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I consider myself a very new guy to the world of fantasy baseball, or even Major League Baseball itself. I’ve played baseball ever since I was nine years old, but fantasy baseball only came to me in 2017, at the age of 24. At the time I didn’t know much about it, just that it existed.

I learned a lot over the last 5 years through playing, searching statistics on baseball savant and FanGraphs, and now here I am at SP Streamer as a writer. And with that, one of the things I never really gave attention to is the following.

∫∫∫dV

Yes. As you said in your mind. Volume.

What can we see over just one month worth of games that should demand our attention? I am not really sure, but I have eight guys for you who are getting special time in their lineups, so let’s check them out.

Daulton Varsho

Our first guy is none other than C/OF for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Daulton Varsho.

Varsho is entering only his third season in the majors, and through 82 PA he is slashing .211/.293/.394 with four home runs and two stolen bases.

The slash line is not very encouraging, but keep in mind at this point he has only a quarter of the at bats as he did last year. His walk rate has actually slightly increased, and with 6 Barrels and low BABIP there is plenty of hope. It is worth remembering that he is eligible as a catcher, which makes things very interesting. You can have a guy who plays almost every day, steals some bags, and will give you at least some power.

Last year, July through August is when he got the most steady playing time, and his numbers were pretty good when compared to what he has in April of 2022. If he can get this going, I see him as a very good catcher for your fantasy team.

Jesus Sanchez

The outfielder for the Miami Marlins is our second on the list.

With almost a third of the PA from last year, Sanchez is looking good so far. He is slashing .284/.342/.507 in the month of April so far with a 151 wRC+. He can hit the ball very hard, and he is getting a good amount of barrels as well. The plate discipline needs some work, as well as his defensive abilities.

However, for fantasy purposes, he will bring a lot of value to your team, and he should get a good amount of PA throughout the year, so enjoy.

Austin Nola

Our second catcher and the third guy on the list is the catcher for the San Diego Padres, Austin Nola.

Entering his fourth season as a major leaguer, Nola has a horrible slash line of .196/.273/.250 and one HR.

Despite his inability to handle the bat very well through April, he should still get plenty of playing time throughout the year if the catcher depth in San Diego doesn’t change. So if you are interested in a guy who can have a good month as he had in August last year where he hit .296 in 75 PA, keep him around. Otherwise, you may move on to a guy who can get you more value in other categories, even with less playing time.

Ke’Bryan Hayes

The third baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates is the next one on our list, and he is coming in hot.

Batting third in most games and playing pretty much every day, Hayes is slashing .328/.417/.426 with a 150 wRC+, no home runs, and two stolen bases so far through April.

Hayes may not hit the ball very hard, but he should continue getting on base with pretty good plate discipline. But, he does play for the Pirates, so the counting stats may lack a little.

Overall I like what he is getting with the extra PA and I am looking forward to seeing what he will do next with it.

Connor Joe

Leading off almost every game for Colorado, but only fifth on our list, we have the outfielder Connor Joe.

Joe is having what seems to be his first full season as an everyday player. He has almost half of the plate appearances as he had for the entirety of 2021, and he is doing it with gusto.

Over 83 PA, Joe has a slash line of .270/.349/.514 and a 138 wRC+ 4 HR and just 1 SB over the month of April so far. But, like every Rockies player, you need to be aware of his home-away splits.

With about equal PA home and away, he is slashing .350/.422/.550 with just 1 HR at home, compared to .205/.279/.487 with 3 HR on the road. Yes, it is a very small sample size of one month’s worth of playing time, but it may be something to keep an eye on. It should be noted there is usually a gap in home/road BABIP with the Rockies, but Joe’s gap has been especially large through April at .433 vs .179 on the road, expect both to trend at least a bit towards the mean.

With that in mind, I imagine we can expect a very good year from Connor Joe, and a good value for fantasy owners who got him late in drafts.

Jeremy Peña

The number 1 prospect of the Houston Astros, Jeremy Peña, is our next guy.

Peña is solidifying his spot day by day, if not already solidified, as the starting shortstop of the Houston Astros.  If you want to place some ROY bets on a guy with a high enough ceiling, Peña maybe someone to keep an eye on.

Over the month of April, he is slashing .235/.321/.485, which is not really good, but with a 140 wRC+. He ranks on the 95th percentile on outs above average, and he hits the ball hard, currently in the 87th percentile for barrel rate.

His 43.8% of ground balls is not what we want to see for a guy who hits the ball hard, but with enough playing time (which he will get) I believe Peña can be something great for fantasy owners this season.

Michael Chavis

The previous member of the top 100 prospects list, now on my list, Michael Chavis.

Chavis has almost half the PA he had last year in less than a month. Over his 53 plate appearances this year, Chavis is slashing .269/.304/.462 with a 118 wRC+ and just two HR.

He doesn’t have a very impressive start, but some notable improvements. Over the month of April, Chavis has a hard-hit rate is up to 48.8% (41.3% last year) placing him in the 88th percentile, his K-rate dropped 10 points all the way to 21.4%, and his xBA is .285, almost 20 points higher than his batting average. All of this on a short month of April and 53 PA? Yes. Am I overreacting? Maybe. But I am very interested to see what happens here.

Chavis has had an 18 HR season in 2019 over 382 PA. We know he can hit the ball hard and we are seeing it this year. Maybe with a good amount of playing time, he can turn into something, don’t you think?

Santiago Espinal

At the bottom of our list, all the way from Canada, we have the starting second baseman for the Toronto Blue jays, Santiago Espinal.

After Semien’s departure to Texas, Espinal is getting first crack to handle second base, and it is interesting to see.

Over 69 PA, almost a third of the entire last year, Espinal is slashing .273/.338/.455 with a 127 wRC+, two HR, and three stolen bases over the month of April.

His good defensive skills may keep him as a steady presence in the starting lineup, even if it is at the bottom part of it. He improved his hard-hit rate by 26 points compared to last year, all the way to 48.9%, and his xBA is at .302, 40 points above his actual batting average.

It is all based on small sample size, but the playing time is there, and it should remain with the defensive skills he has. If you are looking for what can be a steady production at second base, keep Espinal in mind.

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