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2021 Points League Ranks - First Base

freddie freeman fantasy baseball rankings MLB injury news DFS picks

Draft season is in full gear as we're only less than two weeks from Opening Day baseball. And here at RotoBaller, we're about more than just roto leagues. We're here to cover your whole fantasy spectrum.

So let's do some point ranks, shall we? If you've forgotten from last year, I have strong opinions on point leagues. TL;DR? You can't just transfer over value from roto and you can't just take players with good BB/K ratios. You must make your values based on your specific rule and not assume that someone who is good in one scoring system will hold the same value as in another system. If you don't, you'll be behind from jump street. Or, at least you won't be as set up for success as you could be.

We're wrapping things up by heading over to the cold corner, where there is plenty of power but plenty of strikeouts. And that can make all the difference depending on your settings, so let's dive in.

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Methodology and Common Terms

If you've already been reading along at home, feel free to skip ahead to the ranks. If not, welcome! Let's cover some basics first.

I'll mention this often ( and have mentioned it often); player values can vary wildly depending on your individual league settings. Whether using the standard scoring of the major platforms (ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, Fantrax) or custom setting, understanding how players score in your system and how roster sizes affect value is supremely important. The more you leverage this understanding, the more powerful the position you'll be starting from.

Here are the standard roster settings on the aforementioned platforms:

Fantrax ESPN Yahoo CBS
C 1 1 1 1
1B 1 1 1 1
2B 1 1 1 1
3B 1 1 1 1
SS 1 1 1 1
OF 5 5 3 3
CI 1 1 0 0
MI 1 1 0 0
UT 1 1 2 1
SP 0 0 2 5
RP 0 0 2 2
P 9 9 4 0
Bench 3 3 5 5
IL 0 0 4 0

Here are standard scoring settings on the aforementioned platforms:

Hitters

Hitters Fantrax ESPN CBS Yahoo Generic
1B 1 1 1 2.6 1
2B 2 2 2 5.2 2
3B 3 3 3 7.8 3
HR 4 4 4 10.4 4
Run 1 1 1 1.9 1
RBI 1 1 1 1.9 1
SB 2 1 2 4.2 2
CS 0 0 -1 0 0
BB 1 1 1 2.6 1
K 0 -1 -.5 0 -.25
HBP 0 0 1 2.6 .5

With values varying, it can make doing a general point ranking a little tricky. For example, Ronald Acuna Jr. is a top-five player for me on every platform besides ESPN, where I'd probably put him closer to #20. That's a big swing. So what I've done is to use a "generic" point system as a baseline for doing ranks, as well as talking about per-PA scoring rates. It gives the one-point per-base that all systems generally use, with two points for stolen bases and -.25 points for a strikeout.

This gives us a common baseline so we're at least speaking close to the same language, no matter your platform. But if you're on ESPN, know that you'll need to make heavier adjustments for speed/high K% players.

General System notes

  • Yahoo started mirroring their scoring to their daily fantasy game, making the scoring wildly different than other platforms.
  • ESPN (-1) and CBS (-.5) both subtract points for strikeouts. This is a monster difference and must be properly accounted for. Take Ronald Acuna Jr. versus Juan Soto in 2019, as an example of the difference over a full season. Acuna had a 26.6% K%, while Soto posted a 20.0% K%. That translated to 188 strikeouts for Acuna and 132 SO for Soto, putting Acuna in a 56-point hole under ESPN scoring. That's a big difference.
  • ESPN only gives one point per stolen base. The more a player's value depends on stolen bases (in other scoring formats, as well as roto), the more their value will take a negative hit on ESPN. It's not as an extreme difference as the strikeout scoring but still needs to be accounted for.
  • Players who steal a lot of bases and strikeout a lot are going to take big hits on ESPN. Adalberto Mondesi is the most extreme example of players who are essentially not draftable on ESPN when comparing their scoring to likely ADP. But  Jonathan Villar is in a similar boat, as is the aforementioned Acuna Jr. Let's just say that if you see an ESPN point rankings that have Acuna Jr. in the top-10, you should run away.

Data Notes

  • Statcast data is taken from EV Analytics and can be slightly different from Baseball Savant due to EV's own methodology. From their glossary:

Note: Statcast stats are calculated live by in-ballpark cameras and radar. These occasionally fail to record data on certain batted balls. All data and projections displayed at EV Analytics that rely on Statcast data identify these missed balls and estimate what they should have been. Internal tests showed this to be slightly more accurate than either ignoring the missing data or using MLB's.

"The Barrel classification is assigned to batted-ball events whose comparable hit types (in terms of exit velocity and launch angle) have led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage since Statcast was implemented in 2015. 

