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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Ozzie Albies Note
Ozzie Albies photo 1. Ozzie Albies ATL
A wrist injury limited Albies to just 29 games last season, and affected his performance early in the year before he went on the IL. In other words, there's little reason to draw conclusions from anything he did last year, including his drop in walk rate and increase in strikeout rate. Albies had established a rough 24-15 baseline from 2018-2019, and at 24 years old, there's no reason to expect that floor to decrease. With his power and speed combination, and his locked in strong RBI and runs scored numbers batting near the top of the Braves' lineup, Albies should be either the first second baseman drafted or the second behind DJ LeMahieu, depending on how you want to build your team.
2 days ago
DJ LeMahieu Note
DJ LeMahieu photo 2. DJ LeMahieu NYY
LeMahieu will return to the Yankees on a six-year deal, and that is great news for fantasy managers. Since he's been New York, he's provided elite all-around production, most notably in batting average, where he has batted .336. He's blossomed into a 25-home run hitter with plenty of runs and RBI, and a handful of steals that chip in with the category. Add to that LeMahieu's multi-position eligibility and he is a huge asset to every fantasy team. With nothing in his profile to suggest a skills decline, he should be drafted before the third round is out in every fantasy league.
2 days ago
Whit Merrifield Note
Whit Merrifield photo 3. Whit Merrifield KC
Merrifield has established an extremely strong floor, as he'll almost always be an asset in batting average, steals, and runs scored, and chip in for the remaining categories. There were some concern after his steals dropped to just 20 in 2019, but he bounced back to a 32-steal pace last year while also seeing a power spike. Merrifield is 32 years old and does not hit the ball particularly hard, but that's really irrelevant at this point. He is what he is, and with multi-position eligibility, what he is a major asset in fantasy and one of the top second basemen in fantasy.
2 days ago
Keston Hiura Note
Keston Hiura photo 4. Keston Hiura 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 never 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, especially since he will add first base eligibility after the Brewers signed Kolten Wong, but exercise more caution.
2 days ago
Brandon Lowe Note
Brandon Lowe photo 5. Brandon Lowe TB
Lowe actually lost a point on his batting average from 2019 (.269 from .270), but his profile looked far better in 2020. He cut his strikeout rate from 34.6% to 25.9%, and his swinging strike rate from 19.1% to 15.4%. Despite barreling the ball a whopping 17.5% of the time (top 2 percent in baseball), his average dropped a point because, well, he just didn't have an outrageously lucky BABIP like he did in 2019 (.377). Lowe improved his ISO and HR/FB rate, and was generally the best version of himself in 2020. Even mashing together his 2019 and 2020 seasons, Lowe has hit 31 homers and stole eight bases over 138 games. Batting near the top of a strong lineup, he should deliver another solid season at the thin second base position.
2 days ago
Ketel Marte Note
Ketel Marte photo 6. Ketel Marte ARI
Most fantasy managers expected regression from Marte after his breakout 2019 season, but few saw last year coming. Marte hit two homeruns in his 45 games, and contributed minimally elsewhere other than batting average. His walk rate dropped to a miniscule 3.6%, and although he struck out less than ever, the quality of his contact was overwhelmingly poor. Truth be told, both 2019 and 2020 are probably outliers for Marte, and the truth probably lies somewhere between his 2018 (.260/.332/.437) and 2019 (.329/.389/.592) seasons. Those numbers will play at second base, especially given Marte's draft cost, but give up dreams of him hitting 32 home runs ever again.
2 days ago
Cavan Biggio Note
Cavan Biggio photo 7. Cavan Biggio TOR
Biggio doesn't hit the ball particularly well and is passive almost to a fault. He swung at just 36% of the pitches he saw last year, third-fewest in MLB, and that represents a continued trend. That passivity leads to increased strikeouts, but also plenty of walks, as Biggio took a free pass 15.5% of the time last season, which ranked in the top 8 percent of baseball. Despite not making consistently strong contact, Biggio has hit 24 home runs in his 159 major league games, and he's added on 107 runs and 20 steals. Those numbers play extremely well for fantasy, particularly at the weak second base position. Biggio is likely to add third base eligibility with the Blue Jays' addition of Marcus Semien, which should only add to his value, and he makes a fine pick if you can nab him in the fifth round or so where his ADP generally lands.
