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Dynasty Dispatch Superlative Awards

Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Can you believe that we only have just a few days left in the season? I surely cannot. It seems like only yesterday that draft season ended and I was all excited to see what the regular season had in store. For a bit of fun for the last Dynasty Dispatch of the year, I’m going back to my high-school days awarding some superlatives to some of the MLB and MiLB players this year. Keep in mind, this is just my point of view. I’d love to hear about your winners on Twitter. Now without further ado, here are the Inaugural Dynasty Superlatives winners.

Valedictorian

Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees

.311/.427/.689, 130 R, 131 RBI, 61 HR, and 16 SB

The valedictorian goes to the highest-performing player so this is an easy award to hand out. The 2022 Dynasty Dispatch Valedictorian is no other than Aaron Judge!

The 30-year-old outfielder is having one of the best seasons in modern baseball and what a year to put it all together! He turned down a seven-year, 213 million contract extension before the season started. One of the biggest knocks against Judge has been his inability to stay on the field. However, he has put together two back-to-back 600-plus plate-appearance for the first time in his professional career. Even prior to this season, everyone knew that Judge had the talent to reach 61 homers but not many of us fantasy managers could have expected those homers to come along with 16 stolen bases. Not to be left out, his ability to not only collect RBI but also score runs is something we have not seen in quite some time. The last player who had at least 130 RBI and 130 runs scored in a season was Alex Rodriguez in 2007 when he had 156 RBI and 143 runs batted in. What a crazy, awesome, very good season.

Comeback Players of the Year

Francisco Lindor, SS, Mets and Eugenio Suárez, 3B, Mariners

Lindor - .271/.341/.447 97 R, 103 RBI, 16 SB

I couldn’t choose one so Francisco Lindor and Eugenio Suárez are co-Comeback Player of the Year. Lindor signed a 10-year, 341 million contract with the Mets after he was traded by the Guardians prior to the 2021 season. It made sense for both clubs. Lindor headed to the Big Apple and gave the big city team the big-time star. Meanwhile, the Guardians get two young middle infielders to give their lackluster offense a boost. Lindor’s first season with the Mets wasn’t awful just many fantasy managers wanted more. Well, more is what you got! Lindor was able to stay on the field and has a phenomenal .271/.341/.447 slash line with 25 homers and 16 swipes across 695 plate appearances. He is also three runs short of his first 100 RBI and 100 runs scored season.

Suárez - .236/.335/.464, 73 R, 85 RBI, 31 HR

Eugenio Suárez had a bigger hole to dig out of after the 2021 season. His 31 homers were great but his .198/.286/.428 slash line destroyed many fantasy managers’ batting ratio stats, in both in batting average and OBP leagues. What was concerning was not the low batting average, it was a walk rate below 10%. It was the first time he had not walked at a double-digit rate since 2016. In a blockbuster trade prior to the season, the Reds traded Jesse Winker and Suárez to the Mariners. At the time, it looked like the Reds included Suárez in the deal as a cost-cutting move but Suárez has been a huge piece in the Mariners’ run to get to the postseason for the first time in 21 years. In fact, the Mariners awarded Suárez with the “Unsung Hero” award, mostly on Suárez’s leadership skills and ability to bring some fun to the clubhouse. Daniel Kramer of MLB.com had a great piece on Suárez recently that you should really check out.

Best Couple

Michael Harris II, OF, Braves and Spencer Strider, RHP, Braves

Harris II - .298/.337/.518, 75 R, 64 RBI, 19 HR, 20 SB

Strider - 2.67 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 202 K, 45 BB, 11 W, 10 QS

Where would the Braves be with power couple Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider? Both rookies are battling it out for NL Rookie of the Year and have been huge for the reigning World Series champions. Strider began the season in the bullpen but after transitioning to a starter’s role, he is quickly become one of the better fantasy starters in the game. I wrote about Strider in a previous Dynasty Dispatch, so you know how I feel. However, one stat that just propels him even more is that his 4.85 K/BB ratio as a starter is better than his 3.36 K/BB as a reliever. When have you seen that? Since being called up from Double-A, Michael Harris II has been on fire. The 21-year-old is hitting .298/.337/.518 with 19 homers and 20 stolen bases across 433 plate appearances. I will say that is 4% walk rate is concerning but his lack of patience has not harmed him in the slightest.

Most Likely To Succeed

Gunnar Henderson, 3B, Orioles

.257/.341/.450, 10 R, 18 RBI, 4 HR, 1 SB - 31 MLB games

.297/.416/.531, 101 R, 76 RBI, 19 HR, 22 SS - 112 MiLB games

The Most Likely to Succeed was a tough award to hand out. There were way too many deserving prospects. I decided to focus this award on some of the more recent call ups, so no Julio Rodriguez or Bobby Witt Jr. So who’s September was I most impressed with? Gunnar Henderson.

In 123 plate appearances, the 21-year-old is hitting .257/.341/.450 with four homers and a stolen base. However, his 11% walk rate and 25% strikeout rate is right in line with what he was doing in the minors. His 33% hard contact rate is well above the major league average of 26% and he is in the 91st percentile in sprint speed. Henderson and the rest of the Orioles are going to be a fun team to watch for the foreseeable future.

Honorable mention: Corbin Carroll, Vinnie Pasquantino

Most Likely to Take Over the Fantasy World

Jordan Walker, 3B/OF, Cardinals

.306/.388/.510, 100 R, 68 RBI, 19 HR, 22 SB

While it seemed like Elly De La Cruz and Jackson Chourio got all the buzz in minor league Twitter, Walker might be the guy to make it to the majors first and take the fantasy baseball world by storm. Walker was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2020 draft out of Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia. He quickly made his way to High-A in his first professional season and hit .292/.344/.487 across 244 plate appearances. The Cardinals assigned him to Double-A and in a surprising move, kept him at that level all year. However, after digging into some news stories, that move actually makes sense. The 20-year-old, a third baseman by trade, is making the transition to the outfield. He played in 31 games in the outfield, primarily in right field, and will exclusively be patrolling the outfield during his time in the Arizona Fall League. While the Cardinals outfield still feels full, Walker’s ability to put the bat on the ball consistently with prodigious power makes him one of the best prospects in baseball.

Andrew Painter, RHP, Phillies

1.56 ERA, 0.887 WHIP, 155 K, 25 BB across 103 2/3 innings pitched

Since being drafted 13th overall last year, Painter finished the season in Double-A and is a step (or injury) away from making his major league debut. The 19-year-old has a lethal fastball/slider/curveball combination that has made many minor league hitters look silly. Across three levels this year, the 6'7' righty had a 1.56 ERA, 0.887 WHIP, and 155/25 K/BB ratio over 103 ⅔ innings. Absolutely mind-blowing. If you have read my previous work, you know that I have not been a fan of the Phillies player development group but I think Painter is talented enough to rise above it.

Awards to League Leaders

Most Likely To Get Out Of A Parking Ticket: Paul Goldschmidt -- He is hitting 0.347 in two-strike counts

Most Likely to say go as Maxwell Smart from Get Smart on Halloween: Corey Kluber -- He gave up the most hits on 0-2 counts with 23 hits allowed.

Most Likely to be an Uber Driver if they weren’t a baseball player: Pete Alonso -- He has driving 131 batters home which leads the league.

Most Likely to be the last two players in a game of musical chairs: Cedric Mullins II and Jorge Mateo -- Both players are tied with 34 stolen bases each.

Player Most Likely To Lose at dodgeball: Mark Canha -- He has been hit by a pitch 27 times.