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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

J.T. Realmuto Note
J.T. Realmuto photo 1. J.T. Realmuto PHI
Realmuto fractured the thumb on his throwing hand in mid-February, and is iffy for Opening Day. He is in a tier to himself among catchers when healthy, putting up consistently excellent numbers in what is the thinnest of positions. He had the highest barrel rate and hard hit percentage of his career in 2020, and also walked at a career-best pace. Realmuto is in his age-30 season, so that's getting near the point where catchers begin to decline. But given that he's shown no real slippage in his skills to this point, his numbers shouldn't fall off much in 2021, assuming he has no setbacks and returns on or around Opening Day. Back with Philadelphia now and for several years after signing a five-year contract, Realmuto is the only catcher worth drafting before the sixth or seventh round.
3 days ago
Salvador Perez Note
Salvador Perez photo 2. Salvador Perez KC
Perez returned from missing all of the 2019 season to put up monstrous numbers. He batted .333 with 11 home runs in just 37 games. Sure, his meager walk rate became even worst and he struck out more than ever, but his strong numbers were absolutely earned. He had an expected batting average of .325, an expected slugging percentage of .624, and barreled baseballs at a significantly higher rate than he ever had before. Perez will be 31 years old this year this year but considering that he's had just 156 plate appearances combined over the past two years (after having one of the heaviest workloads for a catcher over the previous six seasons), he should have some gas left in the tank. Draft him as a top-three catcher without hesitation.
3 days ago
Will Smith Note
Will Smith photo 3. Will Smith LAD
Smith had an outstanding 2020 season, walking a ton, striking out little, and getting on base at higher than a .400 clip. The power he showed in his 54-game stretch in 2019 remained, and he ranked in the top 10% of the league in wOBA, expected wOBA, and expected slugging percentage. Given how the Dodgers play the entire season with an eye toward the playoffs, as well as the presence of Keibert Ruiz, it's possible that Smith may get more rest than other catchers this year. But that's a minor point against someone who should be one of the top options at his position. He's no worse than a top-five catcher, and there's a good argument that he should be the second player selected at his position.
3 days ago
Willson Contreras Note
Willson Contreras photo 4. Willson Contreras CHC
Contreras has established a pretty decent baseline for what fantasy managers can expect over the course of a full season. He'll likely give you a floor of 15 home runs and 110 combined runs and RBI, with upside for more. Those numbers don't sound impressive, but they're enough to make Contreras a top-five catcher easily. Given his safety, there's an argument to be made to take him as high as second overall at the position. But, even so, there's no need to select him before the eighth round or so, as there's not an appreciable difference in the production of the next seven or eight catchers beyond J.T. Realmuto.
3 days ago
Yasmani Grandal Note
Yasmani Grandal photo 5. Yasmani Grandal CWS
Grandal is getting up there in age for a catcher, and there were a few warning signs for the veteran. He struck out nearly 30% of the time last season, well above his typical rate, and his expected batting average, slugging percentage, and wOBA were some of the worst of his career. At the same time, he continued to walk at a near-elite clip, and again provided plenty of power from a position where pop is hard to find. The good news for Grandal is that both his large contract and his elite pitch framing skills should keep him in the lineup as often as possible, which will help to pad his counting stats. He's just a tad outside of the elite range at the position, but he's a locked in fantasy starter.
3 days ago
Travis d'Arnaud Note
Travis d'Arnaud photo 6. Travis d'Arnaud ATL
It took a long time but d'Arnaud has finally developed into one of the best hitting catchers in the game, as he was projected to be. It's difficult to quite buy what we saw last year, considering d'Arnaud's batting average (.321) and slugging percentage (.533) were miles ahead of his career marks, and even the numbers that he had put up in recent seasons. With that said, he'll bat in the middle of a strong Braves lineup and be presented with plenty of RBI opportunities, so 15 home runs with 55 RBI should be considered the floor for a healthy d'Arnaud. Those numbers aren't just passable, they're extremely strong for a catcher in fantasy, and he should be drafted as a relatively strong first catcher in mixed leagues.
