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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Xander Bogaerts Note
Xander Bogaerts photo 16. Xander Bogaerts SS
Bogaerts largely backed up his excellent 2019 season with a strong 2020 campaign. He didn't hit the ball quite as hard and his launch angle dropped, but he did manage to maintain his .300 average and put up a similar home run pace. Two things from last year stand out and probably shouldn't be written off entirely: first, Bogaerts' RBI pace dropped significantly, and considering that the Red Sox lineup went from a relative strength to a weakness, it seems unlikely he'll approach 100 RBI in 2021. Second, after dropping for three consecutive seasons, Bogaerts' steal pace increased to the highest of his career. The drop in RBI and increase in steals may be related, as Bogaerts likely looked to manufacture runs with less help around him. Both trends are worth projecting going forward, and while Bogaerts' value doesn't change much, fantasy managers will likely take the increase in steals going forward.
37 weeks ago
Rafael Devers Note
Rafael Devers photo 19. Rafael Devers 3B
Devers' 2020 season was . . . fine. That's about the best you can say about it. He still hit the ball hard, ranking in the 96th percentile in average exit velocity, and he increased his barrel rate significantly. His counting stat paces from his breakout 2019 season went down, but not dramatically so (other than his batting average), and fantasy managers never felt like Devers was a drain on their teams. But, at the same time, his already poor walk rate declined, his strikeout rate jumped to a career worst, and he didn't even attempt a single stolen base. Devers is just 24 years old, so there is plenty of upside for him. The safest course of action is to build in some natural regression from Devers' strong 2019 season, and pencil him in for roughly 30 home runs and 200 combined runs and RBI. That still makes him an asset to any fantasy team.
37 weeks ago
J.D. Martinez Note
J.D. Martinez photo 44. J.D. Martinez DH,LF
Martinez had a disastrous 2020 season, during which he slashed just .213/.291/.389 and hit seven home runs. Martinez simply didn't hit the ball nearly as hard as he used to, and hit a ton of fly balls, the combination of which helped to drain his batting average significantly. There's a ton to dislike about last year, but given that Martinez has talked about how much he relies on watching video in-game, and his inability to do so last year because of COVID-19 protocols, it seems likely that you can write off last year to a slump that didn't have time to end. He'll be eligible at utility only, but there's a massive opportunity for profit if you are willing to largely look past 2020.
37 weeks ago
Alex Verdugo Note
Alex Verdugo photo 76. Alex Verdugo LF,RF,CF
Verdugo's first season in Boston went about as well as you would have expected. He hit for a high average, scored plenty of runs, and added just a bit of power and speed. But under the hood, there were some concerning signs. Specifically, his quality of contact was generally below the MLB average in every notable measure, and his expected batting average was just .238, a full 70 points below his actual batting average. And his strikeout rate rose to 20.4%, a career worst. But, in the end, Verdugo is going to continue to lead off for the Red Sox and contribute in both batting average and runs scored even on his worst day, and he'll offer at least some production in the remaining categories. Nitpick if you must, but he'll be a valuable contributor overall, regardless of the Statcast data.
37 weeks ago
Christian Vazquez Note
Christian Vazquez photo 120. Christian Vazquez C
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.
37 weeks ago
Bobby Dalbec Note
Bobby Dalbec photo 153. Bobby Dalbec 1B,3B
If you like Miguel Sano, you'll absolutely love Dalbec. He crushes the ball routinely (it was a small sample, but he had a 22%(!) barrel rate last year in 23 games), strikes out a ton (42.4% rate last year), and is equally likely to look like the best player in baseball at times as he is to look like the worst. He'll be the everyday first baseman for the Red Sox this year which means plenty of counting stats with perhaps 30 home runs if he stays healthy the whole year. Just have batting average help elsewhere if you draft him, as he'll almost certainly provide negative value in that category.
37 weeks ago
Jackie Bradley Jr. Note
Jackie Bradley Jr. photo 195. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF,LF,RF
Kike Hernandez Note
Kike Hernandez photo 204. Kike Hernandez 2B,RF,CF
Franchy Cordero Note
Franchy Cordero photo 220. Franchy Cordero RF,LF,1B
Christin Stewart Note
Christin Stewart photo 322. Christin Stewart LF
Jeter Downs Note
Jeter Downs photo 342. Jeter Downs SS
Kevin Plawecki Note
Kevin Plawecki photo 365. Kevin Plawecki C
Triston Casas Note
Triston Casas photo 409. Triston Casas 1B
Jarren Duran Note
Jarren Duran photo 465. Jarren Duran CF
Christian Arroyo Note
Christian Arroyo photo 471. Christian Arroyo 2B
Connor Wong Note
Connor Wong photo 578. Connor Wong C
Ronaldo Hernandez Note
Ronaldo Hernandez photo 608. Ronaldo Hernandez C
Jonathan Arauz Note
Jonathan Arauz photo 715. Jonathan Arauz 2B,SS
Rob Refsnyder Note
Rob Refsnyder photo 746. Rob Refsnyder DH,CF,LF