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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Luis Castillo Note
Luis Castillo photo 31. Luis Castillo SP
Castillo turned in another excellent season last year, cutting his walk rate and striking out batters at a higher rate than he ever had in his career. His WHIP increased to a career-worst 1.23, but that was largely due to bad luck, as batters hit .232 against him despite an expected batting average of just .212. Nevertheless, Castillo kept runs off the board, largely because he was able to avoid home runs (just five in 70 innings) and limit free passes. Castillo is capable of fronting a fantasy pitching staff, though he's more of a low-end ace, and there are plenty of trade rumors following him around. But, given his reliable production and increased strikeout rate the past two seasons, he can be drafted with confidence.
8 weeks ago
Eugenio Suarez Note
Eugenio Suarez photo 58. Eugenio Suarez 3B,SS
Suarez's power numbers were again strong in last year's shortened season, but his batting average plummeted to just .202. He hit the ball as hard as ever, however, and ranked in the top 9% of the league in average exit velocity. Suarez's BABIP was just .214 (he has a .310 mark), and although he hit more fly balls than usual, there's nothing to suggest that his batting average should have fallen off a cliff. In other words, there's plenty of reason to expect Suarez to hit closer to his .261 career batting average this year. Add to that his potential for 40 home runs and 200 combined runs and RBI, and he'll likely be a value in this year's draft.
8 weeks ago
Nick Castellanos Note
Nick Castellanos photo 62. Nick Castellanos LF,RF
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.
8 weeks ago
Sonny Gray Note
Sonny Gray photo 88. Sonny Gray SP
Two dreadful starts late in the season severely hurt what was otherwise a strong 2020 campaign for Gray, though it was a bizarre year. His strikeout rate surpassed 30% for the first time in his career, while his walk rate jumped to 11.1%. He was also far more hittable, particularly his slider and curveball, which had been dominant pitches in 2019. But even if Gray simply repeats his 2020 season, his strikeout rate and decent ERA and WHIP should be enough to make him a borderline SP2 for fantasy leagues. He will likely begin the year on the IL after experiencing back spasms in mid-March, but the injury doesn't sound like it will keep him out for long. Considering we've seen much more than that from him in 2019, fantasy managers should have little hesitation drafting him.
8 weeks ago
Mike Moustakas Note
Mike Moustakas photo 103. Mike Moustakas 1B,2B,3B
Because Moustakas was a hitter who played for the Reds, he had a poor 2020 season (seriously, look at their collective numbers). He walked more, struck out more, and lost some points on his batting average, but overall, there was little different in Moustakas's profile. He continued to hit for power and make quality contact. He may not score many runs given his lack of speed and surrounding cast, and the batting average isn't going to help you. But he's got plenty of power for a second-base eligible player, and there's no sign that his production is ready to fall off a cliff.
8 weeks ago
Tyler Mahle Note
Tyler Mahle photo 162. Tyler Mahle SP
Mahle's solid 2020 season (3.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) will probably slip under the radar, but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about him with a guaranteed spot in the Reds rotation. His strikeout rate jumped to 30% on the back of a 4.4% increase in his swinging strike rate, and he had just a .188 expected batting average against, top 10% in the league. The biggest change for Mahle was that he brought back a slider that he had shelved entirely in 2019, and batters hit just .180 against the pitch with a .249 wOBA. He could do well to cut down on his walks a bit, but still, as a fifth starter for your fantasy team, there's plenty of potential for profit.
8 weeks ago
Jesse Winker Note
Jesse Winker photo 178. Jesse Winker LF,CF,RF,DH
Winker had a quietly strong 2020 season, getting on base at a .388 clip and hitting 12 home runs in 54 games. He hit the ball hard consistently and walked an impressive 15.3% of the time, which help to offset his rise in strikeout rate (25.1%, well above his career mark). He'll likely bat leadoff for the Reds, and should be an asset in both home runs and runs scored. That's not a profile that blows you away, but it's enough for you to use as a fifth outfielder.
8 weeks ago
Nick Senzel Note
Nick Senzel photo 217. Nick Senzel 2B,CF
Amir Garrett Note
Amir Garrett photo 224. Amir Garrett RP
Garrett cut way down on his walks in 2020 and had the best season of his career, striking out 37.7% of the batters he faced. He also retired the first batter he faced in every inning, and completely dominated against left-handed hitters. He's in the mix to be the Reds' closer with Lucas Sims and Sean Doolittle, and he's been vocal about wanting the job. He's probably the first reliever to draft out of Cincinnati until there's some clarity, but it's far from a sure thing that he'll be the everyday closer.
8 weeks ago
Joey Votto Note
Joey Votto photo 246. Joey Votto 1B
Tejay Antone Note
Tejay Antone photo 319. Tejay Antone SP,RP
Antone's role wasn't entirely clear at the outset of spring training, but he now looks destined for a starter's job, if he can stay healthy. With Sonny Gray and Wade Miley likely to begin the year on the IL, Antone should begin the year in the rotation, assuming he is healthy enough to do so. He's currently battling a groin strain, and his status is uncertain. When healthy, he's got a wipeout slider, enough to pile on the strikeouts, and has enough upside to be worth a late-round dart throw. Monitor his, Gray's, and Miley's health status closely heading into your drafts.
