50-Round Draft and Hold – Home League #3 (Chipper)
This draft started on February 26th at 12pm eastern. I drew the 8th slot.
Jacob DeGrom, SP, New York Mets (1.8, 8th overall)
I have DeGrom slotted as high as #1 depending on which projection and ranking method I use. And no later than 3rd. So, I am quite happy to see him sitting there at the 7th pick. He is a 4-category stud that gives me some confidence to wait a bit on filling in the #2 SP slot. (unless an arm I like falls).
Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays (2.8, 23rd overall)
I had some serious internal debate on this one. One of my top mid-round pitching targets (Aaron Nola) was available. I’m not really one that favors the pocket aces (2 SP in the first two rounds) approach, though I have gone 2nd/3rd round a couple of times this draft season. My top four pitchers available: Nola, Scherzer, Castillo, Woodruff
Moving off SP, I surveyed hitters. Bellinger went one pick before me and would have been an auto-pick (literal auto-pick, as he was the only player I had queued up). I typically want at least one guy in the first three rounds that can contribute steals. At the same time, SS is a position I am happy to bypass until later rounds due to its depth.
Devers and Jimenez (neither of which are providing significant steals) are actually my next two highest-ranked hitters, but both could be available in the next round (Devers definitely, Jimenez at around 33% chance). If I plan to take Jimenez, then I want a steals guy here. Realistically, that left me: Bichette, Albies, Tucker, Mondesi.
I’m personally out on Mondesi this season. I really like Tucker, but I think there’s a chance he comes back next round (and I’ll have to choose between Jimenez and Tucker). So, for me, it came down to the two young middle infielders.
I expect Bichette to contribute a bit more towards Batting Average, which can be helpful moving forward. That ultimately led me to choose him. However, I would not be surprised to see Albies push past his current projections in home runs (24 – 28 HRs) into the lower 30s range and bring his counting stats up with them.
2/28 Update: In the course of reading/listening to fantasy baseball content, I’ve come across two content creators expressing concern about Bichette’s potential SB output. Many others not expressing this concern; however, may want to lean on picking up extra SBs during the draft.
Rafael Devers, 1B, Boston Red Sox (3.8, 38th overall)
Pretty sure I jumped ADP a bit to snag Devers who fills the same role I would have expected from Eloy Jimenez had he fell to me. Devers has the potential to be a 4-category “stud” contributor with some chip-in steals.
I hope I don’t regret it, but I am giving Devers a bye on the 2020 season. He is entering his age-25 season, which seems a good time for him to hit his peak (note: not pulling this out of complete thin air, as I heard it on Ariel Cohen’s Beat the Shift podcast but cannot remember the guest who mentioned the research).
Devers + Bichette should give me a solid foundation for hitting.
Zac Gallen, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks (4.8, 53rd overall)
My overall draft plan is usually to focus on hitting throughout the first half of the draft, but sprinkle in pitching selections when there is value. Gallen seemed like good value at this point in the draft. If I had stuck to my hitting plan, then Judge and Arozarena were at the top of my queue. Judge could have provided a good buffer in the non-SB counting stats which would help later when I may need to pick up a rabbit (player focused on SB) instead of a balanced player. Arozarena could have given me contributions across the board, but I’m not personally sold on him.
Josh Hader, RP, Milwaukee Brewers (5.8, 68th overall)
Similar to the previous round, taking pitching value when I can as I construct my staff. I don’t feel committed to the strategy, but I typically am happy to pick up two of the top relievers in the first 8-10 rounds. Industry consensus seems to be that even more so than usual we may see inconsistency at the closer position. Locking in two “safer” guys seems like a good way to address the situation (note: I have been backing this up with a third less safe guy when possible, and a handful of my favorite “stuff” guys that don’t have the role but could at some point).