As we approach our first Top 100 hitters post of the season in the coming weeks, I was contemplating what types of hitter profiles would be be ideal during the run-up. Then it dawned on me, my years of dynasty love for a certain Florida man beckoned for analysis as his ADP climbed. His five tool potential and the disrespect of playing time in the Houston heat were about to be recognized. But alas, the Kyle Tucker profile was not meant to be. if you haven’t had a chance to read the work of art that is Grey’s Kyle Tucker Fantasy Bust, please stop now. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go forth and read up on Mr. Tucker.
Now that I have been preempted with an article better than any mere mortal would have provided, it is only right that we slip back down the draft board in the AL west outfield (Yahoo positional eligibility) ranks to see what awaits us at a much more palatable draft price. We will review two Mariners including unanimous Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis and upstart Dylan Moore for this rendition of the 2021 Fantasy Baseball Hitter Profiles.
Kyle Lewis (ADP 132)
Lewis came out of the 2020 gates looking like the Golden Spikes winner that he is. In his first 17 games he slugged 13/4/13/1/.373. Across the next 41 games of the season however, Lewis slowed significantly as his BABIP dropped from .512 to .259 and an associated .209 average. Many of the counting stats remained reasonable despite getting on base at a much lower clip than earlier in the year while continuing to carry a strikeout rate worse than 95% of the league.
Lewis is still only 25 years old and we should expect him to be making adjustments off of his difficult second half in 2020. I feel confident that the power will continue to grow into 2021 and his playing time will be safe after an award winning season in 2020. However, he will need to make those adjustments for the rest of his profile to play and see gains in his hard contact and exit velocity rates where het sits in the bottom half of the league. This is one guy where I would be paying close attention to his approach in the spring to see if he is making any positive adjustments.
2021 Projection: 76/23/71/6/.241
Dylan Moore (ADP 113)
Earlier this offseason, I covered Moore briefly as I discussed draft strategy and ‘Average Killers’ (please drop in to my Batting Average Busts to catch what you may have missed). The short story on Dylan Moore for 2020 was a surprising year fueled by a spike in power at the plate. He made slight improvements in his K% while seeing nearly a quarter of his flyballs finding the seats. Despite that growth, Moore has had some struggles as a professional hitter and he certainly is not as fast as the numbers say (12 steals in 38 games) as he lands in the 71st percentile for speed.
I am afraid Moore will be the victim of some negative regression in 2021 as his average drops (career .211 xBA) and the counting stats follow. To take advantage of the power and ‘speed’, he will have to be on base more than his profile suggests. I do feel the projection systems are a little rough on Mr. Moore, but I want some categorical heroics from a player that is bringing a clear negative to the Roto table. In this profile, those heroics certainly have questions. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moore pushed for playing time as 2021 progresses.
2021 Projection: 63/14/57/15/.233
This is an interesting two horse race in Seattle. I know it was difficult to read between the lines, but I won’t be owning shares on Dylan Moore in 2021. I see Dogecoin as a better investment and have no idea what Dogecoin is! Moving on now…We have the new kid on the block in Kyle Lewis where I see some potential for growth but numerous red flags as well. Just for grins, let us do the blind player comparison:
- Lewis (2020 extrapolated to 150 games): 96/28/72/13/.262
- Mystery Player (2019 in 148 games): 88/22/90/3/.311
The hype train is driving the cost on Kyle Lewis in a similar but much less severe extent as our good friend Kyle Tucker. Investing in upside is great, but when you can grab somebody like our mystery man, Michael Brantley, a few rounds later I would be hesitant to invest. The conclusion from this perspective is a pure pass on these two hitters.