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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.
36 weeks ago
Randy Arozarena Note
Randy Arozarena photo 51. Randy Arozarena 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.
36 weeks ago
Austin Meadows Note
Austin Meadows photo 71. Austin Meadows DH,LF
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.
36 weeks ago
Brandon Lowe Note
Brandon Lowe photo 78. Brandon Lowe 2B
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.
36 weeks ago
Corey Kluber Note
Corey Kluber photo 168. Corey Kluber SP
Kluber has pitched 36 2/3 innings combined over the last two years, and will now join the Yankees on a one-year deal. There's nothing to be gained from looking at his numbers since 2018, as the sample size is too small, and prior to that, he was a perennial Cy Young contender. There was a bit of a velocity drop at the end of his last healthy season, but he was also finishing up his fifth straight 200-inning season. In other words, his lack of innings over the last two years (due to injury) may wind up being a blessing in disguise for Kluber. His ADP has some helium based on how quickly the Yankees signed him, but so long as you bake in some pretty substantial injury risk, he's certainly worth drafting as an SP5 with upside.
36 weeks ago
Ryan Yarbrough Note
Ryan Yarbrough photo 243. Ryan Yarbrough SP
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.
36 weeks ago
Manuel Margot Note
Manuel Margot photo 262. Manuel Margot CF,LF,RF
Pete Fairbanks Note
Pete Fairbanks photo 284. Pete Fairbanks RP
Wander Franco Note
Wander Franco photo 287. Wander Franco SS
Nick Anderson Note
Nick Anderson photo 339. 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.
35 weeks ago
Joey Wendle Note
Joey Wendle photo 358. Joey Wendle 3B,SS
Chris Archer Note
Chris Archer photo 414. Chris Archer SP
Kevin Kiermaier Note
Kevin Kiermaier photo 417. Kevin Kiermaier CF
Yandy Diaz Note
Yandy Diaz photo 436. Yandy Diaz 1B,3B
Matt Wisler Note
Matt Wisler photo 466. Matt Wisler RP
Francisco Mejia Note
Francisco Mejia photo 470. Francisco Mejia C
Luis Patino Note
Luis Patino photo 495. Luis Patino SP
Mike Zunino Note
Mike Zunino photo 515. Mike Zunino C
Josh Fleming Note
Josh Fleming photo 545. Josh Fleming SP,RP
Drew Rasmussen Note
Drew Rasmussen photo 557. Drew Rasmussen SP,RP
Ji-Man Choi Note
Ji-Man Choi photo 558. Ji-Man Choi 1B
Brendan McKay Note
Brendan McKay photo 570. Brendan McKay DH,SP
Josh Lowe Note
Josh Lowe photo 577. Josh Lowe CF
Jordan Luplow Note
Jordan Luplow photo 595. Jordan Luplow CF,LF,RF
Ryan Thompson Note
Ryan Thompson photo 625. Ryan Thompson RP
J.P. Feyereisen Note
J.P. Feyereisen photo 712. J.P. Feyereisen RP
Aaron Slegers Note
Aaron Slegers photo 758. Aaron Slegers RP
Jeffrey Springs Note
Jeffrey Springs photo 788. Jeffrey Springs RP
Andrew Kittredge Note
Andrew Kittredge photo 844. Andrew Kittredge RP
Shane McClanahan Note
Shane McClanahan photo 854. Shane McClanahan SP
Vidal Brujan Note
Vidal Brujan photo 900. Vidal Brujan 2B
Brett Phillips Note
Brett Phillips photo 1087. Brett Phillips CF,RF
Colin Poche Note
Colin Poche photo 1150. Colin Poche RP
Jalen Beeks Note
Jalen Beeks photo 1167. Jalen Beeks RP
David Hess Note
David Hess photo 1300. David Hess RP
David Freitas Note
David Freitas photo 1424. David Freitas C
Taylor Walls Note
Taylor Walls photo 1522. Taylor Walls SS