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Fantasy Baseball Today: Early ADP risers and fallers; takeaways from Scott White’s top-100 prospects

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Happy Thursday, everyone! Dan Schneier here again, and unfortunately, I don’t have any good news to report on the lockout front. We’re still waiting for the go-ahead and there won’t be any official player movement until then. The only saving grace is that it provides us with a lot of fun speculating on what’s to be. Keep an eye out for some fun pieces on the horizon. I’m particularly excited to read Chris Towers’ piece connecting the dots between the top free agent players on the market and their best landing spots.

Also, this week we’ll feature more of Scott White’s early tiered rankings by position. Scott will break down each position group into tiers. Tiered-based drafting remains one of the tried and true ways to approach snake drafts, so I can’t wait. Lastly, keep an eye out for Sleepers 1.0, Busts 1.0, and Breakouts 1.0 — Scott, Chris and Frank Stampfl will tackle each of those. 

Today, we’re going to look into some of FBT’s favorite risers and fallers based on early ADP (average draft position) before diving into some key takeaways from Scott’s top-100 prospect list.

Of course, as always, you can follow to make sure you get the latest episodes of Fantasy Baseball Today right when they drop on Apple and Spotify. Catch up now for a more detailed look at ADP risers and fallers you need to know about plus Scott’s top-50 keepers heading into the 2022 season — for everyone in keeper leagues.

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Lockout update

Before we get into ADP risers/fallers and prospects, let’s catch up with the news because there might be the first sign of a light at the end of this lockout tunnel.  ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that MLB and the MLBPA plan to hold a bargaining session on Thursday. This will be the first bargaining session since the league locked out the players on the second day of December. following the expiration of the previous collective bargaining agreement. The hope is that the MLB will serve up a core-economics proposal at the session, and we hope that will get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Other news and notes

  • Braves OF Ronald Acuna took on-field batting practice Wednesday for the first time since his July ACL surgery. Acuna still offers No. 1 overall upside at 24 years old after batting .283 with 24 homers, 72 runs, 52 RBI and 17 stolen bases in just 82 games last season before the injury.
  • According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, SP Jon Lester is retiring from baseball. 
  • Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are altering the dimensions at Camden Yards to “try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs” and it could be pushed back as much as 30 feet.

ADP risers

Three moving on up

  • Corey Knebel, P, Phillies: No one has risen in ADP quite like Knebel since the start of October until now. He signed a one-year, $10 million deal just before the lockout In October, he was barely being drafted in shallower leagues with an ADP of 400.36. Now, with speculation that he’ll be given the crack at closing games for Philadelphia, he’s moved all the way up to an ADP of 177.72. Knebel had a strong ADP and good velocity in limited innings last season after his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Chris thinks there’s reason to be excited about drafting him even at this new ADP,  and his swinging strike rate would back that up. 
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF, Braves: In November, the MLB announced that Ozuna would be serving a 20-game suspension retroactive to last Sept. 1, and his ADP has taken a major jump since. Ozuna has gone from an ADP of 303.76 to 200.68 and that could be rising even more in the coming months. He was one of the true difference-making outfielders during the 2020 season. He was the No. 1 OF in Roto scoring formats during the shortened 2020 season. While we still don’t know the Braves plans for him, his upside is similar to Nick Castellanos, for example, and if we knew Ozuna was going to play a full season how much lower would we rank him than Castellanos?
  • Alex Cobb, SP, Giants: Nothing can boost a pitcher’s ADP quite like signing with the San Francisco Giants, and that notion grew even stronger after their impressive 2021 season — providing more run support than typical while still playing all of their home games in a pitcher-friendly environment. Cobb has seen his ADP rise from 327.21 overall to 269.56. His splitter is the swing-and-miss pitch, and Cobb was still dealing it at a high level last season. Plus we know the Giants have an excellent track record with these reclamation pitching projects. He may not be someone worth moving inside the top-50 SPs, but there’s upside here if he can stay healthy.

