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Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: 12-Team, Roto, Late Pick (2023)

by Brian Entrekin | @bdentrek | Featured Writer
Mar 6, 2023
Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman offers five-category tools for 1B.

As we ramp up the fantasy baseball draft season, the time to Mock Draft is now. Most take part in mock drafts to find out the best potential plan of attack to achieve the best draft results. Of course, the results can vary based on draft spot, league competition, and more.

I mixed it up in this article from my previous mock draft articles. I still drafted a 12-team ROTO team, but I randomized my pick and landed on nine. Then I changed the league settings to two catchers, added a CI and MI, and two more outfielders. I made the league’s depth change a bit which can change the draft strategy.

The depth of the draft makes certain draft decisions much different. With five outfielders, the position dries up much faster. With two catchers, it is not great to just punt the position. Things change a bit, and I hope to give some insight into the differences based on my picks in this 12-team ROTO mock draft.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit

12-Team Mock Draft: Ninth Pick


The lineup for this 12-team draft is 2C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, UTIL, 8 P, and 4 BN, conducted using FantasyPros’ Draft Simulator.

1.9: Freddie Freeman (1B – LAD)

Freeman had a down power season in his LA debut, only hitting 21 home runs, but that was the only down thing he did. Freeman hit over .300 for the sixth time in the last seven seasons; he tossed in a career-high 13 stolen bases, with 117 runs and 100 RBI. Again, an outstanding season from Freeman, and I will gladly invest a first-round pick in this season as I expect the power to rebound closer to the 30 home run marks we saw in 2021 and 2019.

Others Considered: Mookie Betts (OF – LAD)

2.4: Manny Machado (3B – SD) 

Machado is as consistent as they come for fantasy. He will provide an outstanding batting average, 30 home runs, solid counting stats, and may even steal ten bases. Not to mention, Machado plays at one of the worst positions in fantasy. He makes for a great 1-2 punch with Freeman.

Others Considered: Pete Alonso (1B – NYM), Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS, OF – SD)

3.9: Spencer Strider (SP, RP – ATL)

Strider burst onto the scene last season, racking up a sub-3 ERA with elite strikeout skills. Striders’ 29.7% K-BB is deGrom’esque. There are concerns about his health and how many innings he’ll throw this season. But we assume he is healthy now, and building off the 131 innings from last season makes Strider a bonafide ACE.

Others Considered: Edwin Diaz (RP – NYM)

4.4: Emmanuel Clase (RP – CLE)

Edwin Diaz had the season most remembered for closers in 2021, but Clase also had an outstanding season. He collected 42 saves to go with his second straight season with a 1.36 ERA or better. Clase also had a career-best 3.7% walk rate with a 24.7% K-BB. There’s no reason not to love Clase as a top-end closer and worth the early draft pick.

Others Considered: Max Scherzer (SP – NYM)

5.9: Adolis Garcia (OF – TEX)

Garcia broke out in 2021, but many did not think it would be sustainable due to his poor plate discipline. Garcia may have been even better in 2022, as he went 27/25 with a .250 batting average. Garcia even improved his strikeout rate from 31.2% to 27.9%. With this being a five-outfielder league, I needed to start drafting outfielders, as the position would dry up quickly.

Others Considered: Corbin Carroll (OF – ARI)

6.4: Kevin Gausman (SP – TOR)

With some slight concerns with Strider’s longevity for 2023, I wanted to back him up with an ace immediately. Drafting Gausman was an easy option for SP2. He has pitched over 174 innings in back-to-back seasons with a K-BB% over 22% for three straight seasons. Gausman has become an ace in real life and fantasy.

Others Considered: Framber Valdez (SP – HOU), Luis Castillo (SP – SEA)

7.9: Bryan Reynolds (OF – PIT)

Reynolds hit career-highs with 27 home runs and seven stolen bases last season while his batting average dropped to .262. The average drop is not ideal for what we want from Reynolds, but his BABIP dropped significantly. Nevertheless, he makes for a nice OF2 in this league, and if he gets traded to a better team, his fantasy value may rise even more.

Others Considered: Eloy Jimenez (OF – CWS)

8.4: Willy Adames (SS – MIL)

Adames has improved the home run department over the last few seasons, and last year hit 31. Unfortunately, he did this at the expense of his batting average, resulting in a lowered BABIP. Adames’ quality of contact metrics was excellent, with a career-high 13% barrel rate. He also raised his flyball rate to nearly 46% but had his lowest HR/FB in his career. There still could be more room for growth for Adames, and I love him if you are waiting on SS.

Others Considered: Robbie Ray (SP – SEA)

9.9: Tyler O’Neill (OF – STL)

O’Neill had a rough 2022 after a strong 2021. He only hit 14 home runs and stole 14 bases while battling injuries and playing 96 games. He’s supposedly healthy and should be a regular in the outfield for the Cardinals as we look for a bounceback at a discounted ADP. Not bad for our third outfielder.

Others Considered: Jake McCarthy (OF – ARI), Willson Contreras (C – STL)

10.4: Christian Yelich (OF – MIL)

Yelich makes for an excellent third or fourth outfielder on a fantasy team for us, our fourth, as he brings a solid floor to the table. He brings a 15/15 floor to the table with a decent batting average with the chance to score 100 runs leading off for the Brewers. He will not be that MVP Yelich again, but he is worth a pick at his current ADP.

Others Considered: Rhys Hoskins (1B – PHI), MJ Melendez (C, OF – KC)

11.9: David Bednar (RP – PIT)

After locking in an elite closer in Clase, we could wait on our second closer and go with Bednar. He may not rack up a ton of saves, as the Pirates won’t be great, but he should still be solid in this role. 20+ saves are on the table as well as strikeouts and stable ratios. He pairs great with Clase.

