Welcome back to another edition of 2022 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week here at Fantasy Six Pack! This week we will be looking for a player that may have had the most hype we have seen for a prospect making the majors. That player is non-other than Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco.
I am writing this as an older man now! Today I turned 29; I am thrilled to have made it to Dave's "pitching prime" age.
I also regret to inform you that there will be no Dynasty Player of the week next week as I will be in London! So please check in on the other amazing Dynasty Baseball content here on F6P!
2022 Dynasty Baseball Player of the Week: Wander Franco
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Baseball's Chuck Norris
The expectations for Wander were that of folklore; essentially, he was baseball's version of Chuck Norris. I have been meaning to incorporate Chuck Norris in any writing I have been doing. Lucky for you, I could not squeeze Chuck Norris into my Finance paper.
The hype was real, and that has led to the name Wander Franco being lauded in Dynasty circles. He was the consensus slam dunk number one can't miss prospect in all of baseball.
All of the hype was undoubtedly for a good reason. He was destroying minor league pitching, batting .313 with an OPS of .955 in 40 games last year. He was certainly ready for the big leagues, and he got his chance last summer.
In 70 games, he slashed .288/.347/.463 with seven home runs and drove in 39. His OPS+ was 129, wRC+ was 127, and his bWAR was 3.5. Nerds tell me that these things are good?
His 2021 showing was not world-beating, but it was encouraging. He was certainly good enough to be a major leaguer; going into 2022, expectations were still almost way too high.
Mo Money Mo Problems
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Post-2021 season Wander Franco signed a fat long-term extension. As Biggie Smalls said, Mo Money Mo Problems. There seems to be something up with him this year. Or is there?
This issue with Dynasty Baseball is that expectations are high and when they are high, the failure to meet those expectations can be catastrophic. As of this writing in 40 games, Franco is hitting .267 with an OPS of .716. This is not meeting the lofty expectations for Dynasty managers and the Rays fans.
His .312 xBA is top 8th percentile and suggests that he is getting slightly unlucky.
As we dig a little deeper, we can see what is leading to these results. Well, first of all, Franco is in the bottom 30 percentile when it comes to barrel percentage. The following two advanced stats I looked at were the two most surprising;
- 97th percentile in strikeout rate
- Bottom eighth percentile in walk rate
His walk rate has dropped nearly four percent compared to last year. That is twice as much as his strikeout rate has come down - two percent.
Another big thing the stats tell us is that Wander Franco is swinging more often (up 5%), more often at pitches out of the strike zone (up 4.8%), and swinging at more first pitches (up 7.8%).
Alright, you've made it! Now for what you've all been waiting for! Pssst Wander Franco is good; however, he will never hit 60 homers, and you know what? That's okay! He is still a very good baseball player that you should want on your team!
Please stop overthinking things and just continue to roster good players. It is crazy that he is still only 21-years-old and by the way, he has braces. Rule number one do not give up on a player if they still have braces!
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