2 days ago
Jose Altuve Note
Jose Altuve photo 8. Jose Altuve HOU
Altuve had a rough 2020 season (like most Astros offensive players), but it was particularly drastic for him. After batting .298 (which was low for him) with 31 home runs in 2019, he batted just .219 with five home runs last year, and he struck out more than he ever had before. But, like his counterpart in the middle infield, Carlos Correa, Altuve had a strong postseason, slashing .375/.500/.720 with five home runs. It's reasonable to write off Altuve's regular season as a slump that he would have broken out of in light of his postseason, though with just eight steals combined over his previous two seasons, stolen bases may not be a big part of his game going forward (though his sprint speed is still excellent). Expect a bounce-back campaign in most categories, and take the undervalued Altuve as a solid starting second baseman.
2 days ago
Jeff McNeil Note
Jeff McNeil photo 9. Jeff McNeil NYM
Much of McNeil's 2020 season looked similar to his year in 2019. He hit over .300, rarely struck out, and got on base plenty. But the power gains that we saw in 2019 vanished, as he hit just four home runs over 52 games. His barrel rate (2.5%) and hard-hit percentage (26.5%) were some of the worst in the league, and he didn't even offer the token stolen base that he had chipped in during previous seasons. This is a scenario where McNeil's value to any particular fantasy manager will depend on the weight he or she gives to the shortened 2020 season. Given that McNeil never hit the ball particularly hard anyway, though, a good bet is to assume he at least returns to the high teens in home runs, slightly below his 2019 pace. With his strong average and multi-position eligibility, that makes McNeil an asset in the middle rounds.
2 days ago
Max Muncy Note
Max Muncy photo 10. Max Muncy LAD
Muncy's batting average dropped to a ridiculously low .192 last year, and there were two culprits. The first is that his line drive rate plummeted from 23.5% to just 13.8%, leading to far more ground balls. The second was that he simply didn't hit the ball as hard. His hard hit rate and average exit velocity fell, and his HR/FB rate dropped seven points. Muncy dealt with finger and elbow injuries, so those may account for his poor season, but even then he was on pace to reach the 30-homer plateau for a third straight year. Muncy has position eligibility galore, and at the weak second base position, so continue to draft him in the middle rounds as a cheap source of power who adds value thanks to his ability to play all around the infield for your fantasy team.
2 days ago
Mike Moustakas Note
Mike Moustakas photo 11. Mike Moustakas CIN
Because Moustakas was a hitter who played for the Reds, he had a poor 2020 season (seriously, look at their collective numbers). He walked more, struck out more, and lost some points on his batting average, but overall, there was little different in Moustakas's profile. He continued to hit for power and make quality contact. He may not score many runs given his lack of speed and surrounding cast, and the batting average isn't going to help you. But he's got plenty of power for a second-base eligible player, and there's no sign that his production is ready to fall off a cliff.
2 days ago
Gleyber Torres Note
Gleyber Torres photo 12. Gleyber Torres NYY
Torres missed some time with quad and hamstring strains last season, but his year was an absolute disaster even without it. He batted just .243 and hit a mere three home runs in 160 plate appearances. The culprit was that he was reportedly out of shape, a byproduct of the long layoff between the original spring training and when baseball resumed months later. There's every reason to buy into the excuse given Torres' track record, especially since he bounced back a bit in September and October with an .842 OPS. Expect more typical numbers from Torres this year, meaning around a .270 average, 30 home runs, and plenty of counting stats. Given his ADP, he's likely to be a bargain this year.
2 days ago
Dylan Moore Note
Dylan Moore photo 13. Dylan Moore SEA
Moore hit .255 with eight home runs and 12 stolen bases in just 38 games last year. Despite not having an abundance of speed, Moore's stolen base prowess is real, as he stole 96 bases over 447 minor league games at a 77% clip and ranked in the 71st percentile in sprint speed last year. And he cut his strikeout rate to a high but manageable 27% last year, and his barrel rate, hard hit percentage, and average exit velocity were all well above average. But Moore has struggled against righties for much of his time in the majors, and despite his success last year, is unlikely to have a long leash with Shed Long waiting in the wings. Moore has upside and multi-position eligibility to go along with his power and speed. Just have a backup plan ready to go.
2 days ago
Nick Madrigal Note
Nick Madrigal photo 14. Nick Madrigal CWS
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Note
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. photo 15. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. TOR
Gurriel Jr. has developed into an extremely strong major league hitter, showing far more power than he did in the minors. He makes consistently strong (though not elite) contact, and although he swings a ton, his strikeout rate isn't prohibitive. Gurriel isn't going to be elite in any category, but he's going to provide some value in all five. Batting in an excellent lineup and hitter's park (whichever one it may be), Gurriel should be a fine pick in drafts in all formats.
