2021 San Francisco Giants
The Giants failed to make the playoffs over the last three seasons, but they got the most out of their roster in 2019 (77-85) and 2020 (29-31). San Francisco won three World Series titles (2010, 2012, and 2014) over the previous 11 years, with one other trip to the postseason. They’ve made the playoffs 26 times in the team’s 138-year history while picking up seven other championships (1888, 1889, 1905, 1921, 1922, 1933, and 1953). The Giants also have 12 other losses in the World Series.
San Fran signed SP Alex Wood, SP Anthony DeSclafani, SP Aaron Sanchez, RP Jake McGee, RP Matt Wisler, 2B Tommy La Stella, and C Curt Casali in the offseason.
They parted ways with SP Drew Smyly, SP Trevor Cahill, SP Jeff Samardzija, SP Tyson Ross, and 2B Daniel Robertson.
The pluses outweigh the losses, but the Giants still rank below the league average in all areas of the game. In 2020, San Francisco finished 18th in ERA (4.64), 8th in runs (299), and 12th in home runs (81).
Offensively, the Giants don’t have one star player, while most of the players expected to make the opening day lineup are on the wrong side of 30. The best help in the minors will come from C Joey Bart, SS Marco Luciano, and OF Heliot Ramos.
The starting rotation should offer competitive innings on most nights while also having some bouts with disaster. San Fran also expects to have four players over 30 years old starting every fifth day.
San Francisco doesn’t have a clear-cut closing option, but Jake McGee and Matt Wisler should improve their depth. Again, youth is missing from the late-inning equation.
1. 2B Tommy La Stella
Over his five seasons in the majors, La Stella hit .264 with 84 runs, 10 home runs, 94 RBI, and four stolen bases over 828 at-bats. His path projected him as a liability on all five categories despite a promising approach (strikeout rate – 12.6 and walk rate – 10.1).
His bat was slightly better in his minor league career (.310 with 183 runs, 24 home runs, 185 RBI, and 24 steals over 1,240 at-bats). La Stella flashed the most power of his career before 2019 at A Ball in 2011 (.328 with nine home runs and 40 RBI over 232 at-bats).
The Angels saw something in his swing in 2019, leading to a breakthrough season in power (.295 with 49 runs, 16 home runs, and 44 RBI over 292 at-bats). His contact batting average (.326) wasn’t exceptional while showing some growth in his average hit rate (1.651).
Last year, La Stella offered a steady season (.281 with 31 runs, five home runs, and 25 RBI over 196 at-bats). His best success came in his approach (strikeout rate – 5.3 and walk rate – 11.8). He lost value in his contact batting average (.299) and average hit rate (1.600).
La Stella ranked 365th in his hard-hit rate (30.8) in 2019 while delivering a weaker number in 2020 (28.3). His HR/FB rate (6.7) was much lower than in 2019 (18.4). He did finish with a much improved fly-ball rate (40.3 – 32.5 in his career).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The Giants signed La Stella to a three-year contract in late January for $19.5, which means he’ll have the best opportunity of his career in 2021. His ADP (349) puts him in the free-agent pool in 12-team formats. I don’t trust his power, but 550 at-bats should lead to 75 runs, 15 home runs, and 75 RBI with help in batting average.
2. OF Mike Yastrzemski
Heading into 2019, Yastrzemski had this battle between playing at AA and AAA with no defining success from 2016 to 2018.
Over five seasons at AA, he hit .257 with 146 runs, 22 home runs, 128 RBI, and 16 steals over .257 at-bats. His swing had a sudden step forward in 2019 at AAA (.316 with 12 home runs and 25 RBI over 136 at-bats), earning him a callup to the majors.
With San Fran in 2019, Yastrzemski played over his minor league resume (.263 with 73 home runs, 363 RBI, and 61 stolen bases over 2,600 at-bats). He hit .272 with 64 runs, 21 home runs, 55 RBI, and two stolen bases over 371 at-bats.
