Skip to main content

Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Juan Soto Note
Juan Soto photo 4. Juan Soto LF,RF
There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe what Soto has done in his career given his young age. Had he merely repeated his incredible 2019 numbers last season, fantasy managers would have been ecstatic. Instead, he upped his walk rate from an elite 16.4% to a truly remarkable 20.9%, cut his strikeout rate down to just 14.3%, and batted .351. Soto does not have the speed or baserunning chops to steal 30 bases in a season, which is the only thing keeping him from being considered worthy of drafting first overall. But given what he's accomplished through his age-21 season, it's truly scary to think of how high his ceiling may be. Draft him as a top-five pick and enjoy the ridiculous production.
1 day ago
Trea Turner Note
Trea Turner photo 7. Trea Turner SS
Turner was the best version of himself in 2020, slashing his strikeout rate to below 14% and setting career bests in batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, wOBA, and wRC+. Above all, Turner locks down two incredibly scarce categories for fantasy managers, stolen bases and batting average, while offering production in the other three hitting categories. Still just entering his age-28 season, Turner is in the prime of his career, and should continue to put up stellar numbers. He's a top-eight pick in rotisserie leagues.
1 day ago
Max Scherzer Note
Max Scherzer photo 26. Max Scherzer SP
Scherzer had a decent season for a mortal, but for someone with his career track record, it was a major disappointment. His 3.74 ERA was his highest since 2012, his 1.38 WHIP the highest of his career, and his 7.8% walk percentage his worst in a decade. Scherzer still struck out plenty of batters but entering his age-37 season and with a ton of mileage on his arm, it's only fair to accept that the old Scherzer is gone for good. But though he may not be a consensus top-three starter anymore, he's still perfectly capable of being a fantasy ace. After all, Scherzer's velocity hasn't declined much, and his 31.2% strikeout rate was tied for 10th among starters. Scherzer likely won't reach 200 innings pitched again and his ERA seems destined to remain above 3.00 going forward, but he's far from someone to avoid in fantasy drafts.
1 day ago
Stephen Strasburg Note
Stephen Strasburg photo 66. Stephen Strasburg SP
Strasburg was limited to just five innings in 2020, with an injury that eventually required carpal tunnel syndrome. Although that's a minor surgery, the truth is that fantasy managers have very little data as to the impact and/or successful recovery rate after that surgery for pitchers. Strasburg's a tricky draft pick in any given year - he always provides strong value when he's on the mound, but has only topped 200 innings pitched twice in his career. Now entering his age-33 season, Strasburg will likely again provide excellent overall numbers assuming he shows he's fully recovered in spring training, but anything more than 160 innings is gravy.
1 day ago
Patrick Corbin Note
Patrick Corbin photo 129. Patrick Corbin SP
Corbin had a disastrous 2020 season, during which he went 2-7 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. His strikeout rate plummeted, and his velocity dropped significantly, with his fastball seeing a dip of almost two miles per hour. Corbin leans heavily into his slider, and he needs it to be pristine to be an effective pitcher. And although it wasn't a terrible pitch in 2020, the swinging strike rate on it dropped from 28.1% to 21.2%, and the whiff rate from 52% to just 38.2%. If the loss in velocity and effectiveness of his slider were entirely due to the oddities of the shortened season, then Corbin is going to be a major value in drafts this year. But if not, then his days as a "set it and forget it" starter are likely over. Monitor Corbin's performance this spring, particularly with his velocity. If it's back up to prior levels, then push him up your board significantly.
1 day ago
Josh Bell Note
Josh Bell photo 130. Josh Bell 1B,DH
Bell looked like a superstar in the making in the first half of 2019, but struggled for much of the second half of the season and then fell off a cliff in 2020. He slashed a mere .226/.305/.364 and hit only eight home runs. His strikeout and ground ball rates took massive jumps, while his walk rate and launch angle plummeted. Bell blamed his struggles on his swing getting long, and you could tell by how often he changed his stance and swing last year that he simply could not figure things out. Now with the Nationals, the 29-year-old Bell will have a chance to revive his career. We've seen the upside, so he's certainly worth drafting at a discount, but he's much more of a borderline corner infielder than a starting-caliber first baseman.
1 day ago
Brad Hand Note
Brad Hand photo 131. Brad Hand RP
Hand joins the Nationals on a one-year deal after Cleveland declined his option. His velocity declined a bit last season, but the league's collective lack of interest in Hand is surprising, given that he's coming off one of the best seasons of his career, led the league in saves, has been a top-10 reliever over the last five seasons, and is a lefty. Dave Martinez wants Hand to be the Nationals' closer based on his comments, but it's unclear whether he'll be the sole option. The Nationals barely have another lefty reliever in their bullpen, let alone a reliable one, so chances are that Hand will be deployed earlier in the game if the opposing team has multiple left-handed hitters due up. All that to say that Hand is a reliable reliever who you should draft for his overall numbers, but he may provide fewer saves than most traditional closers.
