Picture this. I’m sitting in my daughter’s pink Yogibo Pod X watching the Super Bowl when I hear a beeping noise coming from the kitchen. For those wondering what the hell a Yogibo Pod X is, it’s just a fancy term for a bean bag chair that costs more than two hundred dollars. I jumped up as quick as a 45 year old guy that’s been pregaming for the big game all day could, as I figured the beeping was my state of the art home alarm system. Never know who might be snooping in my windows trying to catch a glimpse of my 2022 points league early rankings. However, when I got to the alarm panel, I found all zones solid green. Figuring it must have been one of my daughter’s toys, I went back and parked my ass back in the expensive bean bag chair and continued watching the game as I worked on my rankings.
A few minutes later, shortly after Odell Beckham Jr. injured his knee, I heard the beeping noise again. What in the world is that I thought. I needed another drink so I decided to head into the kitchen to investigate. As I grabbed another Twisted Tea from the fridge I heard the beeping for a third time. To my surprise it was coming from the junk drawer. I hadn’t been in that drawer in forever. Intrigued, I opened the drawer and couldn’t believe what I found. My clear blue Motorola pager was actually going off. I haven’t been beeped since before Eminem signed with Dr. Dre! Who in the world could be beeping me? I couldn’t wait to find out. I grabbed my cell and dialed the number.
“I got beeped from this number,” I said when they answered the phone. “malamoney, it’s Grey. We need some points league rankings as soon as possible,” said Grey. “You got it,” I replied as I hung up the phone. Now listen, I knew Grey was awesome, but I had no idea he was “I’ll beep you in 2022” awesome. I have no idea how long I’ve been writing for Razzball, but I’m happy to be back. MLB lockout aside, it’s about that time that I start preparing for my points leagues, and as I do, I’m always happy to share my findings with all of you Razzball-lites. Or is it Razzballians? I did participate in a head-to-head mock draft with the experts over at CBS last week and I will be sharing the results of that soon.
In the meantime, consider the following my initial attempt to put together points league rankings for 2022. These are going to change a bit over the next few weeks as I continue to dive deeper, but for now, here’s where I’m at.
Will Smith is my top ranked catcher. That’s right, I’ve got the Fresh Prince of Bel Air as the top backstop. I bet most of your were expecting to see Salvador Perez in this spot. By the way, did you see the commercial for Bel Air? Uncle Phil dropped a whole lotta lbs! Perez didn’t even make it to number two either. Instead I have J.T. Realmuto at two and then Perez at three. They are followed by Yasmani Grandal, Dalton Varsho, Willson Contreras and Tyler Stephenson. Ideally you’ll want one of the top three, but their respective ADPs might be too rich for some. However there is plenty that can be said about the points advantage you’d get by owning one of Smith, Realmuto or Perez. The other thing I’d like to say is to steer clear of Adley Rutschman in redraft leagues. His ADP is far too high. Let someone else be foolish.
It should be no surprise to find last year’s top hitter back at the top of my list of first basemen. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is very likely to be the top hitter, let alone 1B, again in 2022. The kid is just that good. I expect there to be a significant gap between Guerrero and every other 1B. He is in a tier of his own. After Vlad Jr. I’ve got Freddie Freeman. I expect Freeman to remain in Atlanta, but if he somehow ends up in pinstripes, his numbers could be in line for a nice boost. Imagine Freeman numbers boosted! In the same tier as Freeman, I have Pete Alonso and Matt Olson, with Paul Goldschmidt trailing them all by a little bit. One first baseman I think I am higher on than most is Josh Bell.
In leagues where Mookie Betts’s 7 games at 2B were enough to gain 2B eligibility, Betts would be the top 2B. In all other leagues, I have Trea Turner as the second base captain. After Turner, there’s a small drop off in production to the likes of Jose Altuve, Ozzie Albies and Marcus Semien. In the next tier we find Ketel Marte, Jonathan India, Jake Cronenworth and Whit Merrifield. If I had to throw another name out there, it would be Jorge Polanco.
Jose Ramirez is the only choice for the top third basemen. Like Vlad, Ramirez is in a tier of his own. In the second tier we have Rafael Devers, Manny Machado and Alex Bregman. In no particular order. I’d love to add Austin Riley to that tier, but I’m not quite ready. I’ve got Riley and Nolan Arenado a bit behind. Then we’ve got Anthony Rendon and Justin Turner. In some leagues, Wander Franco has 3B rights. Franco has the tools to succeed in points leagues.
If Fernando Tatis Jr. can remain healthy, he will run away with the top 2B spot. Heck, he will give Vlad a run for his money as the top hitter in points league. This is saying a lot considering how deep SS is. After Tatis would be Trea Turner. Then followed by Bo Bichette and Corey Seager. The next tier contains Francisco Lindor, Marcus Semien, Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correra. I’m really hoping for a Lindor bounce back season. I will be keeping a very close eye on Wander Franco.
Juan Soto is projected to outscore every hitter. After Soto, there is everyone else. But here is what I’ve got so far. Mookie Betts, Tatis, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. If he can stay healthy, Trout has proven he can find the top of the list. I have Ronald Acuña Jr. just behind due to coming back from injury, but if the season starts late, he might not be that far behind at all. Next up would be Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez and George Springer. Outfield is a deep position and always difficult to project who will find themselves in the top ten. Looking forward to seeing how Luis Robert progresses. And what about Cedric Mullins and Bryan Reynolds. They were both top ten last season. Can they repeat?
As I stated earlier, this is my first attempt to rank hitters. There’s a lot more where this came from and I promise to keep sharing.
Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney