Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

Early 2021 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft - ADP Surprises

Of course, there are many changes to be made throughout the offseason. It feels as if the dust is still settling on the 2020 World Series yet baseball fans are more ready for the upcoming season than ever. We have no idea whether a full schedule can be played, what games will look like, and which rule changes might be retained. What we do know is that no matter what it looks like, we'll be watching and playing a fantasy version of it so there's no point waiting to prepare!

Some of the finest MLB analysts at RotoBaller assembled for a slow mock draft that began shortly after the final pitch of the regular season and wrapped up before the Dodgers claimed their trophy. The idea was to get an instant reaction on how players might be valued in fantasy drafts next year before free agency takes place. Although a bevy of moves are likely to be made soon, this still provides a useful snapshot.

My goal in this article isn't simply to review each round but to look at the most notable selections that were picked far earlier or later than expected. Since there is no true ADP as of yet, I will compare my colleagues' picks to the consensus ADP of the set of mock drafts that ran concurrent to ours. Those #2EarlyMocks were done by TGFBI participants and organized by Justin Mason, so they are also referred to as MasonMocks. It's hard to call anyone a true reach at this point, but the idea is to identify players that may not come at a discount or who could be overestimated based on recency bias.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


RotoBaller Early 2021 Mock

click for full-size image


Gone Too Soon

Player RB Mock TGFBI Mock
Starling Marte 15 40
Kyle Lewis 67 103
Kenley Jansen 114 154
Tyler Mahle 130 180
Seth Lugo 109 245
Zach Davies 102 195
Matthew Boyd 159 320

Starling Marte (OF, MIA) - Pick 15

A move to Miami at the trade deadline boosted the team's chances at a playoff run and eventually led to a victory in the Wild Card series over the Cubs. Unfortunately, Marte only played one game in the postseason before fracturing his pinky on a HBP. He will be back manning center and batting second on an ever-improving ballclub and stands as one of 13 players who reached double-digit steals in 2020. Although the power ceiling isn't more than the 23 HR he hit in his last full season with Pittsburgh, he can be considered a five-category contributor.

So why is this pick too high? Ceilings abound for all five categories, making a second-round selection unreasonable. Assuming a full 162-game season in 2021, Marte is unlikely to surpass 20 HR as mentioned and while he is a base-stealing threat, his SB totals had dropped the last couple of years down to 25 in 2019. He could reach 20-20 status but won't exceed it. This isn't a roundabout way of advocating for Adalberto Mondesi over Marte. He is a safe pick but similar numbers or better could be achieved by Luis Robert or Kyle Tucker a couple of rounds later with a higher ceiling.

Kyle Lewis (OF, SEA) - Pick 67

Coming off an American League Rookie of the Year award, Lewis' ADP will maintain plenty of helium up until Opening Day. Lewis has tremendous power and showed a pleasantly strong propensity to line the ball hard all over the field rather than trying to elevate everything. Gradually, his high BABIP fell as the season went on and we got a truer sense of what he will be.

We began to see signs of regression from his blazing hot start just before game 50 as he went hitless in eight of his final 10 games with one homer. He's a promising young hitter for sure but the 2021 version of Lewis may not warrant a top-100 pick, especially if Steamer projections are correct about his .230/.308/.391 slash line.

Zach Davies (SP, SD) - Pick 102

There are few who saw Davies' success over the 60-game season coming, although he was identified by Nicklaus Gaut as someone who came out the gate strong in the first 50 games of 2019. His Statcast profile has more blue than Sad Smurf's Tumblr page, yet he somehow came through 2020 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.07 WHIP despite a 5.03 xERA.

The ratios were a nice boost to fantasy pitching staffs in the injury/COVID-ravaged season but there's no way they are anywhere close to sustainable. He jumped up to a 22.8% K% but it was the first time in his MLB career over league average. Davies doesn't appear to be the next coming of Kyle Hendricks so much as an end-of-rotation arm. His 195 ADP in the MasonMocks is far more reasonable.

Seth Lugo (SP/RP, NYM) - Pick 109

Guilty as charged. I pulled the trigger on Lugo far earlier than necessary. It could be that JB's Bullpen Method has taken over my brain when in draft mode but having that high-end reliever who can simultaneously close or spot start was invaluable last year. At least it was until the final two weeks of the season when he imploded and saw his ERA double after a pair of disastrous starts.

