Matty Kiwoom’s Fantasy Baseball Award Winners (Opening Day Edition)

My updated positional rankings are out now!

Link: https://couchguysports.com/matty-kiwooms-fantasy-baseball-positional-rankings-2/

Opening Day is here! Professional baseball is back, and I am so excited.  Now is the perfect time to drop my preseason Fantasy Baseball Awards.


Francisco Lindor

The New York Mets shortstop is poised to have a massive season.  I currently have him ranked as my number 2 shortstop.  He is being drafted in the second round.  This is exactly why I think he will be this year’s most valuable fantasy baseball player.  For the teams who drew a late first, Lindor can be a massive win.  Those team builders missed out on the consensus top 5.  With Lindor those squads do not need to worry.  I really like the idea of grabbing an elite starter than Lindor.  That would be the base that is worth building around.

Francisco Lindor is a potential MVP candidate in real life.  He will be the top dog in the Mets lineup.  Lindor is out there to prove he is worth the massive extension that he just recieved.  I have to say I would have loved to sign that piece of paper that gives me generational wealth.  Congrats Francisco!  Mr. Smile is a perfect 2nd round pick.  I don’t necessarily believe that Lindor will be the highest scorer in fantasy, but I think he will be up there.  Given where you can grab him and what he will do in 2021 makes him my Fantasy Baseball MVP.

HHFBB Cy Young:

Walker Buehler

I currently do not have Walker Buehler as my SP 1, but it is not hard to picture.  The kid has dominant stuff, and he plays for the best team in baseball.  That isn’t always crazy important in fantasy, but it certainly has its benefits.  Speaking of Walker’s team, have your heard the term “Dodgered?”  If you haven’t heard, I got you.  It refers to the Los Angeles Dodgers tactic of resting pitchers.  Obviously, this is a smart strategy because they have their eyes on another World Series, but it does suck for fantasy baseball.  My gut tells me that Walker Buehler is going to be allowed to rack up the stats.


The right hander is in the prime of his career, 26, and the organization has let him throw over 180 innings in 2019.  I think the Dodgers let him go full throttle in 2021.  Given his incredible fastball and his ability to control his arsenal, Buehler is primed for a monster campaign.  He isn’t having a great spring statistically, but he does have a 16 to 2 strike out to walk ratio.  That’s enough for me to buy into Buehler’s upside.

HHFBB Rookie of the Year:

Sixto Sanchez

Firstly, I do not really care that he is starting the season off in the alternative site.  Sanchez is just there to continue to stretch out.  He arrived at Spring Training late.  In his limited outings he has still managed to throw gas.  I really like that the Marlins will not rush the righty.  Ultimately, I believe this will benefit Sixto.  He has a great pitch mix and looked unhittable at times last season.  Whenever he is ready to go, he has the stuff to produce right away in fantasy baseball.

Sanchez has the highest ceiling out of the rookie starters.  Looking at his pitch tracking numbers, it is easy to notice where the next step in his development could come from.  If he decides to throw his fastball and slider more and shelf the sinker than it is wheels up for Sixto Sanchez.  There is a slew of supremely talented offensive rookies this year.  I got to give the nod to Sanchez because starting pitching is so valuable in fantasy.

HHFBB Sleeper of the Year: 

Amir Garrett

Amir Garrett is being drafted after pick 250 in NFBC.  He is currently the 32nd reliever off the board in fantasy drafts.  Heading in the 2021 campaign, the Reds will not name a closer.  Garrett and Sims are both in consideration.  Amir Garrett showed up to ST and has completely dominated.  In 8 innings, the lefty has 10 strikeouts and has yet to surrender a base runner.  His fastball, slider combo is just filthy.


Regardless of if you play in points or category leagues, Garrett will severely overperform his ADP.  If you play fantasy sports than you have to pick narratives.  I’m betting on the Reds using Garrett to close out more games than Lucas Sims.  If that is Cincinnati’s decision than Garrett has the upside to be a top 5 relieve in fantasy baseball.   I am all in.  The lefty is RP 8 on my updated rankings.  Amir Garrett has the goods, the mentality, and if he gets the opportunity, this guy can deliver an extreme amount of value this season.

HHFBB Bust of the Year:

Adalberto Mondesi

If you have followed my fantasy coverage this spring than this isn’t a surprise at all.  If you haven’t than maybe this will trigger you.  Also why not go back and look at the bevy of fantastic content that has come out over the past couple of months on coughguysports.com?  Let me offer up the simplest fantasy analysis you will find.  I will not pay through the nose for a player who will steal a ton of bags and not much else.  Just the thought of selecting Mondesi over Xander Bogaerts, Tim Anderson, Gleyber Torres, and Alex Bregman makes me want to hang up the iPad and quit the fantasy sports game.

The only outlier on Mondesi’s hit profile in 2020 was his hard-hit percentage and exit velo.  If you combine his 2020 and 2019 season it sums up to a full season.  In that sample size he struck out over 200 times.  His inability to draw walks, only recording 30 in the last two years, is a major issue.  Adalberto Mondesi is having a hot spring so maybe this will blow up in my face but that’s the business.  I did not use a top 30 overall selection to get Mondesi on any of my teams.  If you did, I think you will have the Bust of the Year on your squad.  GET OUT NOW!

**Post credit scene**

After completing this article Adelberto Mondesi was placed on the 10-IL.  Obviously its too early to claim victory but it may be too late to get out.

My rankings are updated for Opening Day and can always be found on Couch Guys Sports’ website.  (link at the top of the article). The latest episode of the High Heat Fantasy Podcast is out now.  Good luck and study up.

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 – Matt Desrosiers (@MattyKiwoom on Twitter)


Matty Kiwoom

My name is Matt and I'm a sports-a-holic. *pauses for warm welcome*

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