Back in high school I remember there was a kid in my class who sported an iron-on patch on his backpack. The patch read, “Pornography Rapes the Mind.” I’m guessing that kid wouldn’t approve of my last production: Donkey Does Dallas. Anyway, I’m not here to analyze the porn industry and its effects on the mind—Grey will be covering that extensively in his Giancarlo Sleeper Post next week. Instead I’m here to discuss how mock drafts rape the mind. We join these mocks, select all our favorite players and rosterbate the night away. Then our real draft comes around and every player we want is taken two rounds earlier than in the mock; we’re left grasping our limp lineup wondering what in the name of Jesús Luzardo happened.
What I’m saying is, don’t take these mock results too seriously. For me, the real value in mock drafting is in gaining greater familiarity with the player pool and contemplating roster construction. Regardless, it’s still entertaining to take a look at the results and consider which players may or may not come at a value next year. Below you’ll find the first four rounds of my 2 Early Mock which took place across a two week period from early to mid-September. Find the full ADP data from all six 2 Early Mocks here, generously provided by Smada of Prospects Live and Friends with Fantasy Benefits.
|Round||Pick||Ov Pick||Pos||Player||Team||Fantasy Team|
|1||1||1||OF||Acuna Jr., Ronald||ATL||Jeff Zimmerman|
|1||2||2||OF||Trout, Mike||LAA||Mike Werner|
|1||3||3||OF||Yelich, Christian||MIL||Donkey Teeth|
|1||4||4||OF||Betts, Mookie||BOS||Reuven Guy|
|1||5||5||P||Cole, Gerrit||HOU||Brian Slack|
|1||6||6||1B||Bellinger, Cody||LAD||Matt Simmons|
|1||8||8||3B||Bregman, Alex||HOU||Chuck Anderson|
|1||9||9||OF||Soto, Juan||WAS||Joe Gentile|
|1||10||10||P||Scherzer, Max||WAS||Ray Butler|
|1||11||11||P||deGrom, Jacob||NYM||Carmen Maiorano|
|1||12||12||3B||Arenado, Nolan||COL||Erik Halterman|
|1||13||13||SS||Story, Trevor||COL||Dave Poepping|
|1||14||14||3B||Ramirez, Jose||CLE||Joe Drake|
|1||15||15||1B||Freeman, Freddie||ATL||Max Freeze|
|2||1||16||SS||Turner, Trea||WAS||Max Freeze|
|2||2||17||OF||Harper, Bryce||PHI||Joe Drake|
|2||3||18||OF||Martinez, J.D.||BOS||Dave Poepping|
|2||4||19||P||Verlander, Justin||HOU||Erik Halterman|
|2||5||20||OF||Judge, Aaron||NYY||Carmen Maiorano|
|2||6||21||SS||Bogaerts, Xander||BOS||Ray Butler|
|2||7||22||3B||Devers, Rafael||BOS||Joe Gentile|
|2||8||23||SS||Baez, Javier||CHC||Chuck Anderson|
|2||10||25||P||Buehler, Walker||LAD||Matt Simmons|
|2||11||26||OF||Marte, Starling||PIT||Brian Slack|
|2||12||27||P||Nola, Aaron||PHI||Reuven Guy|
|2||13||28||OF||Alvarez, Yordan||HOU||Donkey Teeth|
|2||14||29||SS||Tatis Jr., Fernando||SD||Mike Werner|
|2||15||30||P||Bieber, Shane||CLE||Jeff Zimmerman|
|3||1||31||P||Flaherty, Jack||STL||Jeff Zimmerman|
|3||2||32||SS||Mondesi, Adalberto||KC||Mike Werner|
|3||3||33||3B||Guerrero Jr., Vladimir||TOR||Donkey Teeth|
|3||4||34||P||Kershaw, Clayton||LAD||Reuven Guy|
|3||5||35||P||Clevinger, Mike||CLE||Brian Slack|
|3||6||36||2B||Altuve, Jose||HOU||Matt Simmons|
|3||8||38||3B||Bryant, Kris||CHC||Chuck Anderson|
|3||9||39||OF||Marte, Ketel||ARI||Joe Gentile|
|3||10||40||P||Snell, Blake||TB||Ray Butler|
|3||11||41||2B||Villar, Jonathan||BAL||Carmen Maiorano|
