Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks: June 26
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The Diamondbacks have selected the contract of right-hander Randall Delgado from Triple-A, as per a team press release. In a corresponding move, righty Clay Buchholz has been placed on the disabled list with a flexor mass strain in his throwing elbow, an injury we learned last night will end his season. Right-hander Jandel Gustave who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery was moved to the day DL in order to create space for Straw on the man roster.
Sale faded just a tad down the stretch to take his truly remarkable season down to just an outstanding one. Sale struck out an incredible batters, kept his WHIP below 1. Although Sale entered the league with injury concerns because of his slight frame and wild delivery, he has surpassed innings pitched in four of the last five seasons, and is a true ace of a fantasy staff.
Whether you draft him before Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer, or even Clayton Kershaw is simply a matter of personal preference at this point. Machado had a "down" year, which was largely the product of a terrible first two months of the season. But other than in the batting average department, where he batted a career-low. That batting average drop appears to be a mirage, as Machado set a career-high in hard-contact percentage but had a career-worst.
Expect his batting average to jump back closer to his. Absent his wrist injury that cost him more than six weeks of action, Freeman easily would have had his best season ever. Regardless, he showed that the power gains he made in were real, and he posted the lowest strikeout rate and highest ISO of his career. Playing in the bandbox that is SunTrust Park, there's little reason to doubt Freeman's ability to be an elite power hitter going forward.
Especially if he has third-base eligibility in your league, Freeman should be a very early pick and can be relied on as one of the building blocks of your fantasy team.
Rizzo has been perhaps the most reliable fantasy player in the game over the past four seasons, hitting either 31 or 32 home runs in each season, tallying between 89 and 99 RBI, and throwing in a handful of steals.
But although his fantasy numbers remained consistent, he showed plenty of gains last year, cutting his strikeout rate and increasing his walk rate significantly. In other words, there's still plenty of room for growth for the young slugger.
He remains one of the top first-base options in the game right now, but to the extent he gained second-base eligibility thanks to Joe Maddon's quirky shifts, he should be considered a truly elite fantasy option this year. After a lengthy dance, Martinez finally signed with the Red Sox in mid-February, placing him in an ideal situation. Martinez had an other-worldly year last season, hitting 45 home runs in just games and leading the league in hard-contact rate. He'll now bat in the middle of a strong Boston lineup, one that should allow him to surpass both runs scored and RBI.
It's unclear whether Martinez has truly morphed into a potential home-run-hitter, but his move to Boston essentially guarantees that he will be an elite fantasy outfielder this season. After an embarrassingly awful cup of coffee in , Judge went crazy in , hitting an incredible 52 home runs and easily winning rookie of the year.
Although he was plagued by a shoulder injury and slumped after the All-Star break, he rebounded nicely in September, showing that he could adjust when things got tough. Either way, you can easily give away some batting average for the massive power Judge is guaranteed to bring. And don't ignore his nine steals last season, either. If he comes anywhere close to a repeat performance in , he'll likely find himself a perennial first-rounder for the foreseeable future.
Lindor, like many hitters, had an absurd power jump in , hitting 33 home runs, more than he had in his last two seasons combined. The good news for fantasy owners is that he looked like almost an identical hitter to his previous years, with the same exact walk and strikeout percentages to his season.
All Lindor did is start doing what many hitters did - hit the ball in the air more. The results were predictable - more home runs and a lower batting average. Whether he continues with that same approach or returns to his previous one, he'll be one of the elite fantasy shortstops in the game in Springer's stolen base totals are trending in the wrong direction, but that's essentially the only negative thing you can say about him. His home runs have risen in three straight seasons, he dropped his strikeout percentage by more than six points last year, and he set a career-high in batting average and RBI.
In short, Springer has developed into a reliable four-category producer, and he'll at least chip in a bit in the fifth category steals. Add all that up and Springer should be considered a borderline second-rounder, one with significant upside even at that price.
Donaldson finally succumbed to the calf injury he seemed to have been battling for the last two seasons, and missed six weeks on the disabled list. Although he struggled mightily for a bit after his return, he found his form in the second half, hitting 24 home runs for a total of 33 in just games. Donaldson's strikeout-rate jumped significantly last year, which is always a little worrisome as he likely begins the downside of his career.
But playing in a hitter's park and in his walk year, Donaldson should at least have one more big season in the bag, and should return to being an elite hitter this year. Absent Aaron Judge's season, the baseball community would have been talking about Cody Bellinger's rookie year as perhaps the greatest of all time. Despite beginning the year in the minors and missing time on the disabled list, Bellinger swatted 39 home runs, and added 10 steals to boot.
He did struggle some in the playoffs, especially in the World Series, where he struck out 17 times in 28 at-bats. That could mean that there's a book out on Bellinger, which could result in more strikeouts and a bit of a sophomore slump.
Still, there's plenty of room for regression with the youngster, and he should still be an excellent fantasy option this year, even if his numbers dip a bit. Strasburg had the best full season of his career in , going with a career-best 2. As usual, he missed time with injury a nerve impingment in his elbow , though he was utterly dominant after he returned, showing that there are few lingering concerns. In the end, when you draft Strasburg, you can usually pencil in relatively elite numbers across the board, but probably can't bank on more than innings pitched.