Some may be scared away from his late-season swoon or the lack of clarity of his role heading into 2020. Clearly I'm not but I also may have overestimated his value.

Kenley Jansen (RP, LAD) - Pick 114

We all want to believe that Jansen is still one of the best closers in the game but there was non-stop talk of who the Dodgers' closer would be in the World Series all throughout. It wasn't him, as both Blake Treinen and Julio Urias earned a save while Jansen made two appearances and allowed a run in each. With promising prospect Brusdar Gaterol and veteran Treinen available to take over the role, it wouldn't surprise anyone if Jansen's days as the primary fireman are over.

It was noticeable that his velocity was down toward the end of the season when he was struggling to get through an inning of work leading up to the postseason. This has been an ongoing trend far before September, though. Jansen just isn't worth a top-200 pick.

Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN) - Pick 130

I'm of the belief that Mahle was underappreciated in 2020 and could take a step forward in 2021. Not to the extent that I would pull the trigger 50 picks sooner than his ADP, though. His Statcast profile is impressive, particularly the .188 xBA.

The question is whether it is sustainable for a young pitcher who will be at Great American Ball Park for half his starts. The fact that Mahle went ahead of pitchers like Patrick Corbin, and Kevin Gausman is most surprising, as it's a calculated risk putting him ahead of veterans.

Matthew Boyd (SP, DET) - Pick 159

For many fantasy managers, any pick is too early for Boyd. Consider that he was taken 320 overall in the TGFBI mocks as a consensus across multiple leagues and we see that not too many analysts are in on a Boyd bounce back. He managed to toss three quality starts with an ERA of 6.71 that wasn't lower than that all season long. Boyd has never managed to hold an ERA under 4.23 over a full MLB season, so it's hard to find reasons to have faith in him when a new crop of arms in the Detroit farm system are ready to do a full takeover for a rebuilding team.


What Took So Long?

Player RB Mock TGFBI Mock
Luis Robert 56 32
Yordan Alvarez 141 88
Jose Altuve 151 101
Jorge Soler 203 101
Justin Turner 284 190
Andrew Benintendi NA 215
Spencer Howard NA 290

Luis Robert (OF, CHW) - Pick 56

Those who took a chance on Robert early in 2019 drafts felt pretty good as soon as they saw him launch (literally) his first bomb.

He later crushed a homer that traveled 487 feet and wound up with six HR at an exit velocity of 110 MPH or more. It's safe to say the power tool has been fully activated.

He also ranked among the leaders in sprint speed and was one of seven players to reach the 9-9 club in 2020. OK, it's not quite 10-10 but the point remains he has a power-speed combo that is rivaled by few.

The downside is a 41.4% Whiff rate that was third in the league and a bad finish to September where he hit .136 with just one homer in his past 81 at-bats. There will be peaks and valleys but if the final result is a Ronald Acuna-like ascension to stardom in year two, waiting past pick 50 to select him would be inexcusable.

Yordan Alvarez (DH, HOU) - Pick 141

This will be one of the most wildly variable picks throughout the offseason. First, we need to know if Alvarez is going to be healthy heading into the season. Then, we need to sort out whether his sizzling rookie season is repeatable. The fact that he now qualifies at Utility spots only in many leagues could put a dent in his ADP as well although it really shouldn't, as Nelson Cruz continues to prove decade after decade.

It's hard to tell whether the RotoBaller crew collectively felt the risk wasn't worth it or nobody wanted to be the first to grab him. He doesn't automatically need to be treated like a top-100 pick but he should be taken ahead of more volatile players like Miguel Sano or an aging J.D. Martinez.

Jose Altuve (2B, HOU) - Pick 151

I made the mistake of giving up on Altuve too soon before the 2019 season. His speed predictably took a dive but he proceeded to crush 31 HR instead while batting .298 and scoring 89 runs. Everything took a dive in 2020, including an inexplicable .219 average. No trash can jokes here, just a reminder that you're drafting him for average and runs, not speed anymore.

The plate discipline is definitely a concern, as his strikeout rate continued to rise for the fifth straight year, up to 18.6%, and he chased more than ever. I still believe he'll see an uptick in his .250 BABIP and he's not done quite yet. Pick 106, where his ADP landed in TGFBI mocks, is too rich for me but 151 is also too low.