Last year, he had a phenomenal 192 at-bats (.297 with 39 runs, 10 home runs, 35 RBI, and two steals), which projected to 105 runs, 27 home runs, and 95 RBI over 518 at-bats if the season was 162 games.
His strikeout rate (24.4) remains high. Yastrzemski did an excellent job improving his walk rate (13.3).
Over the last two seasons, he posted strength in his average hit rate (1.912) that supports 30+ home runs. His RBI rate (21) moved to an elite area while also pushing his contact batting average (.416) higher.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Yastrzemski won’t be overlooked in 2021 after shining over his first 563 at-bats in the majors (.281 with 103 runs, 31 home runs, 90 RBI, and four steals). He’ll start the year at age 30, making him a late-blooming player. His ADP (138) is now in a much more competitive range where team structure enters decision-making. I love the improved “juice” in his bat, putting on a path for .270/80/20/80 floor.
3. OF Alex Dickerson
Dickerson missed 2017 and 2018 with a back issue and TJ surgery.
His bat played well over the first 24 games at AAA in 2019 (.360 with five home runs and 19 RBI over 86 at-bats), which led to a call-up to the majors in early May.
The Giants barely gave him playing (3-for-19 at-bats with no home runs and two RBI) before landing on the injured list with a wrist issue for two weeks. After three weeks back at AAA (7-for-25 with no home runs and two RBI), Dickerson earned his second chance with San Fran (.386 with six home runs and 23 RBI over 88 at-bats). He suffered an oblique injury that led to two weeks on the injured list while also missing time in September with the same issue. His bat came home with a quiet 64 at-bats (.164 with no home runs and three RBI).
Dickerson pretty much stayed healthy last year, leading to a productive season (.298 with 10 home runs and 27 RBI over 151 at-bats).
Over seven seasons in the minors, Dickerson hit .311 with 63 home runs, 346 RBI, and 26 steals over 2,040 at-bats.
His walk rate (8.4) and strikeout rate (18.2) are favorable in the majors.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Dickerson is an injury-prone player with the talent to shine if he could find a way to stay healthy for 162 games. With 500 at-bats, Dickerson is trending toward a floor of .280 with 80 runs, 20 home runs, and 80 RBI. He has a mid-February ADP of 323.
4. 3B Evan Longoria
Longoria had a slight rebound in his game in 2019 while missing a couple of weeks in July with a left foot injury.
Last year he was on pace for 70 runs, 19 home runs, 76 RBI over 521 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (18.7) beat his career average (20.0) while continuing to have a fading walk rate (5.3).
His average hit rate (1.673) and contact batting average (.318) have been in dull areas over the past four seasons.
Over the last five seasons, Longoria hit .259 with 99 home runs, 335 RBI, and 12 stolen bases over 2,372 at-bats.
He finished with a weaker swing path (49.7 percent ground ball rate), while his HR/FB rate (14.0) fell in line with his career average (14.2). Longoria ranked 69th in hard-hit rate (45.9).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Longoria was a great player before the age of 26. His approach doesn’t have the same zip, and he no longer has a batting cleanup bat. Longoria is only an injury replacement bat at this point of his career with a free agent pool ADP (475).
5. C Buster Posey
Posey turned into a big hole in a fantasy roster in 2018 and 2019, especially when adding his draft value. He opted out of last season.
His average (1.398) barely has a pulse with a fading RBI rate (13). He finished with his highest strikeout rate (16.0) since 2011, with a sharp decline in his walk rate (7.6).
Posey no longer has an edge against lefties (.230 with no home runs and nine RBI over 126 at-bats).
His fly-ball rate (28.4) is trending down with weakness in his HR/FB rate (7.4).
Over the last two seasons played, he hit .270 with 90 runs, 12 home runs, and 79 RBI over 803 at-bats.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: This ship is lost in the night, with his only attraction being his name. Don’t be tempted by his ADP (246) unless he’s holding an orange in spring training. This once surefire Hall of Famer has a lot to prove going forward.
