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Dan Harris

FantasyPros
Dylan Carlson (CF,RF - STL)
1d
Player Note on Dylan Carlson (CF,RF - STL)
Carlson caught major buzz heading into the season last year as he looked likely to earn an everyday role in the outfield, but he sputtered for much of the season even when he did play, slashing just .200/.252/.364 with three home runs in 119 plate appearances. But he had a successful, albeit brief, post-season, and now again looks ready to claim a starting outfield spot for the Cardinals. Carlson is just 22 years old and has a strong minor-league track record. If he can hold down his spot, he has 25-15 potential, and should hit for a solid average. Given his age and his poor 2020 season, there's some obvious risk, but the draft capital necessary to get him on your team is not prohibitive, and his upside should make him a target in all formats.
Alejandro Kirk (C - TOR)
1d
Player Note on Alejandro Kirk (C - TOR)
Kirk has the bat to to be a fantasy asset if he can stay in the lineup, particularly with catcher eligibility. He is a career .315 hitter with a .918 OPS in the minors, and had a strong, albeit short, stint in the majors last year during when he had a .983 OPS in nine games. The biggest obstacle for Kirk is that the Blue Jays have two solid defensive catchers in Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, and although they could put Kirk at DH, they have plenty of other options for that position. In other words, Kirk needs to hit and hit early to cement a lineup spot. If he does, he's got top-10 catcher potential pretty easily.
Ryan Mountcastle (1B,3B,SS - BAL)
2d
Player Note on Ryan Mountcastle (1B,3B,SS - BAL)
Mountcastle followed up a successful minor-league career with a strong 35-game stint in the majors last year. Not only did he bat .333 with an .878 OPS and a 139 wRC+, but he also walked 7.9% of the time, far above what he showed in the minors. The batting average is unsustainable - he was a .295 hitter in the minors and last year he relied on a .398 BABIP despite sub-par average exit velocity and a middling line drive rate. But playing in Camden Yards should certainly keep his production high, and batting in the middle of the Orioles lineup should lead to enough RBI chances to make him a rosterable, if not startable, fantasy option.
Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B - PIT)
2d
Player Note on Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B - PIT)
Hayes had an outstanding 24-game run with the Pirates last year, hitting five home runs with an 1.124 OPS and a 55.4% hard-hit rate, which would have ranked seventh best in the majors had he had enough plate appearances. But that was far more offensve production than he had shown in the minors, where he totaled just a .752 OPS with 25 home runs in 461 career games. Hayes makes a ton of contact and should bat near the top of the Pirates order this year, so even if he regresses some offensively, he should still find enough counting stats to be useful. But don't expect 2020's power levels.
Kyle Schwarber (LF - WSH)
2d
Player Note on Kyle Schwarber (LF - WSH)
Schwarber gave back many of his 2019 gains last year, seeing a rise in strikeout rate (29.5%) and his batting average dropping to an abysmal .188. But Schwarber's season was far from linear: over the first half of the season, he slashed .230/.343/.448, but those numbers dropped to .154/.279/.346 over the second half. At the same time, he continued to hit the ball extremely hard, with a 92.8 MPH average exit velocity, which was top 5% in the league. Given his consistently hard contact, the better course of action seems to forgive Schwarber for what amounted to an extremely poor 24-game stretch to close out the season. Now batting in the middle of the Nationals lineup with a fresh start and entering his age-28 season, Schwarber should rebound to somewhere between his 2018 and 2019 numbers.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B,DH - TOR)
3d
Player Note on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B,DH - TOR)
Guerrero Jr. comes into 2021 with fantasy managers asking the same question they asked the year before: can he stop hitting the ball on the ground so much? A 49.6% ground-ball rate was bad in 2019, but a 54.6% ground ball rate in 2020 was downright egregious. Guerrero Jr. hits the ball really, really hard. He was in the top seven percent of MLB in average exit velocity (92.5 MPH) and hard hit rate (50.8%). But until he learns to stop pounding the ball into the dirt, his power upside will be limited. There will be some fantasy manager in your league willing to bet on the upside, so if you want Guerrero Jr., you're going to have to draft him before his numbers say you should. This may indeed be the year that everything clicks. But you'll have to pay to find out.
Nick Castellanos (LF,RF - CIN)
3d
Player Note on Nick Castellanos (LF,RF - CIN)
Castellanos hit for plenty of power last season with the Reds, but it was far from the full breakout season many expected. His strikeout rate jumped to 28.5%, his batting average cratered to a career-low .225, and his wOBA was his worst mark since 2015. But Castellanos was also the victim of some pretty terrible luck, given that he had an expected batting average of .273 and a strong 46.7% hard-hit rate. With a full year in Great American Ballpark, Castellanos should fully live up to the hype he had coming into the 2020 season if he can just have even normal luck. Draft him with confidence as a likely strong four-category contributor.