That makes him still a top fantasy starter, but a tick below the elite. Syndergaard foolishly bulked up prior to the season and then tried to pitch through a strain in his arm before tearing his lat muscle.
He returned to throw a few innings at the end of the season and, although it was the smallest of sample sizes, both his velocity and the results were peak Syndergaard. Now leaner and with a manager who is essentially a top pitching coach, Syndergaard should be ready to return to form. Though he has battled several nagging injuries, he hadn't missed significant time prior to last season, as he threw at least innings in both and If he can stay healthy, he has almost unlimited potential, and should be considered a top starter heading into drafts.
Sanchez followed up his sizzling game stretch in the majors in by smacking 33 home runs in just games in He easily finished as the top catcher in fantasy despite missing time with injuries. Sure, his walk rate and hard-contact percentage dropped a tiny bit, but there's no reason to nitpick. Batting in the middle of an incredible and somehow improved Yankees lineup, Sanchez should once again top 30 home runs and be drafted as the top fantasy catcher in the game in Ramirez's numbers didn't look all that different from his numbers, with one drastic exception - a dramatic increase in power.
Ramirez upped his home run total to what was a then-career-high of 11 in to 29 in , and increased his doubles from 46 to Nothing about the gains seems particularly fluky, as Ramirez appears to have made a conscious effort to pull the ball and hit more fly balls last year, which usually does and did for Ramirez produce a jump in power. If he stays with that approach, he should have little trouble keeping his power gains, and should once again be one of the most valuable infielders in all of fantasy in Dozier came close to repeating his career-best numbers from , but his fantasy owners certainly weren't complaining.
Dozier continues to be a strong four-category player with a batting average that won't hurt you. His best trait may be his durability, as he has played in at least games in each of the past four seasons. Even if you took his worst single-season totals over that stretch, he would still give you a line, and his outstanding floor keeps him near the top of the second-base ranks.
With an improved walk-rate and little signs of decline elsewhere, Dozier makes an outstanding pick in the early rounds. Abreu has quickly established himself as one of the most consistent players in all of fantasy baseball.
In his four seasons in the majors, he's never hit fewer than 25 home runs, driven in fewer than RBI, or batted lower than. The fact that his numbers were so gaudy last year.
Essentially, there are no concerns at this point with Abreu, and his safety makes him a rock-solid option at first base, just behind the elite names. Seager is an outstanding real-life ballplayer, but his fantasy totals don't really stand out anywhere. He's not much of a basestealer and has yet to top either 26 home runs or 77 RBI.
Still, it's obvious that there's potential for much, much more with the young shortstop, and your worst case scenario is a player who will contribute in four categories and provide elite production in one batting average. That safety makes Seager a valuable asset with upside, worthy of an early-round selection.
He also got better as the season went along, lowing his walk-rate significantly in the second half. If the Mets improve as expected, deGrom could be a dark horse Cy Young candidate and a potential fantasy ace. After he missed half of the season with a PED suspension, Gordon got right back to work in , hitting above. Gordon put the ball in play more then ever, putting up just a His reward was a trade to the Mariners, where he'll move from second base to center field. The trade shouldn't impact Gordon's value much, as he'll continue to bat leadoff in front of a strong lineup.
And with soon-to-be dual eligibility, Gordon's fantasy stock only rises. Last year the knock on Carrasco was durability. Well, he posted innings and was dynamite throughout the season. There is nothing holding him back now from being one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball. It's rare that a rookie season feels disappointing, but that's exactly how it was for Benintendi. Always a high-average hitter in the minors, Benintendi hit just. But all the signs are there that Benintendi will improve on his already impressive numbers this year.
He dropped his strikeout-rate and upped his walk-rate significantly from his cup of coffee, and his numbers against lefties. That means that Benintendi's average is bound to rise, and so too will his already excellent counting stats.
A breakout is likely coming, so buy in accordingly. Yelich is coming off another fine season, which saw him hit 18 home runs, steal 16 bases, and finish as the 20th-ranked outfielder in fantasy. But with his trade to the Brewers, he should be drafted significantly higher this season. Marlins Park has greatly depressed Yelich's numbers over the past two seasons.
He hit 24 of his 39 home runs in that span on the road, and had an OPS points lower at home and points lower at home in Not only does he move out of Miami, but he goes to a hitters' haven in Miller Park, to a team that had the second-most stolen bases last season.
Simply put, Yelich could easily go this year and is knocking on the door of the top outfielders. It took long enough, but the phenom finally broke out 10 years later.
In fact, he got better as the season went on so don't be surprised to see him repeat his stellar campaign. Encarnacion got off to a very rough start with the Indians, but in the end, he wound up with his standard stat line. He hit at least 34 home runs and tallied 98 RBI for the sixth consecutive season, his strikeout rate remained constant, and he actually set a career-high in walk rate In the end, there's little to suggest a decline is imminent, even as Encarnacion enters his age season.