3 days ago
Christian Vazquez Note
Christian Vazquez photo 7. Christian Vazquez BOS
Vazquez was a late bloomer, but he's developed into one of the more reliable catchers in the game. Not only does he provide 20-homer power, but he's one of the best assets at catcher in both batting average and stolen bases. Entering his age-31 season, there's certainly the possibility for a major decline in his numbers, but there is little in his underlying metrics to suggest it is imminent. Draft Vazquez as a strong starter in single-catcher formats, and you won't need to do so before the double-digit rounds.
3 days ago
Gary Sanchez Note
Gary Sanchez photo 8. Gary Sanchez NYY
If you want to credit last season's numbers, then you're going to avoid Sanchez like the plague. He batted a ridiculous .147 and struck out 36% of the time. When Sanchez did hit the ball, he still hit it really, really hard, like he always has. But he just simply can't stop himself from swinging (13.8% swinging strike rate), and especially from swinging outside the zone (31.5% O-Swing%, which was actually better than his career rate). It wasn't that long ago that Sanchez was one of the top catchers drafted, and he's still just 28 years old. If he can just cut down on his whiffs, he can easily be a top-five catcher, so buy him for his upside, while also making sure to focus on batting average elsewhere.
21 hours ago
Austin Nola Note
Austin Nola photo 9. Austin Nola SD
Sean Murphy Note
Sean Murphy photo 10. Sean Murphy OAK
James McCann Note
James McCann photo 11. James McCann NYM
McCann will be the everyday catcher for the Mets after putting up his second consecutive successful season for the White Sox. After putting up a .789 OPS in 2019, he jumped up to an .896 mark in 2020, setting a career-high in walk rate. McCann was a part-timer last year, so his rate stats will likely dip as he takes over a heavy workload with the Mets (Wilson Ramos ranked fourth among catchers in plate appearances the last two seasons). But counting stats should be there in spades in a strong Mets lineup. He should be drafted as a starting catcher in 12-team formats.
3 days ago
Mitch Garver Note
Mitch Garver photo 12. Mitch Garver MIN
Daulton Varsho Note
Daulton Varsho photo 13. Daulton Varsho ARI
Varsho saw plenty of action between catcher and the outfield last year for the Diamondbacks, and although he batted just .188, he hit three home runs and stole three bases. That may not sound like much but for a catcher-eligible player in 37 games, it's plenty. The problem for Varsho is that the Diamondbacks' roster looks pretty full, especially with the signing of Asdrubal Cabrera, and there's a good chance he begins the year in the minors. There's a ton of potential for Varsho, given that he was a high-average hitter during his minor-league career, but it seems increasingly likely that fantasy managers will need to wait a bit longer for him to become someone to start in fantasy leagues.
3 days ago
Buster Posey Note
Buster Posey photo 14. Buster Posey SF
Yadier Molina Note
Yadier Molina photo 15. Yadier Molina STL
Carson Kelly Note
Carson Kelly photo 16. Carson Kelly ARI
Jorge Alfaro Note
Jorge Alfaro photo 17. Jorge Alfaro MIA
Wilson Ramos Note
Wilson Ramos photo 18. Wilson Ramos DET
Danny Jansen Note
Danny Jansen photo 19. Danny Jansen TOR
Jansen's playing time is uncertain this year with the presence of both Reese McGuire and Alejandro Kirk, but his defense is likely to keep him in the mix as a starter most games. He hasn't developed into the offensive force most thought he would become, and his average has been downright dreadful. But he's put up 19 home runs and 59 RBI over 150 games in the last two seasons, and the Toronto lineup is incredibly strong. If he wins the job outright out of spring training, he should be considered a fairly strong second catcher.
3 days ago
Alejandro Kirk Note
Alejandro Kirk photo 20. Alejandro Kirk 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.
