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TGFBI Draft Thoughts from League 19

Heath writes a post that no one cares about.

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images

No one cares about your fantasy team...right?

Wrong! I do. I love seeing team screenshots and reading the thought process of others. If nothing else, it helps me fortify my own thinking on players I’m drafting. It also raises my curiosity on players I haven’t drafted that others are high on. This can lead to even more research for yours truly. It’s a win/win scenario.

To that end, here’s a (quick) recap of my thought process throughout my TGFBI draft, live from League 19. Currently we are into Round 21, so there are just nine rounds left to go. Most starting rosters are set, or at least close. It’s a nice time to dive in. Here’s hoping we finish nine rounds before the baseball season actually begins...

Early Rounds

Having the third pick went as planned. I think this marked the second time all draft season when I set my KDS to pick #3 and actually got my choice. Trea Turner and Fernando Tatis Jr. went with the top two picks, so it was Jose Ramirez for me in Round 1. I am STOKED to cover third base early with this power/speed dynamo. It’s exactly how I wanted to start.

Round 2 - SS Tim Anderson
Round 3 - OF Cedric Mullins
Round 4 - SP Freddy Peralta
Round 5 - 2B/SS Javier Baez
Round 6 - 1B Jose Abreu

With my second pick, the safer starting pitching options were gone, so I simply went with who I think is the best player available. The 20/20 player doesn’t grow on trees, and Anderson’s only hindrance to achieving this feat is staying healthy. He’s also an underrated source of batting average.

As for Cedric Mullins, he’s the ONLY 30/30 player from a year ago. Trea Turner (28/32) didn’t achieve both plateaus. Jose Ramirez (36/27) didn’t either. Starling Marte and Whit Merrifield don’t have the power to get there. Shohei Ohtani (46/26) and Fernando Tatis Jr. (42/25) didnt make it. Bo Bichette (29/25) got close. What’s the point of all this? Mine point is, if you aren’t drafting Cedric Mullins in Round 3 of fantasy baseball drafts for 2022, I can’t help you. To cap it all off, Mullins revealed that he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in November of 2020, and he lost 20 pounds over that offseason (heading into 2021). He also abandoned switch-hitting last year. That’s a lot of changes ahead of last year, which still resulted in an All-Star campaign. Entering 2022 healthier and with more awareness of his body, and still just 27 years old...I’m all in on Mullins for 2022.

I’m inclined to believe that a shorter season is going to make arms like Freddy Peralta more valuable—if you were worried about volume with him, now you can be less worried. We were never worried about quality with him.

Javier Baez is a known commodity by now. By year’s end, you know he’s going to get his. I also think it’s possible he eclipses his career-high of 21 steals this year. Detroit ranked seventh in stolen bases last year (88) and will need to manufacture runs this year. Maybe he doesn’t get close to 30 homers in Detroit, but I’ll happily take another 20/20 candidate on my squad at an ugly second base position. And I dig that he can back up an injury-prone Tim Anderson at shortstop.

Jose Abreu as the last of the “safe” first base options has been enticing to me all draft season. I also like the CJ Cron-Joey Votto-Josh Bell trio, but Abreu offers more safety than those, in my humblest of opinions. And death to our own Garrett Atkins for swiping Votto from me in our TGFBI draft. I had him teed up for my CI slot.

Round 7 - Yu Darvish
Round 8 - Kyle Schwarber
Round 9 - Nathan Eovaldi
Round 10 - Keibert Ruiz
Round 11 - Ke’Bryan Hayes
Round 12 - David Bednar

I’m buying a Yu Darvish return to form in 2022. Props to Ryan for confirming my bias:

Schwarber is a candidate for big power, think 35-40 dingers. And I was happy to snag Ruiz as the last of the top 7 catchers, in my estimation.

Bednar fits what I want at RP—he wasn’t expensive and he’s got the skill set. I like drafting good players. I try to stay away from guys with the role but not the skill set (i.e. Mark Melancon). I was sniped on my other favorite RP target much later...

I also endured some snipes here. Instead of Schwarber I was hoping for Mitch Haniger, but he went three picks ahead of me (Paul Sporer). And when I drafted Ruiz in Round 10, I was thinking Alex Verdugo would make it back to me in Round 11 at pick 153. His current ADP is 160.70, so I thought I’d still be low enough to make it happen. Hayes offers a similar skill set, though. And I like plenty of late outfielders...

Round 13 - Trey Mancini
Round 14 - Enrique Hernandez
Round 15 - Alex Wood
Round 16 - Jose Urquidy
Round 17 - Jesus Sanchez
Round 18 - Mark Canha

I was really happy to land power bats in Trey Mancini and Hernandez. I like how my team projects for speed, so grabbing a 2B/OF eligible guy in Hernandez to fill my MI slot was just fine with me. He’s not normally a player I draft, but the need for power and for OF help made him make sense.

Count me as a member of the Mancini continued bounce-back tour in 2022. He faded last year in his first year back from chemo/cancer. Another year removed from that to get stronger makes sense to me, and he’s still just 29 years old. To boot, it’s a nice little Baltimore stack alongside Mullins, which could be fun AND fruitful.

Wood and Urquidy are similar types to me...solid pitchers on good teams, and in good parks for pitching. Sanchez again fit what I felt I needed based on projections—a possible power bat for the outfield.

Mark Canha is my fourth outfielder, and I like that the Mets paid him well over the next two years. He should safely bat atop that order, score plenty of runs, and give me some power and some speed. I was torn between he and Anthony Santander, but with a pair of Orioles already and a solid core of speed, I figured I would continue adding to a strength.

Round 19 - Carson Kelly
Round 20 - Andrew Heaney
Round 21 - Ken Giles

In Round 19 I would have taken Santander to round out my outfield, but he went immediately after my Canha pick. So I “settled” for Kelly, who I think will catch a TON, as Daulton Varsho grades out much better in the outfield. Kelly offers 15-homer pop as a C2 and he shouldn’t torpedo my batting average. I dig it more than waiting on a guy like Max Stassi, who seems like less of a safe bet for a decent batting average.

Massive snipe in Round 20, as I was hoping for Paul Sewald at pick 298. His average pick over the last 20 DCs is 289.90, with a min. of 258 and a max of 322. His primary (perceived) competition for saves, Ken Giles, has an average pick of 258.50, and he was not off the board yet! Such is life. I settled for Andrew Heaney, and then took Giles in Round 21. I know Giles has the skills, I just wonder about the health. Luckily, this one is a FAAB league...

For my remaining picks, it will be mostly about shoring up starting pitching and the outfield, though there are still plenty of options with upside. I like the wiggle that I have given that I’m at least two-deep at every hitting position. I feel like I can focus on guys I like best instead of on needs.

What say you all? How’s your TGFBI squad looking? Here’s mine in its totality thus far if you’re inclined to pass judgment:

C: Keibert Ruiz, Carson Kelly
1B: Jose Abreu
2B: Javier Baez
3B: Jose Ramirez
SS: Tim Anderson
CI: Ke’Bryan Hayes
MI: Enrique Hernandez
OF: Cedric Mullins
OF: Kyle Schwarber
OF: Jesus Sanchez
OF: Mark Canha
UT: Trey Mancini
SP: Freddy Peralta, Yu Darvish, Nathan Eovaldi, Alex Wood, Jose Urquidy, Andrew Heaney
RP: David Bednar, Ken Giles