Last week I traveled back in time (not literally) to change my draft. In essence, a well-deserved do-over fantasy baseball mock draft round 1.
The first round was not really out of the ordinary but it did have some shakeups compared to Average Draft Position (ADP) from the beginning of the year. The second round has even more surprises.
This is a 12-team snake draft, standard 5×5 roto fantasy baseball league. I include ADP from the start of the year and the first round pick for each slot, after the player I would draft now if I could do it all over again.
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Round 2
13. Chris Sale Preseason ADP #13, Corey Kluber · 1st Round Pick, Corey Kluber
I could have easily picked an offensive player but the chance of grabbing two stud starting pitchers back-to-back was too good to pass up. Kluber the first choice because of his divisional opponents and his ability to pad stats. Sale this time because he’s a stud, pure and simple. Yes, he does face the AL East, specifically the Yankees, plenty but otherwise dominates on the mound.
14. Eugenio Suarez Preseason ADP #14, Carlos Correa · 1st Round Pick, Aaron Judge
I said this would have some surprises. Going with Judge in the first round really assured me a building block in the outfield. Suarez allows me to do the same in the infield. He’s currently hitting .315 with 19 home runs and 68 RBI’s for a Reds team that is in last place (although if they played the Cubs a little more they might be in first place).
Correa is a popular pick but I am reminded of last year when the Astros didn’t have one hitter with over 100 RBI, and Correa’s numbers weren’t that off the charts. He had 24 home runs and drove in 84 but only stole two bases. Suarez currently is on pace to blow by Correa’s numbers from last year.
15. Paul Goldschmidt Preseason ADP #15, Kris Bryant · 1st Round Pick, Max Scherzer
At this pick I have my stud pitcher with Scherzer and now have a potential steal with the 15th overall pick in Goldschmidt. Goldy is starting to heat up as the D-Backs are finally getting healthy. He’s been on fire this month upping his home runs total to 20 while driving in 51. He’s got a ways to go to match his numbers from last year but he’s on the right track. The thing that makes Goldschmidt such a steal with this pick is the potential for Goldy to steal double digit bags as a first baseman. He needs to run more to make this happen but I’m happy with him at 15.
16. Freddie Freeman Preseason ADP #16, Manny Machado · 1st Round Pick, Luis Severino
The Braves are supposed to win next year, not lead the NL East in 2018. Freeman is a known commodity in fantasy baseball and to the diehard fan but the casual baseball fan may not be familiar with his talents. He’s hitting .315 with 16 home runs and 59 RBI. He also has eligibility at third base which is a big plus as well.
17. Justin Verlander Preseason ADP #17, Joey Votto · 1st Round Pick, Francisco Lindor
OK, I get it – enough pitching already. My strategy is usually to get a top of the line starter in the first two rounds. This year saw a lot of borderline number ones to get gobbled up early and often. Verlander is the pick for me at 17. He’s cooled off a little bit since his blistering start but he still has a 2.05 ERA and 160 punch outs. The nice thing about Verlander is that he’s going to get wins with the Astros and that for me puts him inside the Top 20.
18. Jacob deGrom Preseason ADP #18, Aaron Judge · 1st Round Pick, J.D. Martinez
I can’t be too hypocritical with this pick but having Martinez anchoring my outfield, this would be the best time to get a top of the rotation starter. deGrom is having a 2010 Felix Hernandez, Cy Young-type season. In that season, King Felix was 13-12 for the M’s with a 2.27 ERA and 232 strikeouts. deGrom is in a similar situation with the Mets. He’s currently 5-4 with a sparkling 1.79 ERA and 142 strikeouts. The question is, will the Mets trade deGrom to a contending team? If he does, his wins will undoubtedly rise. If he doesn’t, he is still worth drafting in the mid-second round.
19. Javier Baez Preseason ADP #19, Freddie Freeman · 1st Round Pick, Jose Ramirez
I’ll be the first to admit, I never thought I’d be typing Javier Baez as a 19th overall pick in a fantasy baseball draft. I’m not a Javier Baez fan in the least bit. However, I need to put my subjectivity aside and look at the numbers he’s putting up this year.
Baez is clearly the Cubs’ offensive MVP with a stat line of: .291 avg, 17 jacks, 65 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He’s also in the top 20 in runs scored. These numbers make him a solid pick at this point of the draft.
20. Clayton Kershaw Preseason ADP #20, Francisco Lindor · 1st Round Pick, Manny Machado
This pick may surprise some but I can’t in good conscious let Kershaw fall any further. I didn’t like him in the pre-season draft because of his proneness to injury (back). The same verse has been sung again this year. Kershaw missed time due to back issues and therefore won’t make 30 starts again. However, he’s still one of the top 8 starting pitchers in the league and even five months of Kershaw is better than no months at all.
21. Carlos Correa Preseason ADP #21, Anthony Rizzo · 1st Round Pick, Nolan Arenado
Along the same lines of Kershaw, I couldn’t let Correa slide any further. He’s a top three offensive shortstop when healthy and plays on a top team. He’s going to fill at least four of the five offensive categories (maybe not so much stolen bases). This year, he’s been on the DL with back stiffness and according to manager AJ Hinch, won’t be back before the All-Star break (https://www.chron.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-Carlos-Correa-return-to-action-up-in-the-13058029.php). He’s a complete steal at pick 21.
22. Charlie Blackmon Preseason ADP #22, Jose Ramirez · 1st Round Pick, Jose Altuve
A potential 1st round pick last year, Blackmon hasn’t been his off the charts self this year. Although selected for the All-Star Game, his average is down considerably since last year (currently .277) and he’s not running much (five stolen bases). However, he does have 17 home runs and is still scoring a lot of runs. Having him at 22 is definite value and matching with Altuve should have this fantasy team near the top in runs scored.
23. Andrew Benintendi Preseason ADP #23, J.D. Martinez · 1st Round Pick, Mookie Betts
Pairing Benintendi with Betts wasn’t planned in the least bit but looking at what was available for value near the turn, I’m happy with this pick. I looked at Rizzo and Bryant and for a potential five category player, Benintendi was too good to pass up. Picking him allows me to not worry about the outfield for a little while.
24. Bryce Harper Preseason ADP #24, Gary Sanchez · 1st Round Pick, Mike Trout
I didn’t think it would end up like this but two of the young stars of baseball will end up on the same team in this do-over draft. Harper started out on fire but has turned ice cold since May. He’s hitting below .200 and isn’t doing a lot to help himself in his free agent year. However, he is among the league leaders in home runs and is near the top of baseball in walks.
So there you have it. The 12 team snake draft do-over. I will have to admit, I really enjoyed doing this a second time and like any good educator, learned from my mistakes from the first draft.
There are a lot of “snubs” that always come up during the MLB All-Star Game selection process, but I’m not sure there is anything we can do about it. When the All-Star Game is played, you are rewarding players for the first half of the season, or sometimes on name recognition if they are established players and off to a slower than normal start.
Basketball and hockey use the same midseason format. Football maybe got it right (one of the few things) by having their Pro Bowl after the end of the regular season. Although that is more out of necessity, and the Pro Bowl is typically the least interesting of the four major sport all-star events. Perhaps there is no perfect way to have a true all-star game.
I would like to see the game reward players for the entire season, not just the first few months. However, baseball is such a grind that finding players who would: 1) play after a 162 game season, 2) play after the World Series, or 3) play in a meaningless game at the beginning of November, seems near impossible. I am open to ideas to improve the All-Star Game, what do you think?