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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes
Ronald Acuna Jr. Note
Ronald Acuna Jr. photo 1. Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL
Acuna missed some time last year and batted a mere .250. And thus ends the negative things you can say about him. He walked at an absurd 18.8% clip, which led him to a .406 OBP despite the poor average. He was one of the league leaders in quality of contact, wOBA, and xWOBA, and we now know after the last two years that he will run often on the bases so long as he continues to bat leadoff, which he should. In other words, from a fantasy perspective, Acuna is an absolute monster. He's a top-three pick and will (deservedly) go first overall in many leagues, and there's still upside given that he just turned 23 years old.
4 days ago
Mookie Betts Note
Mookie Betts photo 2. Mookie Betts LAD
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.
4 days ago
Mike Trout Note
Mike Trout photo 3. Mike Trout LAA
For one of the first times since he took the league by storm, Trout is not the consensus top pick this year. It's hardly his fault, though it's fair to point out some of the negatives with his 2020 season. He batted a career-low .281, and posted his worst walk- and strikeout-rates since 2015. He also stole only one base. But Trout's move down the overall baseball rankings is due more to his competition for the top spot, rather than his numbers. He was still among the league leaders in quality of contact and every expected statcast metric, and was on pace to hit 50 home runs over the course of a full season. Trout is entering his age-30 season, so although we've seen him rebound from poor stolen base years before, it now seems unlikely that he'll ever get back to much past low-double digits. That keeps him out of the top spot in rotisserie rankings, but his incredibly high floor makes him a top-five overall draft pick.
4 days ago
Juan Soto Note
Juan Soto photo 4. Juan Soto WSH
There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe what Soto has done in his career given his young age. Had he merely repeated his incredible 2019 numbers last season, fantasy managers would have been ecstatic. Instead, he upped his walk rate from an elite 16.4% to a truly remarkable 20.9%, cut his strikeout rate down to just 14.3%, and batted .351. Soto does not have the speed or baserunning chops to steal 30 bases in a season, which is the only thing keeping him from being considered worthy of drafting first overall. But given what he's accomplished through his age-21 season, it's truly scary to think of how high his ceiling may be. Draft him as a top-five pick and enjoy the ridiculous production.
4 days ago
Christian Yelich Note
Christian Yelich photo 5. Christian Yelich MIL
Cody Bellinger Note
Cody Bellinger photo 6. Cody Bellinger LAD
Bryce Harper Note
Bryce Harper photo 7. Bryce Harper PHI
Whit Merrifield Note
Whit Merrifield photo 8. Whit Merrifield KC
Kyle Tucker Note
Kyle Tucker photo 9. Kyle Tucker HOU
Luis Robert Note
Luis Robert photo 10. Luis Robert CWS
Eloy Jimenez Note
Eloy Jimenez photo 11. Eloy Jimenez CWS
Starling Marte Note
Starling Marte photo 12. Starling Marte MIA
Marcell Ozuna Note
Marcell Ozuna photo 13. Marcell Ozuna FA
George Springer Note
George Springer photo 14. George Springer TOR
Springer's batting average fell off a tad last year, but once he was past his wrist injury, he was explosive, batting .316 with a 1.033 OPS over the final month of the season. His expected statistics were excellent, as he ranked in the top eight percent of the league in xBA, xSLG, and xWOBA. Now with the Blue Jays and an extreme hitter's park (wherever the Blue Jay play this year), he should once again be in line for a stellar year. Home runs and runs scored should again be plentiful, making Springer a rock solid second outfielder in mixed leagues.
