The 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 NFBC FAAB Run brings us just about the best duo of prospect pitcher and hitter we could hope for.
It is becoming a concern that the poor performance of rookies this year so far, despite the higher amount that have been given an early shot, may change things going into the future. Perhaps these last five weeks have given the owners the leverage they need to continue service time manipulation as we knew it. Or, perhaps, we have our saviors this week?
We also see this week some sneaky good starting pitchers that aren't widely known, as well as a closing candidate that no one has ever heard of. There are also some dirt cheap hitting options to get you through a week or two.
If you have money to spend, get your checkbook out!
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 7 NFBC FAAB Run
George Kirby, SP, Seattle Mariners (unowned)
George Kirby was poised to be a $300+ player going into tonight, and then the Mets happened. After striking out seven in six shutout innings in his debut in the Show, Kirby could not work through a high pitch count, giving up three runs in four innings while striking out only one batter. The fact that two of the runs were deemed unearned will probably keep his NFBC price tag over $200 tonight. With the help of the official scorer, his ERA sits at a minuscule 0.90.
Kirby appeared nervous and unhinged at times on the mound in New York City, which shouldn't be surprising from an Elon University grad with only 67 professional innings under his belt. . Kirby's ceiling is as high as anyone's, and he has certainly earned at least a few more turns in the rotation. If you have more than $700 remaining in your budget, he is worth the price you will have to pay. But if you have less than half of your remaining budget, I would only put in a "keep 'em honest" type bid. There will be bumps and bruises due to the lack of experience and an obvious innings cap down the road.
Alek Thomas, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (unowned)
Meanwhile, top prospect Alek Thomas has had a multi-hit game in four of his first six Major League starts, with his first big league home run already on his resume. This is a great pure hitter with just the right mix of speed and power. At only 22 years old, he appears to have grabbed the job and sprinted away with it.
Because of the flexibility of Daulton Varsho, the opportunity for Thomas arose when catcher Carson Kelly went on the IL with an oblique injury. Considering Kelly had been one of the worst regulars in the league through five weeks, this is a win-win for fantasy owners. We get to enjoy one of the top prospects in the game, while Varsho likely will retain his catcher eligibility for at least one more year.
There is not enough on the Arizona roster to hold Thomas back. If he continues to hit, he will eventually find his way to the middle of this lineup and stay there for the next six-plus years. I feel confident bidding near $200 that my return on investment will be positive.
Tyler Anderson, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (65% owned, 12 team)
Tyler Anderson was widely dropped after being blown up by Philadelphia this weekend. We knew this was a possibility, as he quite simply pitches to contact too much for someone who gives up a lot of hard contact.
Fortunately (for him), Clayton Kershaw has landed on the IL, safeguarding Anderson's spot in the rotation for at least another turn, which will come against light-hitting Arizona.
Reid Detmers, SP, Los Angeles Angels (54%, 12 team)
I have been a huge stan of Detmers since his days at Louisville. But when he faced off with the Astros, I loved my WHIP more than him and kept him on the bench. He went out and threw a no-hitter to shut me up. While he only struck out two, he dropped that WHIP I was concerned about to 0.84.
The Angels have not yet set their rotation for the week, but he should line up with two juicy matchups against the Rangers and Athletics. While he probably will be a roller coaster with his ratios most of the year, if nothing else he offers great win equity on a great team and makes for a solid streaming option in 12-team leagues.
Kyle Bradish, SP, Baltimore Orioles (58%)
Kyle Bradish dazzled the Cardinals on Tuesday to the tune of 11 strikeouts. More impressive is that going into the game, St Louis was the third hardest team in the league to strikeout. With a whopping 11.8 k/9 in his minor league career, the 25-year-old brings a lot of intrigue. he has a two-start week coming up, with AL East tilts against the Yankees and Rays. While both have formidable lineups, they are each in the bottom half of the league in strikeouts. This should be an easy double-digit strikeout week, with the possibility of some real staying power if he doesn't get blown up.
Tyler Wells, SP, Baltimore Orioles (75%)
What a time to be alive! I'm recommending TWO Orioles pitchers in the same article? I rarely do that twice a year!
Tyler Wells has now given up two runs or less in five straight starts. He is basically the polar opposite of Bradish. He does not strike out many batters, but limits hard contact and controls his ratios. The second-year starter has a professional career WHIP below 1.00 and ERA below 3.00 His ledger is a few starts longer than that of Bradish, so he is higher-owned in 15 team leagues. I would be comfortable with a 5-8% FAAB bid on Wells.
Will Vest, RP, Detroit Tigers (unowned)
This sounds like something I'm hoping will happen to my 401k plan. If there is anything I know, it is that Gregory Soto is not an effective Major League pitcher, let alone a closer. Vest has done well to combine limiting hard contact and missing bats to become a Statcast darling. The 38.5% strikeout rate jumps off the page.
While Vest earned his first career save on Friday, it was Soto who rebounded to earn his fifth save last night. Maybe this means the move is to just bet against the Tigers on the moneyline today, but I'd throw a few dollar bid on Vest as well. Michael Fulmer remains in the mix as well, but I'd bet on Vest being next in line for an opportunity to grab the role.
Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants (38%)
It was about a year ago when Evan Longoria was the featured player in this column and I refused to send the article to my editor out of embarrassment. It turned out to be the right call, as he went on to have a resurgent season, albeit cut short by injury.
Now he is healthy again. While we should not expect anywhere near a .833 OPS, Longo bats third in a formidable lineup and should be a solid source of RBI and home runs.
Brendan Donovan, 2B, St Louis Cardinals (unowned)
While everyone awaits the arrival of Nolan Gorman, it is Brendan Donovan who has ignited the Cardinals' offense on the heels of the demotion of Paul DeJong. Donovan may not be long for the job, as Gorman has basically already forced the franchise's hand.
Donovan does not offer much speed or pop, but his .302 career batting average down on the farm can help fantasy teams in 2022, if not for the short term.
Colin Moran, 1B/3B, Cincinnati Reds (3%)
Colin Moran has hit four home runs and knocked in 13 runs in the last week. While those stats are all behind us, Moran is truly a professional hitter and should continue to provide some pop from the left side. He is well on his way to his first 20 home run season. Might as well ride the hot streak.
Brandon Drury, 2B, 3B, OF, Cincinnati Reds (43%, 12 team)
Bad teams have a tendency to provide some good value bats. Someone has to score sometime, right? Brandon Drury, like Moran, has been quite effective this year, with 7 home runs and an OPS north of .900. He is eligible at three positions and hits at the top of the order. He's a great short-term add for a couple of bucks.
Jose Iglesias, SS, Colorado Rockies (65%)
Jose Iglesias is batting .313 this year from the shortstop position. While he has no home runs or stolen bases, with six games at Coors Field this week he is probably the easiest plug-in middle infielder for the week.
William Contreras, C, Atlanta Braves (3%)
Don't mistake it, William Contreras is a part-time player. You'll be lucky if he gets three starts in a given week. But 4 home runs and a stolen base in only 20 at-bats is awfully intriguing. While he has been a boon to us DFS players, he doesn't warrant more than a few dollar bid in 15 team formats.
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