Australia markets closed

Reviewing the 2020 Yahoo Friends and Family Fantasy Baseball Draft

I have to start with the elephant in the room. We’re in a health crisis, a critical health crisis. It’s an uncertain and scary time for all of us. No one knows when normalcy will be restored. We know what’s really important; the health and well-being of our families, our communities, our country.

I have my share of anxiety about things, too. But I will openly admit, the two hours I spent with my industry friends last Thursday was therapeutic. I needed to laugh with friends, kid around, make fun of each other. We kept the Yahoo Friends & Family League draft on the books and threw down with 16 teams. It’s 5x5 roto, with a limit of 80 transactions. There are also seasonal limits that surely won’t apply now. No one knows what the eventual season will look like.

Let’s hope for the best, and prepare for what we need to prepare for. Let’s be good to each other. If you need some thoughts and guidelines about how to handle your Yahoo Fantasy Baseball experience this year, we have you covered. And if you want to examine how a deep industry draft went down, read on.

You can reach out to me anytime, to talk about sports, music, movies, dogs, life: @scott_pianowski.

Thanks for being a part of our group. We’re all in this together.

Rotoworld - Short

1. (1) Mike Trout (LAA - OF)

2. (32) Mike Clevinger (Cle - SP)

3. (33) Ozzie Albies (Atl - 2B)

4. (64) Max Muncy (LAD - 1B,2B,3B)

5. (65) Frankie Montas (Oak - SP)

6. (96) Jeff McNeil (NYM - 2B,3B,OF)

7. (97) Liam Hendriks (Oak - RP)

8. (128) David Dahl (Col - OF)

9. (129) David Price (LAD - SP)

10. (160) Sean Doolittle (Was - RP)

11. (161) Kevin Newman (Pit - 2B,SS)

12. (192) J.D. Davis (NYM - 3B,OF)

13. (193) Wilson Ramos (NYM - C)

14. (224) Christian Walker (Ari - 1B)

15. (225) Garrett Richards (SD - SP)

16. (256) Shogo Akiyama (Cin - OF)

17. (257) Dylan Cease (CWS - SP)

18. (288) Randal Grichuk (Tor - OF)

19. (289) Matt Shoemaker (Tor - SP)

20. (320) Kevin Pillar (Bos - OF)

21. (321) Diego Castillo (TB - SP,RP)

22. (352) Asdrúbal Cabrera (Was - 2B,3B)

23. (353) Yoshihisa Hirano (Sea - RP)

24. (384) Clint Frazier (NYY - OF)

25. (385) Sean Newcomb (Atl - SP,RP)

26. (416) Robinson Chirinos (Tex - C)

D.J. Short, Rotoworld: In a vacuum, Ronald Acuna, Jr. has been my top-ranked player in drafts this spring, but this league is so deep that it changes the calculus a bit. There’s more room for one-tricky pony speed options and dice rolls from the waiver wire, so the speed advantage that Acuna offers is something I can make up later. Trout has been so darn consistent that I wanted to start my draft with the ultimate sure thing.

This draft started off with Mike Trout as pick No. 1. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I’ve made it a point to target versatility in my drafts this spring and I was able to accomplish that here too. Max Muncy, Jeff McNeil, Kevin Newman, J.D. Davis, and Asdrubal Cabrera are all multi-position eligible. I’m going to try to get as close to the maximum games played as I possibly can at each position, so this strategy gives me the flexibility needed to pull that off. And obviously it guards you against injury too.

Mike Clevinger has slipped a bit on draft boards this spring due to his knee surgery, but obviously all the concerns about that can be thrown out the window since it’s going to be a long time before baseball is played. Whenever games do begin, Clevinger could be a bargain. He was the 11th starting pitcher off the board in this draft.

Y! - Pianowski

1. (2) Ronald Acuña Jr. (Atl - OF)

2. (31) Clayton Kershaw (LAD - SP)

3. (34) Gleyber Torres (NYY - 2B,SS)

4. (63) Jonathan Villar (Mia - 2B,SS)

5. (66) José Berríos (Min - SP)

6. (95) Josh Bell (Pit - 1B)

7. (98) Marcus Semien (Oak - SS)

8. (127) Kyle Hendricks (ChC - SP)

9. (130) Max Kepler (Min - OF)

10. (159) Luke Voit (NYY - 1B)

11. (162) Robbie Ray (Ari - SP)

12. (191) Hunter Dozier (KC - 1B,3B,OF)

13. (194) Mike Foltynewicz (Atl - SP)

14. (223) Ian Happ (ChC - 2B,3B,OF)

15. (226) Dansby Swanson (Atl - SS)

16. (255) Eric Hosmer (SD - 1B)

17. (258) Mike Yastrzemski (SF - OF)

18. (287) Yadier Molina (StL - C)

19. (290) Jeff Samardzija (SF - SP)

20. (319) Mike Fiers (Oak - SP)

21. (322) Renato Núñez (Bal - 1B,3B)

22. (351) Daniel Hudson (Was - RP)

23. (354) Blake Treinen (LAD - RP)

24. (383) Cameron Maybin (Det - OF)

25. (386) Aaron Bummer (CWS - RP)

26. (415) Brandon Belt (SF - 1B,OF)

Scott Pianowski, Yahoo: First off, I can’t stand picking near the ends, especially in a league of this size (16 teams). You lose the feel of the draft. You can’t play the “Maybe I can wait a round on this guy” game; it’s “now or never” for most players you want. Of course, you get two tandem picks, but I don’t like the idea of having to wait 28 selections before I get another throw.

