2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Chris Towers’ favorite players at each position



NYM


N.Y. Mets

• #40

Age: 32

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

187

Roto

176

Roto (C)

9

H2H

174

H2H (C)

9

2019 Stats
AVG

0.288

HR

14

R

52

RBI

73

SB

1

SO

69

His 2019 was undoubtedly a down year for Ramos, but he still hit .288 and finished as the No. 8 catcher in Fantasy, and now he’s … the No. 8 catcher off the board in ADP. OK, that makes sense, if you think Ramos isn’t likely to get better at 32 years old. However, Ramos was still above-average in hard-hit rate and average exit velocity, he just had the lowest average launch angle in the game. Ramos acknowledged he was hitting the ball on the ground too often, and spent the offseason trying to fix that flaw. If he does, a return to 2018 levels of production isn’t out of the question, and Ramos was arguably the top catcher in Fantasy on a per-game basis that season.


NYY


N.Y. Yankees

• #59

Age: 29

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

209

Roto

194

Roto (1B)

18

H2H

183

H2H (1B)

16

2019 Stats
AVG

0.263

HR

21

R

72

RBI

62

SB

0

SO

142

2019 was a bit of a disappointment for the Luke Voit boosters, although I think it’s fair to say he had a pretty good excuse. Through the end of July, Voit was hitting .278/.392/.493, and was on pace for 33 homers, 94 RBI and 104 runs — pretty close to what Carlos Santana ended up with. A No. 7 finish for the 20th first baseman off the board would be pretty sweet. Voit couldn’t hit anything from August on, but it seems pretty fair to blame that on the hernia injury that sent him to the IL that ultimately required offseason surgery. If he can get back to that pre-injury level, he’s going to be one of the best values for 2020.


MIL


Milwaukee

• #18

Age: 23

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

84

Roto

52

Roto (2B)

7

H2H

69

H2H (2B)

9

2019 Stats
AVG

0.303

HR

19

R

51

RBI

49

SB

9

SO

107

Hiura is being ranked and drafted aggressively, but I think it’s more than fair. Hiura hit .313 with 38 homers, 95 RBI, and 95 runs between Triple-A and the majors last season, while adding 16 steals, and the underlying batted ball metrics back it up. He sported elite average exit velocities and hard-hit rates, plus an elite barrel rate. He’s what people think Fernando Tatis is as a hitter, and he won’t be a zero in steals either.


CHW


Chi. White Sox

• #10

Age: 24

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

73

Roto

85

Roto (3B)

11

H2H

90

H2H (3B)

13

2019 Stats
AVG

0.315

HR

25

R

83

RBI

79

SB

10

SO

154

Moncada broke out in 2019, finally living up to the lofty expectations placed on his shoulders as a top prospect, but it isn’t quite reflected in his price. Don’t buy too much into the concerns about his inflated BABIP; Moncada has the highest in MLB history. He became a more aggressive hitter in 2019, and it allowed him to put his plentiful gifts to good use. Expect more of the same in 2020, perhaps with some added stolen bases.


LAD


L.A. Dodgers

• #5

Age: 25

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

163

Roto

129

Roto (SS)

16

H2H

137

H2H (SS)

15

2019 Stats
AVG

0.272

HR

19

R

82

RBI

87

SB

1

SO

98

I’ve never been much of a Corey Seager guy, but I love buying him at his reduced 2020 cost. Seager got off to a rough start, but was excellent from May on, and I think it’s fair to give a mulligan for his slow start, given he was coming back from Tommy John surgery as well as hip surgery. I still want to see more over-the-fence pop from Seager, but I have little doubt he has the raw power to provide it, and an increase in average launch angle late in the season gives me hope.


CIN


Cincinnati

• #2

Age: 28

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

64

Roto

90

Roto (OF)

23

H2H

100

H2H (OF)

23

2019 Stats
AVG

0.289

HR

27

R

100

RBI

73

SB

2

SO

143

Freed from the unfriendly confines of Comerica Park, Castellanos bloomed into the hitter we always thought he could be. I don’t expect him to sustain an OPS north of 1.000 like he did in his brief stint with the Cubs, but his all-around hitting acumen should lead to terrific production in the Great American Ballpark. If you want to know what the upside could be, it looks a lot like what J.D. Martinez did in 2019.


CLE


Cleveland

• #32

Age: 24

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

184

Roto

165

Roto (OF)

44

H2H

211

H2H (OF)

47

2019 Stats
AVG

0.249

HR

37

R

69

RBI

81

SB

0

SO

156

Reyes has as much raw power as anyone in the game, as evidenced by his 93.3 mph average exit velocity and 51.0% hard-hit rate, both among the elite marks for all hitters. Reyes needs to find a way to be more consistent, and it would be nice to see him make more contact to make the most of his natural raw power. However, even if he doesn’t take a step forward, a .270 average and 40-plus homers is very much within Reyes’ realm of possibilities. If he does improve, there’s 50-homer upside.


HOU


Houston

• #30

Age: 23

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

252

Roto

128

Roto (OF)

34

H2H

156

H2H (OF)

34

2019 Stats
AVG

0.269

HR

4

R

15

RBI

11

SB

5

SO

20

Tucker was Luis Robert before Luis Robert. Tucker is now sort of in no man’s land because he’s not a prospect anymore and hasn’t established himself yet as a major-league contributor, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have significant upside. He just turned 23 and is a career .297/.365/.571 hitter in Triple-A, with a 39-homer, 33-steal-per-150-game pace. There’s a chance we’re talking about Tucker as a borderline first-round pick next season, and you can get him quite a bit later right now.


