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2020 RotoBaller Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Reactions


Over the last couple weeks, RotoBaller's roster has grown with several new faces to join our esteemed veteran corps. We figured it would be nice to roll out the welcome wagon with a February fantasy baseball mock draft, putting six "RotoNewbs" with six RotoVets.

It was a snake draft hosted on Fantrax, a traditional 5x5 format with C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, UTIL, 9 P and 4 Bench slots. We'll post the draft board here, alongside rapid reactions from each participant.

In draft order, they are: KC Bubba, Bill Dubiel, JB Branson, Ariel Cohen (2019 FSGA Baseball Writer of the Year, woo!), Eric Samulski, Riley Mrack, Anthony Aniano, myself aka Nick Mariano, Mike Kurland, SP Streamer, Pierre Camus and Jorge Montanez. Without further ado...

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The Draft Board

click image to see full-size draft board

 

Draft Reactions

What was your strategy, and was it executed well?

KC Bubba: With the first overall pick, I was looking to load up on some of the top bats. Grab one early arm and then fill in the rotation in the middle rounds. After that fill the rest of my team needs. I feel I executed it very well. I should have a strong hold on four offensive categories, and still not to bad in the fifth, steals. I was most proud of the way my pitching staff came together. Grabbing Snell gave me an ace caliber arm in Round 3, but was able to really build a strong rotation with picks in Round 7 on.

Bill: I went very power and strikeout-heavy in this one. I tried to find the sluggers that would help in multiple categories vs. the one-dimensional homer guys for hitters. For pitchers I targeted high-strikeout guys that I thought would also help in multiple categories. Essentially punted on saves, and tacked on some cheap steals late. I executed the strategy just as I envisioned it, and I'm happy with almost all of my picks at the values I got them at.

JB: It's always the same. Get as many speed-power studs as I can early while building a solid IP and K base for my five-man rotation. Then as the 20/20 skills dry out, I make sure to balance out the rest of the lineup with alternating power or speed guys. Balance is the key to life. After my five-man rotation is done, I go for the RPs until I can't RP no more. The JBullpen Method, folks..

Ariel: My strategy was "Replacement Level Drafting" (RLD). I looked to see which position had the biggest drop to the following players - and pounced at the top player at that position. I thought that allowed it me to acquire a lot of value in the aggregate. Mission accomplished. I also figured I'd get Jacob deGrom to start, which I did.

Eric: I came into the draft intrigued by a lot of mid-round SP options, so I decided to load up on hitters early and add high-upside arms in the middle rounds. Also, in this league with nine P spots, I decided that elite ratio relievers were more valuable to me than run-of-the-mill starters. They can help me in ERA, WHIP, SV and K if they get enough appearances and balance out some bad starts from my few SP. Overall, I'm happy with how I did, but I pushed my luck with a few arms that went right after I thought I could slip them through one more round and a few arms that I got sniped on. In the future, I might add one true ace to lead the rotation and then wait until Round 9 or so to start adding more arms.

Riley: My strategy was to pass on the elite pitching and take several of the middle-tier hurlers instead. For the first handful of rounds, I was selecting the best hitter available, but I felt I was too far behind on the pitching side after it was all said and done. This was a good spot to try this method versus several savvy players, and it made me realize the importance of taking an ace in the first two rounds..

Anthony: I wanted as much balance as power. Drafting a five-tool offensive player and a number one starter in the second round created that foundation. Mixing power like Pete Alonso with speed from Victor Robles adds to that balance.

Nick: There were a few things I wanted to test drive: How does it feel to go SP in Round 1 of 2020 drafts? How do I like drafting with two SPs within the first three rounds? Can I make it work with both Adalberto Mondesi and Jonathan Villar on the squad? How long can I wait to flesh out my rotation with two early, strong SPs in a 12-team format? I loved how this team turned out, and I'm a huge fan of all the veteran values that slipped down to me. Batting average is the likely liability, but the HR+SB upside still gives me a strong offense.

Mike: My goal was to target two or three of my top 25 starting pitchers and grab all the power and speed combinations guys I could. I definitely liked the outcome but I maybe have left myself a little light on power.

SP Streamer: I wanted to go hitting early and chase upside. It definitely happened as I grabbed Keston Hiura and Fernando Tatis Jr. early. I have to say I normally don't draft like that and wanted to see how it turned out. Hate the team.

Pierre: I tried out an early SP stack to see if I could come away happy with my lineup in a 12-team league. Generally, I was happy with the results but four pitchers in the first eight rounds might have been unnecessary.

Jorge: Picking at the end of the first round, I missed out on some of the big combo bats like Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story. So, I grabbed two aces in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer to lock down pitching early then looked for value bats later on. The way the draft fell for me, I think i went too pitching heavy. In hindsight, I probably would have taken someone like Jose Ramirez at the first round turn with one of the aces.

Your favorite pick?

KC Bubba: This was between Zac Gallen in round 10 and Robbie Ray in Round 14. I will go with Ray. Being able to lock down an upper-echelon arm like Ray, at pick 168, was great. Ray was my 5th starting pitcher and has the upside to be an SP2 on your fantasy rosters. Ray brings major strikeout upside and if he can hone in the walks his ratios would be amazing.

Bill: Carlos Correa in the 11th seemed like too good a value to pass up. The main knock against him is that he's been hurt for a decent chunk of each of the last three seasons, and while that's a valid concern I'm willing to take a chance on a 30-homer, 100-RBI guy once we're in double-digit rounds. I honestly believe there has been some bias in mock drafts against the Astros given the cheating scandal and concerns over production moving forward.

