Yesterday we analyzed Josh Donaldson and his fantasy relevancy at third base now that he is in pinstripes. Let’s continue that topic at shortstop and look at two established veteran players that are now playing in different cities- Corey Seager and Javier Báez- and how their fantasy production should fare in 2022. 


Corey Seager, Texas Rangers

Corey Seager does not get the respect he deserves. This is a four-category player that continues to be overlooked in fantasy drafts this year. His current NFBC ADP is 78.52 and it was not very long ago that he was a second to fourth-round pick in fantasy drafts. He did miss nearly half the season last year, but he has proven that when healthy he will provide elite production in many offensive categories.

Seager did have a better offensive season in 2020 than he did last year but his 2021 numbers are still star-worthy and even better than his 2018 and 2019 seasons. Last season his max exit velocity was 115.3 (a career-high and top 5% in the league); his XBA was .295 (top 6%); he had a .389 wOBA (top 5%); and carried a .392 xwOBA (top 7%). With a slash line of .306/.394/.521 in 2021, Corey Seager is still a very good hitter that can hit for power and put the ball in play. A healthy 2022 would mean 25 home runs and if he hits third behind Marcus Semien, we would be looking at more run-producing opportunities in the ballpark of 95-100 RBIs. The runs scored category may take a hit though if Semien does hit in front of Seager due to the Rangers lack of offensive depth in the middle of the order. 

Only Juan Soto, Vlad Guerrero Jr, and Manny Machado matched his 16.1% strikeout rate and 12.4%-barrel rate in 2021- not bad company to be in. Seager should remain very productive in this new offense making his current 78.52 ADP a steal. 




Javier Báez, Detroit Tigers

If anyone has been to the Tigers spring training complex in Lakeland, they are familiar with Granada Street- it goes behind the outfield fence of one of the backfields at Tiger Town. Cars rarely get hit by baseballs due to the distance, but Baez has been crushing in early workouts and there have already been some close calls to broken windshields and dented hoods.

Just the presence of Miguel Cabrera in the clubhouse and as a teammate is enough alone to upgrade Baez a bit in fantasy drafts. The two-time All-Star who hit .265 with 31 home runs with 87 RBIs in 138 games for the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets last season does lack plate discipline as he will swing and miss often. Last season was his worst with a 33.6% strikeout rate (bottom 3% of the league) and 5.1% walk rate (bottom 6%). Plus, he had the third-highest chase rate (46.6%), lowest contact rate (62.2%), and highest swinging-strike rate (21.7%) among qualified hitter’s last season.

Comerica Park is not a power hitters paradise but for a right-handed hitter that extremely pulls the ball, I am a little less concerned than some others due to a left-field porch that is shorter than right field. Baez also had a 28.2% HR/FB rate last year (third highest in baseball) and will now be on a team that isn’t afraid to run as the tigers were a Top 10 team in steals. There is some risk due to plate discipline, but the power/speed combo outweighs the strikeouts, and I would have no problem scooping up Baez a little earlier than his current 61.65 ADP suggests. 


Fantasy Baseball 2022