Let’s start here:

Not sure why it’s so visually pleasing to watch a pitcher strikeout guys, but, mah gawd, I could watch that all day and twice on Muesday, the magical day that Narnia’s itself between Monday and Tuesday. So, Sean Manaea, the real-life Girl Scout cookie–*intern whispers in ear*…not Samoan as in the cookie? Okay, will be researching that further. But he’s more of a snack than Lars Nootbaar. *intern walks away* Are you quitting? But who’s going to toss boba into my mouth from ten feet away so I can yell, “Score?” Sean Manaea throws three pitches a sinker (60%), a change (24.4%) and a curve (15.6%). His basic numbers were 11-10/3.91/1.23/194 in 179 1/3 IP. Solid 9.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9, but overall kinda yawnstipating. What are we even doing here? I need flash! I need intrigue! I need spice! But not turmeric, because that shizz stains everything. I’m sorry, I love you yellowy spice, but my pots and pans look like my dog, Ted, urinated on them! So, what can we expect from Sean Manaea for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Sean Manaea sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve finished my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings and they’re all available on our Patreon. Anyway II, the Sean Manaea sleeper:

Sean Manaea is one of those pitchers who just kept showing up on list after list that I was drilling down for starters I wanted. I’d look at K/BB and, boom, Manaea. I’d look at xFIP and, Frank Voila, there he was. I’d look at SwStr% and, what do ya know, there’s Sean Manaea. Was looking at the top changeups? And would you look at that, it’s Sean Manaea.

One stat that really jumped out at me like a cat in a bad horror film, Sean Manaea was up there for called strikes, and was number one for number of pitches in the zone. Think about this, because in here is the True ButterTM: A pitcher who throws the ball in the zone more than anyone else and gets a near-10 K/9. Truly think about what that True Butter means. In the zone, but no one is hitting it. That’s special. Let me give you the guys who were 45% in the zone and above him for SwStr%: Nathan Eovaldi, Brandon Woodruff, Sandy Alcantara and Kevin Gausman. That’s it. Even if Manaea is more Eovaldi than the other three, that’s some sexy eh-eff company. As you can imagine, Sean Manaea had a low contact% with pitches inside the zone. He was 12th best. The top 12 are pretty much everyone you want, and I’m just gonna drop a jpeg, rather than type up their names:

You can see where I got John Means’s name last year for my sleeper, and where I got Dylan Cease and Jordan Montgomery for this year (Dylan Cease sleeper and Jordan Montgomery sleeper). You can’t fake throwing the ball in the zone and missing bats. It’s not learnable without stuff. You can fool the hitter by getting him to swing at pitches outside the zone, but I’d contend (for the featherweight title) that it’s better to get swinging strikes on pitches in the zone. On those pitches, if the batter doesn’t swing, then they’re strikes anyway, i.e., the hitter is damned if he swings, and damned if he doesn’t. That’s pitching, Suzyn. There is one pitch that reoccurs over and over again for these guys. The lights-out change. Know why? It’s pretty obvious. A change is usually in the heart of the plate, but makes the hitter look silly because it messes with their timing. Sean Manaea has the third best change in baseball, and, unlike Jordan Montgomery, Manaea has an averagey fastball vs. a negative one.

One last point before I bring this sucker home like the Tootsie Roll Owl coming back from a bird sanctuary with lollies, Sean Manaea’s average fastball (the sinker) was better in the 2nd half. The sinker’s SwStr% in the 1st half vs. 2nd: 11.6% vs. 13.8%. The velocity went from 91.7 MPH to 92.5; his horizontal movement on the sinker went from 12.9 to 14.6 and the ground ball rate went from 15% to 21.5%. This is a bit like getting excited for a TV show that you don’t like just because it’s currently on TV and you don’t have to reach for the remote. Manaea’s sinker is a bug vs. a feature, but if it becomes a feature, then you’re talking about a guy who will be a top five starter vs. predicting a conservative top 20 upside. For 2022, I’ll give Sean Manaea projections of 13-8/3.47/1.11/208 in 193 IP with a chance for more.

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Jonathan Greenfield
Jonathan Greenfield
7 months ago

Love the wrote up about Manaea but now confused…

I can keep 3 of the 4…

Musgrove $15
Gausman $6
Ray $6
Manaea $6

I also have Bieber at $14 but have to keep due to contract.

Who do I keep?

Also, side question…. Would you trust Trout at $38? I have grown leery! Hasn’t played a full season in far too long.

Blue Steel
7 months ago

Entering year 3 of total rebuild we took over. Built solid minor league Dominguez, Witt, Abrams, Riley, Hancock, Gore, Meyer. Can keep 7. If i keep one of following loose my 1st pick in minor league draft #5. Have Gil, Melendez and Barrett. Should I keep any of last 3. Or keep 1st pick?

Blue Steel
Reply to  Grey
7 months ago

The 1st 7 listed i am keeping. Melendez would be the one I’d like to keep, but if I retain my #1 I am hoping Arias is there as my pick. Just don’t know if Melendez is a high enough prospect to forfeit my pick. I was also offered Jazz Chisholm for him.

Blue Steel
Reply to  Grey
7 months ago

I am hoping Arias will be there when I pick. I assume Leiter and Suzuki will be first two off the board. If I keep my pick I loose Melendez, Gil and Barreos .
My dilemma is do I keep Melendez and loose my 1st pick, keep my pick or take the trade thats been offered to me Melendez for Jazz Chisholm.

