Industry mock draft recap
I’ve done a handful of mock drafts so far this spring but
haven’t provided any type of recap on any, so here is a brief rundown of my
picks in today’s 12-team mixed league draft organized by our friend Jeff
Erickson of Rotowire. The projections on MDC.com don’t like this team much,
which may be reasonable due to some of the injury risks I rostered, but I’d be
very happy to come out with this team if the season started tomorrow. Probably
a little shy on power, and my pitching ratios have some risky spots, but
overall I think this is a very balanced team.
My picks in order, starting out at #9…
1.9 — Ryan Braun
(OF, MIL) – The declining slugging percentage and increased ground ball
rate are slightly worrisome, but the increased walk rate shows he’s still
improving. With his age and track record he’s a very safe first-rounder, and he
should steal more this year, too.
2.4 — Chase Utley
(2B, PHI) – I’ll be a lot more worried about the knee problem if I’m still
hearing about it in mid/late March, but not on February 28. He had a huge
September, so if healthy (admittedly a question mark right now) he will more
than justify this pick.
3.9 — Kevin Youkilis
(1B, BOS) – Another one with injury concerns, but the OPS keeps going up, he’s
in the middle of a loaded lineup, and he’ll have additional position
flexibility in case I need it later. 1B gets thin very quickly after him, get
4.4 — Andrew
McCutchen (OF, PIT) – Whether he bats leadoff or third in Pittsburgh, he
has the range of skills to provide plenty of value. A rising star, he probably
won’t last the fourth round in any draft, and it wouldn’t shock me if he
produced late 1st/early 2nd round value: .290, 20 homers, 40 steals.
5.9 — Derek Jeter
(SS, NYY) – If he’s truly on the decline then this is a bad reach. If he
bounces back even 10 percent above what he does last year, this is a solid pick
for useful across-the-board stats in all categories. My fallback option,
Stephen Drew, went at 7.3… mental note for future drafts.
6.4 — Joakim Soria
(RP, KC) – I wanted Jay Bruce here but Derek Van Riper from RotoWire took
him three picks earlier. I generally don’t like to take the first closer, but
with my first choice gone I decided to get ahead of the anticipated closer run,
and chose Soria’s outstanding ratios over Marmol’s massive strikeouts.
7.9 — Carlos Marmol
(RP, CHC) – Surprisingly, to me at least, only Brian Wilson and Mariano Rivera went after
Soria, so it came down to Marmol (below) or Heath Bell. I took the ratios last time so
this time I got my K’s. They complement each other perfectly and should of
course rack up 70 or more saves between ’em.
8.4 — Pedro Alvarez
(3B, PIT) – I was sitting on Aramis Ramirez here but Tim Heaney from KFFL
took him two picks before me, so I went for the next-best available 3B. I’m not
convinced he’ll hit more than .250 or .260, but he should hit 30 homers by
mistake, and if he figures out lefties, the upside is massive.
9.9 — Chad
Billingsley (SP, LA) – Top SP’s went faster in this draft than I’d expect
from a typical 12-team mixed industry league, but there were still plenty of choices
here. Billingsley has shown gradual improvements over the past three seasons
and could approach the “soft ace” tier if all goes well this year.
10.4 — Shaun Marcum
(SP, MIL) – Perhaps a little bit of a reach, but I just missed on Carlos
Quentin so I decided to not wait around on my next SP. Check out Marcum’s
numbers outside the AL East last year; he’s a very solid #2, and would be ideal
as a #3.
11.9 — Nick Swisher
(OF, NYY) – So let’s see, I just missed on Bruce, Quentin and Shane Victorino… Swisher
is a decent consolation prize. He probably won’t approach .290 again, but .265
with 25 homers is a very reasonable expectation, and the loaded lineup means
plenty of runs and RBI’s.
12.4 — Ricky Nolasco
(SP, FLA) – He’ll challenge for a Cy Young Award one of these years. Once
again he’ll need to overcome the porous Marlins defense, but with his strikeout
ability he might be able to get it done on his own. I’m still on the bandwagon.
13.9 — Gordon
Beckham (2B, CHW) – A good mix of risk and reward here. If he builds on his
second half surge last year from before he got hurt, he could hit .280 with 20
or more homers, and early word out of spring training suggests he’s
rediscovered the aggressiveness he lost early last season.
14.4 — Jonathan
Sanchez (SP, SF) – Not as big a fan as Siano, and I worry that his gradual
ERA decline is more due to good fortune (BABIP) than any improvement in skills.
But if I get a 3.75 ERA and 200 strikeouts here, I’m not going to complain!
15.9 — Drew Storen
(RP, WAS) – I gambled that Chris Perez would get back to me, but he went
two picks after Sanchez… bad gamble. Storen will probably struggle at times this
year but should put up good strikeout numbers and should be fine as my #3 as
long as he doesn’t melt down.
16.4 — Edwin
Encarnacion (3B, TOR) – This year’s Jose Bautista. Mark it down. I’m not
talking 54 homers, that’s crazy talk, but if E5 (below) finally stays healthy this is
the year he hits .275 with 35 or more longballs. The power is legit and he’s in
the perfect situation to deliver on it.
17.9 — Russell
Martin (C, NYY) – As with Utley, I’ll be a lot more worried about his knee
if he’s not catching in three weeks. As for today, this is a fair value gamble
for 10-12 homers and steals, and as with Swisher, you have to love the lineup
18.4 — Coco Crisp
(OF, OAK) – My darkhorse candidate for the AL stolen base champ this year.
He put up sick numbers last year when healthy, and while he’s no sure thing to
play 150 games this year, he’ll produce when he’s in there.
19.9 — Seth Smith
(OF, COL) – He might get platooned some with Spilborghs, but he has the
power – plus a little bit of speed — to put up big numbers on planet Coors: 39
doubles, nine triples and 32 homers in 693 at-bats over the past two seasons.
20.4 — Angel Pagan
(OF, NYM) – Not a great player but a solid contributor who should produce
similar numbers to last season. He, Crisp and Smith will “battle” for the last
two OF spots on my imaginary team, with the loser opening up the UT spot for
some waiver wire trolling.
21.9 — Anibal
Sanchez (SP, FLA) – I could’ve taken Ian Kennedy or Carlos Carrasco here
but Anibal was a nice find for me last year so he’s rewarded with my fifth
starter spot. The IP increase from last year is a bit worrisome but it came
with a very strong finish.
22.4 — John Jaso (C,
TB) – Perhaps baseball’s most unlikely leadoff hitter until you consider Jaso (below) had a .372 OBP last year. The Rays offense might struggle at times but I’ll
take .275 and 70 runs out of my #2 catcher in any format.
23.9 — Brandon
League (RP, SEA) – The obligatory closer-in-waiting end-game gamble. I’m
not hearing good things about David Aardsma‘s recovery or outlook, and League is
capable of big strikeout numbers. Hey, if not, I’ll just Pitch or Ditch in this
So whaddya think? Looking forward to your feedback!