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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.
36 weeks 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.
36 weeks ago
Willson Contreras Note
Willson Contreras photo 3. 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.
36 weeks ago
Will Smith Note
Will Smith photo 4. 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.
36 weeks 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, though his recovery from a knee injury may cause Chicago to take it easy with him at the outset. He's just a tad outside of the elite range at the position, but he's a locked in fantasy starter.
36 weeks 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.
36 weeks 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.
36 weeks 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.
36 weeks ago
James McCann Note
James McCann photo 9. 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.
36 weeks ago
Sean Murphy Note
Sean Murphy photo 10. Sean Murphy OAK
Murphy has pretty quietly put together two quality seasons in a row, albeit in limited samples. Over his past 63 games, he's put up 11 home runs, 35 runs scored, and 22 RBI, a pace that is more than respectable, even if it comes with a sub-par batting average. Murphy is dealing with a collapsed lung and may not be ready for the start of the season, but it doesn't sound like it will keep him out of action for long. He's a borderline starter in most mixed leagues, but he offers a decent floor if you miss our on more quality options.
36 weeks ago
Mitch Garver Note
Mitch Garver photo 11. Mitch Garver MIN
As quickly as Garver exploded onto the scene in 2019 with 31 home runs in just 93 games, he disappeared last year, to the tune of a .167 batting average and two home runs with a 45.7% strikeout rate. An intercostal strain led to his shortened season and almost certainly affected his performance. He's been red hot in the spring thus far, and should be slowly moving up your draft board. If you're looking for a catcher who has the potential to finish within the top-5 but is being drafted only as a low-end starter, this is your guy.
36 weeks ago
Austin Nola Note
Austin Nola photo 12. Austin Nola SD
Nola has proven to be a quality bat for a catcher over the last two seasons, batting .271 with 17 home runs in 127 games over that span. He's in a great situation with the Padres, even if he will be batting at the bottom of the lineup, but a fractured finger will likely lead him to begin the season on the IL. Depending on how much time he'll miss, that could create a buying opportunity, as his ADP should drop a bit. As long he isn't projected to miss more than a couple of weeks, take the discount and enjoy premium production from the catcher position for the rest of the season.
36 weeks ago
Buster Posey Note
Buster Posey photo 13. Buster Posey FA
Posey sat out the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concern for the health of his adopted daughters, but he returns this year for what is almost certainly his final season with the Giants and perhaps his career. Posey is in his age-34 season, ancient for a catcher, and he's coming off two seasons during which he totaled a .741 OPS and a .688 OPS in 2018 and 2019 respectively. But he's healthy and appears refreshed, and the changes to Oracle Park last year should work in his benefit now. He's outside the top-12 catchers, but you can get away with him in a one-catcher league in a pinch.
36 weeks ago
Yadier Molina Note
Yadier Molina photo 14. Yadier Molina STL
The ageless wonder is back for another year in St. Louis as he enters his age-39 season. Molina isn't what he once was - the token stolen bases are gone and his runs scored continue to decline. But he has yet to fall off a cliff in either batting average of power, and his numbers there are still mildly enticing for a catcher. The run is going to end some day, perhaps this year, but the cost is that of a middling second catcher, and his track record suggests he'll again be worth that price.
36 weeks ago
Carson Kelly Note
Carson Kelly photo 15. Carson Kelly ARI
After an impressive 2019 season during which he hit 18 home runs in just 111 games, Kelly had a down 2020, batting just .221 with five long balls. Kelly's walk rate regressed significantly to just 4.7%, and he showed little of the patience that brought him success in 2019. Daulton Varsho is a threat to his playing time, but it seems like Kelly will have the lead role behind the plate, with Varsho filling in and getting time at outfield. That should make Kelly a borderline startable catcher in most mixed leagues, assuming he can bounce back from his down 2020 campaign.
36 weeks ago
Jorge Alfaro Note
Jorge Alfaro photo 16. Jorge Alfaro SD
Alfaro batted just .226 in 2020, but he hit .262 from 2018-2019, along with 28 home runs in 238 games. He has been criticized for his defense, but he reportedly worked on it during the offseason and has received some praise this spring. After flirting with trade talk, the Marlins look like they'll stick with Alfaro, and his bat plays well enough to make him a high-end second catcher in mixed leagues. The stardom that some projected may never come, but he'll likely be fantasy-relevant in 2020.
36 weeks ago
Wilson Ramos Note
Wilson Ramos photo 17. Wilson Ramos FA
Alejandro Kirk Note
Alejandro Kirk photo 18. 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.
36 weeks ago
Isiah Kiner-Falefa Note
Isiah Kiner-Falefa photo 19. Isiah Kiner-Falefa TEX
Danny Jansen Note
Danny Jansen photo 20. 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.
