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 7 7 SS Lindor, Francisco CLE @Boston_Mo
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 9 24 3B Rendon, Anthony WAS @Boston_Mo
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 7 37 P Strasburg, Stephen WAS @Boston_Mo
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 9 54 P Corbin, Patrick WAS @Boston_Mo
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


Donkey Picks

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.


Favorite Picks

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.

  1. Harley Earl says:

    Good stuff here. I like seeing what others are thinking.

    I’m puzzled by the Puig pick. How does George Springer go undrafted in the first four rounds despite 96 runs, 39 HR, 96 RBIs, a .292 average and a .383 on-base pct. in only 122 games!!?? The dude missed 40 games and still put up huge numbers and was still #30 in the Player Rater.

    I’m stunned he’s not picked already. Heck, I would take Springer over Alvarez for that matter just because I know more of what to expect from him with less volatility likely. But, yeah, I see the major upside Alvarez has.

    Cool stuff. Looking forward to the next update on this! Thanks Donk!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Thanks Harley!

      Agree on Springer. He ended up going at pick 65 which is nutty. ADP across all drafts was 52, still nutty.

      The Yordan area feels about right, he was putting up first round value until his injury, in May I think it was. The key with him is whether he’ll run or not. I think Grey took Springer top 20 in our mock pod, he may be the high man.

      • Harley Earl says:

        Appreciate the reply!

        Hey, I’ve got no issue with Yordan at #28. My issue was someone taking Puig over Springer and Springer not going in the first four rounds. Grey has Springer at #20? I’d say that’s pretty close to right on. I’d say 20-25 is where I’d take him. I know in the leagues I play, Springer would be a 2nd round pick, early third round at the very latest. Two reasons I like Springer over Yordan is multi-position eligibility and a little bit of speed. But Alvarez has youth and time on his side!!!

        If we pro-rated Springer’s numbers for last season for the 40 games he missed, do you realize that comes to 52 HR, 128 runs and 128 RBIs with 8 SBs? That’s easily top 20. Stupid hamstring!!!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Fair points but I wouldn’t be stunned if Springer and Yordan were both in the 4-6 steal range next year. That said, I have em pretty close and Springer does feel a bit safer.

  2. Hernan says:

    Super interesting as always, Puig’s is baffling, total reach , specially when you consider his mid 70s ADPs (other mock drafts), also seeing Whitt Merrifield still being drafted as a big difference maker for speed makes no sense, guy goes from 55 attempts to 30, wrong side of 30, bad signs, specially when guys like Mercado, Ramon Laureano, Luis Robert, etc, even guys like Ahmed Rosario Or a way deep Josh Rojas( 2nd base job for him to lose with the guy that used to cry for Mets gone( forgot his name) ), also looking further, if there’s a year to avoid paying for saves, it’s 2020, after those Edwin Diaz/Blake Trainen/Craig Kimberly land mines, not even handcuffing makes sense, aka, Trevino/Familia and so…, watch Puig sit till June waiting for 5 years, 25 million per…

    • Hernan says:

      Lol, point on Merrifield got erased, 20ish steals guys can be had a lot later…

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Haha agree Puig will probably want something outrageous like that. I’m with you on Whit and the closers.

  3. Matty says:

    Thanks DT. I love seeing where guys are going early and seeing how miscellaneous off season maneuvering, hot or cold spring training, or other inexplicable forces change things over the long cold winter.

    I want to run a trade by the dedicated Razzballers who are reading this on an offseason Friday:
    12 team H2H 6×6 (OPS+QS/ H) , $325 salary cap dynasty
    Their Bellinger, Adalberto, Dannys Antana, and Edwin Diaz ($38, $31 without Diaz)
    For my Story, Bryant, and Giolito ($26)

    (This part doesn’t really have any bearing on the question, so no need to read this part unless you’re really checked out on work for the weekend and miss the midseason roster construction discussions)
    Long version:
    Current offense:
    C Vazquez (2), James McCann (2)
    1B Hosmer 23
    2B Biggio 5
    SS Story 13
    3B Bryant 19
    OF Betts 22, Harper (may be cut due to $70 salary), Domingo Santana 7, Castellanos 12
    UT Braun 2, Donaldson 34
    BN Renato Nunez 4, Dejong 8, Kevin Newman 2, Tauchman 2
    I also need to call up or drop Garrett Hampson ($4)
    Current pitchers:
    SP Scherzer ($50), Bauer ($31), Bieber ($4), Giolito ($5), Manaea ($6), Gallen ($2), Maeda ($13), Plesac ($3), Means ($2), McCullers ($2)
    RP Joe Jiminez ($2), Liam Hendricks ($5), Sergio Romo ($2), Tommy Kahnle ($2), Petit ($2), A Bummer ($2)
    Total currently projected salary is $41 over the limit, so I will need to trim some fat, some of which will fall off the back end of the rotation, and I’m hoping to ship Harper off to a Philly homer for not nothing or maybe deal Bauer.
    Thoughts, suggestions? Take it? Ask for something else?
    Have a great weekend everyone.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I like getting Bellinger and Mondesi for Story and Bryant but I’d wanna keep Giolito. Giolito and the rest of the pieces tilt in in the other direction for me. There’s some risk with Mondesi recovering into spring.

      I’d try to rework it.

  4. Nick says:

    Hi Donkey,

    my starting dynasty team is pretty much set.
    except at C !

    i’m finalizing my bench now…

    Bench :
    SS Tim Anderson
    1B Encarnacion
    OF Kris Davis
    2B/OF Lourdes Gurriel
    OF Arti Aquino
    3B Andujar

    i’d like improve my 1B backup : i have Breu, traded Alonso for Snell(+E5)!
    i can get : Lowe ? Christian Walker ? SETH BROWN !!

    Hampson looks like to breakout in 2020… and could be valuable as Util

    over who?
    Encarnacion may not play the full season, 400AB!? oldy E5
    KDavis power has come down, as average% 23HR and 0.220!
    …anyone else? Andujar and Gurriel are injured now, but should be ready soon

    thanks Nick

    • Matty says:

      I’m curious to see where E5 lands.
      We can pretty much rely on him to do the same thing every year, unless he winds up in a platoon. You weren’t asking for my opinion specifically, but I like him if he gets 400 AB, closer to 300 I like him a lot less.

    • Nick says:

      i can also get :
      Brujan / Solak / Luis Arraez / Jon Berti / Urshela / La Stella

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Agree with Matty, E5 is fine for 1B depth. Lowe and Brown are nice options if you can get em cheap, I prefer Lowe.

      Always tough to predict the Rockies with Hampson but the upside has always been there. Him, Brujan and Berti are all nice targets IMO.

      It’s already a solid bench you have though, how deep is this league?

      • Nick says:

        12 teams , 23 players…

        plus rookies pool, we can keep until they reach major games cap…

        my team is
        C –> no C (yet) can get Alfaro / Mejia / CVasquez/ Tom Murphy
        1B Abreu
        2B Villar
        3B Rendon
        SS Lindor
        OF1 Acuña
        OF2 JD Mart
        OF3 Castellanos
        Util Tim Anderson
        Bench : E5 KDavis Andujar Gurriel Aquino

        SP1 