Jorge Soler (OF, KC) - Pick 203

Chalk this up to user interface negligence. The platform we used only listed Soler as UTIL not OF, so he along with Alvarez may have been skipped over during player searches. The players were also not sorted by any rational projection or ADP ranking, so it would have been easy to overlook Soler. His fantasy value wasn't great in the short season as his average sank to .228 and he missed time on the injured list. Still, a 99% Barrel ranking says that the power is still abundant and he's in his prime at 28.

Justin Turner (3B, LAD) - Pick 284

Can't blame the COVID-filled on-field celebration for this pick because it was made before the World Series wrapped up. It could very well turn out that Turner suffers a post-championship hangover but going almost 100 picks later than the consensus is a bit puzzling. He posted his typically stellar expected stats, some of the best of his career in fact, with a .299 xBA and .553 xSLG.

His home run total did take a dive, down to four over 42 games, and age is obviously a concern. If he returns to man third base for the blue crew and is hanging around after pick 250, there is no reason to pass him by.

Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS) - N/A

Not a single RotoBaller wanted anything to do with Benintendi. It's understandable considering how he sunk a lot of teams before landing on the IL and mercifully cutting his season short. It doesn't seem possible that a .103/.314/.128 slash line is in any way indicative of a skill decline at the age of 26. We must assume the rib cage strain that forced him off the field was nagging at him throughout his brief 39-AB stint in 2020 and thusly dismiss it accordingly. It doesn't mean we have to invest on draft day, however.

Spencer Howard (SP, PHI) - N/A

I was certain that Howard stan @Nt_BurtReynolds would snag him at some point but he didn't. Neither did anyone else for that matter. Although he had a rough debut, coughing up six homers in six starts leading to a 5.92 ERA, there's enough talent in this top prospect that I'd expect someone to take a late-round flier on him. The same goes for Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal who weren't drafted in our mock either. I can only assume prospect fever will kick in after a couple of sharp spring training outings.


We Have To Discuss Randy Arozarena

As stated earlier, this draft wrapped up before the World Series was finalized. There's little doubt that this amazing rookie would have gone sooner due to recency bias.

Whether that would be a smart decision is a matter for deeper discussion, which we've already had on the WPC+ podcast about Arozarena's 2021 ADP and projected value. This will be a player that is hotly debated all offseason for sure but don't expect his draft position to come anywhere close to what you see here. He is likely to be gone inside the top 80 in most drafts and it wouldn't be a shock to see him taken within the top 50, which is already happening even in highly-competitive NFBC leagues. You've been warned.

Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!

More 2021 Fantasy Baseball Advice


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts


Marquez Callaway7 mins ago

Signs With Broncos
Marquise Goodwin17 mins ago

Signing With Browns
Zane Gonzalez28 mins ago

Panthers Release Zane Gonzalez
David Blough34 mins ago

Re-Signs With Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles40 mins ago

Eagles Sign Terrell Edmunds
Blake Bell47 mins ago

Remaining With Chiefs
Mitch Haniger59 mins ago

Unlikely To Be Ready For Opening Day
DJ Chark1 hour ago

Joins Panthers
Xander Bogaerts1 hour ago

Wearing Splint, Receives Cortisone Shot
Shohei Ohtani1 hour ago

Gets Opening Day Assignment For Angels
Yusei Kikuchi2 hours ago

Makes Toronto's Rotation
Patrick Corbin2 hours ago

To Start On Opening Day
Aaron Nola2 hours ago

Phillies Name Aaron Nola The Opening Day Starter
Jacob deGrom2 hours ago

To Start Opening Day For Rangers
Miles Mikolas2 hours ago

Cardinals Give Miles Mikolas A Two-Year Extension
Nelson Agholor2 hours ago

Ravens Agree To One-Year Deal With Nelson Agholor
Cory Sandhagen2 hours ago

Can Earn Back-To-Back Victories
Marlon Vera2 hours ago

Finds Himself In Main-Event Spotlight Saturday
Yana Santos2 hours ago

Looking For Biggest UFC Win Of Her Career
Holly Holm2 hours ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Austin Lingo3 hours ago

