100 Facts for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Season

No opinions. No fluff. Just facts.

As the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Each summer, one of the trailblazers of the fantasy sports industry, ESPN’s Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR)—and star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Avengers: Endgame—writes his “100 Facts for the Fantasy Football Season” article for the upcoming NFL season. It’s always one of my favorite reads for fantasy football prep season. Simple, concise, and informative.

So as a way of paying homage to one of the titans of the fantasy sports industry, I thought I would compile a list of some of my favorite stats that I’ve come across during fantasy baseball draft prep season. Since Berry has turned his focus solely towards fantasy football over the past decade, I thought I would give baseball a shot. I salute you, Talented Mr. Roto.

So, without further ado, my 100 facts for the 2021 fantasy baseball season:

 

  1. Mike Trout had a 28.9 feet/second sprint speed in 2020 (94th percentile), which ranked Top 20 in all of major league baseball (with at least 25 competitive runs). He had only one stolen base.
  2. Andrés Giménez had an equal 28.9 ft/second sprint speed and had eight stolen bases in just 49 games (that’s a pace of 26 SB over the course of a full season).
  3. From 2017-2019, Mike Trout’s sprint speed was 29.4, 29.3, and 29.3 ft/second, and he registered 22, 24, and 11 stolen baes during those seasons.
  4. Mike Trout is still only 29 years old.
  5. Dating back to the 2019 All-Star break, in his past 25 starts, Padres’ newly-acquired starter Yu Darvish has compiled a 12-7 record to go along with a 2.40 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 12.04 K/9 across his last 157.2 innings.
  6. From 2016-2019 (excluding the 2020 season which adopted the universal DH), Blake Snell made 13 starts against NL teams. In those 13 starts, he was 7-2 with a 1.43 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and 11.78 K/9.
  7. Snell allowed only 12 ER across 75.2 IP with 99 strikeouts.
  8. Even if you include the truncated 2020 season with the universal DH, Snell has made 16 starts against NL teams in his career with a 2.06 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 11.88 K/9.
  9. Blake Snell now pitches for the Padres, who play in the National League.
  10. This spring, Snell is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, and 13 K’s in 14.1 IP.
  11. Nick Castellanos has never hit 30 home runs in a season. During last year’s abbreviated 60-game season, he hit 14 HR in 60 games, which translates to a 38-HR pace over a full season. He is also a career .274 hitter.
  12. Nick Castellanos plays for the Reds, who play their home games at Great American Ballpark.
  13. Great American Ballpark ranked first in all of baseball for home runs via ESPN Park Factors in 2020 (and fourth in runs).
  14. Great American Ballpark ranked first in all of baseball for home runs via ESPN Park Factors in 2018 as well (and fourth in runs).
  15. From 2018-2019, Bryce Harper averaged 101 runs, 35 home runs, 107 RBI, and 14 stolen bases across those two seasons.
  16. In 2020, Bryce Harper posted career-highs in nearly every major Statcast category, including barrel percentage (17.3%), exit velocity (92.5 mph), xBA (.308), xSLG (.656), xwOBA (.453), xwOBAcon (.512), hard-hit percentage (50.7%), and walk-percentage (20.1%).
  17. All of those metrics ranked 92nd percentile or higher in all of baseball.
  18. Bryce Harper has only missed 10 total games over the past three seasons.
  19. Bryce Harper is still only 28 years old.
  20. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has never posted an ERA above 3.71 or a WHIP above 1.15 in his entire 11-year MLB career. In 2020, Jansen ranked in the 99th percentile in all baseball in exit velocity and in the 100th percentile in hard-hit %.
  21. Jansen has ranked in the top-10% of baseball in exit velocity, xwOBA, hard-hit %, and xERA for five consecutive seasons.
  22. In 2020, Cleveland reliever James Karinchak ranked in the 97th percentile or better in all of baseball in xERA, barrel %, whiff %, xBA, strikeout %, xwOBA, and xSLG.
  23. Karinchak finished tied with NL Rookie of the Year Devin Williams with a major-league best 17.67 K/9 in 2020.
  24. The Tampa Bay Rays had twelve different relievers record a save in 2020. Twelve. In 60 games.
  25. Diego Castillo recorded the Rays only save during the 2020 World Series against the Dodgers.
  26. Blue Jays 27-year-old reliever Jordan Romano registered a 1.23 ERA and 0.89 WHIP across 14.2 innings last season with a 12.89 K/9.
  27. Romano has 13 strikeouts in just 5.2 innings this spring (through Saturday).
  28. Blue Jays 33-year-old closer Kirby Yates is out for the season after recently undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
  29. From 2018-2020, Adalberto Mondesi registered 99 stolen bases in just 236 games.
  30. Jonathan Villar tallied 91 stolen bases in that same time frame, while playing over a hundred more games (355).
  31. Trea Turner compiled 90 stolen bases in that same time frame, while playing 343 games.
