The 2021 MLB Season is turning the corner from early spring, which is typically slow to start, into a summer season which see’s warmer weather and favorable conditions for Baseball. Looking around the league we’re already seeing players stand out as compared to their ADP or pre-season consensus rankings. Our aim today is to recount a number of players who’s perceived value started lower than it currently stands leading into the Fantasy Season. In a perfect world you’ve added a few of these names or are still able to do so. Use this information to help you decide on some free agent/trade targets or some opportunities to sell high on players playing well above expectations.
While we could start off by noting the significant disparity between the ADP of Catcher #90 and currently ranked Catcher #3, Yermin Mercedes (C,DH) that’s an example that has been well documented around the industry already. Instead we are turn our focus to:
Buster Posey (C,1B) SF – Rank #7 71% Rostered vs ADP Catcher #13
Through only 57 AB for the San Francisco Giants veteran Catcher Buster Poser is the 7th ranked catcher on the season. He has a slash line of .351/.413/.667 and an OPS over 1,000. In comparison to his pre season ADP of Catcher #13 Posey is out-producing his expectations by a margin worthy of attention. At the beginning of 2021 Posey was hitting out of the 7th spot in the order but has since made jumps to 5th and subsequently 3rd in the order after hammering Philadelphia and Colorado pitching. A note on Posey is that he gets plenty of rest built into his schedule. You’re best to proceed with a two catcher rotation with him involved.
Carson Kelly (C) ARI – Rank #2 69% Rostered vs ADP Catcher #17
Through a smaller sample size than even Buster Posey (57AB) Kelly has been very effective in his own slashing a .340/.508/.766 line through 47AB. The first thought that comes to mind for Kelley is power numbers given his 6HR’s on the season, but an even more intriguing note is his inverse K/BB ration as a hitter. Kelley leads all MLB catchers with 14BB. With only 10K on the season its clear that he has poise at the plate and an eye for the ball that one would expect from a catcher. Kelly has found a home in the 5th spot of the batting order but on occasion has hit as high as #1 and as low as #7. Now is a good time to buy on Carson Kelly.
Yuli Gurriel (1B) HOU – Rank #7 vs ADP 1B#17 – 79% Rostered
After the worst year of his career in 2020 where he had a slash line of .232/.274/.384 Gurriel has come out flying in 2021, at the age of 37, producing a current line of .349/455/.566 and a OPS over 1,000. Gurriel is hitting 5th in the Astros lineup in between Kyle Tucker and Carlos Correa. While making good contact Gurriel is also difficult to pitch around with Correa behind him.
Jesus Aguilar (1B) MIA – Rank #5 vs ADP 1B#26 – 44% Rostered
At only 44% rostered you’re best to casually check waivers and add Aguilar, especially if you have a guy like Paul Goldschmidt who you’ve invested a much earlier pick on. Aguilar sits 8th at the position with a wRC+ of 142 as compared to Goldschmidt whos sits 24th with a wRC+ of 73. Aguilar is hitting 3rd in the Marlins lineup and has homered 5x and driven in 11RBI’s in his last 6GP.
Ty France (2B,3B) SEA – Rank #5 vs ADP 2B#17 – 75% Rostered
Prior to the season starting I was tabbing France in drafts as a target and he sure hasn’t let me down. With a .303/.400/.494 stat line he’s turned a hot spring training into a great start to the 2021 Season. With the Mariners lineup turning over in a variety of positions France isn’t insulated by power hitters behind him while batting out of the #2 spot. His production is fair to call his own and with the added bonus of hitting up in the lineup France is a smart buy given the price tag that likely goes along with him.
Garrett Hampson (2B,SS,OF) COL– Rank #4 vs ADP 2B#16– 73% Rostered
A leadoff hitter at Coors? Perfect! I seem to remember Charlie Blackmon doing pretty darn well in this spot. Adding in the multi position eligibility and SB(5) upside Hampson checks in as a player who can fit nicely for managers looking at adding options for a player that they drafted with high hopes like Cesar Hernandez. Consider buying on Hampson to give your roster a nice utility who is proving to be valuable at a position known for limited fantasy production.
Freddy Galvis(SS,2B) BAL– Rank #16 vs ADP SS#37- 6% Rostered
Galvis was a disappointment in 2020 and I wouldn’t blame you for writing him off in your mind as a result. Interestingly though Galvis has bounced back in 2021 with improvements in every major category at the plate. He’s not someone who’s going to blow our socks off but he’s producing XBH at a rate of more than double his 2020 totals. Even while injured and hitting down in the Baltimore lineup Galvis can provide some relief at the position for managers looking to spell an injured starter.
