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Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: 12-Team, Early Pick (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: 12-Team, Early Pick (2024)

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.

My task in these upcoming articles is to take part in quick mock drafts using the FantasyPros Mock Draft Simulator. I will draft from the front, middle and back of the draft, discussing the results and other potential picks available in that part.

In the end, remember these are just mock drafts and should be used to help build a better player pool concept. To realize when to target pitchers, certain hitting positions or statistics, and more. Let’s look at my results for picking 6th in a 12-team fantasy baseball mock draft.

Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Early Pick (2024)

Results

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

1.2: Bobby Witt Jr. (SS – KC)

After the obvious Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s pick at 1.1, It becomes a Witt vs. Julio Rodriguez debate. I continue to lean toward Witt based on more steals from Witt and the continued improvements at the plate. In 2023, Witt increased his walk rate while lowering his strikeout rate below 20%. Continued improvements at the plate could lead to a better batting average and more production in all five ROTO categories.

Others Considered: Julio Rodriguez (OF – SEA)

2.11: Pete Alonso (1B – NYM)

Power has always been a primary focus of mine in the early draft, and Alonso is one of my primary targets. The ability to lock in 40+ home runs is excellent, not to mention strong run and RBI production. Alonso only hit .217 this past season, but a .205 BABIP significantly affected the average decline. I would not count on that for a second season, as most other metrics aligned with previous seasons. Returning to hitting .260-.270 could lead to a monster season for Big Meat Pete.

Others Considered: Luis Robert Jr. (OF – CWS)

3.2: Corbin Burnes (SP – MIL)

In a 12-team format, I debated waiting on pitching a bit longer, but the opportunity to draft a fantasy ace was tough to pass up. Yes, Burnes is still a fantasy ace. He had a down season to some in 2023 but finished with a 3.39 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 193 innings pitched. It was his worst season over the previous four years, but still solid. Heading to a better team in the Orioles can’t hurt either.

Other Considered: Zack Wheeler (SP – PHI), Michael Harris II (OF – ATL)

4.11: Aaron Nola (SP -PHI)

After drafting Nola and so many of my hitting targets drafted afterward, I decided to double-tap fantasy stud starting pitchers. Nola is a puzzle to so many, yet he’s one of the best workhorses in baseball. Nola threw 193 innings this past year and has now thrown at least 180 innings in the past five seasons (excluding 2020). Nola does have his ratio issues, more so ERA issues, from time to time, but he’ll rack up strikeouts and give your team a great floor with a ceiling upside.

Other Considered: Logan Webb (SP – SF)

5.2: Manny Machado (3B – SD)

I am all-in on the Machado draft day dip right now. Machado played hurt most of last year and still hit 30 home runs. He has had surgery and is expected back to start the season. At least DH will start the season and eventually return to 3B. Machado may only steal a few bases, but he can provide four-category solid production at third base.

Others Considered: Nolan Jones (1B, OF – COL)

6.11: Christian Yelich (OF – MIL)

Yelich does a little bit of everything for your fantasy team. He has a 20/20 upside with a 15/20 floor while hitting for average and scoring 100 runs. The Brewers may not be good this year, but hitting leadoff should still provide plenty of fantasy production from Yelich. I also severely needed an outfielder, as this is a five-outfielder league, and the top end of production dries up quickly.

Others Considered: Josh Lowe (OF – TB)

7.2: Raisel Iglesias (RP – ATL)

It’s time to grab the team’s first closer. Iglesias is as consistent as they come. He should provide 30+ saves with ease as he closes for a Braves team that should win close to 100 games again. Iglesias returns excellent ratios and strikeouts, making him a top-end closer that doesn’t come at an elite price.

Others Considered: William Contreras (C – MIL)

8.11: Nick Castellanos (OF – PHI)

Castellanos bounced back and had a strong 2023. He brings a nice batting average with power and a little speed. Castellanos will contribute to all five ROTO categories while hitting in the middle of an elite Phillies lineup. Since I waited on the outfield, Castellanos is a nice OF2 to have on the team.

Others Considered: Alexis Diaz (RP – CIN)

9.2: Kyle Bradish (SP -BAL)

Bradish is coming off a great 2023. Returning to the 2H of 2022, Bradish has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. Some will wait on SP, and Bradish will make for a fine SP2, but making him an SP3 on this team gives the pitching staff an elite start to the team.

Others Considered: Lane Thomas (OF – WAS)

10.11: Thairo Estrada (2B,SS – SF)

With four pitchers in the first nine picks, it was time to add more offense. The second base position was shrinking quickly, so Estrada was an easy pick for me, even though it may have been slightly early, according to ADP. The 20/20 upside Estrada brings is tremendous and adds some speed that may be needed after drafting Alonso and Machado.

Others Considered: Zack Gelof (2B – OAK)

11.2: Teoscar Hernandez (OF – LAD)

I am a massive fan of Teoscar this year, and this team needed some outfield help after only having two thus far in the draft. Teoscar should bring 25+ home runs with solid production in RBI and runs hitting in the middle of the Dodgers lineup. He’ll even pitch in a few steals, which is icing when drafting Teoscar.

Others Considered: Josh Naylor (1B – CLE)

12.11: Willson Contreras (C – STL)

The depth at catcher this season is quite evident, with Contreras falling to the 12th round. He’s a catcher you can pencil in for 20+ home runs with solid counting stats and a decent batting average. He should also play more at DH this year, which increases his fantasy appeal.

