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100 Facts for the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Season

A hundred fantasy facts to get you ready for the 2022 baseball season.

Last season, my first with Pitcher List, as an ode to ESPN’s Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR), I wrote my 100 Facts for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Season. I received some positive feedback from the article, so I figured I would run it back for 2022. In that article, you’ll see that I was very bullish on Nick Castellanos, Bryce Harper, Jesse Winker, Kenley Jansen, Byron Buxton, C.J. Cron, and Josh Donaldson last season who all had very strong years. Meanwhile, my faith in Blake Snell, Ian Happ, and Brady Singer was not as well rewarded in 2021.

Nonetheless, this is a fun article to write and helps me prepare for draft season.

Again, a major hat tip to Mr. Berry. His annual “100 Facts for Fantasy Football” is one of my favorite articles to search out every summer, and I don’t intend to be a copycat. This recurring article is clearly inspired by him. But the #fantasybaseball community deserves its own version of this column each year, and I’m taking it upon myself to provide just that.

 

Below are my 100 facts for the 2022 fantasy baseball season:

 

  1. Luis Robert missed three months of action last season after suffering a right hip flexor injury (grade 3 strain) in early May while running the bases. In 43 games after he returned in August, Robert hit .350 with a 1.011 OPS.
  2. Robert slugged 12 home runs while driving in 35 runs to go along with a .622 slugging percentage during that span.
  3. Robert’s wRC+ over that two-month sample size was 173. National League MVP Bryce Harper led the majors with a 170 wRC+ last season.
  4. Robert is 24 years old, was a consensus top three prospect in baseball prior to his debut in 2020, and hits in the heart of a lineup that includes Tim Anderson, José Abreu, Eloy Jiménez, Yoán Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, and Andrew Vaughn.
  5.  The White Sox play in Guaranteed Rate Field which ranked fourth in baseball in 2021 in regards to home run production.
  6. Kevin Gausman had a 1.73 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in the first half last season.
  7. Gausman had a 4.42 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in the second half last season.
  8. Gausman is 31 years old and owns a career 4.02 ERA. He pitched in the NL West for the Giants last season and regularly faced the Rockies (twice) and Diamondbacks (four times). He also did not have to face a designated hitter in the National League last year.
  9. Gausman signed a lucrative off-season contract with the Blue Jays and now will also face a designated hitter each turn through the lineup each game. He will also be pitching in the AL East against the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles.
  10. The five lowest ERA’s in the live ball era of baseball are as follows: 5) Greg Maddux – 1.63 ERA in 1995, 4) Luis Tiant – 1.60 ERA in 1968, 3) Greg Maddux – 1.56 ERA in 1994, 2) Dwight Gooden – 1.53 ERA in 1985, and 1) Bob Gibson – 1.12 ERA in 1968.
  11. Last season, Jacob deGrom had a 1.08 ERA in 92 innings pitched (15 starts).
  12. After being diagnosed with a partially torn UCL last season and missing the second half of the season, deGrom is reportedly healthy and pitching without restrictions in camp.
  13. Matt Olson slugged 39 home runs last season, drove in 111 runs, scored 101 runs, and boasted a .911 OPS.
  14. The 27-year-old Olson accomplished all of this while playing half his home games in Oakland Coliseum which ranked dead last (32nd) in baseball in terms of Park Factors per Statcast.
  15. Earlier this month, Olson was traded to the Atlanta Braves and immediately signed an 8-year, $168 million contract extension.
  16. Truist Park in Atlanta ranked 7th last season in Park Factors per Statcast.
  17. In 2021, Byron Buxton got off to a blistering start (.426 AVG, 1.363 OPS in April), and then got hurt again. He got hurt twice actually, straining a hip and then later fracturing his hand on a hit-by-pitch.
  18. After returning from the broken hand in the second half, Buxton finished the season hitting .314 with a 1.061 OPS in September and October (26 games) to go with nine home runs, 27 runs scored, 13 RBI, and four steals.
  19. From 2019-2021, Buxton has increased his exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS each year compared to the prior season.
