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LABR 15-Team Mixed League Draft Recap (2020 Fantasy Baseball)

by James Bisson
Feb 14, 2020

The LABR Mixed League draft is one of the biggest industry events of the season.

The most well-known industry draft in fantasy baseball has wrapped up – and based on our Draft Analyzer tool, the guy who probably feels least optimistic about his draft performance is actually the odds-on favorite to prevail.

The annual League of Alternative Baseball Reality (LABR) Mixed League draft took place Feb. 5. The 3 1/2-hour, 29-round draft saw 15 of the most well-known fantasy baseball personalities in the business (17, actually, when you factor in the two co-owned teams) go toe-to-toe over 29 rounds in pursuit of the LABR Mixed League title, won last year by LABR commissioner Steve Gardner.

Here’s the LABR Mixed League draft board:

Complete a mock draft in minutes with our free Draft Simulator >>

Let’s take position-by-position look at all 15 teams, along with comments from a handful of the participants:

Tim McLeod (Prospect 361)

2019 Finish: 3rd

C: Yasmani Grandal, Robinson Chirinos

1B: Matt Olson, Josh Bell

2B: Jose Altuve, Freddy Galvis

SS: Amed Rosario

3B: Yoshi Tsutsugo

OF: Ronald Acuna Jr., Max Kepler, Bryan Reynolds, Brian Goodwin, Trent Grisham, Jo Adell, Dylan Carlson, Roman Quinn

UTIL: Miguel Andujar

P: Shane Bieber, Yu Darvish, Giovanny Gallegos, Sonny Gray, Jose Leclerc, Josh Lindblom, Brendan McKay, Mike Minor, Joely Rodriguez, MacKenzie Gore, John Means, Zach Plesac

__________

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports)

2019 Finish: 2nd

C: Omar Narvaez, Roberto Perez

1B: Carlos Santana, Jesus Aguilar, Albert Pujols

2B: Garrett Hampson, Kolten Wong, Asdrubal Cabrera, Robinson Cano

SS: Manny Machado

3B: Eugenio Saurez, Maikel Franco

OF: Starling Marte, Lorenzo Cain, Nomar Mazara, Mike Trout, Stephen Piscotty, Yoenis Cespedes

P: Trevor Bauer, Alex Colome, Mike Foltynewicz, Dallas Keuchel, Steven Matz, Roberto Osuna, Robbie Ray, Blake Snell, Julio Teheran, Dellin Betances, Wade Davis

They said it: “Drafting Cain in the ninth round (#122 overall) was a reach. After all, his NFBC Draft Champions ADP is 187. But I was targeting Cain as a bounce-back candidate with a track record who could give me 20-plus steals with a strong batting average and was afraid that he would be taken before my next pick at #149. Maybe he would have still been there. I didn’t want to risk it.”

__________

Mike Podhorzer (FanGraphs)

2019 Finish: NA

C: Chance Sisco, Mike Zunino

1B: Pete Alonso, Yandy Diaz

2B: Mike Moustakas

SS: Carlos Correa, Adalberto Mondesi

3B: Yuli Gurriel

OF: Joey Gallo, Oscar Mercado, Aristides Aquino, Hunter Renfroe, Mike Yastrzemski, Christian Yelich

P: Chris Archer, Kevin Gausman, Mychal Givens, Zack Greinke, Keone Kela, Kwang-Hyun Kim, Carlos Martinez, David Price, A.J. Puk, Patrick Sandoval, Justus Sheffield, Noah Syndergaard, Masahiro Tanaka, Tony Watson, Brandon Workman

They said it: “Aquino fit perfectly with the rest of my big power, low average team. I was a bit surprised how late he was still available, as I wouldn’t have guessed he would end up on my time. The Reds do have a ton of outfielders though, so any extended slump could result in a demotion to the minors.”

