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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.
4 weeks ago
Zack Wheeler Note
Zack Wheeler photo 30. 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.
4 weeks ago
Zach Eflin Note
Zach Eflin photo 69. Zach Eflin SP
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.
3 weeks ago
Archie Bradley Note
Archie Bradley photo 116. 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.
4 weeks ago
Spencer Howard Note
Spencer Howard photo 165. Spencer Howard SP
Jose Alvarado Note
Jose Alvarado photo 173. Jose Alvarado RP
Brandon Kintzler Note
Brandon Kintzler photo 206. Brandon Kintzler RP
Connor Brogdon Note
Connor Brogdon photo 242. Connor Brogdon RP
Vince Velasquez Note
Vince Velasquez photo 264. Vince Velasquez SP,RP
Chase Anderson Note
Chase Anderson photo 334. Chase Anderson SP,RP
Matt Moore Note
Matt Moore photo 354. Matt Moore SP
David Hale Note
David Hale photo 366. David Hale RP
Mick Abel Note
Mick Abel photo 395. Mick Abel SP
JoJo Romero Note
JoJo Romero photo 433. JoJo Romero RP
Ranger Suarez Note
Ranger Suarez photo 462. Ranger Suarez RP
Seranthony Dominguez Note
Seranthony Dominguez photo 490. Seranthony Dominguez RP
Damon Jones Note
Damon Jones photo 524. Damon Jones SP
Sam Coonrod Note
Sam Coonrod photo 606. Sam Coonrod RP
Adonis Medina Note
Adonis Medina photo 634. Adonis Medina SP
Mauricio Llovera Note
Mauricio Llovera photo 752. Mauricio Llovera RP
Neftali Feliz Note
Neftali Feliz photo 761. Neftali Feliz SP,RP
Enyel De Los Santos Note
Enyel De Los Santos photo 793. Enyel De Los Santos SP
Ramon Rosso Note
Ramon Rosso photo 827. Ramon Rosso