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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Max Scherzer Note
Max Scherzer photo 9. Max Scherzer SP
Scherzer had a decent season for a mortal, but for someone with his career track record, it was a major disappointment. His 3.74 ERA was his highest since 2012, his 1.38 WHIP the highest of his career, and his 7.8% walk percentage his worst in a decade. Scherzer still struck out plenty of batters but entering his age-37 season and with a ton of mileage on his arm, it's only fair to accept that the old Scherzer is gone for good. But though he may not be a consensus top-three starter anymore, he's still perfectly capable of being a fantasy ace. After all, Scherzer's velocity hasn't declined much, and his 31.2% strikeout rate was tied for 10th among starters. Scherzer likely won't reach 200 innings pitched again and his ERA seems destined to remain above 3.00 going forward, but he's far from someone to avoid in fantasy drafts.
3 weeks ago
Stephen Strasburg Note
Stephen Strasburg photo 23. Stephen Strasburg SP
Strasburg was limited to just five innings in 2020, with an injury that eventually required carpal tunnel syndrome. Although that's a minor surgery, the truth is that fantasy managers have very little data as to the impact and/or successful recovery rate after that surgery for pitchers. Strasburg's a tricky draft pick in any given year - he always provides strong value when he's on the mound, but has only topped 200 innings pitched twice in his career. Now entering his age-33 season, Strasburg will likely again provide excellent overall numbers assuming he is healthy. He looks great in the spring, though he's currently battling a minor calf injury, though it shouldn't keep him out for long. Draft him as an SP2, but anything more than 160 innings is gravy.
3 weeks ago
Patrick Corbin Note
Patrick Corbin photo 44. Patrick Corbin SP
Corbin had a disastrous 2020 season, during which he went 2-7 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. His strikeout rate plummeted, and his velocity dropped significantly, with his fastball seeing a dip of almost two miles per hour. Corbin leans heavily into his slider, and he needs it to be pristine to be an effective pitcher. And although it wasn't a terrible pitch in 2020, the swinging strike rate on it dropped from 28.1% to 21.2%, and the whiff rate from 52% to just 38.2%. If the loss in velocity and effectiveness of his slider were entirely due to the oddities of the shortened season, then Corbin is going to be a major value in drafts this year. But if not, then his days as a "set it and forget it" starter are likely over. Monitor Corbin's performance this spring, particularly with his velocity. If it's back up to prior levels, then push him up your board significantly.
3 weeks ago
Brad Hand Note
Brad Hand photo 47. Brad Hand RP
Hand joins the Nationals on a one-year deal after Cleveland declined his option. His velocity declined a bit last season, but the league's collective lack of interest in Hand is surprising, given that he's coming off one of the best seasons of his career, led the league in saves, has been a top-10 reliever over the last five seasons, and is a lefty. Dave Martinez wants Hand to be the Nationals' closer based on his comments, but it's unclear whether he'll be the sole option. The Nationals barely have another lefty reliever in their bullpen, let alone a reliable one, so chances are that Hand will be deployed earlier in the game if the opposing team has multiple left-handed hitters due up. All that to say that Hand is a reliable reliever who you should draft for his overall numbers, but he may provide fewer saves than most traditional closers.
3 weeks ago
Tanner Rainey Note
Tanner Rainey photo 151. Tanner Rainey RP
Daniel Hudson Note
Daniel Hudson photo 217. Daniel Hudson RP
Will Harris Note
Will Harris photo 232. Will Harris RP
Jon Lester Note
Jon Lester photo 261. Jon Lester SP
Wander Suero Note
Wander Suero photo 301. Wander Suero RP
Kyle McGowin Note
Kyle McGowin photo 319. Kyle McGowin RP
Kyle Finnegan Note
Kyle Finnegan photo 356. Kyle Finnegan RP
Austin Voth Note
Austin Voth photo 409. Austin Voth SP
Cade Cavalli Note
Cade Cavalli photo 440. Cade Cavalli
Joe Ross Note
Joe Ross photo 472. Joe Ross SP,RP
Rogelio Armenteros Note
Rogelio Armenteros photo 475. Rogelio Armenteros SP
Jackson Rutledge Note
Jackson Rutledge photo 503. Jackson Rutledge SP
Erick Fedde Note
Erick Fedde photo 516. Erick Fedde SP,RP
Jefry Rodriguez Note
Jefry Rodriguez photo 626. Jefry Rodriguez SP,RP
Ryne Harper Note
Ryne Harper photo 683. Ryne Harper RP
Luis Avilan Note
Luis Avilan photo 707. Luis Avilan RP
Steven Fuentes Note
Steven Fuentes photo 713. Steven Fuentes RP
Aaron Barrett Note
Aaron Barrett photo 749. Aaron Barrett RP
Seth Romero Note
Seth Romero photo 812. Seth Romero RP
Sam Clay Note
Sam Clay photo 826. Sam Clay RP
Dakota Bacus Note
Dakota Bacus photo 833. Dakota Bacus RP
Paolo Espino Note
Paolo Espino photo 852. Paolo Espino P
Javy Guerra Note
Javy Guerra photo 860. Javy Guerra RP
Ben Braymer Note
Ben Braymer photo 878. Ben Braymer P