Maybe it’s a personal flaw, but I feel I draft better in the middle. Or maybe I could just invite weaker competition (I keep inviting people who make the league stronger).

I didn’t intend to punt saves, but the flow of the draft took me there. This league has a transaction cap and active managers, so I can’t assume I’ll be the saves kingpin on the wire; I’ll try to be, but this isn’t some casual league where you can own the free market. But a saves punt feels easier in 2020, given save striation and the sneaky scarcity of the stat. I don’t need that many things to go right before I’m back in the middle of the saves pack; maybe a trade, maybe a lucky late pick, maybe a wire add. And inside the draft, the punt was oddly liberating.

I knew I’d be priced out of the top-shelf pitching given my slot, but I proactively filled that area and came away with a staff I can live with. The offense is versatile, flexible. Sometimes I tend to draft older teams, but I like the balance of the ages here. I should be able to compete, which is all you can ask for, this removed from opening pitch.

I should also add, in complete seriousness: I thought Salfino got a good price on Mallex Smith.

RotoWire - Jenstad

1. (3) Christian Yelich (Mil - OF)

2. (30) Javier Báez (ChC - SS)

3. (35) Luis Castillo (Cin - SP)

4. (62) Noah Syndergaard (NYM - SP)

5. (67) Josh Hader (Mil - RP)

6. (94) Matt Chapman (Oak - 3B)

7. (99) Mike Moustakas (Cin - 2B,3B)

8. (126) Cavan Biggio (Tor - 2B,OF)

9. (131) Yasmani Grandal (CWS - C,1B)

10. (158) Byron Buxton (Min - OF)

11. (163) Justin Turner (LAD - 3B)

12. (190) Edwin Encarnación (CWS - 1B)

13. (195) Joe Musgrove (Pit - SP)

14. (222) A.J. Puk (Oak - RP)

15. (227) Nomar Mazara (CWS - OF)

16. (254) Anthony DeSclafani (Cin - SP)

17. (259) Corey Dickerson (Mia - OF)

18. (286) Ryan Helsley (StL - RP)

19. (291) Teoscar Hernández (Tor - OF)

20. (318) Johnny Cueto (SF - SP)

21. (323) Robinson Canó (NYM - 2B)

22. (350) Cole Hamels (Atl - SP)

23. (355) Jorge Mateo (Oak - SS)

24. (382) Spencer Howard (Phi - SP)

25. (387) Kevin Kiermaier (TB - OF)

26. (414) Daniel Ponce de Leon (StL - SP,RP)

Scott Jenstad, Rotowire: In a daily moves league, I am a little less worried about the back half of my starting pitching staff as I consider those likely churn-and-burn spots anyway. I wanted to get two really good starters but then focus on compiling as much offense as I can early on.

I think my offense is really good considering the league has 16 teams, but I pushed the third and fourth starters one turn too far and got burned in this deep a league. I like Joe Musgrove and AJ Puk just fine, but not when they are among your top four starters. Looking back, I should have passed on Grandal in a one-catcher league (he was deep enough in the draft where I liked the pick) and taken another starting pitcher there and the roster would look better.

I do think the offense will be near the top of the league and it is a trading league; I’m going to have to trade or find a couple SP gems on the wire to have a shot at winning the league.

Patrick Daugherty

1. (4) Mookie Betts (LAD - OF)

2. (29) Shane Bieber (Cle - SP)

3. (36) Kris Bryant (ChC - 3B,OF)

4. (61) Aaron Nola (Phi - SP)

5. (68) J.T. Realmuto (Phi - C)

6. (93) Sonny Gray (Cin - SP)

7. (100) Rhys Hoskins (Phi - 1B)

8. (125) Raisel Iglesias (Cin - RP)

9. (132) Michael Conforto (NYM - OF)

10. (157) Alex Colomé (CWS - RP)

11. (164) Garrett Hampson (Col - 2B,SS,OF)

12. (189) Nick Senzel (Cin - OF)

13. (196) Brandon Lowe (TB - 1B,2B,OF)

14. (221) Brendan McKay (Pitcher) (TB - SP)

15. (228) Joc Pederson (LAD - 1B,OF)

16. (253) Joey Lucchesi (SD - SP)

