2021 Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa pitched their way to the AL East title last season, leading to a 40-20 record. They finished third in the majors in ERA (3.56) while bowing out in the sixth games of the World Series against the Dodgers.
Despite their success, the Rays finished only fourth in the AL East in runs scored (289).
Tampa traded SP Blake Snell to Padres for SP Luis Patino, C Francisco Mejia, C Blake Hunt, and SP Cole Wilcox in the offseason. The Rays gained a controllable upside arm in Patino while removing Snell's injury risk at age 28 before his next big contract.
They signed SP Michael Wacha, who has underachieved expectations since his success in 2015 (17-7 with a 3.38 ERA and 153 strikeouts). Tampa shipped RP Jose Alvarado to the Phillies for 1B Dillon Paulson in a three-way deal. The Rays also moved 1B Nate Lowe to Texas for C Heriberto Hernandez, IF Osleivis Basabe, and 1B Alexander Ovalles.
In mid-February, Tampa signed three veteran arms – SP Rich Hill, SO Chris Archer, and SP Collin McHugh.
Their offense lacks elite depth and top-shelf hitting talent. Last year OF Randy Arozarena carried Tampa in the postseason after having only 84 career at-bats in the majors. Austin Meadows needs to regain his 2019 form while also waiting for SS Wander Franco to push his way through Tampa’s minor league system.
The Rays starting rotation is led by Tyler Glasnow, but he needs to prove he can handle 30 starts in the majors. The back of the rotation should hinge on the development of Luis Patino and Brendan McKay.
Tampa has shown the ability to rotate in multiple arms late in games over the last few seasons. Their relievers led the majors in saves (23) in 2020 while also pitching up 25 wins with a 3.37 ERA and 263 strikeouts over 269.2 innings.
1. OF Austin Meadows
Meadows went from a difference-maker in 2019 to a bust last season. He landed on the Covid list in July, leading to 10 missed games to start the year. His season ended with two weeks to go due to an oblique issue. Meadows’ failure came from a sharp rise in his strikeout rate (32.9 – 22.2 in 2019).
For the fantasy owners looking for a leadoff hitter with a chance at 30 steals in 2019, they were rewarded with a great season from Meadows based on his draft value. He finished with only 12 steals while posting a breakthrough year in power (33 home runs and 89 RBI). Meadows delivered a middle-of-the-order RBI rate (18) with strength in both his average hit rate (1.922) and contact batting average (.386), which were career-bests.
Meadows hit .294 hitter in the minors with 46 home runs, 229 RBI, and 66 steals over 1,761 at-bats while offering a better approach (strikeout rate – 16.3 and walk rate – 8.6). He played well enough vs. lefties with Tampa in 2019 (.275 with nine home runs and 32 RBI over 167 at-bats) to be in the lineup every day.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: His early ADP (94) in 2021 ranks him as the 25th outfielder drafted. Fantasy owners are willing to look past his struggles last season. Meadows has the foundation skill set to bounce back in a big way. Ideally, the Rays should hit him third in the batting order. His development of power is real while also owning more speed.
2. 2B Brandon Lowe
Over four seasons in the minors, Lowe hit .279 with 38 home runs, 178 RBI, and 21 steals over 1,186 at-bats, highlighted by his success at AA and AAA in 2018 (.297 with 22 home runs, 76 RBI, and eight stolen bases over 380 at-bats). He showed the ability to take a walk (12.1 percent), while his strikeout rate (19.8) came in better than the league average (21.5).
Over 138 games of action with Tampa in 2019 and 2020, Lowe flashed plus power (31 home runs) with 78 runs, 88 RBI, and eight steals over 489 at-bats. His average hit rate has been strong over the past three seasons between the minors and the majors, supporting his success in home runs.
In 2020, Lowe cleaned up his strikeout rate (25.9) compared to 2019 (34.6) with Tampa. Even with improvement, his batting average has limited upside at this point of his career. He did post a high contact batting average in 2019 (.437) with a pullback last year (.385).
When given a chance against left-handed pitching last season, Lowe hit .300 with six home runs and nine RBI over 50 at-bats.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: An improving player who has a much higher ADP (73) in 2021. I believe in his power, but Lowe could lose some at-bats against left-handed pitching if he has any regression. His runs, RBI, and batting average have a neutral feel, while any speed would be a bonus.