|3||12||42||2B||Torres, Gleyber||NYY||Erik Halterman|
|3||13||43||2B||Merrifield, Whit||KC||Dave Poepping|
|3||14||44||3B||Machado, Manny||SD||Joe Drake|
|3||15||45||1B||Alonso, Pete||NYM||Max Freeze|
|4||1||46||P||Castillo, Luis||CIN||Max Freeze|
|4||2||47||P||Syndergaard, Noah||NYM||Joe Drake|
|4||3||48||2B||Hiura, Keston||MIL||Dave Poepping|
|4||4||49||OF||Gallo, Joey||TEX||Erik Halterman|
|4||5||50||OF||Puig, Yasiel||CLE||Carmen Maiorano|
|4||6||51||1B||Rizzo, Anthony||CHC||Ray Butler|
|4||7||52||P||Sale, Chris||BOS||Joe Gentile|
|4||8||53||P||Giolito, Lucas||CHW||Chuck Anderson|
|4||10||55||P||Greinke, Zack||HOU||Matt Simmons|
|4||11||56||OF||Blackmon, Charlie||COL||Brian Slack|
|4||12||57||1B||Bell, Josh||PIT||Reuven Guy|
|4||13||58||SS||Bichette, Bo||TOR||Donkey Teeth|
|4||14||59||UT||Ohtani, Shohei||LAA||Mike Werner|
|4||15||60||3B||Donaldson, Josh||ATL||Jeff Zimmerman|
Christian Yelich [1.03] – There’s a real argument for Yelich at #1 overall. In his first two seasons calling the Miller Park launch pad home, Yelich has averaged a line of 109/40/104/.327/26 in just 139 games. Imagine what these numbers look like if he manages to play another 15 games in 2020. Alight, I won’t make you imagine: 121/44/115/.327/29. In comparison, Mike Trout has never hit .327 in any season, he’s averaged 15 less games per season over the last 3 years, has a lesser supporting cast and looks at least 35 years older. That Acuña guy is also a decent pick at 1.01, we’re splitting pubic hairs between these three.
Yordan Alvarez [2.28] – In a moment I’ll get to why this pick makes me an even bigger donkey than I already was—it’s not because Air Yordan is a bad pick in the top 30. If you add up Alvarez’s numbers between AAA and the majors this year you get a total of 50 homers with 149 RBIs with a .325 average in just 143 games. There wasn’t much of a drop off between the levels. The only knocks that come to mind are the lack of steals and positional inflexibility Alvarez brings since he’ll be UTIL only in most leagues for at least a chunk of 2020.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. [3.33] – This feels like incredible value on Young Vlad as the shine has quickly worn off. The kid was being drafted around this area last year on sheer upside with an unknown MLB debut date. Sure, his 15 homers and .272 average were disappointing in 123 juiced ball games this year, but don’t forget Vlad is only 20 years old and was pitched to as if he were a 15 year veteran. He also had very little support surrounding him for most of the season. The .293 second half average is very encouraging and it’s only a matter of time before we see the Home Run Derby version of Vlad on a nightly basis.
Bo Bichette [4.58] – Apparently I reached a little on Bichette. His ADP across the six 2 Early Mocks was 69—nice. His meager 4 steals in 46 MLB games during 2019 isn’t an accurate depiction of Bichette’s upside—in 2018 he stole 32 bags over 131 AA games and prior to the promotion he had 15 steals in 56 AAA games— but the .311 average is a bit of a mirage as well. Still, it isn’t a stretch to imagine the youngster posting a 30/25 line next year with a .280-.290 average near the top of a much improved Blue Jays lineup. Here’s my top SS target if I miss out on the large group in the first and second rounds.
