Good day, All,

A little over a month into the 2022 season and most people in fantasy baseball leagues are still active and paying attention to their fantasy squads. Depending on league format, some managers have been more aggressive with their FAAB bids/waiver priority claims, trying to scoop up the next big prospect (see Jose Miranda, Juan Yepez, Royce Lewis, and George Kirby earlier this month) in order to boost their championship aspirations.

While these prospects for the most part have been well worth their FAAB bids/waiver priority claims, allow me to draw your attention to Tampa Bay Rays second baseman/outfielder/utility man Vidal Brujan, a seemingly forgotten man of sorts.

Brujan is currently serving his second MLB stint this year. He was initially called up on 4/24/22 when Yandy Diaz went on the COVID IL, and sent down the following Monday. Brujan recently was called up this past Tuesday due to outfielder Manuel Margot suffering a hamstring injury. As we know, hamstring injuries are particularly problematic, especially for baseball players who rely on their speed to produce value such as Margot.

Update: Margot was placed on the IL on 5/15/22.

I know, you’re probably thinking: “Hey Scar, I’ve been waiting on Brujan for years and the first time he was called up this year was for a whole day. Also, we don’t know what Kevin Cash/Tampa Bay Rays are thinking 90% of the time, what gives?” I understand. If you’re in a dynasty/keeper format, Brujan is a definite keeper. If you’re in a 12 team league or shallower, Brujan may not be for you. However, for leagues larger than 12 teams, I’d recommend snapping Brujan up at least as a bench bat while monitoring playing time if you can afford the roster space. Brujan is 6% owned in Yahoo as of writing this article.

Brujan entered the 2022 season with 2B/OF eligibility in Yahoo, and so far has seen time at 2B, 3B, and RF. I believe Brujan will be up at the MLB level at the very least for the entirety of Margot’s IL stint, but I do think Brujan will hit and be versatile enough in the field to stick with the Rays for an extended period this year. Brujan’s calling card is his 90th percentile speed, but he’s not exactly Billy Hamilton: He’s better! Brujan’s walk and K% rates hovered around 10% in the Minors and he possesses sneaky pop (7 HRs in 16 AAA games last year) without totally tanking your batting average. Brujan already has recorded a ball hit at 100+ exit velocity this year.

If Brujan can be a force on the bases, score runs, and be versatile in the field, he’ll shortly eat into Taylor Walls, Brett Phillips, and Kevin Kiermaier’s playing time, serving as a full-time utility man since there doesn’t seem to be a full-time position for him right now. Perhaps the Rays finally find a taker for Kiermaier by the trade deadline to further clear up time for Brujan (Kiermaier is making $12M this year – wayyyy too expensive for the Rays). I envision peak Vidal Brujan to be an Atlanta Braves Rafael Furcal clone.

If you’re in a weekly head-to-head league, Brujan is a player that can single-handedly win you the steals category a week. In roto formats, Brujan is equally as valuable, as you can count the number of players that can steal 40 bases a year on your hand. Owning Brujan in a daily moves league is definitely more preferable than a league that locks weekly due to the unpredictable nature of the Rays.

After play this weekend, Brujan is 2/17 on the season but has been incredibly unlucky thus far. Eventually, BABIP will normalize and the hits will start falling, leading to Brujan wreaking havoc on the bases. Think of Brujan as the infield version of Jarren Duran (in an ideal world both players would receive an extended look in the Majors this year).

Take a chance on Vidal Brujan – assuming you’re not in a keeper league, he won’t cost much and could be a player rostered on many championship teams by the end of the year.

Until next time!

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Dude
Dude
1 month ago

Miranda, Duran, Luis Garcia(Wash), Melendez, Yepez, Kirilloff, Roansy: pick 2 if you had the roster space and why? Please and thank you!

Dude
Dude
Reply to  Dude
1 month ago

Already snagged Brujan btw

scar
Scar
Reply to  Dude
1 month ago

Hey Dude – The two I’d pick are Miranda and Yepez due to them being healthy/having playing time. Yepez and Miranda both have some solid power and should hit for decent averages. Kirilloff may still be dealing with wrist issues.

Nice snag on Brujan – his immediate playing time should be solidified with B.Lowe headed to the IL.