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Draft Strategy

Showdown: Acuña vs. Trout

by NBC Sports EDGE Staff
Updated On: March 5, 2020, 3:07 pm ET

Often in the midst of your draft, you’ll find yourself deciding between a couple players at the same position. With Player Showdowns, we take two players who are closely ranked and have writers take a side and debate who should be selected first. Whose side will you be on?

We’ll offer up one Showdown per position (catcher, first base, second base, shortstop, third base, outfield, starter and reliever) here, and you can get dozens more by purchasing the 2020 Rotoworld Baseball Draft Guide. It’s an essential weapon to have in your arsenal at the draft table this spring.

Ronald Acuna vs. Mike Trout


Well, the time has come. Mike Trout is no longer the slam-dunk No. 1 overall pick in mixed leagues. I certainly understand the concept of playing it safe at the top of the board, but Acuna has the look of a player who should maintain this status for years to come. The surge in steals was the big surprise last year, as he swiped a league-leading 37 bags, including 24 of them after the All-Star break. Acuna might have been the youngest player ever to join the 40-40 club if he didn’t get hurt down the stretch. Trout was his usual awesome self last year, but he only stole 11 bases. Doubting Trout is asking for trouble, but Acuna has the clear speed edge. Still just 22 years old, there’s reason to believe that Acuna will refine his approach over time, resulting in higher batting averages. His potential impact across the board is unrivaled in the fantasy game. - D.J. Short (@djshort)


Unlike in past years, Trout has some legitimate competition to be the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy drafts. I don’t find there to be much separation between he, Ronald Acuna and Christian Yelich. I’d love to find myself in the No. 3 spot in my draft and just take whichever of the three fall to me. However, I do still have Trout on top. The best player on the planet captured his third MVP award last season on the strength of a ridiculous .291/.438/.645 batting line, a career-high 45 home runs, 104 RBI, 110 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. As I see it, the drop in steals is the only reason to consider someone other than Trout with the top pick. However, Trout has fallen off to 11 stolen bases before back in 2015 and he bounced back with 30 the next year. He will also be part of what should be a better Angels lineup this season following the addition of Anthony Rendon and hopefully a full, healthy season from Justin Upton. Acuna is indisputably awesome, but Trout could potentially have a large edge over him in batting average with Acuna’s propensity for strikeouts. That’s the separator for me. – Ryan Boyer (@RyanPBoyer)

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