by Ivar G. Anderson
The fourth in our series of mock drafts took place last Wednesday night, with 12 teams joining to participate. I was nearly a no-show, having experienced major computer problems (browser hijackers are insidious), but did manage to join the draft midway into the proceedings. Fortunately, one of the fine fellows from CouchManagers, BaseballGuy (Jimi) was also in the draft and able to start things, albeit a few minutes late. We also had another total no-show in the 12th position, and I will be discussing how that affected things below.
Next week’s draft will be on Wednesday, March 12 at 8:30 PM (barring any unforeseen computer problems on my end), with 11 spots open and employing the standard 23 roster slots (one catcher, one U, MI and CI each, 10 pitchers). Click on the link above, and use the password roto5 to join.
The results that I am discussing can be located on Google Drive, by using the link at the beginning of this paragraph, if you have an interest in seeing how everyone picked. Below is my analysis, consisting of those picks that make me go Hmmm.
The first round proceeded swimmingly, with no surprises, but you will see that the 12th and 13th picks were two first basemen, Prince Fielder and Edwin Encarnacion. Having a CI slot to fill, this is not a horrible thing to have happen, but with the last pick in the 3rg round and the first pick in the 4th, our absentee drafter picked two shortstops, Jose Reyes and Jean Segura. Then with his pick in the 5th, slugger2659 took yet another first baseman in Allen Craig, who in my opinion was an early pick and with the selection of Ryan Zimmerman at 6.1, pretty much a handcuffing of the team with regard to his draft options. Aside from the Craig pick, I have no real objections to any of the players being taken when they were, I just would not have ignored pitching and/or outfield options so dramatically.
Carlos Gomez going in the second round to yackmann strikes me as risky, since I don’t project him to put up the same AVG that he did in 2013, although the speed and power should remain fairly constant. I rank him just outside of the top 20 OF in 2014, and thus someone I would want in the late third or ideally fourth round. Wil Myers went early on in the 5th round, and BaseballGuy made a shrewd pick here concerning the Tampa Bay young rising star. It would have been unlikely for him to be still available at the end of the 6th round, and in a snake draft sometimes you have to strike early to get a player you covet.
If I had been in the draft room, instead of fighting with my browser, I would not have taken Eric Hosmer in the 5th round. Matt Kemp, Yoenis Cespedes, Jayson Werth or Alex Gordon would have been more attractive to me here, but you snooze, you lose. Masahiro Tanaka, if he continues to shine this spring, will see his ADP rise even further than the middle 6th round, where he was selected here. I am not taking Brandon Phillips in the Top 10 of 2B this season, sensing a downward spiral continuing that I first noticed in 2013. I will look for Aaron Hill, Jedd Gyorko or Jose Altuve before Phillips lands on my roster in 2014.
In a one C league, I would not be targeting a catcher as early as the 7th round, where 3 catchers were selected: Yadier Molina, Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana. Granted, Mauer and Santana will probably be slotted at 1B this season on the field, but they are being drafted based on their catcher eligibility. Then again, I detest taking any catcher, so my view is biased to a large degree.
My buddy Tim McLeod likes Jose Abreu, and I confess I see the new 1B for the White Sox putting up excellent power numbers in Chicago at the “Cell”. Another round, and another catcher goes, here to The Goh Network when he selects Brian McCann. I project very good results for McCann in Yankee Stadium, and despite my aversion to taking a C early, I do like this pick. In the 9th round, our absentee drafter takes his second 3B to “complement” his three 1B. You are at the hands of the rankings if you don’t show up.
Danny Salazar has become a draft darling, and with his K potential, I full endorse this trend. Between J. J. Hardy and Andrelton Simmons, I like the Brave shortstop better in a fantasy sense. I can see Simmons’ power continuing to develop and would expect a better AVG from him than Hardy. It should be noted that both are ranked fairly close together, with some liking Hardy more others preferring Simmons.
I was down on Curtis Granderson when he signed with the Mets, but watching him this spring, I have revised my opinion, and have no issue with yackmann taking him in the 10th round. Not going to provide great average, and he strikes out a ton, but you’ve got to love the power game he provides. Torii Hunter is a sneaky pick here in the 12th round, as I project him to continue to provide his owner with decent power, and nice AVG and RBI totals when all is said and done.
The selection of Victor Martinez forced me into taking Billy Butler for my U player, but truth be told, I am not unhappy with Butler’s production. I expect VMart to go earlier than he does, but his limited eligibility at DH in most leagues reduces his value. Jeff Samardzija is a strikeout producer as a mid-draft SP, and the ERA and WHIP are not so drastically bad that you want to avoid him. His team won’t be a major assist in his value, but you draft him to improve your K totals, not for wins.
George Springer may not make the Astros out of spring, but I expect he will be promoted once the Super Two deadline passes this season. Kole Calhoun, taken just after Springer by Tim McLeod, does have a roster spot with the Angels, should be a nice source of counting stats and will hit something approaching .300. Following up the Cole pick with Nick Castellanos, we see Mr. McLeod go for youth here in the later rounds. Castellanos has been playing well so far, but it is still early and the jury is still out on whether or not he is ready to hit major league pitching.
My, how Mark Teixeira has fallen from grace. He is reportedly healthy this spring, but I still expect a slow start for him out of the gate and can understand how he lasts so long in most drafts. I much prefer to bank on Buck Davidson’s 19th round pick, Ryan Howard, who I see as bouncing back big time in Philly assuming he can stay on the field. Drafters forget about Brian Dozier, but he is worth more than a 19th round selection. BaseballGuy picked up a nice jewel here, with a 2B that provides some pop and speed for a cheap price. Jimmy Rollins is another nice late pick at MI, going here 19.8 to Rotoquest. Certainly not the star he once was, as age takes its toll, he still should provide some speed and adequate runs scored for his owner.
Tim McLeod took Drew Smyly in the 20th round, and had he not done so I would have been tempted to snag the 5th starter for Detroit. Instead I grabbed Bobby Parnell, which just goes to show you that saves can be found in the late rounds of drafts. Three pitchers went off the board at the end of the 20th round, and if we go two picks into the 21sr, a fourth starting pitcher was taken. I would roster any of those taken, preferring Jarrod Parker and Dan Haren over R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson. I always worry about Johnson’s health, and I am not certain that the move to Toronto was wise for Dickey, but then again at this late point in the draft all are worth a roster slot.
Carlos Martinez is being stretched out to join the Cardinals’ rotation in the spring, but even if that project fails I could see him as a valuable RP, and both curse and applaud Tim McLeod’s pick here (especially since that led me to take A.J. Pierzynski as my catcher). With the announcement that Andy Dirks will miss 12 weeks after back surgery, Rajai Davis should see an uptick in ADP as the drafting season progresses. I liked him for the speed he offers even before he became the projected starting left fielder for Detroit. B.J. Upton went to Zool (Kyle) in the last round, and as I said before he has to be better than 2013, doesn’t he? I think we saw his floor last year, and the ceiling is attractive with 20/20 being a very possible result.
A huge thanks for participating to those who have joined our first 4 mock drafts. There are still going to be a couple more, so long as my draft schedule doesn’t get altered. At the very least, we can gather this upcoming Wednesday for another chance to explore how to set up your roster before taking part in a real draft. If you feel the urge, you can always contact me about fantasy matters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*** Make sure to order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide!! The guide comes complete with projections of over 600 players, expended rankings, sleepers, Top 50 prospects and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day). For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league! For more information and to place your order, click here. ***
Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: