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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Matt Olson Note
Matt Olson photo 78. Matt Olson 1B
Olson again hit for a ton of power last year, and ranked in the top nine percent of the league in average exit velocity for the third straight season. But he struck out 31.4% of the time, which contributed to a massive average drop to just .195. Olson had a bit of bad luck, as his xBA was .224, but still, it was by far his worst career mark. Although he'll never be a high average hitter, it's a good bet that he'll return something this year closer to his .245 career mark. Combine that with his likely near-40 home run season, and he'll make a fine mid-round selection and starting first baseman for any fantasy team.
4 weeks ago
Matt Chapman Note
Matt Chapman photo 90. Matt Chapman 3B
Chapman lost a significant chunk of his 2020 season to a torn labrum in his hip, and had surgery to repair the injury. It seems obvious that the injury was bothering him all year, as evidenced by his massive jump in strikeout rate (35.5%) and corresponding drop in walk rate. There's little reason to give Chapman's 2020 season any credence given what he'd shown the previous two years. Expect him to bounce back to the 30-homer bat with decent all-around production that we had come to expect, and enjoy the discount that his numbers from last year provide.
4 weeks ago
Jesus Luzardo Note
Jesus Luzardo photo 99. Jesus Luzardo SP,RP
Luzardo's 2020 campaign wasn't terrible, but it certainly left fantasy managers wanting more. The strikeouts were there, but not quite at the level that was expected. He rarely went deep into games. And he was just more hittable than he ever was in the minors or in his brief time as a reliever in 2019. Luzardo throws four quality pitches and is working to improve his arsenal as we head into the 2021 season, so there's little reason to downgrade your opinion of him too much from where it was prior to the 2020 campaign because of one nine-start stretch. He's an incredibly high-upside pitcher who carries with him plenty of injury risk, and the combination leaves him as a solid SP3 for fantasy leagues.
4 weeks ago
Ramon Laureano Note
Ramon Laureano photo 125. Ramon Laureano CF,RF
Laureano had a down 2020, which included a .213 batting average and a sharp decline in his Statcast data, as well as his steal attempts. But he had provided a fairly solid baseline over the two prior seasons, with a .288 batting average, 29 home runs, and 20 steals while being caught just three times over 171 games. Laureano doesn't excel anywhere, but he'll chip in almost everywhere, and you can get him beyond the 12th round in most drafts. He's an ideal fourth outfielder in mixed leagues.
4 weeks ago
Trevor Rosenthal Note
Trevor Rosenthal photo 140. Trevor Rosenthal RP
After missing the 2018 season and most of the 2019 season, Rosenthal bounced back in a huge way last year. He stepped in as the Royals' closer, notching seven saves, and then was unhittable with the Padres after a mid-year trade. He parlayed his success into a one-year contract with the A's, where all signs point to him being the undisputed closer. Rosenthal was an outstanding reliever in his prime and once had back-to-back 45-save (or better) seasons. And his raw stuff looked excellent last year, as he totaled the best strikeout rate of his career. If he stays healthy, he has a shot at being a top-5 closer, but you can draft him a little later than that and likely make a profit.
4 weeks ago
Frankie Montas Note
Frankie Montas photo 145. Frankie Montas SP
Montas had a terrible 2020 season, but it was more than likely due to a back injury he suffered early on which probably bothered him throughout the year. He started off with four excellent starts (four runs and 22 strikeouts in 23 innings) before he was scratched with back tightness and returned with lower velocity. Yes, he had the PED suspension in 2019, but Montas's splitter was, and should continue to be when a healthy, a dominant pitch, and a healthy season should mean a return to being a starter you can "set and forget." If he can ever get away from throwing his sinker so much, and incorporate more of his splitter and/or four-seam fastball, he could be a monster. Montas was diagnosed with COVID-19 right at the start of spring training, but he has returned healthy and looked good in the spring, so he's an ideal sleeper.
4 weeks ago
Chris Bassitt Note
Chris Bassitt photo 183. Chris Bassitt SP
Bassitt doesn't wow you with his raw stuff, and is never going to be a high-strikeout pitcher. But he has above-average command and is able to generally limit hard contact and home runs. If he were being drafted on the basis of his 2.29 ERA last year then he would be someone to avoid, but the fact is he is never going to be drafted on the basis of his actual numbers given his sub-par strikeout rate and his significantly higher FIP and xFIP (versus his ERA). He can add plenty of value on the back end of a fantasy rotation, so long as you have strikeouts covered elsewhere.
