Skip to main content

Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Jacob deGrom Note
Jacob deGrom photo 6. Jacob deGrom SP
deGrom barely missed out on winning his third straight Cy Young Award last year, but it was yet another dominant season. For the third straight year, he came in with a WHIP under 1.00, an ERA under 2.50, and a strikeout percentage above 31%. deGrom is getting up there in age, but it's worth remembering that he has fewer miles on his arm than most pitcher entering their age-33 season, given that he didn't transition to pitching until late in his college career and missed significant time with injuries during his time in the minors. deGrom has shown no decline in his game, and should hopefully (finally) begin to pile on more wins this year pitching for a better team in front of an improved bullpen. He should be the first or second starting pitcher taken and is an obvious first-round pick.
37 weeks ago
Francisco Lindor Note
Francisco Lindor photo 16. Francisco Lindor SS
Lindor's season wasn't particularly impressive, as his surface numbers regressed fairly significantly from his previous three seasons. But, under the hood, not much changed. His walk rate and strikeout rate were largely steady, and his statcast data remained on par with his career marks. He also got much better to close the year, batting .285 with a 122 wRC+ over his final 39 games. Just 27 years old and now with a stronger lineup with the Mets, Lindor should put up numbers closer to his 2017-2019 levels, especially since he'll be playing for a new contract after this season. He'll come at a bit of a discount in the second round this year, and he's well worth your investment at that price.
37 weeks ago
Max Scherzer Note
Max Scherzer photo 25. Max Scherzer SP
Scherzer had a decent season for a mortal, but for someone with his career track record, it was a major disappointment. His 3.74 ERA was his highest since 2012, his 1.38 WHIP the highest of his career, and his 7.8% walk percentage his worst in a decade. Scherzer still struck out plenty of batters but entering his age-37 season and with a ton of mileage on his arm, it's only fair to accept that the old Scherzer is gone for good. But though he may not be a consensus top-three starter anymore, he's still perfectly capable of being a fantasy ace. After all, Scherzer's velocity hasn't declined much, and his 31.2% strikeout rate was tied for 10th among starters. Scherzer likely won't reach 200 innings pitched again and his ERA seems destined to remain above 3.00 going forward, but he's far from someone to avoid in fantasy drafts.
37 weeks ago
Starling Marte Note
Starling Marte photo 42. Starling Marte CF
Marte's getting a little old for a player to rely on for stolen bases, and although fantasy managers need to start lowering their expectations as he enters his age-32 season, there should be enough left in the tank for him to be productive. He ranked in the top 11% in sprint speed last year and was caught stealing just twice in 10 attempts. The quality of his contact declined fairly significantly, however, and considering he now plays in Miami, anything more than 15 home runs should be considered gravy. But he'll likely continue to chip in for all five rotisserie categories and be an asset in both stolen bases and batting average, two difficult categories to fill. Again, temper expectations a bit against his historical production, but fantasy managers can still draft him with confidence.
37 weeks ago
Pete Alonso Note
Pete Alonso photo 46. Pete Alonso 1B,DH
Alonso didn't quite follow up his incredible 2019 season last year, but he certainly wasn't terrible. The vast majority of his underlying statcast data and metrics looked similar, and he mostly just didn't make quite as consistently hard contact as he did the previous year. Alonso is never going to help you in batting average, but you should expect 40 home runs and 100 RBI this year and for the foreseeable future. With such a high floor, Alonso makes a more than adequate starting first baseman in mixed leagues.
37 weeks ago
Edwin Diaz Note
Edwin Diaz photo 85. Edwin Diaz RP
Diaz's overall numbers bounced back in a monstrous way last season. He dropped his ERA from a bloated 5.59 in 2019 to a 1.75, and upped his strikeout rate to a career-best 45.5%. He was among the league leaders in nearly every expected statistic (batting average, slugging percentage wOBA, and ERA), and he cut his HR/9 rate from 2.33 to just 0.70. Diaz's walk rate actually regressed, however, as he issued free passes to nearly five batters per nine innings. That's not often a recipe for success from a closer, but Diaz can survive at that rate if he continues to keep the strikeouts up and limit the long balls. In the end, Diaz does carry some risk given his history, but he should be drafted as one of the upper echelon closers in the game, if not a touch behind the truly elite options.
37 weeks ago
Jeff McNeil Note
Jeff McNeil photo 93. Jeff McNeil 2B,3B,LF,RF
Much of McNeil's 2020 season looked similar to his year in 2019. He hit over .300, rarely struck out, and got on base plenty. But the power gains that we saw in 2019 vanished, as he hit just four home runs over 52 games. His barrel rate (2.5%) and hard-hit percentage (26.5%) were some of the worst in the league, and he didn't even offer the token stolen base that he had chipped in during previous seasons. This is a scenario where McNeil's value to any particular fantasy manager will depend on the weight he or she gives to the shortened 2020 season. Given that McNeil never hit the ball particularly hard anyway, though, a good bet is to assume he at least returns to the high teens in home runs, slightly below his 2019 pace. With his strong average and multi-position eligibility, that makes McNeil an asset in the middle rounds.
