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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Jack Flaherty Note
Jack Flaherty photo 30. Jack Flaherty SP
Flaherty ended up with a 4.91 ERA, but that hardly represents his actual performance, given that he allowed nine runs in a three-inning start in September. If you take out that outing, Flaherty had just a 3.13 ERA, and he didn't allow more than three earned runs in any of his eight other starts. Given that Flaherty's season was shorter than most due to the Cardinals' COVID-19 issues, it's fair to essentially throw out at that one abysmal outing, considering his other numbers were relatively consistent from 2019. Indeed, his swinging strike rate improved, as did his K/9 rate and ground ball percentage. With his devastating slider, Flaherty should still be considered one of the top pitchers in the real and fantasy game, and is capable of fronting a fantasy staff.
36 weeks ago
Nolan Arenado Note
Nolan Arenado photo 43. Nolan Arenado 3B
On the bright side, Arenado struck out just 10% of the time, a career-best. On the down side, there was everything else. Arenado batted just .253 and put up a 162-game pace of 27 home runs, 78 runs, 88 RBI, and zero steals. Those numbers won't kill your fantasy team, but considering Arenado's worst numbers over the previous five seasons were 37 home runs, 97 runs scored, and 110 RBI, they were a disaster. The good news, at least from the standpoint of projecting Arenado into the future, is that he was dealing with an injured AC joint in his shoulder for most of the season. In other words, fantasy managers can largely ignore Arenado's poor 2020 numbers, and focus instead on how he will perform now that he's been traded to the Cardinals. Although there's likely to be some dip in his numbers, we've seen hitters leave the Rockies and largely retain their value (or, in the case of DJ LeMahieu, increase their value), The best part is you won't have to pay that first-round price anymore, and if his ADP drops after the trade to St. Louis, it should be easy to turn a profit.
36 weeks ago
Paul Goldschmidt Note
Paul Goldschmidt photo 65. Paul Goldschmidt 1B
Goldschmidt had an interesting 2020 season, during which he brought his batting average back up to .304 and his walk rate to 16%, while simultaneously dropping his strikeout rate to a career best 18.6%. After swinging more than he ever had in his first season with the Cardinals, Goldschmidt returned to the patient approach he had developed throughout his career, swinging at just 40.5% of pitches (after a 46.4% swinging strike rate the year before). But while his average went up, his power waned, as he hit just six home runs and had a career-worst .466 slugging percentage. Nolan Arenado batting behind him this year should help, and he had bone chips removed from his elbow this offseason. There could be another big-time power season left in Goldschmidt's bat, but the more likely scenario is that he will put up solid but unspectacular production at the first base position.
36 weeks ago
Tommy Edman Note
Tommy Edman photo 153. Tommy Edman 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF
After a highly successful 2019 season in which he hit 11 home runs and stole 15 bases in 92 games, Edman's numbers regressed in nearly every meaningful way last year. His batting average slipped from .304 to just .250, he hit just five home runs, and he went 2-for-6 in stolen base attempts. Edman was a bit unlucky last year, as his xBA and xSLG outperformed his actual numbers. And despite his down year on the basepaths, he was in the 95th percentile in sprint speed. He's likely to lead off for the Cardinals this year, and should be good for double digits in both home runs and steals, with plenty of runs scored. Considering he has multi-position eligibility, he should be drafted before the double-digit rounds.
36 weeks ago
Dylan Carlson Note
Dylan Carlson photo 155. Dylan Carlson LF,CF,RF
Carlson caught major buzz heading into the season last year as he looked likely to earn an everyday role in the outfield, but he sputtered for much of the season even when he did play, slashing just .200/.252/.364 with three home runs in 119 plate appearances. But he had a successful, albeit brief, post-season, and now again looks ready to claim a starting outfield spot for the Cardinals. Carlson is just 22 years old and has a strong minor-league track record. If he can hold down his spot, he has 25-15 potential, and should hit for a solid average. Given his age and his poor 2020 season, there's some obvious risk, but the draft capital necessary to get him on your team is not prohibitive, and his upside should make him a target in all formats.
