10 Burning Questions: Max Stassi, Logan Gilbert, Carlos Rodon (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
We are officially in the heart of June! At this point, it feels as though Fernando Tatis Jr., Shohei Ohtani, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are hitting multiple home runs each week. It’s truly a sight to see and great for the game of baseball.
Many will choose to read about the cheating scandal of foreign substances, but I prefer to give these hitters their flowers – as they’ve been absolutely crushing the ball all season long. Baseball is in a tremendous spot, and I can’t wait to see more of these young superstars begin to blossom.
Now, here are 10 burning questions I had from the previous week!
As always, these rankings and statistics are up to date as of June 14th via Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and average draft position (ADP) from FantasyPros.
1. What has gotten into Max Stassi?
Who saw this coming? The Angels may have found their full-time catcher. After putting together a solid 2020 season (.886 OPS in 90 at-bats), Stassi has put together an even better offensive season than I think any could imagine. The 30-year-old catcher currently yields a slash line of .339/.397/.645 – good enough for an OPS over 1.000. And, although in limited plate appearances, Stassi ranks 4th in all of baseball with a 186 wRC+ of hitters with at least 60 plate appearances. He’s putting together an incredible season. Make sure he is rostered in your season-long leagues.
2. Will we ever see Wander Franco at the Major League level?
I feel like I am asking this question weekly, but why haven’t we seen Franco at the MLB level yet? It’s become incredibly frustrating. Franco is teeing off at the Triple-A level, and, at this point, the Rays have no reason not to call him up. It makes it hard to roster Franco in season-long formats with an obscene amount of injuries occurring, but he will be worth the wait if you have room. Franco has to be called up any time. I fully expect him to make an immediate impact once called up. See if you can acquire the star prospect from frustrated fantasy baseball managers.
3. Is Logan Gilbert a must-own player in all fantasy baseball formats?
After a rough first three career starts, Gilbert appears to have found a rhythm. Gilbert has two quality starts in his last three starts and has yet to give up more than two runs. He also has 18 strikeouts in his last three starts. There is a good chance the Mariners limit his innings, but Gilbert should be rostered in all fantasy baseball formats at this point. If he’s available in your league, make sure to scoop him.
4. Can Carlos Rodon make a case for the AL Cy Young award?
Only one pitcher in the AL has a higher WAR than Rodon. That pitcher is Gerrit Cole. Other than that, nobody has been as good as Rodon. Many, including myself, thought Lucas Giolito would be the White Sox pitcher to own, but Rodon is looking like the real deal in 2021. His 13.1 K/9 ranks first among qualified AL pitchers, and his 2.40 FIP ranks second. Rodon is putting together a stellar, under-the-radar season. I believe he should be getting far more attention than he currently is. Many fantasy baseball managers were able to acquire him off the waiver wire, and he is looking like a marvelous scoop. Hold onto him until further notice.
5. When will Rhys Hoskins get out of his massive slump?
The Phillies’ slugging first baseman is struggling to say the least. Hoskins has one hit in his last 28 at-bats. That’s not good. It’s impressive that Hoskins has a .769 OPS given this insane slump. We have to hope Hoskins can breakout sooner rather than later, but right now, it’s becoming a challenge to hold onto him in season-long formats. For now, hold onto him because better days should be ahead. I would advise not to sell low on a streaky hitter, but if the right offer comes your way, feel free to press that accept button.
6. Will Starling Marte continue to hit at an elite level?
The Marlins centerfielder is coming off NL Player of the Week award honors and has simply been raking. Although Marte missed a good chunk of time due to injury, he has made up for it with his elite offensive firepower. Albeit in a small sample size, Marte has a higher wRC+ than the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr., Ronald Acuna Jr., and Max Muncy. That’s some good company to be in. His .415 BABIP suggests there may be some luck in his game, but Marte shows no signs of slowing down. He is one of the most underrated hitters in the league. I would expect him to continue his elite level of play.
7. Has Kyle Schwarber turned back the clock?
At this point in his career, it appears to be boom-or-bust for the former slugging Chicago Cub. Schwarber has four hits in his last seven games – three of them being home runs. As we know, they aren’t cheap shots either. When Schwarber goes yard, it’s typically going at least 400 feet. The slugging appears to be back, and that is a great sign for fantasy baseball managers who either drafted him or acquired him from the waiver wire. Hold onto him – especially in leagues where home runs are worth more fantasy points.
8. Is Shane Bieber trending downward?
Fantasy baseball managers have to be kicking themselves a bit for drafting the Cleveland ace in the first or early second round. Unfortunately, Bieber has not put together the season many had envisioned. With that being said, he’s been a product of some major bad luck, to go along with poor run support. So, no, I don’t think Bieber is trending downward. In fact, it may be a great time to send some offers for any disgruntled Bieber owners. Bieber’s strikeout rate is still among the elite, and his 3.09 FIP shows that his production can really only go up from here. He is among the best buy-low candidates right now in season-long formats.
9. Is Craig Kimbrel the best relief pitcher in all of baseball right now?
Before this season began, I truly did not think I would ever be asking this question. However, right now, the answer might be yes. Kimbrel has been flat-out dominant for the Cubs this season. In just his last seven games, he’s converted all seven save opportunities and has only allowed one baserunner in 6.1 innings pitched. Kimbrel has been nothing short of spectacular. He is well on his way to another all-star appearance. The elite closer is looking as though he was an absolute steal on draft day and could become a potential league winner for many fantasy baseball managers.
10. Can we say enough good things about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Jacob deGrom?
Seriously. These two are putting together historic seasons. Vladdy has an absurd 203 wRC+ and looks as though he’s the best hitter in the league. Meanwhile, deGrom is on a stretch of games that we may never see again. I’m not quite sure we’ve ever seen a pitcher be so dominant to begin a year. The Mets’ ace may have not even reached his peak yet, but this run he’s currently on cannot be overlooked. We are witnessing history from these two players, and fantasy baseball managers have to be loving it. Congrats if you have any shares from either player in any fantasy baseball format.
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 see which available players will improve your team quickly and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.