Fantasy Baseball Player Notes
2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes
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.
Fantasy managers will likely remember Arozarena's remarkable postseason, when he slashed .377/.442/.831. But his regular season (.281/.382/.641) would make him a strong fantasy asset if he could repeat hit. Arozarena wasn't looked at as a high impact prospect, but he put on significant muscle before last year and it manifested itself in his power production. There's a 25-homer bat in his skill set, and the fact that he'll likely throw in 15-20 steals should give him a high floor regardless. Don't pay for the postseason, of course, but Arozarena should be a rock solid fantasy outfielder in 2021.
Meadows missed time with an oblique injury last year, and, more importantly, because of complications from COVID-19. Meadows's strikeout rate ballooned to 32.9% and his average fell to just .205 in 2020. Even if you expected regression from his 2019 season, he's just much better than a player who put up the 87 wRC+ and .292 wOBA we saw last year. Though it's absolutely fair to write off Meadows's season entirely, it's a bit worrisome that he struggled so much against lefties (.143 batting average), as that could potentially open him up to a platoon situation if he struggles against them out of the gate. The best course of action is to discount him from his numbers in 2019 for certain, but still buy him as a strong third outfielder, which should bake in the risk of any continued struggles against his upside.