__________

Steve Gardner (USA TODAY Sports)

2019 Finish: Champion

C: Travis d’Arnaud, Gary Sanchez

1B: Jake Bauers, Ji-Man Choi, Paul Goldschmidt

2B: Gavin Lux, Howie Kendrick

SS: Willy Adames, Javier Baez

3B: Matt Chapman, Hunter Dozier

OF: Cody BellingerMichael Brantley, Kyle Lewis, Andrew McCutchen, Wil Myers, Josh Rojas, Mallex Smith

P: Sandy Alcantara, Aaron Civale, Mike Clevinger, Mike Fiers, Kyle Hendricks, Liam Hendriks, Rich Hill, Brandon Kintzler, Mark Melancon, Charlie Morton, Hyun-Jin Ryu

They said it: “Pairing Bellinger and a top SP was the Round 1/2 plan. Javy Baez, Matt Chapman & Gary Sanchez were surprising early bargains to me. Played it safe in spots, but took shots on upside with Lux, Civale & Kyle Lewis. Just hope Mallex Smith doesn’t kill me! Defending champs … out.”

__________

Allen Harrison/Todd Clark (@TheFantasyFix)

2019 Finish: 5th

C: Tucker Barnhart, Sean Murphy

1B: Danny Santana, Brandon Belt

2B: Luis Arraez, Jurickson Profar

SS: Paul DeJong, Luis Urias, Didi Gregorius

3B: Anthony Rendon, Justin Turner

OF: Mookie Betts, Charlie Blackmon, Ryan Braun, Marcell Ozuna, Franmil Reyes

P: Aroldis Chapman, Zach Davies, Marco Gonzales, Dinelson Lamet, Andres Munoz, Aaron Nola, Chris Paddack, Jeff Samardzija, Kirby Yates, Mike Leake, Dustin May, Casey Mize, Ross Stripling

They said it: “Mixed was just as fun as last year. The team stacked up very nicely. Some targets hit and others rode down stream. How did @TheFantasyFix and I fare? Only time will tell.”

__________

Joe Sheehan (Sports Illustrated)

2019 Finish: 9th

C: Victor Caratini, Will Smith

1B: Joey Votto, Evan White

2B: Brandon Lowe, Gleyber Torres

SS: Francisco Lindor

3B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Miguel Sano

OF: Byron Buxton, Michael Conforto, Delino DeShields, Dexter Fowler, Manuel Margot, Gregory Polanco

P: Nick Anderson, Corbin Burnes, Tyler Glasnow, Josh James, Michael Kopech, Jesus Luzardo, German Marquez, Chris Martin, Jake Odorizzi, Colin Poche, Ryan Pressly, Sixto Sanchez, Stephen Strasburg, Luke Weaver

__________

Joe Pisapia (Fantasy Black Book)

2019 Finish: 15th

C: Jorge Alfaro, Austin Romine

1B: Jose Abreu, Justin Smoak

2B: Cesar Hernandez, Ketel Marte

SS: Marcus Semien, Carter Kieboom, Nick Ahmed

3B: Josh Donaldson

OF: Kole Calhoun, Willie Calhoun, Bryce Harper, Brett Gardner, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Austin Riley

P: Archie Bradley, Gerrit Cole, Lucas Giolito, Joe Jimenez, Corey Kluber, Lance McCullers Jr., Frankie Montas, Scott Oberg, Eduardo Rodriguez, Spencer Howard, Jordan Lyles, Rick Porcello

They said it: “Only three players stole 40 bases last year, so there really isn’t a case to be made for taking steals early in my opinion. There simply isn’t enough available to separate from the pack. I was able to draft hitters with 5-15 SB upside to keep pace as a collective. I’ll be able to make a deal or play the waiver wire for more, if need be. There are 8-10 30+ HR bats on my offense, who all hit in key spots in their respective lineups, and offer high RBI potential as well as runs scored.”

