The idea of this article was to recap my 3rd attempt drafting a TGFBI roster. To share my insights on why/when I drafted the player and my thoughts on my overall squad. With coronavirus ruining life for now, with the start of baseball season postponed, I will also add some brief thoughts on the players if they have changed due to the current circumstances. This will be a brief round-by-round recap with my thoughts on the pick more so than tons of statistical analysis. I am in League 3 and you can follow along the journey with the draft board below.
Going into the draft I had been prepping, or previously drafting towards the end or beginning of rounds, rarely in the middle. Welp, that changed for TGFBI. KDS did not go my way as I was granted the 7th pick, smack dab in the middle. I prefer the ends as it forces me to go after my guys. To potentially start a run, instead of miss a run. Picking 7th gives the feel of going more with the flow. You can definitely go and get your guys, as that happened in this draft as ADP quickly went out the window. Drafting with such sharps in the room, I was always on my toes drafting in a spot I don’t love. In the end drafting 7th I drafted players I like, but also some players I have not usually been drafting this season. Let’s check out the round by round recap.
Round 1, Pick 7- Jacob deGrom
Going into the draft I was hoping Gerrit Cole or Jacob deGrom would fall to me at pick 7. I wasn’t holding my breath as most NFBC style leagues, like TGFBI, pitching flies off the board. Once Cole fell all the way to 5 I realized I had a chance. It was up to Nick Doran to choose my fate. Would I draft Jacob deGrom, an early ace which I don’t usually do, or draft a bat-like Mookie Betts or one of the stud shortstop targets? Well, Doran made it extremely easy for me when he drafted Betts. I couldn’t draft deGrom soon enough. I have had deGrom as my number 1 starting pitcher all season. Yes, ahead of Cole. deGrom is as reliable as they come. He has made 30 or more starts in 4 of the last 5 seasons with 190 or more innings in each of those seasons. He also is a strikeout machine and great for your ratios. Pretty much a no brainer for me at pick 7.
Round 2, Pick 24- Starling Marte
We all know how important steals are this season and Marte fills that need. He was also one of the last major 5 category contributors left on the draft board. I am someone that likes to really stay balanced for as long as I can in drafts. That does not always work out, but Marte is a great start. Some may think Marte went early, but when looking at Smada’s TGFBI ADP data, it really wasn’t. His average TGFBI ADP was 23.8, with a low of 13 (thanks Todd Zola) and a max of 29. Looking at projections for Marte it makes a lot of sense that he was being pushed up boards. He’s projected to hit over .280 with 20/20 abilities and the chance to get close to 30/30. I love him as my first hitter and first outfielder, especially in a 5 outfielder league.
Round 3, Pick 37- Javy Baez
Since I have an ace, I was planning on adding a few 5 category bats before my next pitcher. After Marte, I added another 5 stat category filler with Javy Baez. Most that have followed me know I have not been the biggest Baez fan. Well, he has one me over this offseason as I have accepted he is actually a really really good hitter that may not have the most normal approach at the plate. He will be hitting in the middle of a loaded Cubs lineup and should flourish from that. He is a 30+ homer masher with 15 steal upside. I have Baez in a lot of leagues so far.
Round 4, Pick 54- Yu Darvish
I wasn’t planning on going back to a pitcher so soon, but they were flying off the board. I have been a huge Darvish fan this offseason, but based on his rising ADP, I was not alone. I am a huge believer in his 2H adjustments that led to all the strikeouts and just a few walks. Darvish was resembling his previous ACE form with the Rangers. He made a comment right before the hot finish that he figured something out and he would be good to go the rest of the season. Well, he wasn’t kidding. I knew Darvish wouldn’t make it back to me in Round 5 and I had him much higher than some of the other pitchers available, so I grabbed some YU!!!!!
Round 5, Pick 67- Ramon Laureano
Well, look at that, another 5 category contributor. Laureano is a popular name this draft season, but he has earned that popularity after last season. In 123 games with the A’s hit 24 home runs and stole 13 bases while hitting .288. He plays gold glove caliber defense which will keep him on the field even if a slump ensues. Some will go for Tommy Pham in this range, and he’s a solid player in his own right. It’s Laureano for me as he is a younger, healthier version of Pham.
