Baseball HQ's 2022 Track Record

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Need player projections? Pick up any one of a dozen spring magazines or browse over to any fantasy baseball web site. But what you're really getting are three-year averages, subjective opinions or canned, inert numbers. Real performance forecasting is a living, breathing process that looks beyond faulty statistics and focuses on the analysis of component skills and leading indicators. That's what we do at Baseball HQ; it's a process that has been the foundation of our publications since 1993.

In 2022, this process produced a set of projections that could have made the difference in your fantasy season. Here is a look at how the analysis works, and some of the results...

2022 Batters

Willy Adames: Quad injury cost him a chunk of September, but by then his breakout year was already assured. QBaB captures the improvement in exit velocity and launch angle, reduced GB% also provides support for growing power. Add in a few more walks, and erasure of short-season ct% dip, and this now looks like a solid launchpad for his prime years. UP: 30 HR. (Murphy)
2021: 25-73-5-.262 in 555 AB
2022: 31-98-8-.238 in 563 AB

Yordan Alvarez: Quickly brushed aside pre-season knee concerns with .310 BA, 7 HR by Memorial Day; even logged 41 games in the outfield. Impressive 2nd half skill growth featured plate skill gains (ct%, xBA), surge in raw power (PX/xPX, Brl%), and best of all: it was somewhat muted by low h%. Already a four-category stud, and he's just getting started... UP: 50 HR. (Bloomfield)
2021: 33-104-.277 in 537 AB
2022: 37-97-.306 in 470 AB

Luis Arraez: Had a 98% ct% + bb% and 136 Spd in 2021, plate skills and speed that make him an intriguing LIMA batter to target on draft day. While he doesn't barrel the ball at all (2.3% Brl%), tuck away this annual exit velocity trend as a reason to speculate on something more: 87.1 mph, 87.5 mph, 88.4 mph. At age 25, he hasn't reached his ceiling yet. (Nickrand)
2021: 2-42-2-.294 in 428 AB
2022: 8-49-4-.316 in 547 AB

Mookie Betts: Nagging physical woes (back, forearm, shoulder) factored into his slow start. Post-ASB hip injury shelved him for 28 days, cutting into PA as well as the running game and counting stats we’ve come to expect. But plate skills and HctX remain stellar and power is still intact. Some “youngs” may be drafted earlier, but health rebound will return solid 1st round value. (Thompson)
2021: 23-58-10-.264, $19 in 466 AB
2022: 35-82-12-.269, $32 in 572 AB

William Contreras: Was more miss than hit during his first extended look in the majors in 2021. Still, Contreras hit the ball really hard (92.5 mph EV) and provided a double-digit barrel rate. Those batted ball results make him an appealing investment if you can stash him on your bench. (Nickrand)
2021: 8-23-.215 in 163 AB
2022: 20-45-.278 in 334 AB

Willson Contreras: He's settling into a relatively predictable range of skills—though QBaB growth suggests he could still tap into a bit more power. So bid on the consistency, but lack of plate skills growth says the "future star" many saw a few seasons ago is increasingly less likely to arrive. (Truesdell)
2021: 21-57-5-.237 in 413 AB
2022: 22-55-4-.243 in 416 AB

Oneil Cruz: Long-limbed, toolsy shortstop put up near 20/20 season in minors prior to final-week recall. Like many youngsters, holes in swing will leave him prone to ups and downs. Fortunately, his aren't too big to address, and 2nd half growth is encouraging. At age 23, time is on his side. A premium stash in keeper leagues. (Nickrand)
2022 1H: 3-13-1-.193 in 57 AB
2022 2H: 14-41-10-.241 in 274 AB

Travis d'Arnaud: A very valuable catcher in the abbreviated 2020 season, he mustered just a .220 batting average in 2021. The 33-year-old tore multiple ligaments in his left thumb during a play at the plate on May 2 and surgery to repair the injury sidelined him until August. It’s fair to assume the thumb played a major part in his 2021 struggles. His history suggests he’s still capable of another run at 20 HR while xBA history provides a nice baseline. If he can log another 400 PA, he’s capable of putting up numbers similar to 2019. (Pyron)
2019: 16-69-.251 in 351 AB
2021: 7-26-.220 in 209 AB
2022: 18-60-.268 in 396 AB

