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 2019 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 2019 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball and the beginning of the top 100 for 2019 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. (Sign up for multiple leagues, and beat the heck out of your frenemies or make new frenemies!) Anyway, here’s some pairings for the first two rounds of 2019 fantasy baseball drafts:
1. Mike Trout – If you are the Fortunate Son to draft this guy who plays Center Field, or are merely cycling through John Fogerty’s catalog, you can’t screw this up. You can screw up everything else in your life, but you cannot, repeat, cannot screw up drafting Mike Trout. Did you just draft Mike Trout and Andrew Benintendi? Hmm…You want me to say you screwed it up, don’t you? You are challenging me, aren’t you? Okay, I don’t know why you drafted another outfielder, are you happy now? You proved me wrong by showing you can still screw up after drafting Trout. Not easy though. If I had my druthers and knew what druthers were, I’d draft anyone with Trout, except a pitcher or another outfielder. If Bryce Harper fell because no one in your league believes any team will ever sign him, and you want to draft him after Trout? Well, eff it all to aitch eh double hockey sticks, grab Harper with Trout. It’s not like you won’t have another pick immediately in the 3rd round to draft someone else. Ideally, my 2nd pick with Trout would be an infielder. Trout and Mondesi? Oh, I don’t know, how does 60/60/.280 sound coming out of the 1st two rounds? Shabby or not too shabby? Trout and Rizzo? Sign me up, sign me down! Trout and Bryant? Sure, let’s do this. Trout and Bellinger? That’s 70/30/.285. Okay, I just orgasmed and I haven’t had sex in months. Are you happy now? Seriously, Trout plus an infielder.
2. Mookie Betts – You’ve just drafted Mookie Ballgame and you are once again figuring out how to screw it up. Well, do as I just said in the Trout blurb and draft another outfielder. If you’re not looking at screwing up your good fortune of being able to draft Mookie The Best, then draft an infielder. Betts, according to my calculations done by a team of 100 monkeys fighting over 99 calculators, will have less power but more speed than Trout, so you draft Betts and an infielder that is more power than speed. Does that mean overlooking Adalberto Mondesi like he overlooked his daddy’s love by changing his name? I could see it, then grab Mondesi in the 3rd round only a few picks later. Betts and Rizzo, Bryant or Bellinger is music to my ears, and usually I’m tone deaf and everything sounds like white noise. “WHY’S IT GOTTA BE WHITE NOISE?!” That’s me imitating every third person on Twitter.
3. Christian Yelich – 3rd verse, same as the 1st two. By the by, it goes without saying that if Freeman or Goldschmidt are available, you draft them above Bryant, Mondesi, Rizzo and Bellinger. I was simply trying to be a bit more realistic about who would be available if you had the 1st two picks in a draft. Or third pick as the case is here. Since Lindor’s injury, I think this is the 1st time ever* I’ve had four outfielders as my 1st four picks. *I’m only remembering back one year. So, pair Yelich with an infielder, and he’s closer to the Betts model of a player than Trout, in that his power isn’t as ceiling-ish as Trout’s. Or pair Yelich with someone with facial hair so Yelich can buy beer.
4. Ronald Acuña Jr. – Can we say right now that if you’re drafting against a bunch of huckleberries who are using ESPN’s rankings, you are going to have yourself a field day with Tildaddy being ranked 18th overall and their other crackers that is shizzy shizz. The shizzy shizz is the worst kind of shizz. Never go full shizzy shizz. Through a different prism, NFBC’s ADP says Acuna is being drafted 5th in some leagues (I’m taking him fourth), so I don’t think realistically we can assume Tildaddy is there at 18th overall, but glory be Halleberrylujah if he is. So, going off my rankings, Acuña is similar to the last two guys, but he has even more upside. Though, with upside, I guess we have down side. I don’t believe Acuña has any down side, but being devil’s advocate — Pacino says, “WHO-HA!” — I wouldn’t be opposed to you drafting Acuña then trying to go a little bit safer with a Rizzo vs. a Mondesi (good risk/reward) or Bryant (injury issue maybe). Acuña and Rizzo dazzles the retinas. Acuña and Freeman or Goldy makes me say, “Babycakes, I love you.”
5. Manny Machado – Can we briefly giggle that I have a guy ranked fifth overall who has no team? Johnny don’t do hustle, but he does do 35+ HRs, 12+ SBs and a .295 average, so I’m not too concerned about his ranking, unless he signs in Korea. That would put a damper on things. Unless the next Korean summit unveils a major league team that plays in a 345-foot-down-the-line stadium, then yummo. Machado is, thankfully, the first guy with some eligibility besides outfield. He’s also being drafted later than this, so I could see Machado and Javy Baez on the same team, which I would be crazy about, and Machado could be with Treat Urner or Bregman or Lindor or Judge or Giancarlo or…Oh Em Dillon Gee, Machado goes with everyone. He really does, I’m not being silly, coy and/or drunk — soy sauced? Machado’s stats work with a steals-first guy like Urner or a power-first guy like Au Shizz. He also works with any position since he’s eligible at SS and 3rd. It would take some rather bulbous cojones to draft Machado and Bryce Harper while they’re both unsigned, but that would work for me. They’re both gonna sign and, when they do, you’re gonna have an insane one-two punch, which would be helpful when Machado steps on a 1st baseman’s heels.
