Mock draft update

Siano and I participated in the FantasyBaseballMafia.com mock draft last night; here is the complete pick-by-pick rundown if you are interested:

http://www.mockdraftcentral.com/draft.jsp?id=61764&view=all

Here are the projected standings as provided by MDC:

http://www2.mockdraftcentral.com/drafts/61764/projections

For comparison, click here to download the Excel version of the projected standings I came up with using the projections I’m working against this year.

So what does this tell us? Two things, I think…

* The "quality" of your draft can be viewed differently depending on your perspective. I didn’t necessarily "draft to the projections", but I did draft guys who I think will have good years and be good values, so naturally my projected standings would be more favorable than those provided by MDC. And of course the standings will vary greatly based on injuries, free agent moves, trades, etc… but as a simple way of evaluating the quality of your draft, the projected standings are as good as anything else.

* Many of the categories are extremely close, meaning that small variances in expected player performance can swing the standings very quickly. It takes a long season to truly separate the good teams from the bad. The draft is critical to building a strong base for your team, but the close standings above and on MDC show that the difference between first and last place, at least on draft day, is not too huge to overcome by strong in-season management.

I’m doing another mock tonight and will post results tomorrow if time allows. Spring training is almost here!!

–Cory

3 Comments

No Billy Butler?

This guy is a super sleeper.

Mike and Cory, you’ve got to start talking about this guy! Especially Mike, the AL only aficionado!!

To appease Mike’s perspective, let me say this: I’ve watched the guy play a few times in Omaha, and let me tell you, he can flat out RAKE. His presence at the plate looks so polished. It reminds me of a Jim Edmonds or Manny Ramirez type player. He has a very quiet approach, very still, very focused, and then at the last second swings and puts a charge into the ball. He never looks uncomfortable at the dish and seems to relish the thought of standing in against the best.

To appease Cory’s side, let me bust out some stats. Here are the stats for Butler’s age 21 season (last year) during his half season in AAA ball. Notice the insane OBP and the insane BB/K rate:

203 AB

43 BB

32 SO

.291 AVG

.412 OBP

.542 SLG

And get a load of this: the .291 mark was his worst at any stop in the pros. Even in the bigs last year, Butler hit .292 and maintained his plate discipline skills (27 BB, 55 K — still very good for a 21 year old power threat). I expect that to improve this year, in line with his existing career path.

Also Cory, for comparison’s sake, here are his numbers compared to another great hitter, Prince Fielder, during his age 21 season (also split between AAA and MLB):

Fielder

21 – AAA – .291 / .388 / .569

21 – MLB – .288 / .306 / .458

His following two seasons:

22 – MLB – .271 / .347 / .483

23 – MLB – .288 / .395 / .618

And now compare to Butler. See the similarities?

Butler

21 – AAA – .291 / .412 / .542

21 – MLB – .292 / .347 / .447

I think Butler’s age 21 AAA season looks remarkably similar to Fielder’s age 21 AAA season. And Butler’s 21 MLB season looks remarkably similar to Fielder’s age 22 MLB season.

Not convinced? Think Fielder was a “better prospect” than Butler? Here are their Minor League averages, starting with Butler:

Butler

.336 / .416 / .561 (4 seasons)

Fielder:

.297 / .398 / .524 (4 seasons)

Very close, if not more favorable to Butler, if anything. Then, factor in that Butler strikes out less, and you have the makings of a serious prospect.

For all the hype that Alex Gordon got last year in KC, it’s amazing that nobody is talking about Billy. In my mind, he is nearly equal to what Fielder was a year or a year and a half ago as a prospect. Less speed, but a better batting eye. And hey, Fielder had all of two steals last year. So it’s not like he’s a rugburner.

Let it also be known that I touted Prince Fielder as a “poor man’s Derrek Lee” during last year’s spring training segments. Cory somewhat poo-poo’d that notion, but in the end, it looks like Lee was the poor man’s Prince Fielder.

I’m hoping Butler will prove me right again this year.

Also, for all the talk about Butler as a DH, the Royals are trying him out at 1B this spring. I don’t expect it to stick, but hey, they’re trying.

And finally, at least in my league, he is eligible at 1B and OF this year.

So how about it? Mr. Steinhorn, can we get some love for Billy Butler? Or as my wife affectionately calls him, Billy Bigs?

For the record:

* I do like Butler this year but think he compares more to a mid-career Mike Sweeney (high AVG, good pop) than a Prince Fielder (45-HR masher);

);
UNLOCK TABLES;

–* I stand by my skepticism towards comparisons of Lee and Fielder even last year, since the key to Lee’s value has always been the 12-15 or more steals, which Prince won’t provide… again, they are different hitters;

–* All that said, I DID take Prince in the 6th round of a 15-team “experts” mock draft last October, and that was even after I had already taken Morneau:

–http://fantasy411.mlblogs.com/mlbcoms_fantasy_411/2006/11/index.html

–I seem to recall taking some grief over the Hanley and Prince picks but those turned out OK! Of course, the rest of that draft wasn’t so good, but we always remember the good ones… :-)

–Thanks,
–Cory

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