1 day ago
Victor Robles Note
Victor Robles photo 155. Victor Robles CF,RF
There were plenty of warning signs with Robles' batted-ball data heading into 2020, and they're only greater now after an abysmal season during which he slashed .220/.293/.315. The MLB average in barrel rate and average exit velocity are 6.4% and 88.3 MPH, respectively. Robles clocked in at 4.8% and 83.3 MPH in 2019, and then fell to a ridiculous 1.7% and 82.2 MPH in 2020. His continously poor contact limits any upside, but it's worth noting that he still hit 17 homers and stole 28 bases in 2019 despite it all. Robles is still just entering his age-24 season, so massive long-term growth is still certainly on the table. But for now, it's impossible to justify drafting him as anything more than a fifth outfielder in mixed leagues.
1 day ago
Kyle Schwarber Note
Kyle Schwarber photo 176. Kyle Schwarber LF
Schwarber gave back many of his 2019 gains last year, seeing a rise in strikeout rate (29.5%) and his batting average dropping to an abysmal .188. But Schwarber's season was far from linear: over the first half of the season, he slashed .230/.343/.448, but those numbers dropped to .154/.279/.346 over the second half. At the same time, he continued to hit the ball extremely hard, with a 92.8 MPH average exit velocity, which was top 5% in the league. Given his consistently hard contact, the better course of action seems to forgive Schwarber for what amounted to an extremely poor 24-game stretch to close out the season. Now batting in the middle of the Nationals lineup with a fresh start and entering his age-28 season, Schwarber should rebound to somewhere between his 2018 and 2019 numbers.
1 day ago
Starlin Castro Note
Starlin Castro photo 309. Starlin Castro 2B,3B
Yan Gomes Note
Yan Gomes photo 353. Yan Gomes C
Tanner Rainey Note
Tanner Rainey photo 383. Tanner Rainey RP
Daniel Hudson Note
Daniel Hudson photo 430. Daniel Hudson RP
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 455. Luis Garcia 2B
Will Harris Note
Will Harris photo 553. Will Harris RP
Andrew Stevenson Note
Andrew Stevenson photo 560. Andrew Stevenson LF
Carter Kieboom Note
Carter Kieboom photo 574. Carter Kieboom 3B,SS
Alex Avila Note
Alex Avila photo 621. Alex Avila C
Jeremy Jeffress Note
Jeremy Jeffress photo 654. Jeremy Jeffress RP
Jon Lester Note
Jon Lester photo 682. Jon Lester SP
Austin Voth Note
Austin Voth photo 688. Austin Voth SP
Rogelio Armenteros Note
Rogelio Armenteros photo 753. Rogelio Armenteros SP,RP
Joe Ross Note
Joe Ross photo 787. Joe Ross SP,RP
Josh Harrison Note
Josh Harrison photo 898. Josh Harrison 2B,3B
Wander Suero Note
Wander Suero photo 926. Wander Suero RP
Kyle Finnegan Note
Kyle Finnegan photo 956. Kyle Finnegan RP
Yadiel Hernandez Note
Yadiel Hernandez photo 978. Yadiel Hernandez DH
Kyle McGowin Note
Kyle McGowin photo 981. Kyle McGowin RP
Jefry Rodriguez Note
Jefry Rodriguez photo 982. Jefry Rodriguez SP,RP
Luis Avilan Note
Luis Avilan photo 1094. Luis Avilan RP
Ryne Harper Note
Ryne Harper photo 1105. Ryne Harper RP
Steven Fuentes Note
Steven Fuentes photo 1122. Steven Fuentes SP,RP
Aaron Barrett Note
Aaron Barrett photo 1157. Aaron Barrett RP
Sam Clay Note
Sam Clay photo 1172. Sam Clay RP
Paolo Espino Note
Paolo Espino photo 1212. Paolo Espino P,RP,SP
Javy Guerra Note
Javy Guerra photo 1217. Javy Guerra RP
Seth Romero Note
Seth Romero photo 1231. Seth Romero RP
T.J. McFarland Note
T.J. McFarland photo 1260. T.J. McFarland RP
Dakota Bacus Note
Dakota Bacus photo 1262. Dakota Bacus RP
Erick Fedde Note
Erick Fedde photo 1275. Erick Fedde SP,RP
Ben Braymer Note
Ben Braymer photo 1300. Ben Braymer P,RP,SP
Welington Castillo Note
Welington Castillo photo 1311. Welington Castillo C
Ryan Zimmerman Note
Ryan Zimmerman photo 1341. Ryan Zimmerman 1B,3B
Tres Barrera Note
Tres Barrera photo 1348. Tres Barrera C
Raudy Read Note
Raudy Read photo 1360. Raudy Read C
Gerardo Parra Note
Gerardo Parra photo 1370. Gerardo Parra 1B,CF,LF,RF
Jordy Mercer Note
Jordy Mercer photo 1410. Jordy Mercer 1B,2B,SS
Jake Noll Note
Jake Noll photo 1436. Jake Noll 1B,Util
Hernan Perez Note
Hernan Perez photo 1473. Hernan Perez 1B,2B,3B,SS
Nick Banks Note
Nick Banks photo 1492. Nick Banks RF
Adrian Sanchez Note
Adrian Sanchez photo 1512. Adrian Sanchez 2B,3B
Yasmany Tomas Note
Yasmany Tomas photo 1526. Yasmany Tomas LF,RF,DH