6. 1B Brandon Belt
Belt started the 2020 season on the injured list with an Achilles issue that required surgery in October. He missed eight of the first 10 games of the season.
When on the field, Belt played at a level that fantasy owners have been chasing for many years. His 2020 stats projected over a full season came to 68 runs, 24 home runs, and 81 RBI, which is also discounted by 13.3 percent due to his missed playing time.
His walk rate (14.2) has been exceptional over the past two seasons while also lowering his strikeout rate (20.1) to a much more attractive area.
Belt finished with a significant jump in his contact batting average (.407 – .308 in 2019), which isn’t repeatable. His RBI rate (17) had middle-of-the-order value, and he pushed his average hit rate (1.913) to an area that supports 30+ home runs.
His swing path typically delivers a high-number of fly balls (42.3 percent – 43.5 in his career). Belt saw a major rise in his HR/FB rate (19.1 – 8.8 in 2019 and 11.4 in his career).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The Giants don’t know if Belt will be ready for opening day. His ADP (434) makes him a viable bench option in 15-team leagues. The improvement of his approach and step up in power should lead to a playable season. Batting average has been a problem from 2017 to 2019 (.242), so I would be careful not to push too hard on his result in batting average (.309) in 2020.
Belt should hit much higher in the Giants lineup once he returns to full strength. In his 10 years in the majors, he doesn’t have a season with over 18 home runs or 80 runs.
7. SS Brandon Crawford
Crawford had a regression in his overall stats from 2017 to 2019 (.245 with 39 home runs, 190 RBI, and 10 steals over 1,549 at-bats).
Last year he was on pace for 70 runs, 22 home runs, and 76 RBI over 464 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (24.2) rose for the fourth straight year while seeing a massive slide in RBI chance since 2016 (437, 411, 382, 335, and on pace for 329 in 2020).
He did maintain a high RBI rate (16). His contact batting average (.352) and average hit rate (1.818) came in well above his path over the past four years.
Over the last 14 seasons, the Giants score over 700 runs twice, and their offense shouldn’t match their short-term bounce of 2020.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Crawford is a fading replacement bat that will be found in the free-agent pool in almost every fantasy league. At best, .250 with a 60/15/60 skill set.
8. OF Mauricio Dubon
The Brewers had an overflow of options at 2B and SS, which led to shipping Dubon to the Giants in July of 2019 for Drew Pomeranz.
His 2018 season was cut short by a torn ACL in his left knee.
In 2019, his bat made a step forward at AAA (.302 with 20 home runs, 56 RBI, and 10 steals over 503 at-bats), leading to a callup to the majors in late August. Dubon hit .279 over 104 at-bats with four home runs and nine RBI in San Fran.
Last year he finished with a steady season (.274 with 21 home runs, 19 RBI, and two stolen bases over 157 at-bats). His bat played the best against left-handed pitching (.341 with two home and seven RBI over 44 at-bats).
Over seven seasons in the minors, he hit .300 with 46 home runs, 285 RBI, and 127 steals over 2,371 at-bats. His walk rate (6.3) in the minors needs work while being tough to strike out (12.8 percent).
Dubon lost some momentum in his average hit rate (1.419) while seeing a bump in his average hit rate (.355) in 2020.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: His ADP (82) requires him to start in 2021 while adding speed into the equation. With three seasons on his minor league resume with 30 stolen bases, Dubon should be more productive in this area going forward. His approach (strikeout rate – 20.5 and walk rate – 8.5) with San Fran may push to the top of the order when he’s playing well. Tough player to handicap as Dubon isn’t a lock to get over 450 at-bats.
C Joey Bart
With Buster Posey fading off into the sunset with his fly swatter of a bat, the Giants drafted Bart with the second overall pick in the 2018 June MLB Amateur Draft.