3. OF Randy Arozarena
After playing well over three seasons in the minors (.292 with 201 runs, 38 home runs, 151 RBI, and 61 steals over 1,129 at-bats), Arozarena finally earned a starting job in the majors in 2020. He flashed power (seven home runs over 63 at-bats) in September before shifting into a much higher gear in the postseason (29-for-77 with 19 runs, 10 home runs, and 14 RBI).
Over his 141 at-bats in the majors, Arozarena had 14 walks (8.5 percent) and 44 strikeouts (26.8 percent), which may be a sign that his second stint with Tampa won’t be as electric.
His average hit rate (2.278 in the regular season and 2.207 in the postseason) was well above his previous path in the minors (1.640 in 2017, 1.582 in 2018, and 1.661 in 2019).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: This season the Rays will slide him into a favorable part of the batting order. The sum of his parts looks to have a foundation of a five-category player. His short resume does invite some failure based on his higher ADP (59). I’ll start the bidding at a .270 hitter with an 80/25/80/20 type skill set.
4. 1B Ji-Man Choi
Choi gave Tampa good at-bats vs. RH pitching (.274 with 17 HRs and 57 RBI over 329 at-bats) in 2019, but he never found his rhythm last season. He’ll have a minimal chance against lefties (.194 with three home runs and eight RBI over 98 at-bats in 2019 and 2020).
His strikeout rate (24.8) had regression last year with strength in his walk rate (13.8).
Choi spent most of the previous six seasons at AAA, where he hit .291 over 1,018 at-bats with 35 home runs, 189 RBI, and ten steals while never having over 425 at-bats at any level.
His AVH rate (1.786) improved in the last two years in the majors, but Choi finished with fade in his contact batting average (.326).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: At best, 450 at-bats with 60 runs, 20 home runs, and 70 RBI as a platoon player.
5. 3B Joey Wendle
After showing progress in 2018 with Tampa (.300 with seven home runs, 61 RBI, and 16 steals over 487 at-bats), Wendle had an injury-plagued season in 2019. He worked himself into a rotational role last year while seeing time at second base, third base, and shortstop.
His stats last season projected over 500 at-bats would come to 72 runs, 12 home runs, 51 RBI, and 24 stolen bases. Wendle hit for a better average when making contact (.361), but his average hit rate (1.521) remains in an area where a breakthrough in power is unlikely. Over his 34 at-bats against lefties, he hit .294 with no home runs and three RBI.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Wendle is only a part-time player with an outside chance at double-digit home runs and a run at 20 steals.
6. OF Manuel Margot
In his first season in Tampa, Margot supplied speed (12 steals) while managing only one home run over 145 at-bats. His average hit rate (1.308) was well below his improvement in 2019 (1.656).
Over the last three seasons, he had a low contact batting average (.301, .300, and .325), which puts a low ceiling on his potential batting average. Margot did have the best approach of his career (strikeout rate – 15.7 and walk rate – 8.2) in 2020.
Over five years in the majors, he hit .250 with 34 home runs, 141 RBI, and 62 steals over 1,544 at-bats.
Last season he struggled against lefties (.222 with one home run and two RBI over 36 at-bats), which was his strong suit in 2019 (.330 with two home runs and seven RBI over 103 at-bats). Tampa likes to play matchups, making Margot a tough player to time.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: In 2019, Margot finished with an intriguing combination of home runs (12) and stolen bases (20) over 398 at-bats. If repeated with 550 at-bats, he would be more than worthy of his price point (ADP of 258). Margot is overpriced for me while possibly tough to manage during the year.
7. SS Willy Adames
Adames still hasn’t worked his way to a trusted asset at his position in the fantasy market. He made strides in 2019 when setting career-highs in runs (69), home runs (20), and RBI (52). His path last year projected to 86 runs, 24 home runs, and 68 RBI with 550 at-bats.
He finished with regression in his strikeout rate (36.1 – 26.2 in 2019), but Adames offset this shortfall with a career-best contact batting average (.432) and growth in his average hit rate (1.854). His upside in power is restricted by his low fly ball rate (31.5)
Over six seasons in the minors, Adames hit .270 with 38 home runs, 281 RBI, and 52 steals over 2,283 at-bats.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Only a flier despite having a rising floor in home runs and underlying speed. His batting average will remain a liability until he gets his strikeouts under control. Adames will be in the free-agent pool (ADP – 389) in all shallow redraft leagues.
