With the arrival of spring training games on television, what better way to celebrate the return of baseball than some drafts? For those who get frustrated participating in a mock when half of the room leaves after their first three-to-five selections, perhaps a Bestball league can be a viable option for those looking to prepare how to valuate players versus a mock.
Being a relative “newbie” to this format, Howard Bender invited the Fantasy Alarm staff to join a private league hosted by Fanball. Knowing the league rules remains a tantamount step to being successful. So, thinking this would be a traditional five by five setting, the start of the draft proved to be an eye opener.
Each team needed to draft 32 players to their roster, but only one catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, two outfielders and four pitchers score each week. So starters who thrive in regards to innings, strikeouts and wins carry more weight. After listening to Justin Mason’s interview on Sirius XM with our hosts, it allowed me to change my draft process on the fly.
Starting pitchers, closers with a clear role and players who produce across the board need to be rostered. Then, filling in pieces to fill in behind them at each position will be necessary to survive the injured reserve all season, it still feels weird calling it this.
Before going through the roster, here’s the scoring system I did not view prior to the draft on FanBall:
Things started with a bang while drafting second. This spot proves to be a comfortable place having drafted from this spot already this year. Bender shocked the room, but not completely, by taking Mookie Betts first. This left Mike Trout , in the midst of his Age-27 season, to second overall. It took all of two seconds to pull the trigger on this pick. As the second-round pick approached, getting a pitcher seemed like the smart thing to do and Gerrit Cole joined the roster. Now, if knowing the heavy lean to stolen bases, my third pick would have been Starling Marte to pair up with Trout. If anyone can reach 20 home runs and 40 steals this year, with health, it could be Marte, without being a potential drain to average. Looking at you Adalberto Mondesí .
As the draft ensued and calibrating to the format, the rest of the roster took shape. Taking chances on high upside starting pitchers Walker Buehler and José Berrios seemed viable. Due to the Dodgers propensity to use the injury list, backing up Buehler later in the draft with Ross Stripling creates more upside. Given 20 starts, Stripling could pay off in this format. Like handcuffing closers, getting pieces of upside rotations on winning teams could translate to success.
For a first time draft in this format, it taught many lessons. Here’s my roster for full disclosure:
In an effort to insulate depth, Asdrubal Cabrera covers second base, shortstop and third. Adam Frazier can be used at second base or in the outfield. Joey Gallo owns first base and outfield eligibility to go with his prodigious power upside. If anyone can hit 50 this year, it’s him, Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton . Feel free to leave any thoughts below or hit me up on Twitter (@gjewett9) and reach out if you try one, very interested in your feedback.
One can use the bb10’s on Fanball: https://bestball10s.shgn.com/lobby
Or, on RT Sports: https://www.rtsports.com/baseball-best-ball
On RT Sports, their settings differ a little, so here’s the difference:
It’s fun, fast and intriguing to dabble in, especially for those who hate setting weekly lineups. Be sure to check back soon for a podcast with Mike Alexander (@RotoWan) to further delve into the Bestball format. Next week, this column will look at how draft values shifted in February.