With the 2022 fantasy baseball season quickly upon us, the Fantasy Alarm staff took part in our annual 2022 fantasy baseball mock draft for the draft guide over on RealTime Fantasy Sports. While the team names leave something to be desired there were some pretty interesting picks and late-round sleepers that should be on your 2022 fantasy baseball player rankings.
Let's take a look at the draft board and get to the team breakdowns!
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Pick #1 - Dan Servodidio - @dan_servodidio
Servo's Thoughts: With the No. 1 overall pick, I immediately targeted Trea Turner to lock down top-tier production in multiple categories at a thin shortstop position. To anchor the rest of my offense, I made sure to grab an elite catcher (JT Realmuto), more speed with multi-position eligibility (Whit Merrifield), and some bounceback power (Pete Alonso). As for my pitching staff, I focused heavily on closers to keep ratios low and rack up saves throughout the season.
My favorite pick on another team would be Ray Kuhn snagging Cody Bellinger in Round 11. If Bellinger gets back to that MVP-caliber production in a loaded Dodgers offense, the sky’s the limit.
My least favorite pick is, unfortunately, Byron Buxton in the 7th Round to James Grande. While the upside is always there for a guy like Buxton and his five-tool talent, he simply can’t stay healthy and the cost is too much in the earlier rounds.
Pick #2 - Matt Selz - @theselzman
Selz's Thoughts: My draft started off just fine through 12 rounds. Then something happened. A switch was flipped. From that point forward it was all upside picks. The offensive picks like Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Frank Schwindel, Oneil Cruz, Rafael Ortega, and Josh Harrison are all guys in interesting spots who if they hit their ceilings will be a good year in power and speed. If not, there’s always next year. The pitchers in that part of the draft were drying up quickly so I went with more upside plays like Luis Severino, Jameson Taillon, and Cristian Javier. Overall I’m likely lacking in speed and saves but if the upside hits, we’re off to the races.
My favorite pick from another team in this draft was Adam Ronis’ pick of Justin Verlander in the 13th round. In every draft, someone falls through the cracks and that was Verlander in this one.
My least favorite pick from another team was Dan Servodidio’s pick of Lance McCullers in the ninth round. It wasn’t the value so much as he is the SP2 on that team when Alek Manoah, Shane McClahan, Trevor Rogers, and José Berríos all went in the next round of picks
Pick #3 - Andrew Dewhirst - @andrewkdewhirst
Andrew's Thoughts: Drafting out of the three spot in this 12 team draft, I was happy to start my draft with a great piece in Vlad Guerrero Jr, who provides me with average, HR, RBI, and Runs, and then I was able to follow that up with getting an ace in Corbin Burnes in the second round. With getting Vladdy in the first, I wanted to soon double up on 1B, so that I could try and take advantage of a weaker 1B market and I was able to do that by getting José Abreu(who is essentially an older Vlad Jr.), even if I jumped the market in getting him at pick 46(nearly 20 picks ahead of his ADP).
With such a great group of analysts' draftings, it’s not hard to find great picks, but the one that stood out to me was Howard Bender getting Mike Clevenger in the 21st round. Clevenger gets forgotten about after missing all of the 2021 season and pitching just 41 innings in 2020, but Clevenger was an ace in Cleveland striking out more than one-third of the batters he faced in his last full season, while providing ERA and WHIP stabilization, and you’re getting that kind of pedigree in the 21st round.
Pick #4 - Ryan Hallam - @fightingchance
Hallam's Thoughts: I rarely go into a draft with a set plan because every draft is fluid and you never know what anyone else is going to do. However, there have been a few similarities in all of my drafts so far this year. First, I am not one to take an early catcher. I waited until the 17th and 23rd rounds here and was still happy with who I came away with. Second, I am not paying up for closers. The situation gets more muddied every year and I feel like 2022 is the least settled this position has ever been. Some use that as a reason to pick an elite one early, but I can’t use a fourth or fifth-round pick on a guy who is only going to help so much in some categories, and even the best falter and get replaced sometimes.
The 15th round is where I found a couple of picks that I liked and that was Alex Kirilloff and Jarred Kelenic. I really like these “post-hype” guys who we all ran to the waiver wire for last year and they didn’t kill it right off the bat. But these kids are both super talented and another year in the big leagues should grow their development. Getting them that late could be a steal!
The fourth round is where I found some picks I wasn’t a fan of. As stated above, I’m not going in early on catcher or closer and this is where we saw Josh Hader, Liam Hendricks, and Will Smith go. Don’t get me wrong they are all talented, but this is just a philosophical difference of mine. I would rather have taken a big bag like Arenado, Riley, or Alonso or a power arm like Urias, but hey that is just me!
