Just like that, we’re already at the MLB All-Star break. How’s your fantasy baseball season going? I’m still doing mediocre things at best in my two championships, but things will get better after the break, I’m just sure. Maybe because I have a player who ended up on our 2022 Fantasy Baseball All-Stars list. Here are the players who aren’t necessarily the top-ranked fantasy players at their position, but rather the top-tier players who brought the most value to owners lucky enough to have them on the roster.
(stats shown are after Saturday’s matches)
(.316 / 44 R / 10 HR / 35 RBI / 0 SB)
Having a quality catcher is a luxury in fantasy baseball – not having to scramble to find a decent player to plug into this slot allows you to spend your time and resources elsewhere. So the fantastic players who have Toronto backstop Alejandro Kirk on the roster are in an envious position. Considered the fourth-best receiver before the start of the season, Kirk exploded into first place and earned an All-Star nod in real life as well as in fantasy. Not bad for an undrafted player who didn’t even have 200 career batters in the big league before this season, and a player who lasted until the 20th round of the SGPN fantasy draft.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 17, 2022
(.330 / 64 R / 20 HR / 70 RBI / 5 SB)
What a golden season this guy is having. Paul Goldschmidt went back in time to 2015, the last time he had such a good season. He leads the majors in runs, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, and OPS+. And, more importantly, the third-best fantasy player heads into the break. Goldschmidt has always been a great, reliable player in fantasy, but this year he’s taken it up a notch. And to think that I caught it in the fourth round of the SGPN league repechage! And my team still sucks!
Second base – Brandon Dry –Cincinatti
(.279 / 55 R / 18 HR / 51 RBI / 2 SB)
Brandon Drury’s career season isn’t enough to get him into the All-Star team in real life, but it’s more than enough to land him on our list. Only Genuine Stars Trea Turner and Mookie Bets have outplayed him at the fantasy baseball position this season, and they’re technically underperforming their preseason projections. Drury was ranked 307th at the start of the year – he is currently 32. And, as a bonus, it’s also 3B and OF eligible.
(.291 / 59 R / 15 HR / 53 RBI / 14 SB)
As if the defending champion Braves haven’t had enough, they now have an All-Star shortstop in Dansby Swanson, who is finally living up to his No. 1 draft position. Ranked 123rd at the start of the season, with 14 other shortstops ranked higher than him, Swanson is now 12th overall and the second best SS behind Turner. The 14 steals are the real treat this season for those who signed him up, as that’s the number he’s had in the previous two seasons combined.
Third Base – Luis Arraez -Minnesota
(.342 / 52 R / 5 HR / 30 RBI / 2 SB)
Luis Arraez wasn’t on anyone’s fantasy baseball radar until this season. This is no longer the case. The 25-year-old utility man (he’s 1B, 2B, 3B and OF eligible) leads the majors in batting average and OBP and was an All-Star team. He also went from the 294th-ranked pre-season fantasy player to 81st and the eighth-highest ranked third bagger.
Luis Arraez two days ago: “Guys who play first base, they have a lot of power, but I’m a Luis Arraez. I have little power. I just have a lot of lines.”
Luis Arraez today: pic.twitter.com/cZJ6vCk5CU
—Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) July 16, 2022
(.272 / 52 R / 16 HR / 50 RBI / 21 SB)
What a gem rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez is. All-Star both on the field and in this column, he is having a sluggish season for the Mariners. 21 interceptions with 16 home runs, that’s where the real value lies. If those who signed him up at the start of the season learned that the above stat line was what he would get in the full 2022 season, they would surely be satisfied. Instead, we have more than two months left. The sky is the limit for this 21-year-old.