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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Starling Marte Note
Starling Marte photo 12. Starling Marte
Marte's getting a little old for a player to rely on for stolen bases, and although fantasy managers need to start lowering their expectations as he enters his age-32 season, there should be enough left in the tank for him to be productive. He ranked in the top 11% in sprint speed last year and was caught stealing just twice in 10 attempts. The quality of his contact declined fairly significantly, however, and considering he now plays in Miami, anything more than 15 home runs should be considered gravy. But he'll likely continue to chip in for all five rotisserie categories and be an asset in both stolen bases and batting average, two difficult categories to fill. Again, temper expectations a bit against his historical production, but fantasy managers can still draft him with confidence.
36 weeks ago
Michael Conforto Note
Michael Conforto photo 16. Michael Conforto
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.
36 weeks ago
Nick Castellanos Note
Nick Castellanos photo 17. Nick Castellanos
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.
36 weeks ago
Eddie Rosario Note
Eddie Rosario photo 25. Eddie Rosario
Rosario stays in the AL Central, signing a one-year deal with the Indians after a successful tenure with the Twins. He's established a fairly reliable power baseline at this point, and he usually offers some batting average to go with it. Last year, however, his batting average dipped to just .257, in part because he became much more passive (8.2% walk rate, 51.2% Swing%, both far out of character for his career). The bigger issue was that Rosario largely cut down on his swing percentage on pitches in the strike zone, but continued to swing at pitches out of the zone at a 41.2% clip. That likely explains his lower than usual average exit velocity and barrel rate, and it's something that's easily correctable if he just goes back to his previous approach. At the very least, Rosario should chip in 25 home runs at least, while helping out in runs and RBI, and he's a fine third outfielder in mixed leagues.
36 weeks ago
Tommy Pham Note
Tommy Pham photo 30. Tommy Pham
Pham had a terrible 2020 season, during which he slashed .211/.312/.312 and hit just three home runs. A broken hamate bone limited him to just 31 games, and to make matters worse, he was stabbed in the lower back during an altercation in the offseason. But even entering his age-33 season, there are reasons to be optimistic about his 2021 outlook. Pham had averaged roughly 22 home runs and 22 steals with a .284 batting average the three years prior to last, and he had the highest hard-hit rate of his career in 2020. Indeed, his expected batting average of .266 was 55 points higher than his actual average. There's reason to expect Pham to return to his 20-20 ways if he can remain healthy, and batting in a loaded Padres lineup, he should add plenty of counting stats.
36 weeks ago
Kris Bryant Note
Kris Bryant photo 38. Kris Bryant
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.
36 weeks ago
Jorge Soler Note
Jorge Soler photo 42. Jorge Soler
Soler's injury-shortened 2020 season didn't live up to his massive 2019 campaign, but he did show that a lot of his gains were legitimate. Yes, it was more of a 30-homer pace, but his barrel rate, average exit velocity, and hard hit rate were all elite, as they were the prior year. Soler struck out way too much (34.5% of the time), and if he can't fix that, then his average will suffer as it did last year. But, his walk rate remains high and the power is going to be there with how hard he hits the ball. He's a source of cheap power you can grab later than other similarly-profiled bats going several rounds earlier.
36 weeks ago
Andrew McCutchen Note
Andrew McCutchen photo 51. Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen returned from his torn ACL and put up a decent season, hitting 10 home runs and stealing four bases in 57 games. If you watched him play, you could see he wasn't 100% himself, and his sprint speed dropped to just 27.4 ft/s, by far a career low. But he looks and reportedly feels healthier this spring, and will lead off again for the Phillies. Expect 20-plus homers, close to double-digit steals, and plenty of runs scored. And because he's an aging veteran, expect him to be a value on draft day.
36 weeks ago
Kyle Schwarber Note
Kyle Schwarber photo 54. Kyle Schwarber
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.
36 weeks ago
Clint Frazier Note
Clint Frazier photo 56. Clint Frazier
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.
36 weeks ago
Chris Taylor Note
Chris Taylor photo 69. Chris Taylor
Joc Pederson Note
Joc Pederson photo 71. Joc Pederson
Kole Calhoun Note
Kole Calhoun photo 80. Kole Calhoun
Calhoun tore his knee meniscus in early March, and has a 4-6 week timetable for his recovery. When healthy, he offers a fairly reliable baseline of production: he will hit plenty of homers and drain your batting average, while offering passable but unspectacular counting statistics otherwise. He's a fine bench outfielder who can always be a plug-in, and he'll likely be essentially free in drafts this year with the injury.
