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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Ketel Marte Note
Ketel Marte photo 68. Ketel Marte 2B,CF
Most fantasy managers expected regression from Marte after his breakout 2019 season, but few saw last year coming. Marte hit two homeruns in his 45 games, and contributed minimally elsewhere other than batting average. His walk rate dropped to a miniscule 3.6%, and although he struck out less than ever, the quality of his contact was overwhelmingly poor. Truth be told, both 2019 and 2020 are probably outliers for Marte, and the truth probably lies somewhere between his 2018 (.260/.332/.437) and 2019 (.329/.389/.592) seasons. Those numbers will play at second base, especially given Marte's draft cost, but give up dreams of him hitting 32 home runs ever again.
37 weeks ago
Zac Gallen Note
Zac Gallen photo 117. Zac Gallen SP
Gallen has a hairline stress fracture of his right forearm at the radial head. He's reportedly going to be able to continue playing catch at a "low stress level" while recovering, though there's no indication of how much time he'll miss. When healthy, he's a solid SP2. He built on his excellent 2019 season with an even more impressive 2020 campaign. Not only did he drop his ERA slightly to 2.75, but he cut way down on his walks (10.8% to 8.6%), which led to a much-improved 1.11 WHIP. Gallen has a 28.5% strikeout rate in 152 MLB innings, and an excellent fastball, curveball, and changeup. There's just not much negative you can say about him when he's healthy other than he might again struggle for wins playing for a mediocre team in a good division. Because of the injury and surrounding uncertainty, you shouldn't draft him as anything higher than an SP4, but he should perform extremely well when he does recover.
36 weeks ago
Christian Walker Note
Christian Walker photo 165. Christian Walker 1B
Walker's power waned last season and his barrel rate dropped precipitously, but there were still plenty of things to like about his 2020 campaign. Notably, he cut his strikeout rate to a career-best 20.6% while raising his average to a strong .271. Walker is not, and is probably never going to be, a superstar fantasy asset. But he is a quiet producer who should help in four of the five rotisserie categories and is often overlooked. He's an ideal corner infielder for a team that needs steady production.
37 weeks ago
David Peralta Note
David Peralta photo 233. David Peralta LF
Peralta is entering his age-34 season and coming off a season during which he hit just five home runs, but he still makes a fairly reliable late-round selection. His career batting average is .291 (and he hit .300 last year), and his 162-game pace is roughly 20 home runs and 160 combined runs and RBI. Even if his steals are gone, there's still plenty of production left in the bat for someone who will be drafted well beyond the top 200 picks, and who had shoulder surgery prior to the 2020 season which likely affected his production. The upside isn't there anymore, but safe and boring can sometimes be the right move.
37 weeks ago
Mark Melancon Note
Mark Melancon photo 291. Mark Melancon RP
Melancon had another fine year as the Braves' closer, and now joins the back end of the Padres bullpen. It's unclear if he'll serve as the closer, a Drew Pomeranz and Emilio Pagan also may have a claim to the role. Melancon is entering his age-36 season and his strikeout rate is mediocre at best. Although he is still performing well, his lack of pure stuff suggests that the wheels could come off at any moment. That said, he'll have plenty of value if he can earn the ninth-inning role, so monitor the reports out of spring, and draft him late until and unless he's officially ruled out for the role.
37 weeks ago
Carson Kelly Note
Carson Kelly photo 298. Carson Kelly C
After an impressive 2019 season during which he hit 18 home runs in just 111 games, Kelly had a down 2020, batting just .221 with five long balls. Kelly's walk rate regressed significantly to just 4.7%, and he showed little of the patience that brought him success in 2019. Daulton Varsho is a threat to his playing time, but it seems like Kelly will have the lead role behind the plate, with Varsho filling in and getting time at outfield. That should make Kelly a borderline startable catcher in most mixed leagues, assuming he can bounce back from his down 2020 campaign.
