The still-to-be-determined start of the 2020 MLB season has added an interesting wrinkle to fantasy baseball draft prep. We at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best possible information heading into your drafts in these unprecedented times.
Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts, in many cases, because of the delayed start to the season. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?
Today's video focuses on New York Yankees outfielder/DH Giancarlo Stanton.
Draft or Pass at current ADP: 76.6 (OF20)
Stanton's tenure in New York has been far from a fairytale. Following a league-leading 59-home-run, 132-RBI season in Miami in 2017, Stanton had just an OK first year with the Yankees in 2018 following his trade to New York. He hit .266 with 38 home runs and 100 RBI but was booed early and often by fans after each of his 211 strikeouts.
Still, many were optimistic for Year 2. He got the first-year-in-New-York jitters out of the way and was poised to return to MVP form. Unfortunately, Stanton never got the chance as injuries to his biceps, shoulder, knee, calf, and quads limited him to just 23 total games (postseason included) in 2019.
2020 wasn't starting any better after a calf injury in spring training was primed to land him on the IL to start the season. However, the extra time off during the pandemic will likely allow Stanton to start on Opening Day whenever possible.
In March, Stanton ranked as my OF14 and No. 52 overall player with the following projection: 88R - 41HR - 101RBI - 2SB - .268 in 490 ABs. I adjusted my projection throughout a full season (with expected wear and tear) to 93R - 44HR - 107RBI - 2SB - .268 in 520 ABs, making him a borderline Top 10 outfielder.
All future projections will need to reflect what appears to be an 82-game season ahead (with ballpark factors adjusted when more info is known about the schedule), but Stanton is very underrated. He may need some extra time off compared to the other top players, but he's still a borderline Top 50 player.
We haven't seen him unlock his full potential in New York, but he could be a league-winner if he does. I'll happily take him in the fifth round of fantasy drafts while the average fantasy player waits until Round 7. And hey, he seems like a good, charitable guy.
READ MORE: 2020 New York Yankees Team Preview