Fantasy Baseball season is right around the corner, and people are prepping for the drafts as we make our way closer and closer to Spring Training. It seems reasonable to start off with the Mariners biggest star, Julio Rodriguez, to check out his draft value and how hard you are going to have to push to get him.
It's been a long time since the Mariners have had someone like this in a fantasy draft. Sure, Julio was ranked highly last year, but with two solid years under his belt and coming over an impressive 30/30 season, he's rated higher than ever. Anyone who took him, even a bit above his original ranking around 30th, was ecstatic at the production that they got from Julio who ended up as the 9th ranked player in Yahoo standard leagues.
You'll need to have a top spot or spend big to get Julio Rodriguez in Fantasy Baseball
ESPN makes it a bit confusing on where to draft Julio. They put out a Head-to-Head/Roto rankings, where they have Julio second, only behind Ronald Acuna Jr. Then, they have a points rankings, and he is way down at 33rd, and is actually the 3rd ranked Mariners player.
Instead, let's head over to one of my favorite sites for all things Fantasy, and see what Fantasy Pros has to say on the matter. No sponsorship or site agreements here, I just like using them. They have Julio second, and I think that makes a lot of sense. Acuna was otherworldly in 2023, putting up video game numbers, and deserves the number one spot.
Julio did have a monster season in his own right, and it's easy to make the argument that he should do just as well, if not improve, as he approaches and enters his mid-20s.
There's a large group of players jockeying for that second spot, and it probably comes down to player preference and how you like building your team. Julio, Bobby Witt Jr, Mookie Betts, Corbin Carroll, Kyle Tucker, Shohei Ohtani, and Fernando Tatis Jr are all players that could easily be taken with that second pick in your draft.
Here's how I think about it though.
Sure, you might think that one of those players, especially the ones that bring a power+speed combo to the table, could have a season comparable or better than Julio. Sure, you could draft Witt or Carroll. How would you feel doing that, and then watching Julio hit .288 with a combined 75 homers+steals? In this situation, you HAVE to take Julio second (if you have that chance) because you have the added benefit of getting to root for the face of your franchise.
Julio is going to be one of the best players in fantasy baseball once again, and is capable of swinging your matchup for the week with the hot streaks he is able to put together. If you have the second pick, take Julio and don't give it a second thought. If you're anywhere from 3-8 and he falls to you, snag him and thank the fantasy baseball gods that he landed in your lap.