A lot of the hitters you’ll find on this list aren’t necessarily going to be God awful, fall off the face of the Earth, undraftable players — they’re just guys who had explosive 2018’s who you shouldn’t draft at their 2018 end of season value. Something I’m noticing is that there a lot more players who I’m high on (might have to do a part 2 of that series!) Maybe I’m too optimistic of a person, but I’m hoping every player is working on improving themselves in the off-season. Eric Hosmer HAS to be in his backyard taking golf swings to improve that 60.4% ground ball rate, right? Brian Dozier is definitely at the batting cage with a stance so closed the pitcher will be able to read his full name on the back of his jersey to improve his 49.9% pull rate, right? Billy Hamilton has to be working on his bunting so he can reach first base more than 30% of the time right?

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As I’m working on my pre-season top 100 hitters column each week I sometimes like to ask my friends for their thoughts as a barometer for who I might be too high or too low on. As a fun experiment I start with my #1 and #2 ranked players and whoever they voted was better was locked into their ranking — and whoever lost would face the next ranked player.

For example: “Mike Trout or Mookie Betts?” Unanimously Trout.

“Betts or Jose Ramirez?” 4 votes Betts, 1 for Ramirez.

“Ramirez or Francisco Lindor?” 4 for Lindor, again — 1 for Ramirez.

For the most part players rarely lasted more than 2-3 match-ups before they won and were given their consensus ranking. However, there was one player who lasted 8 match-ups (meaning an 8 ranking difference between my top 100 and the group consensus top 100) and that man was…

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First base was pretty disappointing last year. Only three first basemen finished with more than 90 runs, only four hit over 35 home runs and only 5 had over 90 RBI. Owners with quick triggers probably finished high in their fantasy leagues if they grabbed Jesus Aguilar. So what am I looking for in “This Year’s Jesus Aguilar?” I’m talking about a first baseman who had a solid minor league resume before an unexpected breakout in the big leagues yet still wasn’t on a lot of fantasy teams to start the season.

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I lied to you loyal Razzball readers. In part 1 of this 2019 fantasy baseball mock draft hosted by Justin Mason of Friends with Fantasy Benefits, I told you this was going to be a four-part series. Well, unfortunately between rounds 23 and 24, the MLB regular season ended and thus, so did our Fantrax mock draft. The draft room disappeared from the league page and every future pick was being auto-drafted. Rather than waste your time discussing random players being auto-drafted I’m just going to highlight a few notable undrafted players at the bottom of this article. Back to the draft itself: three words can sum up rounds 15 through 23: risk, relievers and rookies. You’ll soon see what I mean. (BTW, the 2nd part of the fantasy baseball mock draft.)

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Welcome to part two of my four-part #2EarlyMocks draft series. If you’re looking for part one you can find it here: 2EarlyMock Draft Part 1. In part one, we covered the sexy rounds — one through seven. Not too many risks or reaches in those rounds, you grab your studs and stars and reap the rewards. But in rounds eight through 14 is where owners are starting to take risks and grab their sleepers, rookies and potential bounce back players. I’ll be comparing the draft position of these players during this draft to their cumulative ADP on Fantasy Pros. This cumulative ADP includes the 288 players from ESPN’s ADP, the 999 players from Fantrax’s ADP plus data from CBS, Yahoo, RT Sports and NFBC draft results. Let’s get right into it:

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My 2018 fantasy baseball season may be over, but my 2019 fantasy baseball season has just begun! Justin Mason of Friends with Fantasy Benefits is hosting a series of #2EarlyMocks with fantasy baseball analysts from around the web and he was kind enough to invite me to participate in one of them. For me, it’s never #2Early. Hell, I’ll do a mock draft for 2024 if anyone is willing to host one! I’ll be taking Blaze Jordan #1 overall!

Below you’ll see the first 7 rounds of the 28 round draft. I was assigned the 1st overall pick — which for round 1 (in my opinion) is pretty boring. However, from there it gets interesting — you have a long time to wait and watch a lot of baseball’s top 20 players go off the board. I’ve included each selection’s 2018 ADP ranking so you can see who has gained/lost the most value. Something to note — the number I’ve written below isn’t their actual ADP — just the rank that ADP falls among all players. For example, Christian Yelich’s ADP was actually 41.3, but that leaves him ranked as the 40th player taken off the board — hence the 40.

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That’s the question that’s been on my brain as I worked on these rankings the past few weeks. I’m not over the past 10 years, not for next year, not for the next 10 years — right now — is Mike Trout still the #1 hitter this year? Even with a lengthy DL stint, Trout is still one of the top players in the league and is close to surpassing all of his numbers from last year’s (also) injury shrunken season (88 runs/31 HRs/2 SBs in 116 games so far this year vs. 92/33/22 in 114 games last year.) But while he missed 19 games in August this year, three players have kept chugging right along and putting up phenomenal numbers. Let’s take a look at these three challengers for the crown.

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The 10 HR/8 SB/.302 AVG player we saw from AJ Pollock over the first month or so of the season is a top-20 player if that pace continues for a full season. However we know how this story goes, since May 4th (yes I know there was an injury in there because OF COURSE there was) Pollock has 184 ABs with only 6 HRs and 2 SBs with a .261 AVG. However, I keep him on these rankings because peak Pollock is a 20/40 threat. The only problem is peak Pollock is a pretty preposterous proposition. Whatever is hurting him this time seems to be limiting him on the base paths which is limiting you in your standings. 

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Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Wrist Sprain: After missing most of June with a DL stay, Hellickson finds himself back there again, this time with a more serious wrist injury. Hellickson has had an interesting season — he’s allowed more than 3 ERs just once in his 18 starts, but has also only pitched 6 innings twice. Stash or Trash: The Nationals are being optimistic in their hopes that Hellickson will only miss one start. A pitcher with a wrist injury to their throwing hand? I’d expect a longer stay. I’d still stash him though until we hear more. Fill In: Last week when I had to make a lot of starting pitcher recommendations, the guys I recommended with an ERA of 15.00. So this week with so many starting pitchers placed on the DL I’m going to make all my SP recommendations that I truly believe in at the bottom.

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