1B,DH - WSH
Bell looked like a superstar in the making in the first half of 2019, but struggled for much of the second half of the season and then fell off a cliff in 2020. He slashed a mere .226/.305/.364 and hit only eight home runs. His strikeout and ground ball rates took massive jumps, while his walk rate and launch angle plummeted. Bell blamed his struggles on his swing getting long, and you could tell by how often he changed his stance and swing last year that he simply could not figure things out. Now with the Nationals, the 29-year-old Bell will have a chance to revive his career. We've seen the upside, so he's certainly worth drafting at a discount, but he's much more of a borderline corner infielder than a starting-caliber first baseman.
Bell appeared to be enjoying a mid-career breakout two months into the 2019 season but pitchers suddenly stopped throwing him fastballs. The former first-round pick has had a difficult time adjusting back, and that two-month hot streak is beginning to look like an outlier performance. The book isn't closed on Bell being a productive regular, or even a difference-making fantasy asset, but I'm not holding out hope for a return to stardom. Expectations should be tempered.