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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

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.
37 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.
37 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.
37 weeks ago
Hector Neris Note
Hector Neris photo 87. Hector Neris RP
Neris has been named the Phillies' closer to start the season. Although he has been the Phillies' primary closer for the past four seasons, he's hardly been the model of efficiency. His ERA over those seasons is 3.01, 5.10, 2.93, and 4.57. And he surprisingly struggled with his control last year, seeking his BB/9 rate jump to 5.40 and his WHIP to 1.71. Neris's splitter is outstanding when it's on, but he has the tendency to get hit hard when it's not. With Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado in tow, and Brandon Kintzler with the team on a minor league deal, Neris's leash will be short. Draft him as a low-end closer, but don't rush to do so.
36 weeks ago
Cristian Javier Note
Cristian Javier photo 91. Cristian Javier SP,RP
Jake Odorizzi Note
Jake Odorizzi photo 96. Jake Odorizzi SP
Framber Valdez Note
Framber Valdez photo 112. Framber Valdez SP
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.
37 weeks ago
Pedro Baez Note
Pedro Baez photo 241. Pedro Baez RP
Enoli Paredes Note
Enoli Paredes photo 254. Enoli Paredes RP
Phil Maton Note
Phil Maton photo 259. Phil Maton RP
Justin Verlander Note
Justin Verlander photo 289. Justin Verlander SP
Luis Garcia Note
Luis Garcia photo 291. Luis Garcia RP,SP
Blake Taylor Note
Blake Taylor photo 302. Blake Taylor RP
Josh James Note
Josh James photo 408. Josh James RP
Tyler Ivey Note
Tyler Ivey photo 420. Tyler Ivey SP
Ryne Stanek Note
Ryne Stanek photo 436. Ryne Stanek RP
Andre Scrubb Note
Andre Scrubb photo 487. Andre Scrubb RP
Brandon Bielak Note
Brandon Bielak photo 622. Brandon Bielak RP
Bryan Abreu Note
Bryan Abreu photo 700. Bryan Abreu RP