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2023 LABR Mixed League Draft

Nov 10, 2023

February 22, 2023 by Ray Flowers

The 2023 fantasy baseball draft season is upon us. It is time for the most recent iteration of the LABR draft, one of the highlights of the preseason, put on my Steve Gardner and USA Today. What follows is a report of how my team came together in the 15-team mixed league.


This is a 15-team, mixed, roto league.

LABR uses a Ranked, Rotisserie Based Scoring System. The below tables show the standard rotisserie scoring categories for hitting and pitching.

Hitting Categories – BA, HR, RBI, Runs, SBPitching Categories – W, ERA, WHIP, K, SVROSTER: 2-C, 1-1B, 1-3B, 1-CI, 1-2B, 1-SS, 1-MI, 5-OF, 1-UT, 9-P, 6 reserves

Rosters are set each week on Monday for the entire week.

A player may be assigned to any position at which he appeared in 20 or more major league games in the preceding season. If a player did not appear in 20 or more games at a single position, he may be drafted only at the position at which he appeared most frequently in the previous year.


This league uses FAAB for free agents. Each team will have $1,000 to spend over the course of the year. You must have $1 to bid on a player (there are no zero bids).


1. Fred Zinkie2. Prospect 3613. USA TODAY Sports4. Sports Illustrated5. Zach Steinhorn6. Ryan Bloomfield7. Yahoo Sports8. RotoWire9. Dr. Roto10. Fangraphs11. Razzball (Rudy Gamble)12. @TheFantasyFix13. Joe Sheehan Newsletter14. Fantasy Guru15.


*Round taken in parenthesis.

Catcher: Danny Jansen (13), Gabriel Moreno (17)First Base: Freddie Freeman (1)Second Base: Ozzie Albies (3)Third Base: Rafael Devers (2)Shortstop: Tommy Edman (5)Middle Infielder: Ketel Marte (9)Corner Infielder: Ty France (10) Outfield: Corbin Carroll (6), Alex Verdugo (11), Jesse Winker (13), Mike Yastrzemski (22), Dylan Carlson (24)Utility: Jorge Soler (23)

Pitchers: Shane Bieber (4), George Kirby (7), Tyler Glasnow (8), Chris Bassitt (12), Jorge Lopez* (15), Sonny Gray (16), Gio Gallegos* (18), Taijuan Walker (19), Carlos Carrasco (20)

BENCH: Trevor Rogers (21), Dany Jimenez* (25), Will Brennan (26), Franmil Reyes (27), A.J. Minter* (28), Trevor Story (29)


*This following writeup occurred in real-time while the draft was taking place (only the first round selection has any predraft analysis).

ROUND 1: Really not interested in taking a pitcher in this round, so that helps to clear the deck a bit. Ideally, and this is the lone comment that I write before the draft each year, Soto/Betts/Freeman/Bichette fall to me here. A pipe dream on Soto, but the other three are doable. My ideal get would be Bichette/Freeman as Betts/Soto will likely be nabbed (last year I went Cole/Freeman the first two rounds). Do I take Freeman or Bichette first? I’m a bit surprised to see ADP point out that Freeman is coming off the board first of the duo. Do I go rogue and grab Tatis/Trout? Snipped on Bichette, so Freddie Freeman it is. Gonna target third base next, but no speed the first two rounds stinks.

ROUND 2: Really not interested in taking a pitcher in this round, so that helps to clear the deck a bit. Rafael Devers was the choice. I’m not in love with two guys who might steal 12 bases in total, but they are both stars at the dish and give me rock solid stability to start the team with and third base things out pretty quickly if you wait on the spot.

ROUND 3: Would be nice to grab some speed here. Hoping Cedric Mullins falls back to me if the room goes heavy pitching as it often does early. Lots of arms are coming off the board. Three picks now. Two. Ozzie Albies likely my fall back if Mullins goes. Crap. He went. Albies it is. Two years ago Albies went .259-30-106-103-20 which many have forgotten cause of the mess last year was. I would take a .270-20-70-100-15 season in a heartbeat.

