Top Fantasy Baseball Performers – Week 11
Two three-homer games highlighted a week in which many players reappeared amongst the top fantasy baseball performers. All but one hitter had already earned top 10 honors this season while half of the pitchers were honored in previous weeks. We are in the thick of the baseball season and now is where seasons can be broken or made as players either fall deeper into their slumps or climb aboard a ride to better days. Let’s jump right in to the top 10 hitters and pitchers from the 11th week of the 2022 MLB season, including honorable mentions and position-specific awards.
Rankings are based on Fantasy Pros player rater rankings from the 11th week of the season (6/16 – 6/22). The player rater is 5×5 rotisserie-based because that is the most universal format, making it easy to compare players across different sites. Position eligibility is listed according to ESPN. All stats via Fangraphs and Pitcher List.
1. Anthony Rizzo – 1B, New York Yankees
Week 11 Stats: 28 PA, .364 AVG, 6 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB, 1.409 OPS
This is the second time Rizzo has earned a top weekly honor (week three), and he did it this time by mashing the second most dingers in baseball and adding a stolen base for good measure. His power output this season has been unmatched throughout his career as he already has 19 homers, which is just three shy of his total from 2021 and puts him on pace for 42 long balls across the full season. His .210 BABIP has been suppressing his .231 average (289 PA), but pulled fly balls aren’t conducive to a high BABIP, so he may be more of an all-or-nothing hitter at this point in his career. The left-handed hitter will continue to take advantage of the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium.
2. C.J. Cron – 1B, Colorado Rockies
Week 11 Stats: 26 PA, .417 AVG, 8 R, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB, 1.256 OPS
In his first weekly top performers selection since way back in week two, Cron was an all-around contributor and run producer even though a third of his games this week came outside of Coors Field. The right-handed hitter tied for the most runs scored across baseball and tied for the second-most RBI with the help of a trio of long balls, two of which came in a single game against the Padres and all three of which came in a two-game span. His .360 BABIP is a career-high by 44 points and is contributing immensely to his career-high .300 average (295 PA), but his home park’s BABIP-boosting effects will keep the floor of his success on balls in play a lot higher than what you would normally expect.
3. Javier Báez – SS/2B, Detroit Tigers
Week 11 Stats: 29 PA, .407 AVG, 5 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 1.374 OPS
In an attempt to avoid a third-straight conversation on a player’s batted ball luck, I’m just going to put it out there that Báez has been more unlucky than in any season prior to this one and will, without a doubt, continue to improve. He showed that improvement this week by securing his first weekly honors, finishing as just one of two players with multiple home runs and stolen bases. The .407 average on the week is a good sign and is a result of his improved plate approach which has him striking out just 23.7% of the time – the lowest of his career and a massive improvement on his career 29.3% K% entering the season. The confusing part is that he’s swinging outside of the zone (47.1%) more often than ever despite that career-low K%, and those chases are causing him to produce the highest rate of ground balls (50.6%) of his career.
4. Mike Trout – OF, Los Angeles Angels
Week 11 Stats: 32 PA, .250 AVG, 7 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 0 SB, 1.130 OPS
What more is there to say about the greatest player of our generation? Trout has become more of a pure offensive threat with the disappearance of his threat on the bases, but he has been one of the biggest producers of offense this season, sporting the highest barrel rate of his career (22%). This was his third weekly honor (week three, week five) and he earned it by being the most dangerous home-run threat in the league, going yard more than anyone else and tying for the second-highest total of RBI. Four of his five home runs were game-winning (as in his homers were the deciding score, not walk-offs), and they all came in one series versus the Mariners where he became the first player ever to hit four game-winning home runs in a single series. The only negative to Trout’s season has been the highest strikeout rate (28.6%) of his career and his lowest walk rate (12.6%) since 2014, removing him from the upper echelon of strike zone knowledge.
5. Jon Berti – 3B/2B, Miami Marlins
Week 11 Stats: 28 PA, .280 AVG, 3 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 5 SB, .757 OPS
No one has been able to slow Berti down, and he is now the MLB co-leader in stolen bases (19) after swiping the most bags in baseball this past week. This is his second weekly honor in a row and third of the season (week four, week 10) and he now has 10 thefts across the last two weeks alone, garnering nearly all of his fantasy value from his aggressiveness on the basepaths. He has only been caught on the bases once this season and I think the only way opposing teams will be able to keep him from victimizing them is by attacking him in the zone and hoping that he hits into weak outs in the field because he doesn’t chase out of the zone or hit the ball with any authority and if he gets on first, he will steal, so the best plan is to just go right after him.
