Good day, Razzballers,
Another week, another couple of players getting injured. Sorry Met fans, it’ll be a while before we see Jacob deGrom. Sorry White Sox fans, but at least we’ll see Andrew Vaughn in a few weeks. Now that new outfielder AJ Pollock is in town, Vaughn can hopefully have less adventures in the outfield.
Previously, I wrote a deep league dive on shortstops that may be worth a back end roster spot/FAAB add/waiver priority claim during the season. Here’s the second base counterpart to last week’s list:
Before writing this article, I didn’t think I would be highlighting a Los Angeles Dodger. The Dodgers are looking like the Yankees during the George Steinbrenner years with splashy free agent signings and owning one of the highest payrolls in the game. Now that Max Muncy is healthy and the Dodgers have signed Freddie Freeman, there currently doesn’t seem to be a starting spot for Gavin Lux. However, injuries and ineffectiveness do happen over the grind of a 162 game season (looking at you Justin Turner & Cody Bellinger). If you have a deep bench, you could do worse with your last few slots than stashing former top prospect Gavin Lux or rather, keeping him on your watch list if he’s on waivers. When we’re looking back on the 2022 season, I think we’ll see a player who has managed to sneak his way into 350+ at-bats while providing some all-around pop, stolen bases, and a decent average.
Nick Gonzales is starting the season in AA. Not Alcoholics Anonymous, though I could imagine being a Pirates fan and/or player would drive one to drink. I mean, Christian Pache tweeted that his heart was broken getting traded to the Oakland A’s! I’m sure you’ve seen this gem of a tweet already:
In all seriousness though, the Pirates have no reason to start Nick Gonzales’ service time right out of the gate (they’ve already assigned Oneil Cruz to the minors). If Gonzales keeps hitting like he has been through his career (see minor league stat line below), he should earn a midseason callup. MLB Pipeline has graded Nick Gonzales with the highest hit tool among second base prospects, as well as the highest floor. He’s regarded as one of the best hitters from his draft class and has been compared to Dustin Pedroia. Keep Nick Gonzales on your watch list.
If you’re in a very deep league, more players on bottom-feeder teams such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles will be drafted (albeit at a steep discount in most cases). Infielder Ramon Urias is no exception to the steep discount. Per Baseball Savant, Ramon Urias produced max exit velocity in the 86th percentile and a barrel rate of 9.7%. Given a full season’s worth of at bats, Ramon Urias could be a serviceable middle infielder. Steamer has him pegged for a 47/12/46/3/.244, but I think he has a good chance to outperform his mediocre projections. Ramon Urias’ swinging strike rate in 2021 was in the single-digits, so he is somewhat disciplined. Ramon has a shot at 20 homers even with Camden Yards moving their fences back. For what it’s worth, Urias is having a good spring training and is eligible at second base, third base, and shortstop in Yahoo.
That’s it for now, play ball!