3 days ago
Yan Gomes Note
Yan Gomes photo 21. Yan Gomes WSH
Omar Narvaez Note
Omar Narvaez photo 22. Omar Narvaez MIL
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Note
Isiah Kiner-Falefa photo 23. Isiah Kiner-Falefa TEX
Tom Murphy Note
Tom Murphy photo 24. Tom Murphy SEA
Pedro Severino Note
Pedro Severino photo 25. Pedro Severino BAL
Ryan Jeffers Note
Ryan Jeffers photo 26. Ryan Jeffers MIN
Kurt Suzuki Note
Kurt Suzuki photo 27. Kurt Suzuki LAA
Jacob Stallings Note
Jacob Stallings photo 28. Jacob Stallings PIT
Max Stassi Note
Max Stassi photo 29. Max Stassi LAA
Joey Bart Note
Joey Bart photo 30. Joey Bart SF
Francisco Mejia Note
Francisco Mejia photo 31. Francisco Mejia TB
Tyler Stephenson Note
Tyler Stephenson photo 32. Tyler Stephenson CIN
Roberto Perez Note
Roberto Perez photo 33. Roberto Perez CLE
Tucker Barnhart Note
Tucker Barnhart photo 34. Tucker Barnhart CIN
Victor Caratini Note
Victor Caratini photo 35. Victor Caratini SD
Elias Diaz Note
Elias Diaz photo 36. Elias Diaz COL
Chance Sisco Note
Chance Sisco photo 37. Chance Sisco BAL
Luis Torrens Note
Luis Torrens photo 38. Luis Torrens SEA
Sam Huff Note
Sam Huff photo 39. Sam Huff TEX
Martin Maldonado Note
Martin Maldonado photo 40. Martin Maldonado HOU
Adley Rutschman Note
Adley Rutschman photo 41. Adley Rutschman BAL
Andrew Knizner Note
Andrew Knizner photo 42. Andrew Knizner STL
Mike Zunino Note
Mike Zunino photo 43. Mike Zunino TB
Jason Castro Note
Jason Castro photo 44. Jason Castro HOU
Austin Barnes Note
Austin Barnes photo 45. Austin Barnes LAD
Austin Romine Note
Austin Romine photo 46. Austin Romine CHC
Andrew Knapp Note
Andrew Knapp photo 47. Andrew Knapp PHI
Jose Trevino Note
Jose Trevino photo 48. Jose Trevino TEX
Kyle Higashioka Note
Kyle Higashioka photo 49. Kyle Higashioka NYY
Robinson Chirinos Note
Robinson Chirinos photo 50. Robinson Chirinos NYY
Keibert Ruiz Note
Keibert Ruiz photo 51. Keibert Ruiz LAD
Willians Astudillo Note
Willians Astudillo photo 52. Willians Astudillo MIN
Curt Casali Note
Curt Casali photo 53. Curt Casali SF
Chadwick Tromp Note
Chadwick Tromp photo 54. Chadwick Tromp SF
Tyler Flowers Note
Tyler Flowers photo 55. Tyler Flowers FA
Austin Hedges Note
Austin Hedges photo 56. Austin Hedges CLE
Jonah Heim Note
Jonah Heim photo 57. Jonah Heim TEX
Luis Campusano Note
Luis Campusano photo 58. Luis Campusano SD
Alex Avila Note
Alex Avila photo 59. Alex Avila WSH
Stephen Vogt Note
Stephen Vogt photo 60. Stephen Vogt ARI
Dom Nunez Note
Dom Nunez photo 61. Dom Nunez COL
Manny Pina Note
Manny Pina photo 62. Manny Pina MIL
Tony Wolters Note
Tony Wolters photo 63. Tony Wolters PIT
Kevin Plawecki Note
Kevin Plawecki photo 64. Kevin Plawecki BOS
Reese McGuire Note
Reese McGuire photo 65. Reese McGuire TOR
Kyle Farmer Note
Kyle Farmer photo 66. Kyle Farmer CIN
John Hicks Note
John Hicks photo 67. John Hicks TEX
Jacob Nottingham Note
Jacob Nottingham photo 68. Jacob Nottingham MIL
Francisco Cervelli Note
Francisco Cervelli photo 69. Francisco Cervelli FA
Grayson Greiner Note
Grayson Greiner photo 70. Grayson Greiner DET
Jonathan Lucroy Note
Jonathan Lucroy photo 71. Jonathan Lucroy CWS
Bo Naylor Note
