Every year, the folks at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio do battle in fantasy baseball drafts to see who can emerge as the king of the mountain. This is a report about how my team turned out, with a live, pick-by-pick, telling of how my team turned out.
5 x 5 Rotisserie style scoring.
Hitting Categories – AVG, HR, RBI, Runs, SB
Pitching Categories – Wins, ERA, WHIP, K, SV
ROSTER: 2-C, 1-1B, 1-3B, 1-CI, 1-2B, 1-SS, 1-MI, 5-OF, 1-UT, 9-P and 6 reserves
DRAFT PARTICIPANTS (In Order)
Keith Irizarry, SiriusXM/MLB Network
Ray Flowers, SiriusXM Fantasy Drive/Elite Sports
Todd Zola, RotoWire/Mastersball
Jason Mezrahi, Win Daily
Lenny Melnick, The Lady and the Legend/LennyMelnickFantasySports.com
Clay Link, RotoWire
Michael Waldo, Fantistics
Slim Jim Phantom, Slim Jim Phantasy/Drummer of the Stray Cats
Rick Wolf, Fantasy Alarm/Colton and the Wolfman
Tom Kessenich, NFBC/High Stakes Fantasy Advantage
Anthony Perri, Fantistics
Steve Phillips, Fantasy Fill-Ups/MLB Network Radio
*Round taken in parenthesis.
Catcher: Carson Kelly (17),
Francisco Mejia (19)
First Base: Paul Goldschmidt (5)
Second Base: Jose Altuve (3)
Third Base: Scott Kingery (11)
Shortstop: Corey Seager (14)
Middle Infielder: Jonathan Villar (4)
Corner Infielder: Rhys Hoskins (9)
Outfield: Christian Yelich (1), Charlie Blackmon (2), Lorenzo Cain (15), Justin Upton (16), Andrew McCutchen (20)
Utility: Shohei Ohtani (10)
Pitchers: Brandon Woodruff (6), Tyler Glasnow (7), Madison Bumgarner (8), Raisel Iglesias (13), Hector Neris (14), Ryan Yarbrough (18), Joey Lucchesi (22), Dylan Cease (24), Seth Lugo (25)
BENCH: Nick Madrigal (21), Corey Dickerson (23), Luis Arraez (26), A.J. Puk (27), Joey Votto (28), Scott Oberg (29)
DRAFT WRITE UP
NOTE: These comments are written in real-time, as the draft unfolded.
ROUND 1: This is the earliest I’ve been on the clock this season. My assumption is that Ronald Acuna will go #1 leaving me to draft Christian Yelich (as it just went). The last two years, Yelich has led the NL in average, SLG and OPS both years. His average effort in those two years follows: .327-40-104-109-26. Wow. Here is some audio with me discussion the pick of Yelich as well. Here is my breakout of the first four picks.
ROUND 2: You know I’m not going starting pitcher here. Charlie Blackmon doesn’t run anymore, but boy can he hit still. The last three years that batting line looks marvelous: .312-33-87-123-9. Whether he hits first or third for the Rockies, he will crush it with the production.
ROUND 3: Jose Altuve won’t run like the past, but I could see him still swipe 15-20. I’m not worried about buzzergate and all that junk. The dude can hit, always has hit and will hit again in 2020. A .300 hitter with 20+ power at second base isn’t that easy to find, and if he goes .300-20-20…
ROUND 4: Jonathan Villar sounds likely to pick up outfield eligibility in addition to his already standing second/short thing. He stole 40 bases last season, and he seems to have the least amount of heat of the guys who should be looked at to steal bags at that rate. He brings me the speed folks are desiring early on with oodles of flexibility. He’s a solid offensive player with the bat in his hands as well.
ROUND 5: Paul Goldschmidt was a disappointment to many last year. He went 34-97-97. Let that sink in. He no longer runs, I will give you that, but I think his .260 batting average of last season should end up closer to his career mark of .292 this season. I’m all in at this cost.