Round 6, Pick 84- Jorge Soler
Soler was one of the first players I haven’t drafted prior to TGFBI. Soler is coming off a monster 2019 and I am a realist knowing that some regression is likely. At the same time I am still on board with at least 35 home runs, and you never know, 40+ could still be on the menu. He isn’t a batting average stud but isn’t going to crush your team either. Not a major steals guy, so he starts the team’s change from 5 category contributors. I went after Soler for his major power upside and I am happy with him at pick 84.
Round 7, Pick 97- Gary Sanchez
In a 2 catcher league, with an overall title, I will be more aggressive on a catcher. Gary Sanchez around pick 100 seems like a steal. His TGFBI ADP was pick 90 and had gone as high as 71. He is one of the only catchers that can blast 30 home runs and be a major RUN and RBI contributor at the catcher position. You need contributions from all your roster spots, so punting both catcher positions doesn’t work well for an overall crown. Sanchez does have injury concerns but has put up 2 30+ home run seasons while playing no more than 122 games. For crying out loud, he hit over 30 last season in only 106 games. You will grab another catcher when Sanchez is hurt and just add their stats onto Gary’s. He is one of the elite catching options and a pick I love in Round 7.
Round 8, Pick 114- Zac Gallen
After going with back to back home run machines, I grabbed one of “my guys”. My 3rd starting pitcher on the club, Zac Gallen. I am a huge Gallen guy this season. I am not buying into the DBacks talk of Gallen not having a locked-in roster spot. The DBacks traded for Gallen last year and there is no reason not to continue with Gallen in the rotation. Last season hee dominated over 90 innings in AAA and then continued that dominance over 80 big league innings. He should be good to go for 200+ innings (likely not necessary now) and provide outstanding ratios. He makes for a very strong SP3.
Round 9, Pick- 127- Brad Hand
Here’s the first pick that I really wasn’t in love with. I like the fact that Hand has been a consistent saves machine with back-to-back 30+ save seasons. There is a concern as he struggled some towards the end of the 2019 season with some decreased velocity. There are some interesting options in the Cleveland bullpen and with the new 3 hitter minimum rule, Hand may lose a few saves. He’s still a top-end target and after I missed on Diaz, Jansen, and Rogers all going in the picks right after Gallen, I had to draft him. With drafting Hand, I already told myself to grab a 3rd closer or maybe a couple later round dart throws for saves.
Round 10, Pick 144- Tommy Edman
Edman is another player I haven’t been drafting much. I love the steals upside, legit could steal 20+ this season. He brings some power, a nice average and will contribute to the other fantasy categories. He’s a poor man’s 5 category contributor. The biggest question with Edman is consistent playing time. He’s currently slotted in as the starting LF for the Cards, but can also play all over the infield. Edman has super-utility upside and if he moves up the batting order could be an extreme value. He may be a bit risky, but the upside at pick 144 has me on board. Side note, Edman also has second base eligibility and I wanted to grab some upside before they were all gone at the position.
Round 11, Pick 157- Hansel Robles
I absolutely love this pick. After my concerns with Brad Hand, I ran to draft Robles at this point in the draft. Robles burst onto the scenes last year with 23 saves, an elite K rate, and solid ratios. With Joe Maddon in town helps as we have seen he loves to stick with one closer. The Angels will be improved and a 30+ save season is definitely in the cards for Robles. I would have been fine if Robles was my first closer on the squad, but as my second I am over the moon.
Round 12, Pick 174- Hunter Dozier
As the third base position was disappearing quickly I went after an out of nowhere stud in 2019, Hunter Dozier. Dozier is coming off a 26 home run season with a surprising .279 average. His hard-hit rates, barrels, and other statcast data were through the roof. Reports in spring had Dozier also playing some outfield which would add some nice eligibility. There was even bigger news coming out of Royals camp involving Dozier this spring. He wants to run more. He was always a nice 4 category contributor, but if he could steal 10 or so bags that would be tremendous. Big fan of Dozier as my starting third baseman.
