I, along with probably everyone else who is reading this, have done a ton of mock drafts to get ready for the fantasy baseball season. I wanted to take the team I liked the most, and kind of explain the basis of my strategy and why I picked some of the players I did. This particular team is from a 10 team Head to Head points mock on which I had the 9th overall pick. Here’s how it lines up (the players name is accompanied with the round in which they were taken:
C: Yasmani Grandal (17)
1B: Paul Goldschmidt (1)
2B: Matt Carpenter (8)
3B: Kyle Seager (6)
SS: Aledmys Diaz (12)
MI: Brandon Crawford (18)
CI: Mike Moustakas (20)
OF: Christian Yelich (4), Ryan Braun (5), Yoenis Cespedes (7), Andrew Benintendi (13), Michael Brantley (15)
UTIL: Tommy Joseph (23)
BE: Javy Baez (22), David Dahl (16), Austin Hedges (25)
SP: Kershaw (2), Arrieta (3), Grienke (10), Teheran (11), Harvey (14), Matz (19), Paxton (21)
RP: Oh (9), Capps (24)
Since this was a H2H Points draft, I wanted to try and keep my team as balanced as possible. I was able to draft guys who don’t strike out a ton, and are typically pretty consistent (maybe with the exceptions of Grandal, Joseph, and Baez).
Normally I won’t take a pitcher until round 6 or so, but in this particular draft, things up for me to go with two pitchers in the first three rounds. I feel as if there is a good amount of safety, mixed with ace upside potential for all 7 starters. Of those pitchers, the player who I feel has the most value in relation to where they were taken is James Paxton being taken in the 21st round, 209th overall. According to FantasyPros Average Draft Position (ADP), Paxton is being taken at around 169th overall, which in terms of 10-team leagues is the 17th round. For a player who has the potential to finish in the Top 20 amongst pitchers, that’s absolute theft.
The biggest question mark though, is Matt Harvey. He is coming off Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Surgery that received this off-season, and his velocity is currently down about two mph from where he was at this point last year. Also, for those who care about spring training stats, he’s been pretty abysmal with a 7.30 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in just 12.1 innings. The question with Harvey is if he can return to the player he was in 2015 (2.71 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 in 189.1 IP), which I think he can, which is why I was willing to draft him in the 14th round.
Oh yeah, also Seung-Hwan Oh and Carter Capps (when healthy) are two of the best relievers in baseball. If Capps can be ready for Opening Day, he will more than likely begin the season as the Padres closer. Getting him in the 24th round is exceptionally good value in a place where there isn’t many guys who can tally points for getting saves.
These hitters are pretty well-rounded too. I try to shoot for either 2 of my top OF or 3 of top 20 OF, and that’s exactly what happened. I got the best 1st baseman, an extremely consistent 3rd baseman, and my 2B and SS are both guys that I really like. The person I like the most of the group is Matt Carpenter. I think him having eligibility at three different positions (1B, 2B, 3B) is the most important cog to this lineup. The reason I have him at 2nd base right now is mostly due to the fact that it is seemingly unclear just how much playing time Javy Baez is going to get. With Kyle Schwarber likely manning left field, that pushes Ben Zobrist to 2nd base, leaving Baez in kind of one of those super utility roles. However, if Baez does play 4-5 games per week, and Mike Moustakas is struggling, I can move Matt Carpenter to the Corner Infield Spot and stick Baez in the 2B spot. I drafted Matt Carpenter in the 8th round, but has the potential to be a top 10 guy at the three positions he’s eligible for. Mix the flexibility with the safety and potential upside, and you’re looking at a guy who can be of huge importance to any team.
The other guy who I think could really turn some heads this year is Austin Hedges. Up until this point, there really hasn’t been anything to write home about for Hedges in his Major League career. However, last year he spent the year in Triple A, and after adding a leg kick, among a couple other mechanical adjustments, he slashed .326/.353/.597 with 21 HR, 82 RBI, and 51 strikeouts in 334 Plate Appearances. Again, if you think Spring Training Stats matter, he’s batting .310 with an OPS of .747. I think for a 25th round pick, Hedges is worth taking a shot on.
Overall, I feel as if this is the best drafted team I’ve been able to put together. There aren’t too many holes, and there is a lot of balance mixed with a great amount of upside. If I could put together a team like this for the important drafts, there’s going to be a lot of games won.