ROUND 6: Brandon Woodruff was the pick, over Anthony Rizzo. The first base spot starts to thin out quickly, and few are more stable than Rizzo which would make him an absolutely ideal corner infield option. Still, I didn’t have a pitcher yet, and since Woodruff is on every team I seemingly draft this year, it was time to draft him again. A huge arm.
ROUND 7: To starter pitcher, or not to starting pitcher? What the hell. For those that say you gotta go early to get big arms, how does Woodruff-Tyler Glasnow strike ya? Glasnow stays healthy he’s a likely top-10 AL Cy Young vote getter. Will he stay healthy? That concern is why he was still available at this point of the draft.
ROUND 8: My third arm is Madison Bumgarner. I felt this was a needed security pick with the workload of both Woodruff and Glasnow in doubt. MadBum should throw 200 frames and get ya 180+ strikeouts. That’s an ideal SP3.
ROUND 9: Rhys Hoskins is a player I really like. I was tempted to go Joey Gallo, maybe should have, but I went with Hoskins as I believe in the skills. Heck, I just wrote a Player Profile about Hoskins telling you to draft him, so I felt putting my money where my mouth is was the right move, right?
ROUND 10: In this league, Shohei Ohtani qualifies at utility and pitcher. He’s an elite player who can be special at both components of the game. I will have to chose how to use him each week, but he has the potential to be an ace on the hill in the second half, and who isn’t going to say that’s got tons of value when you also add in that bat (his addition here also lessons my reliance on late round arms)? His flexibility should move his value up rounds. Rather surprised he was still sitting there in the 10th. Here’s how the pitching plan might work out.
ROUND 11: Third base is getting thin, and I think this guy could go 20/20 this season. Scott Kingery also qualifies as an outfielder in case I want to move him out there as well. People underestimate, at times, what the value is of those 15 steal guys. For more on Kingery see his Player Profile.
ROUND 12: Should I double-tap closers? That’s my dilemma here. I love Corey Seager, and never end up with any shares. Pretty sure if I don’t take him here or in the 13th round that he won’t be available in the 14th. But there are other options I can turn to up the middle if Seager gets grabbed. Hell, let’s double-tap some closers. Raisel Iglesias is better than most folks think. He’s been racking up saves for three years as well with an average of 31 a year in that time, and the homers will slow this year helping out his ratios. The success will keep on coming.
ROUND 13: Apparently, I’m team Phillies. I chose Hector Neris over Edwin Diaz. You could quibble with that selection, but Neris was dominant last season whereas Diaz was spotty for a good deal of the season. For more on Neris, see Relievers to Target.
ROUND 14: Enough with that pitching run. Let’s get back to some offense here. As I write this, there’s a chance that Corey Seager falls to me (fingers crossed). If he doesn’t, I’ve got my eyes on the catcher’s spot and the outfield. Byron Buxton just got nabbed (Player Profile) right after Franmil Reyes (Player Profile out soon). Those were two targets. Two picks until Seager… one pick… yes! Seager fell and I gladly scooped him up. Here is why I like Corey Seager (Player Profile).
ROUND 15: Was hoping to do a Seager/David Dahl combo in the 14/15 rounds, but it didn’t happen. Alas, I turned to Lorenzo Cain when Dahl was chosen, who even in a down season stole 18 bases with 75 runs last year. Cain is aging, and that is a concern, but he has hit .294 the last six years and he’s hit .300 in 2-of-3 years. I’m hopeful of a return to 2018 levels. A .280 average with 20 steals is doable, and that’s a good series of numbers to have confidence in at this point of the draft.
ROUND 16: Thinking I might double-tap catchers here, depending upon how the picks play out after Cain. If not, I’m thinking Justin Upton is a great target. I really do think that Upton is a 30-80-80 rebound candidate this season. After all, before injuries sidetracked him last year, his average effort from 2016-18 was .258-32-94-87-10. I would also have thought of Khris Davis here, but Ohtani is only utility eligible, so I don’t have a spot for Kris. So, in the end, it’s Upton’s name who I called out.
