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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.
37 weeks ago
Jeff McNeil Note
Jeff McNeil photo 27. Jeff McNeil
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.
37 weeks ago
Dominic Smith Note
Dominic Smith photo 40. Dominic Smith
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.
37 weeks ago
Mark Canha Note
Mark Canha photo 62. Mark Canha
Fantasy managers seem to have declared Canha's 2019 season as a fluke after he hit just five home run last year, but much of his 2020 seems to suggest 2019 was fairly legitimate. Canha built on his massive gains in walk rate in 2019 (13.5%) and increased it to 15.2%, and his quality of contact largely remained the same. He's got 20-homer power still, and he'll likely lead off or bat second for the A's. You won't need to pay much for him and given his average draft position, there's a high probability of a profit.
37 weeks ago
Brandon Nimmo Note
Brandon Nimmo photo 68. Brandon Nimmo
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.
37 weeks ago
J.D. Davis Note
J.D. Davis photo 75. J.D. Davis
Isaiah Greene Note
Isaiah Greene photo 227. Isaiah Greene
Khalil Lee Note
Khalil Lee photo 265. Khalil Lee
Cesar Puello Note
Cesar Puello photo 345. Cesar Puello