Pick #5 - Dan Malin - @RealDANlanta
Malin's Thoughts: I don’t want to say that I saved this draft. But I also won’t not say that I saved this draft. When called upon, I got home from work just in time to fill in for this mock draft and it was off without a hitch. And not only did I fill in, but I was quick with my picks. I had my players queued up and didn’t waste any time on the clock. I didn’t fall asleep. Didn’t lose focus and did not realize I was on the clock. I was a team player. That’s the good.
The bad? Well, I missed some news on Monday pertaining to one player in particular. I had received an ESPN update that Fernando Tatis Jr. had an injury and would miss the start of the season. I basically scoffed at it. He’s a freak. I figured it’s not a big deal. He recovered from a separated shoulder in like 20 minutes, this is probably nothing. So yeah, I took him with my third-round pick… And then I realized the error in my ways. He’s going to miss three months. Ronis said he wouldn’t touch Tatis until Round 9. And all of a sudden I started to Homer Simpson myself back into the bushes.
So I can imagine I’m going to be the scapegoat and be everyone’s “worst pick” of the draft. I’ll wear that badge with pride. Personally, I think Coop’s third-round pick of Robbie Ray is a bit of an eyesore. As someone who used to cover the Waiver Wire article and the Streaming SP article, I’m quite familiar with Robbie Ray. I’ve seen him at his worst and know-how prone he is to getting blown up. He still pitches in the AL East and I find it hard to believe he sniffs the success he found in 2021. Despite winning the AL Cy Young he didn’t necessarily finish the season strong. He gave up 13 earned runs in his final 27.1 innings, gave up eight home runs in that span, and the velocity was down from the start of the year. Kudos to him for winning a Cy Young, but regression is afoot.
The best pick may have been Logan Gilbert in Round 15 to Colby. Gilbert has an ADP of roughly 150 and Colby got him about 174th overall. He certainly looked like a rookie at times, but there’s the reason for optimism. He was great in June and July when the strikeout rate was over 30% and the walk rate was under 7%. Given the prospect pedigree and the expectations surrounding him, the price was right for Gilbert in this particular mock draft.
Pick #6 - Colby Conway - @colbyrconway
Colby's Thoughts: I was surprised with how many of the middle-tier starters fell in this draft. I’m not huge on Kevin Gausman, but at that point in the draft, I was comfortable with him there. On the mound, I loved my pitcher run in rounds 12-16, grabbing the likes of Sonny Gray, Eduardo Rodríguez, Logan Gilbert, and Gregory Soto. Offensively speaking, his team has a good amount of speed throughout, with some nice cheap power tacked on in the later rounds to round out a championship squad.
My favorite pick from another team goes to Howard Bender’s selection of Kolten Wong in the 16th round was a masterpiece. I waited for one round to log to grab him, and it was already a great value for the undervalued bat in Milwaukee.
For my least favorite pick, I’m not a big Marcus Semien fan this year, despite the improvements Texas has made in its lineup. I understand the allure with Semien this year, especially after the year he had last year, but I’ve faded him hard here in 2022, because not many follow up career years with another career year. He’s not a guy I’m targeting whatsoever, but hey, to each their own, Mr. Hallam!
Pick #7 - Andrew Cooper - @coopafiasco
Coop's Thoughts: Some folks would say that I'm a "football guy". And, for the most part, those folks would be right. But I've also been playing fantasy baseball for a decade now and I have my fair share of hardball hardware in the trophy case so I've drafted some dangerous teams in my day. In this mock, I did my best just to play things balanced and honest and give the hardcore baseball guys a good look. And I think I accomplished that.
My favorite pick goes to Howard Bender. Where was Mike Clevinger in these rankings on the site? Never even saw him until Howard took him in round 21 literally the pick after I took Carlos Carrasco. If I had known he was still out there, I not only would have taken him ahead of Carrasco, but I would have taken him the round before, ahead of Germán Márquez.
My least favorite pick and I hate to go with the low-hanging fruit here but I'm a football guy anyway so what do you want from me? Fernando Tatis has a broken wrist and could miss up to three months. The third round is too early to pick a guy with a recent, unsure prognosis and tell yourself "well, he's a fast healer".
Pick #8 - Howard Bender - @rotobuzzguy
Bender's Thoughts: The goal was to walk away with a strong balance between power and speed while building a solid rotation out of some of the third and fourth tier of starters. I'll wait on closers, assuming this is a league with waivers and trading. Also wanted to see what would happen if I reached for one of the top-tier catchers. It's not something I like to do and probably wouldn't normally, but this is why we mock in the first place. In the end, it didn't matter taking a backstop early. I like the build here. The offense is solid and if we were playing this out, I'd be working the waiver wire a fair amount for pitching anyway.