Over his final two years at Georgia Tech, he hit .330 with 91 runs, 29 home runs, and 81 RBI over 406 at-bats.
In 2019, Bart started the season at High A (.265 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI over 234 at-bats) before a promotion to AA (.316 with four home runs and 11 RBI over 79 at-bats).
His production in the minors (.284 with 84 runs, 29 home runs, 88 RBI, and seven steals over 517 at-bats) grades well, but his approach (strikeout rate – 20.8 and walk rate – 6.0) fell short of expectations.
In his first experience with San Francisco, Bart was overmatched at the plate (.233 with no home and seven RBI over 103 at-bats) due to a much weaker approach (strikeout rate – 36.9 and walk rate – 2.7).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Bart had a high average hit rate (1.782 at High A and 2.000 at AA) in the minors, which sets the stage for a potential 30 home run hitter when he’s ready for the majors. His defense is an asset, putting him on the fast track to San Fran. Bart will start the year in the minors with Buster Posey back on the major league roster. He is a buy-and-hold player in deep leagues.
2B Wilmer Flores
Flores played well in his first season with the Giants while seeing time at first base, second base, third base, and designated hitter. He was on pace for 81 runs, 32 home runs, and 86 RBI over 535 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (16.9) was a career-high while still grading better than the league average. Flores continues to have a low walk rate (6.1).
As a rotational player over his previous five seasons, Flores hit .274 with 209 runs, 70 home runs, and 248 RBI over 1,777 at-bats.
His average hit rate (1.925) was the best of his career, while his contact batting average (.327) moved back to his previous resume.
In his major league career, Flores has been better against lefties (.276 with 40 home runs and 111 RBI over 695 at-bats).
He had a low hard-hit rate (34.4 – 30.8 in 2019), which doesn’t support his jump in home runs. His HR/FB rate (16.9) was the highest of his career.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Flores would be helped by the DH being used in the National League. His bat looks to be in a better place than Evan Longoria, which may end up being his best path for playing time. He should be better than a replacement player if given a starting job. Flores comes in 2021 with a free agent pool ADP (430).
OF Austin Slater
The Giants gave Slater a chance to prove his worth in the majors from 2017 and 2019. Over 484 at-bats with San Fran, he hit .254 with 56 runs, nine home runs, 60 RBI, and eight steals.
Last summer, Slater gave fantasy owners an excellent 10-game run (12-for-32 with nine runs, four home runs, five RBI, and five steals). Unfortunately, he landed on the injured list for two weeks with a groin issue. His bat lost value over his final 36 at-bats (.194 with one home run, one RBI, and two steals).
His strikeout rate (21.2 – 28.9 over his first three seasons) showed growth while doing an excellent job taking walks (15.4 percent).
Slater saw time at AAA in each of the previous four seasons, which led to a .316 batting average with 143 runs, 35 home runs, 146 RBI, and 20 stolen bases over 846 at-bats.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The direction of Slater’s bat is enticing while looking like a handcuff to Alex Dickerson. He may also work his way into at-bats at first base if Brandon Belt starts the season on the injured list. Slater has a ride-him-while-he’s-hot feel when getting starting playing time.
OF Steven Duggar
Duggar hit .290 over four seasons in the minors with 24 home runs, 128 RBI, and 44 steals over 1,299 at-bats. He has a top-of-the-order walk rate (12.7) in the minors while needing to shave off some strikeouts (23.1 percent).
In limit at-bats (83) at AAA in 2019, Duggar hit .337 with 24 runs, three home runs, 13 RBI, and two steals while posting an excellent walk to strikeout ratio (18:21).
Over the past three seasons with the Giants, he hit .236 with 49 runs, six home runs, 48 RBI, and seven stolen bases over 436 at-bats.
His strikeout rate (28.4) and walk rate (5.8) with San Fran fell below his previous resume in the minors.
