It’s daunting. Putting together a team on the fly as the clock dwindles with your time left to make a pick. Your queue emptied by the various competitors before you. In these moments, your draft prep comes in handy. What better way to draft prep than to go round-by-round and see the bargains, the traps, and everything in between. Through this, I will build three of my favorite teams based on FantasyPros ADP, each from a different draft slot. Accompanying these teams will be brief analyses of my thoughts as if I picked in the moment and why I ultimately settled on the player I chose. I will start with draft order #1-4 in this edition, and selections for orders #5-8 and #9-12 will follow in the coming weeks. There are certain to be disagreements and discrepancies with your determinations. We can at least take a look at some worthwhile or non-worthwhile targets and examine why they fall on a certain end of that spectrum, all without the burdens and pressures of a draft interface. As a further disclaimer, these are not specifically tailored to a points- or rotisserie-based format; I am simply trying to pick the most solid players available.
Without further ado, let the faux/article-based draft commence!
Early Round Pick (Order #1-4)
You are one of the lucky, chosen few. You have a pick early in the first round. While you can get the best of the best in the first round, you will also have to endure watching the next 20 to 25 best players get gobbled up before you get a chance to pick again. This is all the more reason that you need to lock in a safe and elite player with your first pick.
|4||Cody Bellinger||LAD||1B, OF||4|
It’s hard to make a bad pick here. You’re looking at taking either Mike Trout, Ronald Acuna, Christian Yelich, or Cody Bellinger. I agree with the ADP order here. While Trout does not run quite as much as Acuna, you’re not trying to pick who you think will be the #1 fantasy player at the end of the season. You want to pick someone that you know will be in that discussion, and Mike Trout is the safest of all. Each year, he is consistently among the best. You can pick him and forget about it. Acuna did only have a .883 OPS in 2019 compared to Trout’s 1.083, Yelich’s 1.100, and Bellinger’s 1.035. On top of that, he strikes out at a 26.3% clip, which is the highest of the four. Putting that aside, he is a 40/40 candidate with elite skills, and that is incredibly hard to pass up. He also does not have the injury concern of Yelich. At the end of the 2019 season, Yelich injured his knee by fouling a pitch off of it. I’m not too concerned about re-injury because of it being more of a random occurrence than any chronic bodily issue. I do worry, however, that he may stop running. Those 30 steals from last year may drop considerably, but his 1.100 OPS is the highest of the four. Not to mention, he hit 44 dingers in an injury-shortened season. Bellinger is the same quality of bat as the other three, only with slightly less steal potential. You may be tempted to take an elite pitcher in this spot, but even with the scarcity of ace-level pitchers, I would shore up one of the top bats in the game. You can worry about pitching in the next few rounds.
|22||JD Martinez||BOS||OF, DH||22|
Speaking of pitching, I would definitely take Jack Flaherty at the end of the second round. Looking at the other options, you already have an outfielder from the first round. Bryce Harper is not a bad hitter by any means, but he might be a little rich—even here. Many are looking at his first season in Philadelphia as a disappointment, but it was almost identical to his 2018 season. In fact, he hit the ball harder. However, the hopes of him being a 1.000 OPS player again should probably go out the window. Aside from those two outlier seasons, it seems reasonable to expect that he will be a mid-to-high .800s OPS player. Barely anything changed for JD Martinez this season, and he seems to be a beacon of consistency. The only thing that will change is that he will be a year older, and you need to ask yourself if that matters to you or doesn’t. Now, let’s get into what I want in this round. Stephen Strasburg still needs to be deemed an injury concern. Even though he made it through the 2019 season without needing an IL stint, this is the first time since 2014 he has pitched over 200 innings. Flaherty, on the other hand, had a 0.91 ERA in the second half of last season. For a deep dive on Flaherty, check out Van Burnett’s article here on Pitcher List.