MIN


Minnesota

• #23

Age: 39

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

41

Roto

71

Roto (DH)

5

H2H

85

H2H (DH)

9

2019 Stats
AVG

0.311

HR

41

R

81

RBI

108

SB

0

SO

131

What more do we need to say about Nelson Cruz? He performs like a stud every year, and every year he goes later and later in drafts. He was a borderline first-rounder last season, and if you take him in the sixth round, that might be considered a reach by some in your league. Me, I’ll bet he keeps performing like a stud. He’ll run out of gas at some point, but hopefully it won’t come until after he’s retired, ala David Ortiz.


TB


Tampa Bay

• #50

Age: 36

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

32

Roto

47

Roto (SP)

17

H2H

32

H2H (SP)

17

2019 Stats
INN

194.2

W

16

K’s

240

ERA

3.05

WHIP

1.08

Morton doesn’t have quite the lengthy track record of Cruz, but it’s a similar situation where the only real knock against him is his age. Morton was an unquestionable Fantasy ace in 2019, just like he was in 2018 and for long stretches of 2017. He’s fine as your No. 1 starter; if you get him as your No. 2, you’re in a great spot.


ARI


Arizona

• #23

Age: 24

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

136

Roto

118

Roto (SP)

34

H2H

96

H2H (SP)

34

2019 Stats
INN

80.0

W

3

K’s

96

ERA

2.81

WHIP

1.23

Usually, when we’re talking about young pitchers, we’re hoping they can add another pitch to round our their arsenal, or otherwise have workload questions to answer. Gallen, on the other hand, has four pitches he can throw in any count and threw 171.1 innings in 2019. He has the potential to step up as an ace as soon as 2020 if he improves his surprisingly mediocre control from 2019. I’ve taken him as my No. 2 starter in several leagues.


DET


Detroit

• #48

Age: 29

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

174

Roto

142

Roto (SP)

39

H2H

118

H2H (SP)

39

2019 Stats
INN

185.1

W

9

K’s

238

ERA

4.56

WHIP

1.23

If you just look at ERA, Boyd was the same pitcher in 2019 he’s always been, and even posted a worse WHIP than the previous year. But he was a vastly different pitcher, with one of the highest strikeout and swinging strike rates in the game, thanks to a renewed focus on his slider. That wasn’t enough to take his game to the next level, but the refined curveball and changeup he showed in spring training could be. We could be looking at the next mid-career breakout, ala Patrick Corbin, at a mid-round price. He’s on as many of my teams as I can manage.


PIT


Pittsburgh

• #23

Age: 23

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

250

Roto

228

Roto (SP)

59

H2H

171

H2H (SP)

59

2019 Stats
INN

48.0

W

1

K’s

65

ERA

7.13

WHIP

1.83

Keller had one of the worst MLB debuts imaginable, but there were reasons to be optimistic about the top prospect, if you looked beneath the ugly ERA. His slider and curveball looked like legitimate weapons, but he was too reliant on his fastball and paid the price for it. The Pirates seem to get less out of their prized pitching prospects than any franchise in baseball in recent years, but a new, more analytically inclined coaching staff is looking to change that. This team doesn’t want to waste another Tyler Glasnow, and I have faith they’ll get the most out of Keller this time.


NYY


N.Y. Yankees

• #47

Age: 27

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

238

Roto

265

Roto (RP)

NR

H2H

220

H2H (RP)

NR

2019 Stats
INN

4.0

W

0

K’s

5

ERA

6.75

WHIP

1.75

It’s been a while since we saw him, but Montgomery was probably better than you remember way back in his rookie season of 2017. He had a 3.88 ERA and 1.230 WHIP with an above-average strikeout rate before his 2018 season was ended by Tommy John surgery. His velocity was all the way back in spring training, and his command of a deep arsenal makes him a nice breakout candidate at a depressed price, especially with that Yankee offense and bullpen backing him up.


NYM


N.Y. Mets

• #39

Age: 26

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

123

Roto

152

Roto (RP)

14

H2H

153

H2H (RP)

16

2019 Stats
INN

58.0

S

26

K’s

99

ERA

5.59

WHIP

1.38

I love drafting players when their value is down, and Diaz’s probably won’t ever be lower. He was the No. 1 reliever off most draft boards this time last year, but he struggled mightily in 2019 with home runs, something he attributed to an issue gripping his signature slider. With an offseason of work, I’m willing to buy that he’ll have fixed that issue, which should lead him back to the top of the reliever ranks.


STL


St. Louis

• #65

Age: 28

Fantasy Breakdown
ADP

193

Roto

168

Roto (RP)

20

H2H

177

H2H (RP)

23

2019 Stats
INN

74.0

S

1

K’s

93

ERA

2.31

WHIP

0.81

I don’t usually like to buy one-year breakout relievers, because the sample size of success is so small, but because Gallegos didn’t have many saves, his price isn’t as inflated as some other one-year wonders. He did a pretty convincing Edwin Diaz impersonation in his first full season in the big leagues, riding an elite slider to huge strikeout numbers and elite ratio stats. He still has to win the closer’s job, but I’m willing to bet he will with a pick in the second half of my draft.





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