Jazz Chisholm(SS,2B) MIA– Rank #6 vs ADP SS#26– 77% Rostered
Chisholm has been batting leadoff for Miami and has done well to get on base and use his speed to create some excitement on the base paths stealing 7 bases. In addition to his speed he’s got some power and has tallied 4HR with a .551 slg% which helps bring his OPS to .926 and his +wRC to a respectable 154. Chizholm was just placed on the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain. This might be a good time to make an offer on him knowing that managers are likely viewing him as a over achiever.
Colin Moran(3B,2B,1B) PIT– Rank #9 vs ADP 3B#28– 56% Rostered
Moran has spent much of his time in the past 2 years playing 1B and DH for Pittsburgh but none the less carries 3B eligibility after playing primarily 3B in 2018 and 2019. In 2021 hes been batting cleanup for the Pirates who appear poised to be one of the lowest ranked teams in the MLB. Moran is having the best full season of his career slashing .286/.344/.500 with an OPS of .844 and a wRC+ of 130. His triple position eligibility is a nice factor for GM’s looking to pencil him in while their starters at those positions are off.
Evan Longoria(3B) SF– Rank #10 vs ADP 3B#30– 30% Rostered
Longoria is enjoying his first season of his career with an AVG> .300 and an OPS > 1,000. His impressive slash line of .311/.411/.517 has him drawing attention from Fantasy Managers who are observing a nice value, at least while he is on a hot streak. Longoria is primarily batting 3rd in the SF lineup while also hitting cleanup and 5th on occasion. The veteran 3B has won a Silver Slugger award in his career and should be considered as a streaming play if available in your league.
J.D Martinez (OF) BOS– Rank #2 vs ADP OF#19– 98% Rostered
Martinez is red hot to being the 2021 season and trails only Ronald Acuna Jr at the position as far as Fantasy goes. Martinez is batting 3rd in the Red Sox lineup which is a spot that can’t be pitched around knowing that Bogaerts and Devers come up right after. Martinez is having a career year to date with a .337/.410/.685 slash line an OPS of 1.095 and an elite wRC+ of 203.
Jesse Winker(OF) CIN– Rank #8 vs ADP OF#46– 87% Rostered
Winker has been hitting leadoff for the Reds this season and has made big contributions at the plate hitting for a .377 average with a powerful .701 SLG% which is going a long way towards producing his 1.123 OPS. Winker is currently in elite conversation with a 199 wRC+ which trails only Trout, Acuna Jr and Martinez at the position. Even though Winker isnt a traditional leadoff hitter he is making the most of the extra AB’s that he is getting at the top of the Reds order.
Corbin Burnes(SP,RP) MIL– Rank #6 vs ADP SP#18– 99% Rostered
A historical season is underway for Burnes who has yet to walk a single batter on the season. His 49K on the year equates to a 15.0K/9IP pace while his WHIP of 0.545 is best in the Majors amongst SP who have had 4 starts. Given his dual position ability its he comes in as a nice option to spot into one of your RP positions. In 8-10 man leagues Burnes has a lot of appeal right now knowing you can put an ace into an RP spot. Catching up to real time news, Burnes has been placed on the teams IL for an unspecified reason. Keep an eye on this developing situation and hope that its your window to acquire him at a relative value.
Carlos Rodon (SP) CWS– Rank #6 vs ADP SP#46– 91% Rostered
Rodon is off to a hot start in 2021 and has posted a 4-0 record with an amazing 0.72 ERA. Highlighted by a No-hitter April 14th vs CLE Rodon has erased doubts surrounding his rising ERA throughout his career which finished at 3.75 in 2015 before slowly rising throughout his career before a sharp jump to 8.22 in 2020. Rodon may be in line for some regression but has done well to fill a stat sheet with plenty of reasons to believe in him including a WHIP of 0.684 an 11.4K/9IP mark.
Alex Reyes (RP) STL– Rank #6 vs ADP RP#44– 77% Rostered
Reyes has had an opportunity to appear in 12 games in 2021 and has yet to allow an earned run. He’s made the most of his opportunities to close games out and with 6 saves include a 2 inning save Thursday vs PHI. Reyes is a great volume play in Fantasy whos out holding opposing hitters to a .140 avg on the season.
Mark Melancon (RP) SDP– Rank #9 vs ADP OF#29- 90% Rostered
Melancon has been a great find the San Diego and has fit extremely well in the closer role for the Padres converting 8 saves in 11 relief appearances this season. He’s posted a 0.75 ERA and given up only 3 hits on the year while holding batters to a .098 average this season. Add a WHIP of 0.42 and you’ve got a set of dependable statistics in addition to being a closer in one of the best environments for success in 2021.
Thanks for checking in with us as we walked through some options that are outperforming expectations so far this season. Good luck to you in your Fantasy Baseball season ahead!
David Carey – April 29th, 2021