As many of you know, I play fantasy baseball, and am also a contributor over at FakeTeams, the fantasy sports blog over at SBNation. That said, I like to do at least one mock draft prior to starting to really work on my own rankings for the season. I almost always use MockDraftCentral to do mocks, but I really like to just sign up for one of their free ones that run all the time to test out my own knowledge and thoughts. (Full disclosure: MDC has hooked me up with a premium account in the past, although I’m not sure whether I have one now or not.)
I generally like to do this mock around this time, as free agency has pretty much ended for nearly all players who are likely to affect drafts at this point. Here’s the rules that this particular mock followed:
Yahoo 12 team league
Categories are standard 5 x 5
Lineup: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 2 UT, 2 SP, 2 RP, 4 P, 5 BN
I had the 3rd pick of the draft. Here’s my roster, along with the round of the pick:
C – Geovany Soto (11)
1B – Miguel Cabrera (1), Kevin Youkilis (2)
2B – Dan Uggla (5)
3B – Pedro Alvarez (6)
SS – Ian Desmond (16), J.J. Hardy (22)
OF – Matt Holliday (3), Andrew McCutchen (4), B.J. Upton (8), Shane Victorino (13), Domonic Brown (20), Travis Snider (23)
SP – Josh Johnson (7), Matt Cain (9), Colby Lewis (10), Brandon Morrow (12), Madison Bumgarner (14), Hiroki Kuroda (17),
RP – Huston Street (15), Hong-Chih Kuo (18), Joe Nathan (19), Brandon League (21)
Of all of the drafters, only one was an auto-drafter (pick #1).
The projections that MDC provides (courtesy of 4 other sites) had me projected to finish 1st overall (all projections), 2nd by Rotowire’s projections (0.5 pt behind), Mastersball had me 5th (11 points), Hardball Times had me 1st by 7 points, and Baseball HQ’s projections had me tied for 1st place. You can find the results of the draft here (although I don’t know for how long they will last), but here’s some of my thoughts about what I saw and noticed:
- Catcher is one position where you can definitely wait unless you are set on having Joe Mauer on your team. In a 1 catcher league, some of the value picks included Jorge Posada (19th round), Miguel Montero (15th), and Geovany Soto and Mike Napoli (both 11th). That said, if you want one of the top 5 catchers (Mauer, Victor Martinez, Brian McCann, Buster Posey or Carlos Santana), you are probably going to have to take them in the top 6-7 rounds.
- Starting pitcher is also one of those positions where you probably should wait. The position is extremely deep this season. Take a look at the following starters who went after round 9:
10th Round – Wandy Rodriguez, Shaun Marcum,
11th Round – Tim Hudson, Brett Anderson
12th Round – Jeremy Hellickson,
13th Round – Gio Gonzalez, Brett Myers
17th Round – Jorge de la Rosa
23rd Round – A.J. Burnett
While all of these pitchers may not turn out the way we all hope for 2011, there’s a lot of upside to having some of these pitchers in these later rounds. I have to imagine that some of them are going to improve their average draft position as we get into Spring Training and start seeing them throw in live games.
- Shortstop is really, really shallow. You have two first round talents in Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki. Then you kind of run into a pretty solid group with Reyes, Jeter, and even Rollins. But you start running into players who are viewed as injury prone (Rafael Furcal), and players who have only shown one real good year (Starlin Castro). Pretty much after #5, there’s not a lot worth drafting early at shortstop. That said, the next group all seemed to come off the board pretty quickly, with Stephen Drew, Alexei Ramirez, and Elvis Andrus all being drafted by round #7.
- With regard to my own draft, I really liked how it turned out, but there’s a pretty substantial amount of risk on the pitching staff. Josh Johnson is a great pitcher, but he has not been able to pitch a full season yet. Brandon Morrow is a definite high-risk, high-reward type, and it remains to be seen whether or not he will be that pitcher that struck out 17 and threw a one hitter, or something less.