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12-Team Mock Draft: Punting ERA (2020 Fantasy Baseball)

May 16, 2020

If you punt ERA, mid-round guys like Jose Berrios can anchor your rotation.

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We will take a look at the punt-ERA strategy here as we wind down on this post series. You can find each of our articles in the series here.

League Settings

I set up this league to have 20 starting slots (10 hitters, 10 pitchers) and two bench spots. Here are the full details:

Rosters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF x3, UTIL x2, P x10
Categories: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, ERA, WHIP, K, SV
My Pick: 1st

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  • This is a strange one to punt, as ERA and WHIP are highly correlated. I will focus on offense and then build out a rotation late, hoping to at least be competitive in strikeouts, wins, and saves.
  • If I don’t come out with the best offense in the league, this team will have absolutely no chance.


1.1: Mike Trout (OF – LAA)
Not a tough choice here. Since I am focusing on offense early, I can make up the difference in steals that I have from selecting Trout over Acuna, so the safety of Trout makes me feel a lot better at this point.

2.12: Rafael Devers (3B – BOS)
I have a feeling I am going to end up with a Mondesi/Villar type pretty soon that will crater my batting average, so Devers made sense here to get ahead of that a bit.

3.1: Yordan Alvarez (DH – HOU)
I love Yordan in the third round here. The guy has Trout-esque upside minus the steals.

4.12: Adalberto Mondesi (SS – KC)
This catches me right up to the league in steals, but I will try not to completely forget about the category moving forward.

5.1: Ketel Marte (2B – ARI)
Gotta love the batting average boost after taking Mondesi.

6.12: Jose Berrios (SP – MIN)
Bad ratio Berrios makes a perfect fit for my squad, as he should have no trouble getting wins even in his less-than-stellar outings, and his reliable arm should end up with a solid strikeout total even though he will post a less than elite strikeout rate.

7.1: Eugenio Suarez (3B – CIN)
I was a bit behind the league in homers at this point, so I dove in on Suarez. It’s so strange to see this guy going so late in the draft.

8.12: Carlos Carrasco (SP – CLE)
This is another pitcher whose 2020 performance is tough to predict, but I’ll take the strikeouts from Carrasco here at the end of round eight.

9.1: Aroldis Chapman (RP – NYY)
Chapman has to be one of the favorites to lead the league in saves this year with how good that Yankees team is going to be. I need to be competitive in this category if I’m punting ERA, so this gets me started.

10.12: Miguel Sano (1B – MIN)
Love the homer/RBI upside here for Sano, who is as good a bet as anybody to lead the league in those categories if he can make just small improvements to his contact ability this year.

11.1: Kenta Maeda (SP – MIN)
Strikeouts and wins. I just might make my whole pitching staff out of Twins.

12.12: Mike Minor (SP – TEX)
He’s another big strikeout guy that falls this deep because of bad ERA/WHIP outlooks — perfect fit for my squad.

13.1: German Marquez (SP – COL)
No pitcher better exemplifies the ERA punt than German Marquez. This guy will out-pitch enough opponents in Coors Field to have some really ugly lines that result in wins, and he gets strikeouts no matter where he’s throwing.

14.12 Elvis Andrus (SS – TEX)
I had ignored steals since the Mondesi pick, so this was a good time to grab Andrus’ massive annual steal total.

15.1: Masahiro Tanaka (SP – NYY)
This follows the same template as the rest of my SP selections: bad ERA/WHIP, but a good number of strikeouts on a really good team.

16.12: Adam Eaton (OF – WAS)
Needed another outfielder to fill my starting lineup, and Eaton’s batting average boost is always welcome on my teams.

17.1: Joe Jimenez (RP – DET) 
I messed this up and forgot about relief pitching before it was too late. Jimenez was the top saves projection on the board, so I bit the bullet here trying to catch up a bit.

18.12: Jose Quintana (SP – CHC)
Not expecting good numbers from Quintana, but he’s another reliable arm that should be fine in the categories I am focused on.

19.1: Emilio Pagan (RP – SD)
Look, the projections are giving Pagan 20 saves this year. I think that’s kind of silly, but it’ll help my team look good for now.

20.12: Jorge Alfaro (C – SD)
Obligatory catcher pick.


While I will never recommend punting a category that is highly correlated with another category, I think I did an okay job with this. Waiting on starters and not really being aggressive on saves cost me. I did end up with a top-three offense while somehow staying out of the bottom three in pitching. Fourth overall, in theory, gives me a chance to win this fake league, but I really would not be counting on it when I’d end up so far behind in 20% of the categories heading into each week.

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Jon Anderson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archive and follow him @JonPgh.

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