2 days ago
Aaron Judge Note
Aaron Judge photo 15. Aaron Judge NYY
Charlie Blackmon Note
Charlie Blackmon photo 16. Charlie Blackmon COL
Michael Conforto Note
Michael Conforto photo 17. Michael Conforto NYM
Cavan Biggio Note
Cavan Biggio photo 18. Cavan Biggio TOR
Trent Grisham Note
Trent Grisham photo 19. Trent Grisham SD
Nick Castellanos Note
Nick Castellanos photo 20. Nick Castellanos CIN
Castellanos hit for plenty of power last season with the Reds, but it was far from the full breakout season many expected. His strikeout rate jumped to 28.5%, his batting average cratered to a career-low .225, and his wOBA was his worst mark since 2015. But Castellanos was also the victim of some pretty terrible luck, given that he had an expected batting average of .273 and a strong 46.7% hard-hit rate. With a full year in Great American Ballpark, Castellanos should fully live up to the hype he had coming into the 2020 season if he can just have even normal luck. Draft him with confidence as a likely strong four-category contributor.
4 days ago
Austin Meadows Note
Austin Meadows photo 21. Austin Meadows TB
Teoscar Hernandez Note
Teoscar Hernandez photo 22. Teoscar Hernandez TOR
Randy Arozarena Note
Randy Arozarena photo 23. Randy Arozarena TB
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Note
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. photo 24. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. TOR
Eddie Rosario Note
Eddie Rosario photo 25. Eddie Rosario FA
Jeff McNeil Note
Jeff McNeil photo 26. Jeff McNeil NYM
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.
21 hours ago
Tommy Pham Note
Tommy Pham photo 27. Tommy Pham SD
Wil Myers Note
Wil Myers photo 28. Wil Myers SD
Dominic Smith Note
Dominic Smith photo 29. Dominic Smith NYM
Yordan Alvarez Note
Yordan Alvarez photo 30. Yordan Alvarez HOU
J.D. Martinez Note
J.D. Martinez photo 31. J.D. Martinez BOS
Ramon Laureano Note
Ramon Laureano photo 32. Ramon Laureano OAK
Victor Robles Note
Victor Robles photo 33. Victor Robles WSH
There were plenty of warning signs with Robles' batted-ball data heading into 2020, and they're only greater now after an abysmal season during which he slashed .220/.293/.315. The MLB average in barrel rate and average exit velocity are 6.4% and 88.3 MPH, respectively. Robles clocked in at 4.8% and 83.3 MPH in 2019, and then fell to a ridiculous 1.7% and 82.2 MPH in 2020. His continously poor contact limits any upside, but it's worth noting that he still hit 17 homers and stole 28 bases in 2019 despite it all. Robles is still just entering his age-24 season, so massive long-term growth is still certainly on the table. But for now, it's impossible to justify drafting him as anything more than a fifth outfielder in mixed leagues.
4 days ago
Alex Verdugo Note
Alex Verdugo photo 34. Alex Verdugo BOS
Mike Yastrzemski Note
Mike Yastrzemski photo 35. Mike Yastrzemski SF
Jorge Soler Note
Jorge Soler photo 36. Jorge Soler KC
Joey Gallo Note
Joey Gallo photo 37. Joey Gallo TEX
Byron Buxton Note
Byron Buxton photo 38. Byron Buxton MIN
Max Kepler Note
Max Kepler photo 39. Max Kepler MIN
Michael Brantley Note
Michael Brantley photo 40. Michael Brantley HOU
After a few hours where it looked like Brantley was heading to the Blue Jays, he'll instead return to the Astros on a two-year contract. Despite his advancing age, Brantley remains one of the safest players in all of fantasy, batting at least .299 in each of the last six seasons in which he played at least 11 games. He both walked and struck out more than usual last season, but given that he played in just 46 games, there's little reason to draw any firm conclusions from that data. The bigger issue is that Brantley excels in only batting average, and although he'll offer something in each of the other four rotisserie categories, he won't be a difference-maker. Draft Brantley in the middle-to-later rounds if you need an average boost, but there's little upside.
