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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Kyle Tucker Note
Kyle Tucker photo 33. Kyle Tucker RF
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.
36 weeks ago
Alex Bregman Note
Alex Bregman photo 37. 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. He's been battling a hamstring issue for most of camp, but as of now, he doesn't look like he'll miss much, if any, time, so draft him accordingly.
36 weeks ago
Yordan Alvarez Note
Yordan Alvarez photo 54. Yordan Alvarez DH,LF
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.
36 weeks ago
Jose Altuve Note
Jose Altuve photo 72. 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.
36 weeks ago
Lance McCullers Jr. Note
Lance McCullers Jr. photo 111. 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.
36 weeks ago
Ryan Pressly Note
Ryan Pressly photo 116. 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.
36 weeks ago
Michael Brantley Note
Michael Brantley photo 124. Michael Brantley DH,LF
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.
36 weeks ago
Jose Urquidy Note
Jose Urquidy photo 185. Jose Urquidy SP
Rafael Montero Note
Rafael Montero photo 188. Rafael Montero RP
Montero wound up closing for the Rangers and totaling eight saves in 2020, but it wasn't a particularly special season. His hard-hit rate and walk-rate increased from his strong 2019 season, and he totaled a 4.08 ERA. Now with Seattle, Montero's best asset may be his lack of competition for the closer's role, as Seattle has struggled for several seasons to find a reliable ninth-inning option. Draft Montero as a mid-tier closer, who you're taking more for his job security than his spectacular numbers.
36 weeks ago
Yuli Gurriel Note
Yuli Gurriel photo 235. Yuli Gurriel 1B
Cristian Javier Note
Cristian Javier photo 236. Cristian Javier SP,RP
Hector Neris Note
Hector Neris photo 238. Hector Neris RP
Neris has been named the Phillies' closer to start the season. Although he has been the Phillies' primary closer for the past four seasons, he's hardly been the model of efficiency. His ERA over those seasons is 3.01, 5.10, 2.93, and 4.57. And he surprisingly struggled with his control last year, seeking his BB/9 rate jump to 5.40 and his WHIP to 1.71. Neris's splitter is outstanding when it's on, but he has the tendency to get hit hard when it's not. With Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado in tow, and Brandon Kintzler with the team on a minor league deal, Neris's leash will be short. Draft him as a low-end closer, but don't rush to do so.
35 weeks ago
Jake Odorizzi Note
Jake Odorizzi photo 245. Jake Odorizzi SP
Framber Valdez Note
Framber Valdez photo 269. Framber Valdez SP
Valdez was shaping up to be a fine sleeper this year, after he had a highly successful stint in the Astros rotation last year. But he fractured his finger early in spring training and the expectation is that he'll miss significant time, though recent reports are far more optimistic than the initial season-ending variety. Drop him down a ton from where you initially had him ranked, but draft him toward the back end of your rotation where the risk/reward balance should equalize.
36 weeks ago
Martin Maldonado Note
Martin Maldonado photo 481. Martin Maldonado C
Pedro Baez Note
Pedro Baez photo 526. Pedro Baez RP
Phil Maton Note
Phil Maton photo 547. Phil Maton RP
Enoli Paredes Note
Enoli Paredes photo 583. Enoli Paredes RP
Justin Verlander Note
Justin Verlander photo 586. Justin Verlander SP
Blake Taylor Note
Blake Taylor photo 614. Blake Taylor RP
Jason Castro Note
Jason Castro photo 652. Jason Castro C
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 655. Luis Garcia RP,SP
Ryne Stanek Note
Ryne Stanek photo 687. Ryne Stanek RP
Andre Scrubb Note
Andre Scrubb photo 738. Andre Scrubb RP
Josh James Note
Josh James photo 746. Josh James RP
Tyler Ivey Note
Tyler Ivey photo 753. Tyler Ivey SP
Aledmys Diaz Note
Aledmys Diaz photo 787. Aledmys Diaz 3B
Chas McCormick Note
Chas McCormick photo 869. Chas McCormick CF,LF,RF
Brandon Bielak Note
Brandon Bielak photo 991. Brandon Bielak RP
Bryan Abreu Note
Bryan Abreu photo 1149. Bryan Abreu RP
Jose Siri Note
Jose Siri photo 1279. Jose Siri RF
Pedro Leon Note
Pedro Leon photo 1434. Pedro Leon LF
Ronnie Dawson Note
Ronnie Dawson photo 1460. Ronnie Dawson DH
Taylor Jones Note
Taylor Jones photo 1477. Taylor Jones 1B
Colton Shaver Note
Colton Shaver photo 1551. Colton Shaver 1B