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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Zack Greinke Note
Zack Greinke photo 29. Zack Greinke SP
Greinke is entering his age-37 season, but still somehow keeps getting it done. His ERA of 4.03 last year was certainly higher than fantasy managers are used to seeing, but it came with a 2.80 FIP and 3.51 xFIP. His strikeout rate was his best since 2017 and his walk rate of 3.3% was the best of his entire career. But his velocity was down about two ticks, with his fastball clocking in at just 87.9 miles per hour. Greinke is as smart a pitcher as there is but it's going to be difficult to succeed over the course of a full 162-game season if his pure stuff continues to diminish. He's one of the few pitchers in the game who is probably capable of pitching 200 innings in 2021, but expect a continued downward trend in his performance.
30 weeks ago
Lance McCullers Jr. Note
Lance McCullers Jr. photo 37. Lance McCullers Jr. SP
McCullers made a successful return from Tommy John surgery after missing the 2019 season and looked almost exactly like the 2018 version of himself. His ERA (3.93) and WHIP (1.16) were within seven-tenths of a point of his 2018 numbers, and his walk and strikeout rates fell just slightly. McCullers relied a bit more on his sinker and less on his curveball than in past years, but the two work well together and he continued to throw them in combination about 80% of the time. In short, what you thought of McCullers heading into 2018 is pretty much what you should think of him now. Unfortunately, that includes concerns about his innings, because after a missed year and 55 innings last year, the chances of him topping 150 innings this season are remote. Buy him at his production, but understand that there's likely a hard cap on his innings total.
30 weeks ago
Ryan Pressly Note
Ryan Pressly photo 39. Ryan Pressly RP
Pressly had his usual solid season, but got the benefit of closing for the Astros after Roberto Osuna's injury. His numbers fell off a bit from the previous two years (his 1.33 WHIP was particularly out of character), but he will almost certainly rebound from the .365 BABIP he allowed. He's slated to again be the Astros' closer, and as such, should provide plenty of saves while giving fantasy managers positive value in ratios. That makes him one of the few reliable closers worth drafting at more than a late-round price.
30 weeks ago
Jose Urquidy Note
Jose Urquidy photo 68. Jose Urquidy SP
Rafael Montero Note
Rafael Montero photo 70. Rafael Montero RP
Montero wound up closing for the Rangers and totaling eight saves in 2020, but it wasn't a particularly special season. His hard-hit rate and walk-rate increased from his strong 2019 season, and he totaled a 4.08 ERA. Now with Seattle, Montero's best asset may be his lack of competition for the closer's role, as Seattle has struggled for several seasons to find a reliable ninth-inning option. Draft Montero as a mid-tier closer, who you're taking more for his job security than his spectacular numbers.
30 weeks ago
Cristian Javier Note
Cristian Javier photo 91. Cristian Javier RP,SP
Jake Odorizzi Note
Jake Odorizzi photo 93. Jake Odorizzi SP
Framber Valdez Note
Framber Valdez photo 113. Framber Valdez SP,RP
Valdez was shaping up to be a fine sleeper this year, after he had a highly successful stint in the Astros rotation last year. But he fractured his finger early in spring training and the expectation is that he'll miss significant time, though recent reports are far more optimistic than the initial season-ending variety. Drop him down a ton from where you initially had him ranked, but draft him toward the back end of your rotation where the risk/reward balance should equalize.
30 weeks ago
Yimi Garcia Note
Yimi Garcia photo 154. Yimi Garcia RP
Garcia was the favorite for saves in Miami until the team signed Anthony Bass, and now his exact role in the bullpen is unclear. He struck out 31.7% of the batter he faced last year, and put up a 0.80 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He's got more prototypical "closer's stuff" than Bass does, and he has a lengthy relationship with Don Mattingly dating back to their Dodgers days. Draft Garcia late and hope he wins the job, but make sure you have other options.
30 weeks ago
Pedro Baez Note
Pedro Baez photo 240. Pedro Baez RP
Enoli Paredes Note
Enoli Paredes photo 254. Enoli Paredes RP
Phil Maton Note
Phil Maton photo 260. Phil Maton RP
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 290. Luis Garcia RP,SP
Blake Taylor Note
Blake Taylor photo 301. Blake Taylor RP
Kendall Graveman Note
Kendall Graveman photo 360. Kendall Graveman RP
Brooks Raley Note
Brooks Raley photo 388. Brooks Raley RP
Josh James Note
Josh James photo 406. Josh James RP
Justin Verlander Note
Justin Verlander photo 416. Justin Verlander SP
Tyler Ivey Note
Tyler Ivey photo 424. Tyler Ivey SP,RP
Ryne Stanek Note
Ryne Stanek photo 433. Ryne Stanek SP,RP
Andre Scrubb Note
Andre Scrubb photo 486. Andre Scrubb RP
Brandon Bielak Note
Brandon Bielak photo 622. Brandon Bielak SP,RP
Kent Emanuel Note
Kent Emanuel photo 665. Kent Emanuel RP
Bryan Abreu Note
Bryan Abreu photo 700. Bryan Abreu RP