2024 Fantasy Baseball: Mock Draft 2.0

In the Chevy Chase movie Spies Like Us, the ethos boiled down to "We mock what we don't understand."

The fantasy ethos at Yahoo Sports? We want to understand, so we mock.

[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

Yahoo assembled six fantasy managers from the crew last week and put together a five-round, 60-pick draft. Each manager was asked to build two teams. The pre-draft fantasy season is all about reps, reps, reps. Tinker with strategies, play around with roster builds. See what the room gives you, and see what you can take.

Go here for our first-round mock draft

A room of five fantasy analysts (and one editor) is going to produce a handful of differing strategies, but our broad behavior as a group was similar to early Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Draft trends. Our room focused on hitting early. The rare five-category guys went quickly, of course, and power and speed were prioritized. The first two rounds were scarce on pitching, then mock teams started to proactively assemble staffs in Rounds 3-5.

Overall, our 60 picks included 43 hitters, 16 starting pitchers and one closer. That's not much different than the Yahoo market behavior over the last seven days: 40 hitters, 17 starting pitchers, three closers.

The closer market strategy in particular is always going to be a heavy season-to-taste thing. In some of the early industry drafts I've participated in, the market has pushed up closers. Maybe your room will do the same, maybe it will be significantly different. Our mockers didn't sweat the bullpen, but that doesn't mean you need to apply that to your pool.

The first 15 starting pitchers we selected came from teams projected to have winning records, and SP16 Tarik Skubal works for an improving Detroit team that could contend in a weak division. Even if Detroit doesn't make a playoff push, Skubal should enjoy pitching against the weakest offensive division in the majors. Yes, wins are fickle. Yes, pitchers are difficult to project. But when in doubt, raid the rosters of the best teams. Occam's Razor, man.

Let's Meet the Mockers and see what went down:

- Andy Behrens, Picks 1 and 2

- Fred Zinkie, Picks 3 and 4

- Mo Castillo, Picks 5 and 6

- Scott Pianowski, Picks 7 and 8

- Jorge Martin, Picks 9 and 10

- Dalton Del Don, Picks 11 and 12


  • Andy #1 OF Ronald Acuña Jr.

  • Andy #2 OF Corbin Carroll

  • Fred #1 SS Bobby Witt Jr.

  • Fred #2 OF Julio Rodríguez

  • Mo #1 SP Spencer Strider

  • Mo #2 2B/SS/OF Mookie Betts

  • Scott #1 OF Kyle Tucker

  • Scott #2 1B Freddie Freeman

  • Jorge #1 SS Trea Turner

  • Jorge #2 OF Fernando Tatís Jr.

  • Dalton #1 OF Aaron Judge

  • Dalton #2 UT Shohei Ohtani

The top four picks will be standard in most leagues. The ADP on Strider is closer to 10, but everyone seems to agree he belongs in the first round. Strider has become the league's biggest strikeout ace on just two pitches; imagine if that third pitch comes to fruition this year.

There were six outfielders taken in this pass, seven if you count multi-eligible Betts. Most managers are looking for the best offensive stats possible here, positions to the side.


  • Dalton #2 OF Juan Soto

  • Dalton #1 OF Yordan Álvarez

  • Jorge #2 1B Matt Olson

  • Jorge #1 3B José Ramírez

  • Scott #2 SS Francisco Lindor

  • Scott #1 3B Austin Riley

  • Mo #2 1B Bryce Harper

  • Mo #1 3B Rafael Devers

  • Fred #2 SP Gerrit Cole

  • Fred #1 SP Corbin Burnes

  • Andy #2 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

  • Andy #1 1B Pete Alonso

For the most part, this is a power-over-speed round, and most of the sluggers are tied to plus offenses. Although managers are probably focused on finding the best stats possible, most teams were mindful of not overloading the outfield early. Del Don's first team is the only club that started OF-OF.


  • Andy #1 2B Marcus Semien

  • Andy #2 2B Ozzie Albies

  • Fred #1 SP Zack Wheeler

  • Fred #2 SS/3B Elly De La Cruz

  • Mo #1 OF Luis Robert Jr.

  • Mo #2 SS/3B Gunnar Henderson

  • Scott #1 SS CJ Abrams

  • Scott #2 OF Michael Harris

  • Jorge #1 OF Randy Arozarena

  • Jorge #2 2B José Altuve

  • Dalton #1 SP Tyler Glasnow

  • Dalton #2 SP Kevin Gausman

There's a fun pinch of youth in this round, with All-Polarizing De La Cruz coming off the board, and Henderson and Abrams also commanding big tickets. The pitching can be kicked over at the end of the round, a theme that kicked into overdrive in Round 4.


  • Dalton #2 SS Bo Bichette

  • Dalton #1 SP Yoshinobu Yamamoto

  • Jorge #2 SP Luis Castillo

  • Jorge #1 OF Adolis García

  • Scott #2 SP Pablo López

  • Scott #1 SP George Kirby

  • Mo #2 C Adley Rutschman

  • Mo #1 1B/OF Nolan Jones

  • Fred #2 SP Zac Gallen

  • Fred #1 SS Corey Seager

  • Andy #2 OF Mike Trout

  • Andy #1 3B Manny Machado

With offensive foundations secured, this is where the mound starts to get raided — five of the first nine picks are pitchers, and if we include the end of the previous round, it's a 7-of-11 run.

I was surprised to see Adley Rutschman taken this early; no matter if your format asks for one catcher or two, I see enough depth to approach the position patiently. I'll offer the same comment for the JT Realmuto pick that came in Round 5.


  • Andy #1 1B/OF Cody Bellinger

  • Andy #2 SP Aaron Nola

  • Fred #1 3B Royce Lewis

  • Fred #2 OF Jazz Chisholm Jr.