Others Considered: Nick Castellanos (OF – PHI)

12.4: Jorge Polanco (2B – MIN)

Polanco had an injury-riddled 2022, which has led to his decreased ADP. I don’t expect him to return to 30+ home runs, but a 20 home run bat with some speed and other solid Roto skills is not bad a 2B after round 10.

Others Considered: Max Muncy (2B, 3B – LAD)

13.9: Hunter Renfroe (OF – LAA)

As the draft goes on, the elite power, 30+ home run bats, are fading fast. Grabbing Renfroe in round 13 as one of those last 30+ home run bats is solid as we lock in the power departments. This was a focus, especially after taking Yelich and Polanco in the previous rounds, who will probably hit 15-20 home runs but could also slip a little there.

Others Considered: Rowdy Tellez (1B – MIL)

14.4: Charlie Morton (SP – ATL)

After going so hitter heavy for a while, it was time to get back to drafting some starting pitchers. Morton has thrown at least 167 innings in the last four seasons, and more importantly, he has struck out over 200 batters in four straight seasons. Finding innings and strikeouts this late in drafts is hard to come by, making Morton a significant target in this draft spot.

Others Considered: Anthony Rizzo (1B – NYY), Lars Nootbaar (OF – STL)

15.9: Jordan Montgomery (SP – STL)

Let’s double-tap starting pitchers and add Montgomery, who has been getting better and better each season. Montgomery racked up 178.1 innings last season while having an ERA under 4.00 for the second straight season. Montgomery makes for a great SP4.

Others Considered: N/A

16.4: Josh Bell (1B – CLE)

With the need for a CI in this format, Bell makes for a great target in round 16. He can hit over 20 home runs which he should do in a Cleveland ballpark that favors left-handed power. He will also hit for a decent average and supply excellent counting stats in the middle of the Guardians’ lineup.

Others Considered: Jonathan India (2B – CIN), Brandon Drury (1B, 2B, 3B – LAA)

17.9: Danny Jansen (C – TOR)

With this being a two-catcher league, it was time to start getting some catchers before they all disappeared. Jansen has shown great hit tools when healthy; the problem has been health. Let’s hope for over 100 games from Jansen this season; if he does that, he’ll be a gift in round 17.

Others Considered: Josh Naylor (1B, OF – CLE)

18.4: Jon Gray (SP – TEX)

Gray was on his way to a strong 2022 before his injury, and that injury has dropped his ADP this season. However, I will gladly draft him as my SP5, hoping for another sub-4 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 18.7% K-BB.

Others Considered: Masataka Yoshida (OF – BOS)

19.9: Andrew Heaney (SP – TEX)

Heaney has shown the skills of being a strong starting pitcher, but he just can’t stay healthy to prove it. Last year he had an elite 35.5% strikeout rate with a 29.5% K-BB before an injury cut his season short. Unfortunately, he also had a 3.10 ERA. If, and it’s a big if, Heaney can stay healthy, we could get a boatload of strikeouts from our round 19 pick.

Others Considered: Triston Casas (1B – BOS), Nathan Eovaldi (SP – TEX)

20.4: Kolten Wong (2B – SEA)

Wong continues to show the ability to hit 14/15 home runs with 15+ stolen bases and is now on a contending team in Seattle. He should lead off most games for the Mariners, which should also lead to many chances to score some runs. Solid MI target late in drafts.

Others Considered: Luis Urias (2B, 3B, SS – MIL)

21.9: Shea Langeliers (C – OAK)

Adding Shea as the C2 is a nice option, with most catchers already off the board. He will take over as the lead catcher in Oakland, a position that saw Sean Murphy lead major league baseball in plate appearances. In the minors, Shea showcased a solid hit tool, and if that can translate in the bigs, he could hang onto the everyday role and become an excellent fantasy catcher.

Others Considered: Christian Bethancourt (1B, C – TB)

22.4: Kyle Finnegan (RP – WAS)

In a 12-team league, you will need more saves to compete than in a 15-team league, so adding a third closer in Finnegan is a nice option. The Nats won’t be great, but Finnegan could collect 20 saves, which will pair nicely with Bednar and Clase.

Others Considered: Evan Phillips (RP – LAD)

23.9: CJ Abrams (2B – WAS)

Abrams hit for average in the minors with some power and many stolen bases. He struggled with the Padres, but now he has a chance to produce as a full-time starter with the Nats. Abrams should also hit near the top of the order, leading to more opportunities to steal and score runs.

Others Considered: Alex Wood (SP – SF)

24.4: Tyler Mahle (SP – MIN)

Mahle missed a lot of last season with a shoulder injury but looks healthy with a new pitch mix. As a bench arm, he’s worth a chance on his upside; if he fails, he’s an easy drop.

Others Considered: Jorge Lopez (RP – MIN)

25.9: Jordan Walker (3B – STL)

The Cardinals’ rookie is coming in with all the hype this spring and is in the running to start the season in the outfield for the Cardinals. If that happens, he will be a great bat that can supply a ton of power. He’ll also have 3B and OF eligibility, which is really nice.

Others Considered: Yoan Moncada (3B – CHW)

26.4: Justin Steele (SP – CHC)

Steele was great in the 2H of last season as he changed his pitch mix, and the strikeouts started ramping up in a big way. Expect even more from Steele this season.

Others Considered: Wil Myers (1B, OF – CIN)


With the format change for this mock, the draft had a different flow. Drafting later in the draft allowed me to build a strong top-end of pitching and many quality bats. Then pair them up with some later pitchers. Overall, a nice build, and it graded out with a B+ 89/100.

Click here for the full results!

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