Back on the 6th of February, I was invited to a 15-Team Expert’s Mock meant to emulate something akin to what the NFBC does. Whoa, Rudy has a Razzy sign-up on-going for this type of format?… Coincidence? NOTHING IS COINCIDENCE. Anyhizzle, I’d like to thank Paul Sporer of Baseball Prospectus and our mighty mustache’d overlord Grey for being invited to such a festive affair. I even wore my Christmas sweater. At home. In front of the computer. With no socks. Or pants. Lo-and-behold, the draft was held on a Thursday, which, if you don’t know, is a night reserved for drinking and debauchery in the Longfellow household. Then again, so is Friday. And Saturday. And, um, well, Sunday too. And Monday. Well, you get the point. ALL THE NIGHTS. I could quite possibly be an alcoholic. But I like the taste, so that means I’m not. Wait, what? Anyhow, the best part about drinking during a draft, even a mock one, is you get plausible deniability for everything. Did I need some here? That’s for you to decide…

Here’s the lowdown, because nobody calls it the updown… (Recap and complete Chart.)

Style: 5×5 Roto, Size: 15-team, 23-man rosters (not 50, which can be the maximum for NFBC, since, you know, we wanted to finish the draft in less than three months), Positions: 2 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, U / 9 P. Strategy: Grey’s PEDS mixed with my own tier-targets and favorites. All slathered in Markers Mark.

Draft Roster and Order:

1 – Brent Hershey, Baseball HQ
2 – Paul Sporer, Baseball Prospectus
3 – Jason Longfellow, Razzball
4 – Nick Raducanu, FantasyTrade411
5 – Ryan Carey, Mastersball
6 – Cory Schwartz,
7 – David Gonos, Sports Illustrated
8 – D.J. Short, Rotoworld
9 – Alex Kantecki, Baseball Prospectus
10 – Jake Ciely, RotoExperts
11 – Tim Heaney, KFFL
12 – Derek Carty, DFSEdge
13 – Zach Steinhorn,
14 – Jeff Zimmerman, FanGraphs
15 – Nick Shlain, Rotowire

Just like my last mock, which was a ridiculously early one (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), our draft was hosted by Couch Managers. An easy drafting site to use, with so many-many colors. Like, lots. And unlike my last mock, I picked early in the 3-spot, and Grey would have been proud. LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE CREATED. Here’s the first round:

1.1 Brent Hershey Mike Trout
1.2 Paul Sporer Miguel Cabrera
1.3 Jason Longfellow Paul Goldschmidt
1.4 Nick Radancu Andrew McCutchen
1.5 Ryan Carey Clayton Kershaw
1.6 Cory Schwartz Carlos Gonzalez
1.7 David Gonos Robinson Cano
1.8 D.J. Short Hanley Ramirez
1.9 Alex Kantecki Ryan Braun
1.10 Jake Ciely Bryce Harper
1.11 Tim Heaney Adam Jones
1.12 Derek Carty Chris Davis
1.13 Zach Steinhorn Prince Fielder
1.14 Jeff Zimmerman Jason Kipnis
1.15 Nick Shlain Jacoby Ellsbury

So, seems like any other first round you’ll see out there, nothing out of the ordinary… wait a second. Is that Clayton Kershaw? At 1.5!?




Hanley Ramirez before Adam Jones? Prince Fielder? Jason Kipnis? WHERE IS E5? Okay, so you get the point. This is probably one of the most amazing first rounds of all time. Of all time! So, obviously you see now why drinking happened. I mean, it was going to happen regardless, but this opening salvo was a great starting point. And that’s not to say you can’t justify each pick. I guess you could make an argument for every single one. It’s not like Bruce Chen was selected in the first round, though even that could be defended… as being awesome. At the very least, all of the names taken can be considered top-tier talent… but the sequencing is something if not curious. I mean, it may just be me, but I have no idea how Edwin Encarnacion can fall all the way to 2.21, behind David Wright and Adrian Beltre. I think this is the long way of saying– maybe my evaluations of players are really-really off? That, and I’m pretty sure I’m in love with Encarnacion.