With enough appearances at first base to retain eligibility at the position, Encarnacion can and should once again be valued as a strong fantasy option. Cruz is now 37 years old so you might be inclined to think his career is well on the downturn, but he was actually superb again last year. We saw flashes of a true ace in , and last year Severino proved he has the makings of a perennial Cy Young candidate. While he isn't on the same level as Kluber and Sale, it may only be a matter of time before he reaches them.
Marte obviously had a disappointing year considering he missed half the season after a PED suspension, and his. But had he simply reached his average plate appearances from , he would have wound up with a. With speed and batting average difficult to fill, Marte should be considered a borderline top outfielder, even with the lack of a supporting cast.
Both in his game cameo in and his full season last year, Bregman got off to a painfully slow start before coming on strong in the latter part of the season. He carried over his excellent second half last year. All the signs point to a breakout for the youngster, as his strong strikeout- and walk-rates, and his rare power-speed combination, make him an intriguing option. The problem is that Bregman is exactly the type of guy who will be on everyone's "breakout" list, and you'll likely need to pay a high price for him if you want him on your team.
Ozuna may have been the breakout player of the year, driving in an extra 50 runs from the previous season, batting 45 points higher and hitting for substantially more power. Another bump could come this year now that he is out of the Marlins' pitcher-friendly park. Verlander was sensational once he moved to Houston, but doing that over a full season at the age of 35 is another story.
While is a clearly a top 10 fantasy pitcher in drafts, his ceiling seems to be last among the group. Rendon simply had a fantastic year in , batting over. Perhaps most impressively, Rendon upped his walk-rate and dropped his strikeout significantly, so much so that he was one of just a few players to have more walks than strikeouts last year. The only thing truly keeping him down was Dusty Baker's insistence on batting him sixth, which depressed his run scored total just That shouldn't be a problem this year under Dave Martinez and, health-willing, Rendon should continue his growth as a hitter and perhaps put up a career-best season.
Hoskins had an incredible season between Triple-A and the majors, swatting 47 home runs and totaling RBI between the two levels. His 48 RBI in his first 50 Major League games is the best mark ever by a rookie, and his incredibly high walk rate and manageable strikeout rate suggests that his performance was not a fluke. With an improving Phillies lineup and another year under his belt, the sky is the limit for Hoskins heading into this season, and he should have dual-eligibility at both first base and outfield.
Darvish may not have gotten quite the payday he was looking for, but fantasy owners can't complain with him landing with the Cubs.
Much has been made of Darvish's terrible World Series, but he had a relatively down year before that, finishing with a 3.
He did, however, improve significantly after going to the Dodgers, both because of the switch in leagues and because of a lower arm slot that gave him more bite on his breaking ball. Sticking in the National League, Darvish should return to being the low-end ace that he was considered prior to his Tommy John surgery. If you are going to draft a closer early, of course it ought to be Jansen. He has been the best closer in baseball for years running.
Somehow Davis has now batted exactly. That won't kill you if he repeats in Greinke is never going to strike out hitters like some of the other top pitchers in baseball, but with the humidor now in Chase Field, you should move him a good 20 spots up your rankings and expect him to compete for the NL Cy Young again like we saw in While there may be much more depth at second base this year than in years past, the second tier is a bit bare.
Schoop leads the pack thanks to elite power for the position and a reliable batting average from year to year. Myers' batting average dropped and his strikeout rate rose in , but those are really the only negatives you can point to. He went , increased his walk rate to a career high Yes, his runs and RBI totals dropped significantly, but those declines are hardly his fault, as the Padres' abysmal offense prevented him from padding his totals in those categories.
Although the Padres may not be strong offensively again, Myers' combination of power and speed makes him an outstanding fantasy option at first base in Pollock is not the same top 20 fantasy player that we saw three seasons ago, but a season seems probable even with the humidor in Chase. Pham's breakout season came out of nowhere, as the year-old had barely produced at the major league level before last season.
Buoyed by a correction of a vision problem that had apparently affected his depth perception and an everyday role, Pham thrived, cutting his strikeout-rate significantly and developing into one of the few true power-speed threats in fantasy. If you believe the narrative, then there's little reason to have Pham outside of your top outfielders.
But we've also seen plenty of random excellent years from players late in their career that ultimately tend to be outliers. Martinez had his highest ERA since last year 3. In the end, Martinez's somewhat "down" year was largely due to bad luck in the wins department and a fluky low left-on-base percentage of just It's unlikely that he'll take the jump to the upper echelon of fantasy starters until he can get his walk rate a bit lower, but as is, Martinez makes a rock solid starter.
Expect improvement on his ERA and for him to hold the gains he has made elsewhere over the last few seasons. Cano might not be the.
That should be enough to tempt you into snatching him in the first 70 picks. Andrus has now gone nine consecutive seasons stealing at least 20 bases. Even the power came on last season! Last season, Ray became one of the premier pitchers in baseball. Granted, he only threw innings, but if he can bump that up to with the new humidor in Phoenix, he may crack the top 5 fantasy arms. After a disappointing , Kimbrel bounced right back to being among the best relievers in the sport. His Ks a 0. He is a top 3 closer in baseball again this year.
