Skip to main content

Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Alex Bregman Note
Alex Bregman photo 31. Alex Bregman 3B
2020 was just a bad season for Bregman, plain and simple. He missed time with a hamstring injury, and generally regressed in every major statistical category. Considering that Bregman will be just 27 years old on Opening Day and had batted .291 with 72 home runs combined over the previous two seasons, fantasy managers can probably just throw out most of what they saw from him in 2020. He'll continue to be an upper echelon option at third base and considering his strong walk and strikeout rates, an even better one in points leagues.
2 days ago
Kyle Tucker Note
Kyle Tucker photo 34. Kyle Tucker LF
Tucker finally got regular playing time last year and it was mostly what fantasy owners had hoped for. Tucker didn't quite put up his gaudy numbers that he averaged in the minors, but he was on roughly a 25-20 pace while helping out in the other statistical categories. Tucker's batted ball profile didn't completely wow anyone last year, but given his performance, his prospect pedigree and minor-league track record, and his guaranteed spot in a strong lineup, fantasy managers should feel little concern about having Tucker be their first outfielder in fantasy.
2 days ago
Yordan Alvarez Note
Yordan Alvarez photo 57. Yordan Alvarez DH
Alvarez missed almost all of last season and had surgery on both of his knees, which is obviously worrisome for his 2021 outlook. His 2019 performance was incredibly impressive on every level (50 homers, 149 RBI in 143 games between the majors and minors), and he offers a high batting average floor to boot. It's all about health with Alvarez, so monitor his performance this spring. If he shows he's remotely healthy, his ADP is going to skyrocket.
2 days ago
Jose Altuve Note
Jose Altuve photo 81. Jose Altuve 2B
Altuve had a rough 2020 season (like most Astros offensive players), but it was particularly drastic for him. After batting .298 (which was low for him) with 31 home runs in 2019, he batted just .219 with five home runs last year, and he struck out more than he ever had before. But, like his counterpart in the middle infield, Carlos Correa, Altuve had a strong postseason, slashing .375/.500/.720 with five home runs. It's reasonable to write off Altuve's regular season as a slump that he would have broken out of in light of his postseason, though with just eight steals combined over his previous two seasons, stolen bases may not be a big part of his game going forward (though his sprint speed is still excellent). Expect a bounce-back campaign in most categories, and take the undervalued Altuve as a solid starting second baseman.
2 days ago
Zack Greinke Note
Zack Greinke photo 92. Zack Greinke SP
Greinke is entering his age-37 season, but still somehow keeps getting it done. His ERA of 4.03 last year was certainly higher than fantasy managers are used to seeing, but it came with a 2.80 FIP and 3.51 xFIP. His strikeout rate was his best since 2017 and his walk rate of 3.3% was the best of his entire career. But his velocity was down about two ticks, with his fastball clocking in at just 87.9 miles per hour. Greinke is as smart a pitcher as there is but it's going to be difficult to succeed over the course of a full 162-game season if his pure stuff continues to diminish. He's one of the few pitchers in the game who is probably capable of pitching 200 innings in 2021, but expect a continued downward trend in his performance.
2 days ago
Carlos Correa Note
Carlos Correa photo 108. Carlos Correa SS
There's still plenty of upside with Correa, as he showed when he hit 21 home runs and drove in 59 runs in just 75 games in 2019 and went on a postseason tear last year. But he's also one of the bigger injury risks in the game, given that he hasn't topped 109 games played since 2016. The steal potential that he showed early in his career is gone after he struggled with back issues, as he hasn't stolen more than three bases in any of his last four seasons. That leaves Correa as someone who will likely contribute, but not excel, in four areas. With his upside, there's still a lot to like about his fantasy outlook. But realistically, with a different name on the back of his jersey, he'd probably go several picks later than he does.
2 days ago
Framber Valdez Note
Framber Valdez photo 112. Framber Valdez SP
Valdez got his first extended look as a starter in 2020 and the results were very good. He is really a two-pitch pitcher, with a very solid sinker and curveball, but he is able to get away with his lack of a third pitch by getting batters to pound the ball into the ground (60% ground ball rate) and limiting free passes, at least last year (5.6% walk rate). But without a third pitch, it seems unlikely that he can maintain the 26.4% strikeout rate he put up 70 2/3 innings last year. However, with a guaranteed rotation spot on a good team and nothing particularly fluky in his underlying metrics or statcast data, Valdez should be considered a viable SP3 for fantasy purposes, even if he seems unlikely to quite repeat his 2020 season.
