10 Mid-Round Picks to Avoid (2020 Fantasy Baseball)
After the first few rounds, fantasy baseball owners can distinguish themselves from the pack based on how they attack the middle of the draft. These mid-round picks can often make or break a fantasy baseball team, as there are always value players available that will finish inside the top-50 overall that are available well after the first five rounds. On the flip side, there are picks in these mid-rounds that tank and fail to return the value they required on draft day.
To help you navigate the middle of your fantasy baseball drafts, we’ve asked our writers for mid-round picks that they are avoiding this season.
Q: Which mid-round pick will you be avoiding at all costs?
Yoan Moncada (2B/3B – CWS): Overall 51 – 3B8
The former top overall prospect had a heck of a season in 2019, but his .400 BABIP is almost certainly not going to repeat in 2020. Even still, this young stud has room for more growth and could provide 30 homers plus 10 steals for fantasy owners.
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)
Jonathan Villar (2B/SS – MIA): Overall 62 – 2B7
It seems like we were just in this exact position in 2017 with Villar. In 2016, he led the majors with 62 steals and hit .285/.369/.457. He skyrocketed up 2017 draft boards, only to be one of the most disappointing players of the whole year. Yes, Villar has bounced his career back to the point where he had great numbers last season, but should we really be willing to risk the number 58 overall pick on him again? Villar only made hard contact a measly 29% of the time last year, and he strikes out a ton. That doesn’t sound like a player who is going to put up consistent production from year-to-year. It’s sure as heck not worth risking a valuable pick to find out.
– Alex Altmix (@Altmix_23)
Whit Merrifield (2B/OF – KC): Overall 54 – 2B6
With how scarce steals are becoming, there is something to be said for a guy who can threaten to attempt 40 steals. However, if last year is any indication, Merrifield isn’t that guy anymore. In 2017, he attempted a steal every 15 plate appearances, in 2018 he was running even more frequently with an attempt every 12.9 plate appearances. Things slowed down majorly last year, as that number bloated to 24.5 despite him getting on base at a very similar rate. He also posted by far the worst steal success rate of his short career, getting thrown out 33% of the time last year. It seems like a good bet that Merrifield won’t steal more than 25 bags this year, which really takes away a ton of the appeal given he really hurts in homers and runs batted in.
– Jon Anderson (@JonPGH)
Zack Greinke (SP – HOU): Overall 68 – SP19
Greinke didn’t see the patented Astros bump after a mid-season trade, as his overall numbers actually declined a bit after his move from the Diamondbacks. His ERA and WHIP remain outstanding, but his strikeout rate continues to decline, such that it now actively does not help fantasy owners. Still, he’s nearly a lock for 200 innings, plenty of wins, and solid peripherals, making him a fine addition to any fantasy staff. But with his advancing age, don’t bank on him necessarily being a top-20 pitcher.
– Dan Harris (@danharris80)
Tommy Pham (OF – SD): Overall 58 – OF18
The easy answer here would be Giancarlo Stanton because of his injury history and the fact that he is already dealing with an injury this spring, but I’ll go with Tommy Pham. It’s easy to be bearish on hitters who head to San Diego, and Pham is no exception. His batted ball metrics are solid, but this is a player who hit 21 home runs last year in Tampa Bay with juiced baseballs. If the ball is deadened, is it crazy to think Pham might only hit a dozen, maybe 15 home runs this season while stealing 15-20 bases? And at that point, he essentially becomes Adam Eaton, who is going 100 picks later. Like Ramirez, I’ll take Pham if he drops, but I’m out on him at his current price.
– Mike Maher (@mikemaher)
Carlos Correa (SS – HOU): Overall 97 – SS15
Correa’s last three years in plate appearances are as follows: 481, 468, and 321. He certainly produces when he is on the field, but I can’t project him to have more than 475 plate appearances in a given year. He’s also slated to bat seventh in a tremendously deep lineup, as we saw in the playoffs. With shortstop so deep this year, why waste a top-100 pick on someone with this injury history? I’m much more likely to let Jorge Polanco or Amed Rosario fall to me and then pick up a guy like Willy Adames to play middle infield 140 picks later.
– Carmen Maiorano (@carmsclubhouse)
Bo Bichette (SS – TOR): Overall 64 – SS12
Like his father, the young Bichette is one heck of a hitter, and he proved that by batting .311 with 11 homers in just 46 games last year. Over a full season, it would be no surprise if he morphed into a 30-homer threat with a quality batting average and all the runs and RBIs to accompany it. Still, despite the upside, he’s going far earlier than I’m willing to draft him.
– Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)
Yasiel Puig (OF – FA): Overall 126 – OF40
At first glance, avoiding Yasiel Puig looks like a cop-out — he hasn’t even signed with a Major League team. But that’s the problem. Puig is being drafted for his potential landing spot, but it’s masking the reality. That is, we’re already into Spring Training and not a single team is willing to pay Puig’s asking price. I’m a major advocate for taking calculated risks in a fantasy draft, but I simply don’t see the upside here. More importantly, even if Puig’s position were solidified, he has continued to be more name value than production. He has never hit 30 home runs in a season, nor has he scored or driven in 100 runs. And, if we’re banking on a cheap source of steals, it would be wise to remember that Puig is now 29 years old with a shaky floor.
– Mario Mergola (@MarioMergola)
Tyler Glasnow (SP/RP – TB): Overall 83 – SP22
Tyler Glasnow rose to fantasy stardom in 60 diabolical innings with a sparkling 1.78 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and 33.0% strikeout rate last season. When Glasnow is on the mound, he is undoubtedly an ace. But therein lies the problem — health. Glasnow only pitched 60 innings last season while dealing with a myriad of injuries. He was on the mound for just 111 innings the year prior. His previous two seasons, Glasnow failed to crack the 100-inning mark. His minor league career-high is 124 innings set all the way back in 2014. How does Glasnow have an ECR of #84? Sure, his upside is limitless, and he is reportedly healthy right now, but that doesn’t mean he is worth drafting in the top-100 over established pitchers like Jose Berrios, Corey Kluber, or Trevor Bauer. Pitchers have a high enough injury risk to begin with, and I have zero interest in spending the draft capital required to grab Glasnow only to watch him spend half the season shuttling back and forth between the rotation and disabled list.
– Jarad Evans (@Jarad_Evans)
Cavan Biggio (2B/OF – TOR): Overall 148 – 2B13
I think he gets much of his buzz due to the family name. I just don’t know if he can consistently hit quality pitching as they continue to make adjustments.
– Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff)