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2022 MLB Week 1 FAAB Insights

Some interesting FAAB targets as we tweak our lineups for Week 1.

Here we go! Welcome back for our first FAABulous Sunday of the 2022 fantasy baseball season! Depending on when you drafted, hopefully you don’t have to do much this evening. However, the earlier we drafted the more things have changed. One specific thing to keep in mind is that Tim Anderson will only appear in one game for the opening weekend due to suspension. I’m not bidding much on any single player tonight. I’m using several supplemental bids for each drop and looking to use 5% or less of each league’s FAAB allotment for the season. Let’s get to some names that are intriguing this week!

Catcher

 

Mitch Garver (100% ME, 100% OC, 82% Yahoo) – I know he’s nearly universally rostered, but check your player pool. He’s been hitting third in the Rangers’ lineup this spring. That 82% on Yahoo should be the same 99% that Salvador Perez, JT Realmuto, and Will Smith are at.

Tucker Barnhart (50%, 5%, 5%) – In deeper, two-catcher leagues, Barnhart is an underrated option. He was acquired by Detroit to nurture their young pitching staff, so I believe he’ll exceed the 400 PA mark. With a career .248 BA (.247 in 2021) and a much improved Tigers lineup, he’ll accumulate some nice counting stats for a second catcher.

 

First Base

 

Keston Hiura (100%, 50%, 9%) – He’s still striking out a ton, but seven of his ten spring training hits have gone for extra bases. If you have an extra roster spot, Hiura is worth adding and monitoring.

Edwin Ríos (6%, 3%, 0%) – The Dodgers may not be done making moves, but as the roster stands Ríos may find himself in the lineup close to regularly, especially if Gavin Lux or Cody Bellinger continues to struggle. He’s another high K% first baseman, so be prepared for a batting average hit.

 

Second Base

 

César Hernández (100%, 40%, 8%) – He’s leading off every day with Juan Soto, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Bell behind him. He has only attempted two stolen bases since 2019, and he may not hit 20 HR again, but he will score plenty of runs with a batting average that won’t hurt.

Ha-Seong Kim (100%, 72%, 4%) – 3B, SS – I believe that Kim will show drastic improvement in his second year in the US. The Tatis Jr. injury makes early-season playing time even more likely.

 

Third Base

 

Hunter Dozier (89%, 21%, 9%) – OF – Dozier struggled for most of 2021 after an early-season thumb injury. He hit .261 in the second half and had 14 extra-base hits (6 HR) in September. A season similar to 2019 is a realistic option.

J.D. Davis (17%, 5%, 2%) – Another add and monitor candidate as we don’t know what his playing time will look like at this point. However, with the addition of the DH in the National League, his wRC+ of 137, 118, and 130 over the past three seasons should get him into the lineup regularly.

Tyler Wade (56%, 63%, 1%) – SS, OF – Joe Maddon has officially announced Wade as the strong side platoon second baseman for the Angels. I also anticipate some late-inning pinch-running opportunities to bolster his stolen base total.

 

Short Stop

 

Paul DeJong (89%, 9%, 7%) – It appears DeJong has won back the starting shortstop role that had slipped away from him in the second half of 2021. He’s having a nice spring – most numbers don’t mean much in spring training, but the fact that he’s only struck out three times is encouraging.

Jeremy Peña (100%, 55%, 9%) – I was completely wrong about Peña for most of the draft season, as I believed the Astros would sign a free agent shortstop. Only dubbed the frontrunner to win the job thus far by manager Dusty Baker, his price will skyrocket when he’s named the starter.

José Iglesias (72%, 5%, 2%) – It’s not often that someone with an everyday gig playing half of their games at Coors Field is this readily available. A career .277 hitter, Iglesias should approach double-digit home runs, steal a handful of bags, and contribute nicely to the runs and RBI categories. The Rockies open the season with a home series for those needing a Tim Anderson sub the first weekend.

 

Outfield

 

Jorge Mateo (100%, 47%, 3%) – We all know about Mateo’s speed and stolen base potential, but the little bit of pop he’s shown late last season and in the spring makes him even more enticing. He’ll add shortstop eligibility early in the season as well.

Garrett Cooper (83%, 2%, 2%) – It’s all about health for Cooper, and some DHing duties should help. He’ll hit near the top of the Marlins’ lineup that could be much better than many expect.

Randal Grichuk (100%, 61%, 49%) – Most projections give him a nice BA boost to the .260 range with his move to Colorado. He already had 30-HR power. Grichuk is a must-add where available.

Brad Miller (33%, 4%, 2%) – Miller always finds a way to more PA than most of us anticipate, and that’s likely to continue in Texas.

 

Pitcher

 

Carlos Hernández (100%, 46%, 4%) – The bids on Hernández may be lower than I expected a couple of weeks ago after two rough spring outings. I fully expect him to make the Royals’ rotation, and he’ll likely line up for two starts the first full week of the season – either Cleveland or St Louis, then Detroit.

MacKenzie Gore (100%, 31%, 16%) – It does not appear that Gore will start the season in the rotation. However, after really struggling with his command in the minors last season, he’s only given up one walk in nine spring innings. He’s worth a stash if you have the room.

Matt Brash (94%, 31%, 12%) – Everything in Brash’s profile is beautiful except for the BB% which was double digits at both A+ and AA in 2021. The 12K/2BB in 9 1/3 IP this spring are encouraging, especially as nasty as he has looked.

Mitch Keller (100%, 41%, 6%) – Well, the velocity we were seeing in offseason video posts has stuck around in the spring. Many of us have been disappointed with Keller’s production in the past, but he just turns 26 years old tomorrow and has a nice 12K/3 BB in 12 1/3 IP this spring.

Reid Detmers (100%, 63%, 8%) – The good news is he made the rotation. The bad news is it will most likely be a six-man rotation. He could still be looking at 20 starts or so after throwing 82 2/3 innings across three levels last season.

 

Good luck tonight and enjoy the games!

 

Photos by John Cordes & Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Michael Packard (@artbyMikeP on Twitter & IG)

Kevin Hasting

Kevin is a life-long KC Royals fan who resides with his amazing wife and daughter in Abilene, TX. He has been playing fantasy baseball for over 20 years, cohosts the On the Wire weekly FAAB podcast with Adam Howe on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and was the 2020 TGFBI overall champion.

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