With so many different formats to cater to, from AL-only to NL-only to Head-to-Head, both points and categories, sometimes we can go a while before revisiting the staples.
It had been six weeks since we last did a traditional, straightforward 12-team Rotisserie mock draft. And a lot can change in six weeks.
Before we get into the what and why, let's meet those who opted into this mock:
1) B_Don, Razzball (@RazzBDon)
2) Frank Stampfl, CBS Sports (@Roto_Frank)
3) Tim Kanak, Fantasy Aceball (@fantasyaceball)
4) Mike Gianella, Baseball Prospectus (@MikeGianella)
5) Michael Waterloo, The Athletic (@MichaelWaterloo)
6) Tim McLeod, Prospect361
7) Chris Towers, CBS Sports (@CTowersCBS)
8) Jake Wiener, Prospects1500 (@GatorSosa)
9) JR Fenton, TGFBI participant (@JohnRussell215)
10) Raymond Atherton, Fantasy Aceball (@RaymondAtherton)
11) Jake Holland, formerly The Toss Up (@jakebaseball17)
12) Scott White, CBS Sports (@CBSScottWhite)
Here are my five takeaways:
- The first two picks in our last 12-team Roto draft, Aaron Judge and Jose Ramirez, were the third and fifth picks in this one. It's not so out of bounds. We're basically seeing the same five players go at the top of every league that uses 5x5 scoring, but the order seems like mostly a matter of preference. I think Judge and Ramirez are the correct top two, but at least Julio Rodriguez and Ronald Acuna, who went with the first two picks in this one, also play a scarce position. The one I'm most reluctant to take is Trea Turner given that high-quality shortstops generally last into the middle rounds.
- I'd like to go outfield, third base, second base at the start of every draft this year, but that's not so likely picking 12th, where I did. The seven first round-caliber outfielders are almost certainly gone by that point, and while it's not too early to grab whichever third baseman you prefer, pairing him with Mike Trout, the lone outfielder worth taking in Round 2, feels like too much of a reach with, say, Freddie Freeman still on the board. There may come a time, though -- and not too far from now -- when I'm convinced that Fernando Tatis is the better way to go. After all, he'll be picking up outfield eligibility not long after returning from suspension in late April.
- One oddity in this particular draft is that few of us felt compelled to pay a premium for an ace. I don't just mean in Round 1, which probably goes without saying at this point, but when my turn came to pick at the end of Round 3, four of my top five available players were starting pitchers. That's because Cedric Mullins, Randy Arozarena, Ozzie Albies, Kyle Schwarber had all pulled into Round 3, which is closer to how I prefer to draft. I'm just not used to so many others mirroring me.
- Still, I decided to stick to the plan, opting for Luis Robert and J.T. Realmuto with that pair of picks and settling for Alek Manoah as my ace in Round 5. And you know what? I'm still pleased with the way my pitching staff turned out. I find that no matter how much I push the envelope at starting pitcher, that's pretty much always the case. The middle class is so deep, and I love the value of guys like Merrill Kelly and Miles Mikolas, two must-starts from a year ago who lasted to Rounds 19 and 20 this time.
- When you're constantly drafting and immersed in ADP data, you have a clear concept of when your preferred sleepers should go, but nobody was waiting around in this one. Lars Nootbaar went 118th overall (compared to 188th by ADP), Miguel Vargas went 135th (compared to 248th), Jordan Walker went 168th (compared to 228th) and Oscar Colas went 205th (compared to 307th). I like all of those players, but I like them in part because of the discount. I hope it doesn't vanish entirely.