The Pitcher List Dynasty Mock took place across the holiday season. It’s a few weeks later and I’m reviewing my selections. I settled into the sixth pick of the draft, which is a bit of an awkward spot to be in for the first round, but a good spot to be in for every round that follows. It allowed me to jump in on or get ahead of positional runs instead of missing out on them completely. Below, I give the thought process for each of my 25 selections.
The full draft can be found here:
1.6 Bo Bichette, SS, TOR
Like I mentioned above, the sixth pick is a strange spot to be in, but Bichette checks off all of the boxes of a dynasty baseball foundation piece. He has youth (entering his age-24 season), plays a premium position, and contributes in every statistical category. Oh, he’ll bat at or near the top of one of baseball’s best lineups. His power may regress after spending much of last season in what was an extremely hitter-friendly park and the stolen bases will decrease over the years, but this still felt like I was getting everything I needed out of a first-rounder.
2.7 Shane Bieber, SP, CLE
Bieber has slipped a tad in most dynasty rankings following an injury-plagued season where he still had an ERA and FIP in the low threes and a 33% strikeout rate. He’s younger than the two pitchers that were selected before him and all of the pitchers taken after him until we reach Sandy Alcantara at pick 3.10. He’s already a Cy Young winner and pitches in a relatively weak division. Sign me up.
3.6 Brandon Woodruff, SP, MIL
Pitching is more volatile than hitting, especially after the top guys, so it felt important to lock up two aces early. Woodruff is still on the right side of 30 and coming off three consecutive great seasons. Woodruff and Bieber are a strong top two to lead the pitching staff.
4.7 Corey Seager, SS, TEX
I didn’t need a shortstop after taking Bichette in the first, but Seager falling to 43rd overall felt like too good of value to pass up. Injuries have always been the biggest concern for Seager and have caused him to miss substantial time the last few seasons. When healthy, though, he’s one of the best hitters and plays a premium position. Fingers crossed.
5.6 Pete Alonso, 1B, NYM
Alonso bounced back in 2021 with a .262 average and 37 home runs. It was encouraging to see following a .231 average in the shortened 2020 season. He’s essentially the same as Matt Olson but 20 picks later.
6.7 Randy Arozarena, OF, TBR
Arozarena followed up his breakout 2020 with a 20-20 season (just meeting the minimum in both categories) in 2021. This is admittedly the first pick that I don’t love given how streaky Arozarena can be, but there weren’t many guys left at this point that offered a combination of power and speed.
7.6 Alex Bregman, 3B, HOU
This felt like too much value to pass up at pick 78. Bregman won’t get you steals and he’s battled multiple injuries the last few years, but a Steamer projects a healthy Bregman to hit .269 with 27 home runs. His counting stats will benefit from one of the league’s best lineups and his bat is safer than most given his eye at the plate. There’s also an outside chance he sees some time at shortstop again this season, though I’m not counting on it.
8.7 Salvador Perez, C, KCR
It would be foolish to expect Perez to replicate the bonkers 2021 he had (48 home runs!), but with Will Smith off the board, I wanted to ensure that I got one of the top catchers because the drop-off feels steep. Perez is also my draft pick over 30-years-old, which feels good this far along.
9.6 Lance McCullers, Jr., SP, HOU
I was really hoping for Chris Sale here but missed by one pick. McCullers, Jr. feels like he has been around forever but he’s only entering his age-28 season. He had a career-high walk rate last season, but he’s become reliable as a high-strikeout, mid-3s ERA arm.
10.7 Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU
Okay, I swear I’m not an Astros fan. Altuve’s days as a stud fantasy player are behind him as he’s only good for a handful of steals these days, but he’s coming off of a 2021 campaign where he hit .278 with 31 home runs. Again, this felt a spot where Altuve had dropped too far to pass up the value.
11.6 Kris Bryant, 3B/OF, FA
Let’s just erase Bryant’s 2020, shall we? He rebounded back to his usual self in 2021, hitting .265 with 25 home runs in 144 games. He even chipped in 10 steals, which were the most for Bryant since his rookie campaign. The dual-eligibility is also a nice bonus, but it remains to be seen how what position he will play for his new team. At this point, I’m finding myself zagging from the rest of the drafters as other teams.
12.7 Liam Hendriks, P, CHW
Hendriks has now posted three straight dominant seasons and is on a team that should rack up a bunch of wins in 2021. He’ll have a legitimate chance to lead the league in saves while racking up strikeouts and posting great ratios. Following the last few round of picks and seeing how the draft seems to be playing out, I have committed to building a “win-now” team.
13.6 Jake Cronenworth, 1B/2B/SS, SDP
Cronenworth is a Swiss-army knife of positional versatility. That has tremendous value in a long season as it adds flexibility to the roster. He’s a high-floor player, though the ceiling doesn’t seem super high.