17. (260) A.J. Pollock (LAD - OF)

18. (285) Matt Carpenter (StL - 3B)

19. (292) Michael Kopech (CWS - SP)

20. (317) Sean Murphy (Oak - C)

21. (324) Dakota Hudson (StL - SP)

22. (349) Nate Lowe (TB - 1B)

23. (356) Drew Pomeranz (SD - SP,RP)

24. (381) Tyler Mahle (Cin - SP)

25. (388) Nico Hoerner (ChC - SS)

26. (413) Brendan Rodgers (Col - 2B,SS)

Patrick Daugherty, Rotoworld: No. 4 feels like the crossroads pick this season, and that’s the one I had. I agonized over Bellinger vs. Betts. I ultimately went Mookie. Speed is so scarce, and I suppose the Bellinger batting average regression will be real. No wrong choice, of course. I think I own Kris Bryant in every league, but this is now the second or third season in a row I’ve found him to be a huge “value.” I might no longer be properly pricing the player.

No clue how, but I *always* take a catcher too early in this draft. At least it was Realmuto. Still, I should have just settled for Sean Murphy late. My favorite mid-round pick was Brandon Lowe. Late, I liked snagging Andrew Miller 2.0, Drew Pomeranz, who should play well with this league’s settings. 

Razzball - Grey

1. (5) Cody Bellinger (LAD - 1B,OF)

2. (28) Pete Alonso (NYM - 1B)

3. (37) Xander Bogaerts (Bos - SS)

4. (60) Lucas Giolito (CWS - SP)

5. (69) Eloy Jiménez (CWS - OF)

6. (92) Giancarlo Stanton (NYY - OF)

7. (101) Dinelson Lamet (SD - SP)

8. (124) Julio Urías (LAD - SP,RP)

9. (133) Amed Rosario (NYM - SS)

10. (156) Danny Santana (Tex - 1B,2B,3B,SS,OF)

11. (165) Archie Bradley (Ari - RP)

12. (188) Marcus Stroman (NYM - SP)

13. (197) Mark Melancon (Atl - RP)

14. (220) Nick Solak (Tex - 2B,3B)

15. (229) Trent Grisham (SD - OF)

16. (252) Avisaíl García (Mil - OF)

17. (261) Mychal Givens (Bal - RP)

18. (284) Pablo López (Mia - SP)

19. (293) Domingo Santana (Cle - OF)

20. (316) Kyle Gibson (Tex - SP,RP)

21. (325) Jurickson Profar (SD - 2B,OF)

22. (348) Travis d'Arnaud (Atl - C,1B)

23. (357) Andres Muñoz (SD - RP)

24. (380) Trevor Gott (SF - RP)

25. (389) José Alvarado (TB - RP)

26. (412) Ryne Stanek (Mia - SP,RP)

Grey Albright, Razzball: Speed dries up fast. Like fast fast. Like "Everything But the Girl’s career opportunities after they sung about the desert missing the rain" fast.

After drafting Cody Bellinger, Pete Alonso, Xander Bogaerts, Eloy Jimenez and Giancarlo Stanton as my hitters before leaving the top 100, I looked at my Razzball projections on my War Room, and realized I needed to draft only hitters with a modicum of speed or bust out our Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and throw Salfino a trade offer for Mallex Smith, who, contrary to his first name, does not reduce indigestion.

(Grey also penned an extended review/pre-victory lap, on his fine website.)

Athletic Funston

1. (6) Trevor Story (Col - SS)

2. (27) Anthony Rendon (LAA - 3B)

3. (38) Jose Altuve (Hou - 2B)

4. (59) Matt Olson (Oak - 1B)

5. (70) Nick Castellanos (Cin - OF)

6. (91) Kenley Jansen (LAD - RP)

7. (102) Zack Wheeler (Phi - SP)

8. (123) Eduardo Rodriguez (Bos - SP)

9. (134) Ken Giles (Tor - RP)

10. (155) Willson Contreras (ChC - C)

11. (166) Carlos Martínez (StL - RP)

12. (187) Kyle Tucker (Hou - OF)

13. (198) Andrew McCutchen (Phi - OF)

14. (219) Yandy Díaz (TB - 1B,3B)

15. (230) Dustin May (LAD - SP,RP)

16. (251) Brandon Nimmo (NYM - OF)

17. (262) Aaron Civale (Cle - SP)

18. (283) Willy Adames (TB - SS)

19. (294) Ross Stripling (LAD - SP,RP)

20. (315) Luis Urías (Mil - 2B,SS)

21. (326) Francisco Mejía (SD - C)

22. (347) David Fletcher (LAA - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

23. (358) Yusei Kikuchi (Sea - SP)

24. (379) Dellin Betances (NYM - RP)

25. (390) José Martínez (TB - OF)

26. (411) Colin Poche (TB - RP)

Brandon Funston, The Athletic: I now only play in four fantasy baseball leagues, and one is a dynasty league with an annual draft consisting of picking up the players not already rostered in a 15-team, 40-man roster set-up. So this F&F draft was my first "normal" draft of the season, and I felt the rust on occasion, starting with my Nick Castellanos pick at No. 70 overall. It was a bit of a reach, and I wasn't confident when I pulled the trigger. I should have went with Tommy Pham, who was taken right after Castellanos, as I could have used his 20-ish steals — whew boy, do I have a dearth in that category. I also have a little trepidation with having to lean on some hope-and-prayer types in the outfield (Andrew McCutchen, Kyle Tucker, Brandon Nimmo), but in a 16-team league, that's probably unavoidable.

