Here’s a post that’s gonna make you wanna slap ya mama and tell her Don Magic Juan sends his best. The other day I told you how to draft your pitchers for 2016 fantasy baseball. I laid it out to you nice and simple (if you have a degree in “What The Hell Is Grey Talking About?” Not a PhD, mind you. Just a BS.) Today, we forget all that jabberwocky on the who-ha and get down to business old school-style (which means if you don’t comprehend, I will hit you over the head with a baseball bat signed by Joe Clark.) What I’m hoping to lay out to you is who do you draft 2nd if you’ve drafted so and so first. I think it might be helpful to go through pairings for your 5 outfielders, all your middle and corner infielders too. I’m not sure I’ll have the time or patience to do them. We’ll see! Or not. Your choice. (Actually, my choice.) For easy reference, the royal we will be using the top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball and the beginning of the top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball. I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5, MI, CI, 5 OF, 1 Utility, 1 Catcher league, similar to our Razzball Commenter Leagues. (Go join one now. Or join two. Or three.) Anyway, here’s some pairings for the first two rounds of 2016 fantasy baseball drafts:
1. Mike Trout – This is such a recurring theme in this post, I’m going to get it out of the way upfront. Something I didn’t even fully realize when I was doing my rankings, but it was brought to my attention when Rudy was prepping for his LABR draft and talking to me about his strategy. If I don’t draft a 1st baseman with my first pick, invariably I’m drafting Miggy, Abreu, Edwin, Chris Davis or Votto with the 2nd pick. There could be situations where those guys are taken so I’ll go over other potential pairings, but if you’re drafting around 5th overall to 12th overall and Rizzo has been taken as he would be in my rankings, you’re almost 90% of the time drafting Miggy or Abreu. If you don’t draft Goldy, Rizzo, Miggy or Abreu with one of your first two rounds and hope Edwin, Davis and Votto are there with your third pick and someone else grabs them, then you’re going to be behind the eight ball, and I don’t mean it like, “Hey, guys, I’m Charlie Sheen and I’m behind an eight ball with my nose.” So, you draft Trout, then you’re up at the 24th pick? Votto seems like a good bet . If Votto’s gone and you wanna play footloose and fancy free or just play the lead in Footloose in your high school musical, I could see taking Frazier. Of course Edwin might be there too, but, according to my rankings, he’s not. If you read that fast, I didn’t say “he snot.”
2. Bryce Harper – Second pick, same as the first! After you draft Harper, then it’s Votto, Frazier, Edwin or “Oh, man, I don’t want to draft Dee Gordon or a pitcher. Please someone help me with this pick. Please!” If Edwin, Votto and Frazier are gone, it means some guys from my top 20 have been passed over like Jews in a desert. If Abreu has been passed over, then by all means, Fancy Pants. If Springer has been passed, then do what you do, but you really can’t draft another OF in the next fifty picks after those 1st two rounds. J.D. looks like he’s being drafted much after I have him ranked at 14th overall, so maybe he’s around. I’d Just Dong it, but, again, it paints you into a “No outfielder” corner for a while if you go with Harper and Dong.
3. Paul Goldschmidt – Something can be ascertained from my first two blurbs. A) I don’t know from punctuation and B) If you wanted to draft Au Shizz first and skip Trout and Harper because outfield is much deeper early on, I can almost understand it. Au Shizz then Springer in the 2nd round sings wonderful sweet music to me. Is that Alessia Cara? Hmm, I hate that song, so I hope not. Au Shizz and Justin Upton in the 2nd? I’ll take that and keep on truckin’ to the 3rd round. Au Shizz and Frazier? Well, I’m not kicking that out of bed and I only have a twin bed, so space is limited. Au Shizz and Bautista in the 2nd? I’ll just name my team Baushizzta and be quite happy. Basically, Au Shizz and anyone but a 1st baseman works.
4. Anthony Rizzo – Second verse, same as the third. Shizz and Rizz are as tight as pees and poops as far as I’m concerned. Rizzo and Upton in the 2nd? I’d buy that for a dollar! Rizzo and Springer in the 2nd? I’d buy that for a peso, which according to Trump is more valuable than a dollar if we don’t do something about it. Rizzo and anything but a 1st baseman? Yes, please and thank you.
