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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Bryce Harper Note
Bryce Harper photo 14. Bryce Harper RF,DH
In 157 games in Harper's first year with the Phillies, he batted .260 with 35 home runs, 98 runs, 114 RBI, and 15 steals. In 2020, his 157-game pace was .268 with 35 home runs, 111 runs, 89 RBI, and 21 steals. In other words, Harper provides an incredibly safe baseline now with Philadelphia, and fantasy managers can expect roughly 35 home runs, 15-20 steals, and 220 combined runs and RBI. There were some gains for Harper in 2020, as he walked more and struck out less than he ever had in his career, and hit the ball as hard as ever. But there's no reason to expect much growth in Harper's surface numbers at this point. Take the incredibly high floor in the second round and be happy with it.
36 weeks ago
Aaron Nola Note
Aaron Nola photo 23. Aaron Nola SP
Nola bounced back from his disappointing 2019 campaign, and looked much closer to the 2018 breakout version of himself last year. His set a career mark in strikeout rate (33.2%, which ranked in the top nine percent in the league) and swinging strike rate (13.4%), and brought his walk rate down to just eight percent. Nola also got batters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone at a rate of 38.1%, far better than he had ever done in his career, and they made contact less than ever, at a rate of only 59.1%. The reason for the change was Nola relying far less on his fastball and more on his changeup, which kept hitters off balance and made both pitches more effective. Nola doesn't throw particularly hard, so his success relies much more on command and finding the right pitch mix, both of which he excelled at in 2020. If he can keep that going in 2021, and it's a good bet he will, he should be considered a fantasy ace.
36 weeks ago
J.T. Realmuto Note
J.T. Realmuto photo 53. J.T. Realmuto 1B,C
Realmuto fractured the thumb on his throwing hand in mid-February, and is iffy for Opening Day. He is in a tier to himself among catchers when healthy, putting up consistently excellent numbers in what is the thinnest of positions. He had the highest barrel rate and hard hit percentage of his career in 2020, and also walked at a career-best pace. Realmuto is in his age-30 season, so that's getting near the point where catchers begin to decline. But given that he's shown no real slippage in his skills to this point, his numbers shouldn't fall off much in 2021, assuming he has no setbacks and returns on or around Opening Day. Back with Philadelphia now and for several years after signing a five-year contract, Realmuto is the only catcher worth drafting before the sixth or seventh round.
36 weeks ago
Zack Wheeler Note
Zack Wheeler photo 92. Zack Wheeler SP
Wheeler's first season in Philadelphia was a success, in that he had the lowest ERA of his career (2.92) and a strong 1.17 WHIP. But his strikeout numbers plummeted, as he struck out just 18.4% of batters. The whiff rate on all of Wheeler's pitches, other than his "show me" curveball, dropped significantly, despite the fact that his velocity remained the same. If Wheeler can again excel at completely limiting hard contact like he did last season (his 85.7 MPH average exit velocity allowed ranked in the top 10% in baseball), then he can probably get away with the lack of strikeouts. Otherwise, he's unlikely to repeat his 2020 success. Given the shortened season, it's a good bet that Wheeler's strikeouts will bounce back, and you can slot him in as an SP3 without much worry.
36 weeks ago
Alec Bohm Note
Alec Bohm photo 103. Alec Bohm 1B,3B
Bohm's major league debut was a success, in that he batted a robust .338 with an .881 OPS. But despite hitting the ball hard consistently (his 10.3% barrel rate and 46.8% hard hit percentage was well above the major league average), he hit just four home runs, and his xBA was just .286. The problem is he simply pounded the ball into the ground, putting up a 53.2% ground ball rate and just 4.8 degrees of launch angle. Bohm never showed a ton of power in the minors, but he's just entering his age-25 season, so there's always room for growth. But for redraft leagues, buy him as a high-average bat with unexceptional power.
