If you read my article last week (it's here if you didn't), then you know what this week must bring! That’s right, it’s the sticks edition of Who’s Hot & Who’s Not! Seemingly surrounded by dead baseballs, let’s take a quick look at some guys who are getting hot at the right time.
Let’s get Rowdy baby! When the universal DH was implemented in Major League Baseball, this was one of the first guys that I thought would be a beneficiary. I have tons of shares of Rowdy, and thus far he’s making me look like a genius. On the 4th of May, Tellez went 4-6 with two home runs, a double and a franchise record 8 RBI in a 16-8 victory over the horrendous Reds. This man hasn’t stopped hitting and yes, the power is legit. The concern for me was never the talent, it was the pathway for at bats. With Keston Hiura recently being demoted to Triple-A Nashville, Tellez has the job at first base.
Don’t look now but Manny is leading all of baseball in AVG (.381), runs scored (26), hits with 43 on the year, 2.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and is second on OBP at .454. Manny being Manny. The 29 year old has hit 7 bombs and driven in 21 Padres to go along with his league leading numbers. Juan Soto is still the safe bet for NL MVP. Despite batting .260 for a team that might lose 112 games. Up to this point, the NL MVP in 2022 is a flip of the coin between Machado and the man at the hot corner for the red birds, Nolan Arenado. Displaying how truly impressive ‘Manny being Manny’ has been out of the gates this year!
The 27 year old shortstop from Long Beach is ripping the cover off the baseball to start the 2022 campaign. Crawford brings an average of .340, a slugging percentage of .545, along with 11 extra base hits over his 97 AB’s. A big underlying question mark (among other things) when evaluating Crawford coming into the season was his power. In 2021, he stepped to the plate 687 times and hit 9 homers. He is on pace to zoom past that number by a hefty margin this year. If this does happen, we could be looking at a seriously dangerous & valuable fantasy asset!
If there was one thing I didn’t want to do this year, it was inserting Nelson Cruz’s name into this category. I’ve always loved Nelly (how can you not?) Ever since he blessed Minneapolis with his presence, he turned into an all time favorite of mine. More than what he did on the field but for how active he was in the community. Cruz is hitting .157 over 102 at bats with only 16 hits and three homers to his credit. The real concern here, among all the other ugly numbers, is the 55% rate in which he is hitting balls on the ground.
Is this experiment over yet? I feel for Red Sox’s fans with this one as I have never wanted any part of this man. Dalbec carries a wimpy .145 average, .233 OBP and has been rung up 25 times over 76 at bats. Bobby has also now been inserted into a platoon role, riding the pine versus righties. Where is my man Tristan Casas at!? It’s about time for Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom to dial up Worcester and get this stud on the hour and fifteen minute bus ride to Fenway Park.
Schoop really has never been a guy to raise eyebrows as a fantasy asset. However, it seems as though he hits his way into hot streaks that force fantasy managers to pick him up throughout the year. The start of the 2022 campaign has certainly not been one of those times for Schoop. Penciled into all of Detroit’s first 23 games, he is hitting (yes you should look away) .139 with 22 strikeouts. His track record as a big leaguer shows us we will seem some improvement moving forward. I’m certainly not holding my breath.
The fat lady had seemingly sung when Josh Naylor rubbed the pine tar off his bat onto his gloveless hands with two outs in the 9th inning. Isn't that one of the great things about baseball? Always expect the unexpected on any given night! Naylor ambushed a 99 MPH fastball and hit a game-tying grand slam against arguably the second best closer in our game Liam Hendriks. Naylor came back up in the 11th inning, delivering a three-run home run to put the Guardians up.
In his fourth season in the big leagues, Naylor hasn’t quite lived up to his 12th overall draft pick status. Naylor was known during his prospect days for his ability to hit and hit with power. Although we haven't quite seen it thus far, Naylor’s still just 24 years old. The 2022 campaign is trending towards a breakout, with all the underlying numbers being excellent to back it up. After missing the first week of the season on the IL, he’s been punishing baseballs. Through his first 19 games, Naylor’s hitting .338 with four home runs and 21 RBI. A sliver of a window is open, as he isn't rostered an outrageous amount, to grab him now. I recommend doing so before the opportunity slams shut and the stock rises quickly.