MLB: Clay Link's Main Event Draft and 2022 Player Shares

MLB: Clay Link's Main Event Draft and 2022 Player Shares

Last night, I took part in the NFBC Main Event.

For me, and for most who play in the Main Event, this is The Big One. I've had my behind handed to me in the Main Event the past few years, and I'm determined to finish in the money this season.

This was also The Last One for me in 2022, at least as far as redraft leagues go. So, after I discuss my Main Event draft, I'll provide my player shares list in the NFBC.

1.12 Kyle Tucker, OF, HOU

Drawing the No. 12 pick was a bit of a bummer, but as any long-time fantasy baseball player will tell you, you can win a league from any draft slot. While I was pretty shocked to have a chance at Walker Buehler at 12 overall, and I was tempted, I have Tucker two spots higher on my rankings and decided coming in that establishing a speed base early was a top priority.

2.19 Mike Trout, OF, LAA

None of the starting pitchers I wanted were still there, so I took the gamble on Trout. He seems to be healthy now. Looking back, I almost wish I'd gone Lucas Giolito instead. I didn't have Giolito in that tier of starters, but selecting Trout is a leap of faith on health and SOME steals. His Hall of Fame resume and history of stolen bases probably prop him up higher than he should be in rotisserie leagues scoring batting average.

Last night, I took part in the NFBC Main Event.

For me, and for most who play in the Main Event, this is The Big One. I've had my behind handed to me in the Main Event the past few years, and I'm determined to finish in the money this season.

This was also The Last One for me in 2022, at least as far as redraft leagues go. So, after I discuss my Main Event draft, I'll provide my player shares list in the NFBC.

1.12 Kyle Tucker, OF, HOU

Drawing the No. 12 pick was a bit of a bummer, but as any long-time fantasy baseball player will tell you, you can win a league from any draft slot. While I was pretty shocked to have a chance at Walker Buehler at 12 overall, and I was tempted, I have Tucker two spots higher on my rankings and decided coming in that establishing a speed base early was a top priority.

2.19 Mike Trout, OF, LAA

None of the starting pitchers I wanted were still there, so I took the gamble on Trout. He seems to be healthy now. Looking back, I almost wish I'd gone Lucas Giolito instead. I didn't have Giolito in that tier of starters, but selecting Trout is a leap of faith on health and SOME steals. His Hall of Fame resume and history of stolen bases probably prop him up higher than he should be in rotisserie leagues scoring batting average.

3.42 Will Smith, C, LAD

I knew it was about time to start building my pitching staff, but all the pitchers remaining I had in the same bucket, so I figured I'd grab one of the top catchers in the game and then whichever starter was still there on the way back. While always knowing that catchers' stats get a scarcity bump, I think I've undervalued that bump in 15-team, two-catcher leagues in the past. I've decided to make the catcher spot more of a priority in two-catcher leagues this season. Smith is a guy I'm banking on having a big year. By the way, Bobby Witt was in my queue, but he was drafted 40th overall, before I had the chance to pick in the third round.

4.49 Logan Webb, P, SF

Max Fried and Justin Verlander went in between my picks, but Webb was still there. Derek Carty, creator of THE BAT and THE BAT X, mentioned on Twitter recently that his system has Webb as the No. 11 starter in the game from a context neutral standpoint. Oh, and the context for Webb isn't so bad.

5.72 Alek Manoah, P, TOR

Taking Manoah meant passing on Julio Rodriguez, who went two picks later (74 overall), in between Nick Castellanos and George Springer. I'm having some serious FOMO now and sort of wish I could have this one back to take Rodriguez – I have a ton of Manoah exposure already.

6.79 Kevin Gausman, P, TOR

Gausman was fairly easily the top pitcher still available on my board, so I went ahead and grabbed a third straight arm. Despite not paying up for a starter in the first three rounds, I think I have a top three capable of winning the league.

7.102 Jake McGee, P, SF

I was really hoping Corey Knebel would make it back to me, though I always knew that was a long shot. Not liking any of the other top closer options remaining, I decided to jump McGee, who seems to have the primary closer role and the skills to hold onto it. The relievers that went after I took McGee: Scott Barlow, Andrew Kittredge, Camilo Doval, Mark Melancon.

8.109 Carlos Correa, SS, MIN

This one felt too good to pass up. I haven't rostered Correa in a few years actually, but he's going to be playing for another contract next winter and the team around him is decent.

9.132 Dylan Carlson, OF, STL

The Cardinals' new leadoff hitter seems primed for a big year. New Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol is high on Carlson's potential this season. Carlson hasn't run hardly at all in the majors to this point, but he's an above-average runner and the role atop the order may open up opportunities for him to steal a bit. Marmol is confident we'll see more power from Carlson, at the very least. Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"I would bet on that," Marmol said when asked if Carlson could mature into more power. "This is a guy who will continue to add just speed to what he's doing. I think he's laying a great foundation for being just an overall hitter. And there's a couple of notches he could turn to let it eat a little more. Physicality and confidence. Just feeling like a looseness of I belong here."