4 weeks ago
Mark Canha Note
Mark Canha photo 206. Mark Canha 1B,LF,CF,RF
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.
4 weeks ago
Sean Murphy Note
Sean Murphy photo 220. Sean Murphy C
Murphy has pretty quietly put together two quality seasons in a row, albeit in limited samples. Over his past 63 games, he's put up 11 home runs, 35 runs scored, and 22 RBI, a pace that is more than respectable, even if it comes with a sub-par batting average. Murphy is dealing with a collapsed lung and may not be ready for the start of the season, but it doesn't sound like it will keep him out of action for long. He's a borderline starter in most mixed leagues, but he offers a decent floor if you miss our on more quality options.
4 weeks ago
Sean Manaea Note
Sean Manaea photo 225. Sean Manaea SP
Elvis Andrus Note
Elvis Andrus photo 279. Elvis Andrus SS
Jake Diekman Note
Jake Diekman photo 355. Jake Diekman RP
A.J. Puk Note
A.J. Puk photo 368. A.J. Puk RP
Stephen Piscotty Note
Stephen Piscotty photo 388. Stephen Piscotty RF
Daulton Jefferies Note
Daulton Jefferies photo 422. Daulton Jefferies SP
Mitch Moreland Note
Mitch Moreland photo 434. Mitch Moreland 1B
J.B. Wendelken Note
J.B. Wendelken photo 469. J.B. Wendelken RP
Yusmeiro Petit Note
Yusmeiro Petit photo 487. Yusmeiro Petit RP
Chad Pinder Note
Chad Pinder photo 499. Chad Pinder 2B,3B,LF,RF
Lou Trivino Note
Lou Trivino photo 517. Lou Trivino RP
Adam Kolarek Note
Adam Kolarek photo 540. Adam Kolarek RP
Sergio Romo Note
Sergio Romo photo 549. Sergio Romo RP
Mike Fiers Note
Mike Fiers photo 698. Mike Fiers SP
Tony Kemp Note
Tony Kemp photo 700. Tony Kemp 2B,LF,CF
Burch Smith Note
Burch Smith photo 753. Burch Smith RP
Trey Supak Note
Trey Supak photo 782. Trey Supak SP
Jed Lowrie Note
Jed Lowrie photo 831. Jed Lowrie 2B
Aramis Garcia Note
Aramis Garcia photo 833. Aramis Garcia C
Grant Holmes Note
Grant Holmes photo 864. Grant Holmes SP
Brian Howard Note
Brian Howard photo 879. Brian Howard
Parker Dunshee Note
Parker Dunshee photo 913. Parker Dunshee
Paul Blackburn Note
Paul Blackburn photo 952. Paul Blackburn SP
Seth Brown Note
Seth Brown photo 983. Seth Brown 1B,LF
Austin Allen Note
Austin Allen photo 1058. Austin Allen C
Deolis Guerra Note
Deolis Guerra photo 1091. Deolis Guerra RP
Ka'ai Tom Note
Ka'ai Tom photo 1154. Ka'ai Tom CF
Reymin Guduan Note
Reymin Guduan photo 1174. Reymin Guduan RP
Wandisson Charles Note
Wandisson Charles photo 1214. Wandisson Charles RP
James Kaprielian Note
James Kaprielian photo 1224. James Kaprielian RP
Vimael Machin Note
Vimael Machin photo 1229. Vimael Machin 3B,SS
Luis Barrera Note
Luis Barrera photo 1270. Luis Barrera CF
Cole Irvin Note
Cole Irvin photo 1314. Cole Irvin SP,RP
Jordan Weems Note
Jordan Weems photo 1319. Jordan Weems RP
Miguel Romero Note
Miguel Romero photo 1322. Miguel Romero RP
Buddy Reed Note
Buddy Reed photo 1531. Buddy Reed LF
Greg Deichmann Note
Greg Deichmann photo 1546. Greg Deichmann RF