by Ivar Anderson
Our first reader mock draft was held on Thursday, February 13. 2013. We did have two no shows due to unforeseen circumstances, so the results are skewed by that situation. We also began with only a 10 team draft, since I set it up on short notice and wanted to have a full slate of drafters. Not that it worked out so well.
The next draft is being held on the Couch Managers site. I am a subscriber there, so there is no fee for anyone that wants to join in the fun of a custom mock draft at the end of February. I am not fully familiar with the rankings on the site yet, so if you do jump in, realize that you may need to search deep for a player you want to draft. Draft will be held at 8:30 PM EST, and this will feature 12 teams with 23 roster spots, including MI, CI and only ONE catcher. I detest having to draft a second catcher, but we could not avoid that in the first draft, due to the non-modifiable settings on RT Sports. The link to the draft is here. Password is roto2. If you have not drafted on the site before, then you will need to create a free account,
I don’t like to discuss my draft results, but I do analyze each draft. Below are the picks that made me go, “Hmm.”
Nothing out of the ordinary in the first round, but I have seen Kipnis going before Cano in my mocks this year. The move to Seattle is making drafters hesitate just a tick on taking Cano, who in the past was a first round pick. In the third round, Puig went with the next to last pick. I know you need to take him early to get him, but there is enough concern about pitchers figuring the young Cuban out to make me hesitate to rely on him as my OF1.
Carlos Santana was drafted early in the 7th round, and with his 1B eligibility and potential 3B qualification, he makes for a great catcher option. Seeing Verlander last until the 7th round was something new this season, fostered in part because of his poor (by his expected standards) performance in 2013, and also his offseason surgery. Given the way he pitched in September and October, and the positive reports coming out of Detroit about his recovery, I would say a 7th round selection would be a value you should jump on if available.
I am a big believer in a bounce back season for Josh Hamilton in 2014, and applaud his selection in the middle of round 9. Immediately after the Hamilton pick, Billy Hamilton was selected. If, and this is a huge if, he can hit well enough to stay in the lineup, then Yackmann would have nailed the steals category with this pick.
I was an early supporter of Desmond Jennings, but have cooled in my appreciation the past couple of seasons. Of course, I did the same thing with Alex Gordon and he is now on my radar as an excellent OF2, and the same may take place with Jennings. I just know I am not jumping in with both feet this season. If he lasts to the late middle rounds I will draft him, but his ADP makes this unlikely. I feel the same way about Brett Lawrie, who went with the final pick of the 10th round; he has a chance to shine, but I am not banking on it for 2014.
Assuming Matt Adams can get enough playing time, he is a great pick in the 12th by Cavey. Oscar Taveras can have a say in this if he hits well enough in the spring to make the Cardinals’ roster, and force Allen Craig back to first base displacing Adams. Rizzo makes for a nice middle round 1B if you choose to wait on that position. Dexter Fowler going at the end of the 12th round is a savvy OF selection, especially with his uptick in plate appearances in Houston.
Curtis Granderson, on the other hand, is a player I have downgraded based on his move to the spacious environs of Citi Field as the Mets’ expected RF. He was never a good AVG guy, and his HR totals figure to drop with the relocation as well. Brian McCann should have an excellent season across town after joining the Yankees, though. I am targeting him as my catcher in most drafts. Masahiro Tanaka intrigues me, just because I am not sure what effect pitching in the pressure cooker of New York will have on him. I don’t expect him to be the second coming of Yu Darvish, but I also don’t expect a Daisuke Matasuzaka implosion either. More like something between the two. Lucroy is another fine catching option, and easily fits in the top 5 list of backstops available this season. I was surprised that Jose Abreu lasted until the 14th round, but the lack of MLB experience is undoubtedly something that makes drafters hesitate.
Personally, I love Martin Prado. He was on nearly every team I drafted last season, and if he is going to be a middle to late round pick in 2014 I will take him as a corner infielder in every draft. Brantley’s recent contract signing with Cleveland gives him a level of job security and cements his status a very acceptable low power and speed OF, although given my druthers I would have taken the player that went immediately after Brantley, Leonys Martin, first.
Francisco Liriano had a stellar 2013; given his recent practice of playing well one year, mediocre the next makes me leery of selecting him as anything more than a SP4. Nelson Cruz needs a team to be more valuable, as does Kendrys Morales (19th round, 4th pick), but I would expect that situation to change soon. Khris Davis is an interesting commodity that should not be forgotten, as the power is sure to continue. Controlling his strikeout rate will make him an outstanding late round pick.
I was targeting Billy Butler as my Utility player when he went in the 19th round with the final pick, a reminder to pay attention to ADP as the draft season moves along. Corey Kluber is an excellent pick to round out your pitching staff, as Chris Mitchell demonstrated here in the 20th round. BJ Upton is another player to remember for a late pick, as there is no way he can play that poorly two seasons in a row, right? Right? I am still having trouble convincing myself of that, I have to confess.
I am surprised how late Torii Hunter is available in drafts. Do drafters know something that I, a Detroit resident, have missed? Josmil Pinto should be the Twins starting catcher, but it looks like he will open the season as a backup to Kurt Suzuki. Still, in a 2 catcher format why not take the chance that he seizes the job with a superb spring. I do like Ricky Nolasco in Minnesota more than I have the past few seasons, but I still am not a huge fan. His ERA and WHIP are well above what I look for on my pitching staff, and even the friendly confines of Target Field will not solve his mediocrity. I would take a late draft option on Brandon Beachy, however, as I don’t feel his early success was an aberration and as he recovers from his surgery he should get back to form.
I would enjoy having you join us in any of next mock drafts. Because of my schedule through March, I expect that the drafts will be held on Tuesday or Thursday. If I get enough interest, we could do two drafts, but no promises about that right now. I am also willing to adjust the roster spots to conform to your league, but stats are pretty much fixed in place on any site where we would be drafting. If you want to talk about setting up a mock, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.