8. C Francisco Mejia
Over seven years in the minors, Mejia hit .295 with 58 home runs, 325 RBI, and 18 stolen bases over 1,988 at-bats. He handled himself well at AA in 2017 (.297 with 14 home runs and 52 RBI over 347 at-bats) with almost repeated value at AAA (.302 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI over 490 at-bats). His walk rate (6.5) was below the minor league average, with strength in his strikeout rate (16.0).
In 2019, Mejia had his best opportunity in the majors (.265 with eight home runs and 22 RBI over 226 at-bats). The Padres didn’t have him a fair chance last year (39 at-bats).
His approach (strikeout rate – 22.7 and walk rate – 4.9) came in weaker than expected over the last two seasons.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: He does have a rising average hit rate, which gives him a chance at 15-plus home runs this year with 400 at-bats. His ADP (476) is more reflective of his playing time than his talent.
Mejia is a viable C2 in shallow leagues with the talent to pop if given a full-time starting job. A move back to the American League does improve his chance at playing time.
9. OF Kevin Kiermaier
Over the last three seasons, Kiermaier posted a dismal contact batting average (.299, .297, and .313), which kills any thought of an uptick in batting average.
He’ll never hit higher in the batting order, but Kiermaier did have a bump in his walk rate (12.6) and fade in his strikeout rate (26.4) in 2020. He hit only .222 from 2018 to 2020 over 917 at-bats with 24 home runs, 106 RBI, and 37 steals.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Kiermaier earns his keep with his glove, which doesn’t offset his lack of fantasy value with his bat.
C Mike Zunino
At times, Zunino can work as a backend power hitter if a fantasy owner has the right team structure to handle his batting average risk. His struggles come from a massive strikeout rate (44.1), which remains in line with his career resume (34.5).
In 2017, his CTBA (.427) pointed to an improved skill set. Last year Zunino only hit .289 when making contact. He has a fly-ball swing (47.1 in his career) with a regression HR/FB rate (17.4).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Tampa signed him to a $2 million deal, which points to only a backup role. A fading second catcher in deep leagues while having a great power swing if he ever figures how to make better contact.
3B Yandy Diaz
Diaz hit for a high average (.307) for the first five weeks of 2020 while showing a top-shelf approach (strikeout rate – 12.3) and walk rate – 16.7). Unfortunately, he turned into a singles hitter (average hit rate – 1.257) with no help in the counting categories.
His season ended at the end of August due to a hamstring issue.
He is a career .311 hitter in the minors with 26 home runs, 224 RBI, and 25 steals over 1,879 at-bats. He's handled himself at AAA (.319 with 15 HRs, 118 RBI, and eight SBs over 1,036 at-bats) over the last four seasons.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: For now, Diaz will compete for starts against lefties. His swing and approach give him a chance at more playing time if he regains some of his growth in power from 2019. Don’t dismiss a hot run where his value in batting average helps a fantasy team.
OF Yoshi Tsutsugo
In his first season in the majors, Tsutsugo failed to make hard contact. His CTBA (.290) came in well below his three previous seasons in Japan (.369, .376, and .390) while having regression in his strikeout rate (27.0 – 20.8 in his career in Japan). He did continue to take walks (14.1) while maintaining an impactful average hit rate (2.000).
His highlight year came in 2016 (.322 with 44 home runs and 110 RBI over 469 at-bats). Over 10 seasons in Japan, he hit .284 with 205 home runs and 615 RBI over 3,460 at-bats. Tsutsugo has an early hip clearing swing that allows him to pull the ball for power while keeping his hands back. This approach helps when asked to turn quickly on fastballs inside. Tsutsugo can also deliver home runs the opposite way.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: There is a better player here, and no one will fight for him on draft day based on his early ADP (522). Even with struggles in 2020, Tsutsugo was on pace for 77 runs, 23 home runs, and 69 RBI with 450 at-bats.
With improved contact, more balls will leave the yard with a rebound in his batting average. His downside comes from an expected platoon role, making him more difficult to start in shallow leagues.