Many were proclaiming Buxton to be the breakout player of the year. It just so happens that he needed a few months to figure the league out like another former top overall prospect, Mike Trout. Now clearly Buxton is not nor will ever be on Trout's level, but he was superb in the second half, batting.
We have not even seen the youngster in his prime. Perhaps this year he stretches it out to 25 HR and 40 stolen bases. Xander started to turn it around at the end of the season, but the final numbers looked quite bad.
We have, however, see him hit. McCutchen was unbelievably good in the second half, but before you jump up and proclaim he is a top 40 fantasy player again, keep in mind that he now plays his home games in San Francisco and may see a dip in power.
Fantasy owners should be salivating over Cain's move to the Brewers. Miller Park is one of the best hitter's parks in baseball, and the Brewers have led MLB in stolen base attempts since Craig Counsell took over as manager.
There are some warning signs under the surface for Cain's power, so dreams of a homer season may be a little optimistic. But batting near the top of an outstanding lineup and in a great park, he should be in line for one of the best seasons of his career. Hosmer had a career-year at just the right time, hitting 25 home runs for the second consecutive season but raising his batting average to an impressive.
That season garnered him a large contract from the Padres after a lengthy wait , where he'll man first base for the next several seasons. Petco Park isn't nearly the pitcher's park it once was, and Hosmer shouldn't see too much of a dip in power with the move from Kauffman Stadium.
The bigger issue for Hosmer is whether he can keep his average gains despite an extremely high ground ball-rate fourth-highest in the league among qualified hitters last season. If he does, expect him to be a low-end starting first baseman in mixed leagues or a strong corner infielder.
A bulked-up Cespedes could not stay healthy last year, missing significant time with hamstring issues. Even when he played, he was essentially battling through on one leg all season, which makes his production all the more remarkable.
Despite playing hurt and in a depleted lineup, if you gave Cespedes his average plate appearances throughout his career, he would have wound up with a line of. Now healthy and with a better supporting cast, Cespedes should once again be a solid four-category producer and a valuable fantasy asset.
Nola may be the games most underrated pitcher in the public opinion. He is an elite groundball pitcher and whiffs hitters at a rate that suggests he may be primed to jump into the top 10 pitchers in baseball this season. Segura seems to be a steady.
If he had stayed healthy all year, he likely would have hit 15 homers with near 30 steals. That is a quality middle infielder in a time where offensive shortstops don't grow on trees. Cabrera had the worst season of his career by far, batting just. He battled back and hip injuries for pretty much the entire season, and although he tried to play through them, he was clearly not the same player.
His jump in strikeout rate and drop in walk rate suggests that age may also be catching up to the slugger as he enters his age season. But Cabrera has had down years before i. But the days of needing to take him with an early pick appear to be over.
You may be impressed by his reputation and the 2. His WHIP is solid as always, but the strikeouts are non-existent and let's not forget that he had a rough His ceiling is capped by the K's and his floor is actually a bit risky.
While it's true that Aroldis is officially a human, that doesn't mean we should expect his disappointing season to repeat in If there were any lingering doubts that Murphy had completely changed as a hitter, last year put them to bed. With another season of more than 20 home runs, at least 90 RBI, and at least a. There were a few warning signs last year as Murphy continues to age - his strikeout rate jumped more than three percentage points, for example. But the biggest worry is that Murphy had knee surgery in the offseason and is questionable to be ready for Opening Day.
Monitor his status closely this spring. If he looks like he'll miss little or no time, then you should have few concerns and draft him with confidence expecting similar numbers to the last two years. Paxton has shown hints of being an ace, but in the second half last season, he emerged as one of the best arms in baseball. If he can finally stay on the mound for more than innings, we may be talking about a Cy Young contender.
Think Carlos Carrasco this time last year. If not for a strained hamstring that limited him to just games last season, Contreras likely would have been a top-three catcher. As it is, he still finished ranked sixth at the position, swatting 21 home runs, knocking in 74 RBI, and throwing in five steals.
All the underlying numbers support his breakout, as he boasted a Batting in the middle of a strong Cubs lineup, expect Contreras to be one of the top catchers in fantasy again in It seemed as though it would never happen, but Braun seems to have finally hit a wall.
He finished last year with just 17 homers, 52 RBI and a. If he can stay healthy, he may bounce back, but your expectations ought to be closer to what we saw last season. Shaw had a true breakout season with the Brewers, swatting 31 home runs, totaling RBI, and throwing in 10 steals. His ability to hold his own against lefties led to him keeping the everyday job at third base, and though he struggled a bit down the stretch as he fought through injuries, there are few warning signs heading into this season.
Shaw set career-bests in walk percentage and strikeout rate, and he should be a fine fantasy option at the hot corner this season. From a fantasy standpoint, Posey had perhaps the worst full season of his career last year, hitting just 12 home runs and knocking in just 67 RBI, though he still finished as the third-best catcher in fantasy baseball.
But his dip in performance was largely based on his lack of supporting cast, as he had the second-highest batting average and on-base percentage of his career. That supporting cast should look much better this year with Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria on board.