To be Barreled, a batted ball requires an exit velocity of at least 98 mph. At that speed, balls struck with a launch angle between 26-30 degrees always garner Barreled classification. For every mph over 98, the range of launch angles expands."

Common Terms

  • Barrel% - Barrels per batted-ball event
  • Air% - total percent of balls hit in the air (fly balls + line drives)
  • Air% average EV - average exit velocity of non-groundballs
  • Air % 100+ mph- the percentage of balls hit in the air that had an exit velocity of 100 mph or greater.
  • Average EV Top-5% - The average exit-velocity of a player's top-5% hardest-hit balls.
  • Average EV Next-20% - The average exit velocity of the next 20% of hardest-hit balls.

In addition to rankings, the charts include how players have scored the last three years in the generic scoring system, as well as what I am currently projecting for 2021. Also included in 2019-20 strikeout rates to better help those who play in leagues where they are punished, make adjustments, as well as wOBA and xwOBA for 2020.

 

2021 First Base Rankings

Overall Rank Pos Rank Tier Name All Pos 2019 pt/pa 2020 pt/pa 2020 woba 2020 xwoba 2019 K% 2020 K%
13 1 1 Freddie Freeman 1B .918 1.083 .449 .441 18.4 14.1
33 2 2 Jose Abreu 1B .782 .982 .404 .379 21.9 22.5
40 3 2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B .676 .755 .333 .321 17.7 15.6
55 4 3 Pete Alonso 1B .895 .773 .336 .322 26.4 25.5
67 5 3 Paul Goldschmidt 1B .766 .737 .381 .380 24.3 18.6
75 6 3 Luke Voit 1B .740 .981 .387 .374 27.8 23.1
77 7 3 Josh Bell 1B .913 .557 .282 .289 19.2 26.5
85 8 3 Rhys Hoskins 1B .734 .877 .376 .368 24.5 23.2
87 9 3 Matt Olson 1B .833 .721 .311 .326 25.2 31.4
108 10 3 Anthony Rizzo 1B .874 .693 .321 .339 14.0 15.6
124 11 4 C.J. Cron 1B .714 .885 .369 .348 21.4 30.8
132 12 4 Miguel Sano 1B .894 .690 .312 .310 36.2 43.9
134 13 4 Rowdy Tellez 1B .680 .874 .363 .353 28.4 15.7
141 14 4 Carlos Santana 1B .860 .679 .311 .360 15.7 16.9
165 15 4 Eric Hosmer 1B .654 .929 .353 .354 24.4 17.9
181 16 4 Joey Votto 1B .660 .732 .342 .356 20.2 19.3
198 17 4 Christian Walker 1B .765 .743 .333 .323 25.7 20.6
228 18 5 Nate Lowe 1B .678 .711 .309 .291 29.6 36.8
241 19 5 Brandon Belt 1B .661 .916 .420 .402 20.6 20.1
254 20 5 Bobby Dalbec 1B .861 .394 .334 42.4
262 21 5 Evan White 1B .535 .257 .277 41.6
271 22 5 Jesus Aguilar 1B .639 .764 .342 .333 22.0 18.5
291 23 6 Renato Nunez 1B .720 .741 .341 .301 23.9 29.6
303 24 6 Andrew Vaughn 1B
330 25 6 Yuli Gurriel 1B .866 .597 .276 .308 10.6 11.7
335 26 6 Jared Walsh 1B .417 1.030 .386 .337 40.2 13.9
359 27 6 Colin Moran 1B .656 .715 .335 .336 23.3 26.0
386 28 6 Garrett Cooper 1B .671 .791 .359 .368 26.1 23.3

 

Tier One

The king is still the king and Freddie Freeman stands alone in the top tier of first baseman. Freeman doesn't strike out (14.1% K% in 2020, 91st percentile), walks a ton (17.2% BB%, 99th percentile), and is remarkably consistent with how hard he mashes. Basically, everything you want out of a first-round pick in point leagues.

It's too bad we didn't get a full season in 2020 because Freeman was setting an extraordinary pace, even while overshadowed by a certain center fielder. His 14.7% Brl%, .449 wOBA and.441 xwOBA were all career-highs and his .476 xwOBAcon was his highest since 2016. And in terms of exit velocity, his 94.1 mph average EV on balls in the air and 38% Air% (100+ mph) were both up from 2019, making it seem like the 31-year-old isn't ready to slow down yet.

No one is going to whoop and holler when you select boring, old Freeman but you'll be rostering the biggest lock at the position and starting your team off with a solid foundation.

 

Tier Two

I'm not counting on the soon-to-be 34-year-old Jose Abreu to completely repeat the torrid pace he set in 2020 but there aren't a lot of reasons to think he's going to be anything but the metronome of production he's been for most of his career. Abreu slashed .317/.370/.617 over 262 plate appearances, with a .411 wOBA (top-4%) that was the highest since his rookie year in 2014. In addition, his.300 xBA, .585 xSLG, .379 xwOBA, and .467 xwOBAcon were all career-highs. And it doesn't hurt that he's going to bat right smack in the middle of what looks to be one of baseball's most exciting offenses and play his home games at one of the most hitter-friendly parks available.

Will this be the year we've been waiting for from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.? I have yet to be fully on board with Guerrero realizing his superstar potential but this might be the year to commit, particularly in point leagues, with Baby Vlad continuing to post elite strikeout rates and above-average walk-rates.

Guerrero's .338 wOBA and 115 wRC+ weren't anything to write home about and I'm still not sold that he's going to be a .300 hitter anytime soon but there were a lot of positives in the authority of his ball-striking. His 89.9 mph average exit velocity on balls hit in the air was down from 92.1 mph in 2019, however, his percentage of balls hit in the air at 100 mph or greater rose from 30.0% to 36.8% in 2020.

 

Tier Three

Welcome to the churn.

Like a lot of first base sluggers at first base, Pete Alonso has a whiff game that's going to drag down his overall value in leagues that punish strikeouts. However, his 25.5% K% in 2020 doesn't exactly make him Miguel Sano and was buoyed by his above-average 10.0% BB%. But while his .067 HR per PA rate was only down 12.5% from a .076 HR/PA in 2019, we can't just ignore the degradation of his exit velocities and may need to temper expectations for 2021.

Alonso's 41.2% Hard Hit% was only down slightly from 42.7% in 2019 and his 90.0 mph average EV was virtually the same, as was his 118.4 max EV. But he dropped from 96.7 mph average EV on balls hit in the air in 2019, to 94.5 mph in 2020, and his Air% (100+ mph) went from 44.7% to 33.8%. For context, that represents a drop from the 94th percentile to the 63rd. Not great, Pete. Not great.

In point leagues, I like Paul Goldschmidt more than Anthony Rizzo but that's only because his seemingly newfound commitment to being a high-walking, slap-hitter will pay off more than in traditional roto setups. His 16.0% BB% was the highest since 2015 and his 18.6% K% was a career-low.

While Goldschmidt's .387 wOBA was up 40-points from 2019, his .162 ISO and .466 SLG were both career-lows, and his barrel-rate dropped for the second-straight year. His Air% average exit velocity may have raised a half-tick but his Air% (100+ mph) dropped to 29.5% from 36.6% in 2019, which was down from 45.5% in 2018.

My values on Luke Voit and the aforementioned Alonso are virtually the same and frankly, I don't expect either to be on my radar in points leagues, given their likely prices. But the former Cardinal has taken his opportunity with Yankees and ran. And by run, I mean smack baseballs with rocket authority, with Voit posting similar numbers in 2019-20 in regards to important power predictors:

2017 2018 2019 2020
PA 124 161 510 234
Barrel% 8.9 20.6 13.8 13.3
Air% Avg EV (mph) 95.5 96.7 94.5 93.3
Air% 100+ mph 41.5 45.2 38.3 42.2
Avg EV (Top-5%) 109.2 109.7 110.5 109.8
Avg EV (Top-20%) 105.3 105.9 104.3 104.1

Remember that Voit only got sporadic playing time with the Cardinals before being traded to the Yankees during the 2018 season, hence the light plate appearances. But after playing 118 games in 2019, Voit settled into full-time status in 2020, starting in 56 of 60 games with even better results. His .393 wOBA was up 33-points from 2019 and his 23.1% K% was down from 27.8%.

Voit has locked into a full-time role again for 2021 and will have a primetime batting slot in between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. At least until they hit the IL, that is.

Following his trade to the Washington Nationals, I've aggressively moved Josh Bell to 78overall, up from 1611 when he was still a Pittsburgh Pirate. It's not that I think the trade is going to be some magic panacea that will turn Bell back into the brief flare of awesomeness he exhibited in 2019. But I don't think I'm alone in questioning how Pittsburgh develops its players at the major league level.

I'm betting a more competent organization can at least get Bell back to the high-walk, low-strikeout profile he'd exhibited prior to the wheels completely coming off in 2020:

Season PA BB% K% wOBA
2016 152 13.8 12.5 .339
2017 620 10.6 18.9 .338
2018 583 13.2 17.8 .336
2019 613 12.1 19.2 .378
2020 223 9.9 26.5 .286

I'm not saying Bell is going to be a superstar in Washington, I just think he's going to go back to being the true Josh Bell from 2016-2018. Not as good as 2019, not as bad as 2020, probably around a .340 wOBA, 12% BB%, and 19% K%. Give or take.