2 days ago
Tommy Edman Note
Tommy Edman photo 41. Tommy Edman STL
Ketel Marte Note
Ketel Marte photo 42. Ketel Marte ARI
Giancarlo Stanton Note
Giancarlo Stanton photo 43. Giancarlo Stanton NYY
Kyle Lewis Note
Kyle Lewis photo 44. Kyle Lewis SEA
AJ Pollock Note
AJ Pollock photo 45. AJ Pollock LAD
Kris Bryant Note
Kris Bryant photo 46. Kris Bryant CHC
Randal Grichuk Note
Randal Grichuk photo 47. Randal Grichuk TOR
Andrew McCutchen Note
Andrew McCutchen photo 48. Andrew McCutchen PHI
Ian Happ Note
Ian Happ photo 49. Ian Happ CHC
Victor Reyes Note
Victor Reyes photo 50. Victor Reyes DET
Dylan Carlson Note
Dylan Carlson photo 51. Dylan Carlson STL
Carlson caught major buzz heading into the season last year as he looked likely to earn an everyday role in the outfield, but he sputtered for much of the season even when he did play, slashing just .200/.252/.364 with three home runs in 119 plate appearances. But he had a successful, albeit brief, post-season, and now again looks ready to claim a starting outfield spot for the Cardinals. Carlson is just 22 years old and has a strong minor-league track record. If he can hold down his spot, he has 25-15 potential, and should hit for a solid average. Given his age and his poor 2020 season, there's some obvious risk, but the draft capital necessary to get him on your team is not prohibitive, and his upside should make him a target in all formats.
4 days ago
Anthony Santander Note
Anthony Santander photo 52. Anthony Santander BAL
J.D. Davis Note
J.D. Davis photo 53. J.D. Davis NYM
Franmil Reyes Note
Franmil Reyes photo 54. Franmil Reyes CLE
Dylan Moore Note
Dylan Moore photo 55. Dylan Moore SEA
Andrew Benintendi Note
Andrew Benintendi photo 56. Andrew Benintendi BOS
Rhys Hoskins Note
Rhys Hoskins photo 57. Rhys Hoskins PHI
Clint Frazier Note
Clint Frazier photo 58. Clint Frazier NYY
Jesse Winker Note
Jesse Winker photo 59. Jesse Winker CIN
Trey Mancini Note
Trey Mancini photo 60. Trey Mancini BAL
Austin Riley Note
Austin Riley photo 61. Austin Riley ATL
Chris Taylor Note
Chris Taylor photo 62. Chris Taylor LAD
Lorenzo Cain Note
Lorenzo Cain photo 63. Lorenzo Cain MIL
Raimel Tapia Note
Raimel Tapia photo 64. Raimel Tapia COL
Kyle Schwarber Note
Kyle Schwarber photo 65. Kyle Schwarber WSH
Schwarber gave back many of his 2019 gains last year, seeing a rise in strikeout rate (29.5%) and his batting average dropping to an abysmal .188. But Schwarber's season was far from linear: over the first half of the season, he slashed .230/.343/.448, but those numbers dropped to .154/.279/.346 over the second half. At the same time, he continued to hit the ball extremely hard, with a 92.8 MPH average exit velocity, which was top 5% in the league. Given his consistently hard contact, the better course of action seems to forgive Schwarber for what amounted to an extremely poor 24-game stretch to close out the season. Now batting in the middle of the Nationals lineup with a fresh start and entering his age-28 season, Schwarber should rebound to somewhere between his 2018 and 2019 numbers.
