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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Xander Bogaerts Note
Xander Bogaerts photo 24. Xander Bogaerts SS
Bogaerts largely backed up his excellent 2019 season with a strong 2020 campaign. He didn't hit the ball quite as hard and his launch angle dropped, but he did manage to maintain his .300 average and put up a similar home run pace. Two things from last year stand out and probably shouldn't be written off entirely: first, Bogaerts' RBI pace dropped significantly, and considering that the Red Sox lineup went from a relative strength to a weakness, it seems unlikely he'll approach 100 RBI in 2021. Second, after dropping for three consecutive seasons, Bogaerts' steal pace increased to the highest of his career. The drop in RBI and increase in steals may be related, as Bogaerts likely looked to manufacture runs with less help around him. Both trends are worth projecting going forward, and while Bogaerts' value doesn't change much, fantasy managers will likely take the increase in steals going forward.
26 weeks ago
Rafael Devers Note
Rafael Devers photo 28. Rafael Devers 3B
Devers' 2020 season was . . . fine. That's about the best you can say about it. He still hit the ball hard, ranking in the 96th percentile in average exit velocity, and he increased his barrel rate significantly. His counting stat paces from his breakout 2019 season went down, but not dramatically so (other than his batting average), and fantasy managers never felt like Devers was a drain on their teams. But, at the same time, his already poor walk rate declined, his strikeout rate jumped to a career worst, and he didn't even attempt a single stolen base. Devers is just 24 years old, so there is plenty of upside for him. The safest course of action is to build in some natural regression from Devers' strong 2019 season, and pencil him in for roughly 30 home runs and 200 combined runs and RBI. That still makes him an asset to any fantasy team.
26 weeks ago
J.D. Martinez Note
J.D. Martinez photo 61. J.D. Martinez LF,RF
Martinez had a disastrous 2020 season, during which he slashed just .213/.291/.389 and hit seven home runs. Martinez simply didn't hit the ball nearly as hard as he used to, and hit a ton of fly balls, the combination of which helped to drain his batting average significantly. There's a ton to dislike about last year, but given that Martinez has talked about how much he relies on watching video in-game, and his inability to do so last year because of COVID-19 protocols, it seems likely that you can write off last year to a slump that didn't have time to end. He'll be eligible at utility only, but there's a massive opportunity for profit if you are willing to largely look past 2020.
26 weeks ago
Alex Verdugo Note
Alex Verdugo photo 114. Alex Verdugo LF,CF,RF
Verdugo's first season in Boston went about as well as you would have expected. He hit for a high average, scored plenty of runs, and added just a bit of power and speed. But under the hood, there were some concerning signs. Specifically, his quality of contact was generally below the MLB average in every notable measure, and his expected batting average was just .238, a full 70 points below his actual batting average. And his strikeout rate rose to 20.4%, a career worst. But, in the end, Verdugo is going to continue to lead off for the Red Sox and contribute in both batting average and runs scored even on his worst day, and he'll offer at least some production in the remaining categories. Nitpick if you must, but he'll be a valuable contributor overall, regardless of the Statcast data.
26 weeks ago
Kyle Schwarber Note
Kyle Schwarber photo 163. Kyle Schwarber LF
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.
26 weeks ago
Christian Vazquez Note
Christian Vazquez photo 191. Christian Vazquez C,1B
Vazquez was a late bloomer, but he's developed into one of the more reliable catchers in the game. Not only does he provide 20-homer power, but he's one of the best assets at catcher in both batting average and stolen bases. Entering his age-31 season, there's certainly the possibility for a major decline in his numbers, but there is little in his underlying metrics to suggest it is imminent. Draft Vazquez as a strong starter in single-catcher formats, and you won't need to do so before the double-digit rounds.
26 weeks ago
Eduardo Rodriguez Note
Eduardo Rodriguez photo 194. Eduardo Rodriguez SP
Rodriguez missed the entire 2020 season because of serious complications from a heart conditions caused by COVID-19, but he looks to be healthy heading into 2021. Assuming he doesn't have any setbacks, he should be considered one of the safest pitchers in the game. You know what you're going to get from Rodriguez: an ERA around 4.00, a WHIP around 1.30, and solid strikeouts. Those numbers won't wow you, but Rodriguez has consistently limited hard contact throughout his career, so he should retain what amounts to a fairly high floor. Plus, the usual innings concerns shouldn't be as much of a factor for him, considering nearly every pitcher has similar concerns after 2020. For a late-round pitcher, he's hardly an upside play, but he should be someone you can stick in the back end of your rotation and not think much about it.
26 weeks ago
Matt Barnes Note
Matt Barnes photo 229. Matt Barnes RP
Barnes may begin the year as the closer, but it's hardly a guarantee that he'll keep the role. His walk rate has been above 13% for each of the last two seasons, and his WHIP is 1.38 over that span. Adam Ottavino, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Hirokazu Sawamura are in play to take over for Barnes if he struggles. For now, consider Barnes on the very tail end of draftable relievers in fantasy.
