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Up this week are my just-for-fun 2022 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.
Hitters are up now, with starting pitchers, relievers and the overall top 300 to follow on Thursday.
Click to see other other preliminary 2022 rankings:
OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH
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First Baseman Rankings
Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo are the big free agents at first base. It’s hard to see Freeman continuing his career somewhere other than Atlanta, but Rizzo looks like a better bet to leave with the Cubs probably continuing to cut costs. I assume that Yuli Gurriel’s $8 million option will be picked up by Houston.
There aren’t any newcomers high in the rankings here, as there is a shortage of big-time first base prospects and none of the first base prospects that are approaching the majors seem assured of starting jobs to begin next year. I have Nick Pratto first among the prospects; he’s hitting .276/.407/.593 in Double-A and he could push Carlos Santana to DH sometime next year, assuming that the Royals don’t land a big DH this winter. Seth Beer should get a job in Arizona sometime next year, but I don’t know that he’ll be a mixed-league guy in that lineup anytime soon.
I assume the Nationals will either have the DH available next year or won’t have Ryan Zimmerman on the roster. Either way, I’ll feel quite a bit better about drafting Josh Bell than I did this year.
The possibility of the DH in the National League also moves Garrett Cooper up several spots here. It could be a big help to Edwin Rios, as well. He still would hardly be assured a job in L.A., but he has big-time power upside waiting to be unleashed.