|28||Gleyber Torres||NYY||2B, SS||27.6|
I don’t know if this is a hot take or not, but I do not like Pete Alonso or Gleyber Torres at all this early in the draft. Yes, Alonso is an elite power hitter, but also with a .260 average. You could get Matt Olson or Eugenio Suarez 40 picks later, and it would be almost the same player. Torres strikes out a bit too much for my liking at 23.1%, doesn’t run much at all, and his expected stats show that he overachieved at his .871 OPS. His BA/xBA was .278/.262, and his SLG/xSLG was .535/.497. Regressing from a .871 OPS as an early third-round pick is not something I am going to invest in. I like Rafael Devers, but with the depth of 3B and lack thereof in SP, I’m going to have to take Shane Bieber here. A 3.28 ERA pitcher with a 3.32 FIP, 3.23 xFIP, 3.36 SIERA, and 14.0% swinging strike rate shows that Bieber performed at his skill level in 2019. Now you have two aces holding down your rotation.
|47||Whit Merrifield||KC||2B, OF||47.4|
I only like one player of these four, and that’s Aaron Nola. Even then, it’s more of a process of elimination pick for me. There’s no denying he took a step back in 2019, but he has back-to-back 200+ inning seasons. Adalberto Mondesi and Aaron Judge are both injury liabilities, and the former is giving you absolutely nothing except steals. He strikes out 30% of the time and had a .715 OPS in 2019. You’re really going to take that in Round 4? Whit Merrifield is a fine hitter, but not fourth-round caliber. I suspect he is being drafted here for steals, but he dropped to 20 steals in 2019 from 45 in 2018. At his age-31 season, I don’t know if I would count on that number jumping back up. You’d basically be buying a .800 OPS hitter in Round 4. If you’re desperate for steals, he’s a much better pick than Mondesi.
If I had to pick from these four, I would probably take Nola, but if I were you, I would reach for Zack Greinke who is going in…
|52||Jonathan Villar||MIA||2B, SS||51.2|
As opposed to the last round, I like all of these players. Each has something that makes them worth a pick here. Greinke just posted his lowest ERA since 2015, and now pitches for the pitching-guru Astros that turned Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton into aces. His age (36) is a bit concerning, but he pitched over 200 innings in his last three seasons. Also, his fastball velocity didn’t really move from 2018 to 2019; it actually increased by 0.4 MPH. The wheels will eventually fall off, but I will keep buying into Greinke until he gives me a reason not to. I would be lying if I said that his 3.96 SIERA in 2019 didn’t concern me, but his walk rate, home-run rate, and hard-contact rate all dropped in 2019. At a fifth-round price, the risk isn’t that high when you look at the reward.
Morton is sort of the opposite case of Greinke. They are both 36, but Morton hasn’t pitched over 200 innings in his career. Although, it is promising that his 194.2 innings in 2019 were the highest in his career. While his ERA was slightly higher than Greinke’s at 3.05, his FIP, xFIP, and SIERA were all better than Greinke’s. Morton’s strikeout ability is also much better, and like Greinke, his walk and homer rates also both improved. The only thing holding me back with Morton is the injury concern. Combine that with the fact that I don’t think that Greinke has fully benefitted from the Astros’ coaching in his 62.2 innings with them, I would take Greinke ever so slightly over Morton.
With your pitching staff helmed by three elite pitchers after Round 4’s pick of Zack Greinke, let’s look at whether or not Keston Hiura or Jonathan Villar is worth drafting. Villar’s steal potential is without a doubt among the best in the game. However, his move to the Marlins adds a drastic park downgrade from the hitter-friendly Camden Yards. He already outperformed his xBA by 25 points, so I expect his .274 2019 average to drop to the realms of .240 to .255. This means fewer opportunities to steal, which is primarily what you are drafting him for.
Now, look at Hiura. Just compare their batted ball stats.
It’s like night and day. Hiura hits the ball incredibly hard, and his home park being Miller Park is only going to highlight those skills. His strikeout rate coming in at an abysmal 30.4% is concerning. However, he did have nine steals in his 348 major league plate appearance, so I don’t think 20 for a full season would be out of the question. I would bank on Hiura continuing to improve upon his already elite batted ball skills, whereas it’s clear to see that Villar could take a step back. Since we already have solid pitching and second base is a little shallow, I’d pick Hiura here over Morton even though Morton is objectively a better value here.