2 days ago
Nick Solak Note
Nick Solak photo 16. Nick Solak TEX
Jean Segura Note
Jean Segura photo 17. Jean Segura PHI
Segura's strikeout rate ballooned last season to above 20%, though his walk rate also took a corresponding jump. But other than that, there wasn't much notable or exciting about his season. He ran a bit less than usual in the shortened year, but he still ranked in the 87th percentile in sprint speed, suggesting that the stolen base potential is still there if he wants to take it. The bigger issue with Segura as he enters his age-31 season is that there's almost no upside, as he'll bat near the bottom of the order and has established a fairly firm ceiling in his career. He's a borderline startable middle infielder in mixed leagues, but nothing more.
2 days ago
Jake Cronenworth Note
Jake Cronenworth photo 18. Jake Cronenworth SD
Tommy Edman Note
Tommy Edman photo 19. Tommy Edman STL
After a highly successful 2019 season in which he hit 11 home runs and stole 15 bases in 92 games, Edman's numbers regressed in nearly every meaningful way last year. His batting average slipped from .304 to just .250, he hit just five home runs, and he went 2-for-6 in stolen base attempts. Edman was a bit unlucky last year, as his xBA and xSLG outperformed his actual numbers. And despite his down year on the basepaths, he was in the 95th percentile in sprint speed. He's likely to lead off for the Cardinals this year, and should be good for double digits in both home runs and steals, with plenty of runs scored. Considering he has multi-position eligibility, he should be drafted before the double-digit rounds.
2 days ago
Chris Taylor Note
Chris Taylor photo 20. Chris Taylor LAD
David Fletcher Note
David Fletcher photo 21. David Fletcher LAA
Jonathan Villar Note
Jonathan Villar photo 22. Jonathan Villar NYM
Gavin Lux Note
Gavin Lux photo 23. Gavin Lux LAD
Ian Happ Note
Ian Happ photo 24. Ian Happ CHC
Happ has always made consistently hard contact, but his strikeout rate was simply untenable, hovering around 34% in his first two seasons. But he has cut that down to a more manageable 26% over the last two years, and he's batted .260 with 23 home runs and 58 RBI over 115 games in that span. Happ has some speed even if he hasn't shown it recently, and he'll likely bat leadoff for the Cubs, who may need to manufacture runs more than in previous years. The average probably won't help you much, but he should contribute in four categories at a relatively inexpensive price.
2 days ago
Andres Gimenez Note
Andres Gimenez photo 25. Andres Gimenez CLE
Kolten Wong Note
Kolten Wong photo 26. Kolten Wong MIL
Ryan McMahon Note
Ryan McMahon photo 27. Ryan McMahon COL
Ha-seong Kim Note
Ha-seong Kim photo 28. Ha-seong Kim SD
Kim joins a loaded Padres team after a successful career in the KBO. He had a particularly strong 2020 season, slashing .306/.397/.523 with 30 home runs and 23 steals. Although he split time between shortstop and third base in the KBO, he should likely man second for the Padres, which is better for his fantasy value given the relative lack of strength of the position (though the signing of Jurickson Profar does add a few question marks). Kim is younger than most hitters coming over from the KBO - only 25 - and he has the speed and power to reach double digits in steals and homers pretty easily. But he's more of a 15-15 type of player, rather than the potential 30-25 he was last year, and he'll likely bat near the bottom of the order, limiting his plate appearance and runs and RBI opportunities. Draft him as a middle infield option, but with upside.
