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What to do with each pick in the first round of your fantasy baseball draft

We go over each pick in a standard 12-team draft and mock up the best player at every slot.

Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto hits a double against the New York Mets in the sixth inning at Nationals Park. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With MLB Opening Day right around the corner, it is the perfect time to discuss fantasy baseball and what you should in the first round of your draft. After a 60-game sprint last season, the 2021 season could be one of the best with so many talented players in Major League Baseball.

When it comes to fantasy baseball, the first round of your draft, set the tone for what you plan to do with roster and how you want to build your team. Some fantasy managers may want to take Jacob deGrom or Gerrit Cole with their pick. Or you will have some managers opt to go after Ronald Acuna, Juan Soto, Mike Trout, or Christian Yelich.

Regardless of where you will be selecting in the first round, you should come away with a top player in the game of baseball. We will take a look at a couple of spots in the first round and who might be there when its time to pick.

First overall pick

If you get the honor to have the first overall pick in your fantasy baseball draft, you have one of the easiest and hardest tasks. The easy part is you have all the best baseball players from last season at your disposal, but the hard part is knowing who take.

You cannot go wrong with Ronald Acuna Jr., Mookie Betts, or Fernando Tatis Jr. Acuna Jr.’s ADP is 1.0, while Betts is 2.0, and Tatis Jr’s. is at 3.0. All three players are playing in loaded offenses with guys who can get on base, which means a ton of extra-base hit opportunities.

However, if you want to go a different route, do not sleep on deGrom or Cole, who are aces on their respective teams and legit Cy Young candidates every season. And then there’s Mike Trout, who is Mr. Consistent out in Anaheim and always finds himself in the MVP conversation.

Sixth overall pick

At this point in the first round, Acuna Jr., Tatis Jr., Betts, Juan Soto, and Mike Trout are likely off the board. Therefore, the next tiers of players that should be on your radar is Trea Turner, Christian Yelich, Trevor Story, Jose Ramirez, deGrom, and Cole.

Story and Ramirez would be tempting options to take at sixth overall because they are the best offensive players on their respective teams this season. In the offseason, the Rockies traded away Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals, while the Indians moved Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets.

Story has an ADP of 13, but could be drafted between 7-17 in most fantasy drafts. Fantasy Pros projects the veteran shortstop to hit .282 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI and also steal 26 bases this season.

Ramirez’s ADP is 10 and could be selected between 5-17, almost the same range of Story. Last season, he slashed .292/.386/.607 with 17 home runs and 46 RBI. Without Lindor, there will be a lot of pressure on Ramirez to produce and keep this team afloat offensive. Fantasy Pros projects the 28-year-old third baseman to slug .282 with 34 home runs and 102 RBI this season. But if you do not want to reach for those players, there’s nothing wrong with taking Yelich, Turner, deGrom or Cole, who are sure-fire top-10 selections.

12th overall pick

If you somehow land the last pick in the first round, you can still find value as the draft board shifts to the second round. By this point, most of the superstar players in the game are more than likely off of the board.

However, if the draft falls in your favor, you might be left with Shane Bieber, Cody Bellinger, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Lindor, and Yelich all at 12th overall. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any of these names as all these players have integral roles on their teams.

Shane Bieber just won the AL Cy Young award last season with an impressive 8-1 record and flawless 1.63 ERA. The 25-year-old pitcher also recorded 122 strikeouts in only 77.1 innings pitched.

Bieber will be looked upon to lead a Cleveland team that is in transition after trading Lindor in the offseason. He is also a great consolation prize, if you had your sights set on deGrom or Cole. The ace pitcher’s ADP is 8.0, according to Fantasy Pros, but he could be selected between 5-18 in the draft.