Mike Brosseau (3B): Brosseau flashed power (11 home runs and 28 RBI over 218 at-bats) over his first two seasons in the majors, but he did strikeout 29.2 percent of the time while holding his own in batting average (.284).
In 2019, he hit .304 with 16 home runs and 60 RBI over 270 at-bats at AAA. Batting average has been an asset in the minors (.297 in his career), but he only hit seven home runs over his first 484 at-bats at rookie ball and two levels of A-ball. Brosseau showed a much better approach in the minors (strikeout rate – 16.5 and walk rate – 8.4).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: A sneaky player who will start the year with a utility infield role for the Rays.
1. SP Tyler Glasnow
The Rays eased Glasnow into the 2020 season, which led to fewer than five innings pitched in his first four starts. He struggled in his third and fourth games (nine runs and 18 base runners over 6.2 innings) putting him in a hole in ERA (7.04) and WHIP (1.761). Over his first seven starts, he went 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 42 innings while batters only hit .171 against him.
Over five seasons in the majors, Glasnow only has a 4.43 ERA due to early struggles with his command (4.2 walks per nine in his career).
He dominated over seven years in the minors (45-21 with a 2.01 ERA and 788 strikeouts over 595.2 innings) with no problems at AAA (19-6 with a 1.93 ERA and 324 strikeouts over 27.1 innings).
His AFB (97.6) is impressive, but it was easier to hit (.264 BAA) last season. His curveball (.125 BAA) creates his high number of swings and misses. At this point in his career, Glasnow only offers a show-me changeup (.286 BAA), which was more effective in 2019 (.125 BAA).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Glasnow has never pitched over 125 innings in any year in his career. His 2019 season with Tampa was cut short due to a forearm issue. His next step is making 30 six-inning starts, which is a must based on his ADP (52).
Last year he did battle home runs (1.7 per nine). There’s a sub 2.50 ERA here with a run at 225 strikeouts, but Glasnow has a lot to prove at age 27.
2. SP Rich Hill
Hill started 2019 on the injured list with a left knee issue. Once he returned to the starting rotation in late April, he went 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA and 59 strikeouts over 52 innings despite allowing 10 home runs.
A left forearm issue cost him about the final three and half of the season, which ultimately led to elbow surgery in late October.
In 2020, his season started with a left shoulder injury and a back issue, which came after his first starts (no runs over five innings with two strikeouts).
After missing three weeks, Hill made seven starts (3.48 ERA) while pitching the best in September (2.38 ERA, .190 BAA, and 21 strikeouts over 22.2 innings).
Hill went 43-22 with a 2.92 ERA and 584 strikeouts over 505 innings over the last six seasons.
His AFB (88.2) was a career-low, with batters struggling to hit his four-seamer (.245 BAA) and his curveball (.173 BAA).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Hill has a fading velocity, with injuries piling up over recent years. He’ll get batters out when on his game. Tampa will give him a quick hook after five innings, making wins challenging to come by. Age 41, Hill only makes fantasy sense as a rotational starter in deep formats with an ADP of 419.
3. SP Chris Archer
Archer missed all of last season with a right shoulder injury that required thoracic outlet surgery. Tampa thought enough about his health to pay him $6,5 million for one year.
In 2019, Archer looked fine over his first four starts (2.74 ERA, .205 BAA, and 26 strikeouts over 23 innings), but he crushed fantasy teams over his next eight starts (7.56 ERA, 1.728 WHIP, .289 BAA, and 14 HRs over 41.2 innings). Over this stretch, Archer missed 19 days due to a thumb injury.
Over his final 11 games, he had 4.42 ERA and 74 strikeouts over 55 innings while trending forward in August (3.00 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 18 innings). His season ended with a bum right shoulder while having a slight hip issue in June.
Archer had a high strikeout rate (10.8), but he walked the most batters (4.1 per nine) of his career with massive damage in home runs allowed (25 over 119.2 innings – 1.9 per nine innings).
Over his last 117 starts, he went 28-48 with a 4.31 ERA and 787 strikeouts over 670.1 innings.
His more significant risk in 2019 came against righties (.260 with 13 home runs over 254 at-bats).
