Here we are running into the second half coming off an incredibly exciting All-Star break. I think I could personally listen to Alek Manoah pitch mic’d up for the next five years and not get bored. As we look at what may be the last gasp for owners trying to make the playoffs or ride it out in the roto standings, we owe ourselves a reset and the opportunity to move some big names up or down in the rankings. While the Home Run Derby was fun, it does not really change our outlook for Julio Rodriguez or Juan Soto. However, the second half will bring us the return of a few key contributors and give others a chance for a much needed reset. Without further ado and random rambling, jump into the rankings and read through below to see the movers and shakers as we jump in with two feet to our Top 100 rankings for the rest of the 2022 fantasy baseball season.
- Bobby Witt Jr. – Witt has been consistently above average most of the season outside of March/April. With the slow start, the steady progress has been able to slide under the radar slightly when compared to the other Rookie of the Year front runner, Julio Rodriguez. However, having a rookie season that realistically could deliver 20 home runs and 30 steals with a .260-.270 average is really special. He was likely overdue for a bump up these rankings.
- Kris Bryant – Finally getting a chance to be healthy, Kris is showing flashes to remind us why the Rockies dropped $182 million through his age 36 season. Across 13 game in July, Bryant is hitting .350+ with four homers and 17 runs + RBI. Likely an after thought for many at this point in the season, Bryant is still playing in Coors and only a few years removed from MVP form. All that said, his movement up this week is mostly due to health and opportunity rather than underlying skill.
- Mitch Haniger – Speaking of health and opportunity, Mitch Haniger is nearly back on the field for the Seattle Mariners. He is embarking on a rehab assignment as we speak and will be looking to give the crowded Seattle outfield a boost. Let us not forget, just last season Haniger delivered 39 dingers with more than 100 runs and 100 RBI showing us what he can do when healthy. There is little reason to doubt his ability to continue to hit as he has always done in his career. Don’t be surprised when Haniger is clubbing them over the last few months of the season.
- Ketel Marte – Marte is arguably coming off his hottest month of the season, yet dropping down the rankings. Despite a mini-power surge boosted by some extra fly ball luck, Marte is nothing more than a third or fourth outfielder in our roto game after he teased us with a power spiked year in 2019. Beyond that year, he has been below average in the power and speed departments. While he delivers a respectable average, we have to recognize he is nothing more than a slightly above replacement player at this point in time.
- Nick Castellanos – After two phenomenal seasons, Nick has simply fallen off a cliff. With his quality of contact dropping and hard hit rates in the bottom quarter of the league, we cannot continue to wait. Maybe the big contract is getting to him or maybe he simply woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but he is clearly pressing. He has never swung at the first pitch more in his career while getting on top of the ball for a career high ground ball rate. Those tendencies do not produce results and we can only hope the All-Star break gave him a moment to reset.
- Leody Taveras – Over his last 10 games, Taveras has hit .432 with nine runs, 12 RBI and four steals. Still just 23 years old, Taveras consistently showed 30 steal speed in the minor leagues and may be on the front edge of a hot streak. While there is little expectation that he emerges as a top 100 hitter the rest of the season, he might be the right fit for a speed needy team.
- Alex Kirilloff – Battling a wrist injury over the past two seasons, Kirilloff has struggled to match the lofty expectations that came along with his rapid ascent in the minors. However, he may be finally getting healthy exhibited by the way he slashed through a recent trip to the minors to the tune of a .359 average, 10 homers, and numerous counting stats in just over a month of games. Back in the majors, he is looking to make waves and has been on a mini seven game hitting streak going into the break. This is one to watch that I believe will be in the top 100 by end of the season.
Dropping out this week: Seiya Suzuki, Jeff McNeil, Brendan Rodgers, Josh Rojas, Alejandro Kirk, Nathaniel Lowe, Travis D’Arnaud
Nice rankings. I couldn’t help but notice you like Taylor Ward (#56 on the list). Tell me what you’re seeing that I’m missing. I know the statcast data still looks intriguing, but I also realize those statcast metrics have taken a significant tumble as Ward has gone cold for ~8 weeks. Not sure if there’s a way to get the data, but it would be interesting to see Ward’s xAvg and xSlug over June/July compared to April/May.
You and me both wishing for easier splits on that statcast data. Overall, not intentionally higher on Ward but recognizing a tough July he should be a few spots lower. I am banking on some adjustments as his approach generally worsened, but I expect Ward to finish the season between his hot start and poor July.
I’m curious what Ward’s splits are with and without Trout in the lineup. It seems to me (without too much statistical backing) that without the Trout protection he is being pitched to differently and has had a period of needing to adjust to that. Could be purely made up on my end to justify wanting to stay optimistic though!
Just had Devers go on IL in my AL only OPS league. Also have Luis Robert, Julio Rodriguez, Wander Franco banged up. Traded a 4th for Naylor and will need to ride him for a bit. Thoughts on Naylor rest of the season?
That is quite a nice group and also hard times. Baylor is a mid-level power masher. I am thinking a full season of .265 with 20 homers is probably the average expectation. Useful but not going to blow you away. You could do worse for a stop gap, but not somebody you want to invest in as your long term core. Good luck in the second half!
So I have two offers to add closers after losing Rainey and only having Lopez. Wondering which of these trades to pull trigger on or do both trades? My league counts saves and holds. The two offers are
1. Freddy Peralta (who can be kept at 9th round value next year) for Sewald and Munoz
2. Seiya Suzuki for Robertson
I can keep 6 and definitely keeping Trea,, France, Albies, with India, Suzuki, Gausman, Freddy P, and Corbin Carrol as candidates for my final 2 spots. I don’t want to keep Gausman and Freddy P and rather keep one and another hitter. Just not sure what to expect from Freddy P this year and thinking my pitching should be sufficient without him – and thinking he’s good trade bait to get hold of the whole Seattle closer situation in Sewald and Munoz (I also have Giles). I’m back to warming on Suzuki and wondering if Robertson could be dealt. Sorry for the long write up but my lineup is below.
Utility (2)/Bench – Suzuki, Bellinger, Tellez, Miranda, Wisdom
IR/NA – Albies; Corbin Caroll
SP – Gausman, Musgrove, Montas, Joe Ryan, Rasmussen, Stripling, Cobb, Ashby
RP – Jorge Lopez, Bass, Cionel Perez, Hand
IR – Giles, Peralta
Definitely depends on how much you have to gain in saves. With your current closers I am guessing just adding a single closer doesn’t do much in either H2H or Roto. With that, I would be fine making both deals. I think Freddy will be decent at 9th round value next year, but guessing you can find a similar value in the draft. As for Seiya, he really hasn’t shown much since the first few weeks to warrant hanging on even with Robertsons questionable trade status. Fortune favors the bold, so I would chase them both as you are not giving up that much in value and adding only one is doubtful to make enough impact to pursue.
Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciate d