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Fantasy Baseball - ESPN ADP Mock Draft

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

ESPN ADP Mock Draft

Mike Trout, LAAPaul Goldschmidt, AriBryce Harper, WshClayton Kershaw, LADJosh Donaldson, TorJose Altuve, HouGiancarlo Stanton, MiaAndrew McCutchen, PitNolan Arenado, ColCarlos Correa, HouManny Machado, BalJose Bautista, Tor
Chris Davis, BalMadison Bumgarner, SFChris Sale, CWSJake Arrieta, ChCJose Abreu, CWSA.J. Pollock, AriAnthony Rizzo, ChCKris Bryant, ChCDee Gordon, MiaMiguel Cabrera, DetEdwin Encarnacion, TorMax Scherzer, Wsh
Mookie Betts, BosDavid Price, BosBuster Posey, SFTodd Frazier, CWSJ.D. Martinez, DetJoey Votto, CinMatt Harvey, NYMStarling Marte, PitJacob deGrom, NYMRobinson Cano, SeaCharlie Blackmon, ColGerrit Cole, Pit
Carlos Gonzalez, ColZack Greinke, AriTroy Tulowitzki, TorAdrian Gonzalez, LADDallas Keuchel, HouGeorge Springer, HouMiguel Sano, MinNelson Cruz, SeaCorey Kluber, CleMatt Carpenter, StLYoenis Cespedes, NYMCarlos Gomez, Hou
Kyle Seager, SeaBrian Dozier, MinKenley Jansen, LADLorenzo Cain, KCChris Archer, TBKyle Schwarber, ChCJustin Upton, DetDavid Ortiz, BosJose Fernandez, MiaCarlos Carrasco, CleXander Bogaerts, BosWade Davis, KC
Sonny Gray, OakAroldis Chapman, NYYIan Kinsler, DetCorey Seager, LADFelix Hernandez, SeaAdrian Beltre, TexJason Heyward, ChCNoah Syndergaard, NYMPrince Fielder, TexStephen Strasburg, WshCraig Kimbrel, BosAdam Jones, Bal
Francisco Lindor, CleRyan Braun, MilFreddie Freeman, AtlJon Lester, ChCMatt Kemp, SDJohnny Cueto, SFCody Allen, CleTrevor Rosenthal, StLHunter Pence, SFJonathan Lucroy, MilDavid Peralta, AriAlbert Pujols, LAA
Carlos Martinez, StLBen Revere, WshMichael Brantley, CleAdam Eaton, CWSYasiel Puig, LADMark Melancon, PitJason Kipnis, CleBrian McCann, NYYKen Giles, HouJacoby Ellsbury, NYYRougned Odor, TexAdam Wainwright, StL
Marcus Stroman, TorGregory Polanco, PitEvan Longoria, TBChristian Yelich, MiaZach Britton, BalDanny Salazar, CleCole Hamels, TexDJ LeMahieu, ColKole Calhoun, LAAJeurys Familia, NYMGarrett Richards, LAAMaikel Franco, Phi
David Robertson, CWSRussell Martin, TorBilly Hamilton, CinBen Zobrist, ChCKolten Wong, StLElvis Andrus, TexJordan Zimmermann, DetJeff Samardzija, SFHanley Ramirez, BosCorey Dickerson, TBTyson Ross, SDSalvador Perez, KC
Daniel Murphy, WshBrandon Crawford, SFJustin Verlander, DetHector Rondon, ChCIan Desmond,TexMichael Wacha, StLJhonny Peralta, StLDrew Smyly, TBTravis d'Arnaud, NYMFrancisco Liriano, PitMasahiro Tanaka, NYYNeil Walker, NYM
Yan Gomes, CleBrett Lawrie, CWSJose Quintana, CWSFrancisco Cervelli, PitStephen Vogt, OakDevin Mesoraco, CinMatt Wieters, BalJose Reyes, ColStarlin Castro, NYYRandal Grichuk, StLYadier Molina, StLAndrelton Simmons, LAA

Round 1

This 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 2

By 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 3

To 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 4

Team 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 5

But 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 & 7

Remember 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 & 9

Michael 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 12 

Catchers 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)

Josh Harrison, Pit3B164.812.8
Russell Martin, TorC131.39.8
Alex Rodriguez, NYYDH194.79.7
Salvador Perez, KCC120.69.5
Curtis Granderson, NYMRF154.48.8

Top Players Remaining at Each Position