36 weeks ago
Paul DeJong Note
Paul DeJong photo 184. Paul DeJong SS
Jordan Hicks Note
Jordan Hicks photo 244. Jordan Hicks RP
Hicks is likely to serve as the Cardinals' closer this year if he can show that he has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. He totaled 20 saves from 2018-2019 before hurting his elbow, and then opted out of last season, in part because of setbacks in his recovery. Early reports from the spring are promising, and it seems that the Cardinals want him and his 100+ MPH fastball to lead the way in the ninth inning. Monitor his health in the spring, but draft him late for now and expect saves so long as he is healthy.
36 weeks ago
Giovanny Gallegos Note
Giovanny Gallegos photo 273. Giovanny Gallegos RP
Gallegos pitched well last year with the Cardinals despite seeing limited innings because of his difficulty in getting to the states in the middle of a pandemic. But he was effective when he pithed, and owns a career 3.06 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 31.6% strikeout rate. The Cardinals want Jordan Hicks to be their closer, but Gallegos will undoubtedly be in the mix should Hick prove ineffective or suffer a setback in his return from Tommy John surgery.
36 weeks ago
Yadier Molina Note
Yadier Molina photo 295. Yadier Molina C
The ageless wonder is back for another year in St. Louis as he enters his age-39 season. Molina isn't what he once was - the token stolen bases are gone and his runs scored continue to decline. But he has yet to fall off a cliff in either batting average of power, and his numbers there are still mildly enticing for a catcher. The run is going to end some day, perhaps this year, but the cost is that of a middling second catcher, and his track record suggests he'll again be worth that price.
36 weeks ago
Tyler O'Neill Note
Tyler O'Neill photo 338. Tyler O'Neill LF
Alex Reyes Note
Alex Reyes photo 373. Alex Reyes RP
Miles Mikolas Note
Miles Mikolas photo 380. Miles Mikolas SP
Adam Wainwright Note
Adam Wainwright photo 385. Adam Wainwright SP
Harrison Bader Note
Harrison Bader photo 438. Harrison Bader CF
Genesis Cabrera Note
Genesis Cabrera photo 532. Genesis Cabrera RP
Steven Matz Note
Steven Matz photo 554. Steven Matz SP
Dakota Hudson Note
Dakota Hudson photo 580. Dakota Hudson SP
Ryan Helsley Note
Ryan Helsley photo 663. Ryan Helsley RP
Andrew Knizner Note
Andrew Knizner photo 750. Andrew Knizner C
Anderson Tejeda Note
Anderson Tejeda photo 764. Anderson Tejeda 3B,SS
Ljay Newsome Note
Ljay Newsome photo 776. Ljay Newsome RP,SP
Kodi Whitley Note
Kodi Whitley photo 872. Kodi Whitley RP
Angel Rondon Note
Angel Rondon photo 918. Angel Rondon RP,SP
Kyle Ryan Note
Kyle Ryan photo 986. Kyle Ryan RP
Johan Oviedo Note
Johan Oviedo photo 1093. Johan Oviedo SP
Seth Elledge Note
Seth Elledge photo 1170. Seth Elledge RP
Junior Fernandez Note
Junior Fernandez photo 1186. Junior Fernandez RP
Edmundo Sosa Note
Edmundo Sosa photo 1207. Edmundo Sosa 2B,SS
Johan Quezada Note
Johan Quezada photo 1278. Johan Quezada RP
Brandon Waddell Note
Brandon Waddell photo 1345. Brandon Waddell RP
T.J. McFarland Note
T.J. McFarland photo 1351. T.J. McFarland RP
Jake Woodford Note
Jake Woodford photo 1385. Jake Woodford RP,SP
T.J. Zeuch Note
T.J. Zeuch photo 1392. T.J. Zeuch SP
Ali Sanchez Note
Ali Sanchez photo 1413. Ali Sanchez C
Evan Mendoza Note
Evan Mendoza photo 1517. Evan Mendoza 3B
Kramer Robertson Note
Kramer Robertson photo 1541. Kramer Robertson 2B,SS