As we approach June, the Mets have the best record in the National League. Like many fans, fantasy owners might be asking what is happening and how did we get here? Luckily like the real world, we can expect the Mets to falter. If you are not yet at the top of the standings in your fantasy league, you have to expect the same from your league mates. It is still early and not the time to throw in the towel, but rather it is time to dig deep to find those hidden gems. Be bold and make some moves to prepare yourself for the summer stretch run. This week we will dive into the top 100 hitters for the rest of the 2022 fantasy baseball season and call out some of the big bats that are on the move!
- Mookie Betts – Betts started the season slow over the first three weeks hitting a paltry .190 with a 21% strikeout rate. Then he made a swing adjustment to shorten up the swing path in late April/early May. Since the beginning of May that average is nearly .300 with a strikeout rate drop of nearly 7 points. The power has returned with five long balls and he continues to score boatloads of runs atop the Dodgers lineup. That combination has him jumping back up our rankings thanks to his early season adjustment.
- Kolten Wong – A hot bat over the past few weeks, Kolten has a .306 average since late April with five steals so far in the month of May. During that timeframe, only Kyle Tucker and Eli White have more steals with six. With the Brewers running as much as any team this season, the light should remain green for Wong giving him solid middle infield value.
- Aaron Judge – The knock on Judge has always been his health and when he will get hurt. Well, so far this season he is making it very difficult to worry about the past injury concerns. Leading the league in hard hit rate and exit velocity, Judge is leading the league in home runs and top three in runs and RBI. He is healthy and hot, which runs him right up our rankings.
- Brandon Lowe – Struck down by bad luck to start the season, Lowe had been showing some signs of turnaround over the past week or so. Alas, the injury bug struck with a stress reaction in his lower back and he will be out of baseball activities for at least three weeks. Look for his absence to extend to at least mid-June. I still believe in this skill set and think this is actually an opportunity to buy low if you can buy at a discount.
- Jake Cronenworth – After a slow April, May has been even worse for Cronenworth. With a rising strikeout rate, we are left to wonder what is driving worse results. Simply put, Jake is having trouble with the hard stuff. A player who has consistently handled the fastball over the last few seasons with a xBA over .300, he is hitting a poor xBA under .200 this year as pitchers feed him more fastballs. While there appears to be some BABIP regression that should help, I cannot help but wonder if there is an injury waiting to be discovered.
- Mike Yastrzemski – Yaz has me intrigued with some early adjustments to his plate approach despite missing a bit of time on the COVID list this season. It is still early, but he has a top 6% exit velocity which is a significant jump over his career averages. Much of that does not appear to be the general quality of his contact, but rather what he is making contact on. The plate approach has been to take more pitches, swing less out of the zone and make more contact in the zone. If he shows the approach is sustainable, there is something to like about a guy who might just be on the waiver wire.
- Joc Pederson – Speaking of adjustments in approach, Joc might just be the anti-Yaz as he is all of a sudden swinging at everything. He is after over 40% of first pitches or essentially anytime the pitch is in the zone. He is barreling the ball up more than he has in the past and has actually been unlucky as he carries an impressive .316 xBA. We have to recognize this is partly due to the fact that the Giants will not let him sniff the plate against a lefty (8 AB this year), so he has much more value in daily than weekly leagues.