That won't look very exciting on paper but that plays in points, baby. And it's also worth noting that he'll be moving from a home ballpark that had 3-year HR park factors of 98 for LHB and 89 for RHB to one with 107 for LHB and 108 for RHB. That is a significant change in the hitting environment. Plus, instead of being surrounded by Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman, he'll be batting near the best hitter in baseball, Juan Soto. That's right. Best.

Who are we? Where did we come from and where are we going? Is Rhys Hoskins good? These are the deepest mysteries of the Cosmere.

You're definitely good, right, Rhys? We're not going to get another .226 AVG like 2019 again, are we? Maybe he won't ever be the power monster that came out of the gate in his first 50 games in the big leagues (.085 hr/pa) in 2017 but the respective marks of .052 hr/pa and .054 hr/pa in 2018 and 2020, are respectable, with the 363 woba and .382 woba that came with them being even more so. Along with his elite walk rates, that's a pretty good scorer in most formats.

Hoskins also had a career-high 15.1% Brl% and Air% (100+ mph) of 38.5%, up from the 38.5% he posted in his magical debut. And both the average EV of his top-5% hardest-hit balls and the next 20% hardest-hit were also career-highs, matching or exceeding his rookie year. Given his high walk-rate, his ADP in point leagues is going to be higher than the 178 ADP he's currently going for on NFBC but I'd be comfortable drafting him anytime after pick 110-ish in most formats.

An ugly .197 AVG sticks out on Matt Olson's 2020 campaign but at least the Oakland slugger still hit 14 home runs in 245 PA. However, his 31.4% K%, up from 25.2%, was also ugly, though somewhat offset by a career-high 13.9% BB%, and Olson also posted a .316 wOBA that was down from .368 in 2019.

There's a possibility that the new K-rate is here to stay, dinging him more in ESPN and CBS standard leagues, but a 13.6% SwStr% makes me think he'll probably be right back around his career 26% K%. And his exit velocities continue to be impressive:

2020 Percentile
Barrel% 13.5 88
Air% Avg EV 97.1 98
Air% 100+ mph 43.5% 91
Avg EV (Top-5%) 111.5 92
Avg EV (Top-20%) 105.4 90

Maybe Olson doesn't have the upside of Alonso and Voit but his profile says the power isn't going anywhere and I'd rather take his high floor and the 2-3 round discount you'll get with it.

Anthony Rizzo posted the same elite K-rate and above-average walk-rate that he always does and will likely do the exact same thing in 2021. But the ratios have been dropping since peaking in 2017:

Season BB% K% BB/K
2011 13.7 30.1 0.46
2012 7.3 16.8 0.44
2013 11.0 18.4 0.60
2014 11.9 18.8 0.63
2015 11.1 15.0 0.74
2016 10.9 16.0 0.69
2017 13.2 13.0 1.01
2018 10.5 12.0 0.88
2019 11.6 14.0 0.83
2020 11.5 15.6 0.74

Rizzo's Air% average exit velocity of 90.2 mph was down from 92.8 mph in 2019 but his Air% (100+ mph ) of 30.9% was up slightly from 30.1 %, though down from 32.7% in 2018 and 35.6% in 2017. Let's face it; there's not a lot of upside with Rizzo. But his drift down the pecking order should be at least be smooth in point leagues given his plate-discipline history.

 

Tier Four

I've previously questioned why everyone is apparently out of the C.J. Cron game. And now, if you hadn't heard, he also now plays in Colorado which makes me fully confident that the Cron(ic) is about to burn down the Centennial state. If he's playing most of the time, anyway, which is certainly never a guarantee when it comes to the Rockies.

Basically, all of the things relating to Statcast sexiness that made Cron a popular sleeper heading into 2020 stayed the same. In fact, he improved in many areas prior to having his season ended by a knee injury:

Season League Percentile
2018 2019 2020 2018 2019 2020
Barrel% 13.5 16.5 20.8 90 96 97
Avg EV (Air%) 95.2 96.3 97.2 90 95 98
Air% (100+ mph) 36.3 41.2 46.2 78 85 93

Obviously, 52 PA is a small sample. But in those 52 PA, he did exactly what we were hoping for in the power department, hitting four home runs with even better exit velocities. And now he's at Coors??? I mean, what do we think is going to happen if Cron keeps hitting the ball in the air as hard as he has been?

We already went over just how ridiculous Miguel Sano's exit velocities are. Tl; dr: the past two seasons, Sano has finished in the top-1% of Brl% Air average EV, and Air% (100+mph). The dude can smash baseballs. However, he also a premier whiffer, existing in the rare air that only a few dare tread. Sano had a 43.9% K% in 2020 and has never posted lower than a 35% K%. With a career 11.7% BB%, Sano is three true outcomes personified. If your league penalizes strikeouts, good luck.

