Circumstances have changed since our first round of draft prep. We're working with a much shorter schedule now, which of course changes the way certain players are valued. It was always the year of the pitcher, with the most skilled at that position enjoying a bump in value at a time when offense dominates the game. But now, even those with workload limitations are able to join in.
Consider this your reintroduction to the 2020 draft pool, accounting for all the changes that have taken place since and because of the coronavirus lockdown. Over the span of 20 articles, Scott White and Chris Towers look at the top 200 in Scott's Rotisserie rankings, highlighting the reasons for and against drafting each. It makes for a well-rounded education on every player, revealing critical details that more argument-based evaluations might conveniently leave out.
So if you want a crash course on this year's player pool, particularly in light of more recent events, you've come to the right place. We're going through Nos. 81-90. And you can find the rest right here: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-70 | 71-80 | 81-90 | 91-100 | 101-110 | 111-120 | 121-130 | 131-140 | 141-150 | 151-160 | 161-170 | 171-180 | 181-190 | 191-200
The Case For: There aren't many players who make more contact than McNeil, whose strikeout rate was the 14th-lowest among qualified players, but he's not just some punch-and-judy hitter — only Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel had a higher ISO among players who struck at as rarely. That makes him one of the safest bets for average, but it also proves he won't just be a one-trick pony.
The Case Against: It's fair to wonder how much of McNeil's power was for real. In the minors, McNeil was rarely even an average power threat, so it's possible those numbers could regress if the baseball isn't quite as lively in 2020. If the power wanes, McNeil could look more like Nick Markakis. -Chris Towers
The Case For: Ever since he mostly put his vision issues behind him in 2017, Pham has been an extremely valuable Fantasy option. He's given you 20 homers and 20 steals in two of the last three years, and went for 25 and 15 in the other season. In an era when speed is at a premium, Pham's ability to steal bases without hurting you anywhere else makes him a valuable commodity.
The Case Against: Pham's circuitous path to the majors and an everyday role mean he'll already be 32 by the time the season starts. He puts the ball on the ground more than you'd expect for a 20-homer guy, with the rate going up a little more each year, and now he'll be playing his home games at Petco Park. We haven't seen a decline in his skill set yet, but that could come any day now, given his age. That's the biggest concern with Pham, or any player in their early 30s. -Chris Towers
The Case For: When a formerly elite player returns to the ranks of the merely mortal, it can be easy to overstate the extent of their decline, and there is some risk of that with Goldschmidt. In his worst season ever, he still hit 34 homers and had nearly 200 combined runs and RBI, despite hitting under .200 in the month of June. Take out that and his average climbs to .274, which is a lot more palatable. It gets harder to avoid those slumps as you age, but Goldschmidt was closer to being a high-end hitter than his overall numbers might suggest.
The Case Against: Goldschmidt is a good example for how quickly age can catch up with a player. He mostly managed to stave off his decline phase in 2018 despite a slow start, but he couldn't really turn it around in 2019. His plate discipline took a step backward last season and Goldschmidt didn't crush fastballs for basically the first time in his career, a sign that the bat might finally be slowing down. The average may not be coming back, and with the stolen bases long gone, Goldschmidt may not be far from being a one-dimension slugger. Those are a dime a dozen at first base. -Chris Towers
The Case For: After a season in which everything seemed to go wrong at the plate, Willson Contreras got back to performing at a level we're more accustomed to, actually setting a career high in home runs despite missing a month with a strained hamstring. His .888 OPS was second among catchers with at least 300 at-bats, and he's one of just three catchers, Gary Sanchez and Yasmani Grandal being the others, with an .800 OPS or better three of the past four seasons, placing him squarely among the elite at the position.
The Case Against: Maybe it's not even worth acknowledging since he has so regularly been able to overcome it, but Contreras' batted-ball profile sure is weird. He makes weak contact and puts the ball on the ground way too often, delivering the sort of line-drive and fly-ball rates that would normally make someone a bad source of both power and batting average. Honestly, the numbers he delivered in 2018, a .249 batting average and .730 OPS, seem more in line with the actual skill set. -Scott White
The Case For: Escaping the Dodgers for Milwaukee, Grandal finally got the first-class treatment he so richly deserved, his playing time rising to the level of a first-division catcher. And as you might expect, it led to career highs across the board. By now, it's pretty clear what he gives you: a modest batting average but with good on-base skills and the likelihood of 25-plus homers. At a position like catcher, it makes him a clear standout — and a more reliable one than most.