ROUND 4: I was going to grab Scherzer, but he went right before I was back on the clock. It was either Shane Bieber here or Corey Seager. I went Bieber. Why? It's never a bad thing to get a true SP1, and I think Bieber fits. Plus, pitchers are likely to go heavily before my next pick. Second, I didn't get as much speed as I hoped for with my first three selections, and I didn't really want to keep going that route with Seager/Bogaerts types. Maybe someone will fall a bit with my next two picks as I will likely have to start addressing the outfield too.

ROUND 5: Tommy Edman fits my team build and he qualifies at 2B/SS. I’m going to be tempted to go with an SP in Round 6, though Corbin Carroll is calling my name too. I went Edman to get that middle infield add as well as the speed.

ROUND 6: I was thinking Max Fried here, but he went right before me last round. Do I grab an arm, knowing the room will keep killing that spot? Do I go Xander Bogaerts for the insane stability he always offers in what could be the best offense in baseball? Do I try to hit a home run with Carroll and get that speed I missed out on at the top? Hell, let's go for it. I went Corbin Carroll. He should swipe 20 bases and gives me that outfield piece I need as well – and he is also my predicted NL ROY winner.

ROUND 7: Probably going to have to go pitching here. As I write that sentence, Joe Musgrove goes off the board, and he would have been my top choice. That said, I think this is a sweet spot of arms so unless the next 20 picks are crazy arm heavy, I should be alright. Started to get a little nervous as arms are going a bit quicker than hoped. Pretty clear at this point that everyone is going nutso for relievers, so I’m likely going to slow play that spot and do some bargain hunting for the elusive saves (there is only one guy left I would take at this point). I have three SP targets left, so hopefully one falls (Kirby/Glasnow/Kershaw). Starting to get hopeful that Wander Franco might make it to me. Just went did he. Catchers going quickly too. I settled on George Kirby who obviously was in the group I was targeting so I’m happy about that.

ROUND 8: Kenley Jansen went before my next pick, I was going that direction here, so it is back to the starting pitcher ranks for me here with Tyler Glasnow. I was able to get two of my three arms in Rounds 7/8, so that gives me three arms out of eight picks, sets my foundation, and will allow me to hammer offense the next couple rounds.

ROUND 9: So where do we go for some offense? Catcher continues to get smashed, there went Tyler Stephenson who I was kinda hunting. Kris Bryant is always a favorite of mine. Ketel Marte was the selection to play my middle infield spot. I think he has a significant rebound effort from last season, and remember, he hit .318 with a .917 OPS from 2019-21. His rebound will be pivotal to my team's success or mediocrity this season.

ROUND 10: Ty France is the choice, an uninspired one, and he will be my corner infielder. The Mariners have greatly improved this offseason and France was on his way to a .290 season last year before he was hit with an injury. With the corners starting to get a picked through, I wanted to grab this professional hitter since I didn't see a catcher I had to have or a closer. It is a bit risky to go this deep into a draft basically building a complete infield with so many outfield holes, but we will see how it plays out, shan't we?

ROUND 11: Lucas Giolito would be a nice get here if he falls. Welp. Just taken. Closers continue to fly off the board (there went Holmes and Diaz). I could use some power, but I think the best outfield option left is Verdugo. I always felt a .290-20-80 season was doable for him. I only wanted those two relievers, and I think there are a couple starting pitchers I could grab in the 12th, so I can wait til next round to go that route. Give me Alex Verdugo.

ROUND 12: Chris Bassitt is boring, but in a 15-team league he is a perfect SP4. It's not easy to pitch in the AL East, but he's gonna get a ton of run support and he's posted a 3.31 ERA and 1.13 WHIP the last four seasons. Again, a perfect SP4 in this setup.