6. Julio Rodríguez – OF, Seattle Mariners
Week 11 Stats: 30 PA, .379 AVG, 5 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, .986 OPS
Ever since his slow start, Rodríguez has been a regular mention in this series, with this nomination being his third of the season (week four, week seven). He continues to be a demon on the basepaths and is maturing at the plate as the season moves along, improving in the wRC+ department in each successive month (62 to 151 to 157), culminating in a .276/.337/.441 slash line. A special talent who will be one of the biggest fantasy producers for years to come, Rodríguez is putting himself in the top tier of upcoming baseball stars at the young age of 21.
7. Yordan Alvarez – OF, Houston Astros
Week 11 Stats: 15 PA, .357 AVG, 6 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 1.614 OPS
Joining the likes of Mookie Betts, Sandy Alcantara, and José Ramírez, Alvarez is now up to a league-lead-tying four weekly honors (week four, week six, week nine) thus far after he crushed the second-most dingers and posted the highest OPS (min. 10 PA) in the Majors. The Astros had two days off this week and Alvarez sat in one of their five games, so he may have finished with top honors had he received twice as many plate appearances like many of his competitors. I’ve mentioned his ability to impact the ball and his career-low strikeout rate at length, but one of the most impressive aspects about his season has been his ability to make adjustments and improve to an even higher level, with June being his best month so far. He is leading MLB with his 201 wRC+, 10 points higher than the next best mark.
8. Josh Bell – 1B, Washington Nationals
Week 11 Stats: 29 PA, .348 AVG, 5 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 0 SB, 1.352 OPS
A breakout in 2019 led to Bell being touted as one of the most promising young first basemen, but after a down 2020 and a solid 2021, many were doubting whether or not he was actually as impactful at the plate as he was in the first couple of months of that breakout campaign. He’s proven the doubters wrong by producing a 135 wRC+ this season that matches the rate he put up in 2019, and that mark may keep rising as the switch-hitter is finally incorporating the power that was missing from his game across April and May, tying for the second-most homers in week 11 to bring his total up to 11 on the season. His carrying tool has consistently been his plate discipline and he’s somehow become even more of a standout in that category this season, striking out at the lowest full-season rate (13.8%) of his career, helping to support his career-high .295 average. This was his first weekly inclusion since the first week of the season.
9. Luis Robert – OF, Chicago White Sox
Week 11 Stats: 26 PA, .440 AVG, 3 R, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB, 1.103 OPS
An injury and a bout with COVID have kept Robert from breaking out in full this season after injuries did the same to him last season, but I’m excited to see what he can do for the rest of 2022 as he’s continued to improve on his strikeout rate (career-low 17.9%) and is underperforming his xSLG by nearly 100 points while batting a deserved .300 and stealing bases. He earned his first weekly performer selection since week one on the back of four multi-hit games and the most RBI in the Majors as he continues to build on a 13-game hitting streak. As long as Robert stays on the field, I think he will be a top-15 fantasy contributor the rest of the way in roto leagues where his added value on the bases makes him a legitimate five-category star.
10. Freddie Freeman – 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Week 11 Stats: 24 PA, .476 AVG, 4 R, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 0 SB, 1.494 OPS
Lacking his customary power, Freeman has made up for his lack of pop by producing hits at an elite clip, but he’s beginning to turn it around in the power department and will soon make Dodgers fans happy by surging into the MVP race. He led the Majors in average (min. 20 PA) this past week and contributed two homers after going deep just twice in 49 games from April 25th to June 18th. With an xSLG nearly 100 points above his actual rate and his usual impressive batted ball metrics intact, a power surge is incoming and the left-handed hitter will surely add to his total of three weekly top performers honors (week two, week three) in the process.
Honorable Mentions: Jack Suwinski & Isaac Paredes
There was more than just one player to mention in this segment because multiple unheralded hitters had incredible days at the dish.
A 23-year-old member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Suwinski (15th ranked hitter) made history by becoming the first rookie to hit three homers in a game with one of them being of the walk-off variety. The huge performance gives the outfielder 11 homers on the year, buoyed by an impressive 13.6% barrel rate, but he will continue to struggle in the average department because he is striking out 31.2% of the time.
Another 23-year-old had a historic game as well, with Paredes (19th ranked hitter) hitting his own trio of dingers, and he was even able to continue his hot streak with a home run in the following game to bring his season total to nine. An offseason acquisition from the Tigers in the Austin Meadows deal, the Rays have helped the right-handed hitter tap into his power, leading to a career-high 110.4 mph max exit velocity and six times as many barrels than he had in two brief stints in Detroit.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that Shohei Ohtani was technically the number one ranked batter by Fantasy Pros, but I’m under the impression that it took into account his amazing week on the mound as well because his .269 average (32 PA), two runs, two homers, eight RBI, and no steals didn’t appear like a league-leading stat line. Nonetheless, both of his homers and all eight of his RBI came in one game. It is mind-boggling that he did that the night before securing top pitching performer honors.