  20. Buxton has only played in 100+ games in a season once in his seven-year career (140 in 2017).
  21. In his final eight starts of the season in 2021, Blake Snell allowed just nine runs (1.83 ERA) while striking out 65 batters in 44 1/3 innings to go with a 0.77 WHIP.
  22. Snell had four different 10+ strikeout games during a six-game stretch in late August and early September.
  23. Snell reportedly made the adjustment of abandoning his changeup around this same time, which had been his least effective pitch all season. As Thomas Harrigan of MLB.com noted last September, Snell threw only five changeups in the entire month of August. The change in his arsenal coincided with his strong finish to the season.
  24. Per Baseball Savant, the run value on Snell’s fastball (-10) and slider (-6) were exceptional while the run value on his changeup (9) ranked amongst the 50 worst pitches in baseball last season.
  25. The former American League Cy Young Award winner is currently being drafted as the SP #32 via FantasyPros.
  26. In 14 starts prior to the All-Star break last season, Braves starter Max Fried pitched to a 4.71 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.
  27. In 14 starts after the All-Star break last season, Fried pitched to a 1.74 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.
  28. In the final game of the 2021 postseason, Fried pitched six scoreless innings in the decisive Game 6 World Series shutout victory over the Astros.
  29. Sandy Alcantara finished as a Top 10 starting pitcher last season with a 3.19 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.
  30. Alcantara accomplished this despite a disastrous outing in August at Coors Field in which he surrendered 10 hits and 10 earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings of work in the Mile High City.
  31. If you remove that one start from his ledger, Alcantara’s season line would have looked like this: 2.81 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
  32. Alcantara also notched four different games with 10+ strikeouts in the second half in 2021.
  33. Alcantara is currently being drafted as the SP #14 via FantasyPros.
  34. Mets outfielder Dominic Smith hit .316 with a .993 OPS during the shortened 2020 season. During that season, he hit .331 against righties and .283 against lefties.
  35. Last season, the left-handed-hitting Smith continued to perform well against lefties (.312) but surprisingly his performance against righties plummeted (.218 AVG, .622 OPS).
  36. It was reported last week that Smith was battling a torn labrum in his shoulder last season but is now feeling much improved as he stated he is feeling “probably the best I’ve felt” in years.
  37. Smith homered twice off of new teammate Max Scherzer during practice earlier this month and has gotten off to a great start this spring. His ADP is currently #322 (and climbing). It was #344 when I started writing this article about a week ago.
  38. Chris Bassitt recorded a 2.29 ERA in 2020 and a 3.15 ERA in 2021 before suffering a facial fracture last August on a comebacker by Brian Goodwin that nearly ended his season.
  39. The 33-year-old Bassitt returned to make two final regular-season appearances in late September, surrendering just one run in 6 1/3 innings.
  40. Rays uber-talented and hard-throwing southpaw Shane McClanahan ranked amongst the worst in the majors in terms of exit velocity allowed (91.7 mph) and hard-hit percentage allowed (45.7%) last season, via Baseball Savant. McClanahan, pitching for a Rays team that often limits the innings on their pitchers, completed six innings in a game only six times in 2021 and only completed seven innings once.
  41. McClanahan pitches in the AL East, meaning he will regularly be facing the Red Sox and Blue Jays as well as the Yankees and Orioles each season.
  42. The Blue Jays ranked as the best offense in baseball in total team OPS last season (.796) and the Red Sox ranked third (.777).
  43. In 25 starts last season, Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers allowed two earned runs or fewer in 22 of those starts.
  44. The 24-year-old struck out six or more batters in 18 of those 25 starts.
  45. Robbie Ray has allowed 3.94 walks per nine innings in his career from 2014-2021.
  46. During Ray’s Cy Young-award winning 2021 season, he allowed 2.42 walks per nine innings.
  47. His previous career-best was 3.45 walks per nine innings in 2014-2015.
  48. Cardinals’ 23-year-old outfielder Dylan Carlson hit .277 with 11 home runs and an .847 OPS after the All-Star break last season. He also hit a three-run homer during spring action last Sunday.