Bo Naylor photo 72. Bo Naylor CLE
Austin Allen Note
Austin Allen photo 73. Austin Allen OAK
Tyler Heineman Note
Tyler Heineman photo 74. Tyler Heineman STL
Chad Wallach Note
Chad Wallach photo 75. Chad Wallach MIA
Tomas Nido Note
Tomas Nido photo 76. Tomas Nido NYM
William Contreras Note
William Contreras photo 77. William Contreras ATL
Zack Collins Note
Zack Collins photo 78. Zack Collins CWS
Michael Perez Note
Michael Perez photo 79. Michael Perez PIT
Matt Wieters Note
Matt Wieters photo 80. Matt Wieters FA
Alex Jackson Note
Alex Jackson photo 81. Alex Jackson ATL
Sandy Leon Note
Sandy Leon photo 82. Sandy Leon FA
Cam Gallagher Note
Cam Gallagher photo 83. Cam Gallagher KC
Aramis Garcia Note
Aramis Garcia photo 84. Aramis Garcia OAK
Welington Castillo Note
Welington Castillo photo 85. Welington Castillo WSH
Jake Rogers Note
Jake Rogers photo 86. Jake Rogers DET
Garrett Stubbs Note
Garrett Stubbs photo 87. Garrett Stubbs HOU
Jeff Mathis Note
Jeff Mathis photo 88. Jeff Mathis PHI
Kevan Smith Note
Kevan Smith photo 89. Kevan Smith TB
Drew Butera Note
Drew Butera photo 90. Drew Butera TEX
Anthony Bemboom Note
Anthony Bemboom photo 91. Anthony Bemboom LAA
Cal Raleigh Note
Cal Raleigh photo 92. Cal Raleigh SEA
Rene Rivera Note
Rene Rivera photo 93. Rene Rivera FA
Luke Maile Note
Luke Maile photo 94. Luke Maile MIL
Dustin Garneau Note
Dustin Garneau photo 95. Dustin Garneau DET
Deivy Grullon Note
Deivy Grullon photo 96. Deivy Grullon CIN
Eric Haase Note
Eric Haase photo 97. Eric Haase DET
Chris Herrmann Note
Chris Herrmann photo 98. Chris Herrmann BOS
Meibrys Viloria Note
Meibrys Viloria photo 99. Meibrys Viloria KC
Connor Wong Note
Connor Wong photo 100. Connor Wong BOS
Jose Briceno Note
Jose Briceno photo 101. Jose Briceno COL
Seby Zavala Note
Seby Zavala photo 102. Seby Zavala CWS
Rafael Marchan Note
Rafael Marchan photo 103. Rafael Marchan PHI
Caleb Joseph Note
Caleb Joseph photo 104. Caleb Joseph NYM
Bryan Holaday Note
Bryan Holaday photo 105. Bryan Holaday FA
Beau Taylor Note
Beau Taylor photo 106. Beau Taylor CLE
Tres Barrera Note
Tres Barrera photo 107. Tres Barrera WSH
P.J. Higgins Note
P.J. Higgins photo 108. P.J. Higgins CHC
Andrew Susac Note
Andrew Susac photo 109. Andrew Susac PIT
Ali Sanchez Note
Ali Sanchez photo 110. Ali Sanchez STL
Patrick Mazeika Note
Patrick Mazeika photo 111. Patrick Mazeika NYM
Joseph Odom Note
Joseph Odom photo 112. Joseph Odom TB
Austin Wynns Note
Austin Wynns photo 113. Austin Wynns BAL
Joe Hudson Note
Joe Hudson photo 114. Joe Hudson PIT
David Freitas Note
David Freitas photo 115. David Freitas FA
John Ryan Murphy Note
John Ryan Murphy photo 116. John Ryan Murphy PIT
Raudy Read Note
Raudy Read photo 117. Raudy Read WSH
Miguel Amaya Note
Miguel Amaya photo 118. Miguel Amaya CHC
Nick Ciuffo Note
Nick Ciuffo photo 119. Nick Ciuffo BAL
Brian Navarreto Note
Brian Navarreto photo 120. Brian Navarreto MIA
Tim Federowicz Note
Tim Federowicz photo 121. Tim Federowicz LAD
Josh Phegley Note
Josh Phegley photo 122. Josh Phegley FA
Colton Shaver Note
Colton Shaver photo 123. Colton Shaver HOU
Yermin Mercedes Note
Yermin Mercedes photo 124. Yermin Mercedes CWS