14.7 Michael Conforto, OF, FA
If my offense is lacking at any specific position so far it’s in the outfield. Conforto is coming off a disaster 2021 season where he hit .232, but his batted ball data suggests he ran into a good amount of bad luck. I expect a bounceback to an average in the .250s and a home run total in the mid-20s with the potential for more if he signs in a hitter-friendly park. That’ll work for an OF3.
15.6 Huascar Ynoa, SP, ATL
Had I noticed that Justin Verlander was still out there, I probably would have snagged him here. Drafter error. That being said, there’s plenty of reason to be excited about Ynoa, who is entering his year-24 season. He posted a 20% K-BB rate but it should be noted that he struggled with walks in the minors. The upside is enticing this late in the draft, though.
16.7 Max Muncy, 1B/2B, LAD
I’m running into a little bit of a positional logjam on my team but Muncy going this late feels ridiculous. I know he has a major injury concern heading into 2022, but he’s only 31-years old and has posted a 138 wRC+ over the last four years. In a full, healthy season he’s bankable for a home run total in the mid-30s and the good counting stats that come with it. His profile should age well if he’s forced to miss time this year.
17.6 Framber Valdez, SP, HOU
My last pitcher pick was more of a higher risk selection with Ynoa so I decided to go with a higher floor option here in Valdez. His strikeout rate isn’t elite but he benefits from going deep in games and he should provide service wins and ratios.
18.7 Marcus Stroman, SP, CHC
Pretty much everything I wrote for Valdez can be copied and pasted here. Getting my two aces early and now solidifying the pitching staff with higher-floor veterans is making me comfortable with the arms I have.
19.6 Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, BAL
We’re all familiar with Mancini’s story at this point and it’s great just to see him on the diamond again. He wasn’t quite the hitter had seen in before during the 2021 campaign, but he still hit .255 with 21 home runs. That feels like his floor with the potential for more in 2022 and beyond as he enters his age-30 season.
20.7 Charlie Morton, SP, ATL
We’re late in the draft at this point, so I don’t feel bad using a selection on a player that probably only has one or two years left in his career. Morton was great again in 2020, finishing with a 3.34 ERA, 3.18 FIP, and a strikeout rate north of 28%. Many of the other drafters are in full-on prospect mode at this point so I’m taking advantage in building my win-now squad.
21.6 Ramón Laureano, OF, OAK
Yes, Laureano is going to miss a chunk of the season serving the rest of his suspension but to get him this late feels like a steal. His 162-game pace gets an easy 20-20 season. He can be a frustrating player to roster given that he is a streaky hitter and the steals can be inconsistent but I’m more than happy to have him as a fifth outfielder.
22.7 Jordan Romano, RP, TOR
Relievers tend not to be long-term investments but if I’m going for it in 2022, might as well pair Liam Hendricks with another great reliever. Romano is a step below the elite guys but he’s coming off consecutive strong seasons and will be the go-to closer on a team that should rack up wins. He’s also only entering his age-29 campaign so there is plenty in the tank here if reliever volatility doesn’t get to him.
23.6 Avisaíl García, OF, MIA
The journeyman outfielder belted a career-high 29 home runs last season and added eight steals. He only played in 135 games, too, as Milwaukee liked to rotate their outfielders in and out of the lineup. Now in Miami, I would take the over on that number assuming no injury concerns. He’s a batted-ball darling, too, so the 2021 numbers are not likely to be a fluke. My outfield isn’t full of studs but I like the production I can get for the late-round selections.
24.7 Jarren Duran, OF, BOS
A late-round post-hype sleeper dart throw. Duran dominated in Triple-A for the first few months of 2021 and as a result, shot up prospect lists. He then earned a promotion to the bigs and was overwhelmed by MLB pitching, striking out 35% of the time. The power/speed upside is too tough to pass up at pick 283.
25.6 Nate Pearson, SP, TOR
Similar thought process to the Duran selection. Pearson is a post-hype sleeper. He has struggled at the MLB level but it wasn’t too long ago that he was in the conversation for best pitching prospect in baseball. Let’s roll the dice at this point of the draft and hope that he puts it together.
This was an interesting and fun mock draft. I love my team for 2022 and the immediate years that follow, but realize that it could run into some trouble long-term. Ultimately, I didn’t take a single prospect, which may feel blasphemous. But at some point, they started to fly off the board and it left some win-now contributors for the taking. Picking a direction is key in dynasty formats and I have no regrets in pushing all-in on 2022. And if it turns out that this team doesn’t contend right away, I should be left with several veteran players as desirable trade pieces that can be flipped for prospects when the time calls for it.
Featured image by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)