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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Aaron Nola Note
Aaron Nola photo 8. Aaron Nola SP
Nola bounced back from his disappointing 2019 campaign, and looked much closer to the 2018 breakout version of himself last year. His set a career mark in strikeout rate (33.2%, which ranked in the top nine percent in the league) and swinging strike rate (13.4%), and brought his walk rate down to just eight percent. Nola also got batters to swing at pitches outside the strike zone at a rate of 38.1%, far better than he had ever done in his career, and they made contact less than ever, at a rate of only 59.1%. The reason for the change was Nola relying far less on his fastball and more on his changeup, which kept hitters off balance and made both pitches more effective. Nola doesn't throw particularly hard, so his success relies much more on command and finding the right pitch mix, both of which he excelled at in 2020. If he can keep that going in 2021, and it's a good bet he will, he should be considered a fantasy ace.
18 hours ago
Zack Wheeler Note
Zack Wheeler photo 32. Zack Wheeler SP
Wheeler's first season in Philadelphia was a success, in that he had the lowest ERA of his career (2.92) and a strong 1.17 WHIP. But his strikeout numbers plummeted, as he struck out just 18.4% of batters. The whiff rate on all of Wheeler's pitches, other than his "show me" curveball, dropped significantly, despite the fact that his velocity remained the same. If Wheeler can again excel at completely limiting hard contact like he did last season (his 85.7 MPH average exit velocity allowed ranked in the top 10% in baseball), then he can probably get away with the lack of strikeouts. Otherwise, he's unlikely to repeat his 2020 success. Given the shortened season, it's a good bet that Wheeler's strikeouts will bounce back, and you can slot him in as an SP3 without much worry.
18 hours ago
Zach Eflin Note
Zach Eflin photo 81. Zach Eflin SP
Hector Neris Note
Hector Neris photo 95. Hector Neris RP
Neris has been the Phillies' primary closer for the past four seasons, but 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 if he wins the job out of spring training, which is still a big if. Draft him as the first Phillies reliever, but don't rush to do so.
18 hours ago
Archie Bradley Note
Archie Bradley photo 98. Archie Bradley RP
Bradley joined the Phillies on a one-year deal after a successful 2020 season with Arizona and Philadelphia. He performed admirably over the past two seasons as the Diamondbacks' closer, and last year put up a very solid 2.95 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 24.7% strikeout rate. The Phillies were open about their desire to add some velocity to their bullpen and Bradley does just that. But although Joe Girardi has indicated he'd like set roles for the Phillies' bullpen, those roles may not be decided until close to the end of spring training. Bradley is worth drafting, but only late, as he may go back to his former role as a setup man.
18 hours ago
Brandon Kintzler Note
Brandon Kintzler photo 160. Brandon Kintzler RP
Spencer Howard Note
Spencer Howard photo 164. Spencer Howard SP
Vince Velasquez Note
Vince Velasquez photo 213. Vince Velasquez SP
Jose Alvarado Note
Jose Alvarado photo 214. Jose Alvarado RP
Chase Anderson Note
Chase Anderson photo 281. Chase Anderson SP
Connor Brogdon Note
Connor Brogdon photo 309. Connor Brogdon RP
Matt Moore Note
Matt Moore photo 313. Matt Moore SP
Tony Watson Note
Tony Watson photo 353. Tony Watson RP
Hector Rondon Note
Hector Rondon photo 369. Hector Rondon RP
Seranthony Dominguez Note
Seranthony Dominguez photo 377. Seranthony Dominguez RP
Damon Jones Note
Damon Jones photo 462. Damon Jones
Ivan Nova Note
Ivan Nova photo 520. Ivan Nova SP
Adonis Medina Note
Adonis Medina photo 617. Adonis Medina SP
Ranger Suarez Note
Ranger Suarez photo 648. Ranger Suarez RP
JoJo Romero Note
JoJo Romero photo 655. JoJo Romero RP
Neftali Feliz Note
Neftali Feliz photo 712. Neftali Feliz RP
David Hale Note
David Hale photo 727. David Hale RP
Mauricio Llovera Note
Mauricio Llovera photo 730. Mauricio Llovera RP
Ramon Rosso Note
Ramon Rosso photo 736. Ramon Rosso RP
Sam Coonrod Note
Sam Coonrod photo 784. Sam Coonrod RP
Christian Bethancourt Note
Christian Bethancourt photo 835. Christian Bethancourt C