2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down

by Mike Sollicito
2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down

Welcome to the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down article!

As sample sizes continue to grow, opinions continue to be formed. This includes opinions about how a player is performing and whether or not you're optimistic about their future outlook. When players who have been good over the last few years have prolonged struggles, when do we need to re-evaluate them?

While it is still far too early to re-evaluate some players, we must at the very least act on these players. While this does not always need to include dropping them sometimes it does. Other times, it may simply be a case of benching them until the player shows signs of snapping out of their funk.

This is the case with a few of the players we will look at this week. On the other hand, we will also take a look at players who have looked good in the small sample size so far. Will they be able to keep it up? Where is their stock heading? Let's see.

As always if you have any questions about anything fantasy related be sure to hit me up on Twitter at @MikeSollicito1.

Let's get into the 2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down!

2022 Fantasy Baseball Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down

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Stock Up

Tyrone Taylor, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

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I just have a feeling about Tyrone Taylor. The Brewers know what they are doing - they are the Rays of the NL in my opinion. Taylor is finally getting some run as an everyday outfielder following Hunter Renfroe's injury.

While the injury has paved way for an everyday role, I think Taylor could remain in one. Lorenzo Cain has been the Brewers' centerfielder and he has not looked like his old self so far.

While Taylor doesn't walk much, he also doesn't strikeout too much as evident by his sub 20% strikeout rate (19.6%). While he does have at least a 30% whiff rate on breaking and offspeed pitches, his xBA on both pitches remains high.

The power Taylor possesses is backed up by his 70th percentile hard-hit rate and average exit velocity. We could be seeing a breakout with everyday playing time for Taylor.

For me, I am going out and grabbing Taylor in leagues where I am in need of outfield help. Taylor's solid plate discipline and solid power could help him produce some relatively helpful fantasy stats, especially if he can stick in the middle of that Milwaukee lineup.

Aaron Ashby, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

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Aaron Ashby was a very popular sleeper pick during the offseason this year due to his strong end to the season last year. As we discussed, the Brewers know what they are doing and it seems Ashby is just another pitcher they worked on in what seems like their everlasting pitching factory.

Ashby has seen time as the sixth starter this year, but with recent injuries to the rotation, namely Brandon Woodruff, Ashby has been thrust into a full time starter role.

Ashby has not disappointed as evident by his latest outing where he went six innings allowing just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out 12.

Ashby's strikeout rate is fantastic and his xERA of 2.87 backs up his season ERA of 2.70, his walk rate is atrocious. The walk rate will dictate where he ultimately ends up and pans out.

The upside is there for Ashby, and he is someone I am snagging wherever I can as I believe he could be pitching himself into a full time role in the rotation.

Alejandro Kirk, C, Toronto Blue Jays

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Alejandro Kirk is an absolute beast and is now hitting his groove. Over the last 15 days, Kirk is hitting .433 with 11 runs, two home runs, and six RBI. Known for being a pure hitter in the minors, Kirk never really saw consistent playing time in the majors to showcase that.

Dealing with injuries to their catchers, the Blue Jays have had no other option than to look to Kirk behind the plate and at DH. He has not disappointed since, and like the others discussed this week I believe he could be playing his way into a role the rest of the year with this team.

It doesn't matter where Kirk hits in this loaded Blue Jays lineup as he should still produce his counting stats. While the pair of home runs came on the same night, getting any production out of your catcher any year, let alone this year, is helpful and that's what Kirk does.

If you are in need of a catcher, I would not hesitate grabbing Kirk if he is available. While he may not continue playing everyday, he should play enough for his bat to get an opportunity to do the talking.

Stock Down

Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros

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One of the most disappointing stories so far has been the inconsistency of Alex Bregman. After talks that injuries were the root cause of his struggles over the last few years, seemingly healthy this year he had large expectations.

Bregman has largely failed those expectations so far, and it is a bit concerning on the surface. While he has maintained his elite plate discipline, the power is not where it was and neither is the average.

His xBA of .256 is closer to what is had been the previous two seasons where he "dealt with injuries." Perhaps we have already seen the best of Bregman, but the upside is there for him to return to form. While he is struggling with a .237 BABIP, that isn't the only reason for his struggles.

His current launch angle is the highest it has been over the last couple seasons, and there is the chance that he is simply being too passive. Nonetheless, I would begin to dangle Bregman's name around in potential trades with your leaguemates if possible. If no one bites, he is a bench candidate for me at the moment due to his struggles. Only once he snaps out of this funk will he return to my lineup.

He does hit in a fantastic lineup and the great plate discipline coupled with his awesome defense are just reasons why he will continue to play everyday. But for me, he is benched in my lineup until signs of life. Grab someone like Evan Longoria on waivers to fill in for now.

Steven Kwan, OF, Cleveland Guardians

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I believe the Year of Kwan has ended. This is not to say his career will go on to amount to nothing, but at least for the moment I am moving on from Kwan. An average specialist for fantasy, he has not been hitting as of late. If you are known for your bat and no power or speed but cannot hit, you simply are not doing your job.

This has happened with Kwan, and on top of the fact that the Guardians have been trying out any and every player in their upper minor leagues, Kwan could be on the outside looking in if he does not recapture some of his early-season form. While his start to the season was unsustainable, his average has fallen all the way to .244 and he is no longer playing everyday.

Kwan is a full on drop for me in any but the deepest of leagues. There are plenty of outfielders who are producing and helping your fantasy team more than Kwan. I would definitely keep an eye on Kwan, if he heats up again he can get back to fantasy relevance. But until some of his hits start dropping again, he can remain on waivers.

Ranger Suarez, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

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A end of the season story, Suarez went on a crazy run over his last 9 or 10 starts last year. He has unfortunately not been able to carry over that success this year so far.

While he is continuing to suppress the hard contact, he is not doing much else. Suarez is not striking out as many as he did last year and is walking more. This has led to his increase in ERA to 4.69, backed by his 4.45 FIP, 4.15 xFIP, and 4.36 xERA.

Overall, it seems as though Suarez has been unable to harness the level of play he was at during the second half last year. For me, Suarez is a hold as I would play him during only favorable matchups at the moment.

The sample size is small for Suarez's success, so if he does not get it going soon I would not be against dropping him for some other arm on the waiver wire depending on who is available.

Until the control gets better and the strikeouts go back up, Suarez is simply a matchup based pitcher for me. Drop if you have the depth, but do not expect too much of a difference out of Suarez until the walks ultimately die down.

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