Athletic-Salfino

1. (7) Trea Turner (Was - SS)

2. (26) Stephen Strasburg (Was - SP)

3. (39) Chris Paddack (SD - SP)

4. (58) Blake Snell (TB - SP)

5. (71) Tommy Pham (SD - OF)

6. (90) Jorge Soler (KC - OF)

7. (103) Eugenio Suárez (Cin - 3B)

8. (122) Héctor Neris (Phi - RP)

9. (135) Brandon Workman (Bos - RP)

10. (154) José Leclerc (Tex - SP,RP)

11. (167) Khris Davis (Oak - Util)

12. (186) Alex Verdugo (Bos - OF)

13. (199) Howie Kendrick (Was - 1B,2B,3B)

14. (218) Willie Calhoun (Tex - OF)

15. (231) Jonathan Schoop (Det - 2B)

16. (250) Mallex Smith (Sea - OF)

17. (263) Tommy La Stella (LAA - 2B,3B)

18. (282) Freddy Peralta (Mil - SP,RP)

19. (295) Alex Wood (LAD - SP)

20. (314) Jordan Montgomery (NYY - P)

21. (327) Niko Goodrum (Det - 1B,2B,SS,OF)

22. (346) Danny Jansen (Tor - C)

23. (359) Taijuan Walker (Sea - SP)

24. (378) Jordan Luplow (Cle - OF)

25. (391) Eric Thames (Was - 1B,OF)

26. (410) Ty Buttrey (LAA - RP)

Michael Salfino, The Athletic: I generally hate drafting early pitching. So if you told me my build before the draft, I would have been shocked. I pushed Stephen Strasburg up a little because I like him as a guy who, like Gerrit Cole last year, we’re assuming has peaked but who maybe has not. I felt that Paddack was similarly a fair value because “Can he win the Cy Young Award?” Yes.

Snell was the only real bargain among these picks, in my mind. He’s just too good to go that late in this deep a league.

Once I was so heavy in early starters — again so unlike what I tend to do — I felt it was urgent to try to win steals and saves; I knew getting homers was going to be dicey. Given the circumstances, the mildly hurt guys like Alex Verdugo (if healthy, better than Benintendi, to me, period, nevermind at ADP) and especially Willie Calhoun (and even Snell) were going to smash their ADPs. I think I finessed being solidly competitive in homers — but that’s the key. 

Y! - MoBacha

1. (8) Francisco Lindor (Cle - SS)

2. (25) Rafael Devers (Bos - 3B)

3. (40) Zack Greinke (Hou - SP)

4. (57) Tyler Glasnow (TB - SP)

5. (72) Victor Robles (Was - OF)

6. (89) Aroldis Chapman (NYY - RP)

7. (104) Carlos Correa (Hou - SS)

8. (121) Matthew Boyd (Det - SP)

9. (136) Gary Sánchez (NYY - C)

10. (153) Kyle Schwarber (ChC - OF)

11. (168) Hansel Robles (LAA - RP)

12. (185) Shohei Ohtani (Pitcher) (LAA - SP)

13. (200) Daniel Murphy (Col - 1B)

14. (217) Adam Eaton (Was - OF)

15. (232) Michael Chavis (Bos - 1B,2B)

16. (249) Luis Arraez (Min - 2B,3B,OF)

17. (264) Gregory Polanco (Pit - OF)

18. (281) Nate Pearson (Tor - SP)

19. (296) Brandon Kintzler (Mia - RP)

20. (313) Jorge Alfaro (Mia - C)

21. (328) Trey Mancini (Bal - 1B,OF)

22. (345) Hanser Alberto (Bal - 2B,3B)

23. (360) Daniel Vogelbach (Sea - 1B)

24. (377) Reynaldo López (CWS - SP)

25. (392) Dee Gordon (Sea - 2B)

26. (409) Julio Teheran (LAA - SP)

Jason Klabacha/Mo Castillo, Yahoo: All in all, can’t be too mad about this draft. We filled most of the categories nicely. Started off with a nice foundation of young, multi-category hitters (Lindor, Devers) and combined a safe floor (Greinke) with a high ceiling (Glasnow) at our first couple of pitcher picks. Happy with where we got Gary Sanchez (Pick 136), who should be healthy by the time season comes round. Also took a flier on the pitcher version of Shohei Ohtani, who will fill our IL spot as long as he needs to.