4 days ago
Mark Canha Note
Mark Canha photo 66. Mark Canha OAK
Austin Hays Note
Austin Hays photo 67. Austin Hays BAL
Jo Adell Note
Jo Adell photo 68. Jo Adell LAA
David Peralta Note
David Peralta photo 69. David Peralta ARI
Jarred Kelenic Note
Jarred Kelenic photo 70. Jarred Kelenic SEA
Brandon Nimmo Note
Brandon Nimmo photo 71. Brandon Nimmo NYM
Mitch Haniger Note
Mitch Haniger photo 72. Mitch Haniger SEA
Brian Anderson Note
Brian Anderson photo 73. Brian Anderson MIA
Kole Calhoun Note
Kole Calhoun photo 74. Kole Calhoun ARI
Jurickson Profar Note
Jurickson Profar photo 75. Jurickson Profar FA
Hunter Dozier Note
Hunter Dozier photo 76. Hunter Dozier KC
Nick Senzel Note
Nick Senzel photo 77. Nick Senzel CIN
David Fletcher Note
David Fletcher photo 78. David Fletcher LAA
Aaron Hicks Note
Aaron Hicks photo 79. Aaron Hicks NYY
Garrett Hampson Note
Garrett Hampson photo 80. Garrett Hampson COL
Leody Taveras Note
Leody Taveras photo 81. Leody Taveras TEX
Manuel Margot Note
Manuel Margot photo 82. Manuel Margot TB
Yasiel Puig Note
Yasiel Puig photo 83. Yasiel Puig FA
Jon Berti Note
Jon Berti photo 84. Jon Berti MIA
Alex Dickerson Note
Alex Dickerson photo 85. Alex Dickerson SF
Adam Eaton Note
Adam Eaton photo 86. Adam Eaton CWS
David Dahl Note
David Dahl photo 87. David Dahl TEX
Bryan Reynolds Note
Bryan Reynolds photo 88. Bryan Reynolds PIT
Alex Kirilloff Note
Alex Kirilloff photo 89. Alex Kirilloff MIN
Adam Duvall Note
Adam Duvall photo 90. Adam Duvall FA
Willie Calhoun Note
Willie Calhoun photo 91. Willie Calhoun TEX
Myles Straw Note
Myles Straw photo 92. Myles Straw HOU
Kevin Pillar Note
Kevin Pillar photo 93. Kevin Pillar FA
Avisail Garcia Note
Avisail Garcia photo 94. Avisail Garcia MIL
Stephen Piscotty Note
Stephen Piscotty photo 95. Stephen Piscotty OAK
Brandon Belt Note
Brandon Belt photo 96. Brandon Belt SF
Corey Dickerson Note
Corey Dickerson photo 97. Corey Dickerson MIA
Joc Pederson Note
Joc Pederson photo 98. Joc Pederson FA
Scott Kingery Note
Scott Kingery photo 99. Scott Kingery PHI
Jackie Bradley Jr. Note
Jackie Bradley Jr. photo 100. Jackie Bradley Jr. FA
Jason Heyward Note
Jason Heyward photo 101. Jason Heyward CHC
Danny Santana Note
Danny Santana photo 102. Danny Santana FA
Austin Slater Note
Austin Slater photo 103. Austin Slater SF
Garrett Cooper Note
Garrett Cooper photo 104. Garrett Cooper MIA
Oscar Mercado Note
Oscar Mercado photo 105. Oscar Mercado CLE
Josh Naylor Note
Josh Naylor photo 106. Josh Naylor CLE
Luis Arraez Note
Luis Arraez photo 107. Luis Arraez MIN
Cristian Pache Note
Cristian Pache photo 108. Cristian Pache ATL
Shogo Akiyama Note
Shogo Akiyama photo 109. Shogo Akiyama CIN
Tim Lopes Note
Tim Lopes photo 110. Tim Lopes MIL
Ryan Braun Note
Ryan Braun photo 111. Ryan Braun FA
Harrison Bader Note
Harrison Bader photo 112. Harrison Bader STL
Niko Goodrum Note
Niko Goodrum photo 113. Niko Goodrum DET
Josh Reddick Note
Josh Reddick photo 114. Josh Reddick FA
Sam Hilliard Note
Sam Hilliard photo 115. Sam Hilliard COL
Kevin Kiermaier Note
Kevin Kiermaier photo 116. Kevin Kiermaier TB
Tyler O'Neill Note
