That’s right folks, we already have a mock draft in the books. Why? Because ef the off-season, that’s why. I’d like to pass along a special thanks to our very own Grey Albright and Bryan Curley of Baseball Professor for setting up this multi-site super exposition of what fantasy baseball writers can do when there’s no fantasy baseball. Scary. I know. And while there are certain limitations that might arise from a draft that takes place so soon after the 2013 season, I prefer to use it as a litmus test, to see how the 2013 season affected specific player’s draft position and overall value. So there’s something to be gleaned here. And if you are into spoilers and want to see how the entire draft played out, you can check out the results here. Also, if you have an inexplicable yearning to get lost in early 90′s website design, enjoy. Anyhow, let’s get this party started with heavy amounts of gleaning after the jump.
Here’s the lowdown, because nobody calls it the updown…
Style: 5×5 Roto, Size: 12-team, 25-man rosters, Positions: 2 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, U / 5 SP, 2 RP, 2 P / 2 BN
Note: Why we have bench spots for a mock draft, I have no idea. But if there was anything to be learned from the fallout of my 2013 Bold Predictions, the take away is that even in a mock draft, my targeted players would have an intense desire to get injured while not even playing. So I guess having a mock bench as backup helps me with depth. Because hedging is the new winning. Something like that.
Draft Roster and Order:
1 — George Fitopoulos, Baseball Professor, @BaseballProf
2 — Chris McBrien, Dear Mr. Fantasy, @cmcbrien
3 — Nate Springfield, Baseball Press, @NateSpringfield
4 — Clave Jones, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks, @clavejones
5 — Eric Broutman, Baseball Professor, @BaseballProf
6 — Paul Beck, Baseball Professor, @mroaklanda
7 — Jake Devereaux, Baseball Professor, @devjake
8 — Tanner Bell, Smart Fantasy Baseball, @smartfantasybb
9 — Bryan Curley, Baseball Professor, @BaseballProf
10 — Zach Pincince, Baseball Professor, @BaseballProf
11 — Adam Nodiff, Baseball Professor, @ANodBaseball
12 — Jason Longfellow, Razzball, @jaywrong
Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Recap, Rounds 1-5
1.12 — Edwin Encarnacion 1B, TOR
With all the household names taken, I went with the most stable top-end production still available. There is little risk here, and 35+ home runs, health permitting, should be counted on. I pleaded the fif here, and my thoughts are still the same. And while the late-season shut down did cause some notice, it’s more a blip than anything, so I’m satisfied with these turn of events. That’s what she, ahem, actually did not say last night.
First Round Notes: Mike Trout (1.1) taken first overall was nice to see. I am a firm believer that he can duplicate closer to his 2012 season than Miguel Cabrera can to his 2012 numbers. Was that a back-handed compliment at Miggy? Maybe. But, to be fair, he doesn’t put up much of a defense. Get it? Because he’s a horrible defensive third baseman. Look, this debate will be the primary preface for most off-season draft discussions, but it’s a dumb debate. You’d be happy with either. I’m just leaning in Trout’s direction. Because fish puns, I guess. The biggest surprise was Tanner Bell (Smart Fantasy Baseball) selecting Hanley Ramirez at 1.8. They say fortune favors the bold. I’m not sure who ‘they’ are, but even ‘their’ right eyebrow’s were raised in Spock-mode by this pick. I’m all for high-risk/high-reward choices in certain circumstances, but with several safer and just as productive choices still on the board (Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, and Adam Jones) this borders on masochism. Speaking of Ryan Braun, I was curious where he would land. I had hoped that the fallout of herpes, FedEx jokes, and claiming the entire north side of Chicago was anti-semitic would drop him to my slot, but alas, ’twas not to be. I blame Obama.
2.13 — Chris Davis OF, BAL
Even though having the last pick to start the draft has it’s disadvantages, I did like having the turn. There were several directions I could go here. Maybe lean towards positional scarcity and go for a Jean Segura or Jason Kipnis. Maybe nab the best pitcher by a fair margin in Clayton Kershaw. Or maybe even go with a wildcard type of ‘I’m too smart for this’ pick in Bryce Harper. All of these names appealed to me to a certain extent, but none of them felt right. So what felt so right about Davis? I think I was still in the ‘best player off-the-board’ mindset. To be fair, there is still some risk here. After all, who is the real Chris Davis; the 2012 or 2013 version? What my pick presupposes is, why not both? It doesn’t hurt that his BABIP and Plate Discipline data are all within career norms. Combine that with a change in his swing mechanics and increased flyball distance, there’s a legitimate expectation that while he won’t become the next Barry Bonds, he most certainly can hit 40+ home runs with a batting average you can live with. In today’s run environment, where the only other player to hit 40+ bombs in 2013 was Miguel Cabrera, I’ll take Davis in the low 1st Round, early 2nd Round every single time. And, cornering the market on elite-home run production with my first two picks could theoretically open up some things later on, strategy-wise. Yep, she actually did say that last night. But I have no idea why.
Second Round Notes: Clayton Kershaw ended up being selected by Zach Pincince (Baseball Professor) two picks later at 2.15. Some prefer to wait on pitchers, and I obviously decided to do this, but I’m not against this pick in the least. There were some slight reaches with Prince Fielder going at 2.17 and Jay Bruce at 2.20. Then, Albert Pujols happened, coming off the board at 2.24, drafted by George Fitopoulos (Baseball Professor). I wasn’t sure if I was magically transported to the off-season of 2002 or that the Freddie Freeman selection (2.23) right before had given me concust like symptoms. As I said earlier, fortune favors the bold, but color me skeptical on both of those guys. By-the-way, Bryce Harper was selected at 2.18, which might give some hint that perceptions of him are still strong. I figured there might be some discount here with the injury history and Jason Heyward serving as a cautionary tale. Then again, I was considering him at 2.13… so I’ll officially label this event as ‘fascinating’.