Thairo Estrada: Rookie shuttle piece performed when called upon. Improved ct%, power, and Brl% all pleasantly surprised despite looking capped by lofty GB%. He's young and healthy enough to swipe a few bases despite marginal SB% history. Versatility would be part of a more permanent bench role. Could be a useful 2022 stopgap. (Thompson)
2021: 7-22-1-.273, 51% GB% in 121 AB
2022: 14-62-21-.260, 50% GB% in 488 AB

Robbie Grossman: Solidified 2020 gains (which pro-rated nicely to 2021) and unlocked post-peak power-up by maximizing fly ball rate, launch angle, and playing time, resulting in full season breakout. Skills, expected stats backed increased output, but regression will most likely drag counting stats downward. We've seen his career year at 32, don't overpay for the next step. (de Leonardis)
2021: 23-67-20-.239 in 671 AB
2022: 7-45-6-.209 in 411 AB

Garrett Hampson: The market seems to be treating him as a post-hype prospect, but… he's fast approaching "this is what he is" status. He profiles with marginal plate skills (7%/74% bb%/ct% in 2021), excellent speed (174 Spd), and little power. His 139 xPX in 2021 seems anomalous, as his Statcast power metrics are all in the 20th percentile or worse. You may think that [projected] 17 steals in the 17th round is worth the price, but the penalties to your BA and other counting stats offset the value of his speed, and there's little SB upside with his low OBP. There are simply no signs of a breakout here. (Cederholm)
2021: 11-33-17-.234 in 453 AB
2022: 2-15-12-.211 in 199 AB

Alejandro Kirk: Beefy backstop hit 60-day IL in early May, but healing, hit tool got him back to majors after 14 AAA games (.924 OPS). Things started to gel in Sept (4 HR, 1.29 Eye, 133 HctX), but 16% h% kept it on down low. Bat good enough to keep DH time coming, boosting counting stats. Window to roster at reasonable cost may close soon. (Olson)
2021: 8-24-.242 in 165 AB
2022: 14-63-.285 in 470 AB

DJ LeMahieu: More so than for most, one column will dictate his 2022 fate: where did HctX go and is it coming back? Otherwise, cake is baked—too many grounders, not enough barrels. Age hints best days behind him, but mild rebound could happen, as xHR says he's owed a few. Still, if others are bidding on another batting title or 20+ HR, let them chase that pipe dream. (Olson)
2021: 10-57-.268 in 597 AB
2022: 12-46-.261 in 467 AB

Francisco Lindor: Took time to adjust to new home, but 2nd half skills show that 2017-19 hitter is still there, even with IL stint for oblique injury. And while his previous BA/SB level has diminished, 2nd half HR/xHR pace hints at possibility of a power rebound. One good half-season doesn't return him to the Top 15, but there's more value here than you might realize. (Kruse)
2021: 20-63-10-.230, $12 R$ in 452 AB
2022: 26-107-16-.270, $34 R$ in 630 AB

Nicky Lopez: Probably helped win some fantasy titles with surprising BA, SB output, but odds are against a repeat. High h% added 40 points to BA/OBP, which gave more opportunities to run, and even if SB% represents newly-learned skill, he's unlikely to be that elite again. Further SB growth will require higher SBA% that he has yet to own; be cautious with valuation. (Kruse)
2021: 2-43-22-.300 in 497 AB
2022: 0-20-13-.227 in 436 AB

Nate Lowe: Has looked like a legit full-time bat over the past month (.326 BA, .933 OPS in 92 AB [September, 2021]). He's still hitting too many groundballs to be a frontline corner infielder (58/14/28 G/L/F), but his surging Statcast metrics do give hope that he hasn't peaked yet. (Nickrand)
2021: 18-72-.264 in 557 AB
2022: 27-76-.302 in 593 AB

MJ Melendez: After hitting .163 with 55% ct% at Single-A in 2019, KC prospect made massive leap in 2021. Dramatically cut down on the whiffs while leading minors in home runs. Some regression should probably be expected given the magnitude of this breakout, but a catcher with this level of power potential is worth gambling on. (Rudd)
2022: 18-62-.217 in 460 AB