His AFB (94.2) fell more than one MPH from 2018 (95.3). Batters struggled to hit his slider (.232 with 87 strikeouts over 207 at-bats) and changeup (.214 BAA).
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Archer has a sliding fastball, paired with a spike in home runs allowed, and an increase in walks, which is a lousy combination. His ADP (459) is low enough where he could be worth a flier if his spring reports are positive on his health and his velocity.
4. SP Brandon McKay
After drafting McKay with the fourth overall pick in the 2017 June Amateur Draft, he blistered his way through AA and AAA (6-0 with 1.10 ERA and 102 Ks over 73.2 innings). Unfortunately, his arm didn’t play as well once he reached the majors (5.14 ERA).
McKay had strength in his strikeout rate (10.3) and walk rate (2.9) in Tampa, but he was easier to hit (.268 BAA) with too many home runs allowed (1.5 per nine). His average fastball came in at 94.0 in the majors while featuring a curveball (.294 BAA), cutter (.258 BAA), and changeup (.167 BAA).
He was a two-way player in the minors, but his bat (.214 with 15 home runs and 80 RBI over 462 at-bats) is trailing his arm (12-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 226 Ks over 172 innings).
McKay missed all of 2020 after having surgery to repair a labrum injury in his left shoulder.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Breakout type arm, but Tampa won’t push him early in the year. Right kind of target based on his ADP (573). McKay has a possible sub 3.00 ERA with 175 strikeouts with 150 innings pitched in the majors, but it may be another year before returning to full strength.
5. SP Ryan Yarbrough
From 2016 to 2019, Yarbrough posted a 52-22 record between the minors and the majors that screams winning arm. In his first two years with Tampa, he has a 27-12 record with a 4.02 ERA and 245 strikeouts over 289 innings. In 2020, his success in wins dried up (only one win over 11 games).
Yarbrough is a command pitcher (1.9 walks per nine) with a weak strikeout rate (7.1). He finished last year with strength in his ERA (3.56) while gaining momentum over his final five games (2.49 ERA).
He regressed vs. RH (.255 BAA) and LH (.259 BAA) batters with a short fastball (87.8 MPH). His changeup (.193 BAA) and slider (.179 BAA) graded well while his cutter (.336 BAA) was much better in 2019 (.224 BAA).
Over his three seasons with Tampa, Yarbrough went 28-16 with a 3.94 ERA and 289 strikeouts over 344.2 innings.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Not an arm that I’ll fight for, but he should win his fair share of games with help in ERA and WHIP. Yarbrough makes more sense as a rotational double starter, which helps his weakness in strikeouts. His early ADP (252) is an area where I would prefer to draft an arm with more upside.
SP Luis Patino
Over three seasons in the minors, Patino went 16-13 with a 2.35 ERA and 279 strikeouts over 234 innings. Last year the Padres gave him experience out of their bullpen, but his command (7.3 walks per nine) left the building. He finished with a 5.19 ERA while serving up three home runs over 17.1 innings.
His average fastball came in at 97.1 MPH. Both his slider (.133 BAA) and changeup (.214 BAA) showed promise.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Coming into last season, Patino only had two starts in his minor league career at AA or higher. Tampa will try to gain back his service time by starting him in the minors in 2021.
Patino has the talent to come quickly, and the Rays want to contend. At best, a June call-up while rarely pitching past the sixth inning.
SP Trevor Richards
Over four seasons in the minors, Richards went 17-16 with a 2.42 ERA and 256 strikeouts over 245.0 innings. He made nine starts in his career at AAA (2.01 ERA and 45 strikeouts over 44.2 innings).
So far in the majors, his walk rate (3.7) and a high HR/9 rate (1.2) have led to a disappointing start to his career (10-21 with a 4.41 ERA and 284 strikeouts over 293.2 innings).
Richard flashed in seven appearances for Tampa in 2019 (1.93 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 23.1 innings), but he lost his way in 2020 (5.91 ERA over 32 innings).
His AFB (91.0) is a liability, but he does have an upside changeup when on his game. In 2020, both his slider (.444 BAA) and curveball (.333 BAA) got him in trouble.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: There’s a better arm here, but he can’t earn a starting job with Tampa without throwing more strikes.
SP Michael Wacha
The lack of success by Wacha continues to baffle me. He came to pro ball with pedigree (first-round draft pick in 2012) with a quick trip to the majors after pitching well in the minors (2.59 ERA and 122 strikeouts over 114.2 innings).
