Dynasty Mailbag: Are You Worried About Gunnar Henderson?

Questions about Gunnar Henderson and who to buy on, Tanner Bibee or Gavin Williams, headline this week's dynasty mailbag.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Gunnar Henderson #2 of the Baltimore Orioles prepares to bat against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 22, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It’s that time of the week. Today’s mailbag will be light. Teams are figuring out their position in the league standings, so it makes sense. It is only a matter of time before the questions start pouring in. It gives me more time to work on something that I am cooking up. As always, I will post a tweet on Monday. Make sure to follow me. I need the ego boost (@RhysBWhite) everyone!

Ah, one of my favorite things: when a highly-touted prospect fails to hit the ground running, and people start to wonder if there is cause for concern about their long-term value. This isn’t meant to make fun of @arbysbutt (great handle, by the way). Many people are wondering about this, and he was just brave enough to ask.

While his hard-hit rate has decreased from 53.7% in 2022 to 41% in 2023, it’s important to note that he’s not the type of player who consistently maintains a hard-hit rate above 50% throughout an entire season. He was never going to be the type of hitter who routinely posts 30 home run seasons, and his hard-hit rate is in line with what I would expect from Gunnar.

Time for everyone’s favorite: the Baseball Savant circles. His chase rate is elite, sitting in the 89th percentile, and he is walking at a frankly ridiculous rate of 19.7% of the time. The plate approach is still effective and it has exceeded my expectations at this point.

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Henderson is doing what we expect of him – getting on base and hitting the ball hard. The home runs will come, but it might be a bit tougher to hit them at home with the new world we live in. Baltimore has a crazy deep left field. His home park may hurt him a little bit because balls that would be considered home runs in other parks may fall as outs.

To answer the question at hand, I am not changing my thoughts on Henderson. His value has remained where I expected it to be at the start of the season, and it is still extremely high. 

Third base may be a challenging position, but with time and practice, Henderson can overcome any obstacles and excel against the best pitchers in the world. If anything, I think this minor setback presents a tasty buying window.

This is like asking me to choose a favorite child, although I don’t have children, so I can only imagine it’s a similar dilemma. Bibee and Williams are both power arms in the Guardians organization, known for their powerful arms and impressive pitching abilities. I would honestly say that I prefer Williams, but only by a small margin. This is because I believe their products are slightly better in quality.

Bibbe has pitched well in his brief Major League Baseball sample. Outside of a bad start against my favorite team, the Tigers, Bibbe has been great. Despite that strong start, he currently has a 4.30 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 14 ⅔’s innings. His time in Triple-A was fantastic as well, with 15 innings pitched and 19 strikeouts.

Gavin Williams, on the other hand, has been phenomenal in both his Double-A and Triple-A appearances this year. Over the course of two levels, he has recorded 41 strikeouts in 30 ⅓ innings of work. When it comes to their fastballs, Bibee and Williams are evenly matched.

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Both can throw in the upper 90s, which often results in strikeouts. I just love Williams’ repertoire more. His curveball and slider are better than Bibee’s secondary pitches. I am more convinced that Gavin Williams will eventually become a reliable SP2 in fantasy baseball than Bibee.

I mean look at this. I can’t go anywhere without Aram popping up, unless he reads this…sup man. Anyways have a great weekend, be nice to your mothers because if you don’t, I will be.