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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

DJ LeMahieu Note
DJ LeMahieu photo 24. DJ LeMahieu 1B,2B,3B
LeMahieu will return to the Yankees on a six-year deal, and that is great news for fantasy managers. Since he's been New York, he's provided elite all-around production, most notably in batting average, where he has batted .336. He's blossomed into a 25-home run hitter with plenty of runs and RBI, and a handful of steals that chip in with the category. Add to that LeMahieu's multi-position eligibility and he is a huge asset to every fantasy team. With nothing in his profile to suggest a skills decline, he should be drafted before the third round is out in every fantasy league.
19 weeks ago
Aaron Judge Note
Aaron Judge photo 33. Aaron Judge RF,DH,CF
Judge missed about half of the regular season last year with a calf strain, though he still hit for plenty of power when he was in the lineup. He walked and struck out a bit less than usual, but trying to glean anything from a 28-game sample, given Judge's history, is silly. When he's in the lineup, you know you'll get a ton of power and runs scored with a passable average. The key is "when he's in the lineup," however, as injuries have forced Judge to miss significant time over the last three seasons. So long as you factor that into your draft price and select him as an OF2, you'll be happy with the production.
19 weeks ago
Gleyber Torres Note
Gleyber Torres photo 36. Gleyber Torres SS
Torres missed some time with quad and hamstring strains last season, but his year was an absolute disaster even without it. He batted just .243 and hit a mere three home runs in 160 plate appearances. The culprit was that he was reportedly out of shape, a byproduct of the long layoff between the original spring training and when baseball resumed months later. There's every reason to buy into the excuse given Torres' track record, especially since he bounced back a bit in September and October with an .842 OPS. Expect more typical numbers from Torres this year, meaning around a .270 average, 30 home runs, and plenty of counting stats. Given his ADP, he's likely to be a bargain this year.
19 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.
19 weeks ago
Giancarlo Stanton Note
Giancarlo Stanton photo 58. Giancarlo Stanton DH
It's all about the injuries with Stanton, as after two healthy seasons, he's been limited to just 41 games over the last two. There's little to analyze with the slugger other than his health. He still hits the ball as hard as anyone and walks and strikes out a ton. There's been little decline in his batted ball data over the last two years, but even if there had been, the sample size would be too small to draw any conclusions. Stanton is likely eligible at utility only in your league, but that limitation should let him come as a discount in drafts. Have power on your bench ready to fill in if you draft Stanton, but there's no reason to run from him.
19 weeks ago
Luke Voit Note
Luke Voit photo 83. Luke Voit 1B
Voit suffered a partial meniscus tear in his knee this spring and is going to be precluded from participating in baseball activity for at least three weeks after surgery. It's almost certainly going to take Voit at least a couple of weeks after returning to baseball activity to return to game action, meaning you should bank on him being out until May 15th or so. When healthy, he's going to produce, however. He has always had a ton of power but last year he left the yard at a ridiculous pace last year, with a 34.9% HR/FB rate, third best in the league. The thing is, nothing about his profile really changed all that much. Indeed, his hard hit rate, barrel percentage, and average exit velocity actually were career lows. The biggest difference was that Voit simply swung more than ever, 52.1% of the time, and correspondingly made more contact, at a 73.8% rate, and actually struck out less than ever before. If Voit keeps the same approach, there's every reason to expect him to put up massive power numbers when he's healthy. That's always been his bugaboo, of course, and since he is already dealing with a significant injury, you can't draft him as a starting first baseman in mixed leagues at this point.
18 weeks ago
Joey Gallo Note
Joey Gallo photo 86. Joey Gallo RF,DH
Gallo went from a big-time power hitter who would drain your batting average in 2017-2018, to a big-time power hitter who wouldn't crush your average in 2019, to a complete disaster in 2020. Gallo has actually been consistent against righties over the last several years, and the difference in his performance has been that he somehow destroyed lefties in 2019 (.333/.427/.747) and was worse than ever in 2020 (.143/.241/.386). The best bet is he's more like the 2017-2018 version of himself, and he'll likely put up a season where he hits around 40 home runs and bats in the low .200s. That's plenty valuable, and his ADP seems to be giving a ton of credit to his 2020 season. That leaves a lot of room for Gallo to outperform his draft position.