36 weeks ago
Yan Gomes Note
Yan Gomes photo 21. Yan Gomes CHC
Daulton Varsho Note
Daulton Varsho photo 22. Daulton Varsho ARI
Varsho was optioned to Triple-A, which was mildly surprising, though not entirely unexpected. He 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. Varsho was optioned less because of his talent level and more because the Diamondbacks' roster is pretty full, especially with the signing of Asdrubal Cabrera,. There's a ton of potential for Varsho, given that he was a high-average hitter during his minor-league career, but fantasy managers will need to wait a bit longer for him to become someone to start in fantasy leagues.
36 weeks ago
Omar Narvaez Note
Omar Narvaez photo 23. Omar Narvaez MIL
Tom Murphy Note
Tom Murphy photo 24. Tom Murphy SEA
Ryan Jeffers Note
Ryan Jeffers photo 25. Ryan Jeffers MIN
Pedro Severino Note
Pedro Severino photo 26. Pedro Severino MIL
Max Stassi Note
Max Stassi photo 27. Max Stassi LAA
Jacob Stallings Note
Jacob Stallings photo 28. Jacob Stallings MIA
Kurt Suzuki Note
Kurt Suzuki photo 29. Kurt Suzuki FA
Francisco Mejia Note
Francisco Mejia photo 30. Francisco Mejia TB
Elias Diaz Note
Elias Diaz photo 31. Elias Diaz COL
Tyler Stephenson Note
Tyler Stephenson photo 32. Tyler Stephenson CIN
Tucker Barnhart Note
Tucker Barnhart photo 33. Tucker Barnhart DET
Roberto Perez Note
Roberto Perez photo 34. Roberto Perez PIT
Joey Bart Note
Joey Bart photo 35. Joey Bart SF
Martin Maldonado Note
Martin Maldonado photo 36. Martin Maldonado HOU
Chance Sisco Note
Chance Sisco photo 37. Chance Sisco FA
Victor Caratini Note
Victor Caratini photo 38. Victor Caratini SD
Mike Zunino Note
Mike Zunino photo 39. Mike Zunino TB
Sam Huff Note
Sam Huff photo 40. Sam Huff TEX
Luis Torrens Note
Luis Torrens photo 41. Luis Torrens SEA
Adley Rutschman Note
Adley Rutschman photo 42. Adley Rutschman BAL
Austin Barnes Note
Austin Barnes photo 43. Austin Barnes LAD
Andrew Knizner Note
Andrew Knizner photo 44. Andrew Knizner STL
Jose Trevino Note
Jose Trevino photo 45. Jose Trevino TEX
Jason Castro Note
Jason Castro photo 46. Jason Castro HOU
Austin Romine Note
Austin Romine photo 47. Austin Romine FA
Andrew Knapp Note
Andrew Knapp photo 48. Andrew Knapp FA
Kyle Higashioka Note
Kyle Higashioka photo 49. Kyle Higashioka NYY
Robinson Chirinos Note
Robinson Chirinos photo 50. Robinson Chirinos FA
Willians Astudillo Note
Willians Astudillo photo 51. Willians Astudillo FA
Luis Campusano Note
Luis Campusano photo 52. Luis Campusano SD
Stephen Vogt Note
Stephen Vogt photo 53. Stephen Vogt FA
Austin Hedges Note
Austin Hedges photo 54. Austin Hedges CLE
Chadwick Tromp Note
Chadwick Tromp photo 55. Chadwick Tromp ATL
Keibert Ruiz Note
Keibert Ruiz photo 56. Keibert Ruiz WSH
Curt Casali Note
Curt Casali photo 57. Curt Casali SF
Dom Nunez Note
Dom Nunez photo 58. Dom Nunez COL
Manny Pina Note
Manny Pina photo 59. Manny Pina ATL
Alex Avila Note
Alex Avila photo 60. Alex Avila FA
Jonah Heim Note
Jonah Heim photo 61. Jonah Heim TEX
Kevin Plawecki Note
Kevin Plawecki photo 62. Kevin Plawecki BOS
William Contreras Note
William Contreras photo 63. William Contreras ATL
Kyle Farmer Note
Kyle Farmer photo 64. Kyle Farmer CIN
Tyler Flowers Note
Tyler Flowers photo 65. Tyler Flowers FA
Chad Wallach Note
Chad Wallach photo 66. Chad Wallach LAA
Tomas Nido Note
Tomas Nido photo 67. Tomas Nido NYM
Reese McGuire Note
Reese McGuire photo 68. Reese McGuire TOR
Tony Wolters Note
Tony Wolters photo 69. Tony Wolters FA
Jacob Nottingham Note
Jacob Nottingham photo 70. Jacob Nottingham SEA
Michael Perez Note
Michael Perez photo 71. Michael Perez PIT
Austin Wells Note
Austin Wells photo 72. Austin Wells NYY
Heriberto Hernandez Note
Heriberto Hernandez photo 73. Heriberto Hernandez TB
Francisco Alvarez Note