5. Manny Machado – Here we have a whole new wrench in our tool box. A third baseman (or 3B/shortstop if playing in Yahoo) goes with anything, but doesn’t suddenly mean you have a 1st baseman either. If you’re at Yahoo, I think you assume you have a shortstop, and if you assume you have a shortstop with 30-homer power, it means you can go easier on the need for a first baseman. It’s still a position I’d prefer to square away, so Miggy or Abreu look tasty to me in the 2nd and now I’m going nom nom nom. But if you could get Betts, Just Dong or Springer, I’d go for it and just assume you’re not taking a 1B until the Hosmer area of the draft, otherwise known as Area-Can-He-Please-Hit-20-Plus-Homers. Since Machado gives average, power and speed, you can’t go wrong with any hitter. Betts, Springer, Frazier and Marte offer the most well-roundedness and now you’re off to the third round with the possibility to take anything category-wise.
6. Giancarlo Stanton – Mi novio can go with anyone but an outfielder, but since he’s all power and a strong jawline, I wouldn’t be opposed to go speed-heavy with the 2nd pick. Of course, after Altuve (who likely won’t be available, but is a fine pick to go with Gianovio, if he is), there’s only Dee Gordon and, while I don’t hate having guys from the same team, I don’t want two Marlins with my 1st two picks, so speed-heavy is out the window like when I sneak into Giancarlo’s house and have to jump out the window when he suddenly returns home early from buying protein shakes. That takes me back to Miggy or Abreu and having no speed with my first two picks. As they say in Paris, c’est la y’all. (That’s Paris, Texas, by the way.) What I could see doing is taking Marte (who should be available) or Springer and then praying you can get Pujols with your third pick. You are treading on serious flammable waters like in Cirque du Soleil if you take two OFs in the first two rounds. The absolute most likely scenario and best one? Just take Votto. He complements Stanton’s less-than-ideal average well and chucks in some power and counting stats.
7. Nolan Arenado – My last year love bug doesn’t give you speed, but he does put you in a great place to draft your 2nd pick. Easy, actually. Betts, Marte, McCutchen, Springer, any of them and Arenado is a loosey you find in your pocket after twelve years that somehow hasn’t gone stale. Even Upton would work, but likely isn’t necessary since your 2nd pick should come much earlier. This, of course, means you’ve skipped out on a 1st baseman, but you do have a lock on 3rd and maybe Chris Davis will be around for your third. One can dream, right? Stop thinking about Kate Upton, I didn’t mean that kind of dream.
8. Josh Donaldson – First of all (after the preceding 1300 words), you’re not getting Donaldson with the 8th pick. It’s unlikely, at least. If you do manage to wrangle him, you’re in a similar situation to Arenado. Donaldson gives an eeny bit more speed, so I could see Abreu with the 2nd pick, but I’d likely go my quartrofecta (totally a word) of Betts, Marte, McCutchen or Springer as my 2nd pick with Chris Davis as my only hope at 1st in the 3rd.
9. Kris Bryant – You know who Bryant pairs with almost ideally? The Robot Maid…The Small Wonder…Jose dot dot dot Altuve! Bryant’s potential low average and Altuve is perfect like a buddy cop movie starring Kevin Hart and anyone, as long as it’s released in January and there’s nothing else in theaters. Bryant and Miggy? Another purdy pairing, because Miggy’s average staves off Bryant’s one potential downfall. Bryant also works with McCutchen in the most sexiest of ways for the average buoying. Bryant and Springer? Um, not so much because they both might hit .240. Shouldn’t. But might.
10. Carlos Correa – Since he’s only eligible at short, it’s imperative you go with Miggy or Abreu with your next pick. They also give you a solid foundation, in case the sophomore slump blues hits Correa. Edwin and Votto would be my next choices for my 2nd pick with Correa. No way would I go with The Robot Maid because then you have light power and only middle infielders. I also wouldn’t go with a guy like Marte or McCutchen. Just Dong, doesn’t sound that bad, but just go with an aforementioned 1st base and stop messin’.
11. Jose Altuve – The Robot Maid is an odd first pick, but, in reality, you’re kinda getting two first rounders because Altuve will be grabbed by you then you have another pick in two picks. Marte will be there, but I wouldn’t take him. Don’t like Small Wonder and Marte together since they’re both speed first. Don’t even love Betts with Altuve. Just Dong? Just Decent, nah mean? Miggy or Abreu? Well, we’re back to those two guys, but you kinda have to if you take Altuve with the first pick. If you go Just Dong, then you absolutely have to grab Chris Davis in the 3rd. Don’t wait until Area-Can-He-Please-Hit-20-Plus-Homers with Hosmer. Luckily (unless you wanted to draft him), Small Wonder seems likely to be gone by this point.
12. Starling Marte – Second verse, same as the Robot Maid. Only difference here is no Just Dong. It’s Marte and a 1st baseman with your first two picks. Let me see my sheet for which 1st basemen might be available. Hmm…Some guy Miggy and some guy Abreu, not sure where I’ve heard there names before. Oh, I know, from the first 47 times I mentioned them in this post.