My favorite pick was Taylor Rogers in the 20th round by Adam Ronis -- ALWAYS check the player queue because you'll always find someone who is ranked weirdly by a site and you can sneak him in. When Adam took Rodgers, I did a deep dive and found Mike Clevinger for me in the 21st.
My least favorite pick goes to Lance McCullers in the 9th by Dan Servodidio -- Both he and the Astros confirmed that he is behind the rest of the rotation as he continues to work his way back from a forearm injury he suffered back in the 2021 playoffs. Servo needed a No. 2 starter and needed someone more reliable.
Pick #9 - Ray Kuhn - @Ray_Kuhn_28
Ray's Thoughts: Famous last words, but I do like how things turned out. I generally don't jump into the closer pool super early, but Liam Hendriks in the fourth round made sense, and in a 12 team league, I don't feel like it left me light anywhere. Kyle Tucker and Ozzie Albies will contribute across all the counting categories and also dealt with second base scarcity. My main objection was not to chase anything throughout the draft and to build a well-balanced team with some flexibility and I think I accomplished that.
For my favorite pick, I thought I could sneak Justin Verlander in and waited a few too many picks and he was taken with the last pick in the 13th round. All indications are that Verlander is back to his pre-injury self and I think he can really be an SP2 this year.
For my least favorite pick, I gotta go with Victor Robles. I know he has name recognition and speed, but that is about it. It's unclear if he even has a starting job with Washington this season, and he wasn't on my radar until at least the 25th round, if at all. Last season, Robles was so bad he ended up back in Triple-A and it's unclear whether he can hit enough to warrant regular playing time at the major league level.
Pick #10 - Jon Impemba - @jimpemba777
Impemba's Thoughts: This was my first fantasy baseball draft of the season as my attention has been strictly on the NBA season but I have to say that I was feeling pretty good about how the first half of my draft went down. Picking from the 10th spot I was able to grab Mike Trout!?!?! Listen, I understand the durability concerns here with Trout given the past few years but when healthy and on the field, this guy is an absolute horse and still rivals anyone when it comes to being the best player in baseball. To potentially land the #1 overall player at pick 10 it was hard to be disappointed. With my second pick, I wanted to nail down my staff “Ace” and felt that Buehler was the best pitcher on the board at the time to do so. Yes, I know deGrom and Scherzer both went after him but the injury issues with deGrom are obviously a red flag and Max is getting up there in age. Buehler has elite strikeout numbers and should win a ton of games this year. The next few rounds I found balance with Cedric Mullins who is coming off a 30/30 season, Corey Seager who is now with the Rangers, and some nice power upside with Eloy Jiménez. Rounds 6-8 I rounded out my staff with three real quality pitchers, pending health, in Jack Flaherty, Logan Webb, and Carlos Rodón.
My favorite pick of the draft of someone not on my team would be Mike Clevinger by Howard in Round 21. We always talk about searching the player lists to find the values and he did so here with Clevinger who claims he is in the “best shape of his life” after missing last year.
My least favorite pick of the draft goes to Dan Malin with Fernando Tatis Jr. as this draft happened after it was announced he was injured and would miss at least three months. I know many will pick on Dan Servodidio for taking equally as injured Lance McCullers in round nine but you can bounce back from a bad pick in round nine.. Dan took Tatis in round three.
Pick #11 - James Grande - @the_real_grande
Grande's Thoughts: I loved the way my draft started, mixing in a great combination of power and speed as my first three picks were Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts. If I were to critique myself somewhere it would be my starting rotation. There are multiple starters I took that weren’t great last year but are looking to bounce back in 2022. The strong points of my team are the offense and bullpen, but my starters are a wild card.
My favorite pick of the draft goes to Adam Ronis and his selection of Jesús Sánchez in round 25. Sanchez popped for 14 home runs in just 64 games last season. He is just 24 years old and looks to be an everyday player for Miami this season. He may have 30-homer upside.
My least favorite pick goes to Jon Impemba's selection of Jake McGee in round 12. I'm higher on the prospects of Camilo Doval actually being the guy who leads the Giants in saves come seasons end with McGee.
Pick #12 - Adam Ronis - @adamronis
Adam's Thoughts: I love my draft and wish it was for money. Even starting with five consecutive hitters, I still produced a good pitching staff and have enough saves. The offense is well-balanced with speed, power, and average.
My Favorite pick from another team was the pick of Luis Severino in round 18. Perfect spot to take the chance of him returning to form or close to it. He pitched late last season and the velocity was good. Even on limited innings, that's what you're looking for that late.
My least favorite from another team was that of Lance McCullers going in round nine is awful. He has a flexor strain and suffered a setback in rehab. He got injured in the ALDS last season and has had multiple elbow injuries in his career. I wouldn't draft him.