Sean Murphy: Took a step backwards in 2021 (.710 OPS in 393 AB). His top-shelf walk rate (17% bb% in 2020) also regressed to a 9% bb% last season. On the plus side, his power foundation took another step forward. Check out his xPX over his three years in the majors: 99, 109, 115 xPX. And he maintained a double-digit barrel rate (11.3% Brl%), a mark that puts him in the 75th percentile among MLB batters. There's good profit potential here now. (Nickrand)
2021: 17-59-.216, $5 in 393 AB
2022: 18-66-.250, $14 in 537 AB

Tyler O’Neill: He enjoyed a breakout season in 2021, but there is reason to be skeptical of a full repeat. Though the quality of contact was terrific, his ct% has been troublesome and along with xBA points to potentially significant BA downside. The 27-year-old had a tremendous 2021 campaign, but the shaky ct% persisted and could become a larger issue as pitchers adjust. While we touted his HR/SB combo in March 2021 as being worth a shot at his 475 ADP, his 2022 ADP (49) is a bit too rich for our liking, given his poor plate skills. (Pyron)
2021: 34-80-15-.286 in 482 AB
2022:14-58-14-.228 in 334 AB

Isaac Paredes: will enter spring camp looking to finally carve out a role in the DET infield. He didn't produce much in a small sample size during 2021 (.625 OPS in 72 AB), but his plate skills were pristine: 12% bb%, 85% ct%, 0.91 Eye. And we know from the minors that his bat has juice. He'll be a good speculation in deep league drafts. (Nickrand)
2022: 20-45-.205 in 331 AB

Austin Riley: 2nd-half hit rate is unsustainable, so expect BA to drop some, although xBA says it won't crater to 2019-20 levels. But you'll buy for that hot-corner power, and he's got it. An easy, 30-HR baseline. (Truesdell)
2021: 33-107-.303 in 590 AB
2022: 38-93-.273 in 615 AB

Anthony Santander: Just when we thought a breakout was in cards, he stumbles out of gate. Was 2020 a short-season anomaly, or is there still hope for more? PRO: QBaB, xPX spikes in 2nd half; surging pre-'21 xPX. CON: Mid-70s ct% seems like his true baseline; xBA three of last four years gives little hope for improvement there. Buy the homers, hope for more. UP: 30 HR (Nickrand)
2021: 18-50-.241, $8 in 406 AB
2022: 33-89-.240, $19 in 574 AB

Kyle Schwarber: Take away the 2020 sprint season and check out his BPX trend. Those soaring skills suggest he hasn't peaked yet, especially if his gains against southpaws stick. Elite barrel rate confirms his upper-tier production upside. Only nit here is likely hit rate erosion given its prior baseline. Don't let it prevent you from speculating on... UP: 40 HR (Nickrand)
2021: 32-71-.266 in 399 AB
2022: 46-94-.218 in 577 AB

Rowdy Tellez: Plagued by inconsistency in 2021, but 2020's power+contact combo flashed again in small 2nd half sample, before strained right patella shelved him for most of Sept. HctX and exit velocity show hard contact; restored FB% bodes well for HR. Small investment could pay nicely if those small samples show over 500 PA. (Pyron)
2021: 11-36-.242 in 297 AB
2022: 35-89-.219 (.257 xBA) in 529 AB

Lane Thomas: COVID shaded his 2020. Lots of 'buts' here: plus bb% but only passable ct%, good speed but poor SB%, makes hard contact but launch angle is a struggle. Excelled in everyday role in September (.277, 7 HR, 3 SB, 73% ct, 12% bb%, 168 xPX) with most of the damage coming vR. Worth a flyer in deeper leagues. (Pyron)
2021:7-28-6-.235 in 226 AB
2022: 17-52-8-.241 in 498 AB

Justin Turner: Unlikely season of full health drove this late-30s R$ spike, but there's plenty to like in this skill set: ct% as solid as ever; gentle decline isn't that significant in the face of league-wide K% trend. QBaB and HctX remain pristine, xHR validates the power. Don't pay for a return to .300 or another 600+ PA, but a return to high-teens R$ is very attainable. (Murphy)
2021: 27-87-.278-$22 R$ in 533 AB
2022: 13-81-.278-$19 R$ in 468 AB