8 weeks ago
Jonathan India Note
Jonathan India photo 373. Jonathan India 2B,3B
Lucas Sims Note
Lucas Sims photo 376. Lucas Sims SP,RP
Sims had a fine 2020, going 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA a 0.94 WHIP, and plenty of strikeouts. He'll be in the mix for the Reds' closer job with Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle, though his early bout with elbow soreness this spring doesn't help him. Monitor the reports out of spring training, but he's a late-round speculative draft pick at best at the moment.
8 weeks ago
Michael Lorenzen Note
Michael Lorenzen photo 457. Michael Lorenzen RP
Shogo Akiyama Note
Shogo Akiyama photo 465. Shogo Akiyama LF,CF
Tucker Barnhart Note
Tucker Barnhart photo 480. Tucker Barnhart C
Sean Doolittle Note
Sean Doolittle photo 483. Sean Doolittle RP
After missing most of 2020 with various injuries, Doolittle took a small one-year deal from the Reds in his hope of a bounceback season. He's been trending the wrong way for a couple of seasons now, but he did tally at least 24 saves in each season between 2017 and 2019. Doolittle is the only one in the Reds bullpen with much closing experience, so if he performs well this spring, he could win the ninth-inning job. But there's a ton of uncertainty, and given Doolittle's small contract, it's far from a sure thing that he sees any save opportunities in 2021.
8 weeks ago
Tyler Stephenson Note
Tyler Stephenson photo 536. Tyler Stephenson C
Jeff Hoffman Note
Jeff Hoffman photo 619. Jeff Hoffman SP,RP
Aristides Aquino Note
Aristides Aquino photo 649. Aristides Aquino LF,RF
Michael Feliz Note
Michael Feliz photo 756. Michael Feliz RP
Cionel Perez Note
Cionel Perez photo 780. Cionel Perez RP
Jose Garcia Note
Jose Garcia photo 802. Jose Garcia SS
Nick Lodolo Note
Nick Lodolo photo 822. Nick Lodolo SP
Vladimir Gutierrez Note
Vladimir Gutierrez photo 828. Vladimir Gutierrez SP
Wade Miley Note
Wade Miley photo 872. Wade Miley SP
Mike Freeman Note
Mike Freeman photo 884. Mike Freeman 2B,3B,SS
Heath Hembree Note
Heath Hembree photo 887. Heath Hembree RP
Brandon Finnegan Note
Brandon Finnegan photo 890. Brandon Finnegan SP,RP
Kyle Farmer Note
Kyle Farmer photo 1027. Kyle Farmer C,1B,2B,3B,SS
Jose De Leon Note
Jose De Leon photo 1035. Jose De Leon RP
Tony Santillan Note
Tony Santillan photo 1038. Tony Santillan SP
Joel Kuhnel Note
Joel Kuhnel photo 1059. Joel Kuhnel RP
Beau Taylor Note
Beau Taylor photo 1066. Beau Taylor C
Tyler Naquin Note
Tyler Naquin photo 1069. Tyler Naquin CF,LF,RF
Hunter Greene Note
Hunter Greene photo 1090. Hunter Greene SP
Ryan Hendrix Note
Ryan Hendrix photo 1140. Ryan Hendrix RP
Ashton Goudeau Note
Ashton Goudeau photo 1160. Ashton Goudeau RP
Art Warren Note
Art Warren photo 1196. Art Warren RP
Scott Heineman Note
Scott Heineman photo 1217. Scott Heineman CF
R.J. Alaniz Note
R.J. Alaniz photo 1230. R.J. Alaniz RP
Alex Blandino Note
Alex Blandino photo 1250. Alex Blandino 1B,2B,3B
Braden Shipley Note
Braden Shipley photo 1272. Braden Shipley SP,RP
Shane Carle Note
Shane Carle photo 1291. Shane Carle RP
Hector Perez Note
Hector Perez photo 1305. Hector Perez RP
Edgar Garcia Note
Edgar Garcia photo 1308. Edgar Garcia RP
Sal Romano Note
Sal Romano photo 1327. Sal Romano RP
Josh Osich Note
Josh Osich photo 1359. Josh Osich RP
Brad Brach Note
Brad Brach photo 1371. Brad Brach RP
Phillip Diehl Note
Phillip Diehl photo 1382. Phillip Diehl RP
Carson Fulmer Note
Carson Fulmer photo 1390. Carson Fulmer RP
Ryan Lavarnway Note
Ryan Lavarnway photo 1425. Ryan Lavarnway C
Mark Payton Note
Mark Payton photo 1436. Mark Payton LF
Max Schrock Note
Max Schrock photo 1447. Max Schrock 2B
Nicky Delmonico Note
Nicky Delmonico photo 1475. Nicky Delmonico LF,RF