Count me among those who love Rowdy Tellez heading into 2021 even though my expectations will be slightly tempered until we have some certainty about what Toronto's lineup is going to look like. According to Roster Resource, Tellez is currently slotted in to play first base, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. moving back to third base, Alejandro Kirk at DH, and Danny Jansen at catcher. There are a lot of possible moving pieces there and that's assuming the Blue Jay's don't make a big trade for Francisco Lindor, as has been rumored.

However, I'm going to bet that Tellez's bat will be good enough to earn regular playing time somewhere. Tellez hit 21 home runs in 409 PA in 2019 so it's not like he's coming out of nowhere. But it 2020, he made a giant leap forward in his plate-discipline and overall approach, while continuing to hit home runs  at a steady rate:

Season G PA HR HR per PA K% K% percentile
2018 23 73 4 .055 28.8 n/a
2019 111 409 21 .051 28.4 11
2020 35 127 8 .063 15.7 83

The drop in strikeout rate isn't a fluke. Tellez backed it up with decreases in his SwStr% and Chase%, while increasing his Zone Swing% and Zone Contact%. All while his overall Swing% stayed steady. Basically, more of his swings were on swings in the zone and he made a lot more contact on those swings. And stopped passing on Meatballs:

Season PA SwStr% Swing % Zone Swing % Zone Contact % Chase % Chase Contact % Meat%
2018 73 14.2 48.5 63.2 87.3 35.7 45.1 64.7
2019 409 14.4 49.0 63.4 78.7 37.2 54.7 69.9
2020 127 10.6 50.1 70.1 85.5 34.0 61.4 80.6

Tellez's exit velocities, while good, don't jump off the page at first glance, with his Air% average EV dropping from 93.8 mph in 2019 to 91.8 in 2020. However, his Air% (100+ mph) rose from 35.3% to 39.5%, and his Top-5% average EV and Next-20% average EV both gained at least 1 mph. And a 117.4 mph Max EV (up from 115.2 mph in 2019 and 109.3 mph in 2018) should probably catch your eye.

Here were the players who had a Max EV greater than 117 mph:

Player Max EV
Giancarlo Stanton 121.3
Pete Alonso 118.4
Gary Sanchez 117.5
Rowdy Tellez 117.4

When you combine a hard-hitting pedigree with a leap in plate-discipline, good things tend to happen. Tellez is going to be on a lot of sleeper lists, and rightfully so. He currently has a ridiculously high 260 ADP in NFBC leagues but I expect that to rise in all formats as the offseason progress, especially if he solidifies into a more guaranteed full-time role.

This is the Eric Hosmer we've been waiting for. The Hosmer that doesn't pound the ball into the ground at a 60% clip and doesn't follow the Yandy Diaz path of launch angles. Maybe he's not a revolutionary but I'll still take this:

2017 2018 2019 2020
Avg Launch Angle 4.1 -1.5 2.0 8.6
LA% (38+) 8.6 8.3 8.5 12.8

Looking at Hosmer's exit velocities, his Air% average of 96.2 mph jumps off the page, as its up from 90.9 mph in 2019 and 94.3 mph in 2018. But let's temper ourselves on thinking this increase will automatically translate to a power surge, even though it placed him in the 96th percentile. His 30.4% Air% (100+ mph) was down from 39.9 in 2019 and 42.2% in 2018, and the average EV of this hardest 5% and next 20% both saw a slight tick down.

Translation? Hosmer is hitting his balls in the air harder but the increase isn't coming from the top end of the spectrum that has the best chance of ending in a moonshot. And his launch angles are up but still don't regularly reach double-digits. However, this is about point leagues and he doesn't have to go yard to be valuable. Hosmer has a solid floor and excellent price, making him an excellent target in most formats.

 

Tier Five

This tier has plenty of power and possibilities but also buckets and buckets of whiffs. If you play on ESPN, CBS, or with any other scoring format that penalizes strikeouts, tread carefully.

After a trade to Texas, Nate Lowe is finally free. However, this isn't as an exciting prospect in point leagues, as Lowe as thus far sported a low-OBP, high strikeout profile during his 71 games in the big leagues. Over 76 PA in 2020, Lowe posted a .316 OBP and 36.8% K%. He'll need to put up a lot more than his career .324 wOBA if he's to be a viable starter under most scoring format.

However, there are plenty of reasons to believe improvements are coming. It was only a cup of coffee in 2020 but Lowe's Barrel% was in the 93rd percentile and his Max EV was in the 94th.

