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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Javier Baez Note
Javier Baez photo 40. Javier Baez SS
Everything went wrong for Baez in 2020. His already high strikeout rate increased to 31.9%. His already low walk rated fell to an abysmal 3.0%. He swung less, made contact less, and did not hit the ball as hard as he used to. In the end, Baez earned every bit of his .203 batting average and poor counting stats. But how much weight do you put into a 59-game stretch for a veteran like Baez, particularly when he complained that his inability to watch video between at-bats affected his overall performance. The answer is a little, but not all that much. Baez had a stellar three-year run as a reliable power-speed combination, and he'll be just 28 years old this season. The Cubs lineup won't be overly strong, but Baez should certainly put up numbers closer to his 2017-2019 totals than those he put up in 2020.
7 weeks ago
Anthony Rizzo Note
Anthony Rizzo photo 52. Anthony Rizzo 1B
Rizzo's average dropped to just .222 last year and his counting stats waned, though the latter failing was much more due to the lack of production from the rest of the Cubs lineup. His walk and strikeout rates, however, stayed mostly in line, and his BABIP was an artificially low .218 (career mark of .289), which is partly why there was such a gap between his xBA of .266 and his actual batting average. With that said, Rizzo didn't hit the ball nearly as hard last year, as he saw career worsts in average exit velocity and hard hit rate. He likely won't ever be the player he was at his peak, but there's still plenty in his bat that can help fantasy managers, including the handful of steals he will throw in each year. He's a starting-caliber first baseman still, without question, and he'll go at a discount because of last year's numbers.
7 weeks ago
Kris Bryant Note
Kris Bryant photo 67. Kris Bryant 3B
Bryant had a terrible 2020 season, but it seems like fantasy managers are forgetting how consistent he's been. Over the last four seasons, he has a 162-game pace of a .278 average, 29 home runs, 112 run scored, 80 RBI, and five steals. His quality of contact was awful last season, but hard contact has never really been his calling card anyway, and he battled back and wrist injuries. Bryant doesn't deserve a mulligan entirely for last season, but give it minimal weight in your evaluation.
7 weeks ago
Willson Contreras Note
Willson Contreras photo 90. Willson Contreras C
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.
7 weeks ago
Ian Happ Note
Ian Happ photo 92. Ian Happ CF,LF
Happ has always made consistently hard contact, but his strikeout rate was simply untenable, hovering around 34% in his first two seasons. But he has cut that down to a more manageable 26% over the last two years, and he's batted .260 with 23 home runs and 58 RBI over 115 games in that span. Happ has some speed even if he hasn't shown it recently, and he'll likely bat leadoff for the Cubs, who may need to manufacture runs more than in previous years. The average probably won't help you much, but he should contribute in four categories at a relatively inexpensive price.
7 weeks ago
Joc Pederson Note
Joc Pederson photo 147. Joc Pederson LF
Jason Heyward Note
Jason Heyward photo 221. Jason Heyward RF
Nico Hoerner Note
Nico Hoerner photo 260. Nico Hoerner 2B
David Bote Note
David Bote photo 268. David Bote 2B,3B
Austin Romine Note
Austin Romine photo 336. Austin Romine C
Eric Sogard Note
Eric Sogard photo 344. Eric Sogard 2B,3B
Jake Marisnick Note
Jake Marisnick photo 345. Jake Marisnick CF
Cameron Maybin Note
Cameron Maybin photo 389. Cameron Maybin RF
Tony Wolters Note
Tony Wolters photo 442. Tony Wolters C
Brennen Davis Note
Brennen Davis photo 449. Brennen Davis CF
Ed Howard Note
Ed Howard photo 495. Ed Howard SS
Cristian Hernandez Note
Cristian Hernandez photo 502. Cristian Hernandez SS
P.J. Higgins Note
P.J. Higgins photo 562. P.J. Higgins C
Ildemaro Vargas Note
Ildemaro Vargas photo 601. Ildemaro Vargas 2B
Jose Lobaton Note
Jose Lobaton photo 609. Jose Lobaton C
Matt Duffy Note
Matt Duffy photo 651. Matt Duffy 3B
Michael Hermosillo Note
Michael Hermosillo photo 668. Michael Hermosillo LF
Rafael Ortega Note
Rafael Ortega photo 671. Rafael Ortega LF
Sergio Alcantara Note
Sergio Alcantara photo 684. Sergio Alcantara 3B
Ian Miller Note
Ian Miller photo 737. Ian Miller CF
Patrick Wisdom Note
Patrick Wisdom photo 739. Patrick Wisdom 1B
Nick Martini Note
Nick Martini photo 781. Nick Martini LF
Abiatal Avelino Note
Abiatal Avelino photo 784. Abiatal Avelino SS
Miguel Amaya Note
Miguel Amaya photo 796. Miguel Amaya C