5. Beach Bum

A 2022 breakout candidate for every National League Central team – The Athletic

Beach Bum

2021: 15-5
4th place finish

Favorite draft pick: Michael McGreevy 4th round

I can’t figure out Beach Bum. He doesn’t make a lot of moves, but he’s always one of the best teams. He’s methodical. Draft and develop. Just because he took him, I’m expecting we see Wes Kath in Cooperstown. I can’t make sense of it. Christian Yelich has struggled for two years, then suddenly Marcus Semien becomes a superstar to take his place. Gleyber Torres loses his mojo, and then Josh Bell figures it out again. Every time one of his star players falters, another guy shows up out of nowhere. It’s uncanny. 

Not much to say about Beachlers offseason. I couldn’t even find a meaningful trade to include in this review. He’s just gonna run it back, and end up with a top 5 finish. Just like every other season. I like what he did at the auction, I think? I just know that while it’s not flashy, they’re all going to be meaningful contributors. 

Shrugged shoulders emoji. Beachler is a playoff team again. 

2022 prediction: same as it ever was, top 5 finisher

6. Long ball to LF (Johnnywise)

Will Juan Soto be MLB's richest player? - Sports Illustrated

Long ball to LF (Johnnywise)

2021: 16-4
1st place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded 5th round pick for Clint Frazier

Favorite draft pick: Lazaro Montes in 3rd round

Best auction find: Zack Grienke $31 and James Paxton $4

The reigning league champion rosters the two best outfielders in the game, Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr. He’s also surrounded them with studs Jose Ramirez, Xander Boegarts, Bo Bichette, and Cedric Mullins. The offense scares you, but what’s to come of the pitching? I worry that his stacked offense won’t be able to overcome some the shortcomings in the rotation. As with a number of teams in the league, I think Longball’s season depends on what he can get out of his veteran pitching staff. What do Zack Greinke, Sonny Gray, and James Paxton have left in the tank? Lance Lynn is already banged up. We know Robbie Ray will be good, but he’s had a couple bad starts at the beginning of the season. Can the young duo of Triston McKenzie and Ranger Suarez continue their success? Are either Chris Paddack or Luis Patino any good? Starting to think “no” on Chris Paddack, and Patino has been put on the 60 day since I wrote this. 

I don’t know if there is a prospect package that Longball can put together to land a top tier pitcher. Maybe this is the time to trade one of his offensive stars for a pitcher. I’m excited to see what comes of his situation. 

Longball’s offense is good enough to drag his pitching staff to the playoffs, but I don’t think there is enough pitching to be confident in a repeat.

2022 prediction: playoff team

7. Who’s Your Haddy?

Steven Kwan has five hits in Guardians big win

Who’s Your Haddy?

2021: 15-5
6th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded Chris Taylor for Starling Marte and Trey Sweeney

Favorite draft pick: Will Bednar in 3rd round

So little separates the teams at the top of the power rankings. I think all remaining teams have a legitimate shot to win the league championship, so we’re really splitting hairs at this point. 

Haddy comes in at #7 for a couple of reasons. First, of the playoff teams, I think he’s going to get the least amount of help from his minors this season. Other than Nick Lodolo, I don’t think he has a prospect on the roster that will be a meaningful contributor in 2022. When the injury bug comes, Haddy will have to be active in the trade market, or hit on some waiver pickups to keep pace with some of the other teams. Secondly, the Trevor Bauer situation. Having a pitching core with Zach Wheeler, Logan Webb, Frankie Montas, and Kevin Gausman is great, but every team left to be reviewed has a great rotation. I think there are still some worries about Wheeler’s shoulder, so a lot could hinge on the availability and productivity of Trevor Bauer.

The most impactful trade of Haddy’s offseason was trading away Mike Trout. The trade netted a number of prospects and provided some much needed salary relief. That budget space that was used to cover the cost of Starling Marte and to keep costly sluggers Jose Abreu and J.D. Martinez. I was initially worried about the production loss going from Trout to Marte, but I didn’t realize that Steven Kwan was going to be a franchise cornerstone for Haddy. 

