Fantasy Baseball Today: Key takeaways from the 2022 MLB Draft and Dylan Cease’s strong first-half finish

MLB: Chicago White Sox vs Minnesota Twins
Bruce Kluckhohn / USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday everyone! I don’t know about you, but it was probably the funniest MLB draft I can remember and it was also a cold lock to make me (and everyone I know) feel very old starting with the first one. choice. The Orioles selected Stillwater High School infielder Jackson Holliday with the No. 1 pick — Jackson, the son of former MLB All Star Matt Holiday. Jackson has committed to play at Oklahoma State and enters the organization as a versatile middle fielder with both power and middle tools as a left-handed hitter. He is also an above average runner on the base paths and should be a clear priority for your roster in goalie leagues where your rules permit.

Unfortunately, I’m battling an illness, so today’s newsletter will be shorter than usual, but we’ll go over all the other key highlights from the MLB draft and some of the most interesting diamond action from the weekend.

Other key points of the project

  • Biggest steal of the draft – The Reds selected infielder Cam Collier with the 18th overall pick. Collier won’t turn 18 until the end of November and was one of the youngest players to enter this class. Despite his age, Collier is considered one of the best clean hitters in this class and offers a smooth left-sided swing. Collier also has room to grow power-wise. It’s a big step in the right direction for a Reds organization that needs a few wins.
  • Most surprising pick: Rangers selected right-handed pitcher Kumar Rocker with the No. 3 overall pick in what was by far Sunday night’s least anticipated development. If you haven’t heard Rocker’s story, he entered last year’s class as one of the best arms overall before being selected by the Mets at No. 10 overall. The Mets were unable to sign him and that made him eligible for that year’s class. Rocker is a total boom or bust pick with elite-level stuff on three courts, but also an injury history that includes concerns with both his shoulder and elbow.
  • Biggest amount: No player has improved his stock more than Oklahoma right-hander Cade Horton and the Cubs drafted him No. 7 overall. Horton played a key role in helping the Sooners reach the College World Series. Horton has probably the baddest slider in the entire draft class, but also a fastball that can hit the 90s.
  • The Mets are going with Parada receiver Kevin Parada at 11th overall. Parada, the 20-year-old right-hander, burst onto the scene last season when he racked up 26 homers — a Georgia Tech record. Parada is an unhesitating prospect with his bat, but there are legitimate concerns about both his defense and his throwing arm. In today’s NL with the DH, it’s less of a concern.
  • Padres go boom or bust: If it hadn’t been for Tommy John’s surgery last April, right-handed pitcher Dylan Lesko could have been selected No. 1 overall. Instead, the Padres grabbed him at No. 15 overall. While drafting an injured pitcher seems dicey on the surface, Lesko is only 18 and we’ve seen plenty of success in recent years when it comes to Tommy John’s surgery recovery. I love this movement.

Quitting ends a strong dominant first half

White Sox SP Dylan Cease allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings while striking out eight batters in an 11-0 win over the Twins on Sunday. He generated 21 swings and misses and now finishes the first half with an MLB-leading 150 strikeouts with nine wins and a 2.15 ERA. Somehow, Cease didn’t make the All Star team.

Other Notable Performances

  • Gerrit Cole ended his first half on a high by racking up 12 strikeouts in a dominating performance against the Red Sox – limiting Boston to just two runs. After many Fantasy managers freaked out over Cole early in the season, he righted the ship to the tune of a 3.02 ERA and .98 WHIP with 147 strikeouts in 113 1/ 3 innings in the first half.
  • Terrible luck for Chris Sale as he broke a finger in his left hand after taking a comeback on Sunday. The sale is back in IL and could be done for the season after just two starts.
  • Alejandro Kirk returns to the court on Sunday and quietly ends his first half as one of the top sneaky receiver producers on a per-bat basis. He will have a .315 batting average with 11 home runs in just 306 plate appearances during the break. The 23-year-old catcher enters the All-Star break hitting .315/.395/.487 with 11 homers in 306 plate appearances in the break.

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