Daulton Varsho: He makes good contact (75% ct% in 2021), with at least average power (119 xPX), and has the speed to swipe 10-15 bags a year. If he's able to add to those skills in his second full season, there's 20/20 upside, and he has dual eligibility. Of course, as a second-year player, there's some downside risk, too, but with his plate skills, the floor isn't all that low. If he's there in the 5th, we'd strongly recommend grabbing him. (Cederholm)
2021: 11-38-6-.246 in 284 AB
2022: 27-74-16-.235 in 531 AB (#2 catcher overall)

Christian Walker: He’s had the power stroke going in 2022, crushing 10 HR, albeit with a putrid .199 batting average. With ct% a tick above-average, it’s surprising to see such a poor BA, but xBA illustrates the damage caused by a terribly unfortunate 18% h%. His power skills, including xPX, Brl%, and FB%, have never been better. The 31-year-old is capable of posting a near-.250 BA the rest of the way and could post a new career-high in HR, if most of these gains stick. Fantasy owners should enjoy the ride. (Pyron)
2021: 10-46-.244 in 401 AB
2022: 36-94-.242 in 583 AB (.250 BA after posting in late May 2022)


2022 Pitchers

Sandy Alcantara: One of only four pitchers to crack 200 IP mark in 2021, he got there with a skills flourish. Pitch mix changes (improved slider, more change-ups/fewer curves) took 2020 skills pop to a new level: K-BB%, GB%, velocity all jumped. Even got a handle on lefty hitters. DOM/DIS% shows how far he has come; 2nd half BPX suggests... UP: Cy Young. (Pyron)
2021: 9 wins, 3.19 ERA, 1.07 WHIP in 206 IP
2022: 14 wins, 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP in 229 IP

Tyler Anderson: Had some interesting flashes in 2021. For the season, his strong 11.5% SwK% gave him a 25% xK%, a mark that was six points higher than his actual strikeout rate. He also peppered the strike zone (69% FpK%, 31% ball%). There's a hidden sub-4.00 ERA lurking here. (Nickrand)
2021: 7 wins, 4.53 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 167 IP
2022: 15 wins, 2.57 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in 179 IP

Luis Castillo: 7.22 ERA through May, then 2.73 from June onward. xERA smooths that out, as monthly levels were all between 3.22 and 4.96. The case against him as an ace has long hinged on his weaker WHIP/xWHIP. Higher WHIP=more runners, thus more chances for S% to burn him, as in April/May. Bottom line: he is what his full-season xERA history says he is. (Murphy)
2021: 8 wins, 3.98 ERA, 1.36 WHIP in 188 IP
2022:  8 wins, 2.99 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 150 IP

Dylan Cease: Proof that rebooting a pitcher can take many forms: this skills transformation came without introduction of a new pitch; instead he changed his arm slot, which added some spin and made his entire existing arsenal more effective. Velocity was never a problem, now SwK% is commensurate. Has become a strikeout asset with much less ratio risk. UP: 3.25 ERA (Murphy)
2021:  13 wins, 3.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 166 IP
2022:  14 wins, 2.20 ERA, 1.11 WHIP in 184 IP

Emmanuel Clase: Turns out, throwing 100 with a heavy GB tilt plays pretty well at this level. Was approaching Vintage Eck Territory in 2nd half, where that 2% walk rate represents 3 BB in 36 IP. Add in a healthy dose of HR suppression, and that doesn't leave a lot of ways to beat him. In a desert of reliable closers, he's an emerging oasis. UP: 40 Sv (Murphy)
2021: 24 saves, 1.29 ERA, 0.96 WHIP in 70 IP
2022: 42 saves, 1.36 ERA, 0.73 WHIP in 73 IP

Reid Detmers: 2020 1st-round pick and command-first arm with stuff uptick at AA/AAA (108/19 K/BB, 3.19 ERA over 62 IP). Success didn’t follow on to August MLB debut, where hitters were tougher. COVID bout essentially ended his season. Limiting HR damage will be critical, but killer breaking stuff, age, give him time. He’s close. (Thompson)
2021: 1 win, 7.40 ERA, 2.2 HR/9 in 21 IP
2022: 7 wins, 3.77 ERA, 0.9 HR/9 in 129 IP

