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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Gerrit Cole Note
Gerrit Cole photo 8. Gerrit Cole SP
Cole was pretty much as advertised in his first season with the Yankees. His ERA rose a tad, as did his home run rate as expected, and his strikeout rate fell a bit, though it remained at an absurdly high level. And, for the most part, all of his expected metrics fell off a tad from his 2019 season. But Cole's numbers from that season were so dominating that he could withstand plenty of regression and still be one of the best pitchers in fantasy. As such, he'll head into 2021 close to the way he came into the 2020 season: a dominant, high-strikeout, low-walk starter who will throw plenty of innings and who is more likely to finish as the top overall fantasy pitcher than he is to finish outside the top-10. It's a matter of personal preference between Cole and Jacob deGrom as the first pitcher off the board, but neither should fall outside the top-10 overall picks on draft day.
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DJ LeMahieu Note
DJ LeMahieu photo 34. DJ LeMahieu 1B,2B,3B
LeMahieu will return to the Yankees on a six-year deal, and that is great news for fantasy managers. Since he's been New York, he's provided elite all-around production, most notably in batting average, where he has batted .336. He's blossomed into a 25-home run hitter with plenty of runs and RBI, and a handful of steals that chip in with the category. Add to that LeMahieu's multi-position eligibility and he is a huge asset to every fantasy team. With nothing in his profile to suggest a skills decline, he should be drafted before the third round is out in every fantasy league.
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Aaron Judge Note
Aaron Judge photo 47. Aaron Judge RF
Judge missed about half of the regular season last year with a calf strain, though he still hit for plenty of power when he was in the lineup. He walked and struck out a bit less than usual, but trying to glean anything from a 28-game sample, given Judge's history, is silly. When he's in the lineup, you know you'll get a ton of power and runs scored with a passable average. The key is "when he's in the lineup," however, as injuries have forced Judge to miss significant time over the last three seasons. So long as you factor that into your draft price and select him as an OF2, you'll be happy with the production.
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Luke Voit Note
Luke Voit photo 56. Luke Voit 1B
Voit has always had a ton of power but last year he left the yard at a ridiculous pace, with a 34.9% HR/FB rate, third best in the league. The thing is, nothing about his profile really changed all that much. Indeed, his hard hit rate, barrel percentage, and average exit velocity actually were career lows. The biggest difference was that Voit simply swung more than ever, 52.1% of the time, and correspondingly made more contact, at a 73.8% rate, and actually struck out less than ever before. If Voit keeps the same approach, there's every reason to expect him to put up massive power numbers, assuming he can stay healthy. That's always been the issue, of course, and he did battle plantar fasciitis at the end of the year. Bake in some injury risk to your evaluation, but expect plenty of power this season from Voit.
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Gleyber Torres Note
Gleyber Torres photo 60. Gleyber Torres 2B,SS
Torres missed some time with quad and hamstring strains last season, but his year was an absolute disaster even without it. He batted just .243 and hit a mere three home runs in 160 plate appearances. The culprit was that he was reportedly out of shape, a byproduct of the long layoff between the original spring training and when baseball resumed months later. There's every reason to buy into the excuse given Torres' track record, especially since he bounced back a bit in September and October with an .842 OPS. Expect more typical numbers from Torres this year, meaning around a .270 average, 30 home runs, and plenty of counting stats. Given his ADP, he's likely to be a bargain this year.
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Aroldis Chapman Note
Aroldis Chapman photo 78. Aroldis Chapman RP
Chapman missed time last year because he was diagnosed with COVID-19, but he was largely the same pitcher as always when he was on the mount. He struck out 22 batters in his 11 2/3 innings pitched and allowed just six hits. His velocity may be slightly below what it was at its peak, but it's still elite, and he appears to have plenty left in the tank heading into his age-33 season. He'll again close for one of the best teams in baseball, and although he's never had a 40-save season, he should easily surpass 30 and be one of the top closers drafted in fantasy.
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Giancarlo Stanton Note
Giancarlo Stanton photo 91. Giancarlo Stanton LF
It's all about the injuries with Stanton, as after two healthy seasons, he's been limited to just 41 games over the last two. There's little to analyze with the slugger other than his health. He still hits the ball as hard as anyone and walks and strikes out a ton. There's been little decline in his batted ball data over the last two years, but even if there had been, the sample size would be too small to draw any conclusions. Stanton is likely eligible at utility only in your league, but that limitation should let him come as a discount in drafts. Have power on your bench ready to fill in if you draft Stanton, but there's no reason to run from him.