__________

Jeff Erickson (RotoWire)

2019 Finish: 8th

C: Yan Gomes, Willson Contreras

1B: Edwin Encarnacion, Christian Walker

2B: Keston Hiura, Jose Peraza

SS: Trevor Story, Bo Bichette

3B: Brian Anderson, Tommy La Stella

OF: Austin Meadows, David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Nick Senzel, Jorge Soler

UTIL: Nelson Cruz

P: Yonny Chirinos, Sean Doolittle, Jack Flaherty, Zac Gallen, Domingo German, Dakota Hudson, Emilio Pagan, Freddy Peralta, Vince Velasquez, Luis Severino, Anibal Sanchez, Julio Urias, Forrest Whitley

They said it: “This team should be strong in power, and I’m hoping the early emphasis on stolen bases will be enough. I’m a little weak on the corner, given how long I waited to draft there. The good news is that corner infield often provides the most “free loot” on the waiver wire.”

__________

Rudy Gamble (Razzball)

2019 Finish:6th

C: Salvador Perez, Jacob Stallings

1B: Daniel Murphy, Renato Nunez, Garrett Cooper

2B: Ozzie Albies, Michael Chavis, Kevin Newman

SS: Elvis Andrus

3B: Rafael Devers

OF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, Eloy Jimenez, Tommy Pham, Giancarlo Stanton, Sam Hilliard

UTIL: Shohei Ohtani

P: Carlos Carrasco, Jacob DeGrom, Anthony DeSclafani, J.A. Happ, Yoshihisa Hirano, Craig Kimbrel, Matt Magill, Garrett Richards, Jose Urquidy, Shaun Anderson, Andrew Heaney, Drew Smyly

They said it: “This was definitely my worst draft in recent memory from a pure projected $ standpoint. To be honest, I am not 100% sure how to even value SP/U Ohtani. I just used his SP value. I ended up having one team projected a little ahead of me in $. I look better in my $/Game metric which is not surprising since it more accurately reflects my draft strategy.”

__________

Paul Sporer/Justin Mason (RotoGraphs – Sleeper/Bust)

2019 Finish: 10th

C: Jason Castro, Danny Jansen

1B: Luke Voit

2B: DJ LeMahieu, Nick Solak, Ryan McMahon

SS: Trea Turner, Jorge Mateo

3B: Max Muncy, J.D. Davis

OF: Shogo Akiyama, Shin-Soo Choo, J.D. Martinez, Joc Pederson, Victor Robles, Aaron Hicks, Mike Tauchman

P: Luis Castillo, Edwin Diaz, Ken Giles, Daniel Hudson, Mitch Keller, Kenta Maeda, Brad Peacock, Chris Sale, Mike Soroka, Dylan Cease, Nathan Eovaldi, Nate Pearson

__________

Fred Zinkie (Fred Zinkie)

2019 Finish: NA

C: J.T. Realmuto, Tom Murphy

1B: Trey Mancini

2B: Tommy Edman

SS: Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, Fernando Tatis Jr., Nico Hoerner

3B: Travis Shaw, Jeff McNeil

OF: Mark Canha, Yasiel Puig, Austin Hays, Luis Robert, Anthony Santander, Alex Verdugo

P: Homer Bailey, Dylan Bundy, Johnny Cueto, Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Merrill Kelly, Lance Lynn, Miles Mikolas, Drew Pomeranz, Hansel Robles, Matt Shoemaker, Marcus Stroman, Justin Verlander

They said it: “I have nothing against Xander Bogaerts and his consistent skillset, but I wish I had passed him up for Lucas Giolito at pick 50. Instead, I had to chase starting pitching later in the draft. On a similar vein, I don’t feel great about Miles Mikolas (pick 191) as my No. 3 starter. Taking just three starters in the initial 15 rounds puts a lot of pressure on Justin Verlander to carry my staff.”