Round 13, Pick 187- Joe Jimenez
I said after the Hand pick that I wanted to have 3 closers by the end of the draft. Well, they were flying off the board so I wanted to make sure that happened. There are so many bullpens by committee or just questions in general, but Detroit’s with Joe Jimenez is not one of them. Jimenez is locked into the closer role and barring some really bad production he should have his fair share at 25+ saves. Now, after concerns in Round 9, I leave Round 13 with 3 solid closers. Again, being an overall contest it is nice to be projected for 84 saves by ATC projections.
Round 14, Pick 204- Rougned Odor
Odor is a very tilting player for many across fantasy baseball. He has 30+ home runs and 10+ stolen bases upside. A really solid find after pick 200. The problem with Odor is the batting average. Last year it was atrocious at .205, but we have seen Odor hit closer to .250 a few times. Playing time is slightly a concern with Nick Solak lurking, but with the Willie Calhoun injury (drafted Odor prior to the injury), that may change some. I really like taking the Odor gamble in drafts. He is not that expensive and has top 150 to close to pick 100 upside if the average can just increase a little.
Round 15, Pick 217- Daniel Murphy
First base falls off quickly and if you don’t get a stud you need to act quickly. I usually go after Christian Walker or CJ Cron as a later round target, but that didn’t happen today. Cron and Walker went right after my Odor pick, so I had to act quickly. Daniel Murphy is one of my favorites later round, upside picks. Murphy used to be a top 10 or even Top 5-second baseman in recent years, but he has been injury-riddled the last couple seasons. The power has been zapped the past 2 seasons due to injuries, but the batting average has still been in play. I will buy back into a bounce-back campaign for Murphy, and playing in Coors doesn’t hurt that hope.
Round 16, Pick 234- Mitch Keller
Another “my guy” joins the club in Round 16. I have been heavily targeting Mitch Keller in drafts. I have talked about him many times on different pods this offseason as well. Keller has been a stud in the minors and finally got a chance with the Pirates last season. It didn’t go well but looking at advanced stats, he should have performed much better. Another positive, the Pirates have a new coaching staff and they are actually embracing new tools and analytics. Keller should take the next step and as my SP 4, I am pumped.
Round 17, Pick 247- Austin Hays
We are getting into the later rounds of the draft and it was time to start taking chances. Hays is an Orioles prospect who should play every day. He should hit near the top of the order and brings a really nice power/speed combo to any fantasy team. Most projection sites have Hays hitting at least 20 home runs, stealing some bags and hitting around .260. Most of those projections are for 120-130 games. A full season could be huge, but even with a shortened season, I am all about 20/10 upside around pick 250.
Round 18, Pick 264- Steven Matz
In Round 18 I grabbed my 5th starting pitcher, another “my guy” in Matz. Matz uses a heavy sinker and changed his pitch mix in the 2H of last season. The change resulted in much more success, better ratios, and more strikeouts. Pitching for the Mets he will be the 4th or 5th starter in that rotation, allowing him to square off vs lesser SP opponents. Matz is a late-round target I have been flocking to when trying to deepen my pitching staff.
Round 19, Pick 277- Kyle Seager
Seager isn’t flashy and most think he’s old and done. Fine by me as that just lower his draft price. Seager had a really strong 2H of the 2019 season and rolls into 2020 hitting in the middle of the Mariners order. Seager has hit 20 or more home runs in each season since 2012. He will help in runs and RBI as well as a potential boost on average. He brings some nice category assets to your rosters later in drafts.
Round 20, Pick 294- Kurt Suzuki
Suzuki won’t play every day for the Nats. To be fair he hasn’t played every day since 2015. Yet, he has still been a very productive fantasy asset, especially in 2 catcher leagues. He is a really nice batting average source and throws in a handful of home runs at the catcher position. Using Suzuki as a C2, paired with Gary Sanchez makes for 2 really solid catchers. Essentially could have 45-50 home runs, a .250 or so average and solid counting stats.
