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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Mookie Betts Note
Mookie Betts photo 2. Mookie Betts CF,RF
Betts's first year with the Dodgers was basically exactly what fantasy managers expected - that is to say it was pretty much in line with what he did with the Red Sox. If you want to quibble, his walk rate dropped a few percentage points and he struck out at a career-worst 15.4% clip. But at this point, there are few safer players than Betts - you know he'll give you strong production in all five categories and he bats atop one of the best lineups in all of baseball. Betts should be a top-three pick and there's every reason to consider him number one overall. The downside is borderline non-existent.
12 hours ago
Cody Bellinger Note
Cody Bellinger photo 12. Cody Bellinger 1B,CF,RF
Bellinger was unable to replicate the magic of his 2019 breakout during last year's shortened season. His average dipped to .239, the worst mark of his career, his power dropped significantly, and he didn't make the same quality of contact. But although he slid backwards in his walk and strikeout rates, his regression there was minimal, and his expected batting average was .284. In other words, Bellinger got worse in 2020, but it wasn't quite as bad as the surface numbers suggest. He did have offseason shoulder surgery after getting injured during a post-season celebration, and that's always a bit worrisome for a hitter. But given that a "down" year for Bellinger at this point is a 30-15 season, he warrants being selected early in the second round.
12 hours ago
Corey Seager Note
Corey Seager photo 21. Corey Seager SS
2020 was essentially a perfect season for Seager. More than a year removed from Tommy John surgery, he morphed into the player that most people expected him to be at this stage of his career. Seager increased his barrel rate from 7.3% to 15.8%, his average exit velocity from 88.8 MPH to 93.2 MPH, and his hard hit percentage from 38.2% to a remarkable 55.9%. Seager's 2020 season does not look fluky, but rather the product of a highly-touted prospect being fully recovered from injury and entering his prime. Seager may not reach the nearly 50-homers he was on pace to hit last year, but a 30-homer season with above a .300 average is well within reach. In other words, his performance over the shortened season is not one to write off.
12 hours ago
Max Muncy Note
Max Muncy photo 65. Max Muncy 1B,2B,3B
Muncy's batting average dropped to a ridiculously low .192 last year, and there were two culprits. The first is that his line drive rate plummeted from 23.5% to just 13.8%, leading to far more ground balls. The second was that he simply didn't hit the ball as hard. His hard hit rate and average exit velocity fell, and his HR/FB rate dropped seven points. Muncy dealt with finger and elbow injuries, so those may account for his poor season, but even then he was on pace to reach the 30-homer plateau for a third straight year. Muncy has position eligibility galore, and at the weak second base position, so continue to draft him in the middle rounds as a cheap source of power who adds value thanks to his ability to play all around the infield for your fantasy team.
12 hours ago
Will Smith Note
Will Smith photo 83. Will Smith C
Smith had an outstanding 2020 season, walking a ton, striking out little, and getting on base at higher than a .400 clip. The power he showed in his 54-game stretch in 2019 remained, and he ranked in the top 10% of the league in wOBA, expected wOBA, and expected slugging percentage. Given how the Dodgers play the entire season with an eye toward the playoffs, as well as the presence of Keibert Ruiz, it's possible that Smith may get more rest than other catchers this year. But that's a minor point against someone who should be one of the top options at his position. He's no worse than a top-five catcher, and there's a good argument that he should be the second player selected at his position.
12 hours ago
AJ Pollock Note
AJ Pollock photo 102. AJ Pollock LF,CF,DH
Justin Turner Note
Justin Turner photo 105. Justin Turner 3B,DH
Turner signed a two-year deal with the Dodgers, and it's a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, he remains a key cog in an incredibly strong lineup where he's had plenty of success for several years. On the other, he's almost certainly going to see a downtick in his playing time given his age and the presence of Edwin Rios. Turner is still a batting average asset, has shown little decline in his batted ball data, and almost always produces when he's in the lineup. But he's much more valuable in daily transaction leagues where you can swap him in and out of the lineup.
12 hours ago
Gavin Lux Note
Gavin Lux photo 131. Gavin Lux 2B
Chris Taylor Note
Chris Taylor photo 137. Chris Taylor 2B,SS,LF,CF
Edwin Rios Note
Edwin Rios photo 226. Edwin Rios 1B,3B
Austin Barnes Note
Austin Barnes photo 349. Austin Barnes C
Matt Beaty Note
Matt Beaty photo 393. Matt Beaty 1B,3B,LF
Keibert Ruiz Note
Keibert Ruiz photo 432. Keibert Ruiz C
Tim Federowicz Note
Tim Federowicz photo 515. Tim Federowicz C
Zach McKinstry Note
Zach McKinstry photo 538. Zach McKinstry 2B,Util
Sheldon Neuse Note
Sheldon Neuse photo 539. Sheldon Neuse 2B,3B
DJ Peters Note
DJ Peters photo 568. DJ Peters CF
Luke Raley Note
Luke Raley photo 606. Luke Raley CF,LF,RF
Zach Reks Note
Zach Reks photo 635. Zach Reks LF
Omar Estevez Note
Omar Estevez photo 642. Omar Estevez 2B,SS
Matt Davidson Note
Matt Davidson photo 685. Matt Davidson DH,Util