  • Mo #1 RP Devin Williams

  • Mo #2 SP Logan Gilbert

  • Scott #1 OF Christian Yelich

  • Scott #2 SP Framber Valdez

  • Jorge #1 2B/SS Matt McLain

  • Jorge #2 C J.T. Realmuto

  • Dalton #1 SP Max Fried

  • Dalton #2 SP Tarik Skubal

Five more starting pitchers exit the green room, and Williams is the first closer, though Josh Hader, Edwin Diaz and Emmanuel Clase are left in the green room. A fantasy roster starts to take shape in this area, so a lot of the picks are steered by team needs and categorical tilt.

Final Rosters

Andy 1

  • OF Acuña

  • 1B Alonso

  • 2B Semien

  • 3B Machado

  • 1B/OF Bellinger

This was one of two rosters to ignore pitching, and Behrens can't attack the deficiency for another 11 picks. With that in mind, I suppose he'd probably double-tap a couple of pitchers for Rounds 6-7. Acuña of course is a cheat code at Pick 1, and Bellinger's ADP will likely rise now that we know he's sticking in Chicago — the anxiety of shifting teams as a high-priced free agent won't be a concern. I keep seeing the underrated Semien go in Round 3 of drafts but not to me, which makes me want to throw up. That's a screaming value.

Andy 2

  • OF Carroll

  • 1B Guerrero

  • 2B Albies

  • OF Trout

  • SP Nola

Behrens built another offensive core here, though he relented with a starting pitcher selection in Round 5. Carroll is a speed merchant but he'll need to be; Trout is done running (and is at risk of missing time) and Albies was surprisingly not a major runner last season.

Fred 1

  • SS Witt

  • SP Burnes

  • SP Wheeler

  • SS Seager

  • 3B Lewis

It was a little curious to see two shortstops in the first four picks, but Zinkie is one of the sharpest managers around and noted for his trading acumen. Seager is also likely to be on the IL when the season starts; some managers will view this ADP as a discount, some will simply shop elsewhere. Seager's Yahoo ADP over the last week (32) matches up with what Fred landed here.

Fred 2

  • OF Rodríguez

  • SP Cole

  • 3B De La Cruz

  • SP Gallen

  • OF Chisholm

An interesting mix of floor and upside — Rodríguez, Cole and Gallen look like super-safe picks, but De La Cruz and Chisholm have scary floors. The offensive environments could be better — Rodríguez has ordinary teammates and a big yard, and Miami's offense probably won't be anything special.

Mo 1

  • SP Strider

  • 3B Devers

  • OF Robert

  • 1B/OF Jones

  • RP Williams

[2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

After you take Strider in Round 1, it's important to catch up on offense — to the point that maybe Williams wasn't needed in Round 5. But the pool of offensive players didn't look exciting in that round, so sometimes you just identify the best available talent on your board.

Mo 2

  • 2B/SS/OF Betts

  • 1B Harper

  • 3B Henderson

  • C Rutschman

  • SP Gilbert

Betts and Henderson are stars who cover multiple positions and Harper was back at an MVP level in the final quarter of last season. Nobody disputes Rutschman's spot at the top of the catcher board, but a vanity catcher pick isn't for everybody, especially in 2024. Gilbert is screened by some of his Seattle rotation mates, but he offers a high floor and soothing watchability.

Pianow 1

  • OF Tucker

  • 3B Riley

  • SS Abrams

  • SP Kirby

  • OF Yelich

The first two picks are super-floor stars tied to loaded offenses, and Kirby and Yelich are sound building blocks, even if the latter is now on the all-boring track. Abrams turned into a star in the late stages of 2023, but this ADP is buying at the high end of his range.

Pianow 2

  • 1B Freeman

  • SS Lindor

  • OF Harris

  • SP López

  • SP Valdez

If you don't land one of the Tier 1 starters, sometimes it makes sense to double-tap and beat most of your opponents to your SP2. Harris is an intriguing player, a star on a per-appearance basis who has a good chance to rise in MLB's deepest batting order.

Jorge 1

  • SS Turner

  • 3B Ramírez

  • OF Arozarena

  • OF García

  • 2B/SS McLain

Turner reclaimed his mojo in the second half of 2023 and Garcia is a steal lasting into the fourth round. But Ramírez is surrounded by a weak supporting cast; he belongs in the second round, but that box score could be depressing most of the summer. Was the McLain pick in Round 5 better suited for an available pitcher?

Jorge 2

  • OF Tatís

  • 1B Olson

  • 2B Altuve

  • SP Castillo

  • C Realmuto

I love the balance and shape of the first four picks, though I would have preferred to wait at catcher. Realmuto's under-the-hood profile showed a little attrition last year, and the position is deeper than it's been in years. Castillo is one of several Round 4-area starters who offer a very high floor and also the whiff of Cy Young upside.

Dalton 1

  • OF Judge

  • OF Álvarez

  • SP Glasnow

  • SP Yamamoto

  • SP Fried

This team ignored speed and was the only club to take three starting pitchers; the latter strategy is on brand for Del Don. Dalton didn't just take three pitchers on contending clubs, he targeted three arms on the two preeminent juggernauts in baseball. Heaven help us if Tyler Glasnow stays healthy (full disclosure, I'll fade that, but maybe Del Don is right), and there's no effective way to pitch Judge and especially Álvarez.

Dalton 2

  • UT Ohtani

  • OF Soto

  • SP Gausman

  • SS Bichette

  • SP Skubal

Another roster light on speed and there's only one infielder; the corner spots will need attention soon. Soto didn't look like himself during much of the San Diego days, but perhaps he's getting a team, league and park change at the perfect moment.