Duggar had no chance against lefties (.207 with no HRs and five RBI over 89 at-bats) in 2019 and 2020 while striking out 35 times.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The Giants would like for him to take a step forward with his bat, which would upgrade the centerfield position. Only a deep flier with a minimal chance of a return.
1. SP Kevin Gausman
Over six seasons with Baltimore, Gausman failed to live up to his expected value after getting drafted in the first round in 2012. He went 39-51 with a 4.22 ERA and 697 strikeouts over 763.2 innings.
In 2019 between the Reds and Braves, his arm offered too many losing innings (3-7 with 6.19 ERA and 85 strikeouts over 80 innings).
A trip to San Francisco seemed to unlock the keys to his upside last season. After a subpar first six games (4.65 ERA, .274 BAA, 1.290 WHIP, and five home runs over 31 innings), Gausman hit his stride (2.51 ERA and 37 strikeouts over 28.2 innings).
His walk rate (2.4) and strikeout rate (11.9) moved into an attractive area, but he still allowed too many home runs (eight over 59.1 innings – 1.3 per nine innings in his career).
Gausman gained about 1.3 MPH on his fastball (95.5), which was helped by the lowest usage of his four-seamer (51.3) of his career. His split-finger fastball (.092 BAA and 44 strikeouts over 76 at-bats) became an electric pitch. He gained the most confidence in his changeup (.167 BAA) of his career.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Gausman has some similarities to Joe Musgrove heading in 2021. His sample size of elite success was only 28.1 innings while also owning the pedigree to be a better arm. The added trust in his changeup and rebound in velocity paints an intriguing picture when adding in his already favorable walk rate and his improved swing and miss ability.
Gausman will be found in the 12th round (ADP – 136) in many 12-team drafts. I expect a sub 3.50 ERA and over 200 strikeouts.
2. SP Alex Wood
Wood pitched well in 2018 (3.68 ERA and 135 strikeouts over 151.2 innings), but he failed to match his breakout success in 2017 (16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and 151 strikeouts over 152.2 innings).
In 2019, Wood didn’t make his first start until July 28th due to a back injury. His arm had no value over his seven starts (5.80 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, and 11 home runs over 35.2 innings).
Last year, he came into the start of the season in July with a left shoulder injury that led to five weeks on the injured list. Wood looked fine over his first five relief appearances in September (one run over 5.1 innings with seven strikeouts). His season ended on a down note (five runs and eight baserunners over 4.1 innings with four strikeouts).
His AFB (91.5) fell in line with his recent career path. When at his best, Wood features a plus changeup and slider.
Before 2019, Wood had a 3.29 ERA and 738 strikeouts over 803.1 innings.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: His ADP (504) should rise once Wood pitches well in spring training and is named a starter for the Giants. If the March reports are positive, he should work well as a rotational starter in deep leagues.
3. SP Johnny Cueto
Cueto had a huge step back in his command 2020, highlighted by a sharp decline in his first-pitch strike rate (56 – 67 in 2019) and a career-high walk rate (3.7). Home runs have been a problem over the last four seasons (1.4 per nine innings).
He allowed two runs or fewer in six of his first nine starts, which led to a 4.56 ERA. Over his final three games, Cueto 14 runs, 23 baserunners, and two home runs over 16 innings.
From 2017 to 2020, he went 14-15 with a 4.51 ERA and 243 strikeouts over 279.2 innings.
His AFB (91.8) was in a similar range as the last four years. He continues to have success with his changeup (.138 BAA) and curveball (.194 BAA). Batters drilled his four-seam fastball (.344 BAA), sinker (.324 BAA), and slider (.306 BAA).
Cueto battled his command against left-handed batters (17 of his 26 walks over 117 at-bats with a .265 batting average).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: He has a fading veteran arm while failing to pitch over 150 innings since 2016. Cueto has no fantasy value until his arm shows a pulse on the field. His ADP is 533 in the early draft season.
