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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Tyler Glasnow Note
Tyler Glasnow photo 50. Tyler Glasnow SP
Glasnow is really a fascinating case study. He followed up an incredible 60-inning stretch in 2019 (1.78 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 33% strikeout rate) with a bit of a step back last year (4.08 ERA and 1.13 WHIP). But his xFIP in 2020 (2.75) was actually lower than in 2019 (2.94), and his strikeout rate jumped to a whopping 38.2%. The real issue for Glasnow is that he's a two-pitch pitcher, and although both his fastball and curveball are outstanding, they need to be superb at all times for him to have a dominant season. And last year, they were both just a bit worse than the season prior, particularly his fastball. With enormous strikeout upside and a spot in the rotation of one of the best and most pitching-savvy teams in the Rays, Glasnow makes a fine SP2 for a fantasy team. But his injury history, and his lack of a third pitch, make him a bit riskier than others going in his range.
31 weeks ago
Randy Arozarena Note
Randy Arozarena photo 51. Randy Arozarena DH,LF,RF
Fantasy managers will likely remember Arozarena's remarkable postseason, when he slashed .377/.442/.831. But his regular season (.281/.382/.641) would make him a strong fantasy asset if he could repeat hit. Arozarena wasn't looked at as a high impact prospect, but he put on significant muscle before last year and it manifested itself in his power production. There's a 25-homer bat in his skill set, and the fact that he'll likely throw in 15-20 steals should give him a high floor regardless. Don't pay for the postseason, of course, but Arozarena should be a rock solid fantasy outfielder in 2021.
31 weeks ago
Nelson Cruz Note
Nelson Cruz photo 60. Nelson Cruz DH
If you ascribe to the "I'd rather jump off a year too early than too late" philosophy, then you probably haven't been drafting Cruz for the last several years. But if not, then you've not only drafted one of the most underrated fantasy bats in recent memory, but you're probably going to do so again this year. Cruz is back on a one-year deal with the Twins, and he's coming off another utterly dominant season. Fine, his strikeout rate rose again a bit, he didn't hit the ball quite as hard, and he's eligible at utility only. But other than the fact that he will be 41 years old this season, there's nothing in his profile that should cause you to expect significant decline. Prepare to be having the same debate next year, after Crus puts up another 35-homer season this year.
31 weeks ago
Austin Meadows Note
Austin Meadows photo 71. Austin Meadows DH,LF,RF
Meadows missed time with an oblique injury last year, and, more importantly, because of complications from COVID-19. Meadows's strikeout rate ballooned to 32.9% and his average fell to just .205 in 2020. Even if you expected regression from his 2019 season, he's just much better than a player who put up the 87 wRC+ and .292 wOBA we saw last year. Though it's absolutely fair to write off Meadows's season entirely, it's a bit worrisome that he struggled so much against lefties (.143 batting average), as that could potentially open him up to a platoon situation if he struggles against them out of the gate. The best course of action is to discount him from his numbers in 2019 for certain, but still buy him as a strong third outfielder, which should bake in the risk of any continued struggles against his upside.
31 weeks ago
Brandon Lowe Note
Brandon Lowe photo 79. Brandon Lowe 1B,2B,LF,RF
Lowe actually lost a point on his batting average from 2019 (.269 from .270), but his profile looked far better in 2020. He cut his strikeout rate from 34.6% to 25.9%, and his swinging strike rate from 19.1% to 15.4%. Despite barreling the ball a whopping 17.5% of the time (top 2 percent in baseball), his average dropped a point because, well, he just didn't have an outrageously lucky BABIP like he did in 2019 (.377). Lowe improved his ISO and HR/FB rate, and was generally the best version of himself in 2020. Even mashing together his 2019 and 2020 seasons, Lowe has hit 31 homers and stole eight bases over 138 games. Batting near the top of a strong lineup, he should deliver another solid season at the thin second base position.
31 weeks ago
Ryan Yarbrough Note
Ryan Yarbrough photo 244. Ryan Yarbrough SP,RP
Yarbrough doesn't get a ton of respect in the fantasy community because he doesn't strike out a ton of batters, but he's quietly put together an excellent career. He's practically a wizard at limiting hard contact (he has allowed an average exit velocity of 84.8 MPH and an average hard hit rate of 26.3%, both remarkably low numbers), and he rarely issues free passes or home runs. In other words, it's really difficult to string together big innings against Yarbrough, especially as he's continued to use his excellent changeup more and more. The Rays will probably let him go a little more this year with their rotation, but even if they keep his usage the same, he'll be an excellent addition to the back end of a fantasy staff.