Got snaked quite a few times (Kevin Newman, Archie Bradley, Josh James, Adrian Houser — what could have been!) which led to some overly safe late-draft picks. A lapse in concentration also led to our one error: Auto-drafting Trey Mancini.

Tengen - Tommy

1. (9) Juan Soto (Was - OF)

2. (24) Austin Meadows (TB - OF)

3. (41) Yu Darvish (ChC - SP)

4. (56) Manny Machado (SD - 3B,SS)

5. (73) José Abreu (CWS - 1B)

6. (88) Joey Gallo (Tex - OF)

7. (105) Andrew Benintendi (Bos - OF)

8. (120) Taylor Rogers (Min - RP)

9. (137) Shohei Ohtani (Batter) (LAA - Util)

10. (152) Mitch Garver (Min - C)

11. (169) Sean Manaea (Oak - SP)

12. (184) Jose Urquidy (Hou - SP)

13. (201) Gavin Lux (LAD - 2B)

14. (216) Gio Urshela (NYY - 3B)

15. (233) Nick Madrigal (CWS - 2B,SS)

16. (248) Chris Archer (Pit - SP)

17. (265) Jon Berti (Mia - 3B,SS,OF)

18. (280) Adrian Houser (Mil - SP,RP)

19. (297) Nick Ahmed (Ari - SS)

20. (312) MacKenzie Gore (SD - SP)

21. (329) Anthony Santander (Bal - OF)

22. (344) Justus Sheffield (Sea - SP)

23. (361) Michael Lorenzen (Pitcher) (Cin - RP)

24. (376) Shun Yamaguchi (Tor - SP)

25. (393) Myles Straw (Hou - SS,OF)

26. (408) Franchy Cordero (SD - OF)

Ted Bell, Man of the World: I will be trying to improve upon last year's 5th Place finish — but this season, I might also try not to hit the transaction limit before end of August. The beauty of F&F Baseball is the Daily transaction setting. My F&F squad represents everyone who loves playing the game passionately. I'm here to make a spastic amount of transactions on behalf of all of us. LFG#

Over at the draft, my strategy was pretty generic: Bank solid foundation pieces in the opening 10 rounds, specifically 8 bats, SP1, and a Closer. Obviously, it seems like this might be a bit of a jackpot season, but rather than jumping in on the ADP moves for injured players and how their return dates might work out and whatnot, I decided that I'd rather use the back half of my draft grabbing some lotto ticket prospects that might benefit from the revised scheduling.

Y! - Schwab

1. (10) Gerrit Cole (NYY - SP)

2. (23) Freddie Freeman (Atl - 1B)

3. (42) Yordan Alvarez (Hou - OF)

4. (55) Patrick Corbin (Was - SP)

5. (74) Paul Goldschmidt (StL - 1B)

6. (87) Ramón Laureano (Oak - OF)

7. (106) Brad Hand (Cle - RP)

8. (119) Max Fried (Atl - SP)

9. (138) Elvis Andrus (Tex - SS)

10. (151) Luke Weaver (Ari - SP)

11. (170) Giovanny Gallegos (StL - RP)

12. (183) Kenta Maeda (Min - SP,RP)

13. (202) Brian Anderson (Mia - 3B,OF)

14. (215) Yasiel Puig (Cle - OF)

15. (234) Carson Kelly (Ari - C)

16. (247) Josh James (Hou - RP)

17. (266) Starlin Castro (Was - 2B,3B)

18. (279) Yoshi Tsutsugo (TB - 3B,OF)

19. (298) Omar Narváez (Mil - C)

20. (311) Manuel Margot (TB - OF)

21. (330) Kevin Gausman (SF - SP,RP)

22. (343) Jesse Winker (Cin - OF)

23. (362) Jesús Aguilar (Mia - 1B)

24. (375) Travis Shaw (Tor - 3B)

25. (394) Adam Frazier (Pit - 2B)

26. (407) Colin Moran (Pit - 2B,3B)

Frank Schwab, Yahoo: I didn't expect to have my pick of pitchers at No. 10, but after nine hitters went I took Gerrit Cole over Jacob deGrom. Tough call, but I couldn't pass the strikeout edge. I'll need some things to come together (Yordan Alvarez's knees being OK, Giovanny Gallegos winning the closer job, Josh James getting a rotation spot, Yasiel Puig finding a good home, Yoshi Tsutsugo's power translating to MLB) but in a 16-team league of 15 experts and me, I knew going in I'd end up needing to hit some green lights.

