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Mock Draft From Late Pick (Fantasy Baseball)

by Max Freeze | @FreezeStats | Featured Writer
Feb 17, 2018

A dual-eligible, five-category asset like Alex Bregman is hard to pass on if he’s available late in the third round

It’s the middle of February and pitchers and catchers reported to camp earlier this and that marks the start of mock draft season. There’s no better way to start the fantasy baseball season, and you can never do enough mock drafts, and FantasyPros’ Mock Draft Simulator is a great way to mock without taking up several hours of your day. In fact, you can do a mock in ten minutes! I’ve already done several and can’t get enough!

I’ve decided to draft out of the #11 spot in a 12 team mixed, standard 5×5 league. There’s a lot more variance picking out of a late spot than picking out of the top three or four.

You’re most definitely getting a stud hitter in the top four, but once your first pick is after nine or 10, anything can happen. My typical strategy in these late spots is a stud hitter number one and a top tier pitcher at number two, so let’s see how this mock draft turned out!

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1.11 – Giancarlo Stanton (NYY – OF)
I’ve done several mock drafts (12- and 15-team leagues) where I’ve ended up with anywhere from the 10th to the 14th selection, and Stanton has fallen to me in all but one of them. Either I’m overvaluing him or owners are devaluing home runs. Steamer is projecting Stanton for 53 home runs, and I think he’ll end up right at 50. 

Hitting in the middle of the Yankees lineup, he’s a virtual lock for 110 – 120 RBIs, you aren’t getting those numbers anywhere else. Others on the board: KB, Scherzer, Votto, Correa, Machado. I considered Correa, but the upside of Stanton was too high for me to pass up.

2.14 – Corey Kluber (CLE – SP)
My number two ranked SP for 2018. My strategy for my ace is not to be the first to grab a pitcher but to wait until one or two are off the board. If this strategy fails and I can’t get one of the top four, I wait. 

Kluber has everything I’m looking for in an ace and should provide plenty of Ks and wins to go with top tier ratios. Since I already had elite power at number one, I didn’t need to grab the top hitters listed still on the board: Correa, Votto, Freeman, Machado.

3.35 – Alex Bregman (HOU – SS/3B)
This one is going to lower my grade, but I’m very high on Bregman and have him ranked 30th overall. I think he’s got the talent to go .290 & 25-15 while scoring over 100 runs for the best offense in baseball hitting second in front of Altuve and Correa. Yes, I do like him over Corey Seager, I see them as similar players, but Bregman has more speed which gives him the edge. 

Yes, I’ll be playing him at SS, but flexibility never hurts. I also considered Dozier, deGrom, Carrasco, Gordon. I didn’t need another SP and Dee Gordon would have locked up my steals but chose to go with a five-category asset early in the draft.

4.38 – Dee Gordon (SEA – 2B)
What do you know! I love deGrom and Carrasco at this price but it’s about need, and since I already have my ace, I couldn’t pass up on last year’s stolen base leader when steals are at such a premium. I love pairing Stanton with Gordon because you’re getting 50+ HR and 60 steals between the two. 

This type of pairing can work with guys like Aaron Judge and Khris Davis as well. Still on the board: Starling Marte, Jacob DeGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Marcell Ozuna

5.59 – Rhys Hoskins (PHI – 1B)
More power! He’s got legitimate 40 HR power and should hit 30 as a floor in 2018. His great plate discipline with well below average SwStr rates and the patience to repeat a high BB rate should keep Hoskins around a .260-.270 batting average. 

There’s still a ton of solid pitchers left on the board, and with only two picks between my next slot, I’ll wait to grab one in the sixth. I’m looking at 85+ HR between Stanton and Hoskins and have a leg up in steals at this point in the draft with Gordon.

6.62 – Carlos Martinez (STL – SP)
Chris Archer and Robbie Ray went at the turn which is fine with me because I have them ranked right below C-Mart and Darvish. I went C-Mart because he’s one of the few work-horses left. He’s averaged 200 IP the last two seasons, which is becoming more and more scarce. 

He’s done this without increasing his workload significantly; here’s his IP: 179, 195, 205 the last three seasons. I like his Swstr% & Zone% increases coupled with a decrease in contact%.

7.83 – Lorenzo Cain (MIL – OF)
This is not a sexy pick by any means but should hit in one of the top two spots for the Brewers this year. Cain has improved on his contact% and BB% and still has speed stealing 26 bases in 2017 and being caught only twice. 

Cain has stolen over 25 bases three of the last four seasons. Combine that with the move from Kaufman Stadium to Miller Park and 15-18 HR is likely. A line in the area of .290-15-25 with near 100 runs is what I expect from Cain.

8.86 Aroldis Chapman (NYY – RP)
I don’t like taking closers early, but Aroldis was there and should have plenty of opportunities with a chance to get back to elite status. When I grab a closer, I want an elite K-rate, a low BB-rate, and a good ball club. Chapman’s got all three going. Not a bad consolation to Jansen and Kimbrel who each went a couple rounds earlier.

9.107 – Adrian Beltre (TEX – 3B)
Beltre after pick 100 is quite a steal. The old guy just keeps rolling. He had an injury-shortened year in 2017 but here are his numbers the last 162 games: .319, 37 HR, 90 R, 120 RBI, 2 SB

That ranks top three at the position. He’s a virtual lock for .300-25-90 in 135 or so games, so there’s upside to be had.

10.110 – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY – SP)
Tanaka is my 15th ranked SP right behind Car Mart and Yu. He’s a solid number two but I’ve got him as my number three. Tanaka had a career-high 9.79 K/9 which was backed by a 15.1% SwStr rate which ranked third in all of baseball! Yes, better than Kershaw. 