ROUND 13: Was thinking about a SEA RP duo grab the next two picks – Munoz/Sewald – in essence handcuffing the SEA bullpen, but that wont happen as Munoz was taken after my Bassitt pick in Round 12. Cody Bellinger is worth a look here as an outfield option with pop. Shoot. He just went. I could use some pop, so let's look at catcher. Cal Raleigh blasted 27 homers last season. I could use 20+ this season, and with the average floor I’ve built… there he went. Never mind. What is going on with this catcher and reliever stuff? Pretty aggressive room with those two spots. Danny Jansen it is. He should hit at least 15 homers with 20 within reach.

ROUND 14: Jesse Winker – give me a .275-25-85 season in his new home in Brewers lineup. Thank you.

ROUND 15: Relievers continue to fly off the board. Tempted to go Mondesi, but he was just taken. Do I go Rendon? He is set to hit cleanup behind Ward-Ohtani-Trout and could have a zillion RBI. Do I go Sonny Gray on the hill? Do I grab Jorge Lopez and try to get some saves action? Would you believe, Rendon went the pick before me? That leaves me with Jorge Lopez. The reliever seal is finally broken. He should still get 20 saves, right? I think so.

ROUND 16: Sonny Gray is a solid 5th option in a league this size. He lost about four percent in his K-rate, and had the worst GB rate of his career last year, but an ERA in the three's, with a strikeout per inning and a 1.20 WHIP is doable. My last three picks feel uninspired. Time to ratchet things up next round.

ROUND 17: I could go a random RP arm, everyone else is (they continue to fly off the board). I could grab my second catcher here which is what I might end up doing. I still need some outfield depth too. Gabriel Moreno is a can't miss option with the bat, and being that he plays catcher he's a strong option here. He will hit, he has a 60-65 hit tool according to most (on the 20-80 scouting scale), but the question is how much playing time will he receive in Arizona? Two picks to go. Moreno is mine (Eric Haase was the next selection).

ROUND 18: Gio Gallegos is my second RP which is far from ideal. Still, he could grab double-digit saves even with no growth or failures from Helsley, and he's rocking a stellar 0.89 WHIP the last four years. I knew early that I was going to be in the prospecting game with relievers, so this is just the start of that plan that will likely lead well in to the regular season.

ROUND 19: Thinking SP here. As I write that sentence, three of four picks are starting pitchers. Two more SPs. Clearly everyone else had the same idea. Pitchers are flying off the board. Taijuan Walker is a passable option here. He's a solid arm who should be looked at to give 140 innings with a lot of run support in Philly to help in the win column.

ROUND 20: Carlos Carrasco or Joey Gallo? I really want to go Gallo, and I could use some power. The outfield doesn't have many "big boppers" left, but against my better judgement I went Carrasco. The very next selection was… Gallo. Carrasco should hold on for another season with league average ratios and better than a punchout an inning.

ROUND 21: I was hoping Brandon Marsh would fall too me here… no such luck. In retrospect, taking Carrasco there wasn't something I should have done. I should have grabbed one of those power bats (Gallo/Marsh). Trevor Rogers would be a nice power arm to get here looking for a rebound. I’m also thinking about Trey Mancini for some pop and the dual position eligibility. I’m really hoping I can get both – but I went Trevor Rogers here as a bounceback candidate.

ROUND 22: I can't believe it. Mancini went the pick before me here. U-G-O. These later rounds are not going as planned. I grabbed Mike Yastrzemski as my fall back. He's a season removed from 25 homers but not what I was hoping for.

ROUND 23: This is the latest I have gone without a fifth outfielder in a long while. Given that I feel I’m light on power, I’m targeting a guy who nearly hit 50 homers once – Jorge Soler. He seems set to DH every day for the Marlins and he hit 27 homers in 2021 (and 48 in 2019).

