Welcome back to another article! You need to be a happy reader going through this article because you need to take a few days off with Spring Training Baseball. It’s so nice to see speed bumps and new tracks thrown by our favorite guts. The new look batting positions and placements in the lineup for these hitters. The crack of the bat from Jazz Chisholm to give us our first Spring Training home run meant we were up and running. That does not mean you should forget about the draft! The draft season has reached the home stretch with less than a month left before the regular season begins. Lots of information that we need to continue to process as players continue to iron out kinks and get their feet wet during spring training.
When we prepare for one of the best days of the year (opening day), there are still many imaginative tasks available. The goal is for everyone who reads all these great articles on Fantrax to go out and win their league. For this article, we look at hitters you can prepare late (ranging from 300-500 ADP on NFBC) to help you if you lack power.
These players will provide cheap pop, and with good playing time and health, it should be a lock to give you 25+ home runs. I have been using the NFBC (National Fantasy Baseball Championships) ADP since February 14th for this discussion. Let’s take a look at some guys who can send balls to the souvenir city late. Don’t forget to check out all the other great content on FantraxHQ!
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2021 Cheap power targets
Bully Tellez, Toronto Blue Jays
2021 NFBC ADP: 306.86
At the start of the offseason, it was difficult to find a person who did not try to catch Rowdy Tellez as a late goal draft pick. One could say that he was a “talented Tellez” ready for star status. However, the Blue Jays’ lineup received an incredible boost later this winter, adding George Springer and Marcus Semien. This created a lot of quality hitters established in almost every position except say catcher. With the new hitters in the fold, there will not be enough playing time for everyone, and Randal Grichuk and Bully Tellez were the two biggest losers from this.
Tellez is limited to first base defensively, but with Semien, Bichette and Biggio locking down 2B-SS-3B, Vlad Jr. should first be anchored. Strictly speaking, it leaves the DH position between Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, or the one who needs a day off in the field. Roster Resource has Tellez split as everyday DH for now, so take it as you like. This would eventually hit a bunch, as he is the only talented LHH on the Blue Jays list.
Looking back at the limited selection that is the 2020 season, Tellez showed some signs that he made the corner to become an everyday player. He hit .283 / .346 / .540 with a .886 OPS and 133 wRC +. The bigger changes were that he cut the knockout rate from 28.4% in 2019 to 15.7% in 2020. He did this while increasing his walk rate to a career-high 8.7% and was one of four hitters in the league who hit a ball over 117 mph.
Looking under the hood, there are some real changes in why these results were there. Tellez was surprisingly less aggressive in the zone than the league average the first two years in the league, and 2020 was his first year of getting the swing frequency to above the league average. He was able to do this while reducing the hunt by 3%.
One of the other big changes is that Tellez cut down the turn and misses. His Z-Contact and O-Contact jumped almost 7% respectfully. O-Contact may be a harder thing to maintain year after year, but he seemed to have better control of the zone by 2020. The two previous years of his career, he seemed to struggle to hit the fastball at the top of the zone and would consistently chase. In 2020, he seemed to post them much more. Tellez became more selective in his search for his places towards the middle of the zone, and it seemed to work for him. Similarly, he had trouble breaking and turning speeds down and away his first two seasons, but by 2020 he stopped chasing them.
Finally, looking at Tellez’s power, it has been incredibly legitimate all along. Tellez has always been able to have a fantastic quality of contact. He maintained an exit speed of over 90 km / h, elevated the hard-hit speed almost 4%, and xSLG increased for the third year in a row. Tellez does not hit many ground balls or pop-ups, so when Tellez makes contact, good things often happen.
I think with the playing time Tellez should get in the middle of this stacked lineup, it will be a lot of shock if he does not hit at least 30 bombs.
Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox
2021 NFBC ADP: 329.09
I think the hype train in Dalbec has already started if you are tuned in to Fantasy Baseball Twitter. At the time of writing, Dalbec already has two home runs against my twins.
Bobby Dalbectoday’s 2. HR.
109 mph outside the bat (the first was 103) pic.twitter.com/5d7dxS6wr2
– Alex Fast (@ AlexFast8) March 3, 2021
This gives Bobby Dalbec 3 home races already in the first matches of spring training. This continues a stretch that saw Dalbec beat 8 home runs in 23 games in 2020. Dalbec’s biggest problem is that he will knock out a lot. In the 23 games last season, he struck out 39 times out of 80 on bats, an almost 50% K-percent. Yikes. When Dalbec wraps up his 9th record appearance, he already has three strikes this spring.