Anyhow, here’s how my team turned out, which I guess can be described as young. Very-very young.

Player POS Tm Pick
C Alex Avila C DET 18.268
C Derek Norris C OAK 21.303
1B Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI 1.3
2B Jedd Gyorko 2B SD 6.88
3B Pedro Alvarez 3B PIT 4.58
SS Jean Segura SS MIL 2.28
CI Manny Machado 3B BAL 9.123
MI Xander Bogaerts 3B/SS BOS 8.118
OF Nelson Cruz OF FA 13.183
OF Avisail Garcia OF CHW 14.208
OF Starling Marte OF PIT 5.63
OF Marcell Ozuna OF MIA 16.238
OF Christian Yelich OF MIA 10.148
U Carlos Quentin OF SD 22.328
P R.A. Dickey SP TOR 12.178
P Sonny Gray SP OAK 11.153
P Rick Porcello SP DET 17.243
P Stephen Strasburg SP WAS 3.33
P Masahiro Tanaka SP NYY 7.93
P Taijuan Walker SP SEA 15.213
P Cody Allen RP CLE 20.298
P Joaquin Benoit RP SD 19.273
P Mark Melancon RP PIT 23.333

So there it is. I don’t even think I can take the median-age drinking with me. Having sex with my team might even be illegal in the United States. I don’t know, because the less math, the better. While my overall strategy might seem to have been ‘go young or go home’, which we’ll call the Woody Allen, I actually tried to attack this draft with a combo-punch strategy. And as stated above, that punch would be one-part Grey’s mustache on PEDS, one-part Jay’s Wrongness, all topped off with copious amounts of alcohol. Bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for him…

Mustache Says…

Never draft a pitcher with your first two picks.

Yeah, I seemed to follow this one okay. Stephen Strasburg cut things close, but with Clayton Kershaw coming off the board 2 Fast, 2 Furious, you really can’t complain. I mean, you can complain, but why?

Never take a top-tier closer.”

Well, this one I followed probably too much. I selected no closers, as there weren’t any left when I started thinking about it. Just the nature of a 15-team draft, I suppose. If you’re curious, the closer rush happened towards the end of round 6, and left me with a resounding ‘meh’. LaTroy Hawkins, Brad Zeigler, and Koji Uehara all got saves last year, and weren’t draft day targets, just to name a few. There’s no reason why you can’t grab a 2014 version of Danny Farquhar off the wire. Now, obviously, if this is NFBC rules, there are no waivers, so what you get is what you got. In that case, what I did is probably the next best thing, and that’s getting lock-down setup guys that could get a shot at the role.

Have your offense squared away before the final rounds”

Nailed it.

“When deep into a position, take a flyer on upside.”

That’s what she said. But yeah, the whole team is an experiment in upside, so that’s all I’ll say about that.

When in doubt, draft your fourth and fifth starters from NL teams.”

Well, this is the one I whiffed on. Not that I don’t agree with the strategy, I’m all about the hodge-Padres as the next Razzian, but I loved my Porcello pick. And I think the league that Gray and Walker pitch in is offset from their friendly pitching environments. I didn’t technically follow the rule, but the spirit is there, after a fashion.

“Draft at least one Padres player and R.A. Dickey. Extra credit for Chase Headley.”

Haha, just kidding. That’s actually a Jay Wrongism. Not to be confused with a Jay Wrongasm, which are prettier. And have a touch of lilac and ginger.

What say you Razzballers? Things you like? Things you dislike? TELL ME EVERYTHING.


Want more of the Jay? Don’t we all folks? Don’t. We. All. Well, you, in fact, can have more. AMAZING. I know. You can find Jay enjoying his new dig’s over at the Football side of Razz


  1. OaktownSteve says:

    Not very good in my estimation. (By the way the classic NFBC main event is 23 and 7 reserves. The 50 man roster is just for the draft champion format.)