Bo Bichette is interesting. He had a meteoric rise to the majors, starting in High-A ball last year and finishing in the majors. I do think he overperformed in the batting average department, hitting .311 with a .368 BABIP and a .273 xBA. He also doesn’t hit the ball incredibly hard; certainly not hard enough to back up his .571 SLG from 2019. I think he is a little bit too rich here in Round 6, especially because there are some great shortstops still on the board.
Joey Gallo is Joey Gallo. What do I mean by that? He is going to have around the highest strikeout rate in baseball and with a low .200s average and also be among the league leaders in homers. He did hit .253 last year but with an extremely high BABIP and an identical GB/FB rate. He walked quite a bit more, and while that is promising, his liability in batting average and strikeouts is not worth the power. That skill is plentiful across the league, as we saw in 2019.
It comes down to Trevor Bauer and Jose Berrios for me, especially with good pitchers being few and far between. Berrios is sort of like Jameson Taillon, in that he is an all-around good pitcher that doesn’t really pop off the page in any particular category. Bauer, on the other hand, is a high-risk, high-reward play. Barring his Cy Young-caliber 2018, he has consistently sat at a low-fours ERA. That might be just who he is. If you’re buying that Bauer can reclaim his 2018 form, go for it. As your fourth starting pitcher, you could do much worse. If you want somebody solid and unexciting, take Berrios. This is a draw for me. Honestly, I would reach for Sonny Gray here if you want to.
|73||Jose Abreu||CWS||1B, DH||74.2|
Like Round 4, I’m not a huge fan of any of these players at this price. At 33 years old, I feel like Jose Abreu is a risky bet here—even if he did just come off of a great season. The 123 RBIs will not happen again. For the production he’ll give you, my pick for this round should give that to you as well and without the age issue. You will see that I will not go that into depth with relief pitchers early in these columns just because so many options emerge on the waiver wire. The only real concern at the position is job security. Most will be in the same range of outcomes no matter where they are drafted unless you pick a closer from a bottom-dweller team. With that in mind, I prefer to wait at closer, especially when we’re talking about a 32-year-old in Aroldis Chapman. His teammate Gary Sanchez is certainly an elite catcher at the position. However, catcher is similar to relief pitcher, where most of the outcomes are not that different from one another. Therefore, I also do not like paying up too much for a catcher. This also considering Sanchez’s injury history. I do really like Eugenio Suarez at this price. His numbers were almost identical to third-rounder Pete Alonso last year. I do expect him to take a slight step back, as his BA/xBA was .271/.248, and even though he is an elite power hitter, I think 49 homers is closer to his ceiling than what you should realistically expect. Not to mention, he had shoulder surgery in the offseason. If third base wasn’t such a deep position and we didn’t have that recent of an injury, I would take Suarez here in a heartbeat.
However, I would like to reach for Josh Bell here who goes later in the round at an average ADP of 84.2. Bell had quite possibly one of the best Mays in baseball history. I mean, look at the company he is in.
However, he completely cooled off after May. He batted .208, .218, .270, and .250 in the subsequent months after hitting .386 in May. Although, his batting average struggles weren’t completely founded as Bell’s xBAs for those numbers are all higher at .237, 256, .283, and .264. During the final months of the season, his plate discipline didn’t slip. In fact, it improved, as his K%/BB% went from 21.6/10.8 in June to 17.1/13.3 in August. Bell did his best Babe Ruth impression in May, and for the most part, he succeeded. Obviously, Bell is not Babe Ruth, and he wasn’t for the rest of the season. Nobody expects him to be. Yet, his 2019 Exit Velocity, Hard-Hit%, xwOBA, and xSLG are all in the 90th percentile or higher according to Baseball Savant, and his final stat line ended up at .277/.367/.569. I expect Bell to end up with a similar slash in 2020, albeit with more consistent production. His dreadful finish to the season relative to his historic May is causing him to go later in 2020 drafts than he should. He has shown patience at the plate, and this will lead to him getting pitches to hit. His hitting skills and stats suggest that those hits will be something special.
