Huge shoutout to Justin Mason & Smada for setting up the first mock drafts of the Fantasy Baseball season! These guys have been doing this for several years now and these mocks help set the market for all other drafts that follow.
Here is the link to the #2EarlyMock ADP: https://smadaplaysfantasy.com/2EarlyMocks/
Let’s dive into this team I compiled!
1.15 Gerrit Cole
Cole likely won’t fall to the wheel very often in drafts but I was stoked to grab a clear super-duper ace when the SP4 off the board is a substantial tier drop from deGrom/Bieber/Cole. I have no concerns with Cole and think over a full season his value will only increase as he has more opportunities to log innings and pile up tons of K’s.
2.16 Francisco Lindor
A 27 year old in his prime who should hit for 25+ HR’s and provide 15+ steals, this wasn’t a tough pick for me even in Lindor isn’t as good of a hitter as some others in this range. I really wanted to lock up some early steals with some of my initial picks.
3.45 Luis Robert
Following a very up and down rookie year, Robert definitely showed some signs to be concerned given his ultra aggressive approach, but flashed immense upside and I was happy to grab him here. Robert has huge upside and I think will provide plenty of power/speed in 2021, even if it comes with a .240 BA.
4.46 Eloy Jimenez
A hulking masher in an awesome up-and-coming lineup, Eloy was the pick here and though he doesn’t provide steals I still think he can tap into a good BA in addition to his mamoth power and loads of counting stats.
5.75 JD Martinez
Valuing JDM is quite the conundrum, as he has been one of the better hitters in the league for a while now, but he was absolutely atrocious in 2020 (hitting for a 77 wRC+). The lack of video may have impacted JD, but I am willing to bet on a bounce back here despite the Utility only tag, a position that is increasingly loaded for 2021 drafts with Giancarlo Stanton/Franmil Reyes/Jorge Soler/Nelson Cruz/Yordan Alvararez among many others with this Utility only designation. Even though Martinez is creeping into an age range where guys can fall off a cliff overnight (33 years old) I am betting on JD as a pure hitter to be able to return value here.
6.76 Matt Olson
Given how difficult it is to find a difference making 1B in 2021, I am happy with Olson here even if he comes with a low BA and no steals. I don’t think he’s very different from Luke Voit and Pete Alonso who are going around 25 picks ahead of Olson.
7.105 Chris Paddack
This is one pick I do think I wish I could get back, I think I waited too long on my SP2 here with Paddack. The fact of the matter is the pitchers after the Kyle Hendricks/Zach Plesac/Stephen Strasburg range concern me greatly as SP2 types. In regards to Paddack, his fastball got absolutely pummeled in 2020, giving up a .658 Slug.. *gulps* That’s a problem. However I do have belief in Paddack bouncing back to a range where he can deliver a sub 4 ERA, over a K per frame and a serviceable WHIP that is under 1.20 due his ability to not give out free passes. I’d still take the gamble on Paddack regaining his form over Patrick Corbin/Jose Berrios who were also in consideration, but I will not be waiting this long on SP2 again.
8.106 Yasmani Grandal
Based on other drafts, this was a reach (138 ADP in 9 drafts) but I am happy to lock in very steady catcher production from a guy who’s an ironman behind the dish (average of 137 games from 2016-2019, 46 games in 2020) and has good power (average of 25 HR’s from 2016-2019, paced for 22 HR’s in 2020). In future drafts, I will be able to wait a little longer to grab Grandal or even Willson Contreras as a consolation prize.
9.135 Frankie Montas
In order to supplement my weaker SP2 behind Gerrit Cole I felt the need to grab 2 guys who are high upside in Montas/Urias. Montas was a guy who got blown up by the long ball in 2020 (3.18 HR/9) but still racked up loads of K’s and has really strong velocity. His sinker got smashed in 2020, but I do think he will be able to provide plenty of K’s in 2021 with a solid workload entering his age 27. I think Montas is more the guy we saw in 2019 than 2020.
10.136 Julio Urias
Julio Urias has some question marks surrounding his workload, but I love his talent and team setup if they let him go, granted that is not a guarantee. Over the past 2 years Urias has compiled a 2.81 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP combo over 134 innings with a K per frame. When he’s in my lineup I will feel pretty comfortable with him but the usage could be tilting.
11.165 Tommy Edman
25 year old Tommy Edman is coming with a discount off of his 2019 ADP, slotting in as the 183rd player off the board in the #2EarlyMocks and I am thrilled to take advantage of this price. Edman still makes tons of contact and can be a plus batting average guy while piling up some steals and provided non-zero power. He also will carry SS/3B/OF eligibilty. Nifty.