    Do like some of the pitching. Don’t mind Strass that early in this format and really like doubling up Gray and Dickey at 11/12. You got a pretty good price on Marte. I’m iffy on him because of the really high K and GB rates, but he’s going earlier than that in current NFBC and that’s a pick you can live with. You also got a nice price on Gyorko. Like that pick too.

    I see the thinking at catcher. There’s a chance you get killed at C in this two C format and it’ll hamstring you if both those guys hit .230, which could happen.

    You didn’t take a lot of proven production. You’ve got Machado, Bogaerts, Garcia, Ozuna, and Yelich all with short resumes. All have good prospects but that’s a lot you’ll have to get right in a deep format. Not really in love with either Ozuna or Garcia.

    Tanaka is way, way too early for me there. So many really good SP2s to pick from. Most scouting reports have him as a high end 3 to possibly a low 2 upside for this year. He doesn’t look like his stuff translates to the Darvish level.

    Biggest problem is the three closers in waiting. This is probably nitpicking, but if you really want it to be NFBC style, that’s a weekly league with no GS or innings cap. Those three guys are clogging your roster. You’d need two of those guys to get full time gigs probably no later than end of May and hold them for the rest of the season to realize any material value out of the picks.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @OaktownSteve: I didn’t care about catchers in such a deep league with a 2 c format. Everyone will have problems there.

      I embraced the youthness, that’s for sureness. I admittedness it too.

      On Tanaka, I’d rather have him than all the other pitchers drafted in the 7th and 8th rounds…

      I see where you’re going on the relievers, but I’d prefer to have them as ratio augmenters and sacrifice a few wins.

      To each his own, though. Cogent argument.

      • OaktownSteve says:


        Here’s a list of some guys with 7+ round ADP in the NFBC:

        Cole, Shields, Gio, Minor, Cain, Latos, Bailey, Medlen, Cobb, Miller, Salazar, Cingrani, Cashner, Lirano, Fister

        Now I’m not saying that it’s impossible Tanaka outperforms these guys, but you’re passing up a lot of talent for a guy who has never thrown a pitch in MLB and who will play in a tough pitchers park in a tough division. Time will tell a true tale but on the surface I don’t much like it at all.

        I’m on the fence a little about catchers in a two catcher format, but one thing I’ve seen burn folks is two bad batting average catchers. You got Norris who has hit .226 over the last two season and Avila who hit .227 last year. I do think there’s a chance at least one of them if not both can be better, there’s a lot of downside batting average to a team that is also carrying Pedro Alvarez.

        Again, you probably didn’t play this like a true NFBC, but in that format to compete you target 100 wins and 1375 Ks. If you roll out 7 starters a week and your get 120 ks from your relief spot you need to average 180 ks per starter. 6 starters and you need 200 ks per starter. Plus you’re really hamstrung on wins.

        Meanwhile lets say those three guys net you 60 saves. That’s going to generally put you in the bottom 1/3 of your league. There is some whip/era help, but not nearly enough to compensate for the competitive disadvantage in the other categories. And that’s almost your best case scenario for those guys.

        Looks a little short of speed too.

        I’m not trying to be a tool, by the way (hope I’m not succeeding in spite of myself). I’ve been knee deep in NFBC prep though and you probably weren’t thinking of that very specific format as much as a generic 15 teamer, so some of what I said probably needs a grain of salt.

        • Jay

          Jay says:

          @OaktownSteve: I was referring to the actual mock draft, not ADP’s. Out of that list, I’m okay with Tanaka over all of them. Call it subjective.

          Again, it’s a 15 team league. Bad catchers are gonna happen everywhere.

