These rookies are worth the hype

Fantasy baseball managers can be predictable this time of year. Start a discussion with them about the consistency of Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco or the breakout power of Brewers shortstop Willy Adames, and listen as they cite ADP numbers and caution against drafting them too early.

But then you ask her about Royal’s prospect Bobby Witt Jr., and like a baby who’s just jingled a bunch of keys in front of them, her eyes glaze over, her smile makes her look happier as the Kool-Aid man and tiny brooks of drool begins to descend from the corners of their mouths. Every fantasy baseball manager loves their shiny new toys.

Drafting rookies can be tough business in the fantasy game. Everyone wants them to be the next Juan Soto, but most end up more like Elliot Soto. (Go look him up if you must. He’s not very good.) But this year we have three very interesting rookie midfielder options, all of which deserve some attention in the 2022 fantasy drafts.

Witt is the most obvious as he is the clear favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year. He’s a special talent who possesses the power, speed, and disc discipline you’d expect from a player in both reality and fantasy. His current ADP pulled him just outside the top 100 and he should be worth the cost. The royals are expected to let him start on opening day thanks to the new CBA and he will be extremely fun to watch.

But if the asking price is too high for Witt and you still covet a rookie middle infielder, then Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz might be worth a look. He’ll probably start in the minors, so you’ll need a grizzled veteran to hold the fort for a few weeks, but the pirates won’t wait too long to bring in this 6ft 7 behemoth, which obviously did it has the power but also has a surprisingly decent speed. With an ADP of 220, he is a good stash candidate.

There are a few other rookie midfielders to watch out for, like the Astros’ Jeremy Pena or the Reds’ Jose Barrero, but Witt and Cruz reign supreme.
If drafting rookies is a priority for you, both deserve your attention. It just depends on how much you want to risk. These rookies are worth the hype


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