Posey will be just 31 years old on Opening Day, and should still have another year or two before the inevitable "catcher decline. Odor is a good lesson in how important batting average can be. The fact that the young second baseman topped 30 homers yet again and added 15 steals to boot should make him a desirable fantasy commodity. That batting average, however, is bound to come up, as a player with Odor's speed who does not hit the ball in the air at an egregious rate should do much better than a.
If he can raise his batting average to just the. Draft him with those expectations. You may have missed this one, but Whit actually led the American League with 34 steals last season. He also added some power to his game to accompany a. If you are waiting on second base, Whit will be a great option. Osuna's ERA ended at 3. You cannot find five hitters in all of baseball with more power than Sano.
We haven't seen it fully realized quite yet, but he is still just 24 and hasn't played more than games in his career. If he does this year, don't be startled if he knocks 45 out of the yard with a healthy batting average and a load of RBIs.
At this point, it seems as though the now year-old Beltre might play until he is He is still cruising along with a. Draft away still in the top Puig had the best fantasy campaign of his career in and it wasn't even close with 28 HR and 1 SB.
In fact, batted ball numbers indicate his BA may further climb in We saw an amazing hitter at times and a year-old who wasn't ready at others. I can't quite tell you which Devers we will see in , but know that the upside is that of a superstar and the floor is that he gets sent back down to the minors for more tuning up.
Everything Cole gains in picking up likely 5 more wins with the Astros is cancelled out with the hit his ratios should see moving way from Pittsburgh's pitcher-friendly environment. Expect a near repeat performance from him as a borderline top overall player this year. It is rare for a reliever to have such a dominant season 1. Expect more of the same from the Brewers' star closer in Every year, there are a handful of quality starting pitchers who completely bust for whatever reason.
Last year, it seemed as though Tanaka would be another example when he posted a 5. In the second half, however, everything turned around.
In fact, his 2. While there is a chance Tanaka falls back into whatever funk he was in a 10 months ago, you've got to be encouraged as a potential fantasy owner at the filthy metrics he posted to close the season.
Seager went from being the most consistent hitter in all of fantasy baseball to the most consistent hitter with an odd BABIP-induced drop in his batting average. Expect his usual 25 HR,. Story had a disappointing He improved significantly in the second half, coming in with an. Story's production - even if he repeats his numbers - isn't awful, but with Brendan Rodgers waiting in the wings, it's unclear if it will be enough for him to hold his job all year.
In the end, Story is a high-risk, high-reward player, who could easily hit 35 home runs or be out of a job by July. Whether you draft him depends on your risk tolerance and how desperate you are for power. We may again see the top 10 pitcher he once was. LeMahieu is one of those players that fantasy owners hate to draft.
He contributes significantly in two largely forgotten categories batting average and runs scored and is just sort of there, without helping or hurting, in the other categories. The good thing is that LeMahieu rarely misses time - he's played in at least games in each of the last four seasons - and his home park pretty much guarantees that he'll contribute. But there are no signs that a power jump or an uptick in stolen bases is imminent, making LeMahieu the grilled cheese sandwich of fantasy baseball reliable but unexciting without much upside.
Yes, the batting average is disgusting and will almost certainly remain that way, but you can't easily replace the 40 to 50 homers we should expect this year. Plus, we have to consider that he got substantially better each year in the minors so growth in the BA department can't be ruled out. Arrieta's slide from his apex in the second half of continued last season, as he clocked in with his highest ERA 3. But on the positive side, Arrieta clearly made adjustments in the second half, and looked much more like the old version of himself, improving in both ERA 4.
That's a tradeoff that fantasy owners would likely take going forward, and it would make Arrieta a very solid, though not elite option. Citizens Bank Park won't do him any favors, and if his big jump in HR rate 1. But for now, after a second-half turnaround and with him staying in the National League, Arrieta remains a desirable commodity. Castellanos has consistently been a batted ball outlier in the fact that his data screams for positive regression. For whatever reason, it hasn't quite happened yet, but a 30 HR,.
If you draft Santana, just know that the Brewers may trade him to a team like the Rays, who's ballpark would be a big blow to Santana's production. Albies has a historically good season for a 20 year old in the majors, but that came without many homers or RBI. Adam Jones does not steal bases anymore, but he is one of the games most durable players and a safe source of power and a useful batting average. While Ender won't exactly provide power or RBIs, you can expect a.
If Lance McCullers wins the pitching triple crown, it would likely surprise no one. With that said, we saw how terrible he can be at times. Just be sure you realize the risk you are taking if you add him in fantasy drafts this year. The first at-bats of Taylor's career were uninspiring, but he had always been a solid hitter in the minors. A former top prospect, Smoak was largely forgotten in fantasy circles heading into last season.
But he exploded for 38 home runs, setting career highs across the board. The only truly dramatic change in Smoak's underlying numbers was a significant decrease in strikeout rate, which seemed to come from a legitimate effort by him to lay off on pitches outside the strike zone.
Though it's always a worry to rely on a breakout season from a year-old, Smoak's profile suggest that his gains are legitimate and repeatable.
Last year, Lester went from being the most consistent pitcher in baseball not named Kershaw to being a disappointment who might just be over the hill. While we might not see him compete for a Cy Young again, his floor is higher than most in the middle of drafts. Giles had a rough , but bounced rigt back to being one of the top 5 closers in baseball last year. His WHIP likely won't be under 1. Wood is an interesting case study because everyone was screaming for regression after his start with a 1.
