Thirty B-Side Prospects: 2022 – Pitcher List


Everyone wants to hunt superstars, I get it. But the fact is the majority of players you will use in fantasy aren’t superstars. B-List prospects probably won’t fit the mold of league-winners-to-be, but crazier things have happened.

A true B-Side prospect is rostered in 0%-2% of Fantrax leagues, but we’ve allowed a few 3%-6% exceptions. The idea is to try and identify a player from each organization capable of taking the dynasty prospect stage in 2022; ascending from dynasty undesirable to more mainstream. This will be our third edition after February 2021  and July 2021.

Once a player’s rostered rate increases by 5% or hits 10%, the B-side has turned hit (or more of a mid-grade name), and they aren’t their organizations’ list representative anymore. These were 2021’s biggest B-Side successes in terms of increased dynasty interest:

This might feel a bit like the land of misfit toys, but there are good baseball players here, some I expect to have big 2022’s, some I think are blatantly overlooked, some who have an outside chance of hitting an MLB roster someday, some here due to lack of better options in the organization. Whether you dig the player or not, this is part identifying good players who haven’t garnered the attention, and part playing the game within the game…turn a nickel into a quarter if you can.

These first six prospects leave me feeling like the dynasty world has missed a boat:

 

Yankees – Andres Chaparro, CIF

22.8-years-old (Played .7 years old and a year young for leagues in ’21)
2% Fantrax Rostered

A’s – Jordan Diaz, 3B,(1B,LF)

21.5-years-old (Played almost 2.5 years younger than league in ’21)
6% Fantrax Rostered

Astros – Enmanuel Valdez, 3B

23.1-years-old (Played one and two years younger than league in’21)
1% Fantrax Rostered


(HR vs. Carlos Belen 9/14/21)

 

Royals – Maikel Garcia, SS

22.0-years-old (Played at age level and then almost a year and a half year younger than league in’21)
1% Fantrax Rostered

Pirates – Dariel Lopez, 3B (SS/2B)

20.0-years-old (Played over two years younger than league ’21)
1% Fantrax Rostered

These five prospects have helium tanks on standby:

 

Cubs – Yohendrick Pinango, COF

19.8-years-old (Played three and two years younger than leagues in ’21)
6% Fantrax Rostered

Pinango is leaning more mid-grade than B-Side prospect now, but he’s still getting the Cubs spot as he may be the most criminally under-rostered prospect in dynasty. Initially, 2% rostered, you’d think a teenager batting .289 his first month of High-A would get a little more than 4%’s worth of attention. Pinango was my litmus test for pitchers in his leagues, handing out pluses if they struck him out. The warts are too many groundballs and probably limited defensively to corner outfield, but the pitch recognition, zone awareness, discipline, and raw power are all there. The young kid has a chance to be a special hitter. If helium comes, it’ll be quick and large, at least from me, as he could be one tweak away from a big-time prospect.


(RBI single vs. Chad Bryant 5/15/21)


(Lone high-A HR vs. Patrick Smith 9/19/21)

 

Angels – Edgar Quero, C

18.9-years-old (Played three years young for league)
2% Fantrax Rostered

A late February 2021 international signee from Cuba, Quero has already gotten the attention of big publications and Twitter. More impressively, he’s already gotten a taste of some full-season ball:

 


(1st full season HR vs. Jason Reynolds 9/19/21)

A very young switch-hitting catcher lauded for both his defense and bat might present a tough proposition for dynasty managers. Yet, we may be entering a new era of fantasy catchers. The unprecedented 2020 prep catcher class, along with 2021’s Harry Ford, and many others, seem to be warming dynasty managers up to the idea of rostering young backstops with offensive appeal. Does Quero belong with that group? From the glimpses of a ten-game run at low-A, he might be on his way.

 

Atlanta – Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B

22.0-years-old (Played at age appropriate league in ’21)
1% Fantrax Rostered

Vaughn Grissom has outgrown B-Side status, but a 2021 6th round pick out of Georgia Tech (transferred after two seasons at Vanderbilt) could follow him. Malloy may have started answering concerns during his pro debut, hitting for some power while showing improvement hitting secondaries. Below are examples of both:

 


(HR off a Jairo Lopez breaking ball 8/31/21)


(HR off a Wander Arias breaking ball 9/11/21)


(vs. Heribert Garcia 9/11/21)

If Malloy continues to prove he can do damage off secondaries, particularly breaking balls, there could be a big productive bat on the other side. Malloy doesn’t have big swing-and-miss concern and hitting for average while tapping into more raw power plants an optimist’s dream of a middle-of-the-order hitter.

 

Mariners – Robert Perez, 1B

21.6-years-old (Played at age appropriate league in’21)
1% Fantrax Rostered

Diamondbacks – Jorge Barrosa, OF

21.0-years-old (Played almost three years younger than league)
2% Fantrax Rostered

Barrosa can handle a bat, doesn’t strike out a lot, capable of producing high amounts of quality contact, while showing some quickness, sparking dreams of top of the major league lineup table-setter. The short-statured Barrosa exuded more pop than perhaps some expected in 2021, including seven pulled home runs. Power, they say, might be the last thing to come for young hitters. If that’s the case, Barrosa finds more fans, and the already too-low 2% climbs. If not, he still appeals enough for watchlist or deep league speculation as an average/runs/chip-in steals kind of dream.

The first time we got to see the young man hit a full-season home run:


(vs. Adam Kloffenstein 7/17/21)

 

Orioles – Darell Hernaiz, IF

20.5-years-old (Played two years younger than league in ’21)
2% Fantrax Rostered

With no idea where Elio Prado is, or went, we’ll go with Hernaiz, who I believe was the youngest player selected in the 2019 draft. Hernaiz is athletic, quick, strong, growing, and capable of building off 2021. The first full pro season was a success leading off for Delmarva, hitting for average, not striking out too often, getting on base, stealing some bases, and playing a good shortstop (some time at second and third as well). There’s more potential pop in his bat than some of our other B-side leadoff hitters:


(HR vs. Andry Lara 9/9/21)

 

Guardians – Christian Cairo, 2B/3B

20.7-years-old (Played one and two and a half years younger than league in’21)
2% Fantrax Rostered

Giants – Ismael Munguia, CF

23.3-years-old (Played almost a year younger than league in’21)
2% Fantrax Rostered

Red Sox – Ceddanne Rafaela, Utility/SS/CF

21.4-years-old (Played a year younger than league in ’21)
2% Fantrax Rostered

Shelly V’s initial take of an advanced player at a young age was spot on. Rafaela can play all over the place and fits all over the top of a Low-A lineup. The athletic Rafaela exudes an ability to hit to all fields for average, scoot a little on the base paths, and hit with some pop:


(Destroys this hanging breaking ball from Lenny Torres 6/6/21)


(Triple vs. Tyson Messer 7/29/21)

The progression as a player has come, but not the dynasty investment. Perhaps a bit overshadowed in this organization, there’s a lot of skill here, and Rafaela may not be far from putting up more attention-grabbing numbers shifting the thought of future MLB utility man to a more exciting hope.

 

Reds – Ivan Johnson, SS

23.3-years-old (Played at age-appropriate levels in ’21)
4% Fantrax Rostered

Got to love it when players surprise themselves by hitting home runs like above. Here’s a pulled home run:


(HR vs. Kevin Gowdy 5/22/21)


(HR vs. Mitch Spence 8/27/21)

 



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