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Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: 10-Team, Middle Pick (2020)

Jun 27, 2020

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It feels like the draft season has begun anew. Lots of leagues are scheduling their redraft and are adjusting league settings to best suit this strange 60-game season we are about to begin.

Here at FantasyPros, we wanted to provide as many updates to our preseason coverage as possible, given how drastically things have changed. This includes going through some mock drafts to see how things can shake out when we take a slightly different approach. Throughout the series, we’ll use our free fantasy baseball mock draft simulator.

Let’s get into it!

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League Settings

I set up this league to have 24 starting slots (12 hitters, 12 pitchers). I left off the bench spots. Here are the full details:

Rosters: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 1B/3B, SS/3B, OF x3, UTIL x2, P x12
Categories: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, ERA, WHIP, K, SV
My Pick: 7th

Strategy

While there is fair debate about which side of the ball you should lean on move heavily in an abbreviated season, I’m going to slightly favor hitters here. A pitcher’s preseason routine is much more structured and important than a hitter’s, and I think we’ll see this result in there being the highest share of innings thrown by relievers we have ever seen.

I could be wrong about this, of course, but I just cannot see teams really letting their starters rip through 100 pitches for at least a few weeks into the season given how strange the lead up to the regular season will have been.

Pitching is still half the game, so the pitchers that are able to rack up those innings right away will be even more valuable. That said, it’s difficult to identify who those guys will be. I would prefer to leave the guesswork to the rest of the league and load up on bats early in the draft.

Results

1.7 Mookie Betts (OF – LAD)
Nolan Arenado and Gerrit Cole sneaked into the first six picks, leaving me with a pretty easy selection in Betts. The shortened season does not change my strategy for drafting hitters a ton, as I was always putting a high priority on getting steals into my lineup early on in the draft. Betts should be an elite source of runs and batting average for me, and he should contribute some steals and homers as well atop that potent Dodgers lineup.

Also considered: Trea Turner (SS – WAS) 

2.4 Freddie Freeman (1B – ATL)
There have not been many hitters more consistent than Freeman over the last few years, which makes him a great addition to the team here. Given how much contact he makes and how good of a lineup he finds himself in, I just see a higher floor for Freeman than every other hitter I considered. This does not help my quest to lead the league in steals, but it’s hard to find anything wrong with drafting Freeman.

Also considered: Jose Ramirez (3B – CLE), Max Scherzer (SP – WAS)

3.7 Mike Clevinger (SP – CLE)
There were a lot of hitters that I liked just fine clumped together here, but Clevinger stood above the rest of the pack on the pitching side, so I pulled the trigger. Clevinger was arguably the best pitcher in the league after his return from injury last season, and he is still being drafted at a bit of a discount because of the injury he sustained earlier this year. There is no reason he won’t be a full-go for the start of the season, however, and those Indians are notorious for giving their starters long leashes. I love Clevinger in this shortened season and am happy to have him as the ace of my staff.

Also considered: Yordan Alvarez (DH – HOU), Ozzie Albies (2B – ATL), Bryce Harper (OF – PHI)

4.4 George Springer (OF – HOU)
Springer was putting together one of the more phenomenal fantasy seasons in history last year before having it derailed by injuries. The guy hit 39 homers, scored 96 runs, and drove in 96 in just 122 games. He has now reached 30 years of age, and the extrapolation game is a silly one to play — but Springer is just such a solid bet for production that it was hard to turn down.

Also considered: Blake Snell (SP – TB), Ketel Marte (2B – ARI)

5.7 Nelson Cruz (DH – MIN)
If anybody can benefit from a shorter season, it’s the timeless man Nelson Cruz. He was one of the best power hitters in baseball last year, and he continues to post a solid batting average in the process. While there could be a total cliff coming for Cruz, I’ll roll the dice on getting some elite home run and RBI production in the fifth round, as two of my three hitters are currently leadoff men that might struggle to rack up RBI.

Also considered: Clayton Kershaw (SP – LAD), Keston Hiura (2B – MIL)

6.4 Keston Hiura (2B – MIL)
I thought I was choosing between Cruz and Hiura last round, but he made it back to me. Hiura has some of the highest upside in the game after what he showed us last year. He could very well be one of the best steal and home-run contributors in the league, and he fills that horrible second base position.

Also considered: Nobody

7.7 Tyler Glasnow (SP – TB)
Glasnow was in Cy Young-type form last year before his injury, so the upside is immense here. It helps him quite a bit that he won’t be asked to cover more than 80 innings or so, and he is a great bet to really crush this draft price if he can come out of the gates hot.

Also considered: Matt Olson (1B – OAK)

8.4 Carlos Correa (SS – HOU)
I am pretty convinced that Correa should be a top-50 pick this year with fewer opportunities for him to get injured. Posting strong numbers has never been an issue for Correa, and he could be one of the most valuable hitters in the league this year.

Also considered: Zack Greinke (SP – HOU), Marcus Semien (SS – OAK)

9.7 Brandon Woodruff (SP – MIL)
One of the surprise pitchers of 2019 comes at a discount here in the mid-ninth round. Woodruff had no problem racking up the strikeouts last year, and one of the big obstacles he had to overcome in 2020 was his innings limit. That’s out the window now with this season, so I’ll give Woodruff a run here.

Also considered: Marcus Semien (SS – OAK), Sonny Gray (SP – CIN)

10.4 Tim Anderson (SS – CHW)
Few hitters had a more unbelievable 2019 season than Tim Anderson, and by unbelievable, I mean that we can’t believe he will repeat it. However, I was behind the eight ball in steals here, and Anderson offers a nice boost in runs and possibly batting average, so I’ll take a shot on him.

Also considered: Jeff McNeil (2B/3B – NYM), Josh Bell (1B – PIT)

11.7 Brad Hand (RP – CLE)
With just ten categories to go after, you don’t want to punt one. There was a bit of a closer run developing, so I wanted to get out in front of it and grab one of the few remaining secure closers available.

Also considered: Ken Giles (RP – TOR), Andrew Benintendi (OF – BOS)

12.4 Zac Gallen (SP – ARI)
I lean toward proven veteran pitchers in a 60-game season, and Gallen’s upside is too much for me to pass up. He had a spectacular rookie season and is just going too late in drafts, in my opinion.

Also considered: Carlos Carrasco (SP – CLE)

13.7 Miguel Sano (3B – MIN)
It was time to grab a third baseman, and I had two starkly different options. I went back and forth between Sano and Justin Turner, and I elected to take the home run upside over the batting average security. Sano could absolutely lead the league in homers, and I think I can get Turner in the next round anyway.

Also considered: Justin Turner (3B – LAD)

14.4 Justin Turner (3B – LAD)
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Turner fell to me here. He is my favorite late-round target for batting average help, and the shortened season has not changed that a bit.

Also considered: None

15.7 Max Fried (SP – ATL)
There were a few late-round, high-upside starters that I love in the short 2020 season, and Fried is one. He was one of the few pitchers in the league to post both elite strikeout and walk rates last year, so a little bit of luck could take Fried to a top-10 SP finish this season.

Also considered: Jesus Luzardo (SP – OAK), Max Kepler (OF – MIN)

16.4 Jesus Luzardo (SP – OAK)
Luzardo is one of the most talented young pitchers in the league, and there’s really no reason for him to be going in the 16th round anymore. He will throw as many innings as he can in 2020, and that makes him a legitimate Cy Young candidate in my eyes.

Also considered: Hansel Robles (RP – LAA)

17.7 David Dahl (OF – COL)
There will still be games in Coors Field this year, so I wanted to get some exposure to that. Dahl has some huge upside that most people have forgotten about. He even said in the earlier version of spring training that he wants to steal some more bases this year. I’ll take the big upside on Dahl to finish out my outfield with.

Also considered: Giovanny Gallegos (RP – STL)

18.4 Keone Kela (RP – PIT)
I was falling behind in saves, and Kela was the top closer remaining on the board. It’s never fun to use a pick on a reliever, but I need to be competitive in all ten categories to have a shot at a roto crown.

Also considered: Julio Urias (SP – LAD)

19.7 Jean Segura (2B – PHI)
I was hanging around seventh in steals, so I wanted to get a little bit of a boost there. Segura is a risky pick, but sometimes you just have to draft for the categories you are short on.

Also considered: Khris Davis (DH – OAK)

20.4 Rich Hill (SP – MIN)
I mean, six good starts might be enough to make a top-50 pitcher this year.

Also considered: Joe Musgrove (SP – PIT)

21.7 Mychal Givens (RP – BAL)
Having two of my closers being on the Pirates and Orioles might not be the best way to compete in saves, but this is going to be a really weird year, and at least Givens has the closer job. That is more than what I could say for the rest of the options available.

Also considered: A.J. Puk (SP – OAK)

22.4 Carson Kelly (C – ARI)
I do not comment on catchers.

Also considered: Bryan Reynolds (OF – PIT)

23.7 Scott Oberg (RP – COL)
This could be a pretty immediate drop if Wade Davis comes out and gets the first couple of save opportunities for the Rockies. There won’t be any time to wait for closers this year, but Oberg could rack up some saves in a hurry if he does end up with the job.

Also considered: Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU)

24.4 Kyle Tucker (OF – HOU)
There’s some big potential homer and steal upside here if Tucker can find his way into some every day playing time. Again, if he’s only playing every other game, you probably have to drop him – but if he can get in the lineup and start hot, this could be a really great pick.

Results

The mock draft tool hates me. I have rarely gotten an A in a draft.

The mediocre rating was mainly because of my pitching strategy — taking a bunch of pitchers with not-so-great projections. However, I really like the upside of my arms, and I think a lot of their bad rankings have to do with their innings question marks, which are now not an issue.

Overall, I’m a big fan of this team, and I would be feeling pretty good about entering this 2020 season with it.

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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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