ADP fallers

Three moving on down

  • Max Muncy, 1B/2B, Dodgers: Muncy moved all the way from 101.95 to 160.4 ADP from October until now as early drafters are clearly not enthused by the idea of drafting a batter with his current injury status. Muncy has already all but said he’s not pleased with his recovery from what he also revealed was a partially torn UCL. Scott has already dropped him in his rankings and will need to see him look right in spring training before moving him back up.
  • Vidal Brujan, SS, Rays: Brujan has moved from a 283.31 ADP at the beginning of October to 328.36 overall. This one is kind of interesting. Brujan came up last year as a prospect and had an exciting first few games before being sent down. His ADP fall doesn’t make too much sense since Joey Wendle was traded from the Rays to the Marlins and now there’s a chance for playing time availability for Brujan. The skillset with the speed would make him a steal if he’s set for everyday playing time, according to Chris. Scott is less bullish and views him as more of a utility man without much hope for power.
  • Chris Paddack, SP, Padres: Paddack has had quite an odd career trajectory. He had a ton of injuries last year and ineffectiveness, and now his spot in the rotation is not guaranteed. Paddack could use a change of scenery, but if you’re looking for one silver lining, his curveball was really good last year. If Paddack is too fastball reliant, and he can rely more on his secondary pitches, he might be able to bounce back. You can get him for close to nothing in a Dynasty league right now. 
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Takeaways from Scott’s top-100 prospects

Scott recently dropped his top-100 prospects rankings and as he said to Chris on Fantasy Baseball Today, ranking prospects is more art than science — and ain’t that the truth. If you want to check out his rankings, they are linked above, but below we’ll feature players Scott feels will make an impact in 2022 — whether that be in the beginning, middle or during your Fantasy playoff runs.

9. C.J. Abrams, SS, Padres

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .296 BA (162 AB), 2 HR, 13 SB, .782 OPS, 15 BB, 36 K
Injuries have so far prevented the sixth pick in 2019 from delivering a full-season stat line, but he’s given us no reason to question his hit or speed tools, which both rate at the top of the scale. The way the new ball has played makes me less hopeful for power growth, but a Trea Turner-like outcome remains possible.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

10. Shane Baz, SP, Rays

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: 5-4, 2.06 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 78 2/3 IP, 13 BB, 113 K
Major-league stats: 2-0, 2.03 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13 1/3 IP, 3 BB, 18 K
The same arsenal tweaks that worked for Tyler Glasnow first brought Baz into the pantheon of pitching prospects, but it was improved control that moved him to the top of the heap in 2021. The change was so stark that the notoriously slow-to-promote Rays relented to bringing him up for the stretch run, where his 80-grade fastball played just as big.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: pencil him in

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11. Grayson Rodriguez, SP, Orioles

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: high Class A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: 9-1, 2.36 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 103 IP, 27 BB, 161 K
Though I give the edge to Baz for proximity reasons, most lists have Rodriguez as the top pitching prospect, and it’s easy to see why. He seems to add velocity and perfect a new pitch every year, and when you factor in the ease with which he’s handled every level, the whole package reminds me of Jose Fernandez.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

12. Corbin Carroll, OF, Diamondbacks

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2021: high Class A
Minor-league stats: .435 BA (23 AB), 2 HR, 2 3B, 2B, 3 SB, 6 BB, 7 K
Carroll looked like he was set to take the minors by storm when a torn shoulder labrum and capsule derailed his season a month in. He already showed a supreme batting eye and top-of-the-scale speed as an 18-year-old in 2019, and now we have reason to believe there’s power in his 5-foot-10 frame as well.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: late-season look

14. Triston Casas, 1B, Red Sox

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2021: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .279 BA (308 AB), 14 HR, .877 OPS, 57 BB, 71 K
Of all the first base comps made for Casas in recent years, the Freddie Freeman one is looking the most apropos given that his power still lags behind his hit tool. But as happened with Freeman, the power is coming. Seven of Casas’ home runs came in his final 20 games, and you can add another three from his stint with Team USA in the Olympics.
Scott’s 2022 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

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