What is going on, Ball Boys and Ball Girls! I hope you all are doing super well. Thank you so much for being here; as we approach the 2021 season, I want to give you guys some fantasy input for who my top 15 targets are at each position. Most fantasy baseball leagues are 8-10 players; scoring formats vary from league to league, structure, and server. You can check out my fantasy tips and tricks here. I will break down the players into categories: Obvious targets, above average, better than average targets, and lastly, a few if you're desperate names. Let me know what you guys think over in the Fantasy Forum.
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Obvious Targets, a.k.a. MUST HAVE!
#1 Nolan Arenado- Arenado is a top 5 pick if you get into that spot. Arenado is so good is ridiculous. He plays the best defense in the MLB and is just as great with the bat. Arenado will give you 30+HR, 90+RBI, 95+R, and a .280+AVG. I love Arenado in 2021, and working back from the injury could fall to you in the late first or early 2nd.
#2 Jose Ramirez- J Ram is always ranked lower than he should be. Ramirez always returns the first-round value after falling to the late 2nd or early 3rd. Ramirez will take the mantle and whole offense upon now with Lindor departed. I know Ramirez will return the same numbers as Arenado but give you 20+SB and a slightly lower AVG. Draft Ramirez with a 3rd or 5th round picks and reap the rewards.
#3 Alex Bregman- Bregman is one name we will frequently hear from Houston as he will be the bat behind many a wins this season. Bregman is a disciplined hitter on a retooling offense requiring him to carry the offensive load more than ever. Look for Bregman to be able to deliver 27+HR, 87+RBI, a high BA, along with a stolen base peppered in now and then.
#4 Anthony Rendon- Rendon is the 2nd half of the potent Angels 1/2 punch with Mike Trout. Rendon does not give you quite as much as Trout but can still hold down your 3B position. Rendon will provide you with 25+HR, 85+R, 85RBI+, and a high BA. Look to be able to target in the 2nd/3rd round pick.
#5 Manny Machado- Machado came back on strong in 2020 to lead the "Slam" Diego offense. After a disappointing 2019, Machado was an MVP finalist in 2020. Machado is well into his prime and will come back even stronger in 2021. 35+HR, 100+RBI, 90+R, and a .270BA. If you are smart, you can get Machado late 2nd or late 3rd, depending on how it shakes out in your draft.
Above Average Targets: You should probably try to get them:
#1 Rafael Devers- Devers had an incredible breakout season in 2019 and followed it up with a healthy 2020. Devers is part of a young Red Sox team with Chavis, Dalbec, Benintendi, and Verdugo. The AL East is a competitive division, and with Alex Cora at the helm as manager, expect him to get the best out of his young core. Outside of Verdugo, Devers is the most advanced hitter on the team. Devers is capable of 28+HR, 90+R, 90+RBI and will be a force next to Verdugo for years to come, and he will only continue to climb up the ranks of third basemen in the MLB.
#2 Kris Bryant- Bryant was on his way back into form in 2019 and, like most of the Cubs lineup, struggled in 2020 to get going at any point. The former MVP is due to bounce back again in 2021. Bryant is one of the best hitters in baseball, and the bat will come back in as he is playing for his mega-contract. Fully expect him to hit .280+AVG, 29+HR, 90+RBI on the season and be able to carry not only your fantasy lineup but the Cubs offense as a whole. I would fully expect to use a 5th round pick on Bryant.
#3 Gio Urshela- Last season, we all disrespected Urshela as he was ranked as a bottom 1/3 MLB third baseman. I am excited to see the late bloom breakout continue into 2021. I would expect him to produce at least 25+HR, 75+RBI, 80+R, and a .285+BA. Urshela may get some early playing time at SS for the Yankees and carry the eligibility at both SS/3B, which will make him that much value for fantasy owners. But no one will want Urshela in your league except for the Yankees fan. Target Urshela in no earlier than round 7.
#4 Alec Bohm- The Rookie of the year finalist showed he could provide excellent protection to Harper and JTR in the Phillies lineup. Bohm can hit the ball to all fields and beat any shift. Bohm was able to switch to all fields with power. Bohm could take another step forward in 2021 and give you 25+HR, 85RBI, 80+R, and a +.290BA. Bohm, much like Urshela, you can get even later in drafts. Don't draft him earlier than round 8 or 9, depending on how your breeze is shaking out.
#5 Matt Chapman- Chapman is an excellent option for any fantasy team. I made one of the worst moves in 2020 and let Chapman go early in the season before he got going and was one of the best 3rd basemen. Despite giving you a lower than the desired BA during his career, Chapman can provide you with 30+HR, 90+RBI, 90+R if you can supplement your team with a couple of other players with a higher BA and lower strikeout numbers. Get Chapman around the 6th round or so.
You could do worse, but you could have done better:
#1 Josh Donaldson- Donaldson endured a rough 2020 along with the rest of the Twins offense. Donaldson rebounded strongly in 2019, posting 37HR and 94RBI after an injury-filled 2018. Donaldson carries some injury risk, but he can be a top 11MVP candidate if he stays healthy. Donaldson gives you a lot of HR and a lot of RBI, you will have to sacrifice the AVG and strikeouts a little bit, but you can probably get Donaldson after round 7.
#2 Eugenio Suarez-Much like Donaldson, Suarez gives you plenty of HR and RBI, but it will cost you a chunk of your team AVG. The upside, if it is worth it to you and you can plan accordingly, Suarez can give you 34+HR, 95+RBI while leading the league in strikeouts as he did in 2019 with 189. If you can get Suarez later, possibly as an 8th/9th round target, I would take him off the board.
#3 Yoan Moncada- Moncada is still developing, but I am personally in love with the entire White Sox offense. If it were wise, I would go after every player on offense. Moncada will be a quieter option at 3B but will be a steady contributor. Assuming he can replicate his 20169 numbers, you will be looking at 20+HR, 70+RBI with a .290+BA. I would possibly look to target Moncada after the 10th round, but he carries immense upside.
#4 Ke'Bryan Hayes- The 2015 1st round pick, looked the part in 2020. He made the most of his 85AB but posting 5HR, 11RBI, and a .376BA. I would say it is safe to assume that Hayes will get every chance to shine in 2021 with the rebuilding Pirates, and Hayes should find himself leading the charge. I would be targeting Hayes late, maybe 13th or later.
#5 Miguel Sano- Sano is another guy here with huge HR/RBI upside but will also give your team a lower AVG and a league-leading amount of strikeouts. Sano can quickly provide your team with 25+HR, 70+RBI, and an excellent sub-option for your 3B/1B position.
#6 Kyle Seager- Seager is one guy you can probably get off waivers depending on how big your league and teams are. Seager has been consistent in his career while being streaky at the same time. You know what you are getting when you draft Seager. You get 20+HR, 70+RBI, a .260+AVG, and a starter/veteran leader for a young team. You could do a lot worse than Seager after the 12th round.
Desperate times, desperate measures:
Eduardo Escobar, Justin Turner, Brian Anderson, Vlad Guerro Jr., Evan Longoria, Mike Moustakas
Thank you guys for being with me today. I hope you enjoyed the blog today. Please stay tuned through the winter; we have more Around the Horn, Yearly Reviews, Ball Boy Talk, and of course, the Podcast. Don't forget to share with a friend and until next time Ball boys & girls.
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