10.139 Amed Rosario, SS, CLE

Needing more speed, this one made sense to me. Rosario's not a total zero with the bat, either.

11.162 Alejandro Kirk, C, TOR

Pairing Kirk with Will Smith gives me one of the best catching duos in the league and potentially one of the best catching duos in the entire Main Event field. With Randal Grichuk traded to Colorado, Kirk should see a lot of time at DH for Toronto.

12.169 Anthony Bender, P, MIA

I wanted the Padres' Robert Suarez a few round earlier, but having missed out, I decided to jump Bender here. It could be a wasted pick. Skills don't always win out as far as the saves go, but Bender looks like the best option for manager Don Mattingly right now. My hope is that Bender can convert his early chances and stick in the role.

13.192 Spencer Torkelson, 1B, DET

Torkelson looks ready to go and the Tigers agree, so we'll get to see what he can do right from the jump.

14.199 Jeimer Candelario, 3B, DET

Go Tigers, I guess. I was hoping to add a third straight Detroit player in Casey Mize, but Mize went before my 15th-round pick.

15.222 Luis Castillo, P, CIN

Here's my one stash. I've found that's all I can afford at any one time in the Main Event. The discount on Castillo was steep, and if I can use him for five months of the year, he'll pay off at this price point.

16.229 Trey Mancini, 1B, BAL

Torkelson insurance and a high-end corner infielder.

17.252 Aaron Ashby, P, MIL

I'll have to swap him out for this initial Thursday-Sunday half week, and he may be part of a six-man rotation in Milwaukee throughout the year, but I like to prioritize youth and upside in this range with my pitching staff.

18.259 Nick Lodolo, P, CIN

More youth and upside on my pitching staff. Castillo insurance.

19.282 German Marquez, P, COL

I'm looking at a Marquez-Jonathan Loaisiga home/road platoon sort of deal. It's like taking on a homework assignment, but I think if I do that work – mix and match and play the matchups right – I can extract a lot of fantasy value from Marquez.

20.289 Austin Hays, OF, BAL

This felt like a nice price on a starting outfielder with a splash of speed and perhaps some upside lingering under the surface.

21.312 Luis Arraez, 2B/3B/OF, MIN

Far from a prototypical cleanup hitter, but a cleanup hitter nonetheless. At least it looks that way in Minnesota. It's a nice batting order position, and three-position eligibility doesn't hurt. Can he tap into more power?

22.319 David Robertson, P, CHC

This is a closer dart I like to throw in drafts right now, given Robertson's past experience closing and the fact that manager David Ross made it clear that the role is not Rowan Wick's alone by any means. Ross said he plans to go with a mixture of pitchers in the ninth-inning role. I think Robertson could emerge early on.

23.342 Hunter Dozier, OF, KC

Eno Sarris' interest got me sniffing around on Dozier. I had to hold my nose a bit to make this pick, but I needed another OF-eligible player and Dozier has had a hot spring. Maybe there's something more here.

24.349 Jonathan Loaisiga, P, NYY

One of my favorite targets in 15-team leagues and deeper this winter, Loaisiga has some of the best stuff in the majors.

25.372 Dominic Smith, OF, NYM

Is there still a chance he's traded soon?

26.379 JT Brubaker, P, PIT

He's by no means an ace, but Brubaker should have some spots at home where I can deploy him.

27.402 Luis Cessa, P, CIN

Is Cessa the Reds' closer? I like Art Warren, but he's become cost prohibitive. Cessa has put up zeros time and time again since joining Cincinnati and he's in this mix. For what it's worth, I saw Cessa is the Reds' closer on MLB The Show 22!

28.409 Yandy Diaz, 1B/3B, TB

Dual eligibility, and Jason Collette sold me on the idea that Diaz might have another level or two yet to come. Read Diaz's outlook here on the site – it was written by Jason.

29.432 Edwin Rios, 1B, LAD

I'm looking at a Smith/Diaz/Rios timeshare in the UT spot until one hopefully emerges as a regular option. Rios gets a trip to Coors right away to kick off 2022, although nobody knows how many of those games he'll start.

30.439 Chris Paddack, P, SD

Not someone I had any intention of drafting, but Paddack has shown flashes. We've seen him perform at a high level. Perhaps if there's a change of scenery here and his new team tweaks some things, Paddack could return to relevance.

With that, my seven NFBC drafts are in the books. Here's how the top of my player shares list looks:

Michael Conforto will likely be a cut this weekend, and Josh Rojas looks bad at this point as well. However, I'm excited about how things are looking for 2022. Good luck to all of you!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clay Link
Clay Link is the MLB Editor at RotoWire. Clay won the overall championship in The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational and finished top 10 in the NFBC Online Championship in 2018. He can be heard on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, MLB Network Radio and twice a week on the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Podcast during baseball season.
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