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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Shane Bieber Note
Shane Bieber photo 10. Shane Bieber SP
Bieber took the huge gains he had made in 2019 and kicked the into hyperdrive en route to a Cy Young season. He had a miniscule 1.63 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP, and took his strikeout percentage to 41.1%, which ranked first among qualified starters. Everything was exceptional for Bieber, as he held batters to just a .167 batting average, barely allowed home runs, and earned eight wins in just 12 starts. He may struggle to again find wins given the Indians' depleted lineup, but there is nothing else to think twice about with Bieber. He's part of the ultra-elite tier in starting pitching with Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole, and should be a first-round selection, especially since he seems to have had no ill effects from his battle with COVID-19.
15 hours ago
Jose Ramirez Note
Jose Ramirez photo 12. Jose Ramirez 3B
If you throw out the first half of his 2019 season, then Ramirez has been a dominant force in fantasy baseball for the last five years. He was as good as ever in 2020, setting career highs in slugging percentage (.607), wOBA (.415) and wRC+ (164). To the extent there are question marks about Ramirez, they're about his supporting cast, as Cleveland's lineup should be one of the weaker ones in the league now that the team has jettisoned Francisco Lindor. But a hitter's lineup is often overvalued by fantasy managers, particularly with a player like Ramirez who adds in value with stolen bases. He comes with little to no risk, and should be the first third baseman drafted, and a first round pick, in all formats.
15 hours ago
Eddie Rosario Note
Eddie Rosario photo 96. Eddie Rosario LF
Rosario stays in the AL Central, signing a one-year deal with the Indians after a successful tenure with the Twins. He's established a fairly reliable power baseline at this point, and he usually offers some batting average to go with it. Last year, however, his batting average dipped to just .257, in part because he became much more passive (8.2% walk rate, 51.2% Swing%, both far out of character for his career). The bigger issue was that Rosario largely cut down on his swing percentage on pitches in the strike zone, but continued to swing at pitches out of the zone at a 41.2% clip. That likely explains his lower than usual average exit velocity and barrel rate, and it's something that's easily correctable if he just goes back to his previous approach. At the very least, Rosario should chip in 25 home runs at least, while helping out in runs and RBI, and he's a fine third outfielder in mixed leagues.
15 hours ago
Zach Plesac Note
Zach Plesac photo 97. Zach Plesac SP
Plesac is getting a ton of love for his eight excellent starts in 2020, but there's plenty of reason to be cautious. His FIP, xFIP, xERA, and SIERA were all more than a run higher than his ERA, and both his strikeout rate and walk rate significantly outproduced what he showed he could do in the minors. Yes, Plesac altered his pitch mix, throwing fewer fastballs and instead more sliders and changeups, so if you're looking for a reason to buy the gains, you have one. But he had a ridiculous 91.7% LOB rate, and even with his ability to limit hard contact, his BABIP against should rise from the .224 mark last year. Plesac can help a fantasy staff, but manage expectations significantly.
15 hours ago
James Karinchak Note
James Karinchak photo 106. James Karinchak RP
Karinchak is expected to be Cleveland's closer after Brad Hand moved on to the Nationals, though it's not a sure thing yet. Yes, he walks too many batters (5.33 per nine innings), but you can get away with it when you strike out nearly half the batters you face and hitters bat .151 against you overall. Karinchak has two absolutely devastating pitches: a mid-90's fastball (.184 batting average against, .151 xBA) and a power curveball (.140 batting average against, .114 xBA). Cleveland may not have a ton of success this year and hence save opportunities may be limited, but Karinchak can be a dominant fantasy reliever if he gets the job. Monitor reports out of the spring to see when and if Terry Francona formerly anoints him as the closer. If he does, he should vault to being a top-6 or 7 reliever.