36 weeks ago
Rhys Hoskins Note
Rhys Hoskins photo 123. Rhys Hoskins 1B
Hoskins' stock was down heading into the 2020 season, after he batted just .229 and continued his three-year trend of declining in almost every noticeable category. But he was slashing .241/.381/.485 before he was hit by a pitch on his hand and struggled to finish the year. Last year, Hoskins slashed .245/.384/.503 and was on a 40-homer, 100-RBI pace, similar numbers to those he put up prior to his 2019 injury. Unfortunately, an elbow injury ended Hoskins' 2020 season early, and he had surgery in early October with a 4-6 month recovery timeframe. Everything looks good for Hoskins as of now, and assuming he has no setbacks as spring training ramps up, he should make a fine starting first baseman in mixed leagues.
36 weeks ago
Didi Gregorius Note
Didi Gregorius photo 137. Didi Gregorius SS
From a fantasy standpoint, Gregorius isn't special. He doesn't walk much, he's injury prone, and his Statcast data from 2020 was downright awful. But there is no denying that Gregorius knows how to take advantage of his home parks, first Yankee Stadium, and now Citizens Bank Park. With Gregorius back with the Phillies, you should again bank on his typical 25-homer power, good counting stats, and a handful of steals. Considering that he's rarely someone who fantasy managers target, his ADP will likely remain discounted, and he's a fine fallback option if you miss out on most of the early- or mid-round options.
36 weeks ago
Jean Segura Note
Jean Segura photo 180. Jean Segura 2B,3B,SS
Segura's strikeout rate ballooned last season to above 20%, though his walk rate also took a corresponding jump. But other than that, there wasn't much notable or exciting about his season. He ran a bit less than usual in the shortened year, but he still ranked in the 87th percentile in sprint speed, suggesting that the stolen base potential is still there if he wants to take it. The bigger issue with Segura as he enters his age-31 season is that there's almost no upside, as he'll bat near the bottom of the order and has established a fairly firm ceiling in his career. He's a borderline startable middle infielder in mixed leagues, but nothing more.
36 weeks ago
Zach Eflin Note
Zach Eflin photo 187. Zach Eflin SP
Jose Alvarado Note
Jose Alvarado photo 415. Jose Alvarado RP
Scott Kingery Note
Scott Kingery photo 450. Scott Kingery 2B,3B,CF,LF,RF,SS
Kyle Gibson Note
Kyle Gibson photo 492. Kyle Gibson SP,RP
Connor Brogdon Note
Connor Brogdon photo 505. Connor Brogdon RP
Roman Quinn Note
Roman Quinn photo 592. Roman Quinn CF
Nick Nelson Note
Nick Nelson photo 686. Nick Nelson RP
Ranger Suarez Note
Ranger Suarez photo 774. Ranger Suarez RP,SP
Ryan Sherriff Note
Ryan Sherriff photo 804. Ryan Sherriff RP
Tyler Phillips Note
Tyler Phillips photo 808. Tyler Phillips SP
Seranthony Dominguez Note
Seranthony Dominguez photo 823. Seranthony Dominguez RP
Adam Haseley Note
Adam Haseley photo 843. Adam Haseley LF,CF,RF
Damon Jones Note
Damon Jones photo 846. Damon Jones RP,SP
Scott Moss Note
Scott Moss photo 972. Scott Moss SP
Adonis Medina Note
Adonis Medina photo 1014. Adonis Medina RP,SP
Sam Coonrod Note
Sam Coonrod photo 1016. Sam Coonrod RP
Kent Emanuel Note
Kent Emanuel photo 1094. Kent Emanuel RP
Mickey Moniak Note
Mickey Moniak photo 1204. Mickey Moniak CF,LF
JoJo Romero Note
JoJo Romero photo 1249. JoJo Romero RP
Garrett Stubbs Note
Garrett Stubbs photo 1398. Garrett Stubbs C
Rafael Marchan Note
Rafael Marchan photo 1403. Rafael Marchan C
Darick Hall Note
Darick Hall photo 1469. Darick Hall 1B
Nick Maton Note
Nick Maton photo 1549. Nick Maton 2B,SS