Last week, we jumped right into our first look at the Top 100 Hitters for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season. If you missed that article then please pause the current programming and give us a quick read to catch up. This week we continue to jaunt down the rankings by looking at the next 20 hitters on the list. This week’s edition is smattered with risky bets like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mookie Betts, solid producers like Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies, and upside potential with Eloy Jimenez and Tyler O’Neill. So let us kick this off with a #11 who really should be #1, but thanks to the injury risk he is our headliner at the end of the first round.
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11. Ronald Acuna Jr. – The placement of Acuna on this list all depends on belief in his health. If he was going to be healthy from the beginning of the season then he could be the top ranked player on this list. However, he could have a setback and not be in the lineup until the end of May. I am gambling on him at the end of the first round with a reliable slugger in the second. Just do not be surprised if he does not run as much early this season.
12. Freddie Freeman – I see little changing for Freeman moving to the Dodgers. Maybe a slight uptick in production thanks to the lineup, but there is not much of a safer pick than Freddie. This is a set it and forget it type pick.
13. Mookie Betts – Betts continues to be a contributor across the board, but only seems to be elite in his run scoring ability. He is in a good lineup and will be a solid fantasy player, but there is something here that worries me. I will have very few shares this year as Betts seems to have lost a step or more the past few years.
14. Rafael Devers – I see more steady Freddie Freeman than upside Mookie Betts in this profile. If you took any risks with your first pick, picking up a guy like Freddie, Rafael or Yordan Alvarez would be wise. Do not forget, he just recently turned 25 and may still be fine tuning his craft.
15. Ozzie Albies – If you read last week’s article about the Top 10 Hitters for the 2022 season, you know how important speed is going to be. With a 30/20 season last year, he could be looking to take another step forward in 2022. I would invest here with confidence if you miss on speed in the first round.
16. Yordan Alvarez – He is not going to help you in the speed department, but Yordan is only 24 years old and a fearsome hitter. I expect him to threaten 40 long balls in 2022 with the counting stats to support. I will own a lot of shares especially if the lack of position eligibility scares folks away.
17. Matt Olson – Last year was the year to buy Olson when owners still did not realize who he could be. This year, the price is full sticker and it might be best to look elsewhere at this point in the draft. I still really like his profile and believe he can repeat 2021.
18. Starling Marte – Despite some injury concerns, Starling Marte is expected to be ready for opening day. While there is a trade-off in runs batted in due to his lead-off spot in the lineup, the steals are here for the taking. Did you know that Marte failed to lead either the American or the National League in steals last year, but led all of baseball at the same time?
19. Marcus Semien – I feel like I should have Semien higher when looking at his 2021 production. However, he has had some inconsistencies in the past which give me pause. With a mix of power and speed, he is still quite intriguing albeit a notch down from a guy like Albies.
20. Nick Castellanos – With the lowest strikeout rate of his career colliding with his best hard hit rate, 2021 was a banner year for Nick. I expect much of the same in 2022 for the newest Phillie. Good thing we don’t include defense in our fantasy stats.
22. Manny Machado – 150 games, 30 homers, 95 RBI, a handful of steals on a .275 average. That seems like the same Manny for the last 5 years. Reliable, useful, and yet I still never seem to own him.
24. Whit Merrifield – A great consolation prize if you miss out on Marte is waiting right behind in Merrifield. You might be surprised how similar those two play, but the spotlight of Kansas City continues to undervalue Whit.
25. Paul Goldschmidt – After a dip in the 2019 season, Goldy has reminded us that he is one of the top all around first basemen in the league. I fully expect him to repeat the 2020 and 2021 trends with a splendid 2022. He even pitches in those steals we tend not to expect from a first baseman.
26. Aaron Judge – Injury Risk! If we can count on 150 games, then Judge is incredibly undervalued here. However, you have to expect roughly 120 games each season for Judge which will dampen his value. The right move here might be to cash in for a few months and flip him before he gets hurt! Anybody feel like playing with fire?
27. J.D. Martinez – Martinez might be the 5-year older boring version of Aaron Judge. While the upside might not be as higher, you can book him now for a 35-100-.290 season. The difference is that you can wait towards the top 40 to draft JD, but he has top 25 hitter value written all over him.
28. Xander Bogaerts – Xander has a ton of talent, but seems to still be trying to put it together year after year. He delivers solid numbers that justify an early round pick, but it always feels like he should be bringing more to the stat sheet.
29. Trevor Story – Continuing the run of Red Sox, we look at the newest member coming off a down year in Colorado. However, much of his underlying numbers were still consistent with the all-star production we have been accustomed to. Add in a park that will potentially play even better for his power stroke, then there is a lot to like regardless of the move.
30. Tim Anderson – A perennial .300 hitter that has 15/15 as his floor, Anderson brings above average value across the board. This is not an exciting, but rather simply a useful profile.
That is it for spots 11-30 as we get further into our Top 100 Hitters for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball season. There are certainly some names that have not yet made the list that get more hype such as Wander Franco, Francisco Lindor, and Teoscar Hernandez. However, you will have to wait one more week to see where they fall.