          Good point on the pitching. If it were 30 rounds, there would be enough reserve starters to survive. And I wouldn’t be worried about speed. I’ve got guys who can sprinkle with Segura and Marte. But you’re right… I was drafting as I would a generic league.

  2. UncleLarryWalker says:

    God I love Gyorko. Maybe more than you do…

  3. Clint says:

    I think Nelson Cruz is gonna be a BIG wildcard this year. Rumors have the Rangers thinking of bringing him back in which case you’d have a bat lineup of Choo, Martin, Fielder, Beltre, Rios, Cruz to potentially deal with as a pitcher and in that park, that’d have to be sweating before the plane lands. Then again, if he winds up a Mariner as has been rumored, his value drops a lot, doesn’t it?

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Clint: Not sure what to think of him. I was actually trying to draft the Shark, but I ran out of time due to drunkeness. I’m fine with him there at that spot though.

  4. BTD says:

    Knuckleballers are tough reads. Why so high on the Dickey?

    And Bogaerts ahead of Machado I assume is a positional decision? Or do you have him ranked higher?

    My only ‘beef’ would be having both Marlin outfielders not named Giancarlo? I think you have a solid offense otherwise.

    • OaktownSteve says:


      RA pitched hurt. Been a lot of discussion on the web about the drop in velocity for the knuckleball. Velocity came back second half and he turned in a 3.56/1.17 split with a 7.97 K rate. Guy gives innings too, which is great in the NFBC format. 15+ wins, 180 Ks and an ERA/WHiP projecting right around the target not a bad pick. Currently NFBC ADP of 218 so could have waited a bit longer in theory, but if you like a guy and you’re near the turn sometimes you just go get ’em.

      • BTD says:

        @OaktownSteve: Thanks, I didn’t know that he pitched hurt last year. That would impact his unique knuckler. Interesting. If he gets anywhere near that, he’ll be a great pick in the 12th.

  5. Carnac says:

    I have Woodford Reserve ranked above Makers. It’s a couple bucks more, but provides a lot of value. It’s a 5-tool bourbon.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Carnac: Wild Turkey is good deep round value too.

    • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:

      @Carnac: Got a bottle of Makers with a sweater knitted around it that said “Makers” this Christmas.

      Best present ever.

      • T-ball Hero says:

        @Jeff in Southern Indiana: Love Makers. Haven’t had the Woodford Reserve, but I’m currently drafting Willet (and especially Willet Rye) early. Aged in Kentucky but fermented right in your backyard of Southern Indiana.

    • brett says:

      @Carnac: if you can find it, Breckenridge distillery has the best bourbon I’ve ever tried. I was a woodford or knob creek man before I found that beauty.

  6. CL says:

    Looks like you drafted a Dynasty Team 3 years out. You need more to win this year, in my opinion. It is 15 teams though.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @CL: more like two years out bro.

  7. Jeff in Southern Indiana says:

    Interesting draft.

    I’d rather have Machado at 3B than Alvarez, and draft a power hitting 1B with a little better average late for the CI spot. Abreu, Lind, Morneau all seem to be going relatively late and might be good values.

    I think you should have gotten involved in the closer run in a league with no transactions. Maybe the 4th rounder spend on Pedro could have grabbed a Kimbrel or Aroldis to help you dominate Ks and ratios. But stuff happens in a draft, I know.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Jeff in Southern Indiana: Abreu went in the 7th so…

      I hear ya though. Shoot me if you ever see a team of mine with Lind on it.

  8. Tehol Beddict says:


    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Tehol Beddict: are you trying to escape from yhe villagers?

      • Tehol Beddict says:

        @Jay: i should dick slap these peasants

  9. Anthony says:

    A little of of a problem with a trade.. I REALLY want to pair Kershaw with my Darvish. The offer is Bruce or Donaldson/Gray/Kyle Zimmer for his Kershaw. I’m in a 12 team dynasty league with extremely large rosters and prospect rosters. Is this worth Kershaw? My hitting is really stacked, especially my OF. My other 3B is Arenado but I do have Franco and Bryant on the way. What do you think man?! Thanks a lot!!