Haddy still has an entire draft worth of Suplex Shooters draft picks, and I think that draft capital will come in handy when moves need to be made at the trade deadline. I think the success of those moves will dictate where Haddy lands on the final standings.

2022 prediction: playoff team with a chance to win it all

8. Senior Squids

Ex-Mets prospect Jarred Kelenic, agent express frustration with Mariners - New York Daily News

Senior Squids

2021: 7-13
11th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded Marco Luciano for Nick Gonzalez, Austin Martin, and 1st round pick

Favorite draft pick: Marcelo Mayer 1st round

Best auction find: Noah Syndergaard $44

This is the best team Senior Squids has had. I think he is primed to jump up the standings if he can make one or two more moves to solidify his offense and maybe get another arm. I think we could see him make a splash at the deadline if he’s in the playoff hunt. He has arguably the most prospect ammunition in the entire league. This is the riskiest part of his rebuild however. Which prospects do you trade? Which ones do you keep? It’s a good problem to have, but it can be nerve wracking. 

This offseason he made his minors the best in the league by trading Marco Luciano for Nick Gonzalez, Austin Martin, and a draft pick that would become Marcelo Mayer. Big win for Squids in my opinion. Mayer looks to be the real deal, and I think Gonzalez and Martin are at least major league regulars. Trading away Luciano’s massive upside for this trio is a solid move. He used his other two draft picks to take Jordan Lawlar who had fallen down the board, and exciting Mariners talent Harry Ford. He then went on to make a number of quality picks at the auction headlined by Noah Syndergaard. This could be the steal of the auction if he can stay healthy and return to his 30 ppg self. 

As currently constructed, I think Squids major league roster is in the middle of the pack, but there is so much ceiling here that I could see him in the playoff hunt.

2022 prediction:  on the top middle group for now, should be vying for a playoff spot

9. Suplex City Shooters

Mike Trout | 2019 MVP Highlights ᴴᴰ - YouTube

Suplex City Shooters

2021: 5-15
14th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded prospects for Mike Trout

Favorite draft pick: Lonnie White Jr. in 4th round

Best auction find: Charlie Blackmon $29

Suplex may have had my favorite offseason. He used his extensive auction budget to acquire superstars in Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, and Mike Trout. He also made a move or two that made me scratch my head, but from last year to now, he has flipped his roster faster than anyone that comes to mind. Fantasy baseball is about having fun and this team is a lot of fun. Getting to root on Machado, Correa, and Trout is awesome for any fantasy owner. What I’m most interested to see is, where do we go from here? Does he decide to flip one or two of them at the deadline to add some much needed pitching depth? Or does he just keep this core because the team around them is still relatively cheap? There are also a few youngsters to really like here. What do we get from Joey Bart, Jazz Chisolm, Brandon Marsh, Shane Baz, and Casey Mize?

He had limited draft capital after all his moves, but Suplex used in on an all upside no floor guy in Lonnie White Jr. We will have to wait and see what he turns into. I also like him adding Charlie Blackmon in the auction for some much needed outfield help.

Now in his second season, Suplex has proved to be one of the most active traders in the whole league. His tear down took him all the way to the first pick last year, and this year we see the start of the rebuild. Hard to argue against any rebuild done around Mike Trout. His pitching staff still needs some improvement, and I think that keeps him from being a legitimate playoff contender. 

2022 prediction: middle of the pack with the lowest floor of the group

10. Betters Bombers

Minnesota Twins 2022 Preview: Can Byron Buxton be an MVP candidate?

Betters Bombers

2021: 7-13
12th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded away Jasson Dominguez and Kristian Robinson for Byron Buxton

Favorite draft pick: Khalil Watson 1st round

Best auction find: Chris Sale $58

This is Betters sophomore season and he’s one of my favorite fresh faces in the league. Im certain that Betters Bombers are going to be a problem. Maybe not in 2022, but he’s coming. Every move he makes, makes sense. He’s got a plan and he’s executing it. Whenever I get the email notification of a Betters Bombers trade, I usually think he’s won the trade. He doesn’t just collect prospects, or trade all his prospects for MLB guys, he’s in the middle. Right where you wanna be. He just does the right things. 

