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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.
37 weeks ago
Stephen Strasburg Note
Stephen Strasburg photo 73. 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 is healthy. He looks great in the spring, though he's currently battling a minor calf injury, though it shouldn't keep him out for long. Draft him as an SP2, but anything more than 160 innings is gravy.
37 weeks ago
Josh Bell Note
Josh Bell photo 119. 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.
37 weeks 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.
37 weeks ago
Victor Robles Note
Victor Robles photo 134. Victor Robles CF
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.
37 weeks ago
Cesar Hernandez Note
Cesar Hernandez photo 304. Cesar Hernandez 2B
Tanner Rainey Note
Tanner Rainey photo 371. Tanner Rainey RP
Will Harris Note
Will Harris photo 490. Will Harris RP
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 511. Luis Garcia 2B
Carter Kieboom Note
Carter Kieboom photo 596. Carter Kieboom 3B
Lane Thomas Note
Lane Thomas photo 615. Lane Thomas RF,LF,CF
Kyle Finnegan Note
Kyle Finnegan photo 653. Kyle Finnegan RP
Andrew Stevenson Note
Andrew Stevenson photo 728. Andrew Stevenson LF,RF,CF
Austin Voth Note
Austin Voth photo 762. Austin Voth SP,RP
Josiah Gray Note
Josiah Gray photo 790. Josiah Gray SP
Erick Fedde Note
Erick Fedde photo 894. Erick Fedde SP
Joe Ross Note
Joe Ross photo 955. Joe Ross RP,SP
Jefry Rodriguez Note
Jefry Rodriguez photo 997. Jefry Rodriguez SP,RP
Keibert Ruiz Note
Keibert Ruiz photo 1039. Keibert Ruiz C
Welington Castillo Note
Welington Castillo photo 1052. Welington Castillo C
Yadiel Hernandez Note
Yadiel Hernandez photo 1060. Yadiel Hernandez DH,RF,LF
Patrick Murphy Note
Patrick Murphy photo 1079. Patrick Murphy RP
Luis Avilan Note
Luis Avilan photo 1158. Luis Avilan RP
Victor Arano Note
Victor Arano photo 1172. Victor Arano RP
Lucius Fox Note
Lucius Fox photo 1271. Lucius Fox SS
Seth Romero Note
Seth Romero photo 1316. Seth Romero RP
Sam Clay Note
Sam Clay photo 1330. Sam Clay RP
Paolo Espino Note
Paolo Espino photo 1357. Paolo Espino SP,RP
Ben Braymer Note
Ben Braymer photo 1384. Ben Braymer SP
Tres Barrera Note
Tres Barrera photo 1411. Tres Barrera C
Jake Noll Note
Jake Noll photo 1483. Jake Noll 1B