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Fantasy Baseball Player Notes

2021 Fantasy Baseball Draft Notes

Zack Greinke Note
Zack Greinke photo 25. Zack Greinke
Greinke is entering his age-37 season, but still somehow keeps getting it done. His ERA of 4.03 last year was certainly higher than fantasy managers are used to seeing, but it came with a 2.80 FIP and 3.51 xFIP. His strikeout rate was his best since 2017 and his walk rate of 3.3% was the best of his entire career. But his velocity was down about two ticks, with his fastball clocking in at just 87.9 miles per hour. Greinke is as smart a pitcher as there is but it's going to be difficult to succeed over the course of a full 162-game season if his pure stuff continues to diminish. He's one of the few pitchers in the game who is probably capable of pitching 200 innings in 2021, but expect a continued downward trend in his performance.
3 days ago
Framber Valdez Note
Framber Valdez photo 35. Framber Valdez
Valdez got his first extended look as a starter in 2020 and the results were very good. He is really a two-pitch pitcher, with a very solid sinker and curveball, but he is able to get away with his lack of a third pitch by getting batters to pound the ball into the ground (60% ground ball rate) and limiting free passes, at least last year (5.6% walk rate). But without a third pitch, it seems unlikely that he can maintain the 26.4% strikeout rate he put up 70 2/3 innings last year. However, with a guaranteed rotation spot on a good team and nothing particularly fluky in his underlying metrics or statcast data, Valdez should be considered a viable SP3 for fantasy purposes, even if he seems unlikely to quite repeat his 2020 season.
3 days ago
Lance McCullers Jr. Note
Lance McCullers Jr. photo 36. Lance McCullers Jr.
McCullers made a successful return from Tommy John surgery after missing the 2019 season and looked almost exactly like the 2018 version of himself. His ERA (3.93) and WHIP (1.16) were within seven-tenths of a point of his 2018 numbers, and his walk and strikeout rates fell just slightly. McCullers relied a bit more on his sinker and less on his curveball than in past years, but the two work well together and he continued to throw them in combination about 80% of the time. In short, what you thought of McCullers heading into 2018 is pretty much what you should think of him now. Unfortunately, that includes concerns about his innings, because after a missed year and 55 innings last year, the chances of him topping 150 innings this season are remote. Buy him at his production, but understand that there's likely a hard cap on his innings total.
3 days ago
Jose Urquidy Note
Jose Urquidy photo 57. Jose Urquidy
Cristian Javier Note
Cristian Javier photo 68. Cristian Javier
Forrest Whitley Note
Forrest Whitley photo 141. Forrest Whitley
Justin Verlander Note
Justin Verlander photo 154. Justin Verlander
Tyler Ivey Note
Tyler Ivey photo 239. Tyler Ivey
Ryne Stanek Note
Ryne Stanek photo 243. Ryne Stanek
Brandon Bielak Note
Brandon Bielak photo 338. Brandon Bielak
Francis Martes Note
Francis Martes photo 388. Francis Martes