Every year, teams will have openings at positions that they hope to have filled during Spring Training. In this piece, I'll go over some 2022 Fantasy Baseball Spring Training Position Battles. These battles are ones I will be keeping a close eye on.
While there are still many key free agents left as MLB and MLBPA continue their talks for a new CBA deal, this article will showcase three important Spring Training battles that we know of right now.
Of course, some of these 2022 Fantasy Baseball Spring Training Position Battles could change once signings resume after the lockout. However, once these other key free agents settle in, there will surely be other key Spring Training Battles to hone in on, and another article will be done come time for that.
However, for now, let's take a look at some pitching staffs who have spots in the rotation up for grabs, who could play the newly added DH for a National League team that is not afraid to spend some money and a battle at the hot corner for a team that made a splash this winter.
And as always, if anyone has any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to message me on Twitter @MikeSollicito1! Now without further ado, let's jump into some 2022 Fantasy Baseball Spring Training Position Battles.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Spring Training Position Battles
As the start of the baseball season hopefully comes near, now's the time to get in some fantasy mock drafts! One of my favorite tools to use is the FantasyPros Draft Wizard. Be sure to check it out as it lets you customize the draft to best cater to the settings your league uses.
Tampa Bay Rays Rotation
The Tampa Bay Rays are known for their ability to get the best out of their pitchers. Prospects are expected to play major roles for the team and veterans will round out the rest of their starting pitchers. It will be interesting to see how the Rays deploy their rotation this year.
The Rays are always weird with their innings, as they like to use the opener sometimes and don't always allow their starters to go through the batting order three times. This year may be no different but with names like Shane McClanahan, Shane Baz, Drew Rasmussen, Corey Kluber, Ryan Yarbrough, and Luis Patino, the Rays have plenty of arms.
McClanahan is the only one here who should be expected to fully handle a starter's workload. Kluber was strong last year but finishing the year hurt. Baz is a rookie. Patino is still just 22 years old. Rasmussen had a mini-breakout with the Rays after being acquired from the Brewers. Ryan Yarbough jumps back and forth as a multi-innings bullpen guy and as a starter.
All of these starters have a reason why they should start this year. While I expect the rotation to look something like McClanahan, Kluber, Baz, Patino, and a mixture of Yarbough/Rasmussen, it is almost impossible to guess the five that will be in the rotation come opening day. This will be an interesting rotation to keep an eye on. They all have their upside and strikeout potential if given the innings they deserve.
New York Mets DH Situation
The New York Mets have, understandably, made a splash this offseason under new owner Steve Cohen. That includes the signings of Max Scherzer, Mark Canha, Starling Marte, and Eduardo Escobar. Cohen has said he may not be done either.
With the signing of all these players and the addition of the DH to the NL, that brings us to now the question of who takes on DH duties for the Mets?
The infield should look like Pete Alonso at 1B, Jeff McNeil at 2B, Francisco Lindor at SS, and Eduardo Escobar at 3B. The OF should be Marte in CF, Canha in RF, and most likely Brandon Nimmo in LF. This leaves players like Dominic Smith, JD Davis, and recently reinstated Robinson Cano up for DH duties.
These three all possess some solid power, and with the Mets lineup looking to be underrated, they could all produce given the at-bats. I expect to see a bit of rotating between Smith and Alonso at 1B, the same thing with Cano and McNeil at 2B. However, I do expect Davis and Smith to get the majority of their at-bats at DH. Perhaps someone during Spring Training produces so well that they force the Mets hand. However, the Mets could also elect to sign someone else.
Nonetheless, this is a situation worth monitoring when Spring Training comes around, as the Mets lineup should be able to produce some solid players for fantasy.
Rangers 3B Situation
The Texas Rangers have made an interesting case for themselves as an up-and-coming team, and I think they still have more to do once the lockdown ends. After signing Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, the Rangers have formed one of the deadliest middle infield duos in MLB. However, what I want to know is who will be on the outskirts of those two?
For 1B, I envision Nate Lowe, who was traded from the Rays to the Rangers last year, to take the majority of the playing time. However, what about 3B? The Rangers have a stud 3B prospect in Josh Jung who could take the reigns. They also have super-utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa who could hold down the hot corner until Jung is ready.
Spring Training will allow the Rangers to better assess what they have at the hot corner. It also wouldn't be surprising to see them make yet another move via free agency.
Jung has the ability to be a solid hitter with some pop. He doesn't strike out too much and has been improving in the power department yearly. Kiner-Falefa can hit for a high average and has serious speed, as evident by his 20 stolen bases last year. My guess is that Jung begins the year at 3B. However, we will have to wait until after this lockdown to find out.
This position will be an interesting one to watch during Spring Training. This infield could be one of the best in baseball this year from a production standpoint.
Be sure to keep an eye on the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit where all our Fantasy Baseball analysts here at Fantasy Six Pack will be posting their articles as the baseball season is right around the corner!