__________

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru)

2019 Finish: NA

C: Francisco Mejia, Buster Posey

1B: Rhys Hoskins, Eric Thames

2B: Starlin Castro, David Fletcher, Nick Madrigal

SS: Jonathan Villar

3B: Alex BregmanScott Kingery

OF: Avisail Garcia, Aaron Judge, Kevin Pillar, Kyle Tucker, Justin Upton, Jesse Winker

UTIL: Yordan Alvarez

P: Jake Arrieta, Jose Berrios, Madison Bumgarner, Emmanuel Clase, Raisel Iglesias, Jon Lester, Reynaldo Lopez, Seth Lugo, Tyler Mahle, Hector Neris, Brandon Woodruff, Ryan Yarbrough

__________

Ryan Bloomfield (Baseball HQ)

2019 Finish: 7th

C: Carson Kelly, Kurt Suzuki

1B: C.J. Cron, Freddie Freeman, Rowdy Tellez

2B: Adam Frazier, Jonathan Schoop

SS: Jon Berti, Corey Seager, Jean Segura

3B: Jose Ramirez

OF: Nick Castellanos, David Dahl, Jake Fraley, Randal Grichuk, Domingo Santana, George Springer, Ramon Laureano

P: Tyler Beede, Griffin Canning, Max Fried, Kyle Gibson, Ian Kennedy, Clayton Kershaw, Pablo Lopez, Joe Musgrove, James Paxton, Michael Pineda, Taylor Rogers

They said it: “I fell slightly behind in power early, but was able to recover by grabbing Cron, Grichuk and Schoop (22). Power is everywhere, sure, but given that you needed 26 HR per player (including catchers) to finish in the 80th percentile of NFBC leagues last year, it’s easy to fall behind.”

__________

Scott Pianowski (Yahoo! Sports)

2019 Finish: 12th

C: Mitch Garver, Christian Vazquez

1B: Miguel Cabrera, Eric Hosmer

2B: Eduardo Escobar, Dee Gordon, Whit Merrifield, Rougned Odor

SS: Niko Goodrum, Jorge Polanco

3B: Nolan Arenado, Kyle Seager, Matt Carpenter

OF: Harrison Bader, Kris Bryant, Andrew Benintendi, Jose Martinez, Brandon Nimmo

P: Chase Anderson, Chris Bassitt, Matthew Boyd, Walker Buehler, Zach Eflin, Cole Hamels, Brad Hand, Adam Ottavino, Jose Quintana, Blake Treinen, Zack Wheeler

They said it: “I’m thin in the bullpen (Brad Hand is my only bona fide closer) unless Adam Ottavino or Blake Treinen pan out as penny stocks. To be fair, if there’s one category I’m fine with semi-punting two months ahead of the real games, it’s saves.”

__________

Stephania Bell (ESPN.com)

2019 Finish: 11th

C: Yadier Molina, Wilson Ramos

1B: Anthony Rizzo, Daniel Vogelbach

2B: Cavan Biggio

SS: Tim Anderson, Andrelton Simmons

3B: Yoan Moncada, Gio Urshela

OF: Corey Dickerson, Adam Eaton, Kevin Kiermaier, Eddie Rosario, Juan Soto, Mitch Haniger

UTIL: Khris Davis

P: Patrick Corbin, Jon Gray, Kenley Jansen, Joey Lucchesi, Sean Manaea, Max Scherzer, Will Smith, Caleb Smith, Alex Wood, Tyler Chatwood, Wade Miley, Andrew Miller, Matt Strahm

__________

So now that you’re intimately familiar with all 15 rosters, let’s take a look at how our Draft Analyzer feature sees things shaking down based on the draft results:

Looks like Rudy might not have as much to worry about as he thinks! His offensive projections dwarf the field, giving him enough of an advantage to earn him top spot in our pre-season rankings. Stephania Bell of ESPN.com is projected to have had the second-best draft, while Fred Zinkie ranks third. Gardner, the defending champ, ranks sixth.

Complete a mock draft in minutes with our free Draft Simulator >>


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