Saturday, May 28, 2022

Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2022: Top sleepers, breakouts, busts from proven model that called Hand’s struggles

After missing over 100 games due to a pectoral injury last season, White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez is hoping to regain his Silver Slugger form from 2020 this year, and he’s off to a great start at 2022 MLB Spring Training. Jimenez is slashing .421/.476/.895 with two homers and seven RBIs over 21 plate appearances in the Cactus League. He’s rising up 2022 Fantasy baseball draft boards as a result. But can the former top-five prospect stay healthy and deliver on his 40-homer potential to justify a 2022 Fantasy baseball ADP of 92.14?

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is coming off a season where he led the American League in homers (48), OBP (.401), slugging (.601) and total bases (363), and he’ll be worth consideration in the first round of 2022 Fantasy baseball drafts. However, only a reliable set of 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings can help you figure out exactly where to draft players like Guerrero and Jimenez, while also helping identify 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts. Before making any 2022 Fantasy baseball picks, be sure to see the Fantasy baseball rankings 2022 and cheat sheets from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

Last season, SportsLine’s Projection Model identified several top Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts, including reliever Brad Hand.

The team at SportsLine was all over Hand as a Fantasy bust from the start, and he went on to lose his job as a closer as he bounced around between three teams. He had a disastrous 7.57 ERA in a stint with the Blue Jays later in the season. Their model had him listed much lower than expert consensus rankings, and anyone who listened to their advice avoided a major speed bump that could have derailed their season.

Their model is powered by the same people who powered projections for all three major Fantasy sites. And that same group is sharing its 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings and cheat sheets over at SportsLine, helping you find Fantasy baseball sleepers, breakouts and busts long before your competition. Their cheat sheets, available for leagues on many major sites, are updated multiple times every day.

Any time more MLB news comes out about the updated 2022 MLB schedule or Fantasy baseball injuries, the team at SportsLine updates its projections. Go to SportsLine now to see these proven Fantasy baseball cheat sheets.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball sleepers the model is all over: Phillies second baseman Jean Segura. The well-traveled veteran is entering a contract year, which is motivation in its own right, but Segura has also been one of the most consistent middle infielders over the last half-dozen years. After hitting .290 last year with 14 homers and nine stolen bases, Segura is hitting .297 over the last six years with five of those seeing him at .280 or above.

Offseason moves by the Phillies only bolster Segura’s stock as the team added heart-of-the-order bats in Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber. Pairing them with Bryce Harper gives Philadelphia a formidable lineup, and one in which Segura always bats at the top of. Over 85 percent of his starts last season came with him hitting either leadoff or in the No. 2 hole, and now the Phillies have more than just Harper to bat Segura around the bases. A productive player in a potent lineup is always a good combination, and the model ranks Segura ahead of Marcus Semien, despite the new Ranger going eight rounds earlier in drafts.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball breakouts

One of the 2022 Fantasy baseball breakouts the model is all over: Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. The son of former MLB third baseman Charlie Hayes was a consensus top-15 prospect ahead of the 2021 season, but he wasn’t nearly as productive in 2021 as he was during a shortened stint with the club in 2020. However, the talent he possesses is still clear and with some minor adjustments, there’s no question he can be a game-changer at the hot corner.

Hayes slashed .257/.316/.373 and only had 28 extra-base hits over 396 plate appearances last season, but he still ranked in the top 30 percent of MLB hitters in average exit velocity (90.2 mph), max exit velocity (111 mph) and hard-hit contact rate (45.8 percent). He also has an advanced plate approach for a 25-year-old with a strikeout rate of just 22 percent and a walk rate of 7.8 percent. Hayes had an average launch angle of 2.6 degrees compared to 7.4 degrees, while posting a .682 slugging percentage over 95 plate appearances in 2020 and if he can generate lift again in 2022, he’s got plenty of raw power to capitalize on. That’s why the model ranks him ahead of third baseman being drafted before him like Eduardo Escobar and Anthony Rendon.

Top 2022 Fantasy baseball busts 

As for players to avoid, the model has identified Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor as one of its 2022 Fantasy baseball busts. Many will point to his performance in the 2021 postseason as to why he’s due for a breakout in 2022. However, Taylor was playing himself out of opportunities over the last two-and-a-half months of the regular season. After batting splits of .333/.369/.619 in the month of July, he took a big step back in August and finished at .121/.212/.190 for his 22 games from September to October.

Taylor’s strikeout percentage went up three percent and his walk rate dropped two percent from 2020 to last season. Last year was his first as an All-Star, but his hard-hit rate dropped significantly from 45.4 percent down to 38.1, and he almost finished with a career-low line drive rate, at 24.7 percent. The model believes Taylor’s performance in last year’s playoffs was fool’s gold and he holds less value than players being taken after him like Akil Baddoo, Lorenzo Cain and Kyle Lewis.

How to find proven 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings

SportsLine is also high on a surprising starting pitcher who lands in the top five of its positional rankings. This player is barely going off the board in the top 100 picks, but is projected to outperform starters such as Julio Urias, Max Scherzer and Lucas Giolito. This pick could be the difference in winning your league or going home with nothing. You can only see who it is here.

So which 2022 Fantasy baseball busts, breakouts, and sleepers should you target or fade in your drafts? Visit SportsLine now to get 2022 Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Brad Hand’s disappointing season, and find out.

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