15 hours ago
Franmil Reyes Note
Franmil Reyes photo 125. Franmil Reyes DH
Reyes didn't quite live up to his power potential last year with just nine home runs in 59 games, and his 50.3% ground ball rate certainly didn't help. His Statcast data waned a bit from his monstrous 2019 season, but his 92.4 mile per hour average exit velocity was in the top two percent in baseball. There's just not a ton to dislike about Reyes, other than he offers nothing in the way of speed. On his absolute worst day, he's a 30-homer bat with a batting average that won't kill you. On his best day, he's a lite version of a healthy Aaron Judge. Expect at least three-category production, and make it four if he can maintain the 10% walk rate he showed in 2020.
15 hours ago
Aaron Civale Note
Aaron Civale photo 175. Aaron Civale SP
Triston McKenzie Note
Triston McKenzie photo 176. Triston McKenzie SP
Andres Gimenez Note
Andres Gimenez photo 247. Andres Gimenez SS
Amed Rosario Note
Amed Rosario photo 290. Amed Rosario SS
Cesar Hernandez Note
Cesar Hernandez photo 318. Cesar Hernandez 2B
Oscar Mercado Note
Oscar Mercado photo 359. Oscar Mercado CF
Josh Naylor Note
Josh Naylor photo 375. Josh Naylor LF
Emmanuel Clase Note
Emmanuel Clase photo 482. Emmanuel Clase
Nick Wittgren Note
Nick Wittgren photo 532. Nick Wittgren RP
Jake Bauers Note
Jake Bauers photo 560. Jake Bauers LF
Cal Quantrill Note
Cal Quantrill photo 562. Cal Quantrill RP
Roberto Perez Note
Roberto Perez photo 568. Roberto Perez C
Phil Maton Note
Phil Maton photo 627. Phil Maton RP
Harold Ramirez Note
Harold Ramirez photo 640. Harold Ramirez RF
Austin Hedges Note
Austin Hedges photo 682. Austin Hedges C
Trevor Stephan Note
Trevor Stephan photo 689. Trevor Stephan SP
Jordan Luplow Note
Jordan Luplow photo 710. Jordan Luplow LF
Bradley Zimmer Note
Bradley Zimmer photo 767. Bradley Zimmer LF
Scott Moss Note
Scott Moss photo 805. Scott Moss SP
Nolan Jones Note
Nolan Jones photo 811. Nolan Jones 3B
Eli Morgan Note
Eli Morgan photo 818. Eli Morgan SP
Daniel Johnson Note
Daniel Johnson photo 825. Daniel Johnson RF
Adam Plutko Note
Adam Plutko photo 832. Adam Plutko RP
Oliver Perez Note
Oliver Perez photo 876. Oliver Perez RP
Blake Parker Note
Blake Parker photo 886. Blake Parker RP
Sam Hentges Note
Sam Hentges photo 933. Sam Hentges SP
Ben Gamel Note
Ben Gamel photo 948. Ben Gamel RF
Kyle Nelson Note
Kyle Nelson photo 982. Kyle Nelson RP
Cam Hill Note
Cam Hill photo 1016. Cam Hill RP
Heath Hembree Note
Heath Hembree photo 1021. Heath Hembree RP
Nick Sandlin Note
Nick Sandlin photo 1118. Nick Sandlin RP
Bryan Shaw Note
Bryan Shaw photo 1200. Bryan Shaw RP
Logan Allen Note
Logan Allen photo 1287. Logan Allen RP
Beau Taylor Note
Beau Taylor photo 1330. Beau Taylor C
Billy Hamilton Note
Billy Hamilton photo 1349. Billy Hamilton CF
Bobby Bradley Note
Bobby Bradley photo 1398. Bobby Bradley DH
Yu Chang Note
Yu Chang photo 1432. Yu Chang SS
Mike Freeman Note
Mike Freeman photo 1433. Mike Freeman 3B
Tyler Freeman Note
Tyler Freeman photo 1482. Tyler Freeman SS
Owen Miller Note
Owen Miller photo 1511. Owen Miller SS
Ernie Clement Note
Ernie Clement photo 1518. Ernie Clement SS