Gerrit Cole was the first pitcher taken in Round 1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Razzball - Donkey Teeth

1. (11) Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD - SS)

2. (22) Bryce Harper (Phi - OF)

3. (43) Ketel Marte (Ari - 2B,SS,OF)

4. (54) Adalberto Mondesi (KC - SS)

5. (75) Luis Robert (CWS - OF)

6. (86) Aaron Judge (NYY - OF)

7. (107) Carlos Carrasco (Cle - SP,RP)

8. (118) Edwin Díaz (NYM - RP)

9. (139) Lance Lynn (Tex - SP)

10. (150) Mike Minor (Tex - SP)

11. (171) David Peralta (Ari - OF)

12. (182) Lance McCullers Jr. (Hou - SP)

13. (203) Chris Sale (Bos - SP)

14. (214) C.J. Cron (Det - 1B)

15. (235) Steven Matz (NYM - SP)

16. (246) Caleb Smith (Mia - SP)

17. (267) Joey Votto (Cin - 1B)

18. (278) Dylan Carlson (StL - OF)

19. (299) Miguel Cabrera (Det - 1B)

20. (310) Wade Davis (Col - RP)

21. (331) Evan White (Sea - 1B)

22. (342) Josh Lindblom (Mil - RP)

23. (363) James Karinchak (Cle - RP)

24. (374) Kyle Seager (Sea - 3B)

25. (395) Kurt Suzuki (Was - C)

26. (406) Zach Plesac (Cle - SP)

Donkey Teeth, Razzball: I took a pitching fade strategy all the way to the limit, waiting until after pick 100 to grab my first arm. It wasn't necessarily by design, at least not to this extreme, but I really wanted the shiny Luis Robert at Pick 75 and couldn't pass on what I felt were extreme values in Mondesi (54) and Judge (86). I pounded pitching with six of the next seven picks in an effort to catch up, taking Carrasco (107), Edwin Diaz (118), Lynn (139), Minor (150), McCullers (182) and Sale (203).

This team is loaded on offense, especially in steals. If a couple of my high upside arms pan out, my team will contend.

Fred Zinkie

1. (12) Jacob deGrom (NYM - SP)

2. (21) Justin Verlander (Hou - SP)

3. (44) Charlie Blackmon (Col - OF)

4. (53) Bo Bichette (Tor - SS)

5. (76) DJ LeMahieu (NYY - 1B,2B,3B)

6. (85) Kirby Yates (SD - RP)

7. (108) Oscar Mercado (Cle - OF)

8. (117) Eduardo Escobar (Ari - 2B,3B)

9. (140) Jorge Polanco (Min - SS)

10. (149) Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Tor - 2B,OF)

11. (172) Scott Kingery (Phi - 2B,3B,SS,OF)

12. (181) Yuli Gurriel (Hou - 1B,3B)

13. (204) James Paxton (NYY - SP)

14. (213) German Márquez (Col - SP)

15. (236) Christian Vázquez (Bos - C,1B)

16. (245) Miles Mikolas (StL - SP)

17. (268) César Hernández (Cle - 2B)

18. (277) Austin Hays (Bal - OF)

19. (300) Seth Lugo (NYM - RP)

20. (309) José Quintana (ChC - SP)

21. (332) Kwang-Hyun Kim (StL - RP)

22. (341) Kole Calhoun (Ari - OF)

23. (364) Matt Magill (Sea - RP)

24. (373) Harrison Bader (StL - OF)

25. (396) Freddy Galvis (Cin - 2B,SS)

26. (405) Chad Green (NYY - SP,RP)

Fred Zinkie, Yahoo: I picked up three injured hurlers at a discount (Justin Verlander, James Paxton, Miles Mikolas), in hopes that they will be ready on or close to the new Opening Day. Additionally, I chose to chip away at steals with many players who will post double-digit totals (Bo Bichette, Scott Kingery, Harrison Bader, Cesar Hernandez, Oscar Mercado) rather than one player who can produce more than 30 swipes.

Closers are a hot topic this year, and I opted to grab one elite reliever (Kirby Yates), one dirt-cheap closer (Matt Magill) and one elite setup man who could find his way to the ninth inning (Seth Lugo). Finally, I drafted just two players who hit below .258 last season (Kole Calhoun and Harrison Bader) in hopes that I can chase counting stats without having to worry about batting average.

Athletic - Beller

1. (13) Nolan Arenado (Col - 3B)

2. (20) J.D. Martinez (Bos - OF)

3. (45) Anthony Rizzo (ChC - 1B)

4. (52) Yoán Moncada (CWS - 3B)

5. (77) Brandon Woodruff (Mil - SP)

6. (84) Corey Kluber (Tex - SP)

7. (109) Michael Brantley (Hou - OF)

8. (116) Corey Seager (LAD - SS)

9. (141) Lorenzo Cain (Mil - OF)

10. (148) Madison Bumgarner (Ari - SP)

11. (173) Keone Kela (Pit - RP)

12. (180) Will Smith (Atl - RP)

13. (205) Jake Odorizzi (Min - SP)

14. (212) Shin-soo Choo (Tex - OF)