Fernando Tatis Jr. [2.29] – Only a true donkey would pass on Tatis at pick 28 in favor of the somewhat one dimensional Yordan Alvarez. These are the hazards of mock drafting for 2020 in early September, it’s easy to lose track of the player pool and come away looking like a fool. I expect Tatis will receive 2015 Carlos Correa type draft treatment. Correa was selected around #10-12 overall in 2016 and I could see Tatis landing in that area once the 2020 draft season is in full gear. I still haven’t decided whether or not I’ll be buying if 1st round is indeed the price tag, but the elite 5 category production will be tough to pass on in favor of a one-dimensional Arenado type.
Trevor Story [1.13] – Story is about to turn 27 and just posted an average stat line of 100/36/97/.293/25 with a 151 game average over the past two seasons. I took him at #4 overall in a recent 2020 mock draft with Grey and Ralph on the Razzball Podcast. It’s a coin flip between Story and Bellinger at #4 for me, but I lean Story for the 10 extra steals—have I mentioned that speed is increasingly hard to come by? What am I missing here?!
Trea Turner [2.16] – Grey was critical of my Treat pick at number 7 overall during that mock draft pod, but with the scarcity of steals, it sure seems like the right spot to me. Turner’s three year average is 91/16/58/.283/41 in 127 games. Over the past three seasons only three other players have posted single seasons of 40+ steals with a .280+ average—2017 Dee Gordon, 2018 Mallex Smith & 2018 Whit Merrifield—while Turner has averaged those numbers over the past three years with only a 127 games played average. Gimme all the donkey Treats, Grey!
Joey Gallo [4.49] – Joey Big Dong played 50 games prior to his oblique injury on June 1st. Gallo posted a beautiful line of 41/17/41/.275/3 in 171 at bats. In short, I don’t think the slugger has suddenly transformed from a .205 hitter to a .275 hitter, but his walk rate rose to over 19% in those first two months from 12.8% in 2018, and the juicy balls really seem to agree with Gallo’s swing. In writing this I’ve almost talked myself off Gallo due to the wide range of outcomes in batting average. The most likely outcome seems around .225-.230 average with 45ish homers and a handful of steals. Pick 40-50 feels like a fair price and a nice fit if you go heavy on average and speed in the early going—and I intend to. A 260 average with 60 home runs wouldn’t shock me at this point, who knows?
Least Favorite Picks
Gerrit Cole [1.05] – I’ve been fully brainwashed over the past year at Grey Albright’s School of Sexuality, Sarcasm and Hatred for Drafting Top Pitchers. I’m eager to see where Cole lands this off season as the top free agent on the market, I hear Scott Boras is demanding nothing less than a 20 year, 50 trillion dollar contract. But in most roto leagues it doesn’t really matter since I’ll be using my first couple picks on hitters with 5 category upside. *Grey nods with fatherly approval, Donkey blushes*
Clayton Kershaw [3.34] – I really whiffed with my #38 ranking of Kershaw in my 2019 Preseason Top 100 Starting Pitchers as the lefty posted SP#10 value this past season according to the Razzball Player Rater. Maybe it’s the stubborn jackass in me that believes it was still the right process to avoid the aging arm with a well documented herniated disc. Kershaw has now tossed 175, 161 and 178 innings over the past three season and it seems maybe they’ve found a system for managing his disc issue. Either way, I’ll let someone else take on the risk again in 2020.
Yasiel Puig [4.50] – I can’t imagine spending a 4th round pick on Puig at this point. The year-end numbers weren’t bad (76/24/84/.267/19 in 149 games) and landed him the #73 overall spot on the Razzball Player Rater. He had a nice two-month run in June/July, but the .218 average for the first two months along with the two home runs he hit over the final two months were about as satisfying as splitting all your meals with Bartolo Colon. Of course, if he signs in Colorado this off season then I reserve the right to flip flop.
Find Donkey Teeth on Twitter. Subscribe to his podcast under The Razzball Podcast feed on Itunes, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. All statistics courtesy of Fangraphs & Baseball Savant.