The argument against Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Nick Torciaro, USA Today Sports

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He is a great hitter. His strike rate is low and he hits the ball hard. He’s been really good in 2022, but drafting him as a fantasy first baseman is risky.


This is not to say that the other first team does not take any risks. Freddie Freeman he is 33 years old, Alonso House hits in pitchers park, and Paul Goldschmidt He’s 35. Admittedly, we’re going to be picky with Guerrero in this space. Because of his ADP. When we talk about the top 25, auditing is a necessary part of the process. You can leave this post thinking Guerrero deserves to be a top 12 overall pick and first baseman. That’s totally fine because Guerrero is good in this draft slot. The argument here is that we can get a better outfielder or starting pitcher with that pick and wait for first base.

In 2021, Guerrero put up a stellar season. Especially for someone under the age of 25, let alone only 22. He hit 48 home runs and the Blue Jays lineup helped him make 111 runs and score 123 runs. He downed .311/.401/.601 met the .417 xwOBA with a hit rate of 55.2% and an elite rate of 15.1%.

But he returns to Earth in 2022.

Guerrero batted a very good (not great) .274/.339/.480 with 32 home runs, which is just under 100 runs batted in and scored. His BABIP dropped from .311 to .289. His projected stats really faltered. This xWOBA dropped to 0.348 with everything else. His 50.4% hard-hit average was among the best in the league, but his 11.2% barrel rate seemed to be suffering from the decline.

That roughly 10% drop in power hitting rate could have been the difference between being one of the best hitters in the game and being a really good hitter in a power stack position.

Is Guerrero the juggernaut we saw in 2021 or is he a clone of him that we saw in 2022? As always, the answer is probably somewhere in the middle. If 2022 numbers are our bottom line, great. But only if everyone hits their ground. If we formulate Elvis Andrews And it sucks, it has no consequences. But as for picking the top 12, we shouldn’t really care about the floor when hitting that floor will hurt our team because the opportunity cost is too high.

This is not just the cost of giving up a better base player for its price, but players love it Jordan Alvarez And his barrel rate of 21.0% is on a heavy hit rate of 59.8% or like the shooters Corbin Burns.

Burns is just 28 years old and has scored 10.83K/9 with a 2.27 BB/9 and only 1.02 for 3.05 SIERA over 202.0 innings pitched. He is not just an enduring magician like, say, Carlos Rodon. He can score the volume we need from an upper starting pitcher.

Concerns about those aforementioned first gentlemen are legitimate—especially Freeman’s for price—but we do get discounts on Alonso, Goldschmidt, and Olson.

If we’re going to stick to 2021, here are the 2021-22 barrel rates for those five:

Alonso 13.5%
Olson 13.1%
Guerrero 13.1%
Goldschmidt 12.6%

Guerrero doesn’t have a huge lineup advantage over those three either. The Braves are stacked, the Deads are stacked, and the Cardinals are strong.

Steamer has Guerrero’s .393 predictions as the best for the position. They could be right. That’s a great reason to draft him into the Top 12. I’d rather overdraft than Burns and wait for first base. In a 12-team league we have both on the swing, but there’s no egregious way I’d ditch Alvarez in favor of Guerrero.

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