37 weeks ago
Daulton Varsho Note
Daulton Varsho photo 323. Daulton Varsho C,CF
Varsho was optioned to Triple-A, which was mildly surprising, though not entirely unexpected. He saw plenty of action between catcher and the outfield last year for the Diamondbacks, and although he batted just .188, he hit three home runs and stole three bases. That may not sound like much but for a catcher-eligible player in 37 games, it's plenty. Varsho was optioned less because of his talent level and more because the Diamondbacks' roster is pretty full, especially with the signing of Asdrubal Cabrera,. There's a ton of potential for Varsho, given that he was a high-average hitter during his minor-league career, but fantasy managers will need to wait a bit longer for him to become someone to start in fantasy leagues.
36 weeks ago
Nick Ahmed Note
Nick Ahmed photo 343. Nick Ahmed SS
Stefan Crichton Note
Stefan Crichton photo 347. Stefan Crichton RP
Crichton filled in admirably for Archie Bradley after Bradley was traded last season. His strikeout numbers weren't particularly impressive, but he had a 2.42 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, and tallied five saves. He doesn't have prototypical "closer's stuff," but he's more than capable of getting major league hitters out. The Diamondbacks signed Joakim Soria to a one-year deal (and added Tyler Clippard, too), so Crichton seems unlikely to begin the year as the closer, even though it's an open competition at the moment. He's not worth anything other than an extremely late-round pick as a speculative ninth-inning option.
37 weeks ago
Madison Bumgarner Note
Madison Bumgarner photo 348. Madison Bumgarner SP
Luke Weaver Note
Luke Weaver photo 359. Luke Weaver SP
Caleb Smith Note
Caleb Smith photo 366. Caleb Smith SP,RP
Josh Rojas Note
Josh Rojas photo 401. Josh Rojas 2B,RF,SS
Merrill Kelly Note
Merrill Kelly photo 418. Merrill Kelly SP
J.B. Wendelken Note
J.B. Wendelken photo 472. J.B. Wendelken RP
Kevin Ginkel Note
Kevin Ginkel photo 493. Kevin Ginkel RP
Jordan Luplow Note
Jordan Luplow photo 595. Jordan Luplow CF,LF,RF
Chris Devenski Note
Chris Devenski photo 739. Chris Devenski RP
Noe Ramirez Note
Noe Ramirez photo 755. Noe Ramirez RP
Corbin Martin Note
Corbin Martin photo 769. Corbin Martin SP
J.B. Bukauskas Note
J.B. Bukauskas photo 840. J.B. Bukauskas SP
Pavin Smith Note
Pavin Smith photo 842. Pavin Smith 1B,CF,LF,RF
Riley Smith Note
Riley Smith photo 961. Riley Smith SP,RP
Humberto Mejia Note
Humberto Mejia photo 964. Humberto Mejia SP
Taylor Widener Note
Taylor Widener photo 984. Taylor Widener SP,RP
Josh VanMeter Note
Josh VanMeter photo 1045. Josh VanMeter 2B,3B
Kyle Nelson Note
Kyle Nelson photo 1108. Kyle Nelson RP
Ben Heller Note
Ben Heller photo 1119. Ben Heller RP
Humberto Castellanos Note
Humberto Castellanos photo 1188. Humberto Castellanos RP
Andrew Young Note
Andrew Young photo 1214. Andrew Young 2B
Ty Tice Note
Ty Tice photo 1247. Ty Tice RP
Matt Peacock Note
Matt Peacock photo 1255. Matt Peacock RP
Stuart Fairchild Note
Stuart Fairchild photo 1266. Stuart Fairchild
Shane Carle Note
Shane Carle photo 1291. Shane Carle RP
Joe Mantiply Note
Joe Mantiply photo 1304. Joe Mantiply RP
Sean Poppen Note
Sean Poppen photo 1310. Sean Poppen RP
Jordan Weems Note
Jordan Weems photo 1318. Jordan Weems
Zack Burdi Note
Zack Burdi photo 1354. Zack Burdi RP
Brett de Geus Note
Brett de Geus photo 1377. Brett de Geus RP
Juan Graterol Note
Juan Graterol photo 1431. Juan Graterol
Seth Beer Note
Seth Beer photo 1443. Seth Beer 1B
Nick Heath Note
Nick Heath photo 1453. Nick Heath CF
C.J. Chatham Note
C.J. Chatham photo 1461. C.J. Chatham SS
Matt Davidson Note
Matt Davidson photo 1473. Matt Davidson 3B