ROUND 17: In grabbing Carson Kelly here, I’m expecting a lot of catchers to be rostered the next two rounds. There just aren’t that many options if you are hoping for .250-20 at the catcher’s spot. Intrigued by the strike zone control as well that saw him post a 0.61 BB/K last season with a catcher impressive .348 OBP and .826 OPS. By the way, Gary Sanchez had an OPS of .841 last season.
ROUND 18: Maybe Sean Murphy will fall. Shoot, no dice on that. No one has taken Chris Sale… and it’s so damn tempting to call out his name here. Oh well, he just went off the board, risk and all. I ended up pivoting to Ryan Yarbrough. A few notes. (1)Only 12 pitchers have more victories the last two years than Yarbrough. (2) Among pitchers who threw 140-innings, Yarbrough was 7th in baseball in WHIP last year.
ROUND 19: Francisco Mejia is an ideal second catcher in my mind, and I’ve said that for months. See the 2020 LABR writeup from mid-January where I even grabbed him as my first backstop.
ROUND 20: Do I go Nick Madrigal, and be aggressive hoping he’s called up early to give me a nice backup up the middle? The negative to that is that I have Villar and he qualifies at both second and shortstop. He could pickup outfield eligibility though, and that could open up playing time for Madrigal at second. Instead, I went with Andrew McCutchen. I know he’s gonna miss time the first week or two, but his knee should be healthy, the Phils are taking extra time making sure that is the case and I felt it was worth the risk at this point since we will have IL spots. McCutchen should hit leadoff and be very effective at it when he returns, though my reliance on the Phillies at this point is at it’s limit.
ROUND 21: What the hell. Nick Madrigal is the pick here. Let’s do this. For my writeup on the young second sacker see Rookie Scouting Reports.
ROUND 22: I’ve been looking at Joey Lucchesi for a couple of rounds, so I was pleased to see him still available here as I look to round out the rotation. Another second timer on the team as he was also on the FSGA squad… six rounds earlier.
ROUND 23: Corey Dickerson is my cover just in case McCutchen doesn’t recover as expected. I explain why Dickerson is being chronically undervalued in his Player Profile. I will hope Dylan Bundy or Reynaldo Lopez will fall back to me in the 24th.
ROUND 24: I’m tempted to go Luis Arraez (Player Profile), but do I given that grabbed Madrigal a few rounds back? Luis does have outfield eligibility which helps, but I just can’t pull the trigger here. Ultimately, I wasn’t able to go Bundy or Lopez, so I went with Lopez’ White Sox teammate in Dylan Carlson. Dude pumps high octane with ease, though walks are an issue. Everything about his makeup is A+ though, and he adds Yasmani Grandal as a catcher this year, and that is a huge get.
ROUND 25: Arraez? Ultimately, I passed and went with Seth Lugo. If you missed out on how good he was last year, check out Relievers to Target.
ROUND 26: It was time. Arraez is mine. Second base and outfield eligibility is welcomed as well, even with his slow start this spring.
ROUND 27: A.J. Puk has health issues, and he also has concerns about his workload. Those are two totally legit concerns. The arm-talent is immense, it’s the reserve rounds, and there’s a chance we get 120-innings of dominance from the lefty.
ROUND 28: If Joey Votto falls here, do I take him just on principle? I have Goldy/Hoskins at first, but if Votto is healthy and hitting second in that Reds lineup, how is he not a $20 player? I’d like to grab another couple arms, but I could cut it down to just one knowing that McCutchen is on the IL to start, so I can just grab a hurler at the first waiver run (not to mention I should have Ohtani the pitcher available in mid-May). Same time, if something happens in a bullpen between now and Opening Day, the cost of the guy I’m gonna grab now out of the bullpen will explode. Because I grabbed Arraez who can play in the outfield, that lessoned the need to go Jesse Winker here (see his Player Profile). So what did I do? Had to draft Votto. I’ll get that arm with my last pick.
ROUND 29: Wade Davis cannot possibly hold on to the 9th inning gig in Colorado, can he? I say – no way in hell. I went with Scott Oberg here instead of Yoshi Hirano that went a couple of picks later. We will see how it plays out.
Here is a link to the board.