Tyler O'Neill photo 117. Tyler O'Neill STL
Robbie Grossman Note
Robbie Grossman photo 118. Robbie Grossman DET
Justin Upton Note
Justin Upton photo 119. Justin Upton LAA
Hunter Renfroe Note
Hunter Renfroe photo 120. Hunter Renfroe BOS
Shin-Soo Choo Note
Shin-Soo Choo photo 121. Shin-Soo Choo FA
Monte Harrison Note
Monte Harrison photo 122. Monte Harrison MIA
Josh Lowe Note
Josh Lowe photo 123. Josh Lowe TB
Andrew Stevenson Note
Andrew Stevenson photo 124. Andrew Stevenson WSH
Gregory Polanco Note
Gregory Polanco photo 125. Gregory Polanco PIT
Franchy Cordero Note
Franchy Cordero photo 126. Franchy Cordero KC
Julio Rodriguez Note
Julio Rodriguez photo 127. Julio Rodriguez SEA
Roman Quinn Note
Roman Quinn photo 128. Roman Quinn PHI
JaCoby Jones Note
JaCoby Jones photo 129. JaCoby Jones DET
Nomar Mazara Note
Nomar Mazara photo 130. Nomar Mazara FA
Cedric Mullins II Note
Cedric Mullins II photo 131. Cedric Mullins II BAL
Aristides Aquino Note
Aristides Aquino photo 132. Aristides Aquino CIN
Yoshi Tsutsugo Note
Yoshi Tsutsugo photo 133. Yoshi Tsutsugo TB
Mallex Smith Note
Mallex Smith photo 134. Mallex Smith NYM
Brett Gardner Note
Brett Gardner photo 135. Brett Gardner FA
Shed Long Jr. Note
Shed Long Jr. photo 136. Shed Long Jr. SEA
Domingo Santana Note
Domingo Santana photo 137. Domingo Santana FA
Yoenis Cespedes Note
Yoenis Cespedes photo 138. Yoenis Cespedes FA
Adam Haseley Note
Adam Haseley photo 139. Adam Haseley PHI
Ender Inciarte Note
Ender Inciarte photo 140. Ender Inciarte ATL
Jesus Sanchez Note
Jesus Sanchez photo 141. Jesus Sanchez MIA
Tyler Wade Note
Tyler Wade photo 142. Tyler Wade NYY
Jose Martinez Note
Jose Martinez photo 143. Jose Martinez NYM
Eric Thames Note
Eric Thames photo 144. Eric Thames FA
Kike Hernandez Note
Kike Hernandez photo 145. Kike Hernandez FA
Edward Olivares Note
Edward Olivares photo 146. Edward Olivares KC
Mike Tauchman Note
Mike Tauchman photo 147. Mike Tauchman NYY
Marwin Gonzalez Note
Marwin Gonzalez photo 148. Marwin Gonzalez FA
Jose Peraza Note
Jose Peraza photo 149. Jose Peraza NYM
Lewis Brinson Note
Lewis Brinson photo 150. Lewis Brinson MIA
Leury Garcia Note
Leury Garcia photo 151. Leury Garcia CWS
Jay Bruce Note
Jay Bruce photo 152. Jay Bruce FA
Ian Desmond Note
Ian Desmond photo 153. Ian Desmond COL
Derek Fisher Note
Derek Fisher photo 154. Derek Fisher TOR
DJ Stewart Note
DJ Stewart photo 155. DJ Stewart BAL
Chad Pinder Note
Chad Pinder photo 156. Chad Pinder OAK
Delino DeShields Note
Delino DeShields photo 157. Delino DeShields CLE
Yusniel Diaz Note
Yusniel Diaz photo 158. Yusniel Diaz BAL
Brad Miller Note
Brad Miller photo 159. Brad Miller FA
Jared Oliva Note
Jared Oliva photo 160. Jared Oliva PIT
Josh Rojas Note
Josh Rojas photo 161. Josh Rojas ARI
Sam Haggerty Note
Sam Haggerty photo 162. Sam Haggerty SEA
Seth Brown Note
Seth Brown photo 163. Seth Brown OAK
JJ Bleday Note
JJ Bleday photo 164. JJ Bleday MIA
Brandon Marsh Note
Brandon Marsh photo 165. Brandon Marsh LAA
Jahmai Jones Note
Jahmai Jones photo 166. Jahmai Jones LAA
Ryan McBroom Note
Ryan McBroom photo 167. Ryan McBroom KC