2 days ago
Austin Nola Note
Austin Nola photo 29. Austin Nola SD
Garrett Hampson Note
Garrett Hampson photo 30. Garrett Hampson COL
Eduardo Escobar Note
Eduardo Escobar photo 31. Eduardo Escobar ARI
Tommy La Stella Note
Tommy La Stella photo 32. Tommy La Stella SF
Jon Berti Note
Jon Berti photo 33. Jon Berti MIA
Jurickson Profar Note
Jurickson Profar photo 34. Jurickson Profar SD
Cesar Hernandez Note
Cesar Hernandez photo 35. Cesar Hernandez CLE
Starlin Castro Note
Starlin Castro photo 36. Starlin Castro WSH
Jonathan Schoop Note
Jonathan Schoop photo 37. Jonathan Schoop DET
Ty France Note
Ty France photo 38. Ty France SEA
Luis Arraez Note
Luis Arraez photo 39. Luis Arraez MIN
Scott Kingery Note
Scott Kingery photo 40. Scott Kingery PHI
Wilmer Flores Note
Wilmer Flores photo 41. Wilmer Flores SF
Joey Wendle Note
Joey Wendle photo 42. Joey Wendle TB
Mauricio Dubon Note
Mauricio Dubon photo 43. Mauricio Dubon SF
Brendan Rodgers Note
Brendan Rodgers photo 44. Brendan Rodgers COL
Colin Moran Note
Colin Moran photo 45. Colin Moran PIT
Rougned Odor Note
Rougned Odor photo 46. Rougned Odor TEX
Donovan Solano Note
Donovan Solano photo 47. Donovan Solano SF
Kike Hernandez Note
Kike Hernandez photo 48. Kike Hernandez BOS
Nico Hoerner Note
Nico Hoerner photo 49. Nico Hoerner CHC
Niko Goodrum Note
Niko Goodrum photo 50. Niko Goodrum DET
Luis Urias Note
Luis Urias photo 51. Luis Urias MIL
Jazz Chisholm Note
Jazz Chisholm photo 52. Jazz Chisholm MIA
Adam Frazier Note
Adam Frazier photo 53. Adam Frazier PIT
Kevin Newman Note
Kevin Newman photo 54. Kevin Newman PIT
Michael Chavis Note
Michael Chavis photo 55. Michael Chavis BOS
Hanser Alberto Note
Hanser Alberto photo 56. Hanser Alberto KC
Freddy Galvis Note
Freddy Galvis photo 57. Freddy Galvis BAL
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 58. Luis Garcia WSH
Mike Brosseau Note
Mike Brosseau photo 59. Mike Brosseau TB
Danny Santana Note
Danny Santana photo 60. Danny Santana BOS
Chad Pinder Note
Chad Pinder photo 61. Chad Pinder OAK
Isan Diaz Note
Isan Diaz photo 62. Isan Diaz MIA
Nicky Lopez Note
Nicky Lopez photo 63. Nicky Lopez KC
Vidal Brujan Note
Vidal Brujan photo 64. Vidal Brujan TB
David Bote Note
David Bote photo 65. David Bote CHC
Asdrubal Cabrera Note
Asdrubal Cabrera photo 66. Asdrubal Cabrera ARI
Marwin Gonzalez Note
Marwin Gonzalez photo 67. Marwin Gonzalez BOS
Shed Long Jr. Note
Shed Long Jr. photo 68. Shed Long Jr. SEA
Josh Rojas Note
Josh Rojas photo 69. Josh Rojas ARI
Dee Strange-Gordon Note
Dee Strange-Gordon photo 70. Dee Strange-Gordon CIN
Brad Miller Note
Brad Miller photo 71. Brad Miller PHI
Tony Kemp Note
Tony Kemp photo 72. Tony Kemp OAK
Jahmai Jones Note
Jahmai Jones photo 73. Jahmai Jones BAL
Eric Sogard Note
Eric Sogard photo 74. Eric Sogard CHC
Thairo Estrada Note
Thairo Estrada photo 75. Thairo Estrada NYY
Yolmer Sanchez Note
Yolmer Sanchez photo 76. Yolmer Sanchez BAL
Leury Garcia Note
Leury Garcia photo 77. Leury Garcia CWS
Pat Valaika Note
Pat Valaika photo 78. Pat Valaika BAL
Aledmys Diaz Note
Aledmys Diaz photo 79. Aledmys Diaz HOU
Johan Camargo Note
Johan Camargo photo 80. Johan Camargo ATL
Kyle Farmer Note
Kyle Farmer photo 81. Kyle Farmer CIN
Jed Lowrie Note
Jed Lowrie photo 82. Jed Lowrie OAK
Tyler Wade Note
Tyler Wade photo 83. Tyler Wade NYY
Derek Dietrich Note
Derek Dietrich photo 84. Derek Dietrich NYY
Christian Arroyo Note
Christian Arroyo photo 85. Christian Arroyo BOS
