Cleveland Indians Fantasy Baseball Positional Breakdown for 2021

C: Roberto Perez 2020 notes

As many of these catchers are, there is a lower BAPIP with a high HR/FB rate, along with a high GB rate. This translates to one of the best catchers hitting in the game potentially.

Won fielder awards in recent years and is an average hitting with good power.

1B: Jake Bauers 2020 notes

Can’t figure out what they will do with Bauers as he’s a lefty that’s not outstanding vs. Righties. It would be unusual it seems to use him vs. lefties instead but he was better vs. the latter last season in a short career.

For 2021: The main thing is improving defensively at the position. He has a reworked swing as an upside wildcard. No need to really draft unless last pick. He does not have the experience in MLB due to the depth chart.

2B: Cesar Hernandez 2020 notes

Provides stolen bases vs. Righties. A switch hitter who can hit righties as a lefty as well, so that’s when we’ll look at playing him daily.

For 2021: More of the same projected unless shipped out for some reason, looks to lead off in the order I would think providing on base and steal potential in many fantasy formats. Great utility guy for your bench.

3B: Jose Ramirez 2020 notes

Batting cleanup in this lineup should set up better for him this season, as these guys get on base and steals nicely for Santana to get on base, and Jose to pop his numbers back up or adjust from his lower Stat Cast, driving in runs. Finished 3rd in MVP voting 2 straight yrs before slumping.

For 2021: Ramirez Stat cast number continued to improve since the slump, as he did enough to finish top 3 in MVP voting. Interestingly sees a lot of pitches at the plate, as that shows for him that his discipline will overcome any future slump before its very long again.

SS: Andres Gimenez/Amed Rosario

For 2021: This combo will provide decent or average fielding which is the main concern for the team here. Rosario traditionally for his career is better for stolen base upside. Gimenez is an average hitter, younger for the future.

OF: Franmil Reyes 2020 notes

Low BAPIP, great ISO, Hard contact, and FB rate, make for a DFS option that will meet or exceed 2019 as long as his salary stays lower then the Big sluggers, as he’s top 1-5% in Stat Cast Power numbers.

OF: Bradley Zimmer: no 2020 notes

For 2021: 16.7 Hard hit rate last year will not do. Look for Oscar Mercado to key in to compete. See below for Mercado notes.

OF: Daniel Johnson: no 2020 notes

Johnson has a few tools, as he has proven to help score runs and get on base, even with extra base hits in ST. Likely sharing time with Luplow mentioned below.

Update: OF Eddie Rosario will take the plate 3rd or 4th in the order despite below average fielding, will rack up 30+ homers giving the Indians exactly what they need in consistent power if nothing else.

OF bench Greg Allen 2020 notes

Always a speed threat. Extra stolen bases leading to Lindor is the DFS key here.

More 2020 bench notes: 

Bench: Domingo Santana: 6’5″ 220, had 21 HR, and career .797 OPS, Tyler Naquin, Delino DeSheilds (no longer with team), and Jordan Luplow. Basically platoon split guys, with pop and DeSheilds with speed, he can lead off if needed.

Prospects: Bobby Bradley. 1B/DH bats L. Tlyer Freeman. Had .306 BA as he has enough physical ability to improve his power as he’s already showed in limited time in majors that he’s a good hitter.

1B/OF reserve or Platoon: Oscar Mercado 2020 notes

As a 25 yr old, he’s ready to improve on his power and speed combo, as he interestingly has hit on his minor league numbers, matching them in his rookie campaign. Stat Cast shows him as a top 20 speed guy.

SP1: Shane Bieber  RHP 24 yr old, R 6’3″ 2020 notes

Went 6.5 innings regularly. ERA of 3.28. 15-8 record, 11 K/9 and 1.3 HR/9 he needs to improve. Named opening day starter, as he was the 5th pitcher to start last yr. and had a 30% SO rate, showing great upside and a 4.7% walk rate, hoping to feature his changeup, as he’s needing to get the HR rate down, which is caused by allowing a 90.4 mph average exit velocity. So that 4% compared to Clevinger makes a big difference in allowing HRs. Velocity being so important as the underlying stat as he hopes to allow less hits off the barrel of the bat this season.

For 2021: Bieber had a historical season in Cleveland Indians history combining for most wins, lowest ERA, and most Strikeouts in a season. He will continue his dominance despite the lackluster results vs. the NYY in the playoffs. His pitch combos are THE best in the American League.

SP2: Zack Plesac  RHP 25 yr old

ERA 3.81, 6.85 K/9, did a lot better in minors, high A for a couple years. Dosen’t do anything really well, gives you up to a 95 mph fastball. He will start out in the minors, leaving way for the next guy.

For 2021: Plesac had an astronomical improvement, moving in on the SP3 slot, now set to use his highly athletic ability to bring his 4 pitch repertoire as a big strong movement in and out of zone. Love having his fielding ability to help protect against runs and get outs. The Fastball is also in mid 90s.

P3: Aaron Civale R 24 yr old  5.7 IPG, giving you 2.34 ERA, very consistent specializing in the fastball even though its not as fast as other guys topping out about 93-94. specializing also in the curve, changeup and slider. Elite quality in allowing hardly any barrels, resulting in very low SLG allowed. Not a SO guy, about 7 K/9.

For 2021: Has improved now getting up to over 8K/9. He’s very effectively using the cutter and curve to induce soft contact. his 2.34 ERA has balanced out to 3.59, hopefully not dropping any more, allowing value in drafts..

SP4: Triston McKenzie RHP

Another guy in a long list of SP’s who look to build upon success and move up the rotation quickly, using natural fastball tools complimented by a plus curveball. He’s 6’5″, however skinny as a rail if you have not seen him.

SP5: Logan Allen LHP

One of the only lefties on the mound for the team in 2021, he will also employ 4 pitches total to try and feature the changeup. He’ll have to decrease his WHIP and use these to produce SO’s for fantasy upside.

P6: Adam Plutko 28 yr old R 2020 notes

4.86 ERA, given the right splits you can attack these guys with low upside,

Other: Brad Hand all-star quality closer, fans 13+per 9. Terry Francona was the master at using pitchers in certain matchups, however that will not be any advantage this yr. 3rd Best Bullpen.

For 2021: He may start out in the 5th SP spot, and work his way down into the bullpen to be most effective lacking in as many pitches mentioned with these prospects such as McKenzie and Allen.

Emmanuel Clase, who should be groomed as the closer after a couple yrs, throws average of 99.6 mph. He will unfortunately have to wait for that due to PEDs. James Karinchak will handle the closer duties likely for the season. He’s very effective vs. righties and get almost 2 SO/IP. Look for Nick Wittgren to handle a larger role in innings until these flame throwers come in, as a possible RP to use in season long fantasy. He’s also affective vs. lefties even though he’s a righty, to make plenty of SO’s as well.

Overall pitching last year:

6th in opposing BA

4th in ERA



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