12.166 Aaron Civale
Civale isn’t a particularly exciting pick and he fell off in the 2H of 2020, but I do firmly believe in his skills and his situation in Cleveland to improve and justify this price. He went over 6 innings per start so he will be able to rack up precious innings and may even develop even more in his age 25 season in Cleveland.
13.195 Ryan McMahon
Only 25 years old and firmly a fixture in the Rockies’ lineup McMahon was my triple eligible guy here. The K rate has ballooned up to over 30% in 2020 and that is definitely an issue but I think he can get that under control. I am not sure he has huge upside but this is a nice piece to be able to slide into your lineup during those Coors series.
14.196 Anthony Santander
2020 was the year in which we saw Santander break out – he put a sweet .576 slug to pair with a 15% K Rate, which equaled out to a .315 ISO. Very nice. I believe this is a sustainable profile. If Santander is available after pick 175 regularly I will be waiting to fill out my OF – a strategy I love to employ.
15.225 Justin Turner
A boring old vet, Turner is as consistent as they come. I think he will re-sign with the LA Dodgers but we will get to see soon enough. Easy profit at pick 225.
16.226 Sean Murphy
Murphy paired up patience with power in 2020, a 17% BB rate to pair with a .224 ISO. There’s good reason to believe both of those marks will regress but I think could be a 20 HR catcher in 2020 who might be available after pick 200.
17.255 Brandon Kintzler
Somewhat like Alex Colome in 2020, Kintzler is a boring useful RP option who most importantly the manager inherently trusts – he should be brought back into the fold in Miami as he has a cheap 4 million dollar club option.
18.256 Nathan Eovaldi
Another depth option for my SP’s, Eovaldi is a K getter with skills to rise up even higher in the SP ranks. I like what he did in 2020 with an opportunity for more in 2021 given his 13% SwStr rate and nasty stuff.
19.285 Kyle Seager
Seager will never draw much excitement but he fills in counting stats quite well, I would hope for 25 HR’s and 70+ runs and RBI from Seager in 2021.
20.286 Jordan Hicks
Betting on Hicks’ stuff and opportunity to grab a closer role in STL where the situation seems murky. This is a guy you can roster for a few weeks and cut if he isn’t getting saves.
21.315 Bryan Reynolds
Reynolds really struggled in 2020, doesn’t stand out in any one category outside of BA and when you hit for .189 in 2020, you will come with a discount. I love what Reynolds did in his MILB career, regularly posting 120+ wRC’s. I think Reynolds will bounce back and hit near the top of the order for Pittsburgh, helping him get more opportunities for stats.
22.316 Brad Keller
Keller is a throw back pitcher, as he racks up tons of groundballs, limits HR’s, doesn’t get many K’s but is generally effective. Keller amped up his slider usage to a career high 38%, which is a welcome sign given it’s his best whiff pitch. Keller should be able to be streamed at home and provide some solid but unspectacular production.
23.345 Matthew Boyd
Rostering Matthew Boyd isn’t for the faint of heart givne the rollarcoaster like range of outcomes Boyd provides each start but I think there is enough here to grab Boyd as a cheap flyer. I don’t think I would have the confidence to start Boyd from the jump, but I like his talent enough to draft him as a stash to see how he opens up 2021.
24.346 Andres Giminez
I am not expecting much power, but I am hopeful Gimenez will play plenty for the New York Mets in 2021 given his incredible defensive acumen. I liked the high contact rates, his ability to steal bases (maybe 15+) and he will carry 3B/SS/2B eligibility. Perfect bench piece to slide into your lineup wherever you need him.
25.375 Kolten Wong
Wong struggled in 2020 but he showed me enough in 2019 to buy into him with a huge discount, Wong can still steal some bases and be a decent table setter. I’d be happy to add him here on most of my teams.
26.376 Jazz Chisholm
I think Jazz has a good chance to be in the plans for the 2021 Miami Marlins – I really like his power/speed outlook given he went 21 HR – 16 SB in 2019 across 112 games as a 21 year old in AA.
27.405 Thomas Hatch
Hatch is an elite spin rate guy and has a ridiculous slider, a pitch that got a 44% whiff rate. Hopefully Hatch can increase the slider usage and weaponize it even further. He could factor into the saves situation in Toronto or he could be a good ratio RP type to plug into your lineup occasionally.
28.406 Miguel Rojas
As the heart and soul of the Miami Marlins, Rojas is a guy who will play everyday and is showing improved skills in 2020, nearly doubling his BB rate and hitting for a 142 wRC+ in the process. I’d be happy to roster him in 2021.