Marcus Semien: 2022 Fantasy Baseball Bust?

The Texas Rangers finished the 2021 season with a record of 60-102, which placed them squarely in last place of the AL West division. The Rangers struggled mightily on offense during the season as they managed to score just 625 total runs on the season, which ranked them in 28th place league-wide.

The offensive struggles have likely played a role in the offseason moves the Rangers have made thus far as they have signed the likes of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. They will rely heavily on these two as well as their young talent in order to put together a formidable 2022 campaign. The question moving forward is whether or not they made the right signing in Marcus Semien who is coming off a tremendous 2021 campaign.

Was his 2021 season a flash in the pan, or is it something we can expect to see him repeat or improve upon in 2022? A deep look into his career metrics should help shed some light on whether or not he is worth his current ADP.

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Regression to the Mean

Semien had the best season of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2021 as he slashed .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs, 102 RBI, 115 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases. I have set career highs in home runs, RBI, and SLG. He was able to post such incredible power numbers thanks in large part to some success in a few key advanced metrics. He posted a 41.3% hard-hit rate, which was a full 3.2% higher than he had posted in any prior season.

He also posted a .455 xSLG, which was .041 higher than his career average of .414 and was higher than all seasons in his career except for 2019 where he posted a .490. It should also be noted that he never posted above a .406 in any other season. Semien also posted a barrel rate of 9.8% and an average exit velocity of 89.7%, both of which were not surprisingly career highs.

Aside from Semien’s 2021 power metrics looking like outliers in his career, his shift from the Blue Jays to the Rangers will also have an impact on his fantasy value. Semien spent 607 plate appearances batting either first or second in a Blue Jays lineup that scored the third-most runs in all of baseball. He will now likely fill the same role for the Rangers in a lineup that scored the third-fewest runs in all of baseball. This would certainly look to have an adverse effect on his counting stats of him in 2022.

Conclusion

Overall, Marcus Semien had the best season of his career in 2021. He posted tremendous power numbers by crushing 45 home runs and driving in 115 RBI. That being said, 2021 looks like a significant outlier for Semien as he has rarely shown such power in his career aside from a 33-home run season with Oakland in 2019. Shifting from the Blue Jays’ high-powered offense to the Rangers’ sub -par offense should also have a negative impact on Semien’s numbers in 2022.

One last thing that ought to be considered in the shift in divisions. The ballparks of the AL East are notorious for producing runs, but shifting to the AL West and their more cavernous parks will not be ideal for Semien. Semien currently has an ADP of 30, which means he is being selected in the middle of the second round of 12-team mixed leagues. This is a bit too high for someone like Semien who cannot be trusted to repeat 2021’s monstrous season. Wait on second base and look to take someone like Jazz Chisholm Jr. (ADP 97) or Jake Cronenworth (ADP 112) and focus on grabbing a more proven stud like Trevor Story with your second-round pick.

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