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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Luis Castillo Note
Luis Castillo photo 10. Luis Castillo
Castillo turned in another excellent season last year, cutting his walk rate and striking out batters at a higher rate than he ever had in his career. His WHIP increased to a career-worst 1.23, but that was largely due to bad luck, as batters hit .232 against him despite an expected batting average of just .212. Nevertheless, Castillo kept runs off the board, largely because he was able to avoid home runs (just five in 70 innings) and limit free passes. Castillo is capable of fronting a fantasy pitching staff, though he's more of a low-end ace, and there are plenty of trade rumors following him around. But, given his reliable production and increased strikeout rate the past two seasons, he can be drafted with confidence.
13 weeks ago
Sonny Gray Note
Sonny Gray photo 24. Sonny Gray
Two dreadful starts late in the season severely hurt what was otherwise a strong 2020 campaign for Gray, though it was a bizarre year. His strikeout rate surpassed 30% for the first time in his career, while his walk rate jumped to 11.1%. He was also far more hittable, particularly his slider and curveball, which had been dominant pitches in 2019. But even if Gray simply repeats his 2020 season, his strikeout rate and decent ERA and WHIP should be enough to make him a borderline SP2 for fantasy leagues. He will likely begin the year on the IL after experiencing back spasms in mid-March, but the injury doesn't sound like it will keep him out for long. Considering we've seen much more than that from him in 2019, fantasy managers should have little hesitation drafting him.
13 weeks ago
Tyler Mahle Note
Tyler Mahle photo 44. Tyler Mahle
Mahle's solid 2020 season (3.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) will probably slip under the radar, but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about him with a guaranteed spot in the Reds rotation. His strikeout rate jumped to 30% on the back of a 4.4% increase in his swinging strike rate, and he had just a .188 expected batting average against, top 10% in the league. The biggest change for Mahle was that he brought back a slider that he had shelved entirely in 2019, and batters hit just .180 against the pitch with a .249 wOBA. He could do well to cut down on his walks a bit, but still, as a fifth starter for your fantasy team, there's plenty of potential for profit.
13 weeks ago
Tejay Antone Note
Tejay Antone photo 112. Tejay Antone
Antone's role wasn't entirely clear at the outset of spring training, but he now looks destined for a starter's job, if he can stay healthy. With Sonny Gray and Wade Miley likely to begin the year on the IL, Antone should begin the year in the rotation, assuming he is healthy enough to do so. He's currently battling a groin strain, and his status is uncertain. When healthy, he's got a wipeout slider, enough to pile on the strikeouts, and has enough upside to be worth a late-round dart throw. Monitor his, Gray's, and Miley's health status closely heading into your drafts.
13 weeks ago
Lucas Sims Note
Lucas Sims photo 126. Lucas Sims
Sims had a fine 2020, going 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA a 0.94 WHIP, and plenty of strikeouts. He'll be in the mix for the Reds' closer job with Amir Garrett and Sean Doolittle, though his early bout with elbow soreness this spring doesn't help him. Monitor the reports out of spring training, but he's a late-round speculative draft pick at best at the moment.
13 weeks ago
Jeff Hoffman Note
Jeff Hoffman photo 205. Jeff Hoffman
Nick Lodolo Note
Nick Lodolo photo 216. Nick Lodolo
Wade Miley Note
Wade Miley photo 236. Wade Miley
Brandon Finnegan Note
Brandon Finnegan photo 261. Brandon Finnegan
Vladimir Gutierrez Note
Vladimir Gutierrez photo 293. Vladimir Gutierrez
Hunter Greene Note
Hunter Greene photo 302. Hunter Greene
Tony Santillan Note
Tony Santillan photo 394. Tony Santillan
Braden Shipley Note
Braden Shipley photo 417. Braden Shipley
Riley O'Brien Note
Riley O'Brien photo 441. Riley O'Brien