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Anthony: I’d actually want Donalfson over Bruce. And yeah, give me Kershaw.

  10. jake says:


    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @jake: HONEYDEW

      • jake says:


        Totally underrated melon.

  11. Bream Dreams says:

    Would you trade Price and Prince for Trout and Rizzo? 12 team 12 keepers h2h keep as long as you want with no restrictions. I have Goldy at first. I used Prince in my one ut spot. All advice would be appreciated.

      • Bream Dreams says:

        @Jay thanks. Yeah I was gonna do it anyway. just needed to be validated I guess.

  12. Tom Jacks

    Tom Jacks says:

    I really don’t understand Kipnis that high. It’s going to give me nightmares.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Tom Jacks: Yeah, there were some fascinating selections. Not that I wasn’t immune to it. But, yeah…

  13. brett says:

    Keep forever question. Would you trade billy Hamilton for kimbrell?

    • Wallpaper Paterson says:

      @brett: yes, I take the position player over the closer in most cases. Granted, kimbrell is more proven. I would take the risk that Hamilton pans out.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @brett: not high on billy ham, but you still gotta go with the positional guy here.

  14. Ghost of the Disappeared says:

    Mr Wrong: It seems more like you were drafting for a cheesecake thong photo shoot team in the Bahamas. I am assuming this was not a keeper league. Not a bad team all if punting this year.

    Young is right! And no closers???

    Think you, lost the plot rds. 7-12… The reed with the staff is good… But not the reed with the reed with the reed and with more reeds.

    Would have grabbed Veras and tucked Strop under him instead of Benoit to Allen (who you could have maybe picked both later)

    That Pinto (time sharing) went before Pierzynski is a joke….

    There was clearly youngster hype going on in that draft.

    Hart (assuming he qualified in OF too) and Byrd were misses that were allowed to matriculate too far down the board

    Nice to see no love for Aybar.

    15 man snake leagues are tougher than auctions IMO…

    • Ghost of the Disappeared says:

      @Ghost of the Disappeared:

      Working on a great tapa menu for the snack bar in our league.

      Will post it soon

      • Ghost of the Disappeared says:

        @Ghost of the Disappeared: Jay: That it is a 2 catcher league knocks the all other picks back about one 12 man league round in mid draft in a 15 rd draft

  15. Cole says:

    I was really hoping more ppl would be scared off by Segura’s second half because I want him… but in the third round. It’s just I don’t like his chances of his value exceeding that draft spot, and I’m a homer Brewer fan.

    • Ghost of the Disappeared says:

      @Cole: Cole: I anticipate him going quite early in online shallow league play … I like him … Everyone likes him… I liked him last year and could have had him rather late – ruined may season not taking him.

      Can’t see him making it out of the 4th rd in any 12 man league from RazzBall

      He may go in the 2nd Rd quite often..

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @Cole: Yeah, the speed and position are hard things to ignore. He’s basically the new Jose Reyes.

  16. MPC says:

    Would you rather keep Kimbrel Rd 7 or Dickey Rd 12? 14 Team head to head.

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @MPC: Depends how your other starters are lined up. I feel this is a trick question that reveals that I love Dickey way too much.

      I’d go with Dickey. Sigh.

  17. Taint says:

    I’m 8 rounds into a NFBC draft, I had 15th pick, here’s what I got so far:

    • Jay

      Jay says:

      @de nachos: hah, good stuff.

      And yeah, probably a good strategy there.

    • goodfold2 says:

      @de nachos: wow, that guy is attempting to be a professional piece of shit.

  18. goodfold2 says:

    clearly drafting only 1 OF in a 5 OF league by the 9th round is crazy (and only 2 before Dickey), but your’s seemed to turn out surprisingly well having done that.

Comments are closed.