Dalbec has chained up and is down 10 lb to go into this season. He has also come out and said that his approach is to be more aggressive early in the count, but let the ball come to him when he turns. It is expected that Dalbec will enter the first base and in the middle of the Red Sox order, and will easily provide 30 home forces for your squad.
Ty France, Seattle Mariners
2021 NFBC ADP: 365.58
In class AAA in 2019, France beat. 399 with 27 homers and 89 RBI. It is not a misprint. We have been waiting for him to be able to show these skills at the big league level. Thanks to last year’s trade, he should have a chance to play every day in Seattle.
The 26-year-old France has MLB experience back to 2019, but he has never played in more than 69 games in a season. He played 69 games in 2019 and 43 between the Padres and Mariners in 2020. He is expected to have more playing time than ever between 2B, 3B and DH in his first full year.
Let’s take a look at France’s numbers between both stops. In the first half of the shortened 2020 season with San Diego: He hit .309 / .377 / .491 with four doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs in 20 games. In the second half with Seattle: He knocked down .302 / .362 / .453 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 13 RBIs in 23 games.
While France’s hard interest rate fell almost 13% and the exit rate to the bottom 8% in the league, there is still reason to be tense. He was able to slow down the K-speed, increase his walking frequency, and still barrel the ball with a hefty percentage of almost 9%. France’s ability to keep its barrel on the plane in the strike zone for long distances, along with its turn decisions, are characteristics that set France apart.
It may be safer to project 25+ round trips for France, but it should be a great addition to the late round.
Nate Lowe, Texas Rangers
2021 NFBC ADP: 375.85
I have written about Lowe in a 1B sleeping article that you can also check out on FantraxHQ. He has all the tools there to give a lot of value to this close to 400 ADP. In 2020, Lowe dropped .224 / .316 / .433 with 4 home runs, 11 RBIs and 1 steal in 76 record appearances. Although there are not a lot of record appearances, the road to everyday playing time is there with the Rangers.
Looking at the negative in his profile: It must be his incredibly high strike percentage. In 169 bats in 2019, Lowe had a strike percentage of 30%. It got even worse in 76 bats in 2020, at 36%. There is not a strong chance of lasting in the big leagues with an outcome rate of 36% (the league average is 21.8%). I hope Lowe’s reduces it by getting even playing time.
When he watched the last 121 games with AAA, he showed great improvements. In 2018, Lowe went from 24.5 K% and 7.7 BB% to in 2019 20.2% and 17.7% with respect. This makes me believe as he became more comfortable at that level, and shows what kind of growth he can have with everyday bats. One thing we never talk about enough is how difficult it can be for a hitter to produce when they do not see everyday playing time.
One of the big reasons I think Lowe will end up producing more than where ADP is at the moment is his high contact rate. Lowe has a career contact rate just below the league average while he has a career stretch rate of 31.8%. Now imagine how much higher the contact frequency goes up and how many more balls that guy can run up when the strikes start coming down. Lowe’s solid plate discipline, good contact skills and clearing the ball the way he does, indicate that this guy is going to figure it out, and he’s going to do it in a big way. The influx of record appearances will provide enough counter statistics at least, where it’s worth taking a gamble late in drafting this guy. Another 30+ bombs can be easily obtained here.
Hunter Renfroe, Boston Red Sox
2021 NFBC ADP: 461.84
Two Red Sox players on this list? Either I’m a genius or a little crazy. Probably the latter, but that’s fine.
Renfroe has hit at least 26 home runs from 2017-2019, while he never reached 500 record appearances in any of these seasons. If you multiply Renfroe’s 8 home runs in 139 record appearances by 3.5 (490 at-bats which is just below his 494 at-bats in 2019), you get 28 home runs. It would fit consistently with 26.26, and 33 the three previous seasons.
While Renfroe will never give you any kind of good stroke average (career .228 hits), he ranked top 61% in starting speed and top 59% in barrel percentage. Nothing amazing, but better than the league average. He also increased his tour percentage for a fourth season in a row and cut the results to less than 30% in the limited 2020.
The biggest concern in Renfroe’s power profile is his z-swing percentage. It fell almost 8% in 2020 and was a career-low 57.1%. In fact, it has been below the league average since 2018. I would like to see Renfroe increase this with his swing percentage in general.
In a Red Sox series that does not have many guarantees outside of a handful of boys, Renfroe may have the best path to playing time he has ever had. If he gets 500 record appearances, you can easily lock him inside 30.
Media / Link Credit: Baseball Scholar; @ AlexFast8 on Twitter
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