|96||Yasmani Grandal||CWS||C, 1B||97|
At the top of the list, Sonny Gray is a great value here. He took a big step forward in 2019, posting a 2.87 ERA. His FIP and xFIP both suggest it should be closer to mid-threes, but that is still great here. Walks are a bit of an issue with Gray, but his strikeouts more than make up for it. Not to mention, he is a great groundball pitcher that keeps the ball in the yard, and in the homer-friendly baseball environment we have, that is extremely valuable. You already heard my spiel on Aroldis Chapman, and the same thing applies here to Kenley Jansen. Yasmani Grandal posted great numbers for a catcher in 2019, but he did so playing in 153 games. With James McCann backing him behind the dish, I don’t think Grandal sees quite the same playing time. He’s probably worth it here, but I’m much more interested in Nick Castellanos. Since 2016, Castellanos’s xSLG has been within the top ten percent of the league. He is an elite power hitter than has been short-changed by the pitcher-friendly Comerica Park. We saw what he did when he moved to Wrigley Field in the middle of 2019…he posted a 1.002 OPS! Now moving to the even more hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Castellanos is primed for a breakout and could be an early rounder next year. I’m taking him here.
|97||Mike Moustakas||CIN||2B, 3B||97.6|
Back to the relief pitcher discussion, Round 9 is closer to the range where I’d consider taking a reliever, but it is still a bit too early for me. Liam Hendriks has only had one dominant season in recent history, and you know who was in a similar position? His former teammate, Blake Treinen. We all saw how well that went. I don’t mind Marcell Ozuna here at all. He had a significantly lower BABIP than usual last year than usual, but he increased his line drive rate. He also increased his walk rate. You could get Ozuna for a slight discount this year, so it’s not a bad idea. We already have two outfielders though. Mike Moustakas is kind of a boring player to me. He is mostly power and a relatively consistent and typically injury-free player. He’ll probably finish with around an .800 OPS. He would be below Ozuna for me here but still not a bad play. The best though is Carlos Correa. There is no doubting the talent for Correa, but the question is always whether or not he can stay healthy for a full season. It’s hard to believe with as injury-filled a history as Correa has that he is only 25 years old. Most of his expected stats either support or argue for better regarding his already stellar .926 OPS in 2019. Here’s a chance for a true upside play. Go for it.
|118||Michael Brantley||HOU||OF, DH||121.6|
|120||Carlos Carrasco||CLE||SP, RP||122.6|
I absolutely love Zac Gallen. He had a 1.77 ERA in the hitter-friendly (to put it lightly) PCL in 2018. He has fantastic strikeout potential. The only thing holding him back is the walks, but walks have never been a huge problem for him throughout his career. I would bank on him getting those under control, and in the humidor-ed Chase Field, he could be a top-20 pitcher. If we didn’t already have four starting pitchers, I’d take him here. Ken Giles is a relief pitcher that I have full faith in, and he is not a bad pick here. He is dominant when in save situations, posting a 2.64 ERA in just over 170 innings. Yes, he plays for the Blue Jays, but with their new acquisitions, I think they could be much better this year. This means more save opportunities. Carlos Carrasco was a flat-out ace before 2019. I am not putting any stock into his 2019 numbers (which weren’t good) since he was diagnosed with leukemia in June. While it is great to see Cookie getting back on the mound, this is unprecedented territory. I don’t think any of us know what to expect going into his next season. In fantasy baseball, it’s usually not a good idea to bet on the complete unknown, and that’s what we have here. Michael Brantley had a fantastic 2019 season with an .875 OPS, and that’s available in Round 10? If you look at his past lines, he’s the same player year after year, so I’m not concerned about his 2019 being a fluke or anything. This seems like a no-brainer to me.
