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3 of My Favorite Early Round Fantasy Draft Pairings

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

When preparing for your fantasy baseball draft it is important to focus on  acquiring a well-rounded team, which is why I want to go over 3 of favorite potential first and second round pairings heading into draft season. I am going to be assuming we are using a 12 team standard 5×5 category, head to head fantasy league with the typical MI/CI spots. Also another side note, I personally am not a big fan of taking an elite starter like Kershaw or Scherzer. Overall, they lend themselves better to a points or Roto league where their incredibly low ERA and high K’s are harder to make up, but in H2H it only takes another starter on your roster to bomb to ruin their weekly contributions.

 

Mike Trout

You got the first pick and therefore the best player in the MLB. The special thing about Trout that sets him apart in fantasy is the fact that he is a true 5 category player. In. 2016 he hit .315 while leading the league in runs and only being one home run away from a 30/30 season. Trout gives you an added boost due to the relatively scarce outfield position this year. I would be looking to pair Trout with someone like Edwin Encarnacion who’s ADP is around 24 according to FantasyPros  aggregate ADP data. Encarnacion can provide more power to go along with Trout’s in 2016 he powered 42 home runs with 127 RBI’s, Trout’s high average can help balance out EE’s mid .200 average.

 

Paul Goldschmidt

According to FantasyPro’s ADP, Goldschmidt is being taken around 7th overall behind the likes of Mookie Betts, Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, and Jose Altuve. Personally, I can only see myself taking Betts and Trout over Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt is one of the few first basemen that is a true 5 category player. He has swiped 15+ bags in 4 out of 5 years in the majors, and in the one year he failed to reach 15 he missed 40 games. Goldy’s low 24 home run output in 2016 can partially be attributed to his career low fly ball rate at 29% compared to his career norm of 34% FB rate.  Considering you can wait till 5-7 to pick up him up it leaves you with a middle of the second round pick.  If you want some more speed on top of Goldschmidt’s 15+ Sbs you can look towards someone like Starling Marte who has stolen 40 bags in 2 of the last 4 seasons, and 30+ in all 4 seasons while not killing you in other categories. Another option is Carlos Correa, whom I am in love with this year and can see myself drafting early and often. Just look at these ZiPS projections for the 22-year-old, in order of (R/HR/RBI/AVG/SB) he is projected 85/27/115/.280/20. What is not to love about those projections.

 

Miguel Cabrera

I have so far given a top of first round pair, a middle of the first round pair, and now let’s get to the end of the first round pair. It is a bit different here because it all depends on how people draft. I have seen Donaldson fall to number 12, people reach high on the hype of Trea Turner so it all depends on how your draft goes. Personally one of my favorite combinations is Miguel Cabrera and Charlie Blackmon. That combination based off of 2016 stats would give you 203/67/190/.320/17. Based off Blackmon’s 2017 projections you may be getting a low 20’s home run hitter but that also comes with more stolen bases, since the man stole 43 bases in just 2015. Together these are two players that play in very top-heavy positions (1B/OF) scarcity wise and are able to give you well-rounded stats in every category. Sign me up for all the shares in this pair.

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