Well, folks, it’s time for a look back on the fantasy season. I am very much looking forward to the postseason and October baseball even if my beloved Giants may not be involved in the quest for a trophy (they’re not eliminated yet and still hold out eternal hope). I hope that you are closing in on a championship. At this point, your team is pretty dang good if you’ve made it this far and you’re ready to roll. So what better time to look back at some standout performances from this season? I have thoughts on these guys for next season but as of right now, they’re just that, thoughts, and I will take my sweet time before ranking them in drafts. Let’s look back on a few of my preseason guys. It’s football time but baseball is yet to make a thrilling finish. Fantasy baseball country, let’s ride.

 

Shohei Ohtani – Not really much to say here that you don’t already know. He’s pretty dang good at baseball, at two positions no less. It’s far from a hot take to say he should be the number one overall pick next season. Maybe someday we’ll get to see him play in October.

Aaron Judge – He certainly grabbed headlines this season after his magnificent performance. You have to love a guy who bets on himself, turns down a massive contract and then blasts 61 (and counting) dongs. Talent was never an issue for Judge, it was always health. Turns out the sky is the limit if he gets 550 at bats. Obviously, we don’t know which uniform he will be wearing next season and that will impact his fantasy value. His power plays anywhere so miss me with that Yankee Stadium is a little league park nonsense but his RBI numbers definitely benefited from the very strong lineup around him. I honestly don’t know where I’ll rank him next season. He’s a first round pick but I don’t want to get swept up in the moment and say he’s hands down number 2.

Yordan Alvarez – He was on a blistering pace before injury derailed his season. It’s probably unfair to say that his season was derailed because he still managed to finish as a top 10 hitter. If he can stay healthy his ceiling is similar to the numbers Judge put up this year. I truly believe that he has 60 home run power. He has 37 as I write this in 448. Yes, that’s 20 less than Judge but that’s also about 100 fewer at bats. I feel like he’s going to be a steal for someone next year then they snag him in the second round and he gets to the plate 600 times.

Juan Soto – He had a down year after what I expected out of him. Before the season I had him as the number one hitter and he hasn’t lived up to that. I’ll own that one. He wasn’t objectively bad but his performance was not what you wanted out of your number one pick. Despite that, he still has to be considered one of the top hitters in the game and the Padres lineup is looking strong.

Josh Bell – You better believe I’m gonna toot my own horn when I have the chance. Bell has long been the type of guy who gets a big boost in points leagues. The rest of his stats may not be eye-popping but the man knows how to get on base. His on-base percentage would rank 21st in the league this season. I talk about batting average a lot, but when a walk is as good as a single that’s a really important stat. Maybe I should shift the conversation from AVG to OBP. Either way, Josh Bell is a good points league player. I will absolutely be looking to take him at a discount again next season.

Jake Cronenworth – I was hoping for more out of him even though he’s a top 50 hitter. Maybe I should have been more realistic and recognized that he was a draft day value rather than one of the top fantasy hitters. His batting average wasn’t great and his OBP was merely solid. Even after that ringing endorsement, I can’t quit him. I suspect I will be a bit too high on him going into next season because I love what he can do. Positional eligibility shouldn’t be the sole determining factor in drafting a player but the fact that he can slot in at first base, second base or shortstop should not go overlooked.

Alex Verdugo – Verdugo misses out on the top 50 hitters but that doesn’t mean he was bad. In fact, he was actually a pretty good points league hitter and could find his way into the top 50 with a few strong games to close out the season. The draft doesn’t cut off at the top 50 and he could be a real nice later target next season.

Charlie Blackmon – The numbers don’t pop but he was a solid play all season. With his age and injury history, I fear that he won’t be as favorable of a play next season.

Brandon Belt – He’s a Giant for life and I will always love him for that. He wasn’t much help to your fantasy team this season because he wasn’t able to stay in the lineup. Sadly, he’s likely done as a fantasy option. His ability to take a walk isn’t much good to you if he can’t stay on the field. I hope he finds a role as a part time DH and can ride off into the sunset.

Steven Kwan – I want him everywhere next season. He has elite contact skills and could lead the league in batting average. Yes, I will sound the bell for him. You want him next year.

 

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