Camilo Doval:  Inexperienced flamethrower hit turbulence in both his MLB and high minors debuts in the 1st half. Things began clicking in August, MLB promotion yielded 16 scoreless IP, 24/3 K/BB and closer work in late September. Control still a work in progress, but K%, GB% say he has all of the ninth inning necessities. UP: 25 Sv (Thompson)
2021: 5 wins, 3 saves, 3.00 ERA in 27 IP
2022: 6 wins. 27 saves, 2.53 ERA in 68 IP

Max Fried: Hit the Goldilocks "just right" level this past season after bad fortune of 2019 swung to good in 2020. Hamstring and finger injuries prevented new IP high, but the career high BF/G is promising. Career bests in velocity and BB% along with a full year of 2020's vR dominance suggesto there could be another level here. UP: 200 Ks and Cy Young consideration. (Sporer)
2021: 14 wins, 3.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP in 166 IP
2022: 14 wins, 2.48 ERA, 1.01 WHIP in 185 IP

Zac Gallen: April injury (forearm) was a 1st half harbinger as two more followed (elbow, hamstring) and bred volatility. SwK dip didn't hurt K% much. Rally down the stretch (3.19 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in 48 IP) salvaged his season. Still a bright future thanks to a deep arsenal, neutral platoon, and a GB lean that lays a steady foundation. With health... UP: 200 Ks (Sporer)
2021: 4 wins, 139 K, 4.30 ERA, 1.29 WHIP in 21 IP
2022: 12 wins, 192 K, 2.54 ERA, 0.91 WHIP in 184 IP

Luis Garcia: Won a rotation spot in the spring and made 28 starts in eye-opening rookie campaign. Good command of five pitches highlighted by cutter, with room for K% improvement per excellent SwK%. Favorable strand rate held down ERA a bit, but strong overall skills paint encouraging picture for a repeat. (de Leonardis)
2021: 11 wins, 3.30 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in 155 IP
2022: 15 wins, 3.72 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in 157 IP

Logan Gilbert:  Much heralded prospect made his MLB debut and mostly held his own as SEA carefully managed workload. Broad skills foundation, with K-BB%, SwK, velocity all comfortably above average. Extreme fly ball tendencies can be nerve-racking, but he does many things well enough. Solid growth potential. (de Leonardis)
2021: 6 wins, 4.68 ERA in 119 IP
2022: 13 wins, 3.20 ERA in 186 IP

Clay Holmes: The 1st half/2nd half splits don’t do this transformation justice… more sinkers, fewer curves seemed to do the trick. Still need to see it again, but by adding command to his rising velocity and GB rate, there’s suddenly a potential impact reliever here. (Hershey)
2021: 78 K, 0 saves, 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP in 70 IP
2022: 65 K, 20 saves, 2.54 ERA, 1.02 WHIP in 64 IP

Cristian Javier: Has a high ceiling, but it was held back in 2021 due to a lethal combination of walks, flyballs, and homers. He could emerge as a weapon if he shows signs of addressing these risks in spring training. (Nickrand)
2021: 4 wins, 3.55 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 101 IP
2022: 11 wins, 2.54 ERA, 0.95 WHIP in 149 IP

Clayton Kershaw: He was his usual self in 2021, though a touch of bad luck bumped his ERA up by half a run. His 30%/4% K%/BB% is among the elite—when he pitches, he's still one of the best in the game. The rub, though, is that he's now had at least one IL trip in each of the past six seasons… he's an F health regardless… even if he gets 120 innings with his usual skills, he's worth a 12th-round pick or better. (Cederholm)
2021: 10 wins, 3.55 ERA in 122 IP
2022: 12 wins, 2.28 ERA in 126 IP (#90 season rank)

Jesús Luzardo: Has the pedigree of an elite pitching prospect, but some of that shine has worn off (293 ADP). Nonetheless, Luzardo's stuff in 2021 was fantastic (13.1% SwK%). He struggled to keep the ball over the plate (39% ball%), but he did show pinpoint control at times in the minors. He's a post-hype target who could emerge quickly. (Nickrand)
2021: 6 wins, 6.61 ERA, 1.62 WHIP in 95 IP
2022: 4 wins, 3.32 ERA, 1.04 WHIP in 100 IP

