Good day, Razzball fam:
Draft season has wrapped up and Opening Day weekend is finally upon us. Pitcher’s workloads are slowly ramping up from the abbreviated Spring Training (it’s so frustrating to see pitchers leave after not giving up hits or leaving after 75 pitches) and highly-regarded prospects such as Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodriguez, and Hunter Greene are putting the rest of the league on notice.
The first few fantasy baseball opening series are crucial. Player hot streaks and slumps are exaggerated since the data sample size is so small. I would not recommend making rash decisions and I’d recommend placing faith in the players you’ve drafted at this point. You don’t want to be the manager dropping the waiver wire darling of the year (we’ve all been there).
Since my pre-season ranking of the top 25 shortstops hasn’t changed much (aside from the injuries to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias) and since the 2022 season is less than 2% complete (small sample size alert), we’ll be taking a look at the biggest risers from draft season to now (in no particular order). These players will likely be included and/or move up in the next edition of the top 25 shortstops rankings. A couple of these guys listed below may be on waivers if you’re in a shallower league.
- Bryson Stott – Philadelphia Phillies – I highlighted Scott a few weeks ago: HERE. Flash forward a couple weeks later, Scott has continued his impressive Spring Training and has cracked the Phillies Opening Day roster, starting at third base (but eligible at short). As of Sunday 4/10, Scott is batting in the 6 hole, so it’s encouraging he’s not constantly buried at the bottom of the lineup. As the season progresses, I believe we see Bryson Stott take more of Alec Bohm’s playing time. For now, I think the Phillies don’t want to completely demoralize Bohm while giving him a chance to showcase some value. Dave Dombrowski is likely hoping Bohm runs into a hot streak, garners some trade value, then he can be flipped for some immediate need around midseason.
- Jeremy Pena – Houston Astros – Pena is looking like a worthy replacement for Carlos Correa, with a home run on his ledger and exhibiting strong plate discipline thus far. Are we even surprised? Grey told us to BUY all draft season. Perhaps this is why the Astros weren’t willing to break the bank for Correa. Bang your nearest trash can if you’ve managed to snag Pena with a late pick!
- CJ Abrams – San Diego Padres – Kudos to Abrams for a strong spring and kudos to AJ Preller for making bold moves, adding Abrams to the major league roster. Abrams has that 80-grade speed that is so desirable in roto leagues while not hopefully tanking your batting average. Abrams stole 28 bases in 76 minor league games. Look for Abrams to get an extended look with Fernando Tatis Jr. hitting the 60-day IL.
- Bobby Witt Jr. – Kansas City Royals – The presumed Rookie of the Year candidate drove in the go-ahead run on Opening Day and has shown off some great baseball instincts. Check out the link to MLB on Twitter comparing Bobby Witt Jr. and Mike Trout’s swing.
What do you think? pic.twitter.com/zeucU094HR
— MLB (@MLB) March 23, 2022
One phenom trying to emulate another phenom, gotta love it. Witt Jr. has the most potential to rocket up the next rankings.
That’s it for now, and happy first full week of the MLB season!