Angels' Shohei Ohtani headlines 2022 fantasy baseball fades

Yahoo Sports' Scott Pianowski and Dalton Del Don discuss a few players who could see a dip in production this year.

Video Transcript


SCOTT PIANOWSKI: It's fantasy baseball prep season-- Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don. Fades are what we're gonna talk about today. And, Dalton, you're not afraid to make a splash. You're not afraid to throw big names out there. The buzziest guy in baseball is Shohei Ohtani, and you're saying, none for me this year.

DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, I'm fading. I'm a huge Shohei Ohtani fan. Listen, he cashed a nice MVP longshot ticket for me last season. And I promise I'm not using him here just so I could brag about that.

He's just simply too risky for me in his new draft costs. He's a truly special baseball player. You look deep into the stats, it's even more incredible what he's done.

But, you know, he didn't top 130 innings pitched last year. So, if you're drafting him as a pitcher, you can't project him for more than that when everything went perfectly. And then, as a hitter, his power-speed combo is obviously quite appealing. But he's util only. He hit .229 after the all-star break when his OPS also dropped 200 points.

My issue is just health. What he did last season was incredibly remarkable because of how difficult it was to do. And I just wouldn't count on him repeating it again the very next year at a first-round fantasy draft cost.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I think it's fair to expect some regression. And the problem is he's priced into that first round. Now, remember, he led the league in caught stealing. He led the league in intentional walks. There may not be the greatest lineup around him, although he does have Mike Trout to fall back on.

I'm probably not gonna draft Ohtani. It's with trepidation. I'm scared of the other teams that are gonna get him on their roster. But I share the fade comment.

I'm gonna fade Joe Musgrove, who was really good to me last year. His Yahoo ADP is in the 90s. The 3.18 ERA looks really good, but his expected era was in the high 3s. And Petco Park is no longer an extreme pitcher's park.

Musgrove fell off in the second half of the year. I'm not thrilled with the Padres' defense. I think he's set up to be overpriced by maybe 30 or 40 picks. And it's not that I strongly dislike Musgrove. I just want to pick pitchers that are on, I think, the escalator-- still haven't had their best season.

I think Musgrove just had the best year he's likely to have. So I'm gonna look to avoid him. Again, I think Petco is misunderstood. I think people think it's Death Valley. It really isn't anymore.

And I don't know that the Padres are putting out their best defense every night. So Joe Musgrove, probably not on my rosters this season.

DALTON DEL DON: Kevin Gausman is my fade. He's coming off a dominant season. But, man, his ADP has shot way up as a result, I worry that San Francisco didn't even offer him a contract in free agency this offseason. And that front office appears to be really sharp.

Gausman was not a big spin rate guy, but he's become a two-pitch pitcher. And he wore down last year, recorded a 4.4 ERA, nearly a 1.4 WHIP, after the all-star break. He'll benefit from good run support now in Toronto, but he sports the highest ADP of his career despite, you know, now back throwing in the Al East where he's previously struggled and signing a huge offseason contract. To me, it's a recipe to fade at draft tables.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I can totally see that. And, obviously, he's switching parks, and that can be a problem as well. You know, Tommy Edman was good to me last year. He's one of the few baseball players who still shows interest in running. He qualifies at multiple positions. And he's such a good defender it'll keep him in the lineup.

But the thing about Edman is he really isn't a good hitter-- .262/.3o8/.387 slash. He's had an OPS plus below the league average of 100 the last two seasons. I'm afraid he could easily bat seventh, eighth, or ninth on the Cardinals.

Remember, there's been a managerial change. So, you know, who knows if the new regime is in on Edman. You're still gonna get stolen bases, but you might only get a handful of home runs. And he didn't run in the truncated 2020 season, so I wouldn't even say the stolen bases are a lock.

I get it. People are nervous because the stolen base is disappearing in the game these days. That means we need fewer of them to be competitive. I'd rather take a worker bee approach, try to get 10, 12 with all my early picks, rather than maybe take a guy like Tommy Edman, who could be a one- or two-trick pony.

And, again, I'm really concerned. He batted leadoff just about all of last season. I don't think that repeats. Tommy Edman, fantasy trap in fantasy baseball 2022.