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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Nelson Cruz Note
Nelson Cruz photo 8. Nelson Cruz
If you ascribe to the "I'd rather jump off a year too early than too late" philosophy, then you probably haven't been drafting Cruz for the last several years. But if not, then you've not only drafted one of the most underrated fantasy bats in recent memory, but you're probably going to do so again this year. Cruz is back on a one-year deal with the Twins, and he's coming off another utterly dominant season. Fine, his strikeout rate rose again a bit, he didn't hit the ball quite as hard, and he's eligible at utility only. But other than the fact that he will be 41 years old this season, there's nothing in his profile that should cause you to expect significant decline. Prepare to be having the same debate next year, after Crus puts up another 35-homer season this year.
36 weeks ago
Tommy Pham Note
Tommy Pham photo 14. Tommy Pham
Pham had a terrible 2020 season, during which he slashed .211/.312/.312 and hit just three home runs. A broken hamate bone limited him to just 31 games, and to make matters worse, he was stabbed in the lower back during an altercation in the offseason. But even entering his age-33 season, there are reasons to be optimistic about his 2021 outlook. Pham had averaged roughly 22 home runs and 22 steals with a .284 batting average the three years prior to last, and he had the highest hard-hit rate of his career in 2020. Indeed, his expected batting average of .266 was 55 points higher than his actual average. There's reason to expect Pham to return to his 20-20 ways if he can remain healthy, and batting in a loaded Padres lineup, he should add plenty of counting stats.
36 weeks ago
Jorge Soler Note
Jorge Soler photo 16. Jorge Soler
Soler's injury-shortened 2020 season didn't live up to his massive 2019 campaign, but he did show that a lot of his gains were legitimate. Yes, it was more of a 30-homer pace, but his barrel rate, average exit velocity, and hard hit rate were all elite, as they were the prior year. Soler struck out way too much (34.5% of the time), and if he can't fix that, then his average will suffer as it did last year. But, his walk rate remains high and the power is going to be there with how hard he hits the ball. He's a source of cheap power you can grab later than other similarly-profiled bats going several rounds earlier.
36 weeks ago
Andrew McCutchen Note
Andrew McCutchen photo 23. Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen returned from his torn ACL and put up a decent season, hitting 10 home runs and stealing four bases in 57 games. If you watched him play, you could see he wasn't 100% himself, and his sprint speed dropped to just 27.4 ft/s, by far a career low. But he looks and reportedly feels healthier this spring, and will lead off again for the Phillies. Expect 20-plus homers, close to double-digit steals, and plenty of runs scored. And because he's an aging veteran, expect him to be a value on draft day.
36 weeks ago
Joc Pederson Note
Joc Pederson photo 31. Joc Pederson
Mitch Moreland Note
Mitch Moreland photo 35. Mitch Moreland
Kyle Schwarber Note
Kyle Schwarber photo 42. Kyle Schwarber
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.
36 weeks ago
Khris Davis Note
Khris Davis photo 45. Khris Davis
Ryan McBroom Note
Ryan McBroom photo 49. Ryan McBroom
Matt Carpenter Note
Matt Carpenter photo 52. Matt Carpenter
Asdrubal Cabrera Note
Asdrubal Cabrera photo 54. Asdrubal Cabrera
Jay Bruce Note
Jay Bruce photo 55. Jay Bruce
Edwin Encarnacion Note
Edwin Encarnacion photo 57. Edwin Encarnacion
Albert Pujols Note
Albert Pujols photo 58. Albert Pujols
Matt Kemp Note
Matt Kemp photo 59. Matt Kemp
Kevin Cron Note
Kevin Cron photo 60. Kevin Cron
Jose Martinez Note
Jose Martinez photo 62. Jose Martinez
Brad Miller Note
Brad Miller photo 63. Brad Miller
Ryan Braun Note
Ryan Braun photo 64. Ryan Braun
Jed Lowrie Note
Jed Lowrie photo 65. Jed Lowrie
Yoenis Cespedes Note
Yoenis Cespedes photo 67. Yoenis Cespedes
Jose Marmolejos Note
Jose Marmolejos photo 68. Jose Marmolejos
Shin-Soo Choo Note
Shin-Soo Choo photo 69. Shin-Soo Choo
Pablo Sandoval Note
Pablo Sandoval photo 70. Pablo Sandoval
Tim Lopes Note
Tim Lopes photo 71. Tim Lopes
Kyle Seager Note
Kyle Seager photo 72. Kyle Seager
Logan Morrison Note
Logan Morrison photo 75. Logan Morrison
Josh Phegley Note
Josh Phegley photo 76. Josh Phegley
Eric Thames Note
Eric Thames photo 77. Eric Thames
Matt Joyce Note
Matt Joyce photo 78. Matt Joyce
Matt Adams Note
Matt Adams photo 79. Matt Adams
Derek Dietrich Note
Derek Dietrich photo 81. Derek Dietrich
Mark Trumbo Note
Mark Trumbo photo 85. Mark Trumbo
Yasmany Tomas Note
Yasmany Tomas photo 87. Yasmany Tomas
Rob Refsnyder Note
Rob Refsnyder photo 88. Rob Refsnyder
Dylan Cozens Note
Dylan Cozens photo 89. Dylan Cozens
Ryan Goins Note
Ryan Goins photo 90. Ryan Goins