Opening Day Player Notes – April 7, 2022
Clint Frazier (OF – CHC) – I still get some post-hype prospect vibes from Clint Frazier as he enters his age-27 season, and there’s still potential here. He has fantastic strike zone discipline, with chase rates of 18% and 19% the past few seasons, and the swinging strike rate is better than average at 10-11% as well. The exit velo doesn’t look all that great, but the barrel rates have been very solid, consistently in the 10-12% range. It’s always worth taking a few cracks at players that disappointed in NY, as that environment is certainly not for everybody….I could easily see Frazier putting up top-60 OF value this season with a much easier path to playing time than he had in NY.
Randal Grichuk (OF – COL) – Grichuk seems like precisely the kind of player that will benefit from Coors Field, as he hits a ton of flyballs, and the steadily improving contact rate through his late 20s should allow him to maximize that slightly above average power. I would not be surprised in the slightest by 30+ HR from him this season, and the AVG should certainly get a boost from the thinner air as well. I think we’ve all perhaps become a bit numb to the Coors effect to the point where we aren’t giving it enough credit, and Grichuk hasn’t benefitted at all from the contact rate improvement from 70% to 79% over the last 3 years. I feel like a 10-20 point bump in AVG is a reasonably likely scenario for him with the move to Colorado, and that coupled with what should be an above average HR total makes him seem a bit undervalued to me right now.
Mickey Moniak (OF – PHI) – The Phils still haven’t announced their Opening Day CF, but Mickey Moniak has done enough to make the OD roster and, if I had to guess, get the start against the A’s. Moniak looks a lot different at age 23 than I thought he would, as the hit tool never really developed past below average while the power has come along nicely. He does have speed too, so he’s yet another player that will merit watching to see if the hit tool can make further progress. If it can make it to average, he could be a 15/15 kind of a player, which has some value. Moniak hit .378 with 6 HR this spring to push his way onto the roster, but I do believe that he will have a tough time getting to that power consistently in regular season games with the poor contact ability.
Ha-Seong Kim (SS – SD) Kim’s debut was rather mediocre last season, but it appears that the 26 year old will have a starting role at least for the first half of this season with Tatis on the shelf once again. Kim had 8 HR and 6 SB in less than 300 PAs last year, and he posted a swinging strike rate of just 8.6% as well. I do believe that there’s a lot of upside here in terms of AVG, R, and SB, while there’s probably enough power to reach 15 HR. I believe Kim to be a nice little sleeper in deeper leagues, and there’s an outside chance for him to put up enough value to be a viable MI in standard-sized formats as well.
Tylor Megill (SP – NYM) – With DeGrom and Scherzer both ailing, Tyler Megill has drawn the Opening Day nod for the Mets against the relatively weak lineup of the Nationals. I like him priced at just $7400 on Draftkings, right in the same area as guys like Wainwright and Brubaker….I like his upside much more than those other players. Megill misses bats well (12% swinging strike rate in 2021) and has solid control, and aside from Soto, Cruz, and Bell that Washington lineup isn’t even remotely scary. Megill does allow a bit of hard contact, keeping his ceiling more in the #3/#4 starter range, but an ERA under 4.00 should probably be expected this year, which should be enough to place him in the top-50 SP.
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