Francisco Alvarez photo 74. Francisco Alvarez NYM
Aramis Garcia Note
Aramis Garcia photo 75. Aramis Garcia CIN
Dillon Dingler Note
Dillon Dingler photo 76. Dillon Dingler DET
Tyler Soderstrom Note
Tyler Soderstrom photo 77. Tyler Soderstrom OAK
Alex Jackson Note
Alex Jackson photo 78. Alex Jackson MIA
Bo Naylor Note
Bo Naylor photo 79. Bo Naylor CLE
John Hicks Note
John Hicks photo 80. John Hicks FA
Grayson Greiner Note
Grayson Greiner photo 81. Grayson Greiner FA
Tyler Heineman Note
Tyler Heineman photo 82. Tyler Heineman FA
Zack Collins Note
Zack Collins photo 83. Zack Collins CWS
Francisco Cervelli Note
Francisco Cervelli photo 84. Francisco Cervelli FA
Austin Allen Note
Austin Allen photo 85. Austin Allen OAK
Matt Wieters Note
Matt Wieters photo 86. Matt Wieters FA
Sandy Leon Note
Sandy Leon photo 87. Sandy Leon CLE
Jonathan Lucroy Note
Jonathan Lucroy photo 88. Jonathan Lucroy FA
Cam Gallagher Note
Cam Gallagher photo 89. Cam Gallagher KC
Jake Rogers Note
Jake Rogers photo 90. Jake Rogers DET
Rene Rivera Note
Rene Rivera photo 91. Rene Rivera FA
Welington Castillo Note
Welington Castillo photo 92. Welington Castillo WSH
Kevan Smith Note
Kevan Smith photo 93. Kevan Smith ATL
Jose Briceno Note
Jose Briceno photo 94. Jose Briceno FA
Beau Taylor Note
Beau Taylor photo 95. Beau Taylor FA
Meibrys Viloria Note
Meibrys Viloria photo 96. Meibrys Viloria FA
Garrett Stubbs Note
Garrett Stubbs photo 97. Garrett Stubbs PHI
Bryan Holaday Note
Bryan Holaday photo 98. Bryan Holaday FA
Deivy Grullon Note
Deivy Grullon photo 99. Deivy Grullon FA
Anthony Bemboom Note
Anthony Bemboom photo 100. Anthony Bemboom FA
Cal Raleigh Note
Cal Raleigh photo 101. Cal Raleigh SEA
Rafael Marchan Note
Rafael Marchan photo 102. Rafael Marchan PHI
Dustin Garneau Note
Dustin Garneau photo 103. Dustin Garneau DET
P.J. Higgins Note
P.J. Higgins photo 104. P.J. Higgins FA
Drew Butera Note
Drew Butera photo 105. Drew Butera FA
Seby Zavala Note
Seby Zavala photo 106. Seby Zavala CWS
Connor Wong Note
Connor Wong photo 107. Connor Wong BOS
Eric Haase Note
Eric Haase photo 108. Eric Haase DET
Tres Barrera Note
Tres Barrera photo 109. Tres Barrera WSH
Chris Herrmann Note
Chris Herrmann photo 110. Chris Herrmann FA
Ali Sanchez Note
Ali Sanchez photo 111. Ali Sanchez STL
Luke Maile Note
Luke Maile photo 112. Luke Maile FA
Rob Brantly Note
Rob Brantly photo 113. Rob Brantly FA
Andrew Susac Note
Andrew Susac photo 114. Andrew Susac FA
Patrick Mazeika Note
Patrick Mazeika photo 115. Patrick Mazeika NYM
Josh Phegley Note
Josh Phegley photo 116. Josh Phegley FA
Austin Wynns Note
Austin Wynns photo 117. Austin Wynns BAL
Joe Hudson Note
Joe Hudson photo 118. Joe Hudson FA
Caleb Joseph Note
Caleb Joseph photo 119. Caleb Joseph SEA
David Freitas Note
David Freitas photo 120. David Freitas TB
Ryan Lavarnway Note
Ryan Lavarnway photo 121. Ryan Lavarnway CIN
Ronaldo Hernandez Note
Ronaldo Hernandez photo 122. Ronaldo Hernandez BOS
Jose Lobaton Note
Jose Lobaton photo 123. Jose Lobaton FA
Raudy Read Note
Raudy Read photo 124. Raudy Read FA
Jeff Mathis Note
Jeff Mathis photo 125. Jeff Mathis FA
Brian Navarreto Note
Brian Navarreto photo 126. Brian Navarreto FA
Juan Graterol Note
Juan Graterol photo 127. Juan Graterol ARI
Joseph Odom Note
Joseph Odom photo 128. Joseph Odom FA
Tim Federowicz Note
Tim Federowicz photo 129. Tim Federowicz FA
Yermin Mercedes Note
Yermin Mercedes photo 130. Yermin Mercedes CWS
Colton Shaver Note
Colton Shaver photo 131. Colton Shaver HOU
Tomas Telis Note
Tomas Telis photo 132. Tomas Telis FA
Blake Swihart Note
Blake Swihart photo 133. Blake Swihart FA
Nick Ciuffo Note
Nick Ciuffo photo 134. Nick Ciuffo FA
Miguel Amaya Note
Miguel Amaya photo 135. Miguel Amaya CHC
John Ryan Murphy Note
John Ryan Murphy photo 136. John Ryan Murphy PIT