31 weeks ago
Manuel Margot Note
Manuel Margot photo 260. Manuel Margot LF,CF,RF
Pete Fairbanks Note
Pete Fairbanks photo 283. Pete Fairbanks RP
Wander Franco Note
Wander Franco photo 288. Wander Franco 3B,SS
Nick Anderson Note
Nick Anderson photo 344. Nick Anderson RP
Anderson has a partial tear of his elbow ligament and, although he won't need surgery, he is likely out until after the All-Star Break. Although he can be dominant when healthy, there's no reason to draft and stash him at this point, given that he won't even be the sole closer for the Rays if and when he returns.
31 weeks ago
Joey Wendle Note
Joey Wendle photo 361. Joey Wendle 2B,3B,SS
Chris Archer Note
Chris Archer photo 413. Chris Archer SP
Kevin Kiermaier Note
Kevin Kiermaier photo 416. Kevin Kiermaier CF
Yandy Diaz Note
Yandy Diaz photo 436. Yandy Diaz 1B,3B,DH
Matt Wisler Note
Matt Wisler photo 465. Matt Wisler SP,RP
Francisco Mejia Note
Francisco Mejia photo 470. Francisco Mejia C
Luis Patino Note
Luis Patino photo 495. Luis Patino RP,SP
Mike Zunino Note
Mike Zunino photo 515. Mike Zunino C
Collin McHugh Note
Collin McHugh photo 534. Collin McHugh SP,RP
Josh Fleming Note
Josh Fleming photo 545. Josh Fleming RP,SP
Drew Rasmussen Note
Drew Rasmussen photo 557. Drew Rasmussen RP,SP
Ji-Man Choi Note
Ji-Man Choi photo 558. Ji-Man Choi 1B
Brendan McKay Note
Brendan McKay photo 570. Brendan McKay SP,DH
Mike Brosseau Note
Mike Brosseau photo 583. Mike Brosseau 1B,2B,3B
Jordan Luplow Note
Jordan Luplow photo 594. Jordan Luplow 1B,CF,LF,RF
Cody Reed Note
Cody Reed photo 597. Cody Reed RP
Michael Wacha Note
Michael Wacha photo 608. Michael Wacha SP,RP
Ryan Thompson Note
Ryan Thompson photo 623. Ryan Thompson RP
Brent Honeywell Jr. Note
Brent Honeywell Jr. photo 690. Brent Honeywell Jr. SP
J.P. Feyereisen Note
J.P. Feyereisen photo 709. J.P. Feyereisen RP
Aaron Slegers Note
Aaron Slegers photo 757. Aaron Slegers RP
Jeffrey Springs Note
Jeffrey Springs photo 786. Jeffrey Springs RP
Chaz Roe Note
Chaz Roe photo 796. Chaz Roe RP
Ryan Sherriff Note
Ryan Sherriff photo 799. Ryan Sherriff RP
Andrew Kittredge Note
Andrew Kittredge photo 842. Andrew Kittredge SP,RP
Shane McClanahan Note
Shane McClanahan photo 857. Shane McClanahan SP,RP
Vidal Brujan Note
Vidal Brujan photo 898. Vidal Brujan 2B
Chris Mazza Note
Chris Mazza photo 921. Chris Mazza SP,RP
David Robertson Note
David Robertson photo 951. David Robertson RP
Josh Lowe Note
Josh Lowe photo 1032. Josh Lowe 3B,CF
Tommy Hunter Note
Tommy Hunter photo 1036. Tommy Hunter RP
Oliver Drake Note
Oliver Drake photo 1049. Oliver Drake RP
Brett Phillips Note
Brett Phillips photo 1087. Brett Phillips CF,LF,RF
Colin Poche Note
Colin Poche photo 1150. Colin Poche RP
DJ Johnson Note
DJ Johnson photo 1151. DJ Johnson RP
Jalen Beeks Note
Jalen Beeks photo 1167. Jalen Beeks SP,RP
David Freitas Note
David Freitas photo 1424. David Freitas C
Taylor Walls Note
Taylor Walls photo 1522. Taylor Walls SS