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Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Targeting Hitters Early (2024)

Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Targeting Hitters Early (2024)

If you haven’t drafted yet, you are probably down to the final hours before your league drafts. In this fantasy baseball mock draft, I went with the approach of loading up on hitters early.

The mock draft was based on a 12-team 5×5 category league. I had the sixth pick, so I was right in the middle of the madness. Don’t forget to use the draft simulator on FantasyPros if you haven’t already or if you want to squeeze in a few more mocks before your draft.

Targeting Hitters Early Draft Strategy

Rounds 1-5

If it were a dynasty league, I would probably have taken Corbin Carroll, but can’t go wrong with Juan Soto as my first pick. I’ll take a hit on average with Pete Alonso but I’ll gladly take the home runs. Rafael Devers was slightly disappointing last year but he finished with over 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .270 plus-batting average. I considered Gunnar Henderson for his position eligibility but even the possibility of a small ‘sophomore slump’ turned me away.

I would have liked to grab another outfielder in the fourth round because of the shortage of elite outfielders but I couldn’t take Randy Arozarena over Bo Bichette. I also trust the production Bichette could provide over other shortstops on the board like CJ Abrams and Oneil Cruz. I took Cody Bellinger in the fifth because I needed to fill the outfielder position but had thinning options. Since he stayed with the Cubs, he can repeat the production he gave them last season. I doubt we get the MVP Bellinger of the past but I’ll take my chances with him in Wrigley for another season.

Rounds 6-10

I would have liked Ketel Marte at second base but didn’t feel comfortable drafting him this early. Jazz Chisholm was scary for my other OF spot unless there’s a guaranteed healthy season. I finally decided to take a pitcher in the seventh round with Camilo Doval. I didn’t like the starting pitchers available, which is why I decided to go with relievers in the seventh and ninth with Andres Munoz.

I took Gleyber Torres in between the relievers as my utility spot but also as insurance in case Hoerner struggles. I then went back to the outfielder spot with Lane Thomas in the 10th. He might not repeat the success he had last season but he can steal bases and will bat at the top of the Washington Nationals lineup. That was good enough for me.

Rounds 11-15

I finally went with some starting pitching, going back-to-back with Bailey Ober and Shane Bieber. Ober seems to always be available in these rounds and I felt like he was a safer choice than Walker Buehler, who went a few picks later. I hope Shane Bieber can regain his past success and feel better with him than Jose Berrios, Justin Verlander or Kodi Senga, who all went between my round 12 and 13 picks. I was thrilled Riley Greene was available in the 13th. I would’ve taken him a few rounds earlier but Teoscar Hernandez, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, James Outman and Marcell Ozuna were all available.

I watched the situation closely and got lucky on this one. I wasn’t necessarily looking to fill my catcher position here, but I like Alvarez and was sold on the possibility of having a catcher with 20+ home runs. I just hope the batting average doesn’t kill my ratios. I finished up with Carlos Estevez, who has a longer leash than other closers available at this spot.

Rounds 16-20

I took mostly pitchers here. I have bought into the hype of Brayan Bello. I doubt he will be a reliable ace this season. He is a steal as my third starter at this value. I trust the Tampa Bay Rays can get the best out of Aaron Civale this season. I should’ve taken Kenta Maeda or Nick Lodolo here but we all have to take risks.

Speaking of risks, I took Kyle Harrison next. He will probably have some bad rookie starts this year but he does have some exciting potential. I was more excited for Bryan Abreu before Houston signed Josh Hader this offseason but I’ll still take the talent. Abreu has been a solid option for Houston the last two seasons and will be relied on again this year. I’ve always liked Jorge Polanco and I’m excited about what he can do in Seattle. I also needed some extra position eligibility from my bench players.

Rounds 21-26

I’m not sure how Tyler O’Neill will do in Boston but I want him on my team while we find out. I decided to help the saves and holds category again with A.J. Minter and Taylor Rogers. I want to see if MacKenzie Gore can take a step toward what we all thought he could be. I was surprised to see Jeremy Pena available in round 25 and thought he would be a solid bench piece at this price. I finished with Kris Bryant because he plays in Coors Field and I see him as a rebound candidate this year.

Summary

I was given a final grade of 94 out of 100 and projected to finish second in the standings. I was awarded the fourth-best projected starters and the best bench. I did finish first overall in hitter rankings; however, I finished 11th overall in pitcher rankings. This wasn’t surprising, though, since I was going with a hitter-heavy approach. Riley Greene, Tyler O’Neill and Jorge Polanco were listed as steals in my drafts. I was criticized for reaching on Brayan Bello and Kyle Harrison a couple of rounds early but the worst was Carlos Estevez. I took him seven rounds early according to the draft simulator. I disagree but I should have gone with Jose Leclerc instead. At least he pitches for a better team. I am projected to finish in the top four in HRs and OBP and the best in runs and RBIs.

Hopefully, this helps and shows what a hitter-heavy approach could look like. It will keep you competitive and should get you a spot in the fantasy playoffs. Good luck.

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