36 weeks ago
Adam Eaton Note
Adam Eaton photo 83. Adam Eaton
Alex Dickerson Note
Alex Dickerson photo 85. Alex Dickerson
Brandon Belt Note
Brandon Belt photo 90. Brandon Belt
Avisail Garcia Note
Avisail Garcia photo 91. Avisail Garcia
Corey Dickerson Note
Corey Dickerson photo 94. Corey Dickerson
Kevin Pillar Note
Kevin Pillar photo 111. Kevin Pillar
Yasiel Puig Note
Yasiel Puig photo 114. Yasiel Puig
Gregory Polanco Note
Gregory Polanco photo 121. Gregory Polanco
Niko Goodrum Note
Niko Goodrum photo 125. Niko Goodrum
Nomar Mazara Note
Nomar Mazara photo 126. Nomar Mazara
JaCoby Jones Note
JaCoby Jones photo 128. JaCoby Jones
Ryan Braun Note
Ryan Braun photo 132. Ryan Braun
Dexter Fowler Note
Dexter Fowler photo 136. Dexter Fowler
Jay Bruce Note
Jay Bruce photo 137. Jay Bruce
Danny Santana Note
Danny Santana photo 141. Danny Santana
Mike Tauchman Note
Mike Tauchman photo 142. Mike Tauchman
Brett Gardner Note
Brett Gardner photo 145. Brett Gardner
Jake Bauers Note
Jake Bauers photo 146. Jake Bauers
Marwin Gonzalez Note
Marwin Gonzalez photo 147. Marwin Gonzalez
Leury Garcia Note
Leury Garcia photo 148. Leury Garcia
Josh Reddick Note
Josh Reddick photo 152. Josh Reddick
Ender Inciarte Note
Ender Inciarte photo 157. Ender Inciarte
Odubel Herrera Note
Odubel Herrera photo 158. Odubel Herrera
Tim Lopes Note
Tim Lopes photo 159. Tim Lopes
Stephen Vogt Note
Stephen Vogt photo 161. Stephen Vogt
Brad Miller Note
Brad Miller photo 163. Brad Miller
Jake Marisnick Note
Jake Marisnick photo 164. Jake Marisnick
Shin-Soo Choo Note
Shin-Soo Choo photo 168. Shin-Soo Choo
Shed Long Jr. Note
Shed Long Jr. photo 169. Shed Long Jr.
Dee Strange-Gordon Note
Dee Strange-Gordon photo 171. Dee Strange-Gordon
Christin Stewart Note
Christin Stewart photo 173. Christin Stewart
Cameron Maybin Note
Cameron Maybin photo 174. Cameron Maybin
Eric Sogard Note
Eric Sogard photo 178. Eric Sogard
Dustin Fowler Note
Dustin Fowler photo 180. Dustin Fowler
Billy Hamilton Note
Billy Hamilton photo 185. Billy Hamilton
Albert Almora Jr. Note
Albert Almora Jr. photo 186. Albert Almora Jr.
Jose Marmolejos Note
Jose Marmolejos photo 188. Jose Marmolejos
Brian Goodwin Note
Brian Goodwin photo 191. Brian Goodwin
Jarrod Dyson Note
Jarrod Dyson photo 193. Jarrod Dyson
Yoenis Cespedes Note
Yoenis Cespedes photo 194. Yoenis Cespedes
Derek Fisher Note
Derek Fisher photo 203. Derek Fisher
Ehire Adrianza Note
Ehire Adrianza photo 226. Ehire Adrianza
Brock Holt Note
Brock Holt photo 229. Brock Holt
Matt Kemp Note
Matt Kemp photo 230. Matt Kemp
Jose Martinez Note
Jose Martinez photo 237. Jose Martinez
Delino DeShields Note
Delino DeShields photo 239. Delino DeShields
Jose Peraza Note
Jose Peraza photo 246. Jose Peraza
Magneuris Sierra Note
Magneuris Sierra photo 248. Magneuris Sierra
Steven Souza Jr. Note
Steven Souza Jr. photo 249. Steven Souza Jr.