|122||Jesus Luzardo||OAK||SP, RP||123.8|
I’m not sure why Eduardo Rodriguez is going this high. Most of his skill indicators show that he should end up with around a 4.00 ERA with moderate strikeout potential. It can’t be innings either since 2019 was his first season with over 140 innings. He is overpriced here. Jesus Luzardo, on the other hand, was one of the most anticipated prospects to get called up in 2019, but injuries kept derailing his call up. Luzardo was effectively a bust for anybody that drafted him in 2019. Although, he was everything that was expected of him when he was up. He had a 1.50 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 12 innings. The disappointment of 2018 combined with him pitching out of the bullpen even though Oakland has every intention of having him be in the rotation as their ace could cause him to be solid value here. I’m plugging him in as a starting pitcher in Round 11. If I was confident that Hyun-Jin Ryu could repeat what he did in 2019, I would take him here without a doubt…but I’m not. He is consistently dealing with injuries, and his FIP, xFIP, and SIERA all point to him adding about a run to his 2019 ERA of 2.32. There is a discount here, but not enough that I’m taking him over Luzardo. I don’t doubt Dinelson Lamet’s talent, but his innings are going to likely be capped in 2020. I think he’s very similar to Luzardo here, but I bet on Luzardo getting a slightly longer leash. The projections seem to think so as well.
We have two relief pitchers here. Both of whom I like quite a bit. Nick Anderson has been dominant throughout his journey in the Twins’ minor league system, and for his 65 innings in the majors last year, that didn’t change. He posted a ridiculous 15.23 K/9 with a 19.3% swinging-strike rate. Just take a moment to absorb that. And while his numbers weren’t that superhero-like in the minors, they were still elite. My biggest concern with him is that he plays for the Rays, who have been known to shuffle players around. If I knew that Anderson would get every save chance for the Rays, I would draft him over the next guy. Brandon Workman is my pick here to start building a relief pitching core. He also had incredible strikeout stuff in 2019. Whereas he is missing the elite track record that Anderson has and also extreme home run luck with a minuscule 2.6% HR/FB rate, I trust that Workman is the Red Sox’s guy. If I’m being honest though, you can’t go wrong with either. His former teammate, David Price, is not worth even a 12th round draft pick. His 2019 had two separate injury flare-ups—both dealing with his pitching arm! At 34 years old, this cannot be ignored. The Dodgers also have a plethora of rotation options, allowing them the flexibility to not be fully reliant on Price. Kyle Schwarber is very interesting. His batted ball skills are surprisingly elite not just for a 12th-rounder, but for a first-rounder. His Barrel %, Exit Velocity, xSLG, xwOBAcon, and Hard-Hit% are all in the top ten percent of the league, according to Baseball Savant. Those all say that he should have been even better than his .871 OPS in 2019. This is like round 12’s Nick Castellanos. Schwarber used to hit poorly against southpaws, and even though he still isn’t amazing against lefties, he is certainly good… and then he crushes righties. If you need an outfielder here (which we don’t really), take him here.
|148||Julio Urias||LAD||SP, RP||148.2|
Okay, we need a third baseman. We’re taking Justin Turner here. That’s not just a desperation choice either. With Turner, it’s never really a question of skill. He ranks as great in every single hitting metric on Baseball Savant (below). The question is health. At Round 13, I’m willing to take that risk on a player that, when healthy, performs like an early rounder. Look also at his OPS from 2014 onward. Take him.
James Paxton also has trouble staying healthy, and he clearly was affected by Yankee Stadium. His FIP/xFIP with the Mariners in 2018 was 3.24/3.02, but it was 3.86/4.03 with the Yankees in 2019. The inning sample size is about the same for those. His potential, which shouldn’t be excluded, is not enough to make me wait further for a third baseman and pass on Turner’s potential. Even though we have shortstop filled, Jorge Polanco did take a step forward in power last season. His average will usually be around .280, but his SLG jumped from .427 to .485. This was signaled by him hitting the ball harder, but he still doesn’t hit it that hard. He’s a fine option that will give you some batting average and runs (because of the lineup he’s in) but not much else. If I could, I would also take Julio Urias here, but I can’t pick twice. He does a great job of limiting hard contact and keeping the ball in the yard, which is a rare and valuable skill in the current environment. He also has a great 13.7% swinging-strike rate that is spread out over his diverse arsenal.