2 days ago
Lance McCullers Jr. Note
Lance McCullers Jr. photo 120. Lance McCullers Jr. SP
McCullers made a successful return from Tommy John surgery after missing the 2019 season and looked almost exactly like the 2018 version of himself. His ERA (3.93) and WHIP (1.16) were within seven-tenths of a point of his 2018 numbers, and his walk and strikeout rates fell just slightly. McCullers relied a bit more on his sinker and less on his curveball than in past years, but the two work well together and he continued to throw them in combination about 80% of the time. In short, what you thought of McCullers heading into 2018 is pretty much what you should think of him now. Unfortunately, that includes concerns about his innings, because after a missed year and 55 innings last year, the chances of him topping 150 innings this season are remote. Buy him at his production, but understand that there's likely a hard cap on his innings total.
1 day ago
Michael Brantley Note
Michael Brantley photo 125. Michael Brantley DH
After a few hours where it looked like Brantley was heading to the Blue Jays, he'll instead return to the Astros on a two-year contract. Despite his advancing age, Brantley remains one of the safest players in all of fantasy, batting at least .299 in each of the last six seasons in which he played at least 11 games. He both walked and struck out more than usual last season, but given that he played in just 46 games, there's little reason to draw any firm conclusions from that data. The bigger issue is that Brantley excels in only batting average, and although he'll offer something in each of the other four rotisserie categories, he won't be a difference-maker. Draft Brantley in the middle-to-later rounds if you need an average boost, but there's little upside.
2 days ago
Ryan Pressly Note
Ryan Pressly photo 131. Ryan Pressly RP
Pressly had his usual solid season, but got the benefit of closing for the Astros after Roberto Osuna's injury. His numbers fell off a bit from the previous two years (his 1.33 WHIP was particularly out of character), but he will almost certainly rebound from the .365 BABIP he allowed. He's slated to again be the Astros' closer, and as such, should provide plenty of saves while giving fantasy managers positive value in ratios. That makes him one of the few reliable closers worth drafting at more than a late-round price.
2 days ago
Jose Urquidy Note
Jose Urquidy photo 192. Jose Urquidy SP
Cristian Javier Note
Cristian Javier photo 224. Cristian Javier SP
Yuli Gurriel Note
Yuli Gurriel photo 237. Yuli Gurriel 1B
Myles Straw Note
Myles Straw photo 366. Myles Straw CF
Justin Verlander Note
Justin Verlander photo 516. Justin Verlander SP
Ronnie Dawson Note
Ronnie Dawson photo 528. Ronnie Dawson CF
Martin Maldonado Note
Martin Maldonado photo 546. Martin Maldonado C
Pedro Baez Note
Pedro Baez photo 593. Pedro Baez RP
Josh James Note
Josh James photo 601. Josh James RP
Forrest Whitley Note
Forrest Whitley photo 617. Forrest Whitley SP
Steve Cishek Note
Steve Cishek photo 629. Steve Cishek RP
Joe Smith Note
Joe Smith photo 648. Joe Smith RP
Jason Castro Note
Jason Castro photo 688. Jason Castro C
Enoli Paredes Note
Enoli Paredes photo 701. Enoli Paredes RP
Ryne Stanek Note
Ryne Stanek photo 703. Ryne Stanek RP
Tyler Ivey Note
Tyler Ivey photo 714. Tyler Ivey SP
Chas McCormick Note
Chas McCormick photo 716. Chas McCormick LF
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 730. Luis Garcia SS
Abraham Toro Note
Abraham Toro photo 769. Abraham Toro 3B
Aledmys Diaz Note
Aledmys Diaz photo 879. Aledmys Diaz 2B
Steven Souza Jr. Note
Steven Souza Jr. photo 882. Steven Souza Jr. RF
Brandon Bielak Note
Brandon Bielak photo 906. Brandon Bielak SP
Blake Taylor Note
Blake Taylor photo 925. Blake Taylor RP
Kent Emanuel Note
Kent Emanuel photo 1027. Kent Emanuel RP
Austin Pruitt Note
Austin Pruitt photo 1058. Austin Pruitt RP
Bryan Abreu Note
Bryan Abreu photo 1119. Bryan Abreu RP
Francis Martes Note
Francis Martes photo 1136. Francis Martes RP
Nivaldo Rodriguez Note
Nivaldo Rodriguez photo 1139. Nivaldo Rodriguez RP
Andre Scrubb Note
Andre Scrubb photo 1238. Andre Scrubb RP
Garrett Stubbs Note
Garrett Stubbs photo 1326. Garrett Stubbs C
Jose Siri Note
Jose Siri photo 1466. Jose Siri CF
Stephen Wrenn Note
Stephen Wrenn photo 1467. Stephen Wrenn CF
Taylor Jones Note
Taylor Jones photo 1479. Taylor Jones DH
Colton Shaver Note
Colton Shaver photo 1507. Colton Shaver 1B
Robel Garcia Note
Robel Garcia photo 1521. Robel Garcia 2B
Alex De Goti Note
Alex De Goti photo 1529. Alex De Goti SS