2020 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Review: Rounds 4-6
Welcome to Part Two of this six-round mock draft recap. Part One was released earlier this week and can be found here. This time, we’ll be focusing on the results of rounds 4-6. It’s astonishing how many great bats are still available in these rounds thanks to the new happy fun ball. Eugenio Suarez is on the brink of 50 home runs, for example, and he went in the fifth round. Anthony Rizzo and Josh Donaldson were still available in the sixth. Let’s get to the results and here some strategies and analysis from the participants.
Fantrax 2020 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Mock Draft Results: Round 4
Mick Cialella – Whit Merrifield – 4.44
Q: The speed has been way down for Whit Merrifield this year. If he steals roughly 20 bags again in 2020, do you still feel good about him in the fourth round?
A: Absolutely. The drop off in steals did not stop Merrifield from producing at a high level this year. He is currently 31st among hitters on our Player Rater despite his stolen base total being cut by 60 percent. Steals are down in general across baseball, so he still provides plenty of value in that category. Merrifield is still in the top 25 in all of baseball in stolen bases and runs scored. He also leads the Majors in hits and has a great impact on batting average. Merrifield is as steady as they come. He has not missed a game all season and played 158 games last year. He also has dual eligibility in the outfield. That flexibility was ultimately the tiebreaker for me in choosing him over Ozzie Albies.
The Draft Results: Round 5
Scott Bogman – Giancarlo Stanton – 5.51
Q: A lot of Stanton owners feel burned after this season. How comfortable are you going back to the well here in the fifth round?
A: I still think Stanton has value. I know he’s burned a lot of people and I don’t have a problem with people being out on him. That said, if he falls, I’ll take him in every draft.
Mike Kurland – Austin Meadows – 5.55
Q: Austin Meadows is one of the fun new names here in the first six rounds. Do you think he takes another step forward in 2020?
A: I believe he took that step forward in the 2019 season. I love the power/speed upside and overall five-category upside. The fact that he falls to that 5-6 round range feels like solid value. I think he’s a safe, high-floor type of player. What we have seen this season is likely what to expect next season with maybe a chance for 20 steals if everything breaks right.
Michael Florio – Noah Syndergaard – 5.56
Q: Syndergaard and Correa are two names we are used to seeing higher in ADP. Do you see bounce-backs for these guys? Do we have to bake an IL stint into Correa’s 2020 projections?
A: I think I’ll forever be suckered in by Noah Syndergaard and his potential upside. But I was taking him on the 2/3 swing this year and to get him in the late fifth is appealing given the upside. He didn’t live up to it this season, but the ERA indicators are lower than the ERA and the strand rate was very low. You no longer have to pay for the ceiling, so I’m willing to take a shot.
As for Correa, we do have to bake the IL stint into the ADP. Getting him in the sixth round takes away some of the risks of drafting him. We know the talent is there when he is on the field. In the sixth round, having a pretty safe foundation, I decided to take an upside shot in Correa.
The Draft Results: Round 6
Joe Pisapia – Victor Robles/Stolen Base Scarcity
Q: You didn’t worry about stolen bases at all through five rounds. Do you feel like you reached for Robles to make up for that? Will owners be ok in 2020 if they don’t target steals early?
A: The biggest takeaway from fantasy baseball in 2020 is that power is king and if you don’t have excess you may be behind. All of my early selections offer HR, RBI, and R with some decent BA/OBP numbers. Steals can be found and early pitching investments are proving less appealing every year. This is especially true of the top guys who have a lot of mileage on them. Give me power. Give me stats I can bank on, and I’ll get creative in SP and patch together SB guys to be competitive.
Van Lee – Mock Draft Recap, Rounds 1-3
Writer’s Note: I actually just asked about Van’s Goldschmidt pick but he was so enthusiastic that he provided an entire recap of his draft. What better way to sum up this exercise, I thought, than to hear one drafter’s thought process throughout the entire thing. Take it away, Van!
A: I wanted to go into this far too early mock draft with a strategy of looking at pitching at the tail end of it. I drafted Chris Sale in too many 2019 leagues despite spending my entire career saying “wait on pitching.” So I wanted to test out the theory that I could wait a bit and still be happy with what I received.
Picking 11th overall, I knew that most of the true dual threats would be gone. So, I wanted to get a rock-steady performer that I could count on in one way or another. That worked out well as Nolan Arenado fell to me as he’s fallen out of favor a bit in this home run happy era. I’ll take the 40+ HR and .300+ AVG and be plenty happy, although I would’ve taken Trevor Story first had he fallen to me.
Jose Altuve was my next pick, and although the days of stolen bases are probably gone, the days of hitting 30 HR in the best lineup in the game remain. He’s also my second lock for a .300 AVG on this team and that is huge to me. Also, if he stole 20 bases again, would anyone bat an eye? He’s only 29!
Van Lee – Draft Recap, Rounds 4-6
Regarding Paul Goldschmidt, it’s hard to look at his 2019 season and not think it was a disappointment for the Cardinals. For the first time in seven years, Goldschmidt hit below .290. Although the walks and home runs were right around the norm, the season just feels a bit off. Looking deeper, we can see that hard contact, spray percentage, HR/FB, all that stuff is right in line with what he’s done the last few years. The main outlier this season is a BABIP nearly .050 below his career line. I’m inclined to give him a pass in that regard and expect to see the batting average return to his usual lofty lines. Last year, that was a second-round price, so I’ll be happy to take that two full rounds later.
In the fifth round, I decided to make my push for pitching and continued it in the sixth. All of the uber-elite starters were gone by this point as expected, so I had to make the decision to choose from Patrick Corbin, Luis Severino, Mike Soroka, eta. Corbin was my guy here after he’s put up back to back near-elite season while retaining a very high strikeout rate. He’ll likely eclipse 200 IP again, and is a very safe bet to put up good innings going forward.
In the final round of our mock draft, my decision came down to Soroka and Severino. Soroka has had a really nice year, but a 7.11 K/9 is just plain bad for your team. Couple that with ERA estimators expecting a full run added to his 2.57 ERA and the choice was easy for me. Sure, Severino hardly pitched this year, but the talent level is greater than plenty of the pitchers taken ahead of him. It’s risky, but it could also pay off. He likely won’t reach 200 innings, but I’ll take 160 ace-like innings and find some pop-up guys to make up the difference.
The team is old, and although that’s ok, I would like to have gotten some younger players. The pitching isn’t the best, but you could reasonably predict it finishing in the top third of the league based on who was drafted, so I’m happy with that. I’m a little light on guaranteed steals, as at this point I would prefer to have 30 in the books. We’ll see how the rankings play out and where I can get some better bargains moving forward.
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