10 Burning Questions: Enrique Hernandez, Adam Frazier, Touki Touissant (2021 Fantasy Baseball)
By now, many fantasy baseball leagues only have 4-5 weeks left in the regular season. The playoff race has officially tightened up, and every week is increasingly important. Wins are a must, and I hope these 10 burning questions I had can help you make a late playoff push or continue to see your team succeed into the playoffs.
As always, you can find my last article here.
Also, these rankings and statistics are up to date as of July 27th via Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and average draft position (ADP) from FantasyPros.
1. When will Enrique Hernandez slow down?
Wow, the Red Sox leadoff man has been on an absolute clinic lately. Since his injury, the former Dodger is among the best in OPS, extra-base hits, and home runs. For July, his OPS is above 1.000, and he is looking like a true leadoff hitter in a robust offense. Coming into the season, I drafted Enrique in two out of my three leagues. Unfortunately, like many others, I dropped him after his slow start and injury. Now, dropping Hernandez is looking like a drastic mistake. Enrique appears to be accustomed to his new stomping grounds and should be owned in all fantasy baseball formats. He’s showing no signs of slowing down.
2. Can Chris Taylor continue his hot stretch of hitting?
Oddly enough, Enrique Hernandez’s replacement, Chris Taylor, is also currently mashing the baseball. Taylor, a former free-agent pickup, is once again proving his worth to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Not only is Taylor’s OPS above .870 for the season, but he has seven home runs in his last seven games and looks completely locked in at the plate. Taylor’s ADP was very late on draft day, and he’s looking like a huge return on investment. Congrats if you drafted him.
3. What is the impact of the Adam Frazier trade?
In a move not many saw coming – Adam Frazier was traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the San Diego Padres. Frazier was linked to the Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox, so this trade came as a big surprise. The question arises now; where will Frazier play for the San Diego Padres? A natural second baseman, Frazier should find himself all over the field, but my money is he becomes a full-time left fielder for the San Diego Padres. The Padres already have a loaded infield, so it wouldn’t make much sense for him to play there. Nonetheless, Frazier finds himself right in the heart of a tremendous offense. His ability to make contact at such a high rate should only mean good things for his fantasy value.
4. Has Touki Touissant been added from free agency in your league?
If the answer is no, make sure you claim him right now. Touissant has looked fantastic through two starts. Touissant has only given up 2 earned runs in 13.2 innings, all while carrying a 2.57 FIP. He looks like the real deal early on and should be claimed in all fantasy baseball formats. The Braves are going to have to have players step up, and Touissant is doing just that. Don’t be surprised if he finishes out the year on a powerful note.
5. Can Kendall Graveman be a viable fantasy baseball closer?
For all intents and purposes, Kendall Graveman has had a downright tremendous season for the Seattle Mariners. His sinker looks unhittable, and although his ERA at 0.84 is unsustainable, his 2.90 FIP shows it isn’t as far-fetched as it appears to be. Now, with Rafael Montero’s departure, Graveman appears to be the full-time closer for Seattle. This not only helps Graveman’s value but, in my opinion, makes him a must-own option. Believe it or not, the Mariners are somehow winning games, and Graveman’s number is being called a lot. Scoop him up if you want a great option for saves and strikeouts.
6. Will Zac Gallen ever get right?
Gallen went from one of the best fantasy baseball sleepers to nearly droppable in just a year span. It’s a shame because the player we all fell in love with is still there. Gallen still has a high strikeout rate, but he’s just been a product of some unlucky outcomes, and being on the worst team in baseball doesn’t help his cause either. For now, I don’t think Gallen is droppable, but it’s hard to see a bright future for him this season.
7. Can Harrison Bader put together a strong remainder of the season?
One of my favorite batters to pick up right now is Harrison Bader. Bader finished the 2020 season well and showed promise to what he could become in the 2021 season. Now, he seems to be unlocking this potential as he’s doubled his home run count from last year and his OPS currently sits at .866. Bader has always been a stellar defensive player, so playing time won’t be an issue if he can consistently get on base. Make sure to see if he’s available in your league – especially if you need outfield help. Bader should be a viable option for the remainder of the season.
8. Should Lance Lynn be the frontrunner for AL Cy Young?
It’s crazy to think, but Lynn might be the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young award. Lynn currently has a 4.1 WAR, 10-3 record, and 1.91 ERA. He is striking out 10 batters per 9 innings, and his 3.14 FIP is very respectable. Lynn appears to love pitching in the Windy City, and he currently looks like one of the best moves from the previous offseason. He should be strongly considered for AL Cy Young, regardless of his play for the remainder of the year. And if you drafted him, hats off to you. You have an ace on your team.
9. Should Gregory Soto be added in all fantasy baseball formats?
The answer is yes. Soto, much like the previously mentioned Graveman, is in a great situation for fantasy purposes. He appears to be the undisputed closer now, and he should be, as he has the best stuff in the Detroit Tigers bullpen. His combination of sinkers and sliders leaves hitters off balance. He has a high strikeout rate and should be a cheaper option for saves. Make sure to snag him from free agency. Soto and Graveman are the types of players who can make or break a team come fantasy baseball playoff time.
10. Can you trust Kenley Jansen on your fantasy baseball roster?
Let’s just say Jansen has struggled for the Los Angeles Dodgers recently. Jansen has been getting more boos than praise over the course of his last few outings. It’s been an ugly scene in Los Angeles, but Jansen continues to get the call out of the Dodgers’ bullpen. He is hard to trust in both real life and fantasy baseball. Obtaining wins in fantasy baseball at this point is massively important, and a closer can ruin a fantasy baseball matchup in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t blame you if you benched Jansen for the time being. However, once he strings together a few strong outings, make sure to get him back in your lineup.
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.