Much has changed in the month-plus since our last 12-team Rotisserie mock draft. Most of the free agent class has signed by now, bringing clarity to once-murky roles. That's especially true at relief pitcher, where we can now say with some measure of confidence that Trevor Rosenthal and Kirby Yates will indeed be closers while others like Will Smith, Greg Holland and Joakim Soria at least have a leg up.
Another thing the passage of time has done is crystalize opinions in the first round in particular. As such, it's becoming increasingly clear that Mike Trout isn't as coveted as he once was.
That's especially true in Rotisserie leagues, where the demand for stolen bases devalues any early-rounder who doesn't provide them. Between that and the push for high-end pitching, Trout's still mostly unchallenged claim as best hitter in baseball doesn't mean what it used to. Eighth overall, though, might be a new low.
And yet I contributed to it, passing up Trout for Jacob deGrom one pick earlier. Truth is that of the seven players that went ahead of Trout, Trea Turner is the only one I would have forgone. And even Turner I can understand given his reliability in the ever-coveted stolen base category.
Introductions, then a few observations:
1) Dan Schneier, CBS Sports (@DanSchneierNFL)
2) Tim McLeod, Prospect361
3) Dan Gilbert, Fantasy Fisticuffs podcast (@DabberDanLit)
4) Nick Mimikos, Stack Attack podcast (@NMimi)
5) Jay Jayson, lucky reader who got to join in
6) Kayla Van Horn, former Podcast League participant
7) Scott White, CBS Sports (@CBSScottWhite)
8) George Maselli, CBS Sports
9) Jake Wiener, Prospects1500 (@GatorSosa)
10) Chris Towers, CBS Sports (@CTowersCBS)
11) Frank Stampfl, CBS Sports (@Roto_Frank)
12) Chris Mitchell, FantasyData (@CJMitch73)
- The 12 players taken in the first round of this draft were exactly the same as in the mid-January draft, just in a different order.
- The ultimate steals source, Adalberto Mondesi, was picked in the middle of Round 2, 20th overall, which is the earliest I've seen him go.
- Jose Abreu, who tends to go at the Round 3-4 turn, lasted to the middle of Round 6. He recently tested positive COVID-19 (though without any symptoms), which may have had to do with him slipping. Generally, I think he's being overdrafted, but I would have taken him if he had lasted two more picks.
- Josh Hader and Liam Hendriks were the first closers off the board, taken back-to-back in Round 6, but other likely save sources like Daniel Bard and Soria lasted to Round 22. I'm still in the never-pay-for-saves camp, and that you can still get a valid contributor of them so late is a big reason why.
- The DH-only hitters didn't slide quite as much as we're used to seeing, with Nelson Cruz and Yordan Alvarez both being selected in Round 6. That's a fairer representation of their abilities, but I've grown accustomed to taken them a round or two later and, frankly, hope it never changes.
- Once again, I took five starting pitchers with my first 10 picks. That's shaping up to be my mantra this year.
- Players I've vowed to move up in my rankings in light of me waiting too long for them here: Eugenio Suarez (Round 8), Mitch Garver (17) and Andrew Vaughn (19).
So which 2021 Fantasy baseball sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy baseball rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Will Smith's huge breakout last season, and find out.