In Roto’s leagues, home runs can be the most fun category to chase. After all, there are so many power hitters in the game today, raising the bar for home runs to a very high level. After all, just take a look at the league-wide home run rate.
Things are looking bleak now, but there will be baseball in 2022! Why not get a head start and enter a Fantrax Classic Draft contest? Jump into the season with a Best Ball league or maybe a Draft and Hold. Or put something green on the line with a new season-long league to try to conquer. There is no better time than now to start playing baseball!
Home runs by season (2010-2021)
- 2010: 4613
- 2011: 4552
- 2012: 4934
- 2013: 4661
- 2014: 4186
- 2015: 4909
- 2016: 5610
- 2017: 6105
- 2018: 5585
- 2019: 6776
- 2021: 5944
We may never reach the top of 2019 again, which came with more favorable baseball when it comes to hitting home runs. That said, it’s clear that this past decade has embarked on the home run boom; baseball increasingly remains a game of three true outcomes.
With that, we need to adjust the way we write. With the number of home runs you’ll need, you’ll want to have options high and low on your list when it comes to hitting for power. When one of your hitters is injured or struggling, it’s imperative that you have a backup plan.
That is the focus of today’s article; we’ll be looking for cheap sources of home run power. The following four players are all very easy to draft, but they have a lot of potential when it comes to hitting with a lot of power. If you’re looking for home runs late in drafts, these four players should definitely be on your team!
Cheap Home Run Sources for 2022 Fantasy Baseball
Data draft via NFC.com drafts from December 1
1B Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers
NFBC PDA: 344.21
Time to get ROWDY here!
Last season our very own David Mendelson tagged Rowdy Tellez as a cheap source of energy, but unfortunately it did not come to fruition. The 26-year-old hit just 11 home runs in 325 plate appearances and posted a career-low .172 isolated power (ISO). That said, I remain optimistic for 2022.
Based on the underlying numbers, there’s not much to suggest Tellez deserved to hit less power in 2021. His 11.6% barrel rate was on par with his career average, while he actually hit the ball harder than ever (average 92.2). GO). However, his home run/fly ball rate fell to 12.4%, where it had been above 20% in alternate seasons. That speaks to bad luck, which should certainly be back in order at a favorable ballpark in Milwaukee in 2022.
Another fun aspect of Tellez is that he is not someone who will sell out for power. In fact, you’ve made great strides when it comes to the number of contacts:
Considering that 2018 was only 73 plate appearances and 2020 was the shortest season, we really should focus on the change from 2019 to 2021. That said, any adjustments he made in 2020 carry over to 2021 and give him a higher profile. full. . A .250 batting average is close to what the projections hold for him, and his new contact skills are just what we need when it comes to keeping him in the lineup.
Plus, we could be looking at a universal designated hitter, which would increase his playing time even more. At the very least, he appears to be on the strong side of a first base squad, and that should give him more than enough playing time to do damage. Remember, this is a player who posted an ISO of .239 with 33 home runs in 609 plate appearances prior to 2021. Tellez isn’t a one-dimensional slugger, but that’s what makes him stand out and more valuable from a fantasy perspective. . . If you need power and a consistent offensive player, feel free to get rowdy.
OF Joc Pederson, free agent
NFBC PDA: 430.32
Like Tellez, Pedersen’s game he didn’t have the season he hoped he would have from a power perspective; he hit 18 home runs in 481 plate appearances between the Cubs and Braves. That said, I’d expect a comeback from the left-handed slugger in 2022.
Interestingly, Pederson’s .184 ISO was the lowest of his eight-year career, as was his 13.7% home run/fly ball ratio. Plus, as you can see, his season was immediately doomed for a putrid start:
As of June 1, Pederson posted an ISO of .205, as well as an 11% barrel. It’s not like his 10.1% barrel for the season was out of line with his previous norms, so his batted-ball luck dipping as it did probably wasn’t warranted.
Ideally, we’d see Pederson start to pull the ball more, based on how often he hits the ball in the air. His traction rate of 34.4% was the lowest of his career and might help explain why his home run/fly ball rate dropped despite the consistent barrel rate. Regardless, we know who he is at this point in his career. ATC projections put him at an ISO of .212 and 22 home runs in 475 plate appearances, but it’s possible he could beat that playing time estimate if he lands in the right situation. There’s a lot left to figure out in free agency, but as a recently successful player, he could be a lot worse off in his quest for power after the 400th pick.
2B/3B Harsh odor, Baltimore Orioles
NFBC PDA: 424.63
remember when harsh odor was an internet sensation for punching José Bautista in retaliation for a slide he deemed dirty? Well, to be fair, Odor was much more than that early in his career. Between 2016 and 2019, he hit 30-plus homers three times, while being worth 2.4 fWAR or more in three of his four seasons.
Things haven’t gone according to plan since then. Odor has been worth just 0.7 fWAR the past three seasons combined, while posting a 77 wRC+ with a sub-.200 batting average and .274 on-base percentage in that span. Meanwhile, he was traded from the Rangers to the Yankees for a very low price, even though Texas ate up the rest of his contract. In other words, things haven’t gone according to plan for Odor.
Perhaps 2022 could be different, though, and that’s thanks to Odor’s new home: He signed a one-year deal with the Orioles. With them, he should get plenty of playing time, unlike when he was with the contending Yankees, which would allow him a chance to rack up some home run production.
Also, the ballpark is a perfect fit. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the fourth-friendliest ballpark for home runs, according to baseball Sage, and Odor is the ideal player to take advantage of that. Left field may be moving back, but it’s still pretty easy to hit the ball to right field, since Cedric Mullins demonstrated last year. Well, when you take a look at Odor’s sprays, that’s pretty significant:
Scent, as evidenced by his 30.9% fly-ball rate and 30.9% under rate, hits the ball out of the air frequently. Meanwhile, as his 51.6% draw rating would suggest, those fly balls go to right field. Throw in a possible line drive regression: His 16.1% line drive rate was lower than his 21.4% career rate, and there’s the potential for 30-homer power here if he has enough plate appearances. If you trust that playing time is there, which it should be with small contests, then he might be the most valuable pure homer out there. Of course, though, you always have to keep that batting average in mind.
3B Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants
NFBC ADP: 394.68
based on ATC projections, evan longoria he is projected to hit just 17 home runs. So why is it on this list? In a nutshell, I think the projections may be doing you a disservice.
Before the 2020 season, the Giants hired Gabe Kapler as their manager. Immediately, Kapler brought in a deep and innovative coaching staff to aid in player development; they were determined to get the most out of all of their players, not just the younger ones. That meant a chance for veterans like Longoria to get a chance at a mini-professional renaissance, which appears to have taken place:
How did this happen? It’s not clear, but the pitch selection has certainly helped; reduced its persecution rate to 18.6% last year. In the meantime, he just hit the ball as hard as ever. In 2021, 0% of his batted balls were classified as weak contact, while his average exit velocity of 94.1 ranked top of the league.
If it wasn’t for a freak collision with Brandon Crawford in early June, Longoria would have had an even better season. Before the injury, Longoria had a 140 wRC+, .236 ISO and a 15.1% barrel rate. Once he came back, he wasn’t the same, but now he has the offseason to fully recover. Projections may miss the 36-year-old, but don’t follow his lead. There’s a reason he’s sleeping at third base heading into the 2022 season!
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