Early Fantasy Baseball Expert Mock Drafts & Early ADP
Most fantasy football analysts are only focused on the upcoming playoff week. Don’t worry, fam, I’m working extra this week because many of you are now out of contention for your fantasy football championships and want to begin looking ahead to the 2020 fantasy baseball. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that my job is also my favorite hobby so let’s be honest, I was dying to write this even at the expense of some sleep. Nick Pollack over at PitcherList.com set up six slow expert mock drafts for analysts around the industry in November. Now that all of these have finished, we have a base for early 2020 fantasy football ADP. Some of these will vary greatly, as I highlight below, but it is enough to give us a strong idea of how most things will fall. Before we get to the ADP, though, let me show you my roster from the 12-team mock, and explain a few things I learned along the way. Happy fantasy baseball season, come early!
What I Learned
1) I waited far too long on relievers. Perhaps this sentiment has to do with the time of the year and so many closer jobs being up in the air, but after I took Pagan, the other remaining options that I found appealing dried up quite quickly. If this were a deeper league, I’d have drafted Andres Munoz and James Karinchak (Marmol Strategy pieces) with the next two picks and focused on scooping up saves mid-season off waivers.
2) Apparently I’m much higher on Miguel Sano than anyone else. Folks, I’ve gotta be honest, I thought about taking him in the 7th round if Realmuto wasn’t there. I ended up waiting until pick 101 and was thrilled that he was there. It turns out that in the five drafts, he wasn’t taken until at least the 13th, and often times until the 16th. I suppose I’ll be able to wait a bit, but you can bet he’ll be among my top targets this season.
3) It just so turns out that I’m not the only analyst who is drooling over Dinelson Lamet. I intended on reaching for him in the 11th or 12th round, fully expecting him to be there. When Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs took him one pick before me, several others in the chat room let out a sigh of disappointment. Fortunately, I’m anticipating his public ADP will be closer to round 17 or 18.
4) It’s a good thing this league didn’t involve money because, as you might imagine, a number of players slipped under my radar and ended up being absolute steals. For instance, I couldn’t believe I didn’t have any of the following already drafted or, at the very least, in my queue when they were selected: Scott Kingery (20th round), Danny Santana (16th), Willie Calhoun (17th) and David Peralta (22nd)
5) It turns out that many others seemed to make the same type of oversights, as I was astonished that Wil Myers fell to me in the 19th, Eric Hosmer in the 21st and Domingo Santana in the 22nd. I expect the ADPs to self-correct over time on players like these who may have had disappointing 2019s, but offer plenty of upside in the 2020 fantasy season.
6) I vow to never let someone else draft J.D. Davis ahead of me. Get ready to hear me hype this guy every other week this preseason. Once the Mets were forced by injuries to get Davis in their lineup, he was one of the best hitters in baseball, batting .340 with a 30-homer pace. This shouldn’t be any surprise, judging his Statcast data and his extraordinary minor league numbers with the Astros. I was devastated when Heath Capps took him ahead of me. I won’t forget this, Heath.
7) People love the shiny new toy, be it Yoan Moncada and Victor Robles or Austin Meadows and Oscar Mercado. I can’t say I blame them, because it is fun to jump on breakout player before anyone else does, but that doesn’t mean we should let boring ole’ players like Manny Machado drop to the 6th round or Corey Seager to the 13th. Be the guy who doesn’t mind taking what falls to you. There will be some incredible values found that way.
8) I saved the best for last. I fell head over heels for a fantasy asset while preparing for this draft. I will be strongly advising everyone to ‘reach’ for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. just like I did last year with Cody Bellinger and Chris Paddack and in 2018 with Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer. You won’t notice by looking at this baseline stats, because he missed time with injuries and just wasn’t right to start the year, but from the moment the Jays called him up from the minors, Gurriel hit .292 with 20 homers, 50 runs, 43 RBIs and 5 steals in just 67 games. Friends, that’s a 46/115/99/12 pace, IE: a freakin’ second-round producer. I got him in 17th!
The Full Draft Board
Click on the board to open up the full draft
Notable 2020 ADPs
While I was doing my draft with 11 other analysts from the industry, there were five other drafts going on at the same time so we could build up an early set of ADPs. You can view every player’s average draft positions through the six Pitcher List mocks here.
- Nolan Arenado (3B – COL): #12 – Has he ever not been a top 10 finisher?
- Jose Ramirez (3B – CLE): #17 – Didn’t slip into the third round anywhere
- Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SDP): #23 – Seems risky for an insane BABIP guy
- Mike Clevinger (SP – CLE): #29 – I’m imagining his public ADP will make him a steal
- Gleyber Torres (MI – NYY): #35 – Potential league-winner breakout candidate
- George Springer (OF – HOU): #37 – Top-fiver performer when healthy last year
- Jack Flaherty (SP – STL): #38 – Holy smokes! For one of the top five pitchers in baseball?
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B – TOR): #58 – Went top 37th in one draft, 81st in another
- Bo Bichette (SS – TOR): #75 – Seems to be drafted at his ceiling for 2020
- Tyler Glasnow (SP – TBR): #78 – Potential Cy Young in the 7th round, folks
- Yu Darvish (SP – FA): #83 – Like Clevinger, should be a steal at public ADP
- Jesus Luzardo (OAK – SP)/Gavin Lux (SS – LAD)/Luis Robert (OF – CWS): #124, 126, 127 – First rookies
- Dinelson Lamet (SP – SDP): #138 – Will the hype go too far on my favorite sleeper?
- Aristides Aquino (OF – CIN): #142 – It seems the industry isn’t buying into the hot start
- Miguel Sano (3B – MIN): #165 – 34 HR, 79 RBI, 76 R in just 105 games
- Emilio Pagan (RP – TBR): #180 – 16th round price tag for maybe the best closer in baseball
- Nick Anderson (RP – TBR): #211 – Just looking out for my Marmol Strategy friends