 Betters added Byron Buxton in what I believe to be the best move of the offseason. Up until his injury Buxton was the best player in our format. He had a staggering 12.1 points per game in April!! Health will always be a concern with him, but this is a gamble I love for this team. He backed that up by adding reliable outfielders in Michael Brantley and Andrew McCutchen. I also really like the movement he’s made on the pitching side. Last year he got Justin Verlander for cheap. Now that he’s back, Betters can flip him (hey H-Town), or just keep him because he’s 30ppg when right. There’s some injury risk with his best pitchers: Chris Sale, Verlander, Madison Bumgarner, and Andrew Heaney, but I think he’s offset that well with up-and-coming pitching prospects George Kirby, Matthew Libertore, and Taj Bradley. 

Not sure if this is the year, but we’re gonna see Betters Bombers in the upper echelon of the league before too long. 

2022 prediction: middle of the pack, could threaten a playoff spot

11. H-Town Trashcan Punch

He's here -- Julio Rodríguez makes Mariners opening day roster - Seattle Sports

H-Town Trashcan Punch

2021: 8-12
9th place finish


Favorite offseason move: traded away 5th round pick for Max Kepler

Favorite draft pick: Steven Hajjar 5th round

Best auction find: Joc Pederson $3

Julio Rodriguez. The J-Rod Show. That’s all that matters here. 

Kyle took over a putrid team last year, and has made the most of it. He might be another year or two from being a playoff contender, but I think he’s gonna be a problem. With his young core of Julio Rodriguez, Spencer Torkleson, Bryson Stott, CJ Abrams, and Hunter Green the future is now. He’s also stockpiling draft picks in 2023, which gives him lots of flexibility. Just like Squids is collecting all of the Mariners, Kyle is close to having all the Astros starting pitchers. Which is a pretty solid group to collect, just needs to hit up Betters for Verlander and his Astros infinity gauntlet will be complete. *snap*

I liked a number of Kyle’s offseason moves. Getting Max Kepler for a 5th round pick and winning Joc Pederson for $3 at auction provides some outfield stability along with Julio, Tommy Pham, and Harrison Bader. I also really like the Steven Hajjar pick in the 5th round, he was going to be one of my early waiver claims. 

I think we see H-Town Trashcan Punch in the middle clump of teams this year. If a couple of his uber prospects take off, he’ll be battling for a playoff spot. Not bad considering where his roster was last offseason. Kudos Kyle.

2022 prediction: middle group that could jump into the playoff picture

12. Lansdown Legends

Royals' Bobby Witt Jr. Q&A: MLB's top prospect on third base, Mahomes

Lansdowne Legends

2021: 6-14
13th place finish

Favorite offseason move: resisting the temptation to trade Brandon Lowe

Favorite draft pick: Jack Leiter 1st round

Best auction find: too many to name

Matt went into the auction with the most available budget, and did not disappoint. I usually don’t like the “build through the auction” strategy, but this year might have changed my mind. In years past we’ve seen most high dollar auction targets turn into a one year rentals because of the exorbitant cost, but not this year, and not with Lansdowne Legends. There’s just so much to like here. I see a number of these additions being multiyear guys, which I love. He also took calculated risks on Seiya Suzuki, Josh Donaldson, Patrick Corbin, and Kyle Hendricks. I started writing Lansdowne’s review before the auction, and scrapped the whole thing because he turned his team’s entire outlook around in this year’s auction. 

The best decision Matt made this offseason was resisting the temptation to trade Brandon Lowe. I’m sure there were plenty of teams that asked about him. Now he has a team that is viable and competitive, and Lowe will be a big part of that. His draft selection of Jack Leiter makes so much sense for him. A high quality college arm that should move quickly and help his veteran led pitching rotation sooner than later. It’s also nice to have Bobby Witt Jr., Jo Adell, and Jeremy Pena ready to contribute offensively. Lots to like here, still think we need to see a move or two on the pitching side to get over the hump.. 

Props to Matt for deciding against the full rebuild and instead making solid moves, drafting well, and crushing the auction. Future looks bright for Lansdowne Legends, but needs a couple arms. 

Addendum: I wrote this review before the Benintendi trade today, and didn’t feel like rewriting it. If that trade is an indication of a coming rebuild, I would tone down the positivity of my review a bit and have a more pessimistic take. Also, I would slot Dowd ahead of Lansdowne at this point. Congrats Cory!