3.36 — Yu Darvish SP, TEX
If Yu know anything about me, it’s that I love Yu. I mean, I love me, maybe too much, but then comes Yu. Yu know this because I’ve taken the pun to warp 9. And now we have Star Trek in here for no reason whatsoever. I am now officially aroused.
Third Round Notes: This round, I call it the sammich round, because I’m hungry. Also, because I found the opening and ending salvo of Carlos Gomez (3.25) and Alex Rios (3.35) to be… an interesting choice of bread. You could justify the picks by saying they are both a high-risk, high-reward (reoccurring theme!) price of doing business, but I feel there’s more weight on the risk side here. My concerns with Go-Go can be found here, and with Rios… I can’t say I really understand the player called Rios. He seems to follow the same formula that the Star Trek movies do (MOAR TREK REFERENCES), which is to phone it in right after acting like a boss, rinse and repeat. While that trend was finally broken this last season, I still can’t tell with any kind of certainty what happens next time out. No one can. The meaty part of this round was just fine though. There’s an obvious devaluation of Giancarlo Stanton at play here, but we all know the upside. I thought Chris McBrien’s (Dear Mr. Fantasy) selection of Jean Segura (3.26) before Ian Desmond (3.28) was reverse what I would have done, but other than that, there wasn’t much else out of the ordinary.
4.37 — Shin-Soo Choo OF, FA
So, not only do I have a Padres homerism as a handicap, I guess I stick with my Korean homeboys as well. Dat’s raycess. I think. Regardless, not only did I have an overwhelming need to forage for spoiled cabbage in the immediate vincinity, I also wanted to start thinking of the big picture. And what I mean by that is I wanted balance. And no one does balance better than Choo. You’ve got the fantasy baseball triumvirate here… batting average, homeruns, and stolen bases. True, the production comes in trickles, but it’s a dependable trickle. Which, when you think about it for a while, sounds kinda gross.
Fourth Round Notes: There were some things I liked, some things I didn’t like, and some things that were interesting. That’s what this round is about, which is why I came up with that great name for it. Even the acronym is bomb. TWSTILSTIDLASTTWI. Rolls right off the tongue, does it not? What I liked– Josh Donaldson (4.44) getting some well deserved love from Eric Broutman (Baseball Professor). I also showed a similar kind of love in my 2012 Keeper Top-100 List. What I didn’t like — Allen Craig (4.46) getting some undeserved love from Nate Springfield (Baseball Press). Look, I like Allen Craig. I wouldn’t mind having him on my fantasy team, especially if it’s an OBP league. But let’s remember a few things here. Desmond Jennings, Trevor Plouffe, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit more home runs than him. He only played in 136 games… which was a career high. And with Matt Adams entering the picture, a move to outfield has me worried. The numbers tell me he traded fly balls for line drives, which is nice for his batting average. But honestly, if this is who he is, I can buy that with Billy Butler. Who went eight rounds later in this draft. The interesting — Yasiel Puig (4.38). Why? Because #ManBearPuig. Is that a reason? Does it matter? What’s with all of these questions?
5.60 – Wilin Rosario C, COL
Yes, I realize this might be my first real ‘questionable’ pick. And yeah, I realize Grey’s mustache made a frown-like shape at this specific pick as well. I think it was a frown. But here’s the thing. In a two-catcher league, I always-always-always go with a star/scrub approach. I’m okay with punting or dumpster diving under certain circumstances, but these are two roster spots that require you to fish in one of the shallowest fantasy ponds. I want at least one of the spots to be filled by a top-tier player. With Buster Posey off the board, combined with the fact that after my 6.61 pick, I wouldn’t select again until 21 players later, and with the selections of Yadier Molina (6.63), Carlos Santana (6.71), Joe Mauer (6.72), and Jonathan Lucroy (7.79) in that specific span… Well, all of this illuminates a self-aggrandizing light on the idea that maybe I was onto something here. Wilin Rosario was simply the guy I liked the most out of all those names. I like the power, I like the batting average, and I love the hitting environment. So that may not justify it, but at least, I certainly had my reasons.
Fifth Round Notes: I love Jake Devereaux‘s (Baseball Professor) selection of Jose Fernandez (5.55). Or maybe I just love Fernandez so much, that Jake’s association is enough to spread it all around. I want to love and hate Jason Heyward (5.54) going off the board in this round. At first, I thought it was too high. Then, after further review, I thought maybe it was too low. So I guess we should get some bears and porridge involved and call it just right. But you know how they always say end something on a high note? Not me. I’m flying in the face of that. Why? Because Josh Hamilton (5.50) was selected to open this round. I don’t see any upside with this high of a selection, and my thoughts still mirror my early season alert on what was happening with the Hambone. If you want the short version of my feelings, it simply is this: GAH, KILL IT WITH FIRE!
We’ll cover rounds 6-10 soon, and then, after that, cover the remaining 11-25 rounds of this mockmentiful celebration of what happens when fantasy baseball writers have nothing to do in their mom’s basement during the off-season. Not counting the visits to PornHUB. And, you know, the fridge. And then back to PornHUB. Eh, you get the point.
Jason Longfellow, aka Jay Long, aka JayWrong, aka Jay, aka JW-1, is a 31-year old Korean/Irish writer who finds solace using Makers Mark as a vehicle to impress women, and also has an affinity for making Jennifer Lawrence GIFs. You can follow him @jaywrong, read his blog Desultory Thoughts of a Longfellow, or, you can find his GIFs at his tumblr, named Siuijeonseo.