From age 21 to 23, Wacha went 26-14 with a 3.21 ERA and 312 strikeouts over 353 innings for the Cardinals. Since then, his walk rate (3.2) has regressed every year (2.9, 3.0, 3.8, and 3.9) until 2020 (1.9).
Last season he also saw an uptick in his strikeout rate (9.8 – 7.9 in his career), but home runs became a problem (2.4 per nine), and he was much easier to hit (.313 BAA). He allowed four runs or more in five of his last six starts.
His AFB (94.0) fell in line with his career path. Wacha continues to have a plus changeup (.224 BAA), but he did allow four home runs off of it. Both his four-seam fastball (.400 BAA) and cutter (.314 BAA) had no value.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Tons of risk while owning a confidence problem. Wacha needs to locate better in the strike zone and gain another swing and miss pitch. He may start the year in the Rays starting rotation while offering no fantasy value (ADP – 459).
SP Josh Fleming
Despite having only four AAA appearances (5.14 ERA) coming in 2020, Fleming gave the Rays seven productive games (5-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 32.1 innings). His AFB (91.0) is below par, leading to a low strikeout rate (7.0). He threw an excellent changeup (.167 BAA) while relying on a sinker (.250 BAA) and cutter (.346 BAA).
Over three seasons in the minors, he went 22-13 with a 3.40 ERA and 214 strikeouts over 294.0 innings while never striking out more than 6.9 batters per nine innings.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Fleming is almost a poor man’s version of Ryan Yarbrough with better command and lower upside in strikeouts.
CL Nick Anderson
Anderson pitched great in Tampa's second season, but he missed two weeks with a right forearm injury. He started the year with 12 shutout innings with only four hits and two walks allowed while recording 19 strikeouts.
Tampa only gave Anderson three saves chances over his first 11 games before being more prevalent in the ninth inning in September (three saves and one win in seven appearances).
His AFB (95.6) was a step down from 2019 (96.4 MPH) while offering an edge slider (.171 BAA). Anderson went 7-5 with a 2.77 ERA, 136 strikeouts, and seven saves over 81.1 innings over two seasons in the majors.
Anderson was a late-bloomer who worked his way through the minors as a semi-closer. His climb to the big leagues came in 2015 in the Independent League (0.65 ERA and 35 strikeouts over 27.2 innings). Over four seasons in the minors, he posted a 2.25 ERA and 232 strikeouts over 183.2 innings while converting 32 saves.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: This season, Anderson has an ADP of 156, making him a questionable investment if he doesn’t lock down the closing role. Anderson throws strikes with elite strikeout ability (15.0 per nine innings). Sometimes fantasy owners have to bet on the come.
RP Diego Castillo
Over the first month of the season in 2020, Castillo worked in a setup role, leading to a 2.53 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 10.2 innings. He pitched well in the closing role late in August (3-for-3 in save conversions) when Nick Anderson went on the injured list.
In the end, Castillo issued the most walks (4.6 per nine) of his short career while batting home runs (1.2 per nine). He allowed only one extra-base hit over 22 at-bats to left-handed batters (.136 BAA). His AFB (97.0) came below his previous two seasons (99.4 and 98.7 MPH). Castillo throws a slider (.118 BAA) as his top pitch.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Live arm with closing upside once he figures out how to throw more strikes.
RP Pete Fairbanks
After struggling as a starter at A ball in 2016 (4.88 ERA), Fairbanks blew out his right elbow the following season, leading to TJ surgery. In 2019 over four minors' levels, he showcased a jump in his strikeout rate (14.4) with an excellent command (2.5 walks per nine). Despite his success, his ERA (4.53) didn’t come along for the ride.
So far in the majors, his walk rate (4.5) has been a problem. Fairbanks finished 2020 with six wins, a 2.70 ERA, and 39 strikeouts over 26.2 innings. He ended up with a more significant edge against lefties (.191 BAA).
His AFB (98.1) is electric while offering a plus slider.
2021 Fantasy Outlook: Fairbanks has WHIP risk at this point of his career. Once his command develops, he’ll push toward the ninth inning.
2021 Fantasy Baseball Team Outlooks