And considering he was a high-OBA, low-K machine throughout his minor league career, its easy to have optimism that getting a full season of playing will bring better results:

Level PA BB% K% SwStr% OBP wOBA
2016   A- 285 10.5 13.7 5.2 .382 .390
2017 A 269 13.4 19.7 7.7 .387 .369
2017   A+ 203 13.8 26.1 7.1 .355 .335
2018  A+ 220 11.4 15.0 7.5 .432 .460
2018 AA 225 15.6 13.3 8.0 .444 .460
2018 AAA 110 7.3 24.5 8.9 .327 .347
2019 AAA 406 17.7 20.2 7.5 .421 .404

We've already covered the eye-popping power numbers that Bobby Dalbec put up in his 92 PA introduction in 2020, a few times. Hitting eight home runs in his truncated appearance, Dalbec's 22.0% Brl% finished in the 97th percentile, with both his Air% average EV and Air% (100+ mph) finishing in the 100th percentile. Lasers. All day, every day. Unfortunately, he also had a 42.4% K% and 22.4% SwStr%. So maybe, all pine, most days.

Hey, look! Another young slugger with strong exit velocities and big strikeout rates. But at least Evan White's slick glove keep him playing every day, even if the bat struggles. Over the 54 games and 202 PA of his rookie campaign, White hit 8 HR but only slashed .176/.252/.346, with a .261 wOBA and unsightly 41.6% K%. But a 15.3 SwStr% usually deserves around a 30% K%; still horrible but at least manageable.

White also posted a 14.6% Brl% (92nd percentile) and a 48.9% Air% 100+ mph (95th percentile) that both portend more power coming on board. Like Dalbec, Lowe, and Sano before him, White's ceiling and week-to-week viability will hinge on what improvements can be made to his plate discipline.

 

Tiers Six and Seven

Maybe I'm going to be super wrong about not believing that 27-year-old Jared Walsh is suddenly good after streaking for nine home runs in 108 PA last year. Maybe he's a new Justin Turner, Nelson Cruz, or Jose Bautista. But I just don't see it.

It's easy to look at his minor league numbers and see dominant numbers. But every spectacular year came when Walsh was either much older than his competition, repeating the level, or both:

Level Age PA HR AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2015 Rookie 22 126 2 .339 .400 .578 .442
2015 Rookie 22 13 0 .182 .231 .182 .201
2016 A 23 430 7 .290 .344 .425 .358
2017 A+ 24 306 8 .331 .395 .531 .407
2017 AA 24 74 3 .232 .274 .406 .311
2018 A+ 25 178 13 .275 .365 .604 .404
2018 AA 25 173 8 .289 .382 .537 .407
2018 AAA 25 198 8 .270 .333 .478 .353
2019 AAA 26 454 36 .325 .423 .686 .448

The exit velocities are solid but not spectacular, with his Brl% (85th percentile), Air% 100+ mph (84th percentile), and Max EV (84th percentile) all well above average. This would probably be more exciting if he was 23-years-old, instead of 27. And he also got quite a bit of luck against the 30% breaking balls that he faced in 2020, posting a .489 wOBA against them that was over 200-points higher than his .261 xwOBA against them and a .789 SLG that was far from a .346 xSLG.

I'm completely out on Yuli Gurriel, even at a basement level ADP. He might have gone off for 31 HR in 2019, with a .364 wOBA and 132 wRC+ but the 36-year-old dropped back to earth precipitously in 2020 and I have no reason to think a bounceback is coming. Gurriel slashed .232/.274/.384 over 230 PA, with a .281 wOBA and 71 wRC+. He doesn't walk much but also rarely strikes out. That's the most positive thing I can muster and he won't be making my rosters in any format.

If Renato Nunez was guaranteed to return to the Orioles, I'd have him a lot higher. His strikeout rate spiked to 29.6%  after a 23.8% K% in 2018-19 he's an average walker, at best. But returning to Baltimore would mean a return to a home ballpark with the basic dimensions of a middle school practice field, so I'd suffer the whiffs.

There is a lot to like about what Colin Moran did in 2020, hitting five home runs in his first eight games and finishing with 10 HR in 200 PA. Plus, his 13.6 Brl% was in the 88th percentile and his 50% Air% (100+ mph) was in the 95th percentile. Unfortunately, he did virtually all of his damage against RHP. Against LHP, Moran was a disaster, posting a .651 OPS and .284 wOBA against them. That smells like an upcoming platoon and even if not, do you really want to start him in a weekly league if there are lefties on the upcoming books?

I'm not down on Andrew Vaughn the hitter, only the playing time he'll see in 2021. He (like all top prospects) was already unlikely to get called up prior to the Super-Two deadline and even following that there is no obvious way to get him regular at-bats and I think it unlikely that Vaughn reaches more than 400 PA. I mean, sure, you could bump Adam Engel from the lineup and move Eloy Jimenez back to the outfield...