Chris Herrmann Note
Chris Herrmann photo 250. Chris Herrmann
Yairo Munoz Note
Yairo Munoz photo 251. Yairo Munoz
Mallex Smith Note
Mallex Smith photo 256. Mallex Smith
Chris Owings Note
Chris Owings photo 257. Chris Owings
Justin Williams Note
Justin Williams photo 259. Justin Williams
Ryan McBroom Note
Ryan McBroom photo 260. Ryan McBroom
Charlie Culberson Note
Charlie Culberson photo 261. Charlie Culberson
Daniel Robertson Note
Daniel Robertson photo 267. Daniel Robertson
Domingo Santana Note
Domingo Santana photo 269. Domingo Santana
Gerardo Parra Note
Gerardo Parra photo 271. Gerardo Parra
Eric Thames Note
Eric Thames photo 272. Eric Thames
Brandon Drury Note
Brandon Drury photo 274. Brandon Drury
Matt Joyce Note
Matt Joyce photo 276. Matt Joyce
Juan Lagares Note
Juan Lagares photo 277. Juan Lagares
Bubba Starling Note
Bubba Starling photo 279. Bubba Starling
Trayce Thompson Note
Trayce Thompson photo 287. Trayce Thompson
Robel Garcia Note
Robel Garcia photo 288. Robel Garcia
Tim Beckham Note
Tim Beckham photo 293. Tim Beckham
Braden Bishop Note
Braden Bishop photo 295. Braden Bishop
Derek Dietrich Note
Derek Dietrich photo 299. Derek Dietrich
Keon Broxton Note
Keon Broxton photo 300. Keon Broxton
Brian O'Grady Note
Brian O'Grady photo 301. Brian O'Grady
Abraham Almonte Note
Abraham Almonte photo 302. Abraham Almonte
Erick Mejia Note
Erick Mejia photo 303. Erick Mejia
Travis Jankowski Note
Travis Jankowski photo 309. Travis Jankowski
Nicky Delmonico Note
Nicky Delmonico photo 311. Nicky Delmonico
Troy Stokes Jr. Note
Troy Stokes Jr. photo 312. Troy Stokes Jr.
JT Riddle Note
JT Riddle photo 314. JT Riddle
Jorge Bonifacio Note
Jorge Bonifacio photo 315. Jorge Bonifacio
Nick Williams Note
Nick Williams photo 317. Nick Williams
Kevin Kramer Note
Kevin Kramer photo 318. Kevin Kramer
Eduardo Nunez Note
Eduardo Nunez photo 319. Eduardo Nunez
Stephen Wrenn Note
Stephen Wrenn photo 322. Stephen Wrenn
Jon Jay Note
Jon Jay photo 323. Jon Jay
Sean Rodriguez Note
Sean Rodriguez photo 324. Sean Rodriguez
Sam Travis Note
Sam Travis photo 326. Sam Travis
Socrates Brito Note
Socrates Brito photo 328. Socrates Brito
Ian Miller Note
Ian Miller photo 338. Ian Miller
Yasmany Tomas Note
Yasmany Tomas photo 339. Yasmany Tomas
Scott Schebler Note
Scott Schebler photo 343. Scott Schebler
Melky Cabrera Note
Melky Cabrera photo 344. Melky Cabrera
Dylan Cozens Note
Dylan Cozens photo 347. Dylan Cozens
Patrick Kivlehan Note
Patrick Kivlehan photo 348. Patrick Kivlehan
Forrest Wall Note
Forrest Wall photo 349. Forrest Wall
Carlos Tocci Note
Carlos Tocci photo 350. Carlos Tocci
Carlos Gonzalez Note
Carlos Gonzalez photo 352. Carlos Gonzalez
Terrance Gore Note
Terrance Gore photo 353. Terrance Gore
Nick Martini Note
Nick Martini photo 354. Nick Martini
Joey Rickard Note
Joey Rickard photo 357. Joey Rickard
Ryan Cordell Note
Ryan Cordell photo 358. Ryan Cordell
Blake Swihart Note
Blake Swihart photo 359. Blake Swihart
Chris Shaw Note
Chris Shaw photo 363. Chris Shaw
Juan Rivera Note
Juan Rivera photo 364. Juan Rivera