12-Team Early Mock Draft: Hitting Heavy (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

12-Team Early Mock Draft: Hitting Heavy (2021 Fantasy Baseball)

We have ours FantasyPros Draft Simulator ready to use again, so it’s time to test out different strategies in some mock drafts. We give you lots of mock draft with different approaches to check out and see what looks best.

In this spot I will be hitter-heavy early and then try to build a competitive pitching staff later with some of my favorite SP values. Let’s see how it works.

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Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, UTIL, UTIL, 9 P, 4 bench
Categories: R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP
My choice: 4. of 12

1.4 Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SDP)
Well, that was nice. The first three choices were Soto, Betts, Acuna – left me with a simple Tatis selection to make things go.

Others considered: Mike Trout (OF – LAA)

2.9 Ozzie Albies (2B – ATL)
I splash for the best offensive in the league, which meant that I made sure I got some production at the dismal second base position. Albies is the top second baseman on my board, so I would not miss him. He should be a good contributor on average, steals and scores – which gives me a good foundation with Tatis.

Others considered: Anthony Rendon (3B – LAA)

3.4 Anthony Rendon (3B – LAA)
I considered Rendon as the last choice, as you can see, so getting him after the turn was a nice addition. Now my infield is loaded with three spikes that will all contribute nicely to the batting average.

Others considered: Rafael Devers (3B – BIM)

4.9 Luis Robert (OR – CHW)
It was time to take an outside player, and since I already had some leeway in the batting average, I thought it was a good idea to take power / steal up on Robert. With Tatis, Albies and Robert, I sat very nicely in steals, so now I can focus more on the other four offensive categories.

Others considered: Aaron Judge (OF – NYY)

5.4 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1B – TOR)
First base is also a tough position to feel, and I did not want to wait for the next level with the guys – so I grabbed Vladdy here. There’s a real 30+ homer up here, and I expect a strong batting average from the Blue Jays young star.

Others considered: Pete Alonso (1B – NYM)

6.9 Stephen Strasburg (SP – WAS)
This was the first guy on my goal list, a potential ace in the sixth round. If Strasburg can only stay healthy this year, this choice will be the best I make.

Others considered: Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP – TOR)

7.4 Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP – TOR)
Back-to-back jugs to start putting this together. Ryu is not an exciting pitcher with the age factor and how few strikes he generates, but he feels like a nice guy to add help to ERA and wins since I’m behind pitching.

Others considered: Kyle Hendricks (SP – CHC)

8.9 Matt Chapman (3B – OAK)
I was a little behind the pace in homers, and Chapman has a 34 homer projection, so I dived in. He is one of the most underrated players on the board this year.

Others considered: Eddie Rosario (OF – CLE)

9.4 Raisel Iglesias (RP – LAA)
I wanted to move on in rescues a bit, so I took a shot at Angel’s new closer. He’s one of the few guys who has real job security in the closer role, so it’s nice to have at least one of the guys in the squad.

Others considered: Ryan Pressly (RP – HOU)

10.9 Charlie Morton (SP – ATL)
Another too cheap jug due to concern for damage / age. When you wait so long for draft pitching, you can not deny that you are really playing, so I might as well keep the dice rolls with some high-risk, high-reward throwers.

Others considered: Lance McCullers Jr. (SP – HOLD)

11.4 Lance McCullers (SP – HOU)
McCullers has had many problems staying on the field, but was electric last year in the card test. He’s another big risk, but he’s a guy who has the ability to put up ace-like numbers.

Others considered: Mike Moustakas (2B – CIN)

12.9 Sixto Sanchez (SP – MIA)
Large fastball, good ground ball frequency, low walking frequency. We have not seen much of Sixto in the Majors, but he is blown upside down, and he fits well with this draft strategy.

Second respected: Ryan Pressly (RP – HOU)

13.4 Ryan Mountcastle (OF – BAL)
Only Robert had in the field, so I took a nice upside with Mountcastle here. He showed the ability to hit a high stroke average in the rookie season last year, which is always a big plus to see a guy able to make a lot of contact right out of the gates.

Others considered: Max Kepler (OF – MIN)

14.9 Nick Solak (2B – TEX)
A solid effort for a good stroke average and steals, Solak fills my midfield track and gives me a little boost where I needed it.

Others considered: Aaron Civale (SP – CLE)

15.4 Craig Kimbrel (PR – CHC)
He’s closer to the Cubs for now, which is a good place to be, since the Cubs should win some games in the weak NL Central.

Others considered: James Paxton (SP – SEA)

16.9 Aaron Civale (SP – CLE)
I love making Indian jugs, as they are the most liberal team in the league when it comes to starting jars. It is a big boost in 2021 when the number of innings is certainly limited.

Others considered: Drew Pomeranz (RP – SDP)

17.4 Ian Happ (CHC – OF)
Hitting at the top of the lineup was good for Happ last year when he put out a really impressive fantasy line. Here you are hoping for more of it!

Others considered: Anthony Santander (OF – BAL)

18.9 Michael Pineda (SP – MIN)
I love Pineda this year. He has been a very effective pitcher when he is on the field, and this is his best chance of a whole season in a long time.

Others considered: Jose Urquidy (SP – HOU)

19.4: Clint Frazier (OF – NYY)
I still have three starting pitches to fill, so I started a hitter run-off with Frazier, who has always hit well when he plays. It seems that the Yankees will finally give him a starting point on the opening day this year, which should be good for his imagination as a guy who goes after pick 200.

Others considered: Andrew McCutchen (OF – PHI)

20.8 James McCann (C – NYM)
McCann has been a masher on record when he plays, but he has been limited to a back-up role the last two seasons. Now he gets the starting job at Mets, so I’m excited to see what he can do.

Others considered: Raimel Tapia (OF – COL)

21.4 Kyle Seager (3B – SEA)
Must like what this guy has managed to do in limited playing time the last two seasons. 24 homer, 84 The RBI projection is quite nice for a choice so late in the draft.

Others considered: Lorenzo Cain (OF – MIL)

22.9 Andrew McCutchen (OF – PHI)
Cutch fell quite a few ways for me when I looked at him three laps ago. He finishes my starting lineup on offense and should add a nice supply of runs and maybe even a handful of stealers.

Others considered: Giovanny Gallegos (RP – STL)

22.4 Mike Minor (SP – KCR)
This was my plan all along, to use my last choice on Less. He had a lousy 2020 season that just doesn’t seem like real life. I think he will bounce back pretty close to himself in 2019, which is a high-pitched jug that gives you a good supply of laps. The move to Kauffman Stadium will also help him narrow down the long ball a bit.


The algorithm classified this team as an 88, a B +. I’m well placed on offense, being fifth or better projected in all five categories, and I also managed to make the top five in saves. How long I waited to start pitching, I was surprised to get in 7th place in the strike and 6th in the ERA and WHIP.


I think this is a much more tasty strategy than going crazy at SP early. There are many very interesting starting jugs you can get late in the draft. I’m a big fan of all the SPs I’ve compiled here, and I encourage everyone to take a closer look at them to see if you agree.

Thanks for reading!

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Jon Anderson is a writer on FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archives and follow him @JonPgh

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