But is letting Eloy Jimenez play the outfield regularly really something the White Sox should be going out of their way to do?

via GIPHY



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ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

Torrey Craig36 mins ago

Knicks May Pursue Torrey Craig In Offseason
Kevin Love48 mins ago

Expected To Start Sunday
Grant Williams54 mins ago

Teams Expected To Pursue Grant Williams In Offseason
Evan Fournier1 hour ago

Spurs Reportedly Interested In Evan Fournier
Caleb Martin1 hour ago

Will Play Sunday Night
Tyler Soderstrom2 hours ago

Launches Pair Of Home Runs
José Alvarado2 hours ago

Jose Alvarado Could Be Back Next Weekend
Andruw Monasterio3 hours ago

Injured On Sunday
Hanser Alberto3 hours ago

White Sox Release Hanser Alberto
Cody Bellinger3 hours ago

Not Expected Back During Road Trip
Nestor Cortes3 hours ago

Won't Start On Wednesday
Christian Walker5 hours ago

Absent From Lineup Again On Sunday
Brandon Lowe5 hours ago

Dealing With Leg Pain
Zach Plesac5 hours ago

Designated For Assignment
Michael Conforto5 hours ago

Can’t Get Back Into Lineup On Sunday
Anthony Rendon5 hours ago

Likely To Return This Week
Sean Murphy6 hours ago

Taking A Seat On Sunday
Anthony Duclair6 hours ago

Scores Fourth Playoff Goal
Alex Wood6 hours ago

Lands On The 15-day Injured List
Gunnar Henderson6 hours ago

Not In The Lineup On Sunday
Jack Eichel6 hours ago

Opens Stanley Cup Finals With Two Assists
Leody Taveras6 hours ago

Taking A Seat On Sunday
Jonathan Marchessault6 hours ago

Extends Point Streak With Another Goal
Amed Rosario6 hours ago

Absent From The Guardians Lineup
Randall Cobb6 hours ago

Expected To Be Included In Rotation
Matt Bush6 hours ago

Set To Begin A Rehab Assignment On Tuesday
Eric Lauer6 hours ago

Will Start A Rehab Assignment On Tuesday
Willy Adames6 hours ago

Expected To Rejoin The Brewers On Thursday
CeeDee Lamb6 hours ago

Not Distracted By Extension Concerns
Jose Siri6 hours ago

Scratched From The Lineup On Sunday
Luis Urías7 hours ago

Luis Urias Expected To Return Tuesday
Denny Hamlin9 hours ago

The Favorite To Win Gateway After Strong Practice
Ross Chastain10 hours ago

Really Happy With His Chances At Gateway
NASCAR11 hours ago

B.J. McLeod Does Not Start Last This Week
Ty Dillon11 hours ago

Starts 33rd At Gateway On Sunday
Gray Gaulding11 hours ago

Debuts At Gateway On Sunday
Noah Gragson11 hours ago

Begins 32nd For Gateway On Sunday
Ryan Preece11 hours ago

May Have Long Afternoon Sunday
Erik Jones11 hours ago

Another DFS Possibility For Gateway
Justin Haley11 hours ago

Can Move Up On Sunday Again
NASCAR11 hours ago

Bubba Wallace Needs To Keep It Together Sunday
Austin Dillon11 hours ago

Mired In Middle Of Pack Sunday
Daniel Suarez12 hours ago

Begins 13th For Sunday Race In Illinois
Tyler Reddick12 hours ago

Could Be One To Watch Sunday
Michael McDowell12 hours ago

Begins Near The Middle For Gateway
Austin Cindric12 hours ago

Qualifies Tenth For Enjoy Illinois 300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr12 hours ago

