Jeimer Candelario, 2022 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

Wait! Before you close the window, just give me a chance! Come back! Everyone’s gone, huh? *yells, hears echo* Welp, I guess I’m doing this 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper post for myself. I get it, Jeimer Candelario is mega boring. If Jeimer Candelario were an NFT, he’d be a jpeg of beige. If I am properly understanding what an NFT is, and that’s at like 25% odds. Also, if I’m understanding odds correctly, and that’s at like 50% odds. I got 2 to 1 odds that I understand 1 to 2 odds or 1 to 2 odds that I understand 2 to 1 odds? Any hoo! Jeimer Candelario is boring! Who cares? That makes someone more of a sleeper. You’re thinking about him and yawning. That’s the good part of this, not the bad part. Boring isn’t bad. They can’t all be Jarred Kelenic with 40/20/.270 upside. Did I just say Jarred Kelenic has 40/20/.270 upside? My God, what am I doing talking about Jeimer Candelario? Last year, Candelario went 16/0/.271. No wonder he’s a bore. So, what can we expect from Jeimer Candelario for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Psyche! Before we get into the Jeimer Candelario sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve finished my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings and they’re all available on our Patreon. It’s an early Xmas miracle! Like waking in the middle of the night for some egg nog, and not accidentally drinking egg beaters. Anyway II, the Jeimer Candelario sleeper:

Jeimer Candelario had 42 doubles last year, which was tied with J.D. Martinez, Bryce Harper and Whit Merrifield. Throw out Whit because that was from speed. Jeimer, Bryce and Dong’s doubles are due to how hard they’re hitting the ball. Also, I could see throwing out Just Double Martinez because he can go doink off the Monster, which makes it easier to double. Candelario and Bryce Harper. That’s it for guys who could easily gain an extra ten homers with an extra ten feet on their fly balls. In fact (Grey’s got more!), expected home runs by park shows if Jeimer Candelario were playing in Milwaukee, he would’ve had 25 homers last year. The Aaron Bummer in this is Detroit plays to doubles vs. power. It’s not the greatest power park. Is it the worst? Well…It’s up there. (Down there?) It was the 6th worst park to homer in last year. It’s no surprise Jeimer Candelario homered six times out of 16 last year at home.

More so than his home/away splits, Jeimer Candelario’s 1st and 2nd half splits are more encouraging for his power. Yes, I’m spending more time on his power, because he has no speed. You’re get over your outrage. Last year, in the 1st half, he hit five homers. Do the math. Yes, that was 11 homers in the 2nd half in only 68 games (252 ABs). Since he just turned 28 years old, maybe we’ve seen the full extent of his power, but just maybe he’s a late bloomer. All those doubles? They’ll turn to homers. That’s what he was trying to tell us in the 2nd half. Just spit it out next time, Jeimer Candelario! Stop hinting!

If Jeimer Candelario were a guy who will only hit maybe 25 homers on a weak-sauce team, then I’d be all for ignoring him. 2nd half again: He hit .282 with a .301 xBA. By the by, I looked at his splits prior to make sure he wasn’t just a 2nd half hitter. There’s no indication of that. At the Toledo Mud Hens in Triple-A, he was actually much better in the 1st half, and going back to 2019 in the majors, it was more or less same. In his final 250 plate appearances, he had a .380 xwOBA, that would put him in the top 9% in the league. You don’t need to know the ins and outs of wOBA, just know that it’s scaled to OBP, so a good wOBA is a good OBP and vice versa. wOBA is essentially saying how well a player is as a hitter. It measures offensive value accurately. It is saying Jeimer Candelario was a top 9% hitter in the 2nd half. That’s impressive, especially if it’s the beginning of more to come in 2022.

Finally (and you didn’t think I could write 1,000 words about Jeimer Canderlario – ha!), the Tigers may not suck. Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson are due up at any moment. They might struggle early on (here’s my Spencer Torkelson fantasy and my Riley Greene fantasy), but either way Jeimer Candelario is at worst a five-hole hitter and more likely a cleanup or three-hole hitter for an improved Tigers’ lineup. If he does what he did in the 2nd half last year over the course of the 2022 season, it’s hard to imagine him not a top 10 3rd baseman for fantasy, and that’s without a lick of speed. For 2022, I’ll give Jeimer Candelario projections of 82/25/93/.278/1 in 553 ABs with a chance for much more.

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