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Scott Engel's Fantasy Baseball Industry Draft Review - 2022 FSGA Experts League

pablo lopez fantasy baseball rankings starting pitcher draft sleepers MLB injury news

In the final week of March, I was invited to represent RotoBaller in the industry's Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association’s Experts League Draft, which featured 15 teams from various fantasy sports outlets in a 5x5 Rotisserie style format. I will be attempting to win my third FSGA Fantasy Baseball Experts championship this season.

I was picking from the second position in the draft order, which meant I would get a shot at one of the very best overall picks, but there would be a significant wait until my next two selections. That sort of rhythm would continue throughout the draft, with two of my picks being very close to each other before I sat back and watched nearly two full rounds of selections before I was on the clock again. Every draft slot has its advantages and disadvantages, and I never complain about where I am slotted.

You can view the full 2022 FSGA Experts League Draft results right here.

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Scott Engel’s Draft Choices and Analysis From the No. 2 Slot

Round One: Jose Ramirez, 3B – It was certainly not an easy call between Ramirez and Juan Soto, but I had been through enough mock and regular drafts by this point to make a clear decision. I sacrificed some batting average for more steals, and the position scarcity at third base was also a determining factor here.

Round Two: Starling Marte, OF – Tabbing Marte to combine with Ramirez gives me an advantage in steals, and he also is an obviously strong contributor to my batting average category. Those who point to his age as a concern for steals must realize he doesn’t do it by pure speed alone. Last season, Marte led MLB in stolen bases while he had a Sprint Speed of 28.4, which was outside the Top 100.

Round Three: Julio Urias, SP – I did consider Aaron Nola at this spot, as I believe he will bounce back well this season. However, I was very comfortable with Urias, who is coming off a big year and may even have  a bit more upside than we saw last season in terms of categories other than wins.

Round Four: Francisco Lindor, SS – I believe I was getting a value here towards the end of the fourth round, and the power/speed combo was too tempting to ignore by that point. Jose Abreu was another strong consideration, but I think year two will be much better for Lindor in Queens. He should be more comfortable in the New York atmosphere this season, and Lindor did finish the 2021 campaign with a strong push. He had nine home runs in September, and we should get 12 to 15 steals as well this year.

Round Five: Joe Musgrove, SP – I had focused more on hitting early, but getting Musgrove as my second starting pitcher was very satisfying. He has emerged as the ace for San Diego and Musgrove is about to set out on a stretch of a few impressive seasons.

Round Six: Emmanuel Clase, RP – As the draft progresses, you have to monitor the amount of top closers that are going off the board. Ideally, I would like to get one of the top six to eight firemen. Clase is just outside my Top 5, and I did not want to risk being locked out of one of the prime closers on my next round of selections. I do prefer to have one lockdown guy at reliever to be an anchor as a saves source.

Round Seven: Carlos Correa, MI – Yes, I already had a shortstop in Lindor, but Correa was simply the best offensive player available to me by this point in terms of what I wanted, which was a solid combination of respectable power and batting average. This was a safe selection. I did consider Brandon Lowe for more power, but decided to go for more of a batting average/power balance with Correa. I would also not have to be concerned about filling my middle infield spot the rest of the way.

Round Eight: Pablo Lopez, SP – I was thrilled to see Lopez still available here. This filled out the top three slots on my starting pitching staff very comfortably, without going heavy on the position early. All Lopez has to do is stay healthy and I should have an ideal No. 3 starter on my roster. I was very happy with a Urias/Musgrove/Lopez start at SP without aggressively targeting the position too early.

Round Nine: Franmil Reyes, DH – Now it was time to land a pure power bat, after focusing so much on power/speed types and starting to flesh out the core of the pitching staff beforehand. I will gladly take the 35-plus homers to further boost my offense, after passing on some other mashers in earlier rounds.

Round 10: Dylan Carlson, OF – I simply was not going to wait any longer to take Carlson, who I am convinced is headed for a big breakout year after doing interviews for my Fantasy Baseball Insider report series. One current MLB player I spoke to said he and his teammates praised Carlson as the next coming of Carlos Beltran when they faced him last season.

Round 11: Ranger Suarez, SP – After showing a lot of promise last season when he was converted to a starter, I am expecting an impressive full campaign from Suarez in 2022. He allowed 11 earned runs in 12 starts from August through the end of the 2021 season. He also had 65 strikeouts in 65.2 innings pitched during that span.

Round 12: Scott Barlow, RP – The Clase/Barlow pairing should hold things down in terms of remaining very competitive in the key relief pitcher categories. Barlow should get me about 20 saves with a strong strikeout rate, and he is a quality Top 15 fantasy closer.

Round 13: Randal Grichuk, OF – The move to Colorado gives him the obvious boost, and I did not want to wait around until my next set of picks on the turn to see if Grichuk lasted longer. When you are picking from an early original slot, you have to take some of your favored targets when they are readily available, because they won’t make it back to your next set of selections.

Round 14: Triston McKenzie, SP – The surface numbers of his walks seem exaggerated when you consider he had nine free passes in nine starts in August and September. Durability is an obvious concern, but there is real upside to consider with McKenzie by this point of the draft.

Round 15: Tommy Pham, OF – I spoke to one of Pham’s former teammates who believes he is ready for a rebound campaign. Pham had to recover from a lower back injury in the previous offseason and should now regain much of his better form in 2022.

 

Round 16 and Beyond

Andrew Benintendi was another good value play to further fill out the outfield in Round 16. … I waited very long at catcher, so Max Stassi ended up being by No. 1 in a two-catcher league. Ideally, I would have wanted to have Keibert Ruiz or Tyler Stephenson as my first catcher if I missed out on the Top 6 or so. … Landing Luis Severino in Round 18 could turn out to be one of my best later-round selections. … Josh Rojas provides late pop and steals, and was a very welcomed pick in Round 21. … Ha Seong-Kim could prove to be a nifty bargain play in Round 22. … I nabbed two Mets starters very late, and both Tylor Megill and Taijuan Walker were very good final round picks for starting pitching depth. … I did land some possible closer types with Art Warren in Round 19 and Tanner Rainey with my final selection.



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