The month of March means we are right in the middle of several industry baseball drafts and home leagues are preparing to draft. What better time to reach out to the Fantasy Six Pack baseball writers to provide their picks for our 2022 Fantasy Baseball Bold Predictions: Batters article Now we just need a season!
All bold predictions are not made the same. Some are brave but uninspired. If I predict that Mike Trout will hit more than 45 home runs this season, it's technically bold because he has never done it. But this is our generation's best baseball player. A guy who has multiple 40+ home runs seasons in his ledger. Not quite the bold we are looking for.
Then, there are the "so bold, it's impossible" predictions. If I predict Griffin Jax will win the Cy Young this year, that is certainly bold. But it's also foolish based on his track record, history, and competition.
What is helpful for Fantasy managers are predictions based on statistics where we don't have to bend the nature of our reality to come true. With that caveat, here are the bold predictions for 2022 Fantasy Baseball Bold Predictions: Batters edition. Each one will have a rating of X number of beers out of a six-pack.
A full six-pack means it is extra-hoppy-level bold. One beer means it's more like that old lite beer that's been in the back of the fridge for nine months; a little flat.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Bold Predictions: Batters
Get prepared for the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season by using the FantasyPros Draft Wizard.
Drew Spurling (@DrewSpurling1) - Andrew Vaughn goes 75 runs/27 home runs/85 RBI/3 stolen bases/.275 batting average
Bold Rating: Five Beers out of Six. Vaughn has 469 career major league plate appearances to his name with a 56/15/48/1/.235 slash line. However, this is a player with third overall pick pedigree and who skipped straight from High-A ball in 2019 to the majors in 2021. He had an 11% barrel rate last season and hits the ball extremely hard. Someday, Andrew. (Kirksey)
Dave Eddy (@CorporalEddy) - Luis Robert wins the AL MVP
After a 30/30 season while hitting over .300 the team with the most wins in the American League sees their best player win the MVP.
Bold Rating: Four Beers out of Six. Robert is a very trendy early-round pick in 2022 after he hit 13 home runs and stole six bases in just 68 games in 2021. That's a 29-homer, 13-steal pace over 150 games, so the power and speed opportunity would need to pick tick up significantly. Still, this is a 24-year old not even close to his prime who hit .338 last season and cut his strikeout rate from 32% to 20%. Most projection systems put Robert right around a 30/16 line for 2022. (Kirksey)
Michael Schneider (@mikecschneider) - Jo Adell hits 35 homers
Bold Rating: Five Beers out of Six. He cut down on the strikeouts in 2021, and 2022 is the year he reaches his full potential. (Schneider)
Adell did cut his Major League Strikeout rate from 41.7% in 38 games in 2020 to just 22.9% in 35 games in 2021. The 35 home runs would be 12 more than any stop he has had throughout the minor leagues. (Kirksey)
JP Daeman (@dapscout) - Vidal Brujan and Jarren Duran will each finish with 25 stolen bases and 25 home runs
Bold Rating: Six Beers out of Six. Now we're talking! These two players have a combined 138 plate appearances, two home runs, and three stolen bases between them in their brief cups of coffee last season. To believe both will reach 25/25 status (which only six players achieved last year), requires a couple of assumptions.
First, both will need to win full jobs out of camp or show up to full-time roles very quickly thereafter. Second, they would need to join this list of the only players who have accomplished this feat in their first or second year in the big leagues: Ronald Acuna, Chris Young, Bobby Bonds, Mike Trout, Kal Daniels, Darryl Strawberry, Barry Bonds. (Kirksey)
Jonathan Chan (@JChan_811) - Tyrone Taylor goes 20-20
Bold Rating: Five out of Six Beers. The universal designated hitter is most likely going to be instituted in 2022, giving a ton of National League Hitters extra opportunities. Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Tyrone Taylor flashed potential last season, hitting 13 home runs and stealing six bases in 92 games.
The Brewers’ outfield currently consists of Christian Yelich, Hunter Renfroe, and Lorenzo Cain with the DH spot available for Taylor and utilityman Jace Peterson. Taylor should come close to a full complement of at-bats between DH and the questionable health of both Yelich and Cain.
His sprint speed is in the 88th percentile league-wide and he was caught just once last season. If the Brewers can find a full-time role for him, Taylor could hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in 2022, something only 10 players did in 2021. Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Robbie Grossman’s 2021 line: .239/.357/.415 with 23 home runs, 20 steals, 67 RBI, and 88 runs is not out of the question (albeit with a lower on-base percentage) for Taylor. (Chan)
Mark Strausberg (@MarkStrausberg) - George Springer and Michael Brantley combine for over 70 home runs
Bold Rating: Six out of Six Beers. Why is this so bold? Take the highest home run totals for Brantley and Springer's careers and you have just 61 home runs. Brantley has 13 total home runs in the past two seasons! Springer has never hit 40 in one season!
But I'm sure the thinking is that these two are perhaps part of the most potent offenses in the American League. If both are healthy all year, they should combine for more than 1,200 plate appearances. Springer will bat leadoff while Brantley moves into the two-spot if Carlos Correa moves on. The volume will be there, but will that level of power follow? Brantley and Springer had the 137th and 147th-highest average exit velocity last year, both around 89.5 MPH. (Kirksey)
Jason Beckner (@JRBecks) - Aaron Judge hit 50HR+ and leads MLB in HR
Bold Rating: Three out of Six Beers. Judge is just a few seasons removed from hitting 52 home runs and after a strong 2021 I could see him getting back to 50+ again. (Beckner)
Yes, Judge did hit 52 dingers in 2017, but the average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and walk rate look more and more like outliers with each passing year. But if there is smart money on any player to hit 50 homers in 2022, it's Judge. He had the highest average exit velocity last year and finally played close to 150 games again. With health, this is certainly within reach. (Kirksey)
Dennis Sosic (@CALL_ME_SOS) Byron Buxton produces a .300 average along with a 30/30 season on his way to a top-five MVP finish
Bold Rating: Five out of Six Beers. Fantasy managers are well aware of the durability concerns with Byron Buxton. He has not played more than 87 games in a season since 2017. I predict that Buxton FINALLY stays healthy this season and plays at the same level that he produced last season when he slashed .306/.358/.647 with 19 home runs in just 61 games. (Sosic)
Be sure to keep an eye on the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit!