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Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: 10-Team 5×5 Categories (2022)

by Scott Youngson | @jscottyoungson | Featured Writer
Feb 6, 2022
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is an elite fantasy option that will surely go off the board in the first round this season.

I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting tired of reading about how the owners and players are still far apart in their collective bargaining discussions. With only the Super Bowl remaining in the NFL season, MLB better get its act together soon! Luckily, we still have fantasy baseball. Yes, I realize we can’t actually have a fantasy season without a real one, but hey, we can still prepare, can’t we? And what better way to prepare than to mock draft!

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As such, now is as good a time as any for my first Mock Draft for the 2022 season. It’s a bit tricky, considering how many free agents are still unsigned, but we’ll assume that wherever they land won’t affect them too much (a dicey proposition for Trevor Story (SS – FA). I went with a pretty straightforward and traditional 5×5 setup in a ten-team league for this first simulation. If you are a newbie, that’s five offensive categories (home runs, stolen bases, RBIs, runs, batting average) and five pitching categories (wins, strikeouts, saves, ERA, WHIP).

Using FantasyPros’ amazing Draft Simulator, I went with the default positions (29 in total) with combined eligibility and drafted against All Experts and the Composite ADP with the 5th overall pick in a snake draft.

OFFENSE

Overall, I like my hitting depth. If there is one area of concern, it is with my power - especially HRs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B,DH - TOR), Shohei Ohtani (SP,DH - LAA), and Max Muncy (1B,2B - LAD) are premier sluggers, but there aren't many sure bets after that. Hopefully, players like J.D. Martinez (OF,DH - BOS), Bryan Reynolds (OF - PIT), and Yoan Moncada (3B - CWS) will pick up the slack.

Without really trying, I drafted a team that should steal a lot of bases. The only player I targeted for steals was Starling Marte (OF - NYM), but I ended up with a few others who should contribute as well, including Randy Arozarena (OF - TB), Ohtani, and Tim Anderson (SS - CWS).

My batting average should be strong, paced by Guerrero, Anderson, Michael Brantley (OF - HOU), and Marte. I also avoided bottom dwellers in this category. Catchers can be especially problematic, but Travis d'Arnaud (C - ATL) and Alejandro Kirk (C - TOR) are among the better ones for this category.

Positionally, I have pretty good depth, thanks in part to my targeting super-subs Jake Cronenworth (UTL - SD) and Chris Taylor (UTL - LAD). I love drafting guys like this, as it gives me tons of lineup flexibility. My weakest position is third base, as I only have Moncada and Taylor eligible there. It would be nice if Muncy gained eligibility there at some point too.

PITCHING

I waited a bit on pitching in general, and don't have any sure-fire aces to show for it. However, I think Aaron Nola (SP - PHI) and Luis Castillo (SP - CIN) could bounce back with big seasons, and I love the upside of the young Trevor Rogers (SP - MIA), Alek Manoah (SP - TOR), and Logan Gilbert (SP - SEA). Ohtani is the wild card. I drafted him under the assumption that I could use him as a pitcher and a hitter, but some leagues (such as Yahoo) don't employ him that way. So make sure you understand your league's rules before drafting him.

In hindsight, I should have drafted one more starter at the expense of the surplus of outfielders I gathered towards the end of the draft. Three of my starters are young and may have innings limits, so I would probably look to the waiver wire right away to see if there was another starter out there I could add.

My relievers look pretty good so long as Blake Treinen (SP - LAD) is the closer in Los Angeles. I would regret selecting him in the 17th round if Kenley Jansen (RP - FA) returns or if the Dodgers added another closer. I love Giovanny Gallegos (RP - STL), who was fantastic down the stretch last season. Plus, the Cardinals always seem to generate a ton of saves. Mark Melancon (RP - ARI) doesn't thrill me, but he tends to get saves, and the job is his. I'm not sold on Gregory Soto (RP - DET) either, but he was effective at times last year and, at the very least, will contribute K's.

SUMMARY

Overall, I think I did okay for the first Mock Draft of the season. We've got a long way to go and there are a lot of free agents who still need to sign, but my sense of player values is stronger as a result of the simulation. For the record, I received an "A-" grade and a draft score of 90 from the Draft Analyzer. Not too bad. I'll take it.

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