Welcome to the Black Paredes

Chu provides fantasy analysis on Sunday's best hitters.

Isaac Paredes (DET): 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB.

I don’t have a ton to share with y’all, so I’m going to use this little soapbox to talk about a guy I really like for 2022—Isaac Paredes. Full disclosure, it is also because I’m a big Tigers fan and because his name made for an easy pun for the title.

Parades went 2-3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI on Sunday, though he’s been a bit below average as a major leaguer in his 62 plate appearances this season. That being said, the real story is how well he hit in the minor leagues.

I don’t want to sit here and say results don’t matter, because they certainly do, but when doing some box score scouting, the thing we want to see are changes that carry over in the big leagues. Paredes is a great example of this when it comes to his plate discipline. In 315 minor league plate appearances, Paredes walked 17.8% of the time compared to striking out just 14.9% of the time, while hitting a smooth .265/.397/.451. In the majors, the batting line was far less impressive, but the plate discipline carried over, as he walked 14.5% of the time while striking out just 9.7% of the time.

Plate discipline, in and of itself, is a limited fantasy skill in that it only really generates OBP and batting average (and in many cases, just OBP), but Paredes has a few things up his sleeve that make him intriguing as a player to watch in dynasty and in 2022—a strong hit tool (60-grade on FanGraphs), a bit of power (50-grade on FanGraphs), and defensive versatility (he’s not a plus defender, but he can play second, third, and short with some success). Those three things, along with the strong plate discipline, usually equal one thing—opportunity.

When doing your offseason research, which some of you may have already begun, I strongly urge you to look for potential opportunities that may not be apparent just from staring at season-long stats. This isn’t a guy who is likely to be a league winner, but he certainly could be a useful piece at some point, and unlike many of your league mates, you may have heard of him before he becomes a waiver wire darling.

You’d be amazed at just how comforting that tiny bit of prior knowledge can be when setting FAAB bids, especially when you were out barbequing and took a nap and woke up 15 minutes before FAAB runs, which definitely happens to the best of us (and also me).


Let’s see how the other hitters did Sunday:

Jarred Kelenic (SEA): 2-4, HR, R, RBI.

There’s still plate discipline concerns as he grows into a major league role, but at least Kelenic found his power stroke. The blast on Sunday put him at seven in September and fourteen on the season. He could be a 25 home run, 15 stolen base outfielder as soon as next year, and this late-season power surge is likely moving him up on a ton of draft boards.

Jake Fraley (SEA): 1-4, 2B, 3 RBI, SB.

Remember when Fraley was a thing? On July 11, Fraley had a .409 OBP, seven home runs, and seven stolen bases in just 149 plate appearances with a 22.1% walk rate and a 25.5% strikeout rate. Some of it may be related to a positive COVID-19 test, but even with that factored in, it’s hard to ignore the dramatic reduction in production—.267 OBP, 11.% walk rate, 30.5% strikeout rate, and a dismal 58 wRC+.  There might be deep OBP league intrigue here in 2022, but it’s more of a flyer than a guy you want to count on.

C.J. Cron (COL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI.

The Rockies signed Cron for a cool one million dollars and got a 2.1 fWAR player who hit 28 home runs with a .276/.369/.529 line. His 2022 draft data will be very interesting to digest if he heads somewhere besides Colorado (which is likely if he wants to win games), but if he somehow stays put, he’s a top-12 to top-15 first baseman (though it could be more like top-10 to top-12 if I thought he’d play 140 games again).

Corey Seager (LAD): 2-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.

The ability and ratios are clear—in 2,685 career plate appearances, he’s hitting .295/.365/.497 with a 131 wRC+. That’s awesome. His landing spot and health are far less certain, of course, though it didn’t stop someone in our July early mock from taking him in the fifth round of a 12-team draft.

Willy Adames (MIL): 2-4, HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB.

Adames will finish the season as a top-15 shortstop, but of course, the real story is how well he played as a Brewer. I’m OK with moving him up to the top-12 if you want to be aggressive, but keep in mind that guys like Jazz Chisholm and Wander Franco will be highly coveted, and it’s hard to imagine guys like Gleyber Torres and Francisco Lindor having such bad seasons again. Oh yeah, and Eugenio Suárez is hitting .346 in September with five home runs in just 52 plate appearances (196 wRC+). Shortstop is crazy deep.

Jake Cronenworth (SD): 3-4, 2 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI, BB.

Cronenworth has had a rough go of things lately, hitting just .239 over the last 30 days with just one home run—and that’s including Sunday’s hit parade. He remains rostered in well over 80% of ESPN and Yahoo leagues, but managers in a fantasy championship should consider swapping him out, as the Padres face an absolutely brutal stretch of opposing pitching from the Giants and Dodgers to close out the season, which makes it difficult to envision the slumping Cronenworth making an impact.

Andy Ibáñez (TEX): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI.

The slap-hitting infielder has a very weird streak going on. His last game with exactly one hit was on August 19. Since then, he has 11 multi-hit games, but none with only one hit. The Rangers finish the season at home against the Angels and the soon-to-be Guardians, so Ibáñez isn’t a terrible play in deeper formats where you need an infielder and some batting average.

Willie Calhoun (TEX): 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI.

He’s only 26, but it’s getting hard to see a bright future for this outfielder. While he made improvements to his plate discipline (7.7% walk rate, 12.0% strikeout rate), his OPS sits just over .700 through 230 games and over 850 plate appearances. At this point, he only seems draft-day relevant in draft-and-hold leagues going into 2022 due to his sub-80 wRC+ against lefties and sub-100 wRC+ against righties.

Leody Taveras (TEX): 2-4, 2 R, SB.

On one hand, he has eight stolen bases since being called back up on August 24, which is tied for third-most in that time. On the other, he’s hitting .202 with a 59 wRC+. The Angels, his opponent to start the week, are vulnerable to the stolen base, but otherwise, I am really uninterested in his services outside of very specific scenarios in 15-team formats.

Whit Merrifield (KC): 3-5, 2 2B, R.

Merrifield should end the season as a top-five second baseman and a top-10 outfielder when all is said and done thanks to his 40 stolen bases, though it’s a bummer that he’s only hit two home runs since the start of July. Even with the late-season power outage, he is a top-20 hitter who will go in the first three rounds of drafts.

George Springer (TOR): 3-4, HR, R, RBI, BB.

Health is an issue, but really it’s the only issue. If you prorate his stats for 140 games (which is problematic in a lot of ways but stay with me anyway), you get 37 home runs, 99 runs scored, 78 RBI, and about six stolen bases. The batting average is a bit rough due to his very slow start to the season, but holy cow can this guy pile up stats in a hurry. He’ll be hard to value in drafts, but it’s hard not to chase the (sort of) healthy upside.

Tyler O’Neill (STL): 2-5, RBI, SB.

Well, it wasn’t another home run, but he now has 14 steals on the season to go with his 32 home runs and .281 batting average. The 26-year-old Cardinal is going to finish the season safely inside the top-15 outfielders, and his projected ADP could rise even further if he has a hot postseason.

Tyler Stephenson (CIN): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.

Through 133 career games, Stephenson has a very respectable .810 OPS and also has a hit in each of his last six starts. He’s a fairly decent streaming option at catcher this week for those looking to finish strong as the Reds have one of the more favorable schedules for the season’s final week, facing the Pirates four times.

Myles Straw (CLE): 4-5, 2B, RBI, SB.

Straw now has at least five stolen bases in five different months this season, which is a remarkable showing of consistency in one of fantasy’s least consistent stats. The stolen bag on Sunday was his 27th of the season, and while we’d love to see him get to thirty, he faces a daunting Royals battery for four games this week who have allowed just 39 steals while gunning down 24 base runners. He’ll be hard to bench if you’re desperate for speed, but if you need other stats more than steals, it may be wise to look elsewhere until the weekend.

Enrique Hernández (BOS): 2-4, BB, SB.

This season has looked a lot like other full-time seasons from Hernández, though he has a very good shot at finishing strong thanks to the upcoming schedule. The Red Sox may have the best hitting schedule in the league with three games against the Orioles and three more against the Nationals, and with Hernández hitting .357/.471/.571 in his last seven games and batting first every day, he’s a good player to fire up for a last-minute push.

Carter Kieboom (WSH): 2-4, 2B, R.

It was good to see Kieboom come back from his forearm injury without hitting the IL or being shut down for the season, and the timing couldn’t be better as the Nationals head to Colorado for a series. I’m not overly hyped on Kieboom at the moment, but there are only three games left in Coors Field this season and with Kieboom available in most leagues, he’s worth considering.


Featured Imaged by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here bat Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor and mascot for Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and a 3x FSWA Award Finalist. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, cartoon connoisseur, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

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