On Verge Of Three-Fight Winning Streak
Nate Landwehr3 hours ago

Hoping For Third Straight Strong Performance
DeAndre Carter3 hours ago

Visiting With Raiders
Philadelphia Eagles3 hours ago

Eagles Give Lane Johnson One-Year Extension
Leody Taveras3 hours ago

Could Avoid Injured List
Adam Frazier3 hours ago

Starting In Outfield Friday
Bobby Witt Jr.3 hours ago

Returns To Cactus League Lineup
Rhys Hoskins3 hours ago

To Get A Second Opinion
John Tavares3 hours ago

Bags Three Assists In Thursday's Win
Nick Senzel3 hours ago

Plays Third Base Thursday
Auston Matthews3 hours ago

Continues Strong Finish To The Season
Gus Varland4 hours ago

Has Been Sharp Of Late
Alex DeBrincat4 hours ago

Breaks Out Of Slump With Three Points
Jarred Kelenic4 hours ago

Has A Hit In His Return
Mika Zibanejad4 hours ago

Continues Hot Spell With Two Assists
Shane McClanahan4 hours ago

To Start Opening Day
David Pastrnak4 hours ago

Sets His New Record With 49th Goal
Darick Hall4 hours ago

To See Bulk Of Starts At First Base
Alex Ovechkin4 hours ago

Extends Scoring Streak Thursday
Reilly Smith4 hours ago

Sustains A Lower-Body Injury
Max Kepler4 hours ago

Returns To Action
Logan Thompson4 hours ago

Suffers A New Injury
Ramón Urías4 hours ago

Ramon Urias Returning On Friday
Bryce Johnson4 hours ago

Likely To Make Opening Day Roster
Anthony Volpe5 hours ago

Could Still Win Starting Gig
Jonas Valanciunas5 hours ago

Has Impressive Performance
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander5 hours ago