When the regression came 3. The second half ought to concern you enough that you don't even consider taking him within the first 10 rounds. Weighed down by a league-leading He missed significant time with a fractured hand early and a strained calf in the middle of the season, and just never seemed to get in a groove. Despite his troubles, he still managed to steal 15 bases in limited time, and his. With dual-eligibility at both first base and outfield, Desmond should be able to bounce back to being a reliable fantasy option if he can get get the ball in the air a bit more next season.
Over his last innings, there may not have been a better pitcher in all of baseball and that is not hyperbole. With that said, don't expect much more than innings this year and a dozen wins. Those innings should be dominant though. Olson played in only 59 games with the A's last year, but hit an incredible 24 home runs in that span. Still, Olson should provide plenty of pop, along with a mediocre batting average and tons of strikeouts.
Although his skillset isn't particularly unique, he should provide decent fantasy value in , particularly in rotisserie formats. Santana had a decent season overall and played in at least games for the fifth-consecutive season.
But his home run total dropped from 34 to 23, suggesting that 's surge was an outlier. He should have the opportunity to move his home run number back in the opposite direction, however, as his move to the Phillies and hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Ballpark should lead to a bit of a power spike. Regardless, you know what you'll generally get from Santana - a mediocre average, decent counting stats, and a bunch of walks.
Although he's more valuable in points formats and OBP leagues, his safety is valuable in rotisserie leagues, too. While the Cubs, righty may have a career 2. He doesn't help much in strikeouts either.
For a while, Moose seemed like a bust, but he has been improving each year lately and suddenly became a 38 HR masher in With him finally signing, he becomes a fringe top pick. It would have been substantially better had he landed in the Bronx. As is true with most closers, Diaz has gone through some rough spells, but overall, the year-old has been spectacular and may only get better from here.
Lamb was superb in the first-half last year, but really fell off in the second-half. Allen has been the same pitcher now for five straight seasons so we have a pretty strong idea of what to expect: That's a clear-cut top closer.
If Ohtani wasn't coming off an injury riddled season and expected to be capped in his usage, you could make a case for him being similar to Luis Severino. With that said, the question marks are there so don't jump out of the seat of your pants expecting a Cy Young right away. His bat is unlikely to be ready, so maybe. While there is no doubt about it that Acuna has MVP type upside, he is still extremely young and his swing has too many holes in it.
The hype has gone too far and we shouldn't expect a Cody Bellinger type season from Acuna. Plus, he is starting the season in the minor leagues. You may not have noticed, but Castillo was positively dominant last season in his 90 inning debut. If he were to sustain that production over innings, we'd be talking at a top 10 fantasy baseball pitcher. Zimmerman went largely undrafted in , but turned in one of the most surprising seasons in recent memory.
Buoyed by a torrid April in which he bashed 11 home runs and batted over. He slowed down a bit in the second half but he kept his power gains, showing that he was a fantasy-relevant first base option regardless of his hot start. Even if Zimmerman regresses as expected, there's plenty of room for him to remain a fantasy-relevant option even with decreased numbers. There are always question marks surrounding his health, but don't be afraid to buy into last year if your league gives you a discount.
Rosario has been generating some hype around the industry and for good reason. He knocked 27 homers and stole 9 bases with a. He is a quality mid-round pickup this season. While he may not get many save opportunities, Iglesias is safe this season as a fantasy asset.
Polanco has always left fantasy owners with the feeling like he should be much better than he is. With excellent speed and burgeoning power, he has all the makings of a perennial player, but injuries have held him back. He drastically cut his strikeout rate last year, however, and has embarked on an extreme training regimen this offseason.
If he can manage to stay healthy for most of the season, he could finally have that breakout year. But he warned - the total lack of supporting cast in Pittsburgh could keep in check his runs scored and RBI numbers, even if he does have that breakout season fantasy owners are waiting for. We only got to see 23 games from Eaton last year, but he looked as good as ever before.
With a full season in , we can expect 10 to 15 homers, 15 SB and a quality average to go with plenty of runs scored. Bumgarner missed about three months of the season last year after he injured his shoulder and his ribs in a dirt bike accident. The results were mediocre on his return, as he posted a decent 3. The reason was likely a drop in velocity, but it rose back to Bumgarner's standard level by the end of the season, lessening concerns. In the end, given that his injury was a freak accident and that he returned mostly to form, there should be few worries with the big lefty heading into Mazara hasn't found his potential yet, but he is still just 22 years old and drove in runs last season.
Don't be shocked if he swats 35 out of the yard this year with a. If we can guarantee Happ a full season worth of at-bats, we'd be looking at a middle infielder with 35 homers and double-digit steals.
The problem is that the Cubs are so loaded that he will probably only see at-bats unless an injury opens up full playing time. Many are wondering if Godley is a fluke, but the underlying data backs up his breakout as legitimate. Add a humidor and we may see him kick it up another gear this season. Carpenter's batting average dropped to a career-low. He may have been one of the few victims of the fly-ball revolution, as his large jump in fly-ball rate In the end, don't let the.