|165||Hunter Dozier||KC||1B, 3B, OF||169.8|
|166||J.D. Davis||NYM||3B, OF||171.6|
|167||Carlos Martinez||STL||SP, RP||171.6|
Mark Melancon is the closer for the Braves (according to Roster Resource), so I’m not sure what Will Smith is doing here. Carlos Martinez has struggled with injuries the past two seasons, but he’s not particularly old. If he can put together a full season, he will undoubtedly be well worth a Round 14 pick. Like Urias, he is great at keeping the ball in the yard. He induces a lot of ground balls. Both of these skills are valuable in the current environment. He is a solid pick here if my favorite player to draft in fantasy in 2020 wasn’t in this round. Hunter Dozier? No. I’ll pass on the guy who has only been fantasy relevant for two-thirds of a season. I need to see much more to buy his 2019 season, in which he got injured. J.D. Davis. The man, the myth, the leJ.enD. as our very own Alexander Roche puts it. Seriously, go read his article. Long story short, Davis’s skills are right up there with the early first-rounders, and he is available in Round 14! I would even reach for him a round earlier if you can. He had a .307/.369/.527 slash in 2019, and Baseball Savant’s expected stats completely back it up with an xBA/xSLG/xwOBA of .308/.534/.386. In fact, his .896 OPS is a little below where he should have ended up. He didn’t become an everyday player until the middle of the season, and playing time is still a slight concern. I believe, though, that the best players will find a way into the lineup regardless, and Davis is surely one of those.
|169||Jose Leclerc||TEX||SP, RP||172.8|
|172||Kenta Maeda||MIN||SP, RP||174.8|
Jose Leclerc completely imploded as the Rangers’ closer in 2019. He suspected he was tipping his pitches, and I’m not quite sure. His ERA didn’t reach closer levels again after he lost the job in May. He is a skilled pitcher, but I am a little hesitant to trust Leclerc.
Amed Rosario and Mallex Smith are almost entirely steal plays here. If you need steals, I suppose you could take one here depending on what position you need. Neither are very skilled hitters. Smith is flat out bad. Can your ratios withstand a .635 OPS for a season? Kenta Maeda was notoriously held back by the Dodgers due to his contract obligating him to more money if he reached a certain innings threshold. This held Maeda back from a true starting pitcher’s workload. This shouldn’t be as much of a concern in Minnesota. He hasn’t fluctuated much from year-to-year in terms of skill. I think his 4.04 ERA, 9.90 K/9, and 2.99 BB/9 in 2019 is about what you should expect. He will still have quite a bit of win potential in Minnesota too. I would like to reach a little later in the round here for Giovanny Gallegos. He has a great fastball/slider combination. The job isn’t 100% in his hands, even though Jordan Hicks will be out recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Cardinals could turn to Andrew Miller or Alex Reyes, but the Cardinals should roll with him until they give him a reason not to. I don’t suspect that day will come. His skills at striking batters out and limiting baserunners (an xBA in the 96th percentile!) are really solid and perfectly tailored to a closer’s role.
|190||Luke Voit||NYY||1B, DH||192.4|
|191||Brandon Lowe||TB||1B, 2B||195.2|
We’ve filled out our two relief pitcher spots, so Sean Doolittle here is not a priority. All I’ll say is that an ERA/FIP/xFIP of 4.05/4.25/5.08 is not going to fly in a closer’s role. He just can’t keep the ball in the yard and gives up so much hard contact. When the game is on the line, a homer could blow the save or result in a loss. It’s not worth it to take Doolittle. I am pretty much swearing off Rays hitters for the time being, since they have so many pieces to move around. Brandon Lowe’s not a bad power/speed guy to find in Round 16, but I just worry too much about the playing time to take him here. Depending on whether you want more hitting or pitching on your bench, you could take either Luke Voit or Marcus Stroman here. Voit is an excellent hitter whose draft value is hurting from an injury-plagued second half. Before Voit ended up on the IL at the end of June, look at his OPS.
Voit bats in the dominant Yankees lineup. There’s a lot of potential here. Stroman is a little less exciting. He is a boring but average pitcher that will get you innings without blowing up your ERA. There’s not a lot of strikeout potential here, however.
