2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Impact Report

by Daniel Johnson
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Impact Report

Welcome to F6P's 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Impact Report, in which we'll take a look at how some of the game's most exciting youngsters have been performing, and how they might add value to your team in this week's matchups.

Much to this writer's chagrin, it was a relatively slow weekend for some of the bigger names out there. Julio Rodriguez and Spencer Torkelson are striking out a lot, but we expected this. Be more patient with them than they are at the plate. Bobby Witt, Jr. had a pair of clutch doubles to drive in some key runs for the Royals, but he's not exactly lighting up the scorecard just yet.

I get it if you want to bench any and all of them until flames start licking the barrels of their bats, considering they currently occupy particularly deep positions (until that is, Witt, Jr. gets his 3B eligibility on all platforms). But, sooner than later, they will hit, and hit hard.

Let's check in on a couple of names from the Opening Day Prospect Impact Report, take a look at a rookie who had a promising first weekend and buy-in on another starter for whose impact (and absolutely nutters slider) you should absolutely brace.

2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 1 Prospect Impact Report

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Immediate Impact

Seiya Suzuki, RF, Chicago Cubs

Landed indeed! Admittedly, it was a three-run bomb on a meaty breaking ball right down the middle on a 3-1 count. But, golly, what a moonshot it was, and it sure is nice that our belief in his raw power was validated.

There's more to like than just that at-bat. He's seeing plenty of pitches (57 across his first 13 PAs!), drawing walks almost as much as he's striking out, and driving in runs. Adjusting to MLB pitching doesn't seem to be an issue for Suzuki, and that was our biggest fear, wasn't it? He's not swinging like someone lost in translation.

Maybe pitchers will, as they say, "figure him out," but let us not assume; there is, after all, years of tape that already exists on his time overseas. There's no reason for us to believe he can't continue to produce.

Keep him in your lineups this week. He's got four games at Coors Field, where former Cub Kris Bryant is dropping balls in left field, just where Suzuki likes to pull it. I like my chances that he'll go yard for the second time in Denver.

Hunter Greene, SP, Cincinnati Reds

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Did you brace for his impact like I told you to? I sure hope Tyler Stephenson's mitt did. Check out the radar gun from his first inning yesterday:

It took him a bit to settle down, but he got his first career win against the Braves, and despite not pitching deep enough to get us a QS and allowing four earned runs at that, his seven strikeouts were sparkling. He induced 14 swinging strikes on his 92 pitches, and only walked two batters.

So, yes, to bang the drum yet one more time: the upside is massive here. We don't love that he faces the Dodgers this week for his next start. At the same time, how exciting would it be if he passed that test? I'm going to roll him out there.

Let's just hope this kid's elbow can keep up with the darts he's throwing. Add him if you haven't already.

Jeremy Pena, SS, Houston Astros

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With a pair of three-hit nights already, two doubles, and his first career MLB home run already under his belt in his first four games, Pena certainly looks like he's going to fare just fine filling the vacancy Carlos Correa left behind. Houston's lineup is pretty stacked, and if Pena keeps banging extra-base hits, we could be in store for some not-insignificant RBI and run totals this year.

And if my word isn't enough for you: in what has to be interpreted as at least a decent show of good faith, Dusty Baker even batted him second yesterday, though I suspect that's because he gave Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman rest days. But hey! We like it.

Don't be surprised if pitchers start to get the best of his bat for a little bit, now that there's a book out on him. Still, his situation and his performance so far are worth a speculative add, at the very least.

Brace for Impact

Matt Brash, SP, Seattle Mariners

Yes, sure, lock it in. But you ask: why, Dan, are we excited about the fifth starter in the Seattle Mariners rotation? Perhaps because he's ranked as the organization's sixth-overall prospect and the 98th-overall prospect in the entire sport. Perhaps also because he was the Mariners Jamie Moyer Pitcher of the Year in 2021. Not to mention, he's got an absolute wipeout of a slider, and if there's one weapon I love in pitching prospects, it's the sword.

There's a tiny problem: we don't know officially when his first start is, exactly. We can assume it'll be one of the games in Seattle's series with the White Sox early this week, so I'd snag him soon, even though it's not exactly an ideal matchup for his initial outing on the bump. But both Robby Ray and I are excited to see what he can do, and you should be also.


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