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 2020 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 2020 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2020 fantasy baseball and the beginning of the top 100 for 2020 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 2020 fantasy baseball drafts:
1. Ronald Acuña Jr. – Because I love to revel in this shizz, here’s what I wrote last year when I ranked Tildaddy 4th overall, “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. 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.” And that’s me quoting me! Can you imagine the brain nuggets you’re rolling with to rank Acuña 18th overall? That is high comedy. As in, you must be high, and I am laughing. What kills me is when I see people commenting on ESPN articles or tweeting at the ESPN ‘perts like they know what’s flying. Actually, I’ll give them a tad bit of deference, I’m not sure they actually are the ones doing the rankings. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they have an intern do the rankings, and then the ‘perts do their own thing in drafts. That might be giving them too much credit. Any hoo! If you draft Acuña 1st, you can literally draft any other player 2nd. No, not Cam Gallagher. I mean, anyone who is there in my rankings. I’d even take another outfielder (Bryce Harper), but I’d lean on taking a corner or middle infidel (Jo-Jo Ram, Rendon, Albombso, Devers, Allahson, Mondesi, Tatis Junior, literally name the player). For those thinking, how can you take Tatis, Mondesi, Jo-Jo Ram, Allahson or Albombso if you’ve ranked them so much higher then where a 2nd pick would be if you got Acuña? Well, their ADP says they could be there around time for a 2nd pick, so pick one! (I will goose your nips with a loving purple nurple if you own Tatis and Acuña after two rounds. Mother, may I?!)
2. Christian Yelich – Similar to Acuña, if you are one of the lucky two people who gets Yelich or Tildaddy, then you are a blessed being from planet, Thetan, and Tom Cruise fornicates to your picture. Shazbot, my friend-slash-idol, shazbot. You can also draft whoever you want with your 2nd pick, because you’ve been ‘special blessed,’ which involves Joe Buck fawning over you like you’re Kyle Schwarber. Imagine Tom Cruise and Joe Buck started dating? That would be awesome. Any hoo! Yelich’s knee worries me still, as it did last month when I ranked him 2nd, and you might want a little speed with your 2nd pick. Also, a corner or middle infidel wouldn’t be a terrible thing. Yelich and Devers? If you don’t win your leagues, they’re counting your league categories with the Iowa Caucus app. Yelich and Bogaerts? You’re taking home the title. Yelich and someone not on the Red Sox? Sure, but who? Alonso gives me the good shudders. Mondesi? I will fornicate thinking of your team. You can’t go wrong! Though, I’d avoid outfielders, and you’re being goofy with Just Dong, since neither may steal. Oil dem knees up, Yelich!
3. Mike Trout – Even though Prince Makedemall Trouts aka Mike Trout is in the 1st tier with Acuña and Yelich, and he should be able to be drafted with anyone else, I’m not sure he’s completely there. I’d want more speed with a Trout pairing, then Acuña. Trout would be closer to Yelich, if his knee is barking like my good boy, Ted. Also, of course, I’d try to avoid another outfielder. Do you ruin your team with Trout and Harper as your 1st two picks? Not especially, but you’re putting yourself in a hole. Did I call you an a-hole? I might’ve, slyly. Trout and Mondesi sounds like the best thing since sliced bread, and sliced bread is all things to all people. Trout and Bogaerts? Like the quarter of Harrison Ford that is Jewish, not too shabby! Trout and Albies? Are we reaching? I don’t know, but I do love it. Trout and Albombso? Okay, but you really are down on steals almost immediately, and you better start picking yourself out of that hole. More holes? Nope, one — a hole.
4. Cody Bellinger – I’m a little surprised I’ve seen more “Betts, Bregman, Lindor or Cole drafted 3rd or higher” than I’ve seen Bellinger sneak into the top three overall. Don’t get me wrong, it’s happened, but seems less the norm. If someone sneaks into the top three in a draft, it’s not usually Bellinger. He makes a stronger case for the top three than those other sneaker-inners — Big power, great average, solid speed (he’s actually fairly quick on the basepaths). Bellinger actually makes a stronger case than Trout for top three if you’re not factoring in track record. Track record and safety push Trout up, but if you’re convinced Bellinger is what we saw last year (and 2018), and Trout is starting to slow just an eensy-bit, then Bellinger is a top three pick. Never the hoo! Bellinger pairs nicely with a middle infielder. Can you imagine the boners with Bellinger and Bogaerts or Mondesi or Albies or Ketel Marte? (Depends on the depth of your league when that 2nd pick is coming back.) Bellinger even pairs nicely with Bryce Harper, because Bellinger can play 1st. Bellinger could even pair with Albombso, Rendon, Jo-Jo Ram or Matt Olson. Bellinger might be the best guy to pair with a 2nd rounder, due to his 1st and OF eligibility. Struggling to think of someone who doesn’t pair with Bellinger. That’s good, right?
