10 Burning Questions: Anthony Rendon, Lucas Giolito, Chris Taylor (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
By the time this article comes out, it will officially be June, putting us in the heart of the fantasy baseball season. Nothing is fluky anymore. Players and teams are established, and trends are set. For example, players like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are no joke. They have proven themselves as stars and should be treated as such going forward. By now, in many of your leagues, you should know which players will continue to produce and which teams are favorites to win it all.
I hope your respective teams are doing well, and I hope these 10 burning questions can help your teams squeak out wins week in and week out. Now, let’s take a look at 10 burning questions I had from the previous week! You can find my previous article here.
As always, these rankings and statistics are up to date as of May 31st via Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and average draft position (ADP) from FantasyPros.
1. Can Anthony Rendon turn his season around soon?
Coming into the season, the high-priced third baseman from Anaheim cost many fantasy baseball managers a second or third-round pick on draft night. Rendon is typically the model of consistency and has been constantly underrated, but he has struggled at the plate and with injuries this season. He has missed occasional time, and honestly, he has yet to find any sort of rhythm. The injury to Mike Trout may have hurt Rendon more than most people anticipated. I bet that Rendon will figure it out sooner rather than later, so now would be an excellent time to buy low on the Angels’ third baseman. Feel free to send out some feeler offers for the struggling all-star.
2. Will Fernando Tatis Jr. maintain this level of production?
Simply put, it’s absolutely amazing what Tatis is doing at the plate right now. Tatis is slugging a ridiculous .944 over his last 15 games. Most players don’t even have a .944 OPS during that span. Tatis is on an absolute tear, and I’m not sure it will slow down any time soon. He’s already started this week with a home run, and it’s hard to imagine him cooling off. Fantasy baseball managers who have Tatis rostered have to feel pretty dang good about themselves. Don’t ever consider trading him, instead, build your roster around him. Tatis makes baseball fun! Let’s all continue to enjoy this outrageous display of offensive firepower.
3. Has Lucas Giolito gotten over his early-season slump?
Just last week, I questioned if Giolito would be able to build off his first quality start since April 13th. The ace responded with another strong outing against a potent offense in the St. Louis Cardinals, marking the first time he managed to put together back-to-back quality starts. He then proceeded to again pitch marvelously versus the Baltimore Orioles to earn yet another quality start, making it three straight. It seems as though Giolito is finally here and officially over his early-season struggles. The window to buy low on him has officially closed.
4. Can Chris Taylor continue to hit the ball well?
It always seems as though the Los Angeles Dodgers get the most out of their players when they need them the most. Many figured Gavin Lux would be the primary beneficiary of the Corey Seager injury, but it has actually been Taylor. His superb season has gone under the radar somewhat, but the production has been stellar. For the season, Taylor has a .889 OPS and seems to be getting hits every game. The Hard Hit% and xBA are in the lower percentiles, so there is a reason for pessimism with Taylor’s numbers, but it remains to be seen if he will slow down. He could be a good sell-high candidate, but for now, I’d suggest holding onto him.
5. Has Liam Hendriks put his bumpy outings behind him?
I felt as though the former A’s closer was a perfect fit for the Chicago White Sox. Last year, the White Sox were missing that lockdown closer to help them secure victories. However, Hendriks was inconsistent early on for Chicago. Now, he looks as dominant as any pitcher in the game. In his last seven games, Hendriks has only given up one hit while striking out 10 batters. His stuff looks as sharp as ever, and he’s not only helping the White Sox win games, but he’s helping fantasy baseball managers, too. It’s great to see Hendriks back to his normal ways.
6. When will we see Wander Franco at the Major League level?
When news broke that Willy Adames had been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, many thought Wander Franco’s time was coming. Unfortunately, Franco was not called up. Now, Franco has still yet to be called up, and fantasy baseball managers are getting impatient. It’s a very tough situation to be in because Franco is worth holding on to, but managers need results now. Hold onto Franco if you have the room. If not, let someone else pick him up. It’s that simple. Wins now are just as important as wins in August. Franco is the real deal, but unfortunately, we have no clarity on when he will be called up. Let’s hope it’s soon.
7. Is Tyler O’Neill available in your league?
O’Neill has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the past three weeks. He is hitting the ball at a strong clip and looks absolutely locked in right now. If he’s available in your league, make sure to swoop him up ASAP. O’Neill is slugging .963 over his last seven games. He should continue to produce in a high-powered offense and get plenty of at-bats night in and night out.
8. Did Evan Longoria turn back the clock?
There seems to be a theme with San Francisco Giants players. Many of them are bouncing back from subpar seasons to produce at a clip that many thought they wouldn’t reach anymore. The same can be said for Evan Longoria. Longo is slashing a nice .440/.462/1.000 over his past seven games. It seems as though he has some fuel left in the tank and should be added in all formats. He left Monday’s game with an injury, but it sounds as though it isn’t too severe. Make sure to scoop him up if you can.
9. Can Adam Frazier lead the league in hits?
It’s insane to think, but Adam Frazier currently leads the league in hits with 69. I don’t think many people would take the Pirates’ second baseman to lead the league in such a category, but it’s the truth. Frazier is putting together a remarkable season. He may be getting overlooked because of his lack of home runs, but he has looked like an all-star anyway. I’m not sure Frazier can keep this up for an entire season, but it’ll be fun to see if he can pull it off. Enjoy the production while you can.
10. Is Trey Mancini the best comeback story in all of sports?
It’s hard to argue against Mancini’s story. Having to sit out last year due to health concerns, Mancini is letting people know that he can still play baseball at an elite level. He currently has the 24th highest OPS and seems to have not missed a beat from his absence. It’s incredible to see Mancini bounce back at such a strong rate. He’s an inspiration to all of us and looks as though he was a draft-day steal given his late-round ADP. Let’s hope Mancini can continue to produce because it’s beautiful to see him back playing the game he loves. Enjoy the production from the resilient first baseman.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.