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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Shane Bieber Note
Shane Bieber photo 3. Shane Bieber SP
Bieber took the huge gains he had made in 2019 and kicked the into hyperdrive en route to a Cy Young season. He had a miniscule 1.63 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP, and took his strikeout percentage to 41.1%, which ranked first among qualified starters. Everything was exceptional for Bieber, as he held batters to just a .167 batting average, barely allowed home runs, and earned eight wins in just 12 starts. He may struggle to again find wins given the Indians' depleted lineup, but there is nothing else to think twice about with Bieber. He's part of the ultra-elite tier in starting pitching with Jacob deGrom and Gerrit Cole, and should be a first-round selection, especially since he seems to have had no ill effects from his battle with COVID-19.
37 weeks ago
Zach Plesac Note
Zach Plesac photo 35. Zach Plesac SP
Plesac is getting a ton of love for his eight excellent starts in 2020, but there's plenty of reason to be cautious. His FIP, xFIP, xERA, and SIERA were all more than a run higher than his ERA, and both his strikeout rate and walk rate significantly outproduced what he showed he could do in the minors. Yes, Plesac altered his pitch mix, throwing fewer fastballs and instead more sliders and changeups, so if you're looking for a reason to buy the gains, you have one. But he had a ridiculous 91.7% LOB rate, and even with his ability to limit hard contact, his BABIP against should rise from the .224 mark last year. Plesac can help a fantasy staff, but manage expectations significantly.
37 weeks ago
James Karinchak Note
James Karinchak photo 49. James Karinchak RP
Karinchak is expected to be Cleveland's closer after Brad Hand moved on to the Nationals, though it's not a sure thing yet. Yes, he walks too many batters (5.33 per nine innings), but you can get away with it when you strike out nearly half the batters you face and hitters bat .151 against you overall. Karinchak has two absolutely devastating pitches: a mid-90's fastball (.184 batting average against, .151 xBA) and a power curveball (.140 batting average against, .114 xBA). Cleveland may not have a ton of success this year and hence save opportunities may be limited, but Karinchak can be a dominant fantasy reliever if he gets the job. Monitor reports out of the spring to see when and if Terry Francona formerly anoints him as the closer. If he does, he should vault to being a top-6 or 7 reliever.
37 weeks ago
Aaron Civale Note
Aaron Civale photo 64. Aaron Civale SP
Civale fits the mold of the Cleveland pitcher over the last few seasons: start with the command, and let the team work on the rest. That's how Civale has found success the last two seasons, and continues to do so in the spring. He's never going to be a high-strikeout pitcher - he never was in the minors and his fastball sits in about the 91 MPH range. But his ability to limit free passes and hard contact means that he shouldn't hurt a fantasy rotation. He's a high-floor, low-ceiling starter, who is ideal for the back end of a fantasy staff.
37 weeks ago
Triston McKenzie Note
Triston McKenzie photo 71. Triston McKenzie SP
McKenzie had a very successful major league debut last year, pitching to a 3.24 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, and a 33.1% strikeout rate. His talent isn't in question at this point, but his health certainly is. McKenzie has a very slight build and has missed time with injury in his minor league career, including all of the 2019 season. Even if he stays healthy all year, Cleveland is likely to put a hard cap on his innings. There's a reward, but there's plenty of risk to go with it. Draft him for the back end of your rotation and hope he gets to 140 innings.
37 weeks ago
Emmanuel Clase Note
Emmanuel Clase photo 165. Emmanuel Clase RP
Cal Quantrill Note
Cal Quantrill photo 221. Cal Quantrill SP,RP
Logan Allen Note
Logan Allen photo 258. Logan Allen SP,RP
Oliver Perez Note
Oliver Perez photo 318. Oliver Perez RP
Alex Young Note
Alex Young photo 370. Alex Young SP,RP
Trevor Stephan Note
Trevor Stephan photo 397. Trevor Stephan RP,SP
Ethan Hankins Note
Ethan Hankins photo 405. Ethan Hankins SP
Daniel Espino Note
Daniel Espino photo 411. Daniel Espino SP
Eli Morgan Note
Eli Morgan photo 625. Eli Morgan SP
Logan Allen Note
Logan Allen photo 646. Logan Allen P
Nick Sandlin Note
Nick Sandlin photo 684. Nick Sandlin RP
Sam Hentges Note
Sam Hentges photo 769. Sam Hentges RP,SP
Enyel De Los Santos Note
Enyel De Los Santos photo 793. Enyel De Los Santos SP,RP