5. Trevor Story – Unlike past years, there’s a ton of hitters who are bringing power and speed. Can you imagine drafting a starter here instead of one of these glorious beasts? I can’t. Even crazier (sorry, the topic of drafting high starters always gets me crazy), not only do people draft starters high, but they argue it’s right. Let’s clear one thing up, drafting starters makes more sense in deeper leagues, but 85% of youse play 12-team or shallower. I do too, I like shallow leagues. In shallow leagues, it’s absurd to draft a starter high. There’s a rotation’s worth of starters on waivers at any given time. But youse who see ‘perts say to draft a starter high who don’t know they’re talking about their crazy deep leagues drives me crazy. Okay, moving on before I legit lose it. Story works with anyone, except other middle infidels. He’s a shortstop, said Mr Obvious, but I’d even skip thinking about a 2nd baseman (even though there’s really not a ton of them in contention for a 2nd pick). Grab a Bryce Harper or Albombso or Olson or Rendon or Freeman with Story. It’s all a solid chef’s kiss.
6. Mookie Betts – Something that might’ve went without its proper notice on-site, but when Betts was traded to the Dodgers, he went from #4 to #17 overall in Rudy’s 15-team rankings. (Three to 16 in 12-teamers.) So, hotshot, you have to ask yourself, if you trust me or Rudy? Nah, you don’t need to ask yourself that (because you will choose Rudy, and I’ll be hurt). Betts lost 5 runs, 1.5 HRs, 18 RBIs and .018 in the trade, according to Rudy. For what it’s Werth, I took him down 3 HRs. Not to get real goofy on this tangent, but here’s our two projections: 117/27/88/.292/18 in 588 ABs and Rudy’s 119/31/90/.279/17 in 589 ABs. Eerily similar, except he thinks his average is gonna plummet. Moving on! Betts works with just about anyone, but he’s our first guy who has a strong chance of being predominantly a leadoff man, so I’d lean on a middle of the order corner or middle infidel. Betts and Arenado? That’s goofy amazing. If you’re drafting with 11 Rudys, it could be possible. Betts and Freeman? Yes, please! Betts and Albombso? I’m nomnomnom’ing that. Betts and Jo-Ram? Meh, they both feel like they could struggle with RBIs and power, if things go sideways with Betts in Los Angeles. Betts and Mondesi? Not a fan either. Betts and big corner power bat? Yes, 100%. Focus on that.
7. Francisco Lindor – Seeing early heat on Lindor moving him up from this draft slot, so he might be the only guy here, who I might not be able to draft in all leagues. In most? Prolly. I’m moist? A little. If I do take Lindor, I’m definitely not taking Jo-Ram. I don’t mind more than one guy from one team, but two 25/25-ish types from a team that wants to tank? Nah, I’m good. Lindor and Tatis? No, sorry, don’t draft a shortstop. Lindor and Arenado? Yes, yes, YES! Lindor and Albombso? Honestly, I’m surprised I seem to be in the minority with how much I want Albombso as my 2nd round pick. Next year, when Albombso is a top 12 overall guy in all preseason rankings, people are gonna talk about him like they always loved him. Remind them I was the high man on Albombso in 2020 when he was a bargain. (Kinda feels similar to how I was the high man on Acuña at 4th overall last year. Never forget, CBS actually made fun of Donkey Teeth on their podcast for drafting Acuña last year in the top 10.)
8. Trea Turner – I drafted Trea Turner in one NFBC league already, and guess who I took in the 2nd round? I’ll give you a hint: His name rhymes with Alonso. Of course, any big bat at corner or 1st works with Treat Urner. Olson, Harper, Rendon, Freeman, Devers…they’re all beautiful. Don’t do anything silly and go with a 2nd round pick to pair with Trea who gives you a lot of speed. Only guys possibly available that I can imagine you twinkling toes at are Starling Marte — blech — Mondesi — Love him, but c’mon, homey — Tatis — Stop it. — Jo-Ram — Meh, get more power. When pairing Trea, you want 37/5 vs. 25/25. Keep that in mind, and you’ll be all right.