4. SP Anthony DeSclafani
In 2019, DeSclafani looked rather dull over his first 11 starts (4.97 ERA, .258 BAA, and 55 strikeouts over 54.1 innings) due to his struggles with home runs (14). Other than a bad start on June 23rd (six runs and nine baserunners over 4.1 innings), his arm played much better over his next 10 games (3.17 ERA and 60 strikeouts over 54 innings). After two bad showings (9.64 ERA over 9.1 innings), DeSclafani drove home with success over his final eight starts (2.39 RA and 44 strikeouts over 49 innings).
Last year he pitched well over his first two games (no runs over 11 innings with eight strikeouts), but DeSclafani pitched his way out of the starting rotation over his next five starts (24 runs, 46 baserunners, and seven home runs over 18.2 innings).
Left-handed batters hit .333 against him with four home runs and 11 walks over 81 at-bats). Over the last three seasons, he allowed 56 home runs over 315.1 innings (1.7 per nine innings).
His AFB (95.2) was a career-high with improvement in each season in the majors. DeSclafani had two pitches of value (slider – .182 BAA and a low-volume changeup – .154 BAA). His strikeout rate (6.7) was the worst of his career, along with his walk rate (4.3).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The negatives outweigh the positives, but DeSclafani does have a live fastball. He threw strikes before 2020 while making strides in his strikeout ability. His ADP (442) puts him in the start-to-start column if he flashes early in the season and keeps the ball in the yard.
5. SP Logan Webb
Webb had success over seven seasons in the minors (3.36 ERA and 275 strikeouts over 302.1 innings). Despite his path, he never pitched over 105 innings in any season with only one game of experience at AAA (one run over seven innings with seven strikeouts).
The Giants gave him 21 games over the past two seasons, but his arm wasn’t major league-ready (5-7 with a 5.26 ERA and 83 strikeouts over 94 innings). His downside came from a high walk rate (3.6).
Last year he finished with four disaster starts (20 runs and 33 baserunners over 17.1 innings). Over his other 11 appearances, Webb had a 3.16 ERA and 1.405 WHIP over 37 innings.
His AFB (93.5) is about league average. Webb has a plus changeup (.230 BAA) and a winning curveball (.208 BAA).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: There is upside in Webb’s arm once he figures out how to locate his fastball in and out of the strikeout zone. More strikes thrown will also help him pitch deeper games.
SP Aaron Sanchez
After his outstanding 2016 season (15-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 161 strikeouts over 192 innings), Sanchez posted losing stats over his next 28 starts in 2017 and 2018 (5-9 with a 4.72 ERA, 1.603 WHIP, and 110 strikeouts over 141 innings).
His success in 2016 was driven by a much better walk rate (3.0), which regressed to a disaster level in his career in the majors (4.0).
In 2019, Sanchez went 5-14 with a 5.89 ERA and 115 strikeouts over 131.1 innings while battling home runs (1.4 per nine) and walks (4.7 per nine). His season ended in mid-September with right shoulder surgery that required surgery. He missed all of 2020.
Sanchez is a ground pitcher (52.7 percent in his career). His AFB (93.7) in 2019 was below his previous two seasons (94.7 and 94.9).
When at his best, he throws a plus swing-and-miss curveball with a serviceable changeup.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Sanchez signed a one-year $4 million deal in mid-February. He’s had plenty of time to recover from his shoulder injury, but he can’t regain his previous form without throwing more strikes. His best two pitches could also play well late in games. Player to follow this spring when reviewing his success in the first three years with the Blue Jays (24-10 with 2.86 ERA and 249 strikeouts over 317.1 innings).
SP Conner Menez
Over four seasons in the minors, Menez went 26-22 with 4.22 ERA and 474 strikeouts over 424 innings. In 2019, he made a push at AA (2.72 ERA and 70 strikeouts over 59.2 innings), leading to a callup to AAA (4.84 ERA) and the majors (5.29 ERA).