6. Trea Turner – “Mr. Urner, please report to my team. Mr. Urner?” That’s me during every draft this year. I’m very excited about drafting Treat Urner this year, and not simply because it’s extremely likely. I wonder what the chances are. Figure with Trout I have a 1 in 12 chance; Betts 1 in 12; Yelich 1 in…Okay, this is where my math is failing me. Maybe I can ask Rudy to figure it out for me. But you figure it like this, if Turner’s not being drafted until 10th overall, if I have the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th spot, I can draft Turner. Instead of Machado 5th? Maybe. They’re in the same tier, so I could take either of them. Something to consider, at least. Anyhoo! If I draft Turner, I’m taking a power bat next, and preferably outfielder or 1B. That means no Mondesi, no Lindor–Okay, I want Treat and Giancarlo on all my teams. Are you happy? I said it. I’d also take Judge. I really want this to be my 1st two guys in every league. This is a hidden nugget that most people who are skimming this are not reading. I want Treat and Giancarlo or Judge in every league. Treat and Giancarlo or Judge = 60/50/.280 and I write in silver tint on the side of my car, Planet Sexy Hump Hump, and scream at pedestrians, “All aboard Planet Sexy Hump Hump!”
7. Javier Baez – Similarly to Machado, you can’t go too wrong with Baez and anyone. Honestly, now that I lay it all out there, I don’t mind the mid-round draft picks this year. Of course, if you can draft 1st and take Trout, you do that every day of the week and twice on Muesday, the magical day between Monday and Tuesday, but if you’re ‘saddled’ with a 7th pick, then giddy up! Baez and Treat? Tell me that doesn’t excite you and I will ask you to leave. Baez and Machado? I mean, cmon. Who doesn’t want that? Baez and Giancarlo? Yeah, I just fainted from fun. I funted! Baez and Mondesi? Sure, but it will be more like Baez, Goldschmidt and Mondesi, due to ADP.
8. Alex Bregman – A quick side note of honesty: I don’t know if I’m drafting Bregman this year. I’m not taking him until he gets some cuts in spring training, that’s for sure. If he doesn’t look right at that point, I might drop him a few in my rankings. I need to see how his elbow reacts. If his elbow reacts poorly, or does a spit take, I’m running for the hills. Okay, with that in mind, Bregman paired with any guy above him, obviously. Goes without saying, which is what they say after saying it. Since Bregman has solid infield eligibility, and you’re playing with fire with his power, due to his elbow, I would lean towards Bregman and Giancarlo or Judge. Sure, Freeman and Goldy are solid, but they don’t have 40+ homer power, which is what you want if you’re drafting Bregman at this point. That also sets you up with an OF.
9. Nolan Arenado – It seems unlikely that I’m drafting the Torenado this year, because of where I’ve ranked him, but who are we going to pair Arenado with? How about Blackmon, Story and Dahl? Then we can move to Colorado and open a dispensary called, “That’s The Pot Calling The Kettle…Uh, What Were We Talking About? Dude, I’m So Stoned.” You can pair Arenado with just about anything, except a 3rd baseman. Arenado gets fewer steals than most, so I’d prefer to pair him with someone that gets at least 15 steals. Arenado and Treat? I love it, but if you’re drafting Arenado 9th, you can likely take Harper in the 2nd, then draft Mondesi in the 3rd. Something to consider, like changing your underwear. Arenado’s average would balance those two nicely, and you’re setting yourself well for a trip to Cooperstown to have your fantasy baseball plaque unveiled next year. Arenado and Story? Even without the dispensary, I like it. Arenado and Lindor? Well…um…I hope you don’t have to make that call, but, in theory, it sounds okay.
10. Francisco Lindor – ‘Member when he was a top three pick in two-naught-nineteen? So long ago. You were five pounds lighter and six hairs thicker on your skullcap. Now the Cleveland Calves are mooing with a B. At this point, I don’t know if I’m drafting Lindor either. Yes, I have a top 12 to draft, but only eight of them I want. Oopsie! I’m looking at Lindor this way. He will either be back late-March and this will all be a lot of hooie over nothing, or he’ll miss April and be a total bust. Okay, there’s likely a few shades between those two scenarios, but they are possibilities. If Lindor were to fall to me, I could see drafting him, but I’m not taking him with a shortstop, obvi. I’m also not taking him with a speed-first guy. Ideally, I’d draft him, Giancarlo or Judge and then take Mondesi in the third.
11. Bryce Harper – He’s similar to Machado in the outfield. In that no major league team wants him to play for them. Also, his stats are similar. I’d draft Harper and obviously anyone ranked above him, though I’d prefer it not be an outfielder. If Acuña was there for my pairing with Harper though? I mean, you’re kicking that out of bed? I’ll figure out my infield starting in the 3rd. Harper and Mondesi is a little scary because you might have a combined .250 average. Harper and Freeman or Goldy? Let me give that the chef’s kiss. Harper and Story? Don’t mind if I do!
12. Jose Ramirez – There’s no way I’m owning Jo-Ram this year. I could say Jo-Ram and Machado or Harper or Arenado or anyone ranked before him, but it’s silly. Jo-Ram is being drafted 3rd overall. I am not drafting him. I only wish Lindor didn’t hurt himself so people stayed in on Jo-Ram deeper into the draft season. By the way, I love how people are suddenly scared of the Indians’ lineup. I’ve been saying since before Lindor’s injury that it is Lindor and Jo-Ram and *raspberries lips*