The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Early Returns: First Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft for 2022

Over the last few weeks, the Fantrax baseball staff did a 12-team standard 5×5 mock where we just filled out our active rosters. Drafting before the current season is completely over always presents a fun and unique challenge as the crutch/group think machine of ADP isn’t there and you truly just have to decide where you think players should go as you build your roster!

What?! Your league didn’t use Fantrax for the 2021 fantasy baseball season? Compare how we match up to the competition and see why you should move your league over in 2022.

First Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft for 2022

These were the managers we had (in order of the randomly generated draft position):

  1. Corbin Young
  2. Nathan
  3. Jesse Severe
  4. Michael Govier
  5. Ryan Venancio
  6. Eric Cross
  7. Doug Anderson
  8. Lauren Auerbach
  9. Chris Clegg
  10. Michael Simione
  11. Doug Ishikawa
  12. Ryan Kirksey

You can see the entire draft board here.

As I mentioned this was a standard 5×5 scoring with the typical offensive positions with 1 catcher, MI, CI, 5 OF, and 1 UT. We had 9 pitcher slots.


Given that we weren’t building rosters with reserves, some players likely went higher than you might expect otherwise since a roster needed to be filled out. Additionally, you’ll note that we went with one catcher (like every league should), so in terms of some draft slots/positions for catchers some would likely change in two-catcher leagues. It’s also worth noting that we did have some timeouts (in part thanks to FPAZ and a number of our drafters being there and traveling), so some picks and roster builds were influenced by auto-drafted picks. Even while I preach having notifications on and paying attention ad nauseum, life does still happen and I missed and had some players auto-drafted from my queue overfilling my OF into UT with some players that I like but wouldn’t have had there. So – don’t do that in your drafts.

ADP Jumpers

All that said – let’s start by looking at the biggest jumpers in draft position when compared to NFBC ADP from January 1 – March 31 before last season.

Error – not drafted. four players in this draft were taken who were not drafted AT ALL in those NFBC drafts – Ranger Suarez (must read article coming on him soon by Corbin Young), Patrick Wisdom, Frank Schwindel, and Paul Sewald. Those first three all burst on the scene this year and the hitters, at least at this point depending on what the Cubs do this offseason, are starting next season. Sewald is the only one that’s a little interesting, but as a second to last round pick who got some saves this year and given that there is no real clarity on who is the closer for the 90 win Mariners next year, it’s worth a shot.

However, of those who were drafted last year, here are the biggest jumpers whose price in this draft was 500 or more picks higher than their ADP.

Alek Manoah659.56
Adolis Garcia626.77
Shane Baz623.86
Shane McClanahan612.4
Mike Clevinger601
Luis Garcia563.1
Huascar Ynoa551.32
Justin Verlander542.79
Aaron Ashby538.9
Camilo Doval535.83
Patrick Sandoval532.8
Drew Steckenrider521.91
Akil Baddoo517.51
Jonathan India515.29
Cedric Mullins509.88
Abraham Toro502.93
Tyler Naquin502.22
Joe Barlow501.98
Wade Miley500.85

As with the 4 who went from undrafted to being taken in a draft without reserves, many of these names should not be surprising. You can break this into a few categories:

  1. Surgery returns – Mike Clevinger and Justin Verlander both missed all of 2021 with injury, but should be back for 2022. I have more faith in Clevinger than a 39-year-old JV coming off of surgery with only 6 innings pitched in 2019. Clevinger returns to the rotation that Preller built off of trades after posting a 3.02 ERA in 2020.
  2. Breakouts – this is the obvious and annual group of guys that jump – prospects and breakout players who either came to the majors and did what some prospect analysts thought, or even exceeded it, like the TB Shanes and Manoah. Then you have the guys who, like Wisdom and Schwindel, came out of seemingly nowhere, such as Adolis and Badoo. Next you had the guys like India who had hype previously and put it together this year. Finally, this is sort of the breakout category, but also a little different. You had guys like Wade Miley take steps forward and Huascar Ynoa came along, though we’ll see what he is long term.
  3. Mullins – well – Justin was right. It will be interesting to see if this is sustainable at that level or if he settles in somewhere in between.
  4. Next year’s breakout – the final category here is the guys who could jump forward next year. The two that stand out here are Doval and Ashby. Both were seen by a broad audience as they were put on a bigger stage this offseason in the NLDS. Ashby had mixed results but has the upside to either join the rotation in MIL or be in the pen next year. If he is in the rotation, especially with the progress we’ve seen from other pitchers in MIL, could be great value depending on where his draft price settles. On the other hand, Doval seems likely to be the closer in the bay going forward. Mags was the first person to put him on my radar, and though he struggled in his first call up, once he returned to the majors he was dominant and, given his playoff usage, clearly is trusted in San Francisco.

Pocket Aces?

The prevailing logic going into 2021 drafts was to get your arms early, but with even the SP1s of the world struggling this year like Nola (at least with the results) and pitchers like Freddy Peralta and Robbie Ray going in the mid 200s, I think we are starting to see a shift towards the reliability of bats early on and trying to build up arms later. No one in this mock started with two arms. While three teams had two arms by the end of the third round, pitchers went later than where they were going in 2021 drafts. However, even with waiting, teams showed that they can build a good starting rotation. SP Streamer hosts Lauren and Michael took pitchers in rounds 1, 4, 7, and 8, and 2, 3, 7, 8 respectively, building rotation cores of Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta, Charlie Morton, and Emmanuel Clase and Brandon Woodruff, Aaron Nola, Logan Webb, and Jordan Romano, respectively. Chris Clegg took a different approach, taking Ronald Acuña Jr. in the first before grabbing Walker Buehler and Shane Bieber. With the two stars locked in Chris then stacked Trevor Story, Eloy Jimenez, Jazz Chisholm Jr. Francisco Lindor, and J.T. Realmuto before taking Ian Anderson in the 9th and Zac Gallen in the 11th, and then Clayton Kershaw in the 14th and Aaron Civale in the 15th. While this has a little more of a pocket aces feel, though with Acuña in the first, it still is a shift in strategy from the traditional pocket aces approach.