Carpenter has not declined much if at all, and he should once again put up excellent numbers in batting at or near the top of a strong Cardinals lineup. Berrios was not a dominant fantasy asset last season, but he has shown enough that it is not out of the realm of possibility for him to pull a Luis Severino on the AL this season as a year-old.
Davis has been a top 3 closer in baseball over the past four seasons. With that said, moving to Colorado should bump his ERA north of 3. Kinsler is a bit old and his batting average plummeted, but the batted ball rates indicate he should be back around. Bruce had another fine year at the plate last season, hitting 36 home runs and totaling RBI between his time with the Mets and the Indians.
He'll return to the Mets on a three-year deal, playing a mix of outfield and first base and batting in the middle of the order. Bruce's underlying metrics have remained steady, as his walk rate and strikeout rate remained generally consistent with his career norms.
All in all, there's little reason to expect a decline from Bruce heading into , and another season of plus home runs, around RBI, and a. This year, he should have the closer job full-time too so he has top-5 reliever upside and a fairly safe floor.
It is easy to forget that Baez is still just 25 years old and that we likely haven't seen his prime yet. That may be 30 HR and 10 SB with a. For a middle infielder, that is well worth a top pick. Gardner was one of many examples of the fly ball revolution that took place last year. While the batting average is merely mediocre, that power-speed combo will help out in the mid rounds of drafts. Overall, it was a mildly disappointing season from Bell, who despite being a high-average hitter in the minors, struggled to the tune of a.
Both his walk rate and strikeout rate were significantly worse than he showed in his game stretch in the majors in , and he simply didn't take the leap that some people expected. Still, Bell did hit 26 home runs and made strides over the second half of the season, so there's reason for optimism going forward. But there's little currently to suggest a true breakout in , and he should be considered more of a roster-filler than a potential difference-maker in fantasy leagues in Luke Weaver, was a smashing success to close , this proceeded to begin the year in Triple-A in Everyone was excited for him to be called back up, but few beyond his own mother perhaps, expected him to finish 6th in xFIP in front of the likes of Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco and Luis Severino.
The Cardinals have a legitimate ace on their hands, and you can too with just an 11th round pick this year. How many of them had a single decent season after they turned 31?
Cueto appears to have hit the same wall in There is significant bust potential with Schwarber, who struck out times in just games while batting. With that said, he may be the only catcher besides Gary Sanchez with a shot at hitting 40 bombs.
If you want to buy a lottery ticket, Schwarber is your man. Doolittle's problem has never been effectiveness, but rather just injuries. Still, he is truly an elite pitcher when healthy, and excelled as the Nationals closer last season. On a team that will provide him with plenty of save opportunities, Doolittle makes one of the best fantasy options at relief pitcher.
This may be the biggest lottery pick of the fantasy season. If his shoulder injury lingers, it will be a waste of a pick, but we are looking at a player with. Turner missed time with leg injuries but he proved, once again, that he is a completely changed hitter. He set career-bests in walk rate, strikeout rate, and OPS, and even threw in seven steals to boot. Injuries will always be an issue - last year's games played were the second-most of Turner's career - but there is no reason to doubt his production when he's in the lineup.
Forget the part-time player that the Mets cast off years ago - Turner's a legitimate fantasy stud when he plays, and is worthy of an early-mid round pick. Longoria was fantastic in , so his season may have seemed like a major disappointment.
The fact is, however, that it was very much in line with what he did in both and , so don't be banking on a bounce-back. Gray had a miserable season, but bounced back admirably last year with a 3. While he likely won't ever be more than a 3 SP again, those kind of numbers could net him 15 wins pitching in front of that Yankees lineup. Suarez doesn't offer much in the way of batting average or stolen bases, but he is useful in the other three main categories and makes for a reliable mid-round third basemen.
Stroman somehow only has 37 wins in his career despite always throwing a ton of innings and offering solid ratios. That number may come up, but his strikeouts are likely capped at , making him a safe play without much upside.
At this point, it is quite clear that Herrera will give us a. It is nice to have a reliable asset like that later on in drafts, but his upside is limited. There's little reason to doubt Bour's ability at this point, as he's established himself as a legitimate power hitter over the last three seasons.
The total lack of supporting cast this season is certainly worrisome for Bour, and his RBI totals may take a dip. But he should still be considered a relatively safe source of home runs heading into There are some major holes in Moncada's screen, as indicated in his 54 game sample size last year, but his ceiling is enormous.
There is substantial bust-potential, though, so draft at your own risk. There is much to love about Kiermaier's game as a whole, but it doesn't quite carry over to fantasy baseball. Sure, he could steal 25 bases, but without much in the way of power, plus he carries just a. On top of that, he plays reckless enough that injuries seem to follow him around.
You may look at Bauer's 5. Rather, he just had some bad luck. Margot played more than expected last season, but didn't put up nearly the counting stats fantasy owners hoped for.
Colome led the AL with 47 saves last year, but the ratios were mediocre and he doesn't strike many batters out. While Realmuto showed last season that his. He is also the most stolen base friendly catcher, so depending on the makeup of your team, you may want to target him toward the middle of your drafts.
