This must be one of the most exciting trade deadlines in history. We had established closers switching teams, gold gloves moving to greener pastures and some young 23 year old demanding one of the biggest prospect hauls we have ever seen. The trade deadline is always an interesting lottery for our fantasy game. For forward-looking owners, there is an opportunity to prospect into new values or simply get some dumb luck. Either way, the deadline is certainly a delight for viewers and owners alike. This week our Top 100 Hitters takes a shuffle thanks to the deadline and beginning of the second half as we stare down the last two weeks of the 2022 fantasy baseball season.
- Juan Soto – There is no question that Juan Soto has had one of the toughest years of his young career in 2022. At the same time, he has remained plenty valuable to fantasy owners. Moving from a bottom 10 offense to a top 10 offense will certainly give Soto more protection and opportunities to pad his counting stats. In addition, there has to be some level of intangible benefit with moving from lack of contention to a true World Series contender in San Diego. I expect big things from Juan the rest of the way in what is not much of a bold statement at all for one of baseball’s best hitters.
- Luke Voit – Going the other way in the ‘Soto’ trade, Luke Voit also will see a boost in playing time and should hold a key spot in the middle of the Nationals lineup the rest of the year. For any fantasy owner hoping for a shot of power the rest of the season, Voit will be an intriguing option.
- Brandon Lowe – Finally back after a long absence in the lineup, Lowe has a chance to prove that his early season funk was more fiction than fact. Since his return in 14 games, he is hitting well above .300 with three homers and seven runs and RBI apiece. I know for certain some managers gave up on Lowe and hopefully, you are the one to reap the rewards the rest of the season. I would not be surprised to see 10+ homers the rest of the way.
- Kris Bryant – I was trying to look up some information on Bryant the other day and my phone autocorrected to Crybaby…maybe it is because I don’t know how to type or maybe Apple knows how we should really feel about Bryant. All the hope for a big season in the thin Colorado air, but injuries have been the story of a lost season. The current IL trip due to plantar fasciitis is undoubtedly going to be longer than a minimum stay. Keep in mind, Harrison Bader has not played a game since late June with the same ailment.
- Joc Pederson – Banged up on the IL with a potential concussion, Joc has been missing from the Giants lineup recently. Unfortunately for us, he has been missing from fantasy production as well for much longer. Since Independence Day, he is hitting .083 with no power anywhere in sight. Joc is a streaky hitter for certain and now is the time to look elsewhere if you have not already.
- Oneil Cruz – The physical specimen that is Oneil Cruz is making his first appearance in our watching category. With his power on display since the All-Star break, Cruz seems to be adapting to major league pitching. He still carries a high strikeout rate and average volatility which is not surprising for a young bat. However, filling up all four of the other Roto categories has him firmly zeroing in on our Top 100 Hitters for the rest of the fantasy baseball season.
- Gavin Lux – One-time prospect darling, Lux seems to get lost in the LA glitz and glam. Cutting his strikeout rate and hitting nearly .300 with an impressive OBP, Lux has found a home in the second half of the Dodgers lineup. At the same time, some extra luck and limited power or speed stats have not catapulted him back into fantasy hearts. From his minor league days, we know there is more there. But we don’t know if and when that will show up. Watch list for now.