JB: Carlos Santana in the 11th was exactly what I needed after waiting out 1B. I was also a little light on power so ill take a 30 HR, 90+ R/RBI veteran in the 11th every time. I think Santana will be my 1B target in every draft with the other Santana (Danny) as Plan B or acting as the trigger to take Carlos like what happened here with KC Bubba taking Danny 2 picks before me.

Ariel: Austin Meadows - I felt like I committed a robbery getting Meadows all the way at pick 55. He is a 5 category stud who may return 1st round value.

Eric: Jason Castro. OK, not really, but I think people are sleeping on Castro this year. It was Khris Davis in the 14th round at pick 164 overall. His production last year was impacted by his hip injury, which he never fully recovered from. I expect him to push 40 HRs again the middle of a strong offense with good RBI and R totals.

Riley: Nick Castellanos at 9.7 was a terrific value since I have him ranked higher than several outfielders that were taken before him. Comerica Park really suffocated his power, and it showed when he clubbed 16 long balls in his two months playing for the Cubs. The move to Cincinnati is monumental, and he'll slide nicely into that lineup with other potent bats around him.

Anthony: Charlie Blackmon in Round 5. I was shocked he fell to that point.

Nick: Edwin Encarnacion in Round 13 feels goofy. I know the playoff slump soured us Yankee fans and durability concerns loom at age-37, but he still hit 34 homers with 167 R+RBI in merely 109 games! Yes, that's nearly two-thirds of a season, with simple math highlighting the 50-homer pace in a full year. Now on a suddenly-stacked White Sox team, E5 is here to provide profits in 2020. Shouts to Justin Upton in Round 17 as well.

Mike: Cavan Biggio at pick 153 felt like a steal. He has legitimate 20 home run and 20 steal upside. Yes, the batting average is a concern but at this point the upside couldn’t be ignored in this format.

SP Streamer: I have to say two picks here, the back-to-back picks of Charlie Morton and Luis Castillo I loved. Combining both of them could be a lethal combo in 2020.

Pierre: Waiting on 1B seems like a bad idea but if I can get Christian Walker in the 15th round, I may take that tactic more often.

Jorge: Bo Bichette in the sixth round. After taking two pitchers early, I had some making up to do in the hitting categories. Bichette could be a 20/20 player with a good average and end up being a huge value here.

Your least favorite pick?

KC Bubba: Salvador Perez in round 15. I do love Perez, have written and talked about him often, but he wasn't a good pick in this draft. For this mock, it is a one catcher league and I broke my golden rule of waiting till late on catchers. If this were a two catcher league I would be pumped, but it is not. With players like Carson Kelly going in round 25, I should have waited.

Bill: I think I probably could and should have waited on catcher given the way this mock unfolded. Gary Sanchez fit my strategy well, but I think I could have waited and got a comparable power threat a few rounds later.

JB: Omar Narvaez in the 18th. I could've waited a little longer and still gotten Wilson Ramos or Carson Kelly. I didn't feel like I would be upset if I missed out on any of the remaining guys on the board, so I went ahead and got my guy. He's being undervalued this year and people are looking for reasons to bump him down despite a move to Miller Park from Seattle. Three straight seasons of .275 BA and showed he's got 20+ HR power. I will certainly hold off a round or two before I grab him next time, though.

Ariel: Brian Anderson. I might have grabbed him some 2+ rounds earlier than he would have gone and should have taken Eric Hosmer or Aristides Aquino instead.

Eric: Jake Odorizzi in the 15th round. I panicked and felt like I needed another SP right then, instead of trusting the plan for upside arms and snagging Andrew Heaney or adding more offense and waiting a couple of rounds for a guy like Luke Weaver, AJ Puk, or Mitch Keller. Shoot, even David Price a few rounds later would have been better.

Riley: I regret taking Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at 5.6, not because of his lack of ability, but seeing how far other third basemen like Josh Donaldson, Matt Chapman and Mike Moustakas fell. I would have been better off taking a pitcher with this pick and waiting at the hot corner for another few rounds. The drop off at pitcher is much more substantial through Rounds 5-10 than it is at third base.

Anthony: Gavin Lux in round 11 as my second basemen. The Dodgers have so much depth he can be on the bench if he struggles.

Nick: I don't dislike Brandon Lowe as an overall buy this season, but I had no clear lean construction-wise so I just let my board do the talking. Seeing Ryan McMahon in Round 20, Luis Arraez in Round 22 and Dansby Swanson in Round 23 doesn't feel great compared to the higher price tag paid for Lowe.

Mike: Not that I hated the pick by any means, but Kris Bryant in the 6th round is my least favorite pick due to how my team turned out. I should’ve taken more power there. Bryant is not a bad power bat but I needed someone with 40 plus home run potential and I don’t believe Bryant to be that guy.

SP Streamer: By far it was Hiura, I hated that pick and questioned it the second I picked him. Again I was trying for high upside while going for steals so it made sense. But I think it really put a hole in my team.

Pierre: I won't be taking Chris Sale in Round 3, if at all this year. Too much risk and it left me feeling compelled to take more arms early.

Jorge: Max Scherzer in the second round. Not that Scherzer is a bad pick there, but I had already taken Verlander the pick before. What I found in a 12 team draft is that it's easier to get pitchers I like late such as Matthew Boyd and Madison Bumgarner. I would have been better served taking a top hitter there like Jose Ramirez or Fernando Tatis Jr.

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This series continues into its sixth week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. In Week 6, we saw performances such as Ryan Tannehill throwing for 364 passing yards, the Houston Texans running backs combining for 66 rushing yards, and the New... Read More


Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right? Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift. Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More