No doubt you have already spent countless hours devouring all the goodness in the Pitcher List Draft Kit. This goldmine of knowledge, research, analysis, and opinion is your greatest asset as you approach what will be one of the most unique drafts you have ever taken part in. The 60-game season has thrown all strategies and logical thinking to the curb, and anything goes as each day brings a new round of opt-outs and COVID-19 test results.
More than ever, every pick is essential. Yes, even that last one. To assist you, I am going to debunk the three main strategies for you and offer an alternative alongside a selection of players, who in the 67 NFBC drafts between June 23 and July 17, have an ADP after pick 300, to target with that last roll of the dice.
Strategy 1: Take a catcher
Don’t do it. This is old thinking, people. Catcher has never been the most exciting position to draft, however playing time is key and there are some strong options to secure this season rather than scratching around on the waiver wire for guys to stream here and there. Be smart, nab a catcher mid-to-late draft, and leave yourself some flexibility for your last pick.
Strategy 2: Take the best available player
Smart move? Not really. The fact a player is still on the board at this stage generally means they cannot be labeled “best” in any way, shape or form. You shouldn’t be drafting for need at this stage either, and the best available hitter is likely either a veteran guy looking to bounce back or a platoon hitter that will need to perform from Day 1 to stay on your roster. That has too much bust potential for me.
Strategy 3: Invest in youth
Maybe, just maybe! In the past, you would generally see some prospects drafted in the final round to be stashed in the NA position for the second half of the season. Well, that ain’t going to happen this year. If a player is not already in the 60-man pool at Summer Camp, you won’t see them play in the majors this season, which is safe to say. There maybe be an odd free agent left to sign (cough-Yaisel-cough-Puig-cough), but in truth what we see now is what we will see in the season. There are a couple of youngsters hovering around the 300 ADP mark you should keep in the queue:
Carter Kieboom, SS, Washington Nationals – ADP 297, Min 234
Trent Grisham, OF, Sand Diego Padres – ADP 318, Min 216
Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox – ADP 328, Min 165
Evan White, 1B, Seattle Mariners – ADP 438, Min 257
Your new last pick strategy: First Start Winning SPs
This is your sure-fire way to kick off this season on the front foot. With most pitchers in the rotation looking at an at-best 10-12 starts for the entire season, the search for streaming Wins or Quality Starts begins with the last pick of your draft. The schedule is out and the match-ups are near-enough locked in that you can start to make some decisions about which starting pitchers could be 1-0 after their first outing. Here are a few to consider:
Ryan Weber, Boston Red Sox – ADP 730, Min 489. Jettisoned into the Red Sox rotation from what seems like obscurity, Weber is likely to start against the worst team in baseball, the Orioles.
Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals – ADP 420, Min 270. Hudson won 4 of his last 5 starts at Busch Stadium to finish up last season. He gets a nice matchup against the Pirates to open up.
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers – ADP 339, Min 227. Burnes threw at 98 mph, striking out seven over four scoreless innings in Wednesday’s intrasquad contest. He could start against the Pirates.
Pablo Lopez, Miami Marlins – ADP 536, Min 278. This is a tricky one—if you are lucky the promising young Marlin will start at home against the Orioles. If not, it’s the Phillies on the road, eek.
Brady Singer, Kansas City Royals – ADP 741, Min 565. Here is a real humdinger for you. Singer was a 1st round pick in 2018 and has all the hallmarks of a front end starter. He could slide into the 5th spot in the rotation and face the Tigers on home soil.
Good luck everyone, get hunting!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)