. He has limited speed but could probably chip in 15 or so homers. At this point, I think Connor is a 5th outfielder in a 12-teamer. If you are rolling in the OBP waters, give him a tick up as he does get on base at a decent clip. Of course, bonus points always go to the guys with two first names.