. Could Slide At Gateway
Ty Gibbs12 hours ago

Begins 15th On Sunday In Illinois
Kevin Harvick12 hours ago

Fires Up Strong Qualifying Effort Saturday
Kyle Larson12 hours ago

Starts 22nd At Gateway On Sunday
Gabe Vincent15 hours ago

Good To Go For Game 2
Caleb Martin16 hours ago

Questionable For Sunday Night
Bam Adebayo16 hours ago

Available For Game 2
Tyler Herro16 hours ago

Remains Out On Sunday Night
Tom Brady19 hours ago

"Certain" He'll Remain Retired
Buffalo Bills19 hours ago

Ed Oliver Agrees To Four-Year Deal With Buffalo
Harrison Burton20 hours ago

Could Fall Back At Gateway
NASCAR20 hours ago

Martin Truex, Jr. Starting In The Top Five
Justin Fields1 day ago

Was Last Year's Most Explosive Rusher
Kenneth Walker III1 day ago

Has Top-End Speed
Travis Etienne Jr.1 day ago

One Of The Most Explosive Backs In NFL
Lamar Jackson1 day ago

Remains Big-Play Threat On The Ground
Jonathan Taylor1 day ago

Not Taking Part In OTAs
Dalvin Cook1 day ago

A Real Possibility For The Dolphins
Julius Randle1 day ago

Has Ankle Surgery
Domantas Sabonis1 day ago

Not Ruling Out Surgery To Fix Thumb Issue
Danuel House1 day ago

Jr. Exercises Player Option
Phoenix Suns1 day ago

Suns Set To Hire Frank Vogel As New Head Coach
Cooper Kupp2 days ago

Rams Playing It Safe With Cooper Kupp
Kyle Pitts2 days ago

Could Be Ready For Week 1
Javonte Williams2 days ago

: "Everything Is Going Good"
Buffalo Bills2 days ago

Von Miller Believes He'll Be Ready For Season Opener
NFL2 days ago

Yannick Ngakoue Wants To Play For Contender
Hayden Hurst2 days ago

To Resume Running Routes
Michael Pittman Jr.2 days ago

Dealing With Injury
Breshad Perriman2 days ago

Visits With Colts
Greg Dulcich2 days ago

Could Have Expanded Role
Amir Albazi2 days ago

Can Earn Biggest Victory Of His Career
Daniel Pineda2 days ago

Set For Co-Main-Event Matchup
Jared Gordon2 days ago

Jesse Butler Replaces Injured Jared Gordon
Victor Altamirano2 days ago

Set For Dangerous Task On Saturday
Ketlen Souza2 days ago

Set For UFC Debut
Muhammad Naimov2 days ago

Steps Into Octagon For Debut This Saturday
James Harden2 days ago

Nick Nurse Hopes James Harden Will Return To Philadelphia
Aleksej Pokusevski2 days ago

Suffers Right Humerus Fracture
Jimmy Butler2 days ago

Struggles In Game 1 Loss To Denver
Bam Adebayo2 days ago

Leads Miami With 26 Points In Losing Effort
Jamal Murray2 days ago

Secures A Double-Double In Game 1 Win
Nikola Jokic2 days ago

Notches Another Triple-Double In Game 1
Dallas Cowboys2 days ago

Micah Parsons Looking To Become More Complete Player
Simi Fehoko2 days ago

Battling For No. 4 Spot
Payton Pritchard3 days ago

Reportedly Wants To Be Moved
Boston Celtics3 days ago

Joe Mazzulla Will Remain Celtics Coach
Max Domi3 days ago

Hopes To Remain In Dallas
Eetu Luostarinen3 days ago

Expected To Be Available For Game 1
Patrick Kane3 days ago

Out 4-6 Months After Hip Surgery
Kai Kara-France4 days ago

Hoping To Secure Top Position With Main-Event Win
Alex Caceres4 days ago

Set For Explosive Co-Main-Event Bout
Jim Miller4 days ago

Looks To Add To All-Time UFC Wins Total
Tim Elliott4 days ago

Veteran Tim Elliott Set For 18th UFC Bout
Karine Silva4 days ago

Can Continue Flyweight Climb Saturday
Jamie Mullarkey4 days ago

Looking For Third Straight Victory
PGA4 days ago

Matthew Fitzpatrick Looks To Rebound At Memorial
Brendon Todd4 days ago

Playing Well Heading To Ohio
Christiaan Bezuidenhout4 days ago

A Volatile Option This Week
Tom Hoge4 days ago

Playing Well But Tough To Trust At The Memorial
PGA4 days ago

K.H. Lee Looks To Extend Consecutive Cuts-Made Streak
PGA4 days ago

Byeong Hun An Continues Playing Well Heading To The Memorial
Billy Horschel4 days ago

To Defend Title At The Memorial
Keith Mitchell4 days ago

Hoping To Replicate Last Year’s Performance
PGA4 days ago

Cameron Davis A Risky Play At The Memorial
Keegan Bradley4 days ago

A Volatile Play Heading To Muirfield Village
4 days ago

Tom Kim Making Debut At The Memorial
Justin Thomas4 days ago

To Contend At The Memorial
Rory McIlroy4 days ago

Looks To Keep Momentum Going At The Memorial
Viktor Hovland4 days ago

In Search Of Signature Win
Xander Schauffele4 days ago

A Favorite At The Memorial
Thomas Detry4 days ago

Set For Memorial Debut
Kurt Kitayama4 days ago

A Boom-Or-Bust Option At Muirfield
Corey Conners4 days ago

Should Stay Hot At Muirfield
Cameron Young4 days ago

Continues To Struggle
Tyrrell Hatton4 days ago

Continues To Stay Hot
Patrick Rodgers4 days ago

Continues To Struggle On Approach
Adin Hill5 days ago

Shuts Out Stars In Game 6
Reilly Smith5 days ago

Hands Out Two Assists In Game 6 Victory
William Karlsson5 days ago

Tallies Three Points As Vegas Eliminates Dallas
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