  49. Carlson’s teammate Paul Goldschmidt hit .330 with 18 home runs, 54 runs scored, 50 RBI, and a 1.020 OPS after the All-Star break last season.
  50. Carlos Rodón was the third overall draft pick in the 2014 MLB Draft.
  51. Rodón pitched to a career-best 2.37 ERA and 0.96 WHIP last season while striking out 185 hitters in just 132 2/3 innings.
  52. Rodón’s four-seam fastball which averaged 98.1 mph ranked as the single most dominant pitch in all of baseball last season with a -26 run value via Baseball Savant. See Fact #24 for some reference.
  53. Rodón did all of this while pitching in Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. See fact #5.
  54. Rodón signed a 2-year, $44 million free-agent contract with the Giants earlier this month. The Giants play in Oracle Park which ranked last in the league in terms of home run production in 2021.
  55. Tim Anderson’s batting averages the past three seasons: .335, .322, .309 (all ranking amongst the best in the league).
  56. Tim Anderson’s logic-defying walk percentages the past three seasons: 2.9%, 4.5%, 4.0% (all ranking amongst the worst in the league).
  57. During the first half in 2021, Joe Musgrove had a 2.93 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in 17 starts.
  58. In the second half, the 29-year-old right-hander had a 3.47 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 14 starts.
  59. Musgrove owns a career 4.02 ERA pitching mostly in the National League. The NL has now adopted a universal designated hitter.
  60. Since being named 2019 World Series MVP, Stephen Strasburg has pitched 26 2/3 total MLB innings.
  61. Strasburg underwent surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome last summer, is now 33-years-old, and has already stated that he will not start the season on time.
  62. Angels first baseman Jared Walsh hit .333 with a .994 OPS and 19 home runs against right-handers last season.
  63. Walsh hit .170 with a .565 OPS and 10 home runs against left-handers last season.
  64. Justin Upton has reportedly been getting work at first base this spring which could lead to a slight decrease in playing time for Walsh against lefties.
  65. Willy Adames hit .197 with a .625 OPS in 41 games with the Rays last season.
  66. In his career, Adames hit just .217 with a .616 OPS when playing at Tropicana Field, the home of the Rays. Adames himself is on record stating that he struggled to see the ball at home due to the dome lighting at Tropicana Field.
  67. After being traded to Milwaukee last year, Adames hit .285 with an .886 OPS and 20 home runs in just 99 games with the Brewers.
  68. In his last 209 games played, Yoán Moncada has three stolen bases.
  69. In the past two seasons combined, Joey Gallo has a .194 batting average.
  70. In 27 games during April last season, Rangers’ second baseman Nick Solak hit seven home runs to go along with a .293 average and .910 OPS.
  71. For the remainder of the season (100 games), Solak homered just three times while hitting .228.
  72. Michael Brantley hit .311 last season. It was the fourth consecutive season that the 34-year-old outfielder has eclipsed the .300 mark for batting average.
  73. In his breakout 2019 season, Rays outfielder Austin Meadows hit .275 against lefties with an .837 OPS. Meadows hits left-handed.
  74. In 2020, Meadows hit .143 against lefties with a hard-to-believe .391 OPS.
  75. In 2021, Meadows hit .198 with a .563 OPS against left-handers.
  76. Meadows currently plays for Tampa Bay – one of the most platoon-friendly teams in baseball.
  77. Josh Donaldson’s average exit velocity (94.1 mph) ranked in the 99th percentile in all of baseball last season while his hard-hit percentage (52.7%), xSLG (.542), xwOBA (.388), and walk percentage (13.6%) all ranked amongst the best in the league. Donaldson now plays for the Yankees after a recent trade from Minnesota earlier this month.
  78. Kiké Hernández hit 20 homers and scored 84 runs in only 134 games hitting mostly leadoff for the Red Sox last season.
  79. Hernandez then went nuclear in the postseason, hitting .408 in 11 games with five home runs and a 1.260 OPS in the playoffs.
  80. Hernandez is slated to again hit leadoff for the Red Sox this season, who recently signed Trevor Story to join Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, Bobby Dalbec, and Alex Verdugo
  81. Hernandez currently is being drafted as the 27th second baseman off the board and has an ADP of 235 via FantasyPros.