The Case Against: Grandal isn't with the Brewers now but the White Sox, who still have James McCann, an All-Star from a year ago, as well as a committed DH in Edwin Encarnacion. So isn't it reasonable to assume Grandal's playing time will be closer to what it was with the Dodgers? Maybe not given the financial investment the White Sox made. Maybe not given the defensive gap that exists between Grandal and McCann. But it's enough for you to at least consider passing up Grandal and waiting for Mitch Garver or Will Smith. -Scott White
The Case For: Correa has put up an OPS north of .900 in two of the past three seasons, and his per-162 game pace over the last three years is a .278 average, 102 runs, 34 homers, 115 RBI and four steals. And that doesn't even capture the full extent of his upside. There's the potential for a .300 average and elite power in a great lineup, but he just has to stay healthy.
The Case Against: He hasn't stayed healthy. Correa hasn't played more than 110 games since 2016 and has topped 120 games just two times in eight professional seasons, including the minors. Correa has also hit below .280 in all but one of his seasons, so while there might be batting average upside, there's also the potential that he's just a three-category contributor even if he is healthy. It's tough to judge his play because he's been hurt so much, but Correa's numbers don't jump off the page as much as you might expect. -Chris Towers
The Case For: After tantalizing with his potential during his first two years in the big leagues, Chapman finally made a high-end contribution in 2020, enjoying a 50 percent increase in home runs to give him the fifth-most at a deep position. His swing is perfectly tailored for home runs, too, producing elite exit velocity and a high fly-ball rate, so there isn't any reason to be suspicious of the production.
The Case Against: Unfortunately, the bad parts of Chapman's stat line are trustworthy, too. The downside to a high fly-ball rate is that the ones that don't clear the fence usually result in outs, so while his .249 batting average may seem low for a player with a respectable strikeout rate, he doesn't profile as much more than a .260 hitter. He'll keep you from falling behind at third base if you pass up some of the more well-rounded options early, but he doesn't excel at anything that's particularly difficult to find. -Scott White
The Case For: In an era when everyone gets strikeouts, Soroka bucked that trend with elite control and strong groundball rates. It's not a popular approach, but it did win Dallas Keuchel a Cy Young award, and with a strong defense and offense backing him up in Atlanta, Soroka is well positioned to continue bucking the league-wide trends. We shouldn't rule out him becoming more of a strikeout pitcher, too, seeing as he's only 22.
The Case Against: As good as Soroka was, he was no Dallas Keuchel, who routinely ran groundball rates in the 60% range at his peak — Soroka was at 51.2%. Soroka did manage to induce a ton of infield pop ups to supplement the worm burners, but it's still a pretty thin line to walk. You should expect his ERA to rise by at least a run, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him post an ERA over 4.00 in 2020. -Chris Towers
The Case For: Berrios has seemingly settled in an interesting place — he's mostly viewed as a stable innings eater, not a potential ace. That's just fine, because you don't have to pay for potential ace production anymore. At the very least, he's got a very high floor, with three straight years of a 3.80-ish ERA and at least six innings per start in two straight seasons. And it's still possible he has a leap left in him — Berrios is still just 26, armed with an incredible breaking ball and growing confidence in his changeup. Don't write him off as an SP4 yet.
The Case Against: Berrios really hasn't shown much improvement to date and might have even taken a small step back in 2019 — his SIERA fell from 3.80 to 4.28, and his strikeout rate similarly dipped. The changeup could hold the key to unlocking his potential, but the pitch hasn't shown that kind of upside yet. There's more Kyle Hendricks in Jose Berrios' profile than we might want to admit. Maybe this is just who he is? -Chris Towers
The Case For: You want a catcher who can hit? Garver did it better than any other last year. No, really. His .995 OPS? First at the position. His .630 slug? Easily first. His .357 ISO? No one else came close. Even in terms of Head-to-Head points per game, his 3.61 was as far ahead of J.T. Realmuto's 3.05 as Paul Goldschmidt's was ahead of Garrett Cooper's. He made the sort of hard contact that would support that kind of power with the sort of launch angle that would ensure enough of those batted balls clear the fence. And now that Jason Castro is gone, the catcher job is all his.
The Case Against: With the kind of numbers Garver was putting up, why wasn't the catcher job all his in the first place? He was better against lefties than righties, sure, but he still had a .902 OPS against righties. Castro may have been a better defender, but enough to justify a near 50/50 split behind the plate? Come on. Garver's 29 years of age is reason enough to raise suspicion, and the Twins' treatment of him certainly doesn't defuse it. -Scott White
So which sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kenta Maeda's huge breakout last season, and find out.