37 weeks ago
Dominic Smith Note
Dominic Smith photo 127. Dominic Smith 1B,LF
Smith showed he had the bat to hit in the majors in 2019, but he took an extra step forward in last year's shortened season. His .316/.377/.616 slash line effectively forced the Mets to find a way to get his bat into the lineup, even if his defense tried to prevent it. His Statcast data was excellent, as he put up a barrel percentage of 13.3% and a hard hit percentage of 46.7%, all with a .405 wOBA, which was in the top four percent of the league. The issue for Smith is his fielding and with the National League surprisingly not adopting the designated hitter, that means he'll need to play out in left field most days. Although the Mets can surely live with the tradeoff, Smith will likely lose plenty of at-bats late in games as he gets switched out for defensive purposes. He'll still have plenty of value, but without the DH, be cautious with your projections for his counting stats.
37 weeks ago
Carlos Carrasco Note
Carlos Carrasco photo 167. Carlos Carrasco SP,RP
Carrasco suffered a serious hamstring strain in mid-March which is likely to keep him out 6-8 weeks. It's a devastating blow to the veteran who returned strong from his battle with leukemia in 2019 to post a 2.91 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 2020. There was plenty to like about Carrasco in New York, including that the Mets will provide him with a better chance at wins, their infield defense should be above average, and Carrasco will play in a more favorable park. But at this point, he's nothing more than a bench starter for your fantasy team given his injury.
37 weeks ago
Mark Canha Note
Mark Canha photo 205. Mark Canha 1B,LF,CF,RF,DH
Fantasy managers seem to have declared Canha's 2019 season as a fluke after he hit just five home run last year, but much of his 2020 seems to suggest 2019 was fairly legitimate. Canha built on his massive gains in walk rate in 2019 (13.5%) and increased it to 15.2%, and his quality of contact largely remained the same. He's got 20-homer power still, and he'll likely lead off or bat second for the A's. You won't need to pay much for him and given his average draft position, there's a high probability of a profit.
37 weeks ago
Eduardo Escobar Note
Eduardo Escobar photo 212. Eduardo Escobar 1B,2B,3B
James McCann Note
James McCann photo 213. James McCann 1B,C
McCann will be the everyday catcher for the Mets after putting up his second consecutive successful season for the White Sox. After putting up a .789 OPS in 2019, he jumped up to an .896 mark in 2020, setting a career-high in walk rate. McCann was a part-timer last year, so his rate stats will likely dip as he takes over a heavy workload with the Mets (Wilson Ramos ranked fourth among catchers in plate appearances the last two seasons). But counting stats should be there in spades in a strong Mets lineup. He should be drafted as a starting catcher in 12-team formats.
37 weeks ago
J.D. Davis Note
J.D. Davis photo 218. J.D. Davis 3B,LF,DH
Brandon Nimmo Note
Brandon Nimmo photo 227. Brandon Nimmo LF,CF,RF
Nimmo has a career .390 OBP and will be batting atop the Mets lineup this year, and that's really all you need to know for his fantasy value. He'll likely be a steady contributor in the runs scored category, while chipping in some homers and steals with a batting average that won't hurt you much. He might see a bit of a platoon against left-handers, but he's a player who will cost you nothing in drafts and who can fill in for your team if you need him. He's worth a bench spot in all 10-team or deeper leagues.
37 weeks ago
Taijuan Walker Note
Taijuan Walker photo 289. Taijuan Walker SP
Seth Lugo Note
Seth Lugo photo 390. Seth Lugo SP,RP
Trevor May Note
Trevor May photo 393. Trevor May RP
Joey Lucchesi Note
Joey Lucchesi photo 477. Joey Lucchesi SP
David Peterson Note
David Peterson photo 478. David Peterson SP
Miguel Castro Note
Miguel Castro photo 575. Miguel Castro RP
Tomas Nido Note
Tomas Nido photo 704. Tomas Nido C
Trevor Williams Note
Trevor Williams photo 825. Trevor Williams RP,SP
Luis Guillorme Note
Luis Guillorme photo 839. Luis Guillorme 2B,3B,SS
Dedniel Nunez Note
Dedniel Nunez photo 895. Dedniel Nunez SP
Thomas Szapucki Note
Thomas Szapucki photo 903. Thomas Szapucki SP
Robert Gsellman Note
Robert Gsellman photo 940. Robert Gsellman SP,RP
Jordan Yamamoto Note
Jordan Yamamoto photo 959. Jordan Yamamoto SP
Drew Smith Note
Drew Smith photo 1131. Drew Smith RP
Jerry Blevins Note
Jerry Blevins photo 1166. Jerry Blevins RP
Sean Reid-Foley Note
Sean Reid-Foley photo 1180. Sean Reid-Foley SP,RP
Yennsy Diaz Note
Yennsy Diaz photo 1227. Yennsy Diaz RP,SP
Antonio Santos Note
Antonio Santos photo 1391. Antonio Santos RP,SP
Patrick Mazeika Note
Patrick Mazeika photo 1417. Patrick Mazeika C
Travis Blankenhorn Note
Travis Blankenhorn photo 1476. Travis Blankenhorn 2B
Khalil Lee Note
Khalil Lee photo 1508. Khalil Lee CF,RF
Cesar Puello Note
Cesar Puello photo 1552. Cesar Puello LF,CF,RF