Catcher of the Week: Alejandro Kirk
A third “Catcher of the Week” award in the last four weeks (week eight, week nine) should tell you all you need to know about how hot Kirk (16th ranked hitter) has been. The stocky catcher led his position in runs (six), home runs (three), and RBI (six), improving on his .307/.395/.487 slash for the season, which should be good enough to earn him starting catching honors in this year’s All-Star game.
1. Shohei Ohtani – DH/SP, Los Angeles Angels
Week 11 Stats: 2 W, 14 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP
A career week on the mound led Ohtani to his third weekly honors (week two, week five), with all three landing him the top pitching spot and fulfilling my prediction that he’d make at least one article a month. The only two-start pitcher who held his opponents scoreless, the once-in-a-generation two-way player was somehow worth a full win above replacement this week as he pitched a six-inning shutout in Seattle before what could be called the best start of his career – an eight-inning masterpiece against the Royals during which he set a career-high with 13 punchouts, helping him earn the second-most Ks across week 11 and finishing as one of four pitchers with two wins. It is easy to point out that Ohtani has not been as good at the plate as he was in his MVP season, but he’s made up for that by improving across the board on the mound, and he currently boasts career-best marks in ERA (2.91), WHIP (1.01), K% (33%), BB% (5.9%), three key ERA estimators (xERA, FIP, xFIP), and CSW (33.1%).
2. Carlos Rodón – SP, San Francisco Giants
Week 11 Stats: 1 W, 15 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 18 K, 0.60 ERA, 0.53 WHIP
A month-and-a-half-long lull during which Rodón pitched to a 4.50 ERA across eight starts kept the left-hander out of the spotlight after he started the season off with a bang, earning back-to-back top performer honors in weeks two and three. While his fastball velocity has dropped from the beginning of the season, he was able to get back on track this past week with an eight-inning, eight-strikeout shutout of the Pirates before going to Atlanta and holding them to one run while punching out double-digit batters. Those two outings made him the premier innings-eater in baseball and dropped his ERA to 2.70 (80 IP) to go with an elite 31.3% strikeout rate, two marks that should remain as long as he can stay on the field and continue to pump his fastball in the zone in the upper 90s.
3. Charlie Morton – SP, Atlanta Braves
Week 11 Stats: 0 W, 14 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 20 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.43 WHIP
Charlie Morton hath returned! The veteran starter struggled to a 5.67 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP, and a 24.4% strikeout rate across his first 12 starts (60.1 IP), showing signs of life recently before fully breaking out of his slump with two amazing outings this past week. That slow start is reminiscent of the one he had last year and his seven innings of scoreless baseball with nine strikeouts on the North Side as well as his seven frames and 11 strikeouts against the Giants were reminiscent of his recent ace-level campaigns. He struck out the most batters in baseball this past week while allowing the fewest baserunners, thanks in part to the fact that he was the only pitcher (min. 10 IP) to not give out a free pass. He should continue to finish strong, riding his 17.5% swinging strike rate curveball and mid-90s four-seamer to more dominant outings like these.
4. Jon Gray – SP, Texas Rangers
Week 11 Stats: 2 W, 12.2 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP
When Gray signed with the Rangers this past offseason, many analysts, including myself, pegged him for a breakout season as he escaped the unfriendly pitching environment in Colorado. He was up and down across his first handful of outings this year but he finally fell into form with seven shutout innings in Detroit and a solid start against the mighty Phillies with 15 whiffs and 32.4% CSW, earning the win in both of his starts to finish as one of four pitchers with two victories. He didn’t stand out in any one category, but he continues to ride a slider that has added a ton of horizontal movement as well as a fastball that has gained a half tick, pushing him to produce the lowest WHIP (1.18) and highest strikeout rate (25.5%) of his career.
5. Keegan Thompson – RP/SP, Chicago Cubs
Week 11 Stats: 1 W, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 16 K, 0.75 ERA, 0.75 WHIP
Beginning the year pitching out of the bullpen, Thompson earned a top performer selection in week two for his bulk relief, but after moving to the rotation and performing exceptionally across two starts, he earned his first honor as a starter. He had the best outing of his career to start the week with six shutout innings and nine strikeouts against the Braves and followed that up with a solid six-inning, one-run outing with seven punchouts in Pittsburgh. Thompson’s calling card this year has been a four-seamer that has earned him the seventh-highest CSW (35.1%), according to Pitcher List, helping him to limit hard contact, but the results haven’t been great as he owns a 5.29 FIP across his six starts (26 IP) since moving to the rotation full time.
