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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Lucas Giolito Note
Lucas Giolito photo 6. Lucas Giolito
Giolito followed up his breakout 2019 season with a nearly identical 2020 season. His ERA was within .07, his WHIP within .02, and his strikeout percentage within a point and a half. Despite pitching in a homer-friendly park, Giolito has managed to limit home runs, which is a key to his continued success with the White Sox. He won't face quite an easy schedule this year (AL and NL Central pitchers had plenty of sub-par offenses to feast on in 2019), but entering his age-27 season, he should only continue to improve from a skills standpoint. Draft him as an SP1, albeit a low-end one.
3 weeks ago
Lance Lynn Note
Lance Lynn photo 17. Lance Lynn
Lynn turned in another stellar year in 2020, leading MLB with 84 innings pitched, striking out plenty of batters, and keeping his walk rate and overall numbers in check. But there are a few warning signs under the hood, including his 4.19 FIP, his 4.34 xFIP, and his career-high 79.4% LOB rate. Of bigger concern is his trade to the White Sox and hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field, particularly because Lynn had a 38.3% fly-ball rate in 2019 and a 42.3% fly-ball rate last year. That led to the worst HR/9 rate of his career and second-worst HR/FB rate (13.8%) in 2020. Countering those troublesome warning signs, however, is the fact that he'll be caught by perhaps the best pitch framer in baseball in Yasmani Grandal, and that will generally help with his numbers which, again, were excellent last year. Add it all up and Lynn's ERA should likely increase simply because of the additional home runs he'll allow if he can't turn around his trend in fly-ball rate, but Grandal's presence and Lynn's general aptitude on the mound should allow for another strong season and make him worthy of a selection as an SP2.
3 weeks ago
Dallas Keuchel Note
Dallas Keuchel photo 65. Dallas Keuchel
Keuchel pitched to a remarkable 1.99 ERA last year, though that's hardly to be expected to repeat in 2021. His xFIP was nearly two runs higher, his BABIP against was nearly 40 points below his career average, and his already low strikeout rate dipped to just 16.3%. Having Yasmani Grandal as a catcher certainly helps a pitcher outperform his expected stats, but even if Keuchel were to repeat his 2020 performance, his strikeout rate is such a drain that it keeps his value in check. If your staff is dominant in strikeouts, then you can roll with Keuchel at the very back end of your rotation. But if not, just ignore him on draft day.
3 weeks ago
Dylan Cease Note
Dylan Cease photo 98. Dylan Cease
Michael Kopech Note
Michael Kopech photo 101. Michael Kopech
Kopech remains one of the top pitching prospects in the game, but he hasn't pitched competitively in about two-and-a-half year at this point. His fastball and slider are more than MLB caliber, and he had a 31.2% strikeout rate in the minors. But after missing all of 2019 with Tommy John surgery and opting out last year, it wouldn't be wise to just expect Kopech to step right back into a rotation without any growing pains. The White Sox also have depth in their rotation after trading for Lance Lynn and signing Carlos Rodon, so Chicago can, and likely will, stick Kopech in the minors to start the year to continue his development. But given their championship aspirations, he should crack the rotation at some point during the season if he show he is back to form.
3 weeks ago
Carlos Rodon Note
Carlos Rodon photo 128. Carlos Rodon
Reynaldo Lopez Note
Reynaldo Lopez photo 259. Reynaldo Lopez
Jared Kelley Note
Jared Kelley photo 295. Jared Kelley
Jonathan Stiever Note
Jonathan Stiever photo 388. Jonathan Stiever