It is amazing what Gray was able to do at Coors Field last year 3. He may strike out and win 15 games, but don't bank on useful ratios again this season. The batting average isn't pretty, but won't single-handedly kill your team in that category. Mancini quietly had an extremely productive season for the Orioles, batting. Batting in an excellent hitter's park in Camden Yards atop an above-average lineup, Mancini should once again deliver solid counting stats and decent all-around numbers in Morrow's turn from mediocre starter to elite reliever became complete last year, as he turned in a dominant season for the Dodgers.
He became an integral part of the team's success, and even pitched in all seven games in the World Series. He parlayed his season into a three-year deal with the Cubs to be their closer, which instantly made him one of the most coveted relief pitchers in all of fantasy. Assuming the Cubs don't swoop in and sign Greg Holland, Morrow should be a strong source of ratios, strikeouts, and saves, as there's little reason to doubt his ability to pitch well when healthy.
But tread lightly - he has not pitched more than 57 innings in any season since , and his checkered injury history suggests more caution is warranted than most relievers.
The batted ball data suggests that Dejong's power is legitimate. He does have holes in his wing, however, and may see the batting average drop to around. Outside of Kenley Jansen, there has been no better reliever in all of baseball over the past few seasons.
Marwin broke out in the first-half last season with a top 10 OPS in all of baseball. He took a step backward after the all-star break but was still more than a quality fantasy asset. The concern will be playing time, as Derek Fisher and others are breathing down his neck.
Duffy has shown flashes of being an excellent pitcher at times in his career. Last season, he was merely mediocre however, so realize there is a bit of risk with this pick and a small ceiling in regards to wins. You might not have noticed, but Garcia batted. While those numbers will certainly be difficult to attain again in , it is worth noting that he improved as the season went on so it may not have been a fluke.
Now fully healthy, he makes an intriguing pick on draft day. Armed with elite velocity and both a plus-slider and a plus-curveball, Richards is a master at limiting hard contact. With an improved Angels lineup, Richards should be in line for plenty of wins with solid peripherals if -- and that is the key word -- if he can stay healthy. His troubling injury history should keep his price under control, but he offers nearly as much upside as anyone going in the late rounds.
It's hard to know what to make of Taillon, who missed two full years in the minors because of injuries and then missed a chunk of time last year due to testicular cancer. His recovery and return from the illness was one of the feel-good stories of the year, but it is difficult to know whether his struggles after his return were because of the illness or just poor performance.
Your best bet is to draft Taillon expecting him to improve on last year's numbers, but keeping below a 4. Davis had nearly a carbon copy season to his dreadful , and he was essentially unplayable in fantasy. Never one to make much contact, Davis's strikeout rate ballooned to a league-worst Davis's skillset doesn't play well in the new environment where 35 home runs simply does not mean what it used to. He's still young enough to bounce back, and he obviously did so after his similar season.
But he's much more of a late-round flyer than anything else. While it seems clear that Neris is the best reliever in the Phillies bullpen, his role as the closer may not be a lock.
He is worth owning regardless, but make sure to keep tabs on the news coming out of camp, as it would effect his draft stock nearly slots. The Rangers appear to be set on DeShields opening the season as a starter. He won't provide a lick of power, but the batting average will be above league average. Gattis missed tons of time with injuries last season, playing just a bit more than half a season, but his poor performance wasn't just about his missed time.
But there were positive signs, too, as Gattis posted a career-low For his outlook, the most important thing is that with Carlos Beltran's retirement, it appears that Gattis should get most of the at-bats at DH, which should keep him in the lineup most days and lead to good health.
Considering that the entire league saw an uptick in power last year, Gattis' low home-run totals should probably be considered a one-off and blamed on his injuries. If fully healthy coming into Spring Training, getting back to the homer plateau should be well within reach. Fulmer may produce solid ratios, but the strikeouts are non-existent and you can't even bank on 10 wins considering the Tigers' lineup he will be pitching in front of.
Although he was sidelined late in the season with a strained intercostal muscle, Perez had perhaps his finest fantasy season, posting a career-high 27 home runs and 80 RBI. His power spike was significant his. Yes, you can count on him slumping hard in the second half, but on draft day, he should be considered just a tick behind the truly elite names. Long gone are the days where Choo will bat. That is well worth a mid-round price. Morton had a surprising start last year 3. In fact, he kicked it up a few more notches, posting a.
In fact, he was among the best pitchers in the playoffs as well. He is going for cheap, but may just be one of the top 25 pitchers in all of baseball. Fowler puts up quality numbers whenever he is on the field, but he has only played more than games once in the past five seasons. If he can stay healthy, we can bet on 20 HR, 10 SB and 90 runs, but that is a big if.
Gio resurged last year for the Nationals, winning 15 games with a 2. His peripheral numbers suggest much of it was luck driven, however, so don't be naive to expect a repeat performance in Herrera used to be among the best relievers in baseball, but last season he was merely mediocre.
He may be the lock at closer, but the Royals might not even provide 30 save opportunities this season. Nunez was an all-star two years ago, but was actually better last season, driving his batting average up to.