15. (237) Kolten Wong (StL - 2B)

16. (244) Mark Canha (Oak - 1B,OF)

17. (269) Ryan Braun (Mil - OF)

18. (276) Mitch Keller (Pit - SP)

19. (301) Carter Kieboom (Was - SS)

20. (308) Ryan Pressly (Hou - RP)

21. (333) Buster Posey (SF - C)

22. (340) Corbin Burnes (Mil - SP,RP)

23. (365) Tyler O'Neill (StL - OF)

24. (372) Spencer Turnbull (Det - SP)

25. (397) Matt Barnes (Bos - RP)

26. (404) Victor Reyes (Det - OF)

Michael Beller, The Athletic: I rarely leave these industry drafts feeling great about my team. It’s not that I suffer from a crisis of confidence but rather that the room is always sharp, which makes it tough to hit every note you wanted to at the outset. And yet, I think this team is really good.

The offense has more than enough power and average, along with plenty of steals potential for the modern game. I slow-played starting pitcher more aggressively than planned, and I’m happy to come away with a top three of Brandon Woodruff, Corey Kluber, and Madison Bumgarner. I got a secure closer in Keone Kela, a soon-to-be closer in Will Smith, and a couple of high-volume, high-strikeout non-closers in Ryan Pressly and Matt Barnes. This team should compete for a championship.

Y! - Dalton Del Don

1. (14) Walker Buehler (LAD - SP)

2. (19) Starling Marte (Ari - OF)

3. (46) Charlie Morton (TB - SP)

4. (51) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Tor - 3B)

5. (78) Tim Anderson (CWS - SS)

6. (83) Marcell Ozuna (Atl - OF)

7. (110) Jesús Luzardo (Oak - RP)

8. (115) Franmil Reyes (Cle - OF)

9. (142) Craig Kimbrel (ChC - RP)

10. (147) Hyun-Jin Ryu (Tor - SP)

11. (174) Joe Jiménez (Det - RP)

12. (179) Andrew Heaney (LAA - SP)

13. (206) Salvador Perez (KC - C)

14. (211) Justin Upton (LAA - OF)

15. (238) Didi Gregorius (Phi - SS)

16. (243) Rougned Odor (Tex - 2B)

17. (270) Hunter Renfroe (TB - OF)

18. (275) Wil Myers (SD - 1B,OF)

19. (302) Hunter Harvey (Bal - RP)

20. (307) Nathan Eovaldi (Bos - SP,RP)

21. (334) Rick Porcello (NYM - SP)

22. (339) Evan Longoria (SF - 3B)

23. (366) Jarrod Dyson (Pit - OF)

24. (371) Tony Watson (SF - RP)

25. (398) José Peraza (Bos - 2B,SS,OF)

26. (403) Justin Smoak (Mil - 1B)

Dalton Del Don, Yahoo: Drafting amid so much uncertainty, I didn’t change my cheatsheet too much (I still plan on avoiding Justin Verlander, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton), and 16 teams was a nice test of depth. I’m pushing up starting pitching this year, so I was happy to get Walker Buehler at pick #14. Jesus Luzardo gets an obvious boost with the shorter timeframe given his innings limit, and while I was happy to get my guy Franmil Reyes, the Miguel Sano theft by Jeff Erickson right before is the swoop I’ll remember most this draft. The league fell asleep letting Hunter Renfroe fall to me at #270.

Please let baseball come back. 

Y! Laz

1. (15) Jack Flaherty (StL - SP)

2. (18) Alex Bregman (Hou - 3B,SS)

3. (47) George Springer (Hou - OF)

4. (50) Whit Merrifield (KC - 2B,OF)

5. (79) Mike Soroka (Atl - SP)

6. (82) Trevor Bauer (Cin - SP)

7. (111) Josh Donaldson (Min - 3B)

8. (114) Bryan Reynolds (Pit - OF)

9. (143) Tommy Edman (StL - 2B,3B,OF)

10. (146) Carlos Santana (Cle - 1B)

11. (175) Will Smith (LAD - C)

12. (178) Ian Kennedy (KC - RP)

13. (207) Dylan Bundy (LAA - SP)

14. (210) Miguel Andújar (NYY - Util)

15. (239) Yonny Chirinos (TB - SP,RP)

16. (242) Aristides Aquino (Cin - OF)

17. (271) Sam Hilliard (Col - OF)

18. (274) Dallas Keuchel (CWS - SP)

19. (303) J.A. Happ (NYY - SP)

20. (306) Emilio Pagán (SD - RP)

21. (335) Andrelton Simmons (LAA - SS)

22. (338) John Means (Bal - SP)

23. (367) Pedro Strop (Cin - RP)

24. (370) Shed Long Jr. (Sea - 2B,OF)

25. (399) Zack Britton (NYY - RP)

26. (402) Yoenis Céspedes (NYM - OF)

Michael Lazarus, Yahoo: I was somehow able to win this league last year primarily based on two things: 1. Having enough speed that I could trade steals for what I needed later and 2. Having my top-two starting pitchers stay healthy (in 2019 that was Justin Verlander and Walker Buehler).

