New World Wonders 2
I participated in my second fantasy baseball draft of 2021 and I liked the results better. No one knows what the future holds but I have a better mix to start the season. Again this was a 12 team, head to head league on Yahoo Sports.
I was drafting 11th out of 12 which means having 2 picks close together and then a long wait. With pick 11, I took Jose Ramirez - 3 B with Cleveland and with pick 14 I grabbed another 3rd baseman - Manny Machado who is also eligible at SS. Pick 3? I took Boston's Xander Bogaerts - another SS so with 3 picks I have 2 Third Basemen and 2 Shortstops. With my 4th pick I took NYY D.J. LeMahieu who is eligible at 1, 2 and 3.
So to start the draft I stuck to my game plan of taking hitters the first 4 picks before taking a pitcher AND I gave the benefit of the doubt to players who had multi-position eligibility. I love that flexibility in HTH leagues. I didn't pick a player because of his multi-player eligibility (in other words I didn't take a worst player just because they had eligibility at more than 1 position) but if it was close, it was the difference maker.
My plan was to take a Starting Pitcher at round 5 but I deviated and took Josh Hader with pick 59 and Liam Hendriks with pick 62 setting up my Closers early. I decided I could find more starting pitchers late than reliable closers.
With pick 83 (7th pick) I took NYM SP Carlos Carrasco. Switching from American League to National League and playing home games at Citifield, his stats could be very good.
In the 8th Round I took BlueJays versatile player, Lourdes Gurriel, Jr who is eligible at 2B and OF. I took him as the best OutFielder available for 5x5 fantasy - he gives me power, runs, RBIs and a chance for SBs.
My next pick went SP with D. Lamet who has some of the best stuff in MLB. The only issue is can he stay healthy. I like him this year because the Padres Bullpen is loaded with 4 pitchers who have closer experience. That could lead to extra WINS for Lamet this season. He just needs to take a lead into the 6th inning.
My next pick was Mike Moustakas of Cincy. I think he will rebound this year. He is playing in a Hitters park in Cincinnati and he has power. If he can hit .265 or higher, he will give me a lot of HRs, RBIs and Runs. He won't give me SBs. With LeMahieu on my team, I can afford to have some hitters who don't hit for average. I'm hoping Moustakas can carry his weight on average anyway but if he hits 40 HRS with a .225 average, I can absorb it.
Round 11, I took what I saw as the best available - Kevin Gausman - SP with San Francisco. If he was picthing for a team like the Dodgers, he would probably be a very early draft pick. He will give me a lot of Ks and hopefully maintain a WHIP and ERA that is more than competitive. The question is, will his offense score runs to let him earn those Ws?
Round 12 saw me take Dylan Moore of Seattle. When he was healthy is 2020, he produced across the board. Here I added him to make me competitive in SBs.
Round 13, I took Miami hurler Sixto Sanchez. I picked him up in 2020 and he was fantastic. Another year of experience and I'm hoping he pitches like an SP 1.
Round 14 saw me take a chance on Chicago's Ian Happ. He is expected to leadoff for the Cubs which means that he could score a ton of runs in addition to hitting 25 or more HRs.
Round 15, I took a chance on another Cub - Craig Kimbrel. He was once the ACE closer in MLB and then took a tumble when he left Boston and joined the Cubs. BUT he resurged last season and looked back to form. If that second half of 2020 relief pitcher is the one in 2021, I got a steal. I'll keep an eye on his stats and gran Rowan Wick if Kimbrel stumbles (or try to grab him).
This gave me the 3 Closers I wanted on my pitching staff. With 3, I should be able to win Saves most weeks and hopefully compete for WHIP and ERA.
in Round 16, pick 182, I took LAA SP S. Ohtani. He has looked "back" to form in early Spring Season games. I saw little risk in taking him as my 5th Starting Pitcher. If he is back to form, he will return SP 1 value.
Round 17 and 18, I took hitting. In 17, I went with Mariner Prospect, J. Kelenic. He figures to give you across the board production IF he gets playing time. I consider J. Walsh here but he doesn't have the SB upside of Kelenic.
Round 18 I went ahead and took Rockies 1B CJ Chron. If I only play him when they play in Colorado, he should hit enough HRs to justify the pick. Don't be surprised if he hits over 40HRs this season and with a batting average of 0.250 or better.
Round 19, I took another potential 35 - 40 HR hitter in Joc Pederson. He is with the Cubs now and just 2 years ago hit almost 40 HRs. So far in Spring Training he has been hitting well.
Round 20, I took Diego Castillo of TB. Diego qualifies as SP and RP. That lets me picth him in a SP slot if I have a lineup without 2 SPs scheduled. He will also be one of the 3 RPs in Tampa Bay closing.
Pick 21, I took Texas Ranger Isiah Kiner-Falefa whom I have been targeting in my drafts. He is Catcher eligible but playing SS and batting 3rd for the Rangers. In 2020 he had 8 SBs, 28 runs and hit 0.280 in a shortened season. I expect him to perform much better than Yahoo forecasts so long as he hits 3rd and hits 0.275 or better. Don't be surprised if he swipes 20 or more bases and scores 75 runs. I figure he is good for 10 Homeruns and maybe 70 RBIs. Time will tell.
My final 2 picks saw me take Injured pitchers, Chris Sale and Noah Syndergaard. Why not? I can place them on the IR and take 2 players off of waivers.
Initially I have chosen to take Severino (NYY SP who is also on IR) and Jon Berti who is in my opinion undervalued. If I win both off waivers, I'll place Severino on IR (there are 4 IR slots) and take another pitcher. I'm still debating which pitcher to add.
Have fun playing Fantasy Baseball in 2021