Now that we’re effectively in the reserve rounds, I will only be talking about the player that I am choosing. In these rounds, it’s a lot less about who’s going when and more about what players you like.
We need a catcher still, so I’m picking Carson Kelly, who is the first pick of Round 18 according to his average FantasyPros ADP of 209.6. He has slightly above average batted-ball skills with fantastic plate discipline. His xBA and xSLG were almost identical to his actual BA and SLG that led him to an .826 OPS in 2019. For a catcher, you’ll take that any day of the week, especially in Round 17 (or 18 if you want to risk waiting for another round, according to ADP).
If you need save help late, Mark Melancon is currently rostered as the Braves closer. His FantasyPros average ADP is 222, so you could even wait until Round 19 if you wanted. I wouldn’t take him here though, because I want to reach two spots later to Avisail Garcia. Pitcher List’s Matt Wallach just did an analysis of Garcia that I recommend you take a look at. I don’t think that Garcia has quite the upside that the player I take in the next round does, but he hits the ball hard in Miller Park. That’s going to lead to quite a bit of power, and he’s pretty speedy. You might even be able to get some steals out of him. I don’t think Garcia is going to win you your league, but he is a safe fallback option that wouldn’t hurt to have on the bench.
In Round 19, it’s hard to believe that Yankees third baseman Giovanny Urshela is still available. According to his ADP, he’d only be there for the first two picks though. Since we are currently assuming a draft order of #1-4, it works out that you’d probably see him. I prefer him over Garcia from the last round though, so it wouldn’t hurt to reach for him if you’re worried.
He should start the year at third base with competition from Miguel Andujar. A starting hitter in that lineup alone is worthy of consideration, but Urshela just finished 2019 with an .889 OPS. Not only that, but he hits every kind of pitch well.
If he locks down the starting job for the Yankees at third base, it is entirely possible he could hit 30 homers with 200 runs and RBIs (combined). We’re talking about a player going in the first ten rounds next year if that happens. We’re in lottery ticket range for drafting, so there’s no risk in taking him even if it doesn’t pan out.
In Round 20, I’m taking Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller. His FantasyPros average ADP is 259, meaning he would be available late in Round 21. At the risk of overhyping Keller, he could be a top-20 pitcher next year. His 2019 season had one of the biggest discrepancies in ERA and FIP/xFIP that I’ve seen (ERA: 7.13 vs. FIP/xFIP: 3.19/3.47). He gave up a .475 BABIP, which is absurd and outlandish. Expect some major positive regression for Keller in 2019. He has solid strikeout potential, and that came primarily from his slider and curveball in 2019. This is sort of strange since Keller’s fastball was the focus of his prospect hype. If he can figure his fastball out, which his track record suggests could very well happen, he could be flat out dominant.
I’d opt to take yet another Pirates pitcher here as my last pick with Chris Archer. I just wrote an article on him that you should check out (#shamelessplug). In summation, Chris Archer could fairly easily find himself back in top-30-to-40 pitcher territory if he ditches his sinker, which he did late in the 2019 season. Because of the Pirates’ regime change, this is a change that is likely to stick. Believe it or not, he’s not that far removed from being a serviceable fantasy option. With his potential, a lottery ticket pick with an average FantasyPros ADP of 271.6 is well worth a try.
Draft Order #1-4 – Drafted Team
|OF||Mike Trout/Ronald Acuna/Christian Yelich/Cody Bellinger||LAA/ATL/MIL/LAD||1|
|SP||Jose Berrios/Trevor Bauer/Sonny Gray||MIN/CIN/CIN||6|
|Bench||Marcus Stroman/Luke Voit||NYM/NYY||16|
|Bench||Mark Melancon/Avisail Garcia||ATL/MIL||18|
Well, you’ve made it this far! That is the team that I would put together if I had a draft order of #1-4. I will be doing the same sort of thing for draft orders #5-8 and #9-12 in the coming weeks, so if you enjoyed these brief dives into the players you could be looking at to build your 2020 (or if there isn’t a season, 2021) team, venture on back for the next two parts.