Speaking of Acuña, a lot of the chatter this offseason around the draft, probably in large part thanks to Phil Dussault’s push on it, has been getting speed early. While it seems likely Acuña will miss some time (hence him going at the end of the first round), and it’s possible the Braves try to limiting his stealing to protect him, he’s still a speed threat. Acuña though is only one of the speed threats we saw go early in this draft, as the players who offer you speed without compromising other categories were early picks. The leaders in SB in 2021 were as follows:

Starling Marte4732
Whit Merrifield4038
Trea Turner322
Cedric Mullins3018
Myles Straw30132
Tommy Edman30113
Jose Ramirez275
Shohei Ohtani264
Fernando Tatis Jr.251
Bo Bichette256

So, outside of Straw and Edman, who have weaknesses outside of their speed profiles, all of these players went in the top 40. If you don’t pick up one of those 8 (or Acuña), or build a roster such that a Straw or Edman fit on your roster, you’ll likely be hurting for speed. Otherwise, as you see here, the only pick in the top 6 that doesn’t offer elite speed AND other qualities, was Juan Soto at number 3, and you certainly can’t fault Jesse taking him there. Mullins, as we noted, is an interesting player to consider and you will have to decide where you think he should go and if his stats from 2021 will be reflected in 2022. After that, Starling Marte continues to be valuable, especially if this price holds.

In 2021 one player had a HR+SB over 70 – Ohtani at 72. Then 5 others over 60, Tatis at 67, JRam at 63, and Trea, Mullins, and Semien at 60. Rounding out those over 50 in that category you have the aforementioned Marte at 59, Bichette at 54, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., obviously driven more by his 48 homers, at 52, and then Whit at 50 and Ozzie Albies at 50. With Marte at 59 and Whit at 50, those two in many ways seem to be the last stop if you’re trying to get one of those elite speed guys who offer good all-around contributions. It will be interesting to see if Marte stays at this price point or climbs into the second round consistently in 15-team leagues.

Obviously, this emphasis on speed and not going as heavy on SPs early meant bats, bats, and more bats going – stressing the need this year to really figure out your offensive build and understand what positions have depth and what positions get shallow very quickly.

In Closing

Finally, how were closers handled in this draft? Govier started it out with Josh Hader and Liam Hendriks at 45 and 52 overall. However, this didn’t trigger a run, with the next closer going 77th overall in Raisel Iglesias, and then Will Smith, Jordan Romano, Emmanusel Clase, and Ryan Pressly all going in the 8th round, with Aroldis Chapman and Edwin Diaz joining that group in the 9th, before Kenley Jansen was taken in the 10th. Getting an elite (or 2) closers earlier can really help control saves and lock them down (barring injuries) for your roster in 2022.

However, if you miss the top tier – and maybe even the only elite tier, I have little to no interest in the closers going in that middle rounds, a mistake I made in this mock that I won’t duplicate going forward. While we’ll see what Doval’s price ends up at (and it will obviously jump if he’s named closer in spring), I would rather grab someone like him later on if I missed out on the steady reliable elite closers. Generally I prefer some combination of saves and holds in the evaluation of relievers, but if we’re doing just saves I would recommend planning on getting some early saves with your early speed in 2022 drafts and building out your rotation and other offensive categories accordingly.

Fantrax logo

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2020, and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

  1. todd Neal says

    Rd 3 last pick

  2. Tom says

    I probably need to get my classes checked, but I’ve looked through all of your mock draft and I can’t find Matt Olson. Am I missing something?

  3. dude says

    Always fun to see these early drafts to get a feel for where things stand as we move into keeper season for you league. I’m in a 12 team 5×5 roto keeper league. We keep 15 players, max salary at keeper time is $320. Players get $5 raises each year. Initial salaries determined by draft position (Round 1 $17, Round 2 $16, etc.). FA pickups are $10.

    I think I’ve got 14 of the 15 players decided at this point, but also think I’m in a good position to trade for upgrades. But if I don’t trade who do you think is my 15th player to keep (or would you drop any of the 14 I’m set up for others?)?

    C – Varsho $15
    1B – Alonso $20
    2B – Albies $22
    3B –
    SS – Bichette $21
    IF – Adames $15
    OF (4) – Arozarena $15, Reynolds $15
    U –
    Bench/Prospects – Torkelson $10

    SP (6) – Alcantara $15, Fried $20, Peralta $16, Trevor Rogers $12, Sale $22, McClanahan $15
    RP (3) –

    Those 14 add up to $233.

    Players I’m considering for final spot
    3B – Moncada $35 –
    OF – Carlson $15
    2B/SS/OF – Lux $15
    Prospects – Leon $8, Duran $10, Miranda $15, J. Lowe $15
    SP – Marquez $21, Montgomery $15, Verlander $15, Severino$10, Pearson $11

    Who’s the 15th keeper at this point in the off-season? Finished 6th this year, middle of the pack in most categories, towards top in ERA and SB.

    1. DynastyOneStop - Nathan says

      There’s a strong case for Moncada, Carlson, or Lux. I think I might lean Lux. But I think I would also really try to make some package deals to consolidate. Any of the three of Lux, Carlson, Moncada you don’t keep trade, or be open to trading all of them. If Marquez is German I would really look to move him too.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.