Spring Training is underway and ESPN now offers fantasy baseball mock drafts. The early results are in and while most things are pretty standard, there are a few things you can learn.
We constructed a 12 team, 12 round mock draft using ESPN ADP. We forced rosters to feature a catcher, one first, second and third baseman, one shortstop, three outfielders, three starting pitchers and one relief pitcher. So yes, some players are out of order, but this is what the average everyday starting lineup would look like. We will highlight the "undrafted" players that will fill out the CI/MI and UTIL position, as well as those with deeper OF and SP lineups, at the end.
We looked at very early Yahoo ADP results back in early February
Round 1This is your standard first round, but some leagues will see Altuve, McCutchen, Arenado and Machado fall out of the first round for guys like Miggy, Rizzo and maybe even Scherzer.
Round 2By the end of the round, six OF and six 1B are gone along with 5 SP. If you feel comfortable working around that instead of adding to those totals, please let us know your strategy in the comment section. If you feel that the OF position is deep enough, I can understand starting your draft with some 1B/3B combination, like Team 11 did with Machado/Encarnacion and Team 5 with Donaldson/Abreu. Kershaw/Arrieta (Team 4) was the only double up on SP.while no teams doubled up on OF.
Round 3To my surprise, only Team 1 has two OF, Trout/Betts by the end of the third round. Team 2 added Price to Bumgarner and Team 3 added Cole to go alongside Scherzer, giving three teams two starters. Team 10 started with Correa before adding Miggy/Cano and I hate their team already. Cano is a reach in the third and is more likely a top 60 pick in most drafts. If you feel inclined to draft Posey in the third round, I do suggest what Team 3 did and start by drafting Harper/Sale. 28 is a bit of a reach for Frazier as well.
Round 4Team 11 is the only team with both corner infield positions field and two outfielders after four rounds and I think that is a very strong strategy. They were one of five teams to not select a pitcher yet and all of those rosters feature at least two outfielders. Team 1 and Team 8 have filled their OF position, Team 1 mixing in Chris Davis at 1B and Team 8 plugging in Kris Bryant at 3B.
Round 5But Team 1 reached for Kyle Seager to start the fifth round, who is more like a sixth or seven round option. Schwarber however could be considered a steal at 52nd overall when you consider that his ADP is 29 and 37 on other sites. Jose Fernandez is being ignored on ESPN, do not expect him to be there in the fifth round, but if he is, you have to draft him. Strasburg and King Felix too. Despite being the only player in the MLB with three straight seasons of 100+ RBI, you can wait on David Ortiz. Jansen is the first RP selected, a round earlier than the other sites. Some sites draft Davis ahead of Jansen.
Rounds 6 & 7Remember when Adam Jones was a first round talent? We are talking about 25 home runs and 25 doubles here to go along with a .270 BA, 80 runs scored and 85+ RBI. Jones is worthy of a fourth or fifth round pick so to get him in the sixth is a steal. Similar to Fernandez, Strasburg has ESPN owners weary, take advantage if available this last. ESPN owners do not like Ryan Braun as much as the rest of us fantasy owners, allowing him to fall 30 spots below other sites ADP. Expect to see Aroldis Chapman's ADP fall, but he could be well worth owning after his suspension. Drafting Cody Allen in the top 100 is a mistake. Do not draft him ahead of Trevor Rosenthal. It's now the end of the seventh round and Lucroy is just the second catcher selected. Even that is early compared to other sites.
Rounds 8 & 9Michael Brantley is still injured, but I would be more than happy to take a chance drafting him, as long as I had enough OF on my roster to fill the position already. If you are drafting Belt and/or LeMahieu here, you're reaching. Salazar, Hamels, Richards and Ross are real bargains and good reason to wait on pitching.
Rounds 10, 11 and 12Catchers and shortstops makes up the most of the final round picks. Do not grab them in the single digit rounds if you want to win your league There are also some quality arms still available and remember, this ignores players that will also be drafted as CI/MI and UTIL. Do not feel like you have to rush to fill up your pitching rotation. Also, interesting to note that 3B is very weak when you consider that Lawrie is what you are stuck with if you are the last one to draft one in a 12 team league. If you miss out on the first four, I would say target Sano, Carpenter in rounds 4/5, Beltre in the 7th or if you want to wait a bit longer, Longoria or Franco are your targets.
Biggest Increase in ADP Over Past 7 Days (as of 3/2)
|PLAYER, TEAM||POS||AVG PICK||7 DAY +/-|
|Josh Harrison, Pit||3B||164.8||12.8|
|Russell Martin, Tor||C||131.3||9.8|
|Alex Rodriguez, NYY||DH||194.7||9.7|
|Salvador Perez, KC||C||120.6||9.5|
|Curtis Granderson, NYM||RF||154.4||8.8|
Top Players Remaining at Each Position
- Eric Hosmer, KC 1B
- Brandon Belt, SF 1B
- Byung Ho Park, Min 1B
- Anthony Rendon, Wsh 2B
- Addison Russell, ChC 2B
- Dustin Pedroia, Bos 2B
- Alcides Escobar, KC SS
- Eduardo Escobar, Min SS
- Erick Aybar, Atl SS
- Jung Ho Kang, Pit 3B
- Justin Turner, LAD 3B
- Josh Harrison, Pit 3B
- Evan Gattis, Hou OF
- Shin-Soo Choo, Tex OF
- Jay Bruce, Cin OF
- Michael Pineda, NYY SP
- Scott Kazmir, LAD SP
- Raisel Iglesias, Cin SP
- Francisco Rodriguez, Det RP
- Jonathan Papelbon, Wsh RP
- Shawn Tolleson, Tex RP