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Dynasty Baseball Stock Report: Luzardo, Bellinger, Suzuki

Welcome back to the 2022 MLB and fantasy baseball season. It is the best time of the year. Everyone is excited, watching their teams and the standings. Overreactions are happening, but it is essential to sort through the noise and perservere. It is a long season, and remember it is a marathon, not a sprint. Dynasty baseball makes it even more important to play the long game.

With that being said, I do believe it is essential to weed through what data is useful and which is not. Whether we want to admit it or not, players’ values change daily in dynasty leagues. This week we will discuss three players who have seen their dynasty stock change in a small sample of 2022.

Dynasty Fantasy Baseball Stock Report

Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Miami Marlins

Jesus Luzardo was already seeing his stock rise during Spring Training when he threw his fastball harder than ever and located his pitches well. Then came the start against the Angels. Luzardo looked like the ace that many thought he could be as a prospect.

Luzardo fired five innings with 12 strikeouts, two hits allowed, and one earned run. Twelve strikeouts are always pretty impressive, but it is more how he produced those 12 strikeouts.

Luzardo mixed four pitches but threw his curveball at a 50 percent rate. His curveball was quite dominant. He located it very well and generated 12 whiffs on it on 13 swings. A 92 percent whiff rate is highly impressive. He also got nine called strikes on it.

Luzardo also had his fastball Velo up nearly two mph from last year, also the case in Spring Training. It shows that throwing at a higher velocity usually has positive benefits. On his four-seam, he generated a 29 percent called strike plus whiff rate. Just look at how well Luzardo located his curve. It was a beautiful outing.

Jesus Luzardo Dynasty

After a strong spring, I was already moving Luzardo up my dynasty rankings, and this outing only helped that. I understand saying it’s just one game, but it’s more than that for Luzardo. He was dominant in his last start of the 2021 season and looked great all spring. It carrying over into the regular season is more confirmation.

I will be cautious not to move him up too high, but this has been a very positive progression for the once top prospect.

Dynasty Stock: Way up (inside my top-100)

Cody Bellinger, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

As I am typing this piece I am currently watching Cody Bellinger battling against Chris Paddack. Paddack struck out Bellinger, which is not much of a surprise. Bellinger had a putrid Spring Training and began to tinker with his swing just before the regular season began. During spring training, Bellinger struck out 18 times in 36 at-bats and managed just five hits. That was coming off a season where he hit .165 over 315 at-bats in 2021.

As of this writing (as Bellinger is in the middle of a game), he is batting just .133 with seven strikeouts in 15 at-bats. Bellinger looks lost at the plate. It is a significant fall from grace since his 2019 MVP season where he hit 47 home runs, stole 15 bases, and posted a .305/.406/.629 slash line.

I understand injuries have played a part in the downturn in production, but I have to wonder how much is mental at this point. Since the start of the 2020 season, Bellinger has not accused 610 plate appearances. Would it surprise you if I told you his batting average was below the Mendoza line? Bellinger has a .194/.279/.358 slash with 22 home runs in 610 plate appearances. His 74 wRC+ over that span is tied for second-worst in baseball behind only Kevin Newman. It seems unreal that a former MVP is in the spot he is.

You can blame Bellinger’s performance on various things, but the reality is he is not performing. Bellinger’s value in dynasty leagues has never been lower, and I’m not sure I would even call him a buy-low.

Writers Note: No, Bellinger’s home run off the Twins does not change anything I wrote.

Dynasty Stock: Way down (outside my top-200)

Seiya Suzuki, OF, Chicago Cubs

Suzuki has been flat-out dominating this season with the Chicago Cubs. Last season in Japan, Suzuki dominated, slashing .317/.433/.636 with 38 home runs in 538 plate appearances. Everyone knew Suzuki was good, but it was uncertain how he would translate to the Majors or if he would need time to adjust to life in the United States.

It does not appear that is the case for Suzuki, who is currently slashing .429/.526/1.071 with three home runs to this point. He had a two-HR game on Tuesday and ultimately looks the part of a big-time Major League hitter.

He has a 50 percent hard-hit rate and an average exit velocity of 93.5 mph. Suzuki is exhibiting elite plate discipline as well. He has swung and missed just twice all season which is pretty impressive. He actually has more home runs than swings and misses.

Suzuki is on the rise and could rise even higher in dynasty leagues. He is easily in my top-100 dynasty rankings with a chance to move even higher if the strong start continues.

Dynasty Stock: Up (Inside my top-100)

Be sure to check out all our other great content at FantraxHQ as baseball season is in full swing.

Statistical References: Baseball Savant, Fangraphs

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