ROUND 24: Dylan Carlson was my next choice. There are rumblings about playing time in the outfield in St. Louis, but just a couple years ago Carlson was a can't miss kid. His ascension to being a usable piece in mixed leagues has been painfully slow, but he is only 24 years old, is a former first round pick, and did go .266-18-65-79 just two years ago. I’m projecting here, but we’re also in the reserve rounds.

ROUND 25: I can't even get Andrew Chafin who went three picks before me. Just wild with these bullpen arms. Give me Dany Jimenez of the Athletics instead. Jimenez was decent last year, really only lost the 9th inning cause of injury, and there is no certainty that Trevor May, who has never really closed before, will get the 9th inning in Oakland.

ROUND 26: Will Brennan of the Reds is next up. He's a 20/20 talent that needs a good deal of refinement. He's also not slated, as of today, to be a starter in the outfield. This is a lottery pick, the kind you make at this time of the year in the reserve rounds in a 15-teamer.

ROUND 27: What about Franmil Reyes? He hits too many grounders, but he certainly has oodles of power and outfielder Drew Waters is set to miss all of camp with an injury. Just a year removed from 30 homers, he has gone 30-80 in two of his last three full seasons and certainly seems like an option to see playing time for the Royals – and I need some pop. Hopefully Reyes or Soler will make up for passing on Gallo. He or Soler could be cut in the first waiver-wire run if things don't pan out (more likely Reyes).

ROUND 28: Please let me get A.J. Minter. IT happened. Had a dynamic season last year and just might be next up in ATL for saves if Iglesias gets hurt.

ROUND 29: At this point of the draft, I’m hoping that Trevor Story will fall to me. We have IL spots here so I can just stash him until he returns from his elbow surgery. If he doesn't return, what have I missed out on, Gio Urshela? If I have to go another direction, I’m thinking Patrick Wisdom for his corner infield eligibility or Lamonte Wade Jr. who has 1B/OF and who should play daily for the Giants against righties. I ending up drafting Trevor Story.


Love the first eight picks. After that… Look, this is a 15 teamer in a room filled with a bunch of folks who know what they are doing. It's never going to be easy, that's just how it goes.

Clearly the strength of this team on offense is the infield. My outfield is as junky as you will ever find for one of my squads, but that infield is looking pretty sweet. I was able to grab some speed in Edman/Carroll to help offset the slow start in that category, and I’ve got a lot of stability in that infield. Don't mind my catcher duo at all either as it is a solid pairing without having been one who reached.

On the hill, good luck in saves. This league went bananas with relievers, like guys were routinely going 75 picks before their ADP, and I just was never willing to hop into that mix given the cost folks were willing to pay which was too much IMO. I love my top-4 starting arms, probably as much as I have in recent years, but I settled in with the boring stable guys to round things out instead of pushing my advantage a bit more. Still, I like the arms overall and think I should be very competitive with the starters, though I will need the waiver-wire to get a big saves arm to keep pace there.

Finally, the analyzer don't like teams without saves. That's fine since leagues like this are often won with (A) health and (B) the waiver-wire.

The Fantasy Alarm draft analyzer listed me 13th out of 15 teams.

The Fantasy Pros draft analyzer listed me 8th out of 15 teams.

Here is a link to the draftboard.

Free, MLB, Ray's MLB Ramblings

LEAGUE RULES FREE AGENT ACQUISITION BUDGET DRAFT ORDER 14. Fantasy Guru MY ROSTER DRAFT WRITE UP *This following writeup occurred in real-time while the draft was taking place (only the first round selection has any predraft analysis). ROUND 1: ROUND 2: ROUND 3: ROUND 4: ROUND 5: ROUND 6: ROUND 7: ROUND 8: ROUND 9: ROUND 10: ROUND 11: ROUND 12: ROUND 13: ROUND 14: ROUND 15: ROUND 16: ROUND 17: ROUND 18: ROUND 19: ROUND 20: ROUND 21: ROUND 22: ROUND 23: ROUND 24: ROUND 25: ROUND 26: ROUND 27: ROUND 28: ROUND 29: FINAL THOUGHTS