6. Michael Wacha – SP, Boston Red Sox
Week 11 Stats: 2 W, 11.1 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 2.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
I don’t think there were many fantasy managers that envisioned Wacha closing in on the month of July sporting a 2.34 ERA (65.1 IP) and 1.04 WHIP, especially if you had told them he’d be striking out batters at the lowest rate (18.5%) of his career. Nonetheless, Wacha kept up his strong first half as one of four starters with two wins by holding the Cardinals to one run across 5.1 innings prior to striking out a season-high seven batters in six innings against the Tigers. He earned an honorable mention for his shutout in week nine, but other than that, he’s been quietly rolling along, with the biggest change to his repertoire being a newly oft-used sinker that has induced grounders at an optimal 66.7% rate, helping him pitch to contact more and avoid long innings.
7. Tyler Wells – RP/SP, Baltimore Orioles
Week 11 Stats: 2 W, 11 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K, 0.82 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
Wells has sort of had a mini breakout this season at the age of 27, moving to the rotation after 44 appearances in 2021, all of which saw him emerging from the arm barn. This past week, he kept the Nationals off the board across five frames after keeping the dangerous Blue Jays lineup at bay in a six-inning start, earning a win in each of them to tie for the league lead in that category. His 7/5 K/BB ratio across those starts was not inspiring and his 3.34 ERA (64.2 IP) isn’t supported by his 4.93 xFIP, but he will be a serviceable starter in deep leagues because he takes the ball every five days and has the ability to slide by unscathed in weeks like this one from time to time.
8. George Kirby – SP, Seattle Mariners
Week 11 Stats: 1 W, 12 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 K, 1.50 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
A top prospect who was called up in early May to bolster the Seattle rotation, Kirby earned his first top performer honor because of two six-inning starts, one of which was of the scoreless variety in Oakland and the other a two-run outing against the hard-hitting Angels. The fact that he landed on this list for the first time this week would suggest that he hasn’t pitched up to snuff, but that is far from the case as the 24-year-old right-hander owns a superb 3.12 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP across 49 innings. His most appealing quality is his unwillingness to allow bases on balls, as his incredible 3.0% walk rate is the lowest mark among starters with at least 40 innings pitched. He lines up for a favorable matchup against the Orioles in his next outing.
9. Martín Pérez – SP, Texas Rangers
Week 11 Stats: 1 W, 13 IP, 14 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 0.69 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
In what might be the most surprising season by a starting pitcher this season, Pérez continued his run driven by impeccable command on his sinker, changeup, and cutter. It seemed as though his success was coming to an end after a seven-run outing last week, but he bounced back this week with seven strong innings in Detroit and six-shutout frames against the Phillies. He owns an eye-popping 1.96 ERA (87.1 IP) and 1.13 WHIP and will continue to pitch effectively as long as he keeps placing his changeup armside and limiting hard contact with his sinker and cutter. This was his third weekly honor after he was recognized for his efforts in weeks four and eight.
10. Shane Baz – SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Week 11 Stats: 0 W, 10.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.84 ERA, 0.75 WHIP
Elbow troubles held Baz back from making his long-awaited 2022 debut, but it was worth the wait as the 12th-ranked prospect (according to MLB Pipeline) pitched six shutout frames in Baltimore before holding the best team in baseball (the Yankees) to just one run in his second start of the week. The 23-year-old debuted last season to great success which aided in building up the hype for his first full season, and so far so good as he looks to build up his stamina to become one of the best young pitchers in baseball. His success stems from a 96+ mph fastball, a devastating slider, a biting curveball, and a low-90s changeup, giving him an elite four-pitch repertoire that is hard to find in pitchers of his age.
Honorable Mention: Daniel Lynch
With what could be labeled as the best two-start stretch of his young career, Lynch (13th ranked pitcher) struck out a career-high 10 batters in just five one-run innings in Oakland and held his opponent to just one run in 4.2 frames in Anaheim, giving him a 1.86 ERA (9.2 IP) on the week despite an unsightly 1.45 WHIP. He produced outs by missing bats with his slider, inducing 18 whiffs on the pitch across the two starts, but he will need to continue to improve as he owns an uninspiring 4.95 ERA (63.2 IP), 1.55 WHIP, and 22.4% K% in his sophomore season.
Reliever of the Week: Emmanuel Clase
In his second “Reliever of the Week” award-winning effort of the season (week nine), the flamethrowing Clase (11th ranked pitcher) earned more saves (four) than any reliever while allowing just two hits across four scoreless outings. He is one of the most effective pitchers in the game because of his 100 mph cutter, but he doesn’t strike batters out at the elite rates of the upper-echelon closers, sporting a 28.9% strikeout rate that is a 2.4% improvement on his 2021 mark. He upped his save total to 17 while dropping his ERA to 1.48 (30.1 IP).
You must log in to post a comment.