Triston McKenzie: He's another young pitcher whose overall surface stats (4.67 ERA) are masking some reasons for promise. McKenzie's skills turned elite when the calendar turned to July (134 BPV), and his stats followed suit (3.66 ERA, 0.83 WHIP in 2H). He'll be a premium breakout target in 2022 drafts. (Nickrand)
2021: 5 wins, 4.95 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 120 IP
2022: 11 wins, 2.96 ERA, 0.95 WHIP in 191 IP

Aaron Nola: Yes, ERA/WHIP have been frustratingly inconsistent, but he maintained career-best K-BB% from 2020, and sudden shifts in GB%, FB% were very out of character. And just like 2018 was far enough outside skill parameters to leave him overvalued, 2021 has done the same at other end of spectrum. Career 3.45 xERA makes this a terrific buy-low opportunity. (Kruse)
2021: 9 wins, 4.63 ERA in 181 IP
2022: 11 wins, 3.25 ERA in 205 IP

Shohei Ohtani: Totally dominant once the calendar turned to July (see DOM/DIS%). Was driven by pinpoint control, and even if his 2nd-half walk rate was favorable given ball/strike mix, command gains were legit. Addition of groundball tilt is the cherry on top. Normally, we'd project further upside with this profile (UP: 180 IP, 220 K), but these are truly uncharted waters. (Nickrand)
2021: 9 wins, 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 156 K in 21 IP
2022: 15 wins, 2.33 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 219 K in 166 IP

David Peterson: Former 20th overall pick in 2017 draft with some sneaky gains in spite of ugly stats. Surge in command backed by SwK% and xBB% combo, so there's more of that on the horizon. Most won't see this growth, especially since broken foot wiped away his 2nd half. You'll bid a buck and net some nice profit... UP: 3.75 ERA, 180 K (Nickrand)
2021: 2 wins, 5.54 ERA, 1.40 WHIP in 67 IP
2022: 7 wins, 3.83 ERA, 1.33 WHIP in 106 IP

José Quintana: Injuries (thumb, shoulder) limited him to just 73 IP over 2020-21. Combined with his poor 2021 numbers, vanishing from the fantasy radar is understandable. But there is a glimmer of hope beneath the surface. Quintana owns a putrid 5.13 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 244 IP from 2019-21, but his solid underlying skills suggest he has deserved better. Quintana’s SwK% spike is intriguing, as his change-up and curve drew swings-and-misses at a much higher clip than ever before and he threw them 15% and 27% of the time, respectively. It appears he could be an adjustment away from being a useful option and is worth a flyer in deeper leagues (616 ADP). (Pyron)
2021: 0 wins, 6.43 ERA, 1.73 WHIP in 63 IP
2022: 6 wins, 2.93 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 166 IP

Tanner Rainey: Injury-marred season (COVID, broken leg) made it a dud. Pre-2021 skills showed some real reasons for optimism, including a surge backed by a SwK turned filthy in 2020 (2nd highest in game among relievers). You'll be able to get him for nothing now, and often the best speculations are last year's failed ones. UP: 20 Sv (Nickrand)
2021: 3 saves, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP in 42 IP
2022: 12 saves, 3.30 ERA, 1.30 WHIP in 30 IP

Taylor Rogers: Missed the last two months with a finger sprain. Before that, skills had rebounded to vintage 2019 level—and beyond—with slight upticks in velocity and whiffs leading the way. And he wasn't chopped liver in "down" 2020. As a lefty, his grasp on the closer's job has always been a bit tenuous, but he's got the goods. With opportunity... UP: 30+ Saves (Truesdell)
2021: 9 saves, 3.35 ERA, 2.59 xERA, 1.14 WHIP in 40 IP
2022: 31 saves, 4.76 ERA, 3.02 xERA, 1.17 WHIP in 64 IP

Joe Ryan: Rookie made quite the September splash after a successful stint with Team USA in the Olympics, notching a dazzling 30/5 K-to-BB ratio and four straight PQS 3 or 4 starts before a tough final outing. His only issue at higher levels has been the long ball, but a high K-BB% keeps that damage minimal. He seems ready now. (Truesdell)
2021: 2 wins, 4.05 ERA in 27 IP
2022: 13 wins, 3.55 ERA in 147 IP

Patrick Sandoval: A big step up in strikeout rate while maintaining his groundball tilt is very encouraging. Prospect growth can be uneven, but if he builds on this... UP 3.20 ERA, 180 K (Truesdell)
2021: 3 wins, 94 K, 3.62 ERA in 87 IP
2022: 6 wins, 151 K, 2.91 ERA in 149 IP