Last year Menez pitched out of the Giants’ bullpen (2.38 ERA over 11.1 innings with eight strikeouts). He allowed a pair of home runs while walking five batters.
His walk rate (3.7) remains too high while showing more risk in San Fran (5.4). Menez does have strikeout ability (10.1) in the minors, with a step down with the Giants (9.5).
His AFB (91.9) is short while offering a slider, curveball, and changeup.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Menez is a wild inning eater with WHIP risk early in his career. His path to more innings in San Fran may come in the bullpen again in 2021.
SP Sean Hjelle
Hjelle had success over three seasons at college (22-10 with a 3.68 ERA, 222 strikeouts, and eight saves over 229.2 innings). The Giants drafted him in the second round in the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft.
After struggling in 2018 at low A (6.75 ERA) while only tossing 21.1 innings over 12 starts, Hjelle pushed his way through three levels in 2019 (7-9 with a 3.32 ERA and 139 strikeouts over 143.2 innings). His stuff did lose value at AA (6.04 ERA and 1.855 WHIP).
His fastball sits in the low 90s while offering a curveball, slider, and a developing changeup.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: The Giants should start him at AAA in 2021. Hjelle can’t have success in the majors without finding better movement in the strike zone.
CL Reyes Moronta
In 2019, Moronta had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. His injury led to him missing all of last season.
Moronta went 10-15 with a 3.59 ERA, 310 strikeouts, and 42 saves over 245.2 innings over seven seasons in the minors.
In 2018 and 2019 with the Giants, he posted a 2.66 ERA and 149 strikeouts over 121.2 innings. His strikeout rate (11.2) graded well, but he walked 5.1 batters per nine innings.
His AFB (97.5) has an edge in velocity and in the strike zone (four-seamer – .197 BAA). Moronta also offered an electric slider (.134 BAA).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: San Francisco lacks a defined closer. Moronta will get a chance at earning saves, but his command isn’t strong enough to trust over the long haul. The health of his right shoulder is a concern after a significant injury. Only a name to follow in spring training. His ADP is 400 in the early draft season.
RP Jake McGee
The detour to Colorado led to four rough seasons (4-11 with a 4.78 ERA, 178 strikeouts, and 19 saves over 195.2 innings) for McGee.
Over 24 games in 2020, his arm returned to an elite level (3-1 with a 2.66 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 20.1 innings), helping the Dodgers win the World Series.
He finished with the lowest walk rate (1.3) of his career, pushing his strikeout rate (14.6) to an elite level.
His AFB (94.9) is below his best season in 2014 (97.5). McGee continues to throw his four-seam fastball a high percentage of time (94.5 percent) while still getting batters out (.224 BAA). His only pitch is a show-me slider.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Only a tease closing option. McGee can be tough to hit, but home runs will get him in big moments.
RP Matt Wisler
Wisler has had tough sledding in his six years in the majors (19-28 with a 4.95 ERA and 339 strikeouts over 414.2 innings).
Last year he pitched well over 18 appearances in the Twins’ bullpen (1.07 ERA, .165 BAA, and 35 strikeouts over 25.1 innings). He set a career-high in his strikeout rate (12.4), but he issued 5.0 walks per nine innings (3.0 in his major league career).
His AFB (92.2) is trending lower. Wisler threw his plus slider (.145 BAA) 83.2 percent of the time last season (only 39.3 percent in his career), leading to a massive jump in his ground ball rate (63.6 – 42.5 in his career). His HR/FB rate (5.7) also came in well below his career average (12.2).
Over eight seasons in the minors, Wisler has a 3.58 ERA and 601 strikeouts over 671.2 innings. He struggled to make an impact five years at AAA (26-20 with a 4.18 ERA and 322 strikeouts over 391.2 innings).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: His arm has a lot to prove over a long season, but the new philosophy using his slider as his lead pitch may push his arm even higher with more strikes thrown.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Team Outlooks