by Will Overton
On Sunday Night I, along with nine other RotoProfessor readers participated in an NL only mock draft over at mock draft central. It was a good time filled with plenty of fine fantasy baseball talk and only a couple of off color jokes.
A mock draft not only gives the people in the draft a chance at some good practice, but it also gives me a chance to analyze a real NL only draft. While our draft wasn’t for a real league it’s still a good way to judge how certain guys are being valued.
I am going to give you my full roster and a short breakdown. I will also offer up some of the picks I really liked throughout the night and the ones I didn’t as well. If you want to see the full rosters you can do that here.
C – Jonathan Lucroy – R15 P8
1B – Gaby Sanchez – R7 P8
2B – Aaron Hill – R13 P8
3B – Jimmy Paredes – R20 P3
SS – Hanley Ramirez – R1 P8
CI – Brandon Belt – R11 P8
MI – Starlin Castro – R3 P8
OF – Chris Young – R5 P8
OF – Shane Victorino – R6 P3
OF – Melky Cabrera – R9 P8
OF – Andres Torres – R16 P3
OF – Jerry Sands – R18 P3
UTIL – Juan Rivera – R22 P3
P – Tim Lincecum – R2 P3
P – Ian Kennedy – R4 P3
P – Brian Wilson – R8 P3
P – Wandy Rodriguez – R10 P3
P – Rafael Betancourt – R12 P3
P – Johan Santana – R14 P3
P – Ricky Nolasco – R17 P8
P – Edwin Jackson – R19 P8
P – Evan Meek – R23 P8
BN – Casey Blake – R24 P3
BN – Darwin Barney – R26 P3
BN – Nathan Eovaldi – R21 P8
BN – Alex White – R25 P8
My Strategy: Early in the draft my goal was to take the best player available each round. This is why I took two shortstops and two starting pitchers in the first four rounds. As the draft progressed I than started to look towards need and position scarcity. For instance with third base, after the top guys were taken in the first couple rounds I decided then and there I would wait an exceptionally long time to take a third baseman. I did just that and still ended up with a promising young guy who will get some steals and an old guy who might find new life in a new park.
With pitching I planned on getting an ace, which I did with Lincecum, and then waiting to add to my staff. However with the hitting options not being impressive and Ian Kennedy just sitting there in the fourth round I couldn’t not take him. Because of this I was able to wait until round ten to grab another pitcher. I was also able to take a chance on some high upside guys like Eovaldi and White in the last couple of rounds.
y Best Pick: Shane Victorino – I don’t necessarily love Victorino, but I like him well enough. Still I could hardly believe he was there in the sixth round and the 53rd pick overall. I consider Victorino just outside the top 50 or 60 players in all of baseball. So to land him at number 53 in an NL only seems like an incredible steal to me.
My Worst Pick: Wandy Rodriguez – Drafting Wandy wasn’t a horrible mistake, but it probably wasn’t necessary either. I felt like I had to have a third starter, but when you consider I got Johan four rounds later and Nolasco seven rounds later, I probably didn’t need to take Wandy here. In hind sight I may have been better off grabbing another outfielder like Jose Tabata, Jason Kubel or Carlos Quentin who all went in the next ten picks. Outfield was drying up fast and there was still plenty of pitching left.
And now, enough about me. There were lots of good drafters in that room. Here are my three favorite picks, three least favorite picks and the owner I think put together the best team.
Geovanny Soto – R14 P2, Pick 132 overall: I am actually kind of down of Soto this year, but apparently a lot of other people are too and the hate might have gone a little too far at this point. I’m sure if this would’ve been a two catcher draft Soto would’ve gone higher, but still, this is the place in the draft that I really like Soto. He’s still got good power potential and if he gets things on track, he’s going to be five rounds better than this atleast.
J.D. Martinez – R13 P1, Pick 121 overall: So far Martinez is putting himself on the map this spring, but he fell much further in this draft than he should’ve. Martinez went almost 40 picks after John Mayberry and two rounds later than Jason Kubel. We spent some time talking in the draft about the Astros sleeper value and Martinez is at the head of that sleeper list.
Scott Rolen – R23 P3, Pick 223 overall: If Scott Rolen can stay healthy this would be the best pick of our hypothetical league draft. Rolen is going to be sharing duties with Juan Francisco this season, but he’s not completely washed up yet. It’s all about the young hot prospects in fantasy these days, but there is still room for veterans who aren’t as washed up as people want us to believe.
Three Least Favorites
Stephen Strasburg – R3 P5, Pick 25 overall: I don’t dislike Strasburg, but we can’t pretend there isn’t a lot of risk involved. There is the obvious injury, but there is also the almost inevitable innings limit that’ll be placed on Strasburg. In a keeper league this is a good spot for him, but in a one year league I’d rather have Ian Kennedy, Yovani Gallardo or Mat Latos who don’t pose the same risks.
Ian Stewart – R9 P10, Pick 90 overall: Stewart has some sleeper potential in Chicago, but this is too high for him. This pick is likely a reactionary move because of the lack of depth at third base, but he may have been had a couple rounds later and if not there was still someone like Pedro Alvarez hanging around to grab.
Yadier Molina – P8 P10, Pick 80 overall: This is another pick that I think might have been reactionary. The top catchers were off the board with Miguel Montero going a round before, but this one jumped the gun a bit. After Molina was taken it was another 39 picks before another catcher went and I personally like that guy, Wilson Ramos, more than Molina. Yadier is safe which is nice, but his upside is very limited for this early of a pick.
Best Team Overall – Fake Teams: I think Spaceballs put together the best lineup and I was tempted to give this spot to them, but overall Fake Teams is the top team in my opinion. There really isn’t a glaring weakness in the lineup, as long as you consider the format we’re dealing with. I don’t love Strasburg as the ace which I mentioned before, but the pick of Daniel Hudson to pair with him helps because I think Hudson is on the cusp of being an ace in this kind of league. Jason Motte is the only closer on the team, but Rex Brothers and David Hernandez are nice setup men with viable chances to close this season.
Thanks again to everyone who showed up and participated, and hopefully you can glean something from reading the results and my write up. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts on who had the best team and which picks you did and did not like.