25 weeks ago
Nathan Eovaldi Note
Nathan Eovaldi photo 243. Nathan Eovaldi SP,RP
Bobby Dalbec Note
Bobby Dalbec photo 254. Bobby Dalbec 1B,3B
If you like Miguel Sano, you'll absolutely love Dalbec. He crushes the ball routinely (it was a small sample, but he had a 22%(!) barrel rate last year in 23 games), strikes out a ton (42.4% rate last year), and is equally likely to look like the best player in baseball at times as he is to look like the worst. He'll be the everyday first baseman for the Red Sox this year which means plenty of counting stats with perhaps 30 home runs if he stays healthy the whole year. Just have batting average help elsewhere if you draft him, as he'll almost certainly provide negative value in that category.
26 weeks ago
Chris Sale Note
Chris Sale photo 265. Chris Sale SP
Adam Ottavino Note
Adam Ottavino photo 327. Adam Ottavino RP
Hunter Renfroe Note
Hunter Renfroe photo 335. Hunter Renfroe LF,RF
Kike Hernandez Note
Kike Hernandez photo 345. Kike Hernandez 2B,SS,LF,CF,RF
Franchy Cordero Note
Franchy Cordero photo 363. Franchy Cordero 1B,LF
Jose Iglesias Note
Jose Iglesias photo 402. Jose Iglesias 2B,SS
Garrett Richards Note
Garrett Richards photo 415. Garrett Richards SP
Tanner Houck Note
Tanner Houck photo 437. Tanner Houck SP
Ryan Brasier Note
Ryan Brasier photo 565. Ryan Brasier RP
Nick Pivetta Note
Nick Pivetta photo 604. Nick Pivetta SP,RP
Darwinzon Hernandez Note
Darwinzon Hernandez photo 636. Darwinzon Hernandez RP
Travis Shaw Note
Travis Shaw photo 637. Travis Shaw 1B,3B
Hansel Robles Note
Hansel Robles photo 650. Hansel Robles RP
Brandon Brennan Note
Brandon Brennan photo 698. Brandon Brennan RP
Josh Taylor Note
Josh Taylor photo 706. Josh Taylor RP
Alex Claudio Note
Alex Claudio photo 747. Alex Claudio RP
Michael Feliz Note
Michael Feliz photo 755. Michael Feliz RP
Austin Brice Note
Austin Brice photo 773. Austin Brice RP
Jeter Downs Note
Jeter Downs photo 791. Jeter Downs SS
Kevin Plawecki Note
Kevin Plawecki photo 795. Kevin Plawecki C
Hector Rondon Note
Hector Rondon photo 802. Hector Rondon RP
Jarren Duran Note
Jarren Duran photo 829. Jarren Duran CF
Martin Perez Note
Martin Perez photo 859. Martin Perez SP,RP
Daniel Gossett Note
Daniel Gossett photo 911. Daniel Gossett SP
Danny Santana Note
Danny Santana photo 914. Danny Santana 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,RF
Hirokazu Sawamura Note
Hirokazu Sawamura photo 919. Hirokazu Sawamura RP
Brad Peacock Note
Brad Peacock photo 947. Brad Peacock SP,RP
Garrett Whitlock Note
Garrett Whitlock photo 949. Garrett Whitlock SP,RP
Connor Seabold Note
Connor Seabold photo 1007. Connor Seabold SP
Kyle Hart Note
Kyle Hart photo 1008. Kyle Hart SP
Christian Arroyo Note
Christian Arroyo photo 1026. Christian Arroyo 2B,3B
Yairo Munoz Note
Yairo Munoz photo 1029. Yairo Munoz 3B,SS,LF,RF
Jose De Leon Note
Jose De Leon photo 1035. Jose De Leon RP
Phillips Valdez Note
Phillips Valdez photo 1043. Phillips Valdez RP
John Schreiber Note
John Schreiber photo 1220. John Schreiber RP
Eduard Bazardo Note
Eduard Bazardo photo 1270. Eduard Bazardo RP
Yacksel Rios Note
Yacksel Rios photo 1282. Yacksel Rios RP
Durbin Feltman Note
Durbin Feltman photo 1298. Durbin Feltman RP
Austin Davis Note
Austin Davis photo 1315. Austin Davis RP
Dylan Covey Note
Dylan Covey photo 1335. Dylan Covey SP,RP
Geoff Hartlieb Note
Geoff Hartlieb photo 1346. Geoff Hartlieb RP
Colten Brewer Note
Colten Brewer photo 1379. Colten Brewer SP,RP
Connor Wong Note
Connor Wong photo 1409. Connor Wong C
Chris Herrmann Note
Chris Herrmann photo 1412. Chris Herrmann C,RF
Ronaldo Hernandez Note
Ronaldo Hernandez photo 1426. Ronaldo Hernandez C
Josh Ockimey Note
Josh Ockimey photo 1455. Josh Ockimey 1B
Jonathan Arauz Note
Jonathan Arauz photo 1506. Jonathan Arauz 2B,SS