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5 Players to Reach For (2020 Fantasy Baseball)

Mar 20, 2020

Marcell Ozuna is moving to both a better hitter’s park and lineup.

We’ve asked our writers for players they are most willing to reach for as they complete their mock fantasy baseball drafts. Here’s what they had to say.

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Q: Which player are you willing to reach for the most?

Nick Castellanos (OF – CIN)
Castellanos’ current ADP of 97 overall barely makes him a top-100 player and just the 26th outfielder off the board. He’s still being valued as a low-end OF2 at best. However, Castellanos will call Great American Ballpark home in 2020, one of the most favorable hitting environments in the league, after years hitting at Comerica Park, one of MLB’s most spacious ballparks.

Castellanos hit .298 with a .924 OPS and 16 home runs after he was traded to the Cubs in the second half compared to .282 and a .810 OPS with just 11 home runs before the trade. It’s very likely that Castellanos hits over 30 bombs with a solid average and tons of counting stats in the middle of a loaded Reds lineup compared to what was one of the weakest surrounding casts in the league in Detroit. There is top-12 outfielder potential, arguably top-50 player upside, and he’s still a tremendous value even if you reach a round or two to acquire him in drafts.
– Paul Ghiglieri (@FantasyGhigs)

Renato Nunez (1B/3B – BAL)
Currently, with an ADP of 274, I believe Nunez has outstanding power in a hitter-friendly park. He barrels the ball and can drive in runs. Granted, his Orioles team is not great, but he will get at-bats and is eligible at 1B in many leagues. I think he can be a good bargain.
– Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff)

Marcell Ozuna (OF – ATL)
Marcell Ozuna is moving to both a better hitter’s park and lineup. He has underachieved in batting average over the past two years, but his underlying metrics suggest he has been unlucky. Moving to a more friendly park and getting extra time to get his shoulder to full strength should be a big boost.

I’m not betting on double-digit steals again, but his increase in batting average should more than makeup for it. I’m expecting Ozuna’s pro-rated full season to look like this: 88 runs, 103 RBI, 32 dingers, a .290 average, and 5 stolen bases. He should be a top 40 hitter this year, with top-25 upside in points leagues.

I have taken Ozuna in all three of my drafts so far, and I was told by other members in those leagues that they would have taken him with their next round pick – and I have been drafting him in the sixth round, about 30 picks above ADP.
– Carmen Maiorano (@carmsclubhouse)

Corey Kluber (SP – TEX)
The more I think about this question, the more I’m tempted to snatch Corey Kluber earlier than his ADP of 94. From 2014-2018, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball, averaging more than 30 starts per year while ranking third amongst starting pitchers in fWAR and second in bWAR.

I realize he was trending down in hard-hit percentage in 2018, his last full season, but he still registered a 150 ERA+ and led the majors in innings pitched. While he wasn’t pitching well through seven 2019 starts before suffering a fractured pitching arm, it’s worth noting that his career March/April numbers are far worse than they are in any other month.

I’m confident there’s a lot left in the tank for Kluber, who I think will finish 2020 as a top-15 fantasy starting pitcher.
– Daniel Comer (@DanComer404)

Noah Syndergaard (SP – NYM)
I’m reaching for Noah Syndergaard this year because his FantasyPros Expert Consensus Ranking (74) and his ADP (61) means that I can get a potential ace of my staff in the fourth round. I rarely draft top pitchers in the first two rounds and instead look to load up on value in the middle rounds, and Syndergaard is the perfect example of what I am usually looking for. Even in a down year in 2019, he struck out 202 batters over 198 1/3 innings. I’m banking on a rebound in 2020 and a steal in the fourth round of drafts.
– Mike Maher (@MikeMaher)

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