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Early 2019 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Rounds 1 & 2

On the latest RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast, Derek VanRiper and I completed the first two rounds of an Early 15-team 2019 Mock Draft.

Really. Early.

Being the generous host he is, DVR let me draft eight teams (including the No. 1 pick), while he handled the other seven.

Who went No. 1? (Jose Ramirez?) Which pair is your favorite? Which team messed up?

Take a look at the draft board image below or the public Google Doc. We’ll be finishing up with Rounds 3 and 4 next Tuesday to wrap up the regular season.

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30 Players, 30 Teams – The Forgotten Royal

Alex Gordon has had a pretty good career by most accounts. He’s in his 12th major league season, all with the same club, a team that’s located mere hours from his hometown of Lincoln, NE. He had one of the two most memorable hits from the Royals’ World Series title in 2015 – his game-winning homer in Game 1 against Jeurys Familia. He’s made three All-Star games and has won five Gold Gloves, befitting his reputation as an excellent defender. While his career .753 OPS isn’t overwhelming, there would be a lot of players that would love to have his career. And yet …

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30 Teams, 30 Players: The Mariners’ Edwin Diaz

Edwin Diaz recorded his 50th save of the season Sunday against the Diamondbacks. Going into Tuesday’s game, he leads the closer pool by a wide margin, with Craig Kimbrel next in saves with 37. There are 38 relievers with 10 or more saves so far this season – just taking those relievers, he’s 1.35 standard deviations better than Kimbrel and nearly two full standard deviations better than the rest of the pack. His value goes beyond saves – he’s second among full-time relievers in strikeouts with 108 (trailing only Josh Hader, who has 115), and he has microscopic ratios, with a 1.97 ERA and 0.781 WHIP in 64 innings. He’s just as dominant as he was in his rookie year, and he’s shed the control problems that held him down in 2017. I’m less concerned, however, in how he’s doing it, but more interested in his overall impact on the standings this year.

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30 Players, 30 Teams – The Rangers’ Rougned Odor

Now that the trade deadline and the reaction to it has thoroughly passed, I thought I’d revisit this series, albeit perhaps with some shorter posts. Let’s jump back in with one of the more remarkable tale of two seasons guys in recent years, the Rangers’ Rougned Odor, whose narrative has flipped in a dramatic way. He entered draft season with consecutive 30-10 years, though his 2017 campaign was far less productive than his 2016 one. In 2017 he had 30 homers and 15 stolen bases, but his triple slash dropped from .271/.296/.502 to .204/.252/.397. He did this in a full season of at-bats, 607 to be exact, maximizing the impact of his poor batting average.

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Post Deadline Playing Time Beneficiaries – NL West

We’ll finish up this series with the NL West, a division where four teams are nominally still alive, though only three teams behaved as if they are still contending. The Dodgers made the biggest splash of the trade season by acquiring Manny Machado, and then followed that up by getting Brian Dozier, who only homered in his first two games with the team. But the Diamondbacks didn’t fade away after the Dodgers caught (and for a while, passed) them, and they’ve also reloaded for the stretch run.

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Post Deadline Playing Time Beneficiaries – NL Central

We’ll continue our tour today with the NL Central, a division that has four teams still alive in the playoffs race, though only three teams behaved as contenders. It was weird to see the Cardinals trading off some veteran talent while the Pirates were making big go-for-it trades. Then again, this came on the heels of the Cardinals firing their manager, so maybe the only weird part was seeing the Pirates pay in the price of precious (albeit flawed) prospects.

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Post Deadline Playing Time Beneficiaries – NL East

Let’s move on to the NL East, where I had the privilege of watching two of these teams clash directly at Nats Park the night of the trade deadline. That was the 25-4 game where my kids can tell their kids someday that they got to see the great Jose Reyes pitch, and pitch badly. The Nats teased everyone about potentially trading Bryce Harper, but instead held onto him and every other hitter on their roster, instead just trading away Brandon Kintzler pre-deadline and Shawn Kelley post-deadline following his temper tantrum on the 31st. This division as a whole surprised me – the Nats by their relative inactivity, the Phillies by not adding more pitching, and the Mets & Marlins by not selling off more parts, though in the case of the latter they did much of that in the offseason. Only the Braves really went for it, and even they seemed to fall short of the top starting pitching targets out there.

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