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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Ketel Marte Note
Ketel Marte photo 67. Ketel Marte 2B,SS,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.
30 weeks ago
Zac Gallen Note
Zac Gallen photo 119. 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.
30 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.
30 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.
30 weeks ago
Kole Calhoun Note
Kole Calhoun photo 277. Kole Calhoun RF
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.
30 weeks ago
Carson Kelly Note
Carson Kelly photo 297. 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.
30 weeks ago
Daulton Varsho Note
Daulton Varsho photo 324. Daulton Varsho C,LF,CF,RF
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.
30 weeks ago
Nick Ahmed Note
Nick Ahmed photo 341. 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.
30 weeks ago
Madison Bumgarner Note
Madison Bumgarner photo 348. Madison Bumgarner SP
Luke Weaver Note
Luke Weaver photo 358. Luke Weaver SP
Caleb Smith Note
Caleb Smith photo 366. Caleb Smith SP,RP
Josh Rojas Note
Josh Rojas photo 397. Josh Rojas 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF
Merrill Kelly Note
Merrill Kelly photo 417. Merrill Kelly SP
J.B. Wendelken Note
J.B. Wendelken photo 471. J.B. Wendelken RP
Kevin Ginkel Note
Kevin Ginkel photo 494. Kevin Ginkel RP
Tyler Clippard Note
Tyler Clippard photo 546. Tyler Clippard SP,RP
Noe Ramirez Note
Noe Ramirez photo 753. Noe Ramirez SP,RP
Taylor Clarke Note
Taylor Clarke photo 767. Taylor Clarke SP,RP
Corbin Martin Note
Corbin Martin photo 768. Corbin Martin SP
J.B. Bukauskas Note
J.B. Bukauskas photo 838. J.B. Bukauskas SP,RP
Pavin Smith Note
Pavin Smith photo 840. Pavin Smith 1B,LF,CF,RF
Dario Agrazal Note
Dario Agrazal photo 933. Dario Agrazal SP
Riley Smith Note
Riley Smith photo 959. Riley Smith SP,RP
Humberto Mejia Note
Humberto Mejia photo 962. Humberto Mejia SP
Taylor Widener Note
Taylor Widener photo 982. Taylor Widener SP,RP
Jon Duplantier Note
Jon Duplantier photo 1004. Jon Duplantier SP,RP
Josh VanMeter Note
Josh VanMeter photo 1045. Josh VanMeter 1B,2B,3B,LF
Ben Heller Note
Ben Heller photo 1119. Ben Heller RP
Humberto Castellanos Note
Humberto Castellanos photo 1188. Humberto Castellanos SP,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 SP,RP
Stuart Fairchild Note
Stuart Fairchild photo 1266. Stuart Fairchild LF
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 RP
Zack Burdi Note
Zack Burdi photo 1354. Zack Burdi RP
Brett de Geus Note
Brett de Geus photo 1377. Brett de Geus RP
Seth Beer Note
Seth Beer photo 1443. Seth Beer LF
Nick Heath Note
Nick Heath photo 1453. Nick Heath CF