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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.
2 days 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.
2 days ago
J.T. Realmuto Note
J.T. Realmuto photo 51. J.T. Realmuto 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.
2 days ago
Zack Wheeler Note
Zack Wheeler photo 95. 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.
2 days ago
Alec Bohm Note
Alec Bohm photo 110. 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.
2 days ago
Rhys Hoskins Note
Rhys Hoskins photo 133. 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.
2 days ago
Didi Gregorius Note
Didi Gregorius photo 141. 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.
2 days ago
Andrew McCutchen Note
Andrew McCutchen photo 167. Andrew McCutchen LF,CF,DH
Jean Segura Note
Jean Segura photo 185. 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.
2 days ago
Zach Eflin Note
Zach Eflin photo 209. Zach Eflin SP
Hector Neris Note
Hector Neris photo 252. Hector Neris RP
Neris has been the Phillies' primary closer for the past four seasons, but 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 if he wins the job out of spring training, which is still a big if. Draft him as the first Phillies reliever, but don't rush to do so.
2 days ago
Archie Bradley Note
Archie Bradley photo 268. Archie Bradley RP
Bradley joined the Phillies on a one-year deal after a successful 2020 season with Arizona and Philadelphia. He performed admirably over the past two seasons as the Diamondbacks' closer, and last year put up a very solid 2.95 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 24.7% strikeout rate. The Phillies were open about their desire to add some velocity to their bullpen and Bradley does just that. But although Joe Girardi has indicated he'd like set roles for the Phillies' bullpen, those roles may not be decided until close to the end of spring training. Bradley is worth drafting, but only late, as he may go back to his former role as a setup man.
2 days ago
Scott Kingery Note
Scott Kingery photo 351. Scott Kingery 2B,3B,SS,LF,CF
Brandon Kintzler Note
Brandon Kintzler photo 371. Brandon Kintzler RP
Spencer Howard Note
Spencer Howard photo 386. Spencer Howard SP
Matt Moore Note
Matt Moore photo 481. Matt Moore SP
Jose Alvarado Note
Jose Alvarado photo 484. Jose Alvarado RP
Roman Quinn Note
Roman Quinn photo 514. Roman Quinn CF
Chase Anderson Note
Chase Anderson photo 544. Chase Anderson SP,RP
Vince Velasquez Note
Vince Velasquez photo 549. Vince Velasquez SP,RP
Connor Brogdon Note
Connor Brogdon photo 594. Connor Brogdon RP
Andrew Knapp Note
Andrew Knapp photo 641. Andrew Knapp C
Tony Watson Note
Tony Watson photo 656. Tony Watson RP
Adam Haseley Note
Adam Haseley photo 679. Adam Haseley LF,CF,RF
Hector Rondon Note
Hector Rondon photo 687. Hector Rondon RP
Seranthony Dominguez Note
Seranthony Dominguez photo 699. Seranthony Dominguez RP
Damon Jones Note
Damon Jones photo 837. Damon Jones SP
Brad Miller Note
Brad Miller photo 842. Brad Miller 2B,3B,LF,DH
Odubel Herrera Note
Odubel Herrera photo 939. Odubel Herrera 2B,CF
Ivan Nova Note
Ivan Nova photo 947. Ivan Nova SP
Adonis Medina Note
Adonis Medina photo 1056. Adonis Medina SP
Ranger Suarez Note
Ranger Suarez photo 1089. Ranger Suarez RP
JoJo Romero Note
JoJo Romero photo 1096. JoJo Romero RP
Neftali Feliz Note
Neftali Feliz photo 1154. Neftali Feliz SP,RP
David Hale Note
David Hale photo 1170. David Hale RP
Mauricio Llovera Note
Mauricio Llovera photo 1173. Mauricio Llovera RP
Ramon Rosso Note
Ramon Rosso photo 1179. Ramon Rosso RP
Sam Coonrod Note
Sam Coonrod photo 1229. Sam Coonrod RP
Jeff Mathis Note
Jeff Mathis photo 1301. Jeff Mathis C
Matt Joyce Note
Matt Joyce photo 1305. Matt Joyce LF,RF,DH
Rafael Marchan Note
Rafael Marchan photo 1322. Rafael Marchan C
Christian Bethancourt Note
Christian Bethancourt photo 1329. Christian Bethancourt C,RP
Mickey Moniak Note
Mickey Moniak photo 1386. Mickey Moniak LF,Util
Austin Listi Note
Austin Listi photo 1395. Austin Listi 1B
C.J. Chatham Note
C.J. Chatham photo 1401. C.J. Chatham SS
Ronald Torreyes Note
Ronald Torreyes photo 1421. Ronald Torreyes SS,Util
Travis Jankowski Note
Travis Jankowski photo 1487. Travis Jankowski CF,Util
Nick Maton Note
Nick Maton photo 1513. Nick Maton SS