There was a ton of luck that went the other way with Tanaka, I expect that to even out and a mid-three ERA and sub-1.20 WHIP combined with nearly 200 Ks is what you should get from Tanaka.

11.131 – Edwin Diaz (SEA – RP)
I now have two elite closers and can wait until the last rounds to draft a third RP. Diaz had an interesting 2017 season when he appeared to “lose his job” for about one week in June but still ended up with 34 saves and a K rate over 12/9. The walks were a bit high but with an elite strikeout rate and a contending team, Diaz should put up top-10 RP numbers in 2018.

12.134 – J.T. Realmuto (MIA – C)
Realmuto showed some power in 2017 as he improved on his FB% and he enters his prime at age 27. He’s already a proven contributor in batting average and can steal 10+ bases which are unmatched at catcher. 

I have him as the third-ranked catcher and will take a solid .280-15-12 from my backstop at this spot beyond 100. At this point I’m only missing one OF and my UTL spots offensively, so I’m sitting pretty.

13.155 – Zack Godley (ARI – SP)
I’m a believer in Godley. He absolutely broke out last year and he’s another guy I’ve got inside my top 30 at SP. 

Godley had a 9+ K rate along with 55% GB rate in 155 IP. To get value from this pick as my number four starter, I may only need 130-140 innings from Godley. If Arizona installs the humidor, it justifies this pick even further.

14.158 – Ronald Acuna (ATL – OF)
I know, I know, he won’t be up until May (most likely) but in my opinion, he’s going to produce as soon as he gets the call. I’d rank him inside the top 100 if he were up opening day, so a replacement level OF + Acuna’s production should justify this pick. 

He could go 15-15 in five months with a .280 BA and I’ll be all set. Those are conservative of course, he’s got upside for days.

15.179 – Ozzie Albies (ATL – 2B)
Another young Brave! I can’t believe he lasted this long. I know I already have Dee Gordon but I can always throw Albies in the UTL slot. 

Albies showed some power in the second half going 6/8 in less than two months after his call-up. He should be hitting second behind my pick for NL MVP, Freddie Freeman and should combine a solid batting average with mid-teens power and 20-25 steals.

16.182 – Manuel Margot (SD – OF)
Well, I needed another OF with Stanton and Cain as my top two and Acuna in the minors until at least May, so I grabbed Margot. He’s got a similar profile to Albies, a ton of speed and some developing power. The FB% increase of over 10% in the second half makes me think the home runs were not a fluke. 

He’s a potential 15-20 or even 20-20 guy and should hit atop the Padres’ lineup, albeit a weak lineup, but the runs will come. At this point, I’m all set with steals with over 150 (maybe as much as 175) and will need to focus a little more on power to fill my remaining UTL/bench slots.

17.203 – Charlie Morton (HOU – SP)
What do we have here? A pitcher who had 10+K/9 last year after pick 200, sure. I do believe in the increased K rate and being on the Astros should help with wins. What I don’t believe in is the health of the soon to be 34-year-old. 

Plus the Astros have Peacock and McHugh who can make spot starts when/if any starters go on the DL. I could see Houston implementing a similar DL strategy to what the Dodgers did in 2017. But if I get 150 IP from Morton, it’s a valuable pick.

18.206 – Chase Anderson (MIL – SP)
Here’s another guy who broke out last year. Apparently, no one believes in Anderson’s break out, but I do. I’ll just list the positives from 2017 real quick: increased FB velocity, career high SwStr, increased O-Swing%, career high K/BB which lead to a 2.74 ERA! 

This is my sixth SP and I think he can be a number three or four. My pitching is absolutely stacked so I guess I’ll have to focus on getting some more power to fill out my roster.

19.227 – Trey Mancini (BAL – OF)
Great rookie season .293, 24 HR, and 78 RBIs. I don’t love his ability to repeat the high average but something in the vicinity of .270-25 sounds achievable. Plus he hits in a great ballpark and should be hitting fifth in a solid Baltimore lineup.

20.230 – Willie Calhoun (TEX – OF)
The projections on Calhoun are pretty crazy considering his limited experience in the majors. He’s been projected for somewhere around 27-30 HRs in a full season of at-bats, the problem is, he is awful defensively. He could see time in LF and DH but 600+ PA may not happen. 

Either way, he’s an absolute pure hitter who has 27+ HRs each of the last two seasons and his K rates were below 12%! In 500 PA, I like Calhoun to go .275-.280 with 25 HR and at pick 230, you likely aren’t finding that kind of power without batting average downside.

21.251 – Fernando Rodney (MIN – RP)
As of now, he has the closer’s role but Addison Reed could take it over. Reed is likely one of my first pickups if he isn’t drafted as insurance for Rodney. 

Either way, I’ve got my third and final closer. Not much else to say about this pick.

22.254 – Patrick Corbin (ARI – SP)
I love Corbin, I just wrote a recent sleeper post about him. Basically, he was a high end prospect and had a fantastic 2013 season, lost 2014 to Tommy John and has had his ups and downs since his return. 

Last year, he pitched much better than his numbers provided: 11% SwStr, 50% ground ball rate and an elevated BABIP. I like that he threw over 180 IP and should be good from 8.5 K/( and solid ratios, all after pick 250! 

23.275 – Luiz Gohara (ATL – SP)
This is far too late for one my favorite SP sleepers. Once he was called up late last year, h
e struck out over a batter per inning, walked less than 2.5/9 and only gave up two home runs! He also was unlucky with a .366 BABIP against and a 62% LOB. 

This guy throw gas. He averaged 97 mph on his fastball and has a wipe-out slider. Not bad for my last pick.

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Max Freeze is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Max, check out his archive and follow him @FreezeStats.

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