Victor Robles (CF,RF - WSH)
3d
Player Note on Victor Robles (CF,RF - WSH)
There were plenty of warning signs with Robles' batted-ball data heading into 2020, and they're only greater now after an abysmal season during which he slashed .220/.293/.315. The MLB average in barrel rate and average exit velocity are 6.4% and 88.3 MPH, respectively. Robles clocked in at 4.8% and 83.3 MPH in 2019, and then fell to a ridiculous 1.7% and 82.2 MPH in 2020. His continously poor contact limits any upside, but it's worth noting that he still hit 17 homers and stole 28 bases in 2019 despite it all. Robles is still just entering his age-24 season, so massive long-term growth is still certainly on the table. But for now, it's impossible to justify drafting him as anything more than a fifth outfielder in mixed leagues.
Keston Hiura (2B - MIL)
3d
Player Note on Keston Hiura (2B - MIL)
Hiura looked to be on the verge of superstardom heading into 2020, if he could just cut back on his bloated 30.7% strikeout rate. Instead, he struck out more than ever (34.6% of the time), en route to a league-leading 85 strikeouts. That led to a massive drop in production, notably in batting average, which fell from .303 in 2019 to .212 last year. Hiura was mever a high-strikeout player in the minors. He never struck out more than 26.3% in any level and he had an overall strikeout rate of just 21%. If he can manage to cut down on the whiffs, he should be a top option at second base given his power and speed, but for now, drop him down your draft board a bit from where he was heading into 2020. He's still a borderline top-five option, but exercise more caution.
Dane Dunning (SP - TEX)
3d
Player Note on Dane Dunning (SP - TEX)
Dunning had an interesting seven-start run in 2020. He started out relying heavily on his outstanding slider and his fastball, which led to a strong swinging strike rate and plenty of punchouts in his first few starts. He then abandoned that approach to focus more on his changeup, which led to him missing fewer bats and being less successful. Now with the Rangers, Dunning should get a chance to compete for a rotation spot right out of the gate. He has the tools and skills necessary to be successful, and the draft capital necessary to acquire him should be minimal. He's worth a late-round pick in nearly all formats.
Dylan Carlson (CF,RF - STL)
1d
Player Note on Dylan Carlson (CF,RF - STL)
Carlson caught major buzz heading into the season last year as he looked likely to earn an everyday role in the outfield, but he sputtered for much of the season even when he did play, slashing just .200/.252/.364 with three home runs in 119 plate appearances. But he had a successful, albeit brief, post-season, and now again looks ready to claim a starting outfield spot for the Cardinals. Carlson is just 22 years old and has a strong minor-league track record. If he can hold down his spot, he has 25-15 potential, and should hit for a solid average. Given his age and his poor 2020 season, there's some obvious risk, but the draft capital necessary to get him on your team is not prohibitive, and his upside should make him a target in all formats.
Alejandro Kirk (C - TOR)
1d
Player Note on Alejandro Kirk (C - TOR)
Kirk has the bat to to be a fantasy asset if he can stay in the lineup, particularly with catcher eligibility. He is a career .315 hitter with a .918 OPS in the minors, and had a strong, albeit short, stint in the majors last year during when he had a .983 OPS in nine games. The biggest obstacle for Kirk is that the Blue Jays have two solid defensive catchers in Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, and although they could put Kirk at DH, they have plenty of other options for that position. In other words, Kirk needs to hit and hit early to cement a lineup spot. If he does, he's got top-10 catcher potential pretty easily.
Ryan Mountcastle (1B,3B,SS - BAL)
2d
Player Note on Ryan Mountcastle (1B,3B,SS - BAL)
Mountcastle followed up a successful minor-league career with a strong 35-game stint in the majors last year. Not only did he bat .333 with an .878 OPS and a 139 wRC+, but he also walked 7.9% of the time, far above what he showed in the minors. The batting average is unsustainable - he was a .295 hitter in the minors and last year he relied on a .398 BABIP despite sub-par average exit velocity and a middling line drive rate. But playing in Camden Yards should certainly keep his production high, and batting in the middle of the Orioles lineup should lead to enough RBI chances to make him a rosterable, if not startable, fantasy option.
Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B - PIT)
2d
Player Note on Ke'Bryan Hayes (3B - PIT)
Hayes had an outstanding 24-game run with the Pirates last year, hitting five home runs with an 1.124 OPS and a 55.4% hard-hit rate, which would have ranked seventh best in the majors had he had enough plate appearances. But that was far more offensve production than he had shown in the minors, where he totaled just a .752 OPS with 25 home runs in 461 career games. Hayes makes a ton of contact and should bat near the top of the Pirates order this year, so even if he regresses some offensively, he should still find enough counting stats to be useful. But don't expect 2020's power levels.
Kyle Schwarber (LF - WSH)
2d
Player Note on Kyle Schwarber (LF - WSH)
Schwarber gave back many of his 2019 gains last year, seeing a rise in strikeout rate (29.5%) and his batting average dropping to an abysmal .188. But Schwarber's season was far from linear: over the first half of the season, he slashed .230/.343/.448, but those numbers dropped to .154/.279/.346 over the second half. At the same time, he continued to hit the ball extremely hard, with a 92.8 MPH average exit velocity, which was top 5% in the league. Given his consistently hard contact, the better course of action seems to forgive Schwarber for what amounted to an extremely poor 24-game stretch to close out the season. Now batting in the middle of the Nationals lineup with a fresh start and entering his age-28 season, Schwarber should rebound to somewhere between his 2018 and 2019 numbers.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B,DH - TOR)
3d
Player Note on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B,DH - TOR)
Guerrero Jr. comes into 2021 with fantasy managers asking the same question they asked the year before: can he stop hitting the ball on the ground so much? A 49.6% ground-ball rate was bad in 2019, but a 54.6% ground ball rate in 2020 was downright egregious. Guerrero Jr. hits the ball really, really hard. He was in the top seven percent of MLB in average exit velocity (92.5 MPH) and hard hit rate (50.8%). But until he learns to stop pounding the ball into the dirt, his power upside will be limited. There will be some fantasy manager in your league willing to bet on the upside, so if you want Guerrero Jr., you're going to have to draft him before his numbers say you should. This may indeed be the year that everything clicks. But you'll have to pay to find out.
Nick Castellanos (LF,RF - CIN)
3d
Player Note on Nick Castellanos (LF,RF - CIN)
Castellanos hit for plenty of power last season with the Reds, but it was far from the full breakout season many expected. His strikeout rate jumped to 28.5%, his batting average cratered to a career-low .225, and his wOBA was his worst mark since 2015. But Castellanos was also the victim of some pretty terrible luck, given that he had an expected batting average of .273 and a strong 46.7% hard-hit rate. With a full year in Great American Ballpark, Castellanos should fully live up to the hype he had coming into the 2020 season if he can just have even normal luck. Draft him with confidence as a likely strong four-category contributor.
Victor Robles (CF,RF - WSH)
3d
Player Note on Victor Robles (CF,RF - WSH)
There were plenty of warning signs with Robles' batted-ball data heading into 2020, and they're only greater now after an abysmal season during which he slashed .220/.293/.315. The MLB average in barrel rate and average exit velocity are 6.4% and 88.3 MPH, respectively. Robles clocked in at 4.8% and 83.3 MPH in 2019, and then fell to a ridiculous 1.7% and 82.2 MPH in 2020. His continously poor contact limits any upside, but it's worth noting that he still hit 17 homers and stole 28 bases in 2019 despite it all. Robles is still just entering his age-24 season, so massive long-term growth is still certainly on the table. But for now, it's impossible to justify drafting him as anything more than a fifth outfielder in mixed leagues.
Keston Hiura (2B - MIL)
3d
Player Note on Keston Hiura (2B - MIL)
Hiura looked to be on the verge of superstardom heading into 2020, if he could just cut back on his bloated 30.7% strikeout rate. Instead, he struck out more than ever (34.6% of the time), en route to a league-leading 85 strikeouts. That led to a massive drop in production, notably in batting average, which fell from .303 in 2019 to .212 last year. Hiura was mever a high-strikeout player in the minors. He never struck out more than 26.3% in any level and he had an overall strikeout rate of just 21%. If he can manage to cut down on the whiffs, he should be a top option at second base given his power and speed, but for now, drop him down your draft board a bit from where he was heading into 2020. He's still a borderline top-five option, but exercise more caution.
Dane Dunning (SP - TEX)
3d
Player Note on Dane Dunning (SP - TEX)
Dunning had an interesting seven-start run in 2020. He started out relying heavily on his outstanding slider and his fastball, which led to a strong swinging strike rate and plenty of punchouts in his first few starts. He then abandoned that approach to focus more on his changeup, which led to him missing fewer bats and being less successful. Now with the Rangers, Dunning should get a chance to compete for a rotation spot right out of the gate. He has the tools and skills necessary to be successful, and the draft capital necessary to acquire him should be minimal. He's worth a late-round pick in nearly all formats.
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