Others Considered: Ian Happ (OF – CHC)

13.2: Clay Holmes (RP – NYY)

Holmes is one of the last closers going off the board and has the primary closing job entering the season. He has had at least 20 saves in two consecutive seasons, and that should not change with the Yankees this season. Holmes pairs as a nice RP2 with Iglesias.

Others Considered: Craig Kimbrel (RP – BAL)

14.11: Logan O’Hoppe (C – LAA)

O’Hoppe is one of my favorite catchers to target this draft season. He hit 14 home runs in limited time last year due to a significant shoulder injury. O’Hoppe’s hit tool is legit, and an entire season could result in a Top 5 catching season for fantasy-excellent C2 to target on draft day.

Others Considered: Rhys Hoskins (1B – MIL)

15.2: Jake Burger (3B – MIA)

Burger had a massive season in 2023, hitting 34 home runs and looking solid once he was traded to the Marlins. Now he’ll be locked in as the everyday third baseman for the Marlins, which could lead to a massive fantasy season. Finding 30+ home runs with a decent batting average is not easy as the draft goes on, making Burger a strong CI target on draft day.

Others Considered: Gavin Williams (SP – CLE)

16.11: Hunter Brown (SP – HOU)

Brown had a solid rookie season before he tired out down the stretch, resulting in a 5.00 ERA. Brown brings tremendous strikeout upside, and the skills are undeniable. An entire season of Brown without a late-season letdown could be a gift as the SP4 on this team.

Others Considered: Nick Pivetta (SP – BOS)

17.2: Christopher Morel (2B,OF – CHC)

Power, you say? Morel has all the power. The batting average may sometimes struggle, but the power is legit and should be there again this season. The Cubs like him so much that they want him to play every day, which boosts his fantasy upside. If you wait on the outfield like we did on this team, then Morel fits the team well.

Others Considered: Tyler O’Neill (OF – BOS)

18.11: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (OF – ARI)

Gurriel bounced back in 2023 and now returns to Arizona for the 2024 season. He brings a solid floor for your team as he will help nicely in batting average, home runs, runs, and RBI while hopefully adding a stolen base or two-a solid fifth outfielder.

julio rodriguez Bryce Miller (SP – SEA)

19.2: Bryce Miller (SP – SEA)

Miller put together a lovely rookie season with a 4.32 ERA and 17.3% K-BB. The strikeouts could increase this year by adding a splitter, which would be a plus. If he can fine-tune his ERA a bit to go with an already strong WHIP, then a breakout 2024 could be on the horizon for Miller.

Others Considered: Bryan Woo (SP – SEA)

20.11: Byron Buxton (DH – MIN)

We all know the risks involved with drafting Buxton. He has not proven the ability to stay healthy throughout his career, but this season, we don’t have to pay a premium to draft Buxton. He has 30 home run upside with a few steals, which is worth the gamble with an ADP after 200. If he gets hurt, he’s a much easier drop than in years past.

Others Considered: N/A

21.2: Jose Alvarado (RP – PHI)

Alvarado was the best reliever for the Phillies this past season before he was injured. He returned and looked great by the end of the season. For now, he’s the closer in Philadelphia, and even if they make another roster move at closer, Alvarado should still have plenty of fantasy value this season.

Others Considered: Brayan Bello (SP – BOS)

22.11: Nelson Velasquez (OF – KC)

Velasquez has light tower power and now appears to have regular playing time locked in with the Royals. He finished this past season with 17 home runs; an entire season could result in 30+ home runs. If he does not produce or loses playing time, he’s an easy drop, but the risk is worth the reward at his current ADP.

Others Considered: N/A

23.2: Reid Detmers (SP – LAA)

Detmers had an up and down 2023 but finished strong by using a new pitch mix, resulting in many more strikeouts. If Detmers can continue to improve his pitch mix, then a big 2024 could be ahead for the Angels’ lefty.

Others Considered: Mason Miller (SP – OAK)

24.11: Brent Rooker (OF – OAK)

We are in the reserve rounds, so Rooker makes the squad as some outfield depth that can bring some power. We saw Rooker hit 30 home runs with a .246 batting average, and a similar return in 2024 will make this reserve pick pay off nicely.

Others Considered: Josh Bell (1B – MIA)

25.2: Jose Abreu (1B – HOU)

It was not a great 2023 for Abreu as he only hit .237, but he did add 18 home runs over 141 games. Abreu still shows some plusses in the contact quality metrics, and he will be the primary first baseman for an outstanding Astros offense. Fantasy production should still be on the table for Abreu.

Others Considered: Tommy Pham (OF – FA)

26.11: Griffin Canning (SP – LAA)

Canning finished the season on a high note with a 3.91 ERA and 23.9% K-BB in the second half. For our last pick and some pitching depth, Canning fits that pick perfectly.

Others Considered: N/A

Summary

The early pick in drafts should result in some top-heavy goodness, but balancing that out throughout the draft is challenging. I received an A- (90/100) grade, largely thanks to my pitching. Being aggressive with those first three to four starting pitchers and early closers helps. Waiting on the outfield is not usually something I like, but it worked. Batting average could be the biggest weakness, which is not ideal, but it’s one category that can tremendously change from season to season.

Click here for the full results!

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