Jason Kipnis Note
Jason Kipnis photo 86. Jason Kipnis ATL
Luis Guillorme Note
Luis Guillorme photo 87. Luis Guillorme NYM
Jose Peraza Note
Jose Peraza photo 88. Jose Peraza NYM
Franklin Barreto Note
Franklin Barreto photo 89. Franklin Barreto LAA
Josh Harrison Note
Josh Harrison photo 90. Josh Harrison WSH
Harold Castro Note
Harold Castro photo 91. Harold Castro DET
Luis Rengifo Note
Luis Rengifo photo 92. Luis Rengifo LAA
Odubel Herrera Note
Odubel Herrera photo 93. Odubel Herrera PHI
Joe Panik Note
Joe Panik photo 94. Joe Panik TOR
Scooter Gennett Note
Scooter Gennett photo 95. Scooter Gennett FA
Brandon Drury Note
Brandon Drury photo 96. Brandon Drury NYM
Brock Holt Note
Brock Holt photo 97. Brock Holt TEX
Danny Mendick Note
Danny Mendick photo 98. Danny Mendick CWS
Zach McKinstry Note
Zach McKinstry photo 99. Zach McKinstry LAD
Sheldon Neuse Note
Sheldon Neuse photo 100. Sheldon Neuse LAD
Chris Owings Note
Chris Owings photo 101. Chris Owings COL
Andy Young Note
Andy Young photo 102. Andy Young ARI
Edmundo Sosa Note
Edmundo Sosa photo 103. Edmundo Sosa STL
Matt Duffy Note
Matt Duffy photo 104. Matt Duffy CHC
Brian Dozier Note
Brian Dozier photo 105. Brian Dozier FA
Ehire Adrianza Note
Ehire Adrianza photo 106. Ehire Adrianza ATL
Logan Forsythe Note
Logan Forsythe photo 107. Logan Forsythe FA
Alex Blandino Note
Alex Blandino photo 108. Alex Blandino CIN
Max Schrock Note
Max Schrock photo 109. Max Schrock CIN
Jordy Mercer Note
Jordy Mercer photo 110. Jordy Mercer WSH
Ildemaro Vargas Note
Ildemaro Vargas photo 111. Ildemaro Vargas CHC
Greg Garcia Note
Greg Garcia photo 112. Greg Garcia DET
Sergio Alcantara Note
Sergio Alcantara photo 113. Sergio Alcantara CHC
Neil Walker Note
Neil Walker photo 114. Neil Walker FA
Andy Ibanez Note
Andy Ibanez photo 115. Andy Ibanez TEX
Kody Clemens Note
Kody Clemens photo 116. Kody Clemens DET
Mike Freeman Note
Mike Freeman photo 117. Mike Freeman CLE
Jonathan Arauz Note
Jonathan Arauz photo 118. Jonathan Arauz BOS
Travis Blankenhorn Note
Travis Blankenhorn photo 119. Travis Blankenhorn MIN
Bret Boswell Note
Bret Boswell photo 120. Bret Boswell COL
Hernan Perez Note
Hernan Perez photo 121. Hernan Perez WSH
Wilmer Difo Note
Wilmer Difo photo 122. Wilmer Difo PIT
Max Moroff Note
Max Moroff photo 123. Max Moroff STL
Omar Estevez Note
Omar Estevez photo 124. Omar Estevez LAD
Forrest Wall Note
Forrest Wall photo 125. Forrest Wall TOR
Sean Rodriguez Note
Sean Rodriguez photo 126. Sean Rodriguez FA
Kevin Kramer Note
Kevin Kramer photo 127. Kevin Kramer PIT
Stevie Wilkerson Note
Stevie Wilkerson photo 128. Stevie Wilkerson BAL
Breyvic Valera Note
Breyvic Valera photo 129. Breyvic Valera TOR
Adrian Sanchez Note
Adrian Sanchez photo 130. Adrian Sanchez WSH
Robel Garcia Note
Robel Garcia photo 131. Robel Garcia HOU
Richard Urena Note
Richard Urena photo 132. Richard Urena BAL
Domingo Leyba Note
Domingo Leyba photo 133. Domingo Leyba ARI
Tim Beckham Note
Tim Beckham photo 134. Tim Beckham CWS
Alex De Goti Note
Alex De Goti photo 135. Alex De Goti HOU
Kramer Robertson Note
Kramer Robertson photo 136. Kramer Robertson STL
Eddy Alvarez Note
Eddy Alvarez photo 137. Eddy Alvarez MIA
Pete Kozma Note
Pete Kozma photo 138. Pete Kozma OAK
Esteban Quiroz Note
Esteban Quiroz photo 139. Esteban Quiroz TB
Christian Colon Note
Christian Colon photo 140. Christian Colon FA
Jose Rondon Note
Jose Rondon photo 141. Jose Rondon BAL