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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Ronald Acuna Jr. Note
Ronald Acuna Jr. photo 1. Ronald Acuna Jr. LF,CF,RF
Acuna missed some time last year and batted a mere .250. And thus ends the negative things you can say about him. He walked at an absurd 18.8% clip, which led him to a .406 OBP despite the poor average. He was one of the league leaders in quality of contact, wOBA, and xWOBA, and we now know after the last two years that he will run often on the bases so long as he continues to bat leadoff, which he should. In other words, from a fantasy perspective, Acuna is an absolute monster. He's a top-three pick and will (deservedly) go first overall in many leagues, and there's still upside given that he just turned 23 years old.
19 weeks ago
Freddie Freeman Note
Freddie Freeman photo 10. Freddie Freeman 1B
Although there were questions about Freeman's 2020 season because of his battle with COVID-19 prior to the season, those questions were answered and then some with his MVP season. The statcast leaderboard is littered with Freeman's name, as he ranked in the top nine percent of the league in barrel rate, average exit velocity, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, wOBA, xwOBA, xwOBAcon, hard hit percentage, strikeout percentage, and walk percentage. Freeman likely won't reach double digits in steals, but that is about the only negative thing you can say about his fantasy outlook. He's as safe as they come in the other four hitting categories, and comes with next to no risk. He'll likely cost a borderline first round pick on draft day, but he is worth it.
19 weeks ago
Ozzie Albies Note
Ozzie Albies photo 20. Ozzie Albies 2B
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.
19 weeks ago
Marcell Ozuna Note
Marcell Ozuna photo 22. Marcell Ozuna LF,DH
Ozuna had a career year with the Braves last year, slashing .338/.431/.636, a career best in each category. His 18 home runs and 56 RBI led the National League, while his barrel rate, average exit velocity, and hard hit rate were all among the best in baseball. Given that he had shoulder surgery before the 2018 season, it's fair to assume that he needed two full years to recover. And although perhaps we can't expect him to again lead the league in power categories, you should expect roughly a 35-homer, 100-RBI season with a plus batting average. That makes him capable of being your first outfielder in mixed leagues and an asset to any fantasy team.
19 weeks ago
Dansby Swanson Note
Dansby Swanson photo 65. Dansby Swanson SS
Swanson's four-year trend in OPS is .636, .699, .748, and finally .809 last season. There's little to dislike about his profile at this stage in his career. He makes consistently good contact, has improved his launch angle enough to where that contact translates into home runs, and his walk and strikeout rates are strong enough so that his batting average should remain a benefit to fantasy managers. He also ranked in the 90th percentile in sprint speed last season, so he should reach double digits in stolen bases this year, as he had done in the two years prior to 2020's shortened season. In short, Swanson's skill level and output should no longer be in doubt, and he makes a strong starting option at the shortstop position.
19 weeks ago
Travis d'Arnaud Note
Travis d'Arnaud photo 106. Travis d'Arnaud C,1B
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.
19 weeks ago
Austin Riley Note
Austin Riley photo 119. Austin Riley 1B,3B,LF
Riley made some notable gains last year after he looked like he might fall out of fantasy-relevance entirely with the way he closed his 2019 season. He essentially traded off some power for contact, as his swing percentage dropped, his contact rate increased, and he improved on both his walk and strikeout rates. Although there was some question as to whether the Braves would add another third baseman in free agency, it appears they're content to roll with Riley to begin the year. That should make him a cheap source of power for fantasy, one whose batting average (.262 xBA last year) won't hurt you too badly.
19 weeks ago
Joc Pederson Note
Joc Pederson photo 149. Joc Pederson 1B,LF,RF,DH
Cristian Pache Note
Cristian Pache photo 218. Cristian Pache CF,LF
Orlando Arcia Note
Orlando Arcia photo 282. Orlando Arcia LF,SS
Stephen Vogt Note
Stephen Vogt photo 324. Stephen Vogt C,LF
William Contreras Note
William Contreras photo 335. William Contreras C
Yolmer Sanchez Note
Yolmer Sanchez photo 340. Yolmer Sanchez 2B,3B
Pablo Sandoval Note
Pablo Sandoval photo 379. Pablo Sandoval 1B,3B,DH
Alex Jackson Note
Alex Jackson photo 423. Alex Jackson C
Johan Camargo Note
Johan Camargo photo 435. Johan Camargo 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF
Kevan Smith Note
Kevan Smith photo 451. Kevan Smith C
Drew Waters Note
Drew Waters photo 473. Drew Waters LF,CF
Ehire Adrianza Note
Ehire Adrianza photo 486. Ehire Adrianza 1B,2B,3B,LF,RF,SS
Braden Shewmake Note
Braden Shewmake photo 560. Braden Shewmake SS
Phillip Ervin Note
Phillip Ervin photo 586. Phillip Ervin LF,CF,RF
Travis Demeritte Note
Travis Demeritte photo 595. Travis Demeritte RF
Jeff Mathis Note
Jeff Mathis photo 611. Jeff Mathis C
Abraham Almonte Note
Abraham Almonte photo 663. Abraham Almonte LF,RF
Guillermo Heredia Note
Guillermo Heredia photo 679. Guillermo Heredia LF,CF,RF
Terrance Gore Note
Terrance Gore photo 778. Terrance Gore LF,CF,RF