Paul Sewald: Not just a late bloom, this is a late explosion. Lowering arm angle and working up in zone with the fastball turned it into a lethal pitch, and paired with wipe-out slider resulted in the fifth-best K rate among pitchers with at least 50 IP. It also meant the occasional gopherball—which was about all that hurt him. Assuming this all sticks... UP: 30 Sv (Truesdell)
2021: 10 wins, 11 saves, 3.06 ERA in 65 IP
2022: 4 wins, 20 saves, 2.67 ERA in 64 IP

Brady Singer: There's room for more here: gets his share of GB and whiffs with a small platoon split. Without elite stuff, watch walk rate: If he can keep it around 8% as in 2nd half, ERA could dip below 4.00. (Truesdell)
2021: 5 wins, 9% BB%, 4.91 ERA, 1.55 WHIP in 128 IP
2022: 10 wins, 6% BB%, 3.23 ERA, 1.14 WHIP in 153 IP

Tarik Skubal: Made a lot of under-the-table gains in 2021 in terms of commanding his stuff and reducing his extreme flyball rate. His skills in the second half spiked (141 BPV). In fact, he had a 130+ BPV in each of the season's final three months. Breakout targets don't get much better than Skubal. (Nickrand)
2021: 4.34 ERA, 1.26 WHIP in 149 IP
2022: 3.52 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 118 IP

Gregory Soto: Held at least a share of closer role for much of the season, and though K% dipped slightly, increased slider usage led to SwK surge. High BB% is the major weakness, one he'll need to improve upon to take step from just dominant vL to reliable closer. Not the safest option, but one with velocity and upside, and if 2nd half xBB% is any indication... UP: 30 Sv (Rudd)
2021: 18 saves, 3.39 ERA in 64 IP
2022: 30 saves, 3.28 ERA in 60 IP

Spencer Strider: Strider showed some dominant stuff in ATL camp this spring (10 K in 6 IP). This after he dominated hitters at Double-A in 2021 (94/29 K/BB in 63 IP). He put up a 5/0 K/BB in 2 IP during his first appearance of the season. Stashing Strider makes a lot of sense, especially with the injury history of the current ATL rotation incumbents. (Nickrand)
2022: 11 wins, 2.67 ERA, 202 K in 132 IP

Justin Verlander: Will be 18 months removed from Tommy John surgery by Opening Day—well past the typical rehab window. A quick look at 2018-19 BPX, R$ shows the upside that's possible here, but concerns over volume and post-injury skills at his age are well-warranted. The ultimate risk/reward play; just don't rule out a Hall of Fame player doing Hall of Fame things. (Bloomfield)
2020-21: 6 IP
2022: 18 wins, 1.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP in 175 IP

Michael Wacha: Bid to become latest TAM reclamation project didn't come to fruition, but some promising 2nd half signs if we squint: upticks in velocity, SwK spurred late K% growth; he did so with excellent control and xBB% support; BPX/xERA took off. Health and track record say it's a long shot, but if HR/F ever comes back to earth, he's a potentially lucrative dart throw. (Bloomfield)
2021: 3 wins, 5.05 ERA, 1.31 WHIP in 125 IP
2022: 11 wins, 3.32 ERA, 1.12 WHIP in 127 IP

Zack Wheeler: Led majors in IP, 2nd in Ks as he delivered league-winning type of breakout. Repeat odds are mixed: he's never shown this level of skill before, yet everything in 2021—from the uptick in whiffs and climbing velocity to the pinpoint BB% and GB% lean—give this plenty of support. Hard to pay up coming off career year, but it just might be worth it. (Bloomfield)
2021: 14 wins, 2.78 ERA in 213 IP
2022: 12 wins, 2.82 ERA in 153 IP

Kyle Wright: Didn't get much attention in 2022 drafts (670 ADP), but his first start of the season went very well. He threw a higher volume of strikes than any other SP (26% ball%), attacked hitters (76% FpK%), and was really hard to make contact against (15.8% SwK%). As a former 8C prospect, Wright has become a good post-hype speculation, especially in deep leagues. (Nickrand)
2022: 21 wins, 3.19 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 180 IP