  32. Whit Merrifield stole 77 bases over that same span, while playing in 380 games.
  33. Merrifield played in every single game in 2019 and 2020 (and missed only four games in 2018).
  34. In 2020, Twins outfielder Byron Buxton posted career-highs in barrel % (13.5%; 88th percentile), exit velocity (91.2 mph; 85th percentile), launch angle (23.6), and hard-hit % (47.9%; 89th percentile).
  35. His previous career-high in barrel % was 7.8%.
  36. He also set a career-high in xSLG (.543) which ranked in the 93rd percentile in all of baseball.
  37. In 2017, Aaron Judge ranked in the 100th percentile in all of baseball in hard-hit %, xSLG, exit velocity, xwOBA, barrel %, and walk percentage.
  38. In 2018, Aaron Judge ranked in the 94th percentile or greater in all of baseball in hard-hit %, xSLG, exit velocity, xwOBA, barrel %, and walk percentage.
  39. In 2019, Aaron Judge ranked in the 94th percentile or greater in all of baseball in hard-hit %, xSLG, exit velocity, wxOBA, barrel %, and walk percentage.
  40. From 2017-2019, Judge ranked in the 100th percentile for exit velocity in all three seasons.
  41. Aaron Judge’s current ADP via NFBC is 54.54.
  42. Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is currently hitting .471 this spring with an .824 SLG and 1.382 OPS through 15 games (through Saturday).
  43. Guerrero Jr. was the top overall prospect in baseball in 2018 and reportedly lost 40+ pounds this offseason.
  44. He just turned 22 years old last week.
  45. Nick Senzel was the #2 overall pick in the 2016 draft and was a consensus top-10 MLB prospect in 2018-2019. Across 239 career minor league games, he hit .312/.388/.508 with an .895 OPS, 28 homers, and 40 steals.
  46. Senzel is projected to be the Reds everyday center-fielder this season and could potentially hit leadoff.
  47. Senzel plays in Cincinnati. See facts #13 and #14.
  48. In seven playoff games last postseason, Giancarlo Stanton hit .308 with 7 runs, 6 HR, and 13 RBI while slugging 1.038 with an OPS of 1.426.
  49. This spring, Stanton is hitting .303 with an .865 OPS (through Saturday).
  50. Stanton’s current ADP via NFBC is 118.15.
  51. Nelson Cruz hit 16 home runs in 2020 in 53 games, which translates to a 162-game pace of 49 home runs.
  52. From 2014-2019, Cruz averaged 41 HR per season, despite missing 42 games in 2019 (a season in which he still hit 41 home runs).
  53. Reds outfielder Jesse Winker is a career .195 hitter against LHP compared to .299 against RHP, yet in 2020, he hit better against lefties (.265) than righties (.252).
  54. Winker has been treated as a platoon-player throughout much of his career, never playing more than 113 games, but is poised to be the Reds’ everyday left-fielder in 2021.
  55. Winker homered off left-hander Madison Bumgarner in a spring training game on Friday.
  56. Winker plays in Cincinnati. See facts #13 and #14.
  57. Royals starting pitcher and 2018 first round pick Brady Singer pitched to a 4.06 ERA and 1.17 WHIP during his rookie season while striking out 61 batters across 64.1 innings.
  58. In his final four starts of the 2020 season, Singer went 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 25 K’s in 24 innings.
  59. Singer ranked #8 in all of baseball in 2020 in CSW (called strikes + whiffs) at 32.3%.
  60. The seven pitchers ranked ahead of him were: Jacob deGrom, Dylan Bundy, Shane Bieber, Yu Darvish, Dinelson Lamet, Aaron Nola, and Kenta Maeda.
  61. Singer’s current ADP is 247 on NFBC and 268 on FantasyPros.
  62. Across his last 115 games spanning between 2019-2020, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ has hit 23 home runs. Over a 162-game season, that translates to a 32-HR pace.
  63. Before a three-week September slump to end the regular season, Ian Happ was hitting .310 with 12 home runs, 21 runs, and 24 RBI along with a .674 SLG and 1.093 OPS on September 5th, 2020 (through 39 games played).
  64. Ian Happ has multi-position eligibility at 2B, 3B, and OF eligibility in Yahoo formats this season and his current ADP is 160.02 via NFBC/152.0 via FantasyPros.
  65. Aaron Hicks hit 27 home runs with 90 runs, 79 RBI, and 11 SB in just 137 games in 2018.
  66. Hicks is slated to bat third for the Yankees to begin the season, surrounded in the lineup by DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres.
  67. In 2019, Orioles 1B/OF Trey Mancini hit 35 home runs with 97 RBI while hitting .291 with an .899 OPS.
  68. The 29-year-old Mancini missed the 2020 season while making a valiant and remarkable recovery from colon cancer, which is now in remission.
  69. This spring, Mancini is hitting .326 with two home runs through 15 games (through Saturday).
  70. In 2017 and 2019, Oriole Park at Camden Yards finished in the top-five for home runs via ESPN Park Factors. And in 2018, it was ranked #9.
  71. After undergoing offseason right shoulder surgery to remove loose cartilage in January 2020, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suárez hit just .115 through his first 18 games with only two home runs, a .246 SLG, and a .516 OPS.
  72. Over his final 39 games, Suárez hit .241 with 13 homers, a .569 SLG, and .901 OPS.