Round 21, Pick 307- Travis Shaw
This pick was a pure upside pick and will be a quick drop if he isn’t performing. Shaw was horrible last season with the Brewers. He has admitted to changing his swing and the change in his swing was a major problem for him. He is back to his old swing plus a change of scenery in Toronto. Shaw is currently projected to hit in the middle of the Jays order as the starting first baseman. Rowdy Tellez is waiting in the wings if Shaw falters and could be a nice pivot in drafts. To be honest, I would probably wait and draft Tellez, but Shaw has some solid upside as well.
Round 22, Pick 324- Teoscar Hernandez
Teoscar is another masher on the Baby Blue Jays. He will be playing every day in the Jays outfield and has 20+ home run upside. He will be a batting average drain but can provide that power as well as 5 or so steals. A late-round outfield target at his finest.
Round 23, Pick 337- Tyler Beede
I’ll keep this really simple. I made this pick while golfing. Shortly after the pick was there were reports of his injury. He will be dropped and for that, I am saddened.
Round 24, Pick 354- Hanser Alberto
I love grabbing multi-position eligible players later in drafts. Alberto has 2B and 3B eligibility which can be huge in no-trade leagues. Alberto is also a really solid batting average asset who can sprinkle in some other counting stats. As bad as the Orioles are going to be, Alberto will still play every day and provide fantasy upside.
Round 25, Pick 367- Nathan Eovaldi
Eovaldi is one of the more polarizing pitchers in fantasy baseball. He hasn’t pitched at least 150 innings since 2015 due to being banged up over the last few seasons. He reported healthy to spring training, his velocity was back up and he looked great. He has always had some solid strikeout stuff and that was showcased early on this spring. He will likely be the number 2 in the Red Sox rotation. The Red Sox spend a lot of money on Eovaldi and will try and get as many innings out of their expensive starter as possible. I will take chances on Eovaldi in a lot of drafts.
Round 26, Pick 374- Jorge Mateo
Mateo is battling for a roster spot with the A’s. He is in competition with Franklin Barreto and Tony Kemp. All 3 players are out of options so it is either make the team or find a new one. Mateo had a huge 2019 in AAA with the power and speed really blossoming, showing 20/20 upside. The power has been slow to develop this spring, but the OBP has been solid, not to mention 4 steals. If Mateo makes the A’s he’s a huge stolen base source late in drafts. If he doesn’t, then run and get Franklin Barreto. Barreto probably will be drafted as well, so pay close attention to the battle as we approach the season, whenever that is.
Round 27, Pick 397- Jesus Aguilar
This one was a no-brainer for me. With Daniel Murphy and Travis Shaw as potential first basemen on the squad this season, I needed another upside target. Aguilar is just a couple years removed from a monster season with the Brewers. He struggled last year and ended up platooning. Now, he will be the everyday first baseman for the Marlins and could get back to that 30 home run upside. Nice gamble close to pick 400.
Round 28, Pick 414- Rick Porcello
Porcello is back home with the Mets. He has been an innings eater during his career and after pick 400 I am looking for some late-round targets with upside. Going to the National League could help Porcello as well. It seems like a decent gamble at this point in the draft.
Round 29, Pick 427- Todd Frazier
The beauty of the slow draft is hearing some recent news during spring training. Frazier has been looking really solid during the spring, locking him into the middle of the Rangers order playing first base. Going back to my questionable first base choices, the Toddfather could play a major role in the squad. Frazier will DH or play 1B most of the time and Ronald Guzman isn’t really scaring me as a threat. Let’s go TODDFATHER!!!!!!
Round 30, Pick 444- Drew Smyly
Smyly as my last pick, let’s goooooo!!!! Smyly showed some nice increased velocity and a pitch mix change with the Phillies last season. The results were much better, well compared to previous Smyly standards. He now heads to the Giants and wonderful Oracle Park. There is a legit upside to Smyly and I am here for it with my last pick in the draft.
There’s the squad. Overall quite pleased. The offense has plenty of power and speed. First base is obviously a major concern, but not the end of the world as there are some nice options. My relievers are looking strong and the starters are not so bad. There are some questions in the starters, but most can be easily dropped if they are not good and streaming can be a thing. Most of the late-round picks are not going to stick, but that’s the norm. It’s all about churning and burning the bench players. We will see when the season actually starts and what changes, but at this point in time, I am looking forward to improving on my strong TGFBI season 2 performance.