2022 prediction: *shoulder shrug emoji*

13. Eastbound and Dowd

Trevor Story Adds Another Big Bat To The Explosive Boston Red Sox

Eastbound and Dowd

2021: 8-12
10th place finish


Favorite draft pick: Matt McLain 1st round

Best auction find: Clayton Kershaw $49

Dowd’s team keeps letting him down. On the offensive side, I see a lot of guys who have regressed or have a limited track record of success. Two years ago, a core of Cody Bellinger, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rendon would have been one of the best in the league. Now I don’t know what to think about any of them. I think Dowd has played this as well as he could. Each of them went from untouchables to untradeables in the blind of an eye. What’s a man to do? Riding it out is probably the only play at this point. If they all click, you’re good. If not, I think you’re a seller at the deadline. Ugh, it hurt me to write that. On the positive end, I bet Trevor Story finds his stroke again in Boston, because playing in Colorado has to be torture. Tyler O’Neill is exciting and built like a tank, Nelson Cruz is going to be a 6 points per game player until he’s 50, and Brennan Davis will make his long awaited debut. Maybe you hope JD Davis gets a change of scenery trade and lives up to his potential? Too many question marks for me to be confident. 

I like Dowd drafting Matt McLain. He’s a hit tool guy who should move quickly and will get to play in Great American Ballpark. Getting Kershaw at auction makes a lot of sense for Dowd, given how he’s constructed his pitching staff… but again, the risk. Hopefully for his sake we can see Zac Gallen return to form, Bailey Ober cement himself in the Twins rotation, and Roansy Contreras be a difference maker. 

As much as I like what Dowd has done, his team has underperformed and is often injured. There is playoff team upside here, but with all the teams around him taking a step forward, I think we see an Iosim participant here. Sorry to say.

2022: Iosim Bowl participant

14. Beantown Butchers


Is Eloy Jimenez ready to rejoin the White Sox? 'He'll be here soon.' - Chicago Tribune

Beantown Butchers

2021: 2-18
16th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded away Mark Vientos and a pick for Matt Chapman

Favorite draft pick: Frank Mozicotto 3rd round

Best auction find: Corey Kluber $23

Zach got stuck with a bad roster, and has done quite a bit to start turning the ship around. His offseason additions included Mookie Betts, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, and Kyle Lewis. It’s nice to have this team owned by an owner that gives a damn. Prior mismanagement has left him with 22 open minor spots so there is still a lot this team can do to improve its future outlook. Hope you like prospects. 

I liked trading away Mark Vientos and a pick for Matt Chapman. At $19 and cost controlled, he could be a cornerstone piece for Beantown Butchers. There are reports that Chapman was dealing with a hip injury that contributed to his down season last year, so there is a probable bounce back in 2022. I didn’t really love trading away Fransisco Lindor for Kyle Lewis and a 3rd round pick. I think I would have rather kept Frankie and found a way to move Rizzo. Maybe Lindor was going to be a cut and you got what you could for him, I can squint and see that I guess. If JP Crawford and Adalberto Mondesi perform this year, it probably doesn’t matter much, but I think Kyle Lewis could easily be the odd man out in the Mariners outfield this season. There’s plenty to like in Butchers outfield. Adding Mookie Betts to team up with Eloy Jimenez, the surprising mini breakout from Akil Baddoo, and the underrated Mark Canha makes for some excitement. 

A healthy Jack Flaherty makes all the difference for Beantown Butchers. As much as I like Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer, Sean Manaea, and Marcus Stroman, I don’t think it’s enough to move up the rankings without J-Flare. Getting top 10 pick Frank Mozicotto in the 3rd round feels like a win, although he’s a long ways from the majors and a lot can happen between now and then. It’s the kind of risk I like a new owner taking. Hopefully Corey Kluber can turn into a deadline trade candidate, and paying $23 for that risk is a sound auction play. 

The rebuild has to start somewhere, and Zach wasn’t left with many meaningful pieces. He’s started to shake things up and it’s nice to see this roster moving in the right direction. 

2022 prediction: Iosim Bowl participant