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
7 months ago

Who wins this trade
A. Walsh and Patrick Sandoval
B. Yelich and Urquidy

LOLmets
LOLmets
7 months ago

wow not too long ago you were calling this guy mediOAKer

i like it and agree hes undervalued.

only quibble i have is when u say “a chance for more”… hard for him to do more than you’re projecting him for. last year he made 32 starts and threw 178 innings. id bet the under on that 193 innings for manaea and feel really good about it. that projection feels like his ceiling pretty much.

LOLmets
LOLmets
Reply to  Grey
7 months ago

3 era over 190 innings, that would be somthing. he would be a top 5 starter is he did so.

Toolshed
Toolshed
7 months ago

Ok, I have another one. Is there anything positive you can say about Patrick Corbin for 2022 other than he isn’t pitching today? I recall you had him in your pre season top 40 last year. The wheels came completely off and he was an unmitigated disaster last year.. He wasn’t good the shortened year either but has a pretty good body of work in other years.

bigbear
bigbear
7 months ago

Manaea was a guy on/off my team a few times last year. Don’t recall the details, but those projections would have put him in the 20-25 SP range last year. Around Berrios.

I can buy the projected stats too. It’s banking on maintaining the K rate and reverting back to career norm BB rates. Doable, but I wonder if they are mutually exclusive… But other stats would contribute to the better ERA too.

Anyway, he seems to be ranked around a bunch of others I like better (Framber, Baz, Luis Garcia clone, Ranger…). The ADP is pretty broad (like 2+ rounds), but that might be a good spot to go back-to-back SPs. But seeing Toolshed’s comment above about Luzardo should make me think twice, right? NAH! Maybe it’s the Belanger effect, but ‘studs with warts’ can miss too.

FWIW, I like the JoMo upside better. Especially at his ADP.

Thanks muchacho! And Felix NaviAno (with the Tildaddy)!

Malicious Phenoms
Malicious Phenoms
7 months ago

Happy New Year

Dan
Dan
7 months ago

Happy new tear Grey !! Offseason trade offered in a keeper league . Yelich and Teoscar Hernandez for Jared Walsh and Eloy Jimenez .

Toolshed
Toolshed
7 months ago

I also have to ask about dalbec. Is he fact or fiction? I never thought he’d end up on my roster, but sometimes you need to do what you gotta do. And he actually helped me when I owned him. Thanks

Toolshed
Toolshed
7 months ago

I chose to ignore manaea last year in drafts because I didn’t like his k rate. I did the same thing with wheeler. I chose to draft luzardo when I could have taken both of those guys instead. Surprisingly, this was not the only mistake I made.

Toolshed
Toolshed
Reply to  Grey
7 months ago

Sometimes the shiny new toy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I let myself get caught up In that upside argument.

Toolshed
Toolshed
Reply to  Grey
7 months ago

I wonder if he is getting better at playing video games?

Sport
Sport
7 months ago

Thank you for this one! I had several SP pegged from K-BB/9 and fip, but Manaea just wasn’t grabbing my interest. I’m really glad you went into the SwStr% and called strikes stats. That’s quite a list from your jpeg to be in!

One of the things that I struggle with is thinking I need to own every sleeper AND all other players you are high on. As we near redraft season, I’m finding myself wanting Robbie Ray, Peralta, Cease, Pablo, Baz, Manaea, Joe Ryan, Ranger, Syndergaard, and Houck on every single team. I know that grabbing just one of Ray, Peralta, or Cease is enough, if I add one of someone like Manaea or Pablo around 100, but I just want them all!

It’s going to be a fun draft season regardless.

Thank you!

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
7 months ago

Any chance any of these guys amount to anything?
MacKenzie Gore, Spenser Howard, Deivi Garcia

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
7 months ago

I was afraid this one was coming. I had him cheap in a keeper but had to include him in a trade to make a run at winning. Bummer.
For your reputation I hope your right…Selfishly, I hope your wrong.

florida jack
florida jack
7 months ago

take over team, 12 team roto,

best two options of these, thanks

Kowar, Spencer Howard, Megill, Merrill Kelly, Odorizzi, Eli Morgan, Jose Suarez

Jimmy
Jimmy
7 months ago

Traded Melacon for Manea last in our dynasty 18 5×5…. I think it was a steal…the guy did it because he was close to winning, but fell short! Loved reading your post thank you!

Will
Will
Reply to  Jimmy
7 months ago

Wow, nice. There’s no guarantee Melancon is the closer all season for Arizona. Nice get on your part.

Luigi
Luigi
7 months ago

All powerful Grey, what kind of year do you see from Myles Straw this year? Sleeper/Keeper/Late round flyer. Can you give me his stat line for the year?

packers2018
packers2018
Reply to  Luigi
7 months ago

My 2 cents on Straw .

He is good for runs and stolen bases and will play most of the time.
To me, he’s not a sleeper because we know what we’ll get and he is better than a late round flyer.
Stolen bases are hard to come by, think a 3rd or 4th outfielder on your team.

Ante GALIC
Ante GALIC
7 months ago

Grey!!!!

Awesome!!

a. Love that jpeg and the list therein. Love the TM drop, I would sign up for your True Batter but only the baseball content.

b. Love Manaea!!

c. Norm MacDonald quote of the day for January 3, 2022

‘The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has given its approval for a new bullet called Rambo. It is so brutally destructive that it’ll tear through soft tissue, rip out your vital organs, take all your money and run away with your girlfriend to Aruba.’

d. Marx Brothers quote of the day for January 3, 2022

‘I don’t have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They’re upstairs in my socks.’

Cheers,
Ante