9. Juan Soto – Sexy Dr. Pepper is exact opposite of Trea Turner. You Juan soda?! You better Juan steals right after. Sexy Dr. Pepper and FTJ are Gorge City. Sexy Dr. Pepper and Mondesi gives me heart palpitations and I’m not sure I will ever recover. To attempt to answer at least one question, if you’re playing in ESPN where they goofily ranked Mondesi in the 70s, and you think you can draft Soto, Arenado, Walker Buehler, Olson, Josh Hader THEN! Mondesi. Go for it. Just because I tell you not to draft Hader or Buehler or say draft Soto and Mondesi in the 1st two rounds, it doesn’t matter if you can get a dope-ass lineup by exploiting ESPN’s fantasy baseball rankings. You have to balance what you can get vs. what you want. Now if you draft Walker Buehler and Hader and someone scoops you on Mondesi, and you have Soto, Arenado and Olson, I will say it’s solid, but you’re lacking steals.
10. Fernando Tatis Jr. – I had a dream the other day that I got FTJ at the turn of a draft, then did a James Brown split, popped up and drafted Torenado. Then I woke and realized it doesn’t have to be a dream. I can actually make this happen in real life. Well, everything except the James Brown split. I’d prefer if FTJ didn’t try the JBS either. FTJ is going around 18th overall, so we can likely get him in every league with one of my big banger corner men right after, which is a “Sherpa from the top of Mt. Everest” chef’s kiss. That shizz is echoing like chamber music from the 13th century. Shizz is haunting and beautiful! If Torenado is gone, just think about how gorge it will be to take FTJ and Freeman, Alonso or Rendon. They balance FTJ perfectly. Him and Alonso is roughly 70/30/.255. Compare that with Juan Soto and Devers: 70/18/.295. Okay, forty points on average is big, but which has more upside for speed? Is it harder to find cheap speed now or nah? Because I’m pretty sure it is. Grab the essentially free J.D. Davis later for his solid average to balance things or waste a 120th overall pick on Mallex Smith for SBs while he brings down every other category? I love the idea of FTJ and a corner man (which includes Devers too, by the by), but if you wanted Bryce Harper with FTJ or Just Dong? They’re great too with him. I’d only avoid taking Fun The Jewels and someone like Jo-Ram (too similar) or a shortstop (Mondesi, Baez).
11. Jose Ramirez – Ya know, as I dictate dis post to the 100 monkeys typing it up — *cracks whip* It’s THIS not DIS! — I’m starting to think subconsciously I ranked my top 12 with how I would draft. Allow me to explain through the 100 monkeys. All the Trea Truthers, FTJs and Jo-Jo-Rams need to be balanced by Torenado, Albombso, Rendon or Freeman, and I ranked them in that order. So, you grab one of those sexy steals guys, then follow it with a banger. Though, Sexy Dr. Pepper doesn’t really fit perfectly with that, and if I draft Arenado 1st at 12th overall, then I can’t take another corner man. Okay, maybe I didn’t have this in mind. I’m spitballing here, monkeys! Don’t type this up! So, you draft Jo-Jo-Ram, then you need to draft a solid AVG/beastmode for power and you’re okay (for the 1st two rounds) on speed. Therefore, Jo-Jo and Torenado, Freeman, etc. All work for me. What am I not drafting with Jo-Jo? Meh on a 3rd basemen (same POS) or FTJ (AVG becomes iffy).
12. Nolan Arenado – Ya know what’s interesting this year vs. previous years? I think I have a legit shot to draft any of my top 12. Sure, in some leagues, Lindor will go 5th, and, where I have him at 7th, I’ll have to (what punishment!) take Betts, but for the most part my rankings match up to ADP favorably. Even Torenado is being drafted on average 13th overall, which leaves him here. It’s the one big bonus not ranking, or drafting, a starting pitcher in the top 12, let alone two of them who are going in that range. We should all thank the Cole and deGrom drafters. They’ll get a 3.02 ERA, and get a 12 in ERA, when all they needed was a 3.50, and we applaud you for taking one for the team. So, going off ADP, it seems clear that a lot of previous combos (Torenado/FTJ, Jo-Jo/Torenado, etc.) will be available, but if they’re not, you should draft a guy that gives at least 10 steals (Bryce), but the idea of Torenado and Mondesi gets me hot under the collar and I’ve tied my Izod sweater around my waist so ‘under my collar’ is much lower than you might’ve thought.