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Gio Urshela Note
Gio Urshela photo 146. Gio Urshela 3B
Urshela isn't the most exciting player, and perhaps that's why he largely gets ignored by fantasy managers despite his quality production. Over his last two seasons (175 games), he's slashed .310/.358/.523 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI. He won't contribute in steals, but he's an incredibly safe source of batting average, particularly because of his excellent strikeout rate, and he should have plenty of opportunities to contribute counting stats. The only question was his health, but he seems fully recovered from his elbow injury. Draft him with confidence.
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Corey Kluber Note
Corey Kluber photo 169. Corey Kluber SP
Clint Frazier Note
Clint Frazier photo 184. Clint Frazier LF,RF
There's little reason to doubt Frazier's ability to contribute from a fantasy perspective at this point. Over the last two seasons, he has a 162-game pace of a .267 average, 30 home runs, 83 runs scored, 96 RBI, and 6 steals. He upped his walk rate significantly in 2020 (15.6%, top seven percent in the league) and hits the ball hard consistently. The only issue for Frazier is his playing time with Giancarlo Stanton healthy and Brett Gardner back in the fold. But Frazier has done enough to hold the left field job and, regardless, Stanton, Aaron Judge, and Aaron Hicks are not the product of health. Draft Frazier as a starting outfielder and don't worry about the playing time.
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Gary Sanchez Note
Gary Sanchez photo 197. Gary Sanchez C
Jameson Taillon Note
Jameson Taillon photo 211. Jameson Taillon SP
Taillon has undergone Tommy John surgery twice, and has totaled just 37 1/3 innings over the last two years. And really, he's had only one truly notable year, which was in 2018. But what separated Taillon that year was his outstanding slider, which not only performed exceedingly well, but also buoyed the effectiveness of the rest of his pitches. Now with the Yankees, Taillon has plenty of upside. But, as always, health remains the concern, and is the reason you shouldn't draft him until you've filled out most of your staff.
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Jordan Montgomery Note
Jordan Montgomery photo 228. Jordan Montgomery SP
Aaron Hicks Note
Aaron Hicks photo 237. Aaron Hicks CF
Luis Severino Note
Luis Severino photo 302. Luis Severino SP
Domingo German Note
Domingo German photo 322. Domingo German SP
Deivi Garcia Note
Deivi Garcia photo 331. Deivi Garcia SP
Zack Britton Note
Zack Britton photo 407. Zack Britton RP
Chad Green Note
Chad Green photo 414. Chad Green SP,RP
Greg Allen Note
Greg Allen photo 503. Greg Allen LF,CF,RF
Darren O'Day Note
Darren O'Day photo 528. Darren O'Day RP
Jonathan Loaisiga Note
Jonathan Loaisiga photo 562. Jonathan Loaisiga SP,RP
Miguel Andujar Note
Miguel Andujar photo 563. Miguel Andujar 3B,LF
Clarke Schmidt Note
Clarke Schmidt photo 609. Clarke Schmidt P
Mike Tauchman Note
Mike Tauchman photo 618. Mike Tauchman LF,CF,RF
Kyle Higashioka Note
Kyle Higashioka photo 634. Kyle Higashioka C
Brett Gardner Note
Brett Gardner photo 649. Brett Gardner LF,CF
Jay Bruce Note
Jay Bruce photo 653. Jay Bruce 1B,LF,RF
Justin Wilson Note
Justin Wilson photo 677. Justin Wilson RP
Thairo Estrada Note
Thairo Estrada photo 680. Thairo Estrada 2B
Mike Ford Note
Mike Ford photo 726. Mike Ford 1B
Michael King Note
Michael King photo 807. Michael King SP,RP
Tyler Wade Note
Tyler Wade photo 827. Tyler Wade 2B,SS,LF
Jhoulys Chacin Note
Jhoulys Chacin photo 828. Jhoulys Chacin SP,RP
Robinson Chirinos Note
Robinson Chirinos photo 948. Robinson Chirinos C
Luis Cessa Note
Luis Cessa photo 1025. Luis Cessa RP
Adam Warren Note
Adam Warren photo 1109. Adam Warren RP
Nick Nelson Note
Nick Nelson photo 1110. Nick Nelson RP
Reggie McClain Note
Reggie McClain photo 1132. Reggie McClain RP
Josh Smith Note
Josh Smith photo 1135. Josh Smith
Brooks Kriske Note
Brooks Kriske photo 1161. Brooks Kriske RP
Nestor Cortes Jr. Note
Nestor Cortes Jr. photo 1192. Nestor Cortes Jr. RP
Tyler Lyons Note
Tyler Lyons photo 1207. Tyler Lyons RP
Albert Abreu Note
Albert Abreu photo 1209. Albert Abreu RP
Derek Dietrich Note
Derek Dietrich photo 1290. Derek Dietrich 1B,2B,LF
Estevan Florial Note
Estevan Florial photo 1440. Estevan Florial CF
Andrew Velazquez Note
Andrew Velazquez photo 1479. Andrew Velazquez SS