Plays Well In Loss
Kawhi Leonard5 hours ago

Drops 32 Points In Win
Dennis Smith5 hours ago

Jr. Pulled Early On Thursday
Khris Middleton5 hours ago

Khris MIddleton Won't Play On Friday
Marc-Andre Fleury15 hours ago

Takes Loss Against Flyers
Matthew Boldy16 hours ago

Scores Twice Against Flyers
Bryce Young16 hours ago

Impresses At Pro Day
Eddy Piñeiro16 hours ago

Panthers Re-Sign Eddy Pineiro To Two-Year Deal
Tony Jones Jr.16 hours ago

Signs One-Year Deal With Broncos
Franz Wagner17 hours ago

Won't Return On Thursday
Bradley Beal17 hours ago

Won't Suit Up On Friday
Tyrese Haliburton18 hours ago

Considered Questionable For Friday
Eric Gordon18 hours ago

Gets Starting Nod On Thursday
Kelly Oubre18 hours ago

Jr. Won't Return On Thursday
Deandre Ayton18 hours ago

To Miss Next Two Games
Terry Rozier18 hours ago

Doubtful To Return On Thursday
Mitchell Robinson20 hours ago

To Play On Thursday
Jalen Brunson20 hours ago

Officially Out For Thursday
LeBron James20 hours ago

Begins On-Court Activity
Jalen Brunson21 hours ago

Uncertain For Thursday
Jalen Duren21 hours ago

Removed From Injury Report
Will Levis21 hours ago

Meeting With Panthers Thursday
Ryan Succop22 hours ago

Buccaneers Release Ryan Succop
Ezekiel Elliott22 hours ago

Narrows His List Down To Three Teams
Jared Spurgeon22 hours ago

Returns From Illness Thursday
Anthony Duclair22 hours ago

Available Again Thursday
Ville Husso22 hours ago

Out With A Lower-Body Injury
Darcy Kuemper22 hours ago

Back In Capitals Crease Thursday
John Carlson22 hours ago

Set To Return Thursday
Josh Anderson23 hours ago

Out On Thursday
Oliver Ekman-Larsson23 hours ago

Not Expected To Return This Season
Lukas Dostal23 hours ago

In Goal Thursday For Anaheim
Logan Thompson23 hours ago

Starting Thursday Against Flames
Joel Hofer24 hours ago

Guards Cage Against Detroit
Scottie Barnes24 hours ago

Could Be Out Again Friday
Jeremy Swayman24 hours ago

Confirmed Starting Goalie Thursday
Precious Achiuwa1 day ago

Regarded As Questionable For Friday
Gary Trent1 day ago

Jr. Questionable For Friday
Tommy Sweeney1 day ago

Giants Signing Tommy Sweeney
Norman Powell1 day ago

Misses A Ninth Consecutive Game
Zay Flowers1 day ago

To Meet With Saints, Giants
Bryce Young1 day ago

Meets With Raiders
DeAndre Hopkins1 day ago

Bills Headline Trade Market For DeAndre Hopkins
Ty Johnson1 day ago

Jets Bring Back Ty Johnson
Maycee Barber1 day ago

Can Continue Her Flyweight Ascent
Andrea Lee1 day ago

In Need Of Victory To Keep Momentum Going
MMA1 day ago

Manel Kape On The Hunt For Fourth Straight Victory Saturday
Alex Perez1 day ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Albert Duraev1 day ago

Can Rebound With A Victory
Chidi Njokuani1 day ago

Hopes To Get Back In Win Column
Taylor Montgomery3 days ago

A Hard Fade In Austin
Sam Burns3 days ago

Hard To Trust At WGC Dell Match Play
Max Homa3 days ago

A Strong Contender In Austin
Tom Hoge3 days ago

A Bracket-Buster In Match Play
Hideki Matsuyama3 days ago

Doesn't Perform In Match Play
Kamaru Usman3 days ago

Unsuccessful In Bid To Recapture Title
Leon Edwards3 days ago

Defends Crown At UFC 286
Viktor Hovland3 days ago

Has Struggled In Match Play
Rafael Fiziev3 days ago

Has Strong Showing But Takes Loss
Justin Gaethje3 days ago

Puts On Another Highlight-Reel Performance
Tyrrell Hatton3 days ago

The Favorite In His Group
Bryan Barberena3 days ago

Suffers Second Straight Submission Loss
Gunnar Nelson3 days ago

Scores Impressive Finish At UFC 286
Will Zalatoris3 days ago

Needs Birdies At WGC Match Play
Jordan Spieth3 days ago

Can Advance At WGC Match Play
Matt Fitzpatrick3 days ago

May Struggle At WGC Match Play
Chris Kirk3 days ago

Draws A Bit Unlucky At WGC Match Play
Patrick Cantlay3 days ago

Has Good Chance At WGC Match Play
Brian Harman3 days ago

Has Putter's Chance To Contend At WGC
Tommy Fleetwood3 days ago

Has Challenge At WGC Match Play
Casey O'Neill4 days ago

Takes First Defeat Against Former Champion
Jennifer Maia4 days ago

Earns Decision Win Over Undefeated Opponent
Roman Dolidze4 days ago

Suffers Setback With Decision Loss
Kyle Busch4 days ago

Finishes In Top 10 At Atlanta
Ty Gibbs4 days ago

Finishes Strong In Atlanta
Erik Jones4 days ago

Gets His First Top-10 Finish Of The Season
Ryan Blaney4 days ago

Bounces Back From Speeding Penalty
Denny Hamlin4 days ago

Has A Strong Showing
Tyler Reddick4 days ago

Hangs in For Fifth Place At Atlanta
Corey Lajoie5 days ago

Corey LaJoie Uses Course To Advantage On Sunday
Christopher Bell5 days ago

Ends Up With Another Top Five Result
Christopher Bell5 days ago

Brad Keselowski Noses Christopher Bell Out For Second
Joey Logano5 days ago

Goes From Pole To Win Sunday
Todd Gilliland6 days ago

Starts 23rd
Ryan Preece6 days ago

Starts 24th At The AmBetter Health 400
AJ Allmendinger6 days ago

Eyes Another Strong Finish
NASCAR6 days ago

Ricky Stenhouse Eyes Back-To-Back Superspeedway Wins
Tyler Reddick6 days ago

May Be Overlooked
Erik Jones6 days ago

Is A Value Play At Atlanta
Denny Hamlin6 days ago

Seeks Better Results
Noah Gragson6 days ago

Might Surprise At Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon6 days ago

Looks To Bounce Back At Atlanta
Ty Dillon6 days ago

Hoping To Keep Car Running At Atlanta
NASCAR6 days ago

J.J. Yeley Starts 34th Sunday At Ambetter Health 400