  82. Angels starter Patrick Sandoval had two 10+ strikeout games last season, including 13 K’s in a near no-hitter against Minnesota. Sandoval had two other games with nine strikeouts as well in 2021.
  83. Sandoval surrendered four runs in his final start of the season before exiting early with a back injury that ended his season prematurely.
  84. Prior to that start, the 25-year-old boasted a 3.39 ERA and 1.19 WHIP on the year, and his 85.4 mph exit velocity allowed in 2021 ranked near the best in the league.
  85. Sandoval’s current ADP via FantasyPros is 199 (SP #51).
  86. Eugenio Suárez has hit a combined .199 in the past two seasons (2020-2021) yet still managed to hit 46 homers over that span.
  87. Suárez spent the past seven seasons hitting in Great American Ballpark which ranks third in regards to offensive production in recent years via Statcast Park Factors.
  88. Suárez was recently traded to the Seattle Mariners who play at T-Mobile Park which ranks 27th via those same Park Factors.
  89. Myles Straw tied for fourth in all of baseball with 30 stolen bases last season and currently has an ADP of 170.
  90. Excluding the shortened COVID-19 season, here are the home run totals for Max Muncy in the past three full seasons: 35, 35, and 36.
  91. Muncy accomplished those home run totals despite playing between only 137-144 games in each of those seasons, meaning he missed roughly 20 games in each of those years.
  92. Muncy also homered 12 times during the COVID-19 shortened season, which translates to a 30+ homer pace.
  93. After missing the postseason due to a torn UCL in his elbow last fall, Muncy is reportedly on track to be ready for Opening Day this season. Muncy will likely be batting cleanup for the Dodgers behind Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman in the equivalent of an MLB The Show lineup.
  94. From 2017-2020, the highest ERA that Mike Clevinger posted was 3.11.
  95. Clevinger’s ERA in each of those four seasons: 3.11, 3.02, 2.71, 3.02.
  96. Clevinger sat out last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in November 2020 but is on track to be ready for Opening Day with the Padres. He is currently being drafted as the SP #45 with an ADP of 155.
  97. Braves starter Huascar Ynoa had a 3.02 ERA in the first half last season, in eight starts, before breaking his pitching hand after punching a bench in frustration in the aftermath of surrendering five runs in a loss to the Brewers.
  98. Ynoa had a 5.05 ERA in the second half (nine starts) after returning from his injury.
  99. Ken Giles had 23 saves and a 1.87 ERA for the Blue Jays in 2019 before missing essentially the past two years while recovering from Tommy John surgery. If healthy, the 31-year-old could work his way into the mix for saves in Seattle this season in an unsettled Marines bullpen (with Paul Sewald and Diego Castillo) and currently has an ADP of 339.
  100. Orioles 27-year-old outfielder Cedric Mullins hit .314 with a .921 OPS prior to the All-Star break last season (88 games). Mullins, who currently shows an ADP of #32 via FantasyPros, hit just .261 with an .822 OPS after the All-Star break (71 games). On an unrelated note, Mullins appears to be an awesome human being, and I’ll be rooting for him very much this season.

 

Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Redler (@reldernitsuj on Twitter)

Lucas Spence

Writer for Pitcher List and contributor for FantasyPros and InStreetClothes. Certified Physician Assistant. Proud husband and father of three whose favorite baseball highlight of his lifetime occurred in the bottom of the 11th inning of the 1995 ALDS. Twitter: @lspence24.

  • Mark says:

    This is great. I just wish it was published before my drafts. Could you write one again at the
    All Star break?

    • Lucas Spence says:

      Appreciate you reading Mark. Never considered doing a mid-season version, but that’s a good idea. I’ll strongly consider that – thanks. Good luck with your team(s) this season.

  • Ross says:

    Lucas, Thanks for bringing this back. Matthew Beery used to write this exact column when he was a fantasy baseball writer before he took over football and made it 100 Facts for Fantasy Football. You are probably too young to know he always had 100 facts for baseball. I miss it and appreciate you taking up the mantle.

    • Lucas Spence says:

      I remember those articles for sure, certainly not too young. Appreciate you reading Ross, thank you for the support. Will look to put out a few more of these during the season. Cheers, Lucas.

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