  73. Suárez is rumored to be moving to shortstop for the Reds this season which should gain him additional position flexibility. Also, Suárez plays in Cincinnati—see facts #13 and #14.
  74. Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron hit 16 HR in 2017 (in only 100 games) while playing for the Angels, hit 30 HR in 2018 while playing for the Rays, and hit 25 HR in 2019 while playing for the Twins.
  75. In 2018, C.J. Cron’s 15% barrel percentage and .544 xSLG ranked in the top 10% in baseball.
  76. From 2017-2019, Angel Stadium, Tropicana Field, and Target Field all ranked in the bottom half in all of baseball for home runs and runs via ESPN Park Factors.
  77. Coors Field ranked in the top five in baseball every season during that stretch in both home runs and runs scored.
  78. C.J. Cron now plays for the Colorado Rockies who play their home games in Coors Field.
  79. Twins catcher Mitch Garver led all of major league baseball in 2019 with a .357 ISO (a measure of isolated raw power).
  80. Garver struggled during a 23-game sample in 2020 while battling an intercostal muscle strain.
  81. Garver is currently the #13 catcher being drafted per NFBC.
  82. Angels starter Dylan Bundy was ranked #2 in baseball in CSW in 2020 (see fact #60).
  83. Garrett Hampson, a 3rd round pick by the Rockies in 2016, has ranked in the 99th percentile in all of baseball in sprint speed in each of the past three seasons (2018, 2019, and 2020).
  84. Hampson will be the Rockies everyday centerfielder this season and potentially could bat leadoff. See fact #77.
  85. Ian Kennedy, who now pitches for the Rangers, had 30 saves in 2019 for the Royals.
  86. Rangers presumed closer José Leclerc is sidelined indefinitely with an elbow issue.
  87. In 2020, Lance McCullers registered a 3.93 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. If you simply remove the 4th inning in his start at Arizona on August 5th, in which he was charged with eight ER, seven hits, and a walk, McCullers would have finished the regular season with a 2.65 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
  88. Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela ranked in the 97th percentile for xBA last season (.311) while ranking in the 90th percentile for strikeout percentage.
  89. In 2019, Josh Donaldson hit 37 home runs with a .900 OPS while ranking amongst the league-leaders in exit velocity (92.9 mph), hard-hit % (50.5%), barrel %, walk % (15.2%), and xwOBA.
  90. In 2020, his exit velocity (92.8 mph), hard-hit % (53.4%), and walk % (17.6%) were roughly equal to or better than 2019.
  91. The 35-year-old Donaldson is hitting .310 this spring with two home runs and an .885 OPS (through Saturday) and is slated to open the season batting second for the Twins, ahead of Nelson Cruz. See fact #52.
  92. Donaldson’s current ADP is 191.45 per NFBC.
  93. Among qualified hitters in 2020, Nationals outfielder Victor Robles ranked last in average exit velocity (82.2 mph).
  94. In 2019, Cardinals 2B Tommy Edman posted an 87.4 mph exit velocity (18th percentile in baseball).
  95. In 2020, Edman’s exit velocity was 86.5 mph (15th percentile).
  96. Atlanta Braves 22-year-old starter Ian Anderson was the the #3 overall pick in the 2016 draft and posted a career 2.91 ERA across four minor league seasons.
  97. After his call-up in late August last season, Anderson pitched to a 1.95 ERA and 1.08 WHIP across six starts while ranking amongst the league-leaders in barrel %, xBA, xSLG, wOBA, xwOBAcon, and xERA.
  98. In four postseason starts against the Reds, Marlins, and Dodgers, Anderson was 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 24 K’s across 18.2 innings in the playoffs.
  99. Yankees 28-year-old left-hander Jordan Montgomery, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, ranked in the 95th percentile in exit velocity last season, the 92nd percentile for walk percentage, and the 88th percentile for hard-hit %.
  100. This spring, Montgomery is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 0.70 WHIP. His ADP is 223.50 via NFBC/235.0 via FantasyPros.

 

PS: Despite evidence to the contrary above, I am not a Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota, Twins, or New York Yankees fan. I simply just try to follow the bread crumbs.

 

Photos by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

 

Lucas Spence

Writer for Pitcher List and contributor for FantasyPros and InStreetClothes. Certified Physician Assistant trained in Emergency Medicine + Urgent Care services. Proud husband and father of three. Follow him on Twitter @lspence24. "No amount of money ever bought a second of time." - Tony/Howard Stark

  • Avatar Mario says:

    This was clever and fun

  • Avatar Floyd says:

    It was fun – nice work! I am going to say that Hampson being the everyday CF for the Rockies is not a fact though.

    • Lucas Spence Lucas Spence says:

      Thanks for reading Floyd. Yeah, still an unsettled situation for sure in the Rockies outfield. The Rodgers injury certainly clears the way for regular playing time for Hampson in the early part of the season. Feels like a make-or-break season for him for sure.

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