19 weeks ago
Gio Urshela Note
Gio Urshela photo 91. Gio Urshela 3B
Urshela isn't the most exciting player, and perhaps that's why he largely gets ignored by fantasy managers despite his quality production. Over his last two seasons (175 games), he's slashed .310/.358/.523 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI. He won't contribute in steals, but he's an incredibly safe source of batting average, particularly because of his excellent strikeout rate, and he should have plenty of opportunities to contribute counting stats. The only question was his health, but he seems fully recovered from his elbow injury. Draft him with confidence.
19 weeks ago
Clint Frazier Note
Clint Frazier photo 113. Clint Frazier RF,LF
There's little reason to doubt Frazier's ability to contribute from a fantasy perspective at this point. Over the last two seasons, he has a 162-game pace of a .267 average, 30 home runs, 83 runs scored, 96 RBI, and 6 steals. He upped his walk rate significantly in 2020 (15.6%, top seven percent in the league) and hits the ball hard consistently. The only issue for Frazier is his playing time with Giancarlo Stanton healthy and Brett Gardner back in the fold. But Frazier has done enough to hold the left field job and, regardless, Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Aaron Hicks are not the product of health. Draft Frazier as a starting outfielder and don't worry about the playing time.
19 weeks ago
Gary Sanchez Note
Gary Sanchez photo 116. Gary Sanchez C
If you want to credit last season's numbers, then you're going to avoid Sanchez like the plague. He batted a ridiculous .147 and struck out 36% of the time. When Sanchez did hit the ball, he still hit it really, really hard, like he always has. But he just simply can't stop himself from swinging (13.8% swinging strike rate), and especially from swinging outside the zone (31.5% O-Swing%, which was actually better than his career rate). It wasn't that long ago that Sanchez was one of the top catchers drafted, and he's still just 28 years old. If he can just cut down on his whiffs, he can easily be a top-five catcher, so buy him for his upside, while also making sure to focus on batting average elsewhere.
19 weeks ago
Aaron Hicks Note
Aaron Hicks photo 126. Aaron Hicks CF
Hicks is reportedly going to bat third for the Yankees this year, and the lineup spot is so valuable that it largely covers a player's warts. Those warts are plentiful with Hicks, including that he's probably going to bat about .240, his power is declining, and he's a huge injury risk. He still walks a ton (including last year's 19.4%), and he'll have decent counting stats if he sticks in the three-hole all year. But there's little upside and he has topped 97 games played just twice in his career. He's best suited as a bench option or a fifth outfielder in deeper mixed leagues.
19 weeks ago
Rougned Odor Note
Rougned Odor photo 271. Rougned Odor 2B
Tim Locastro Note
Tim Locastro photo 301. Tim Locastro CF,LF
Kyle Higashioka Note
Kyle Higashioka photo 316. Kyle Higashioka C
Brett Gardner Note
Brett Gardner photo 330. Brett Gardner LF,CF
Miguel Andujar Note
Miguel Andujar photo 387. Miguel Andujar LF
Jasson Dominguez Note
Jasson Dominguez photo 420. Jasson Dominguez CF
Greg Allen Note
Greg Allen photo 447. Greg Allen LF
Austin Wells Note
Austin Wells photo 463. Austin Wells C
Tyler Wade Note
Tyler Wade photo 524. Tyler Wade 2B,SS,3B
Rob Brantly Note
Rob Brantly photo 589. Rob Brantly C
Jonathan Davis Note
Jonathan Davis photo 644. Jonathan Davis RF,CF
Andrew Velazquez Note
Andrew Velazquez photo 669. Andrew Velazquez SS
Kyle Holder Note
Kyle Holder photo 676. Kyle Holder SS
Estevan Florial Note
Estevan Florial photo 716. Estevan Florial CF
Socrates Brito Note
Socrates Brito photo 717. Socrates Brito RF