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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Francisco Lindor Note
Francisco Lindor photo 13. Francisco Lindor SS
Lindor's season wasn't particularly impressive, as his surface numbers regressed fairly significantly from his previous three seasons. But, under the hood, not much changed. His walk rate and strikeout rate were largely steady, and his statcast data remained on par with his career marks. He also got much better to close the year, batting .285 with a 122 wRC+ over his final 39 games. Just 27 years old and now with a stronger lineup with the Mets, Lindor should put up numbers closer to his 2017-2019 levels, especially since he'll be playing for a new contract after this season. He'll come at a bit of a discount in the second round this year, and he's well worth your investment at that price.
30 weeks ago
Pete Alonso Note
Pete Alonso photo 32. Pete Alonso 1B
Alonso didn't quite follow up his incredible 2019 season last year, but he certainly wasn't terrible. The vast majority of his underlying statcast data and metrics looked similar, and he mostly just didn't make quite as consistently hard contact as he did the previous year. Alonso is never going to help you in batting average, but you should expect 40 home runs and 100 RBI this year and for the foreseeable future. With such a high floor, Alonso makes a more than adequate starting first baseman in mixed leagues.
30 weeks ago
Javier Baez Note
Javier Baez photo 40. Javier Baez 2B,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.
30 weeks ago
Michael Conforto Note
Michael Conforto photo 42. Michael Conforto CF,RF
Conforto built on his excellent 2019 season by trading off a bit of power for some batting average. Fed by a significant increase in line drive rate that led to a .412 BABIP, Conforto batted a career best .322 last year. His xBA was just .284, so don't think that he suddenly morphed into a high average bat, but he did hit above .300 against every type of pitch last year, so it was certainly more than luck. Expect some regression to closer to his .259 mark, but he should hit around 30 homers with plenty of runs and RBI and even toss in a few steals. That makes him a worthwhile OF2 in mixed leagues.
30 weeks ago
Jeff McNeil Note
Jeff McNeil photo 63. Jeff McNeil 2B,3B,LF,RF
Much of McNeil's 2020 season looked similar to his year in 2019. He hit over .300, rarely struck out, and got on base plenty. But the power gains that we saw in 2019 vanished, as he hit just four home runs over 52 games. His barrel rate (2.5%) and hard-hit percentage (26.5%) were some of the worst in the league, and he didn't even offer the token stolen base that he had chipped in during previous seasons. This is a scenario where McNeil's value to any particular fantasy manager will depend on the weight he or she gives to the shortened 2020 season. Given that McNeil never hit the ball particularly hard anyway, though, a good bet is to assume he at least returns to the high teens in home runs, slightly below his 2019 pace. With his strong average and multi-position eligibility, that makes McNeil an asset in the middle rounds.
30 weeks ago
Dominic Smith Note
Dominic Smith photo 84. Dominic Smith 1B,LF
Smith showed he had the bat to hit in the majors in 2019, but he took an extra step forward in last year's shortened season. His .316/.377/.616 slash line effectively forced the Mets to find a way to get his bat into the lineup, even if his defense tried to prevent it. His Statcast data was excellent, as he put up a barrel percentage of 13.3% and a hard hit percentage of 46.7%, all with a .405 wOBA, which was in the top four percent of the league. The issue for Smith is his fielding and with the National League surprisingly not adopting the designated hitter, that means he'll need to play out in left field most days. Although the Mets can surely live with the tradeoff, Smith will likely lose plenty of at-bats late in games as he gets switched out for defensive purposes. He'll still have plenty of value, but without the DH, be cautious with your projections for his counting stats.
30 weeks ago
James McCann Note
James McCann photo 132. James McCann C,1B
McCann will be the everyday catcher for the Mets after putting up his second consecutive successful season for the White Sox. After putting up a .789 OPS in 2019, he jumped up to an .896 mark in 2020, setting a career-high in walk rate. McCann was a part-timer last year, so his rate stats will likely dip as he takes over a heavy workload with the Mets (Wilson Ramos ranked fourth among catchers in plate appearances the last two seasons). But counting stats should be there in spades in a strong Mets lineup. He should be drafted as a starting catcher in 12-team formats.
30 weeks ago
Brandon Nimmo Note
Brandon Nimmo photo 138. Brandon Nimmo LF,CF,RF
Nimmo has a career .390 OBP and will be batting atop the Mets lineup this year, and that's really all you need to know for his fantasy value. He'll likely be a steady contributor in the runs scored category, while chipping in some homers and steals with a batting average that won't hurt you much. He might see a bit of a platoon against left-handers, but he's a player who will cost you nothing in drafts and who can fill in for your team if you need him. He's worth a bench spot in all 10-team or deeper leagues.
30 weeks ago
J.D. Davis Note
J.D. Davis photo 142. J.D. Davis 3B,LF
Jonathan Villar Note
Jonathan Villar photo 162. Jonathan Villar 2B,3B,SS
Villar's quality of contact dropped significantly last year, but given how out of character it was for his career, the decline can probably be written off to the small sample of the shortened season. But he was still one of the league leaders in stolen bases with 16 and he showed no hesitation about running whenever he got the chance. The bigger issue is that Villar won't have a regular role now that he's with the Mets, but instead will be a super-utility player. With that said, Villar's versatility should allow him to see a few starts each week, and he should see action as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. All that to say that Villar should tack on 15-20 steals over the course of the season, and therefore make a viable middle infield option despite his lack of a regular role.
30 weeks ago
Kevin Pillar Note
Kevin Pillar photo 248. Kevin Pillar LF,CF,RF
Tomas Nido Note
Tomas Nido photo 333. Tomas Nido C
Luis Guillorme Note
Luis Guillorme photo 375. Luis Guillorme 2B,3B,SS
Ronny Mauricio Note
Ronny Mauricio photo 476. Ronny Mauricio SS
Francisco Alvarez Note
Francisco Alvarez photo 500. Francisco Alvarez C
Isaiah Greene Note
Isaiah Greene photo 503. Isaiah Greene
Brett Baty Note
Brett Baty photo 504. Brett Baty 3B
Jose Peraza Note
Jose Peraza photo 507. Jose Peraza 2B,3B,SS,LF
Jose Martinez Note
Jose Martinez photo 512. Jose Martinez RF
Khalil Lee Note
Khalil Lee photo 557. Khalil Lee CF,RF
Brandon Drury Note
Brandon Drury photo 570. Brandon Drury 1B,2B,3B,LF,RF
Patrick Mazeika Note
Patrick Mazeika photo 593. Patrick Mazeika C
Mark Payton Note
Mark Payton photo 643. Mark Payton LF
Travis Blankenhorn Note
Travis Blankenhorn photo 686. Travis Blankenhorn 2B
Cesar Puello Note
Cesar Puello photo 756. Cesar Puello LF,CF,RF
Cheslor Cuthbert Note
Cheslor Cuthbert photo 761. Cheslor Cuthbert 1B,3B