Knowing I had the No. 15 pick overall I knew I was in some trouble. I decided to try and lock down No. 2 above by grabbing Jack Flaherty early — a decision that was easy knowing how much Jeff Erickson at No. 16 likes him. Also wound up taking Mike Soroka and Trevor Bauer back-to-back in Rounds 5-6 in the hopes one becomes my Buehler of 2020.

On the offensive side, I went with the philosophy that home runs will be similar to 2019 and they will be plentiful throughout the draft. Between Whit Merrifield, Tommy Edman, Andrelton Simmons and even Shed Long, I should get decent steal production. Hopefully, I'll get power throughout the rest of the lineup.

I was surprised to get Josh Donaldson as late as I did. Yeah, he's a health risk at 34, but if healthy he should be great as part of the Twins offense.

As much as I was happy to take Flaherty and Dylan Bundy from Erickson, he got me a few times later in the draft (Jo Adell and Jon Gray were two in particular).

And finally, I'm proud to have Carlos Santana as my rep for the Raul Ibanez all-star pick!

RotoWire-Erickson

1. (16) Max Scherzer (Was - SP)

2. (17) José Ramírez (Cle - 3B)

3. (48) Keston Hiura (Mil - 2B)

4. (49) Nelson Cruz (Min - Util)

5. (80) Roberto Osuna (Hou - RP)

6. (81) Eddie Rosario (Min - OF)

7. (112) Zac Gallen (Ari - SP)

8. (113) Miguel Sanó (Min - 1B,3B)

9. (144) Jean Segura (Phi - SS)

10. (145) Nick Anderson (TB - RP)

11. (176) Ryan McMahon (Col - 1B,2B,3B)

12. (177) Paul DeJong (StL - SS)

13. (208) Sandy Alcantara (Mia - SP)

14. (209) Masahiro Tanaka (NYY - SP)

15. (240) Brett Gardner (NYY - OF)

16. (241) Ryan Yarbrough (TB - SP,RP)

17. (272) Jo Adell (LAA - OF)

18. (273) Mike Tauchman (NYY - OF)

19. (304) Mauricio Dubon (SF - 2B,SS)

20. (305) Scott Oberg (Col - RP)

21. (336) Jon Gray (Col - SP)

22. (337) Adam Ottavino (NYY - RP)

23. (368) Tom Murphy (Sea - C)

24. (369) Marco Gonzales (Sea - SP)

25. (400) Aníbal Sánchez (Was - SP)

26. (401) Austin Riley (Atl - CI,OF)

Jeff Erickson, Rotowire: Waiting on the end of a snake draft is difficult, especially in a 16-team snake draft, and it's worse on the back-end when you're missing out on the top tier of players and there's another tier-drop between 3.1 and 3.16. But that's no excuse not to plan ahead — you need to map out what you're going to do with starting pitchers and closers at the very least, as soon as you find out your draft slot. In my case, I had to decide whether I wanted one of the aces (if any remained) at the end of the first round, or accept what came to me at picks 48-49. Fortunately, with Max Scherzer remaining of the last of the (relatively) healthy aces, I took him with one of my two picks at the first turn. If he was not there, I would not have pushed up Justin Verlander, Shane Bieber or anyone else.

That allowed me to focus on getting one closer and four other hitters at the top of my draft. I tried to focus on getting two different quantities with my pair of picks each time, to avoid getting caught on the wrong end of a run. That was mostly successful, though certain positions ended up weaker than others.

Pick I'm happiest about: Zac Gallen, 7.16 (112)

Pick I regret: Nelson Cruz, 4.1 (49)

I regret Cruz because I passed up Bo Bichette (among others) for him, and felt as if I were chasing shortstops the rest of the draft. I don't fear a down season from him, and of course, in this league, we have two UT slots, so the lack of position from him doesn't hurt much. (Jeff also wrote a deeper review of his draft; subscription required.)

Yahoo Friends & Family Podium History (First, Second, Third):

2019: Lazarus, Pianowski, Del Don

2018: Jenstad, Gamble, Albright

2017: Del Don, Gamble, Pianowski

2016: Boyer, Liss, Behrens

2015: Short, Liss, Boyer

2014: Pianowski, Singman/Johnson, Liss

2013: Short, Pianowski, Behrens

2012: Behrens, Salfino, Liss

2011: Erickson, Liss, Behrens

2010: Pianowski, Del Don, Razzball

2009: Liss, Pianowski, Behrens

2008: Pianowski, Buser, Falzone

2007: Behrens, Pianowski, Liss

2006: Liss, Buser, Wasserzieher

2005: Funston, Pianowski, KFFL/Bruce

Listen to the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Podcast