Major League Baseball is set to begin a truncated season on July 23, giving us little time to prepare for the upcoming fantasy campaign. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
As you develop your draft strategy, you will see many familiar names near the top of the list. Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger, the reigning MVPs, plus Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich and Gerrit Cole will surely be among the first names called out, as will Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. He’s the No. 1 player on Yahoo’s draft board and Sports activities Illustrated calls him “the clear-cut, no-brainer first pick.” The Sporting Information has him No. 1, too, giving Acuña a little bit of momentum to be the primary participant chosen in 2020. Don’t get sucked into the hype.
I do know that isn’t simple. Acuña was named rookie of the 12 months in 2018 and adopted that up by hitting .280 with 41 dwelling runs and 101 RBI final 12 months, along with main the league in runs scored (127) and stolen bases (37). However that was final 12 months and this 12 months isn’t any atypical season.
Let’s begin with Acuña’s projection for 2020, per FanGraphs. The 22-year-old is anticipated to hit .284 with 13 dwelling runs with 34 RBI, 40 runs scored and 11 stolen bases over the shortened season. In a standard 5×5 fantasy league with batting common, dwelling runs, runs scored, RBI and stolen bases as classes, that might make Acuña the sixth-best fantasy hitter amongst outfielders and the 12th-best fantasy hitter total in 2020. Why a lot decrease than expectations? As a result of there’s much less alternative for him to distance himself from his friends within the counting stats (particularly stolen bases) and his projected batting common isn’t excessive sufficient to make up the distinction.
As you may see, Acuña’s means to hit for energy with velocity on the bottom paths relative to different main leaguers is significantly diminished over a 60-game season. For instance, in 2019, Acuña’s power-speed number (38.9), a statistic developed by famous baseball analyst Invoice James which mixes a participant’s dwelling run and stolen base numbers into one quantity, was virtually 13 factors increased than the fifth-best hitter for this metric. In 2020 he’s anticipated to have an fringe of lower than two factors over the fifth-best hitter.
|Rank||2019||Energy-speed rating||2020||Energy-speed rating projection|
|1||Ronald Acuña Jr.||38.9||Ronald Acuña Jr.||11.9|
|2||Christian Yelich||35.7||Christian Yelich||10.6|
|3||Jonathan Villar||30.0||Jose Ramirez||10.5|
|4||Trevor Story||27.8||Trea Turner||10.4|
|5||Francisco Lindor||26.1||Adalberto Mondesi||10.1|
Right here’s a easy instance of how your draft might end up by passing on Acuña at No. 1.
The opposite apparent selection for the primary decide is Mike Trout, who’s projected to hit .296 with 17 dwelling runs with 42 RBI, 46 runs scored and 6 stolen bases. Choosing Trout No. 1, together with Xander Bogaerts (32nd best hitter per the consensus at Fantasy Execs) and Charlie Blackmon (35th) within the second and third rounds will get you a projected whole of a .293 common with 37 dwelling runs, 102 RBI, 114 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.
Acuña with these two estimate a .288 common with 33 dwelling runs, 92 RBI, 104 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. Are 5 stolen bases value important leads in 4 of 5 classes? Hardly. Plus, you may make up for any lack of velocity later within the draft.
Adalberto Mondesi (KC-SS), Mallex Smith (SEA-CF, RF), Trea Turner (WSH-SS), Jonathan Villar (MIA-2B, SS), Victor Robles (WSH-CF, RF), Jose Ramirez (CLE-3B), Bo Bichette (TOR-SS) and Starling Marte (ARI-CF) are all projected to steal 10 or more bases in 2020 with 4 of these (Turner, Ramirez, Bichette and Marte) anticipated to hit eight or extra dwelling runs. Robles might flirt with a 10-10 season and he’s at the moment a sixth- or seventh-round pick in combined league drafts.
A brief fantasy season requires you to err on the facet of warning and go together with gamers with the next ground, particularly within the first spherical, relatively than speculate on upside which will or might not emerge over 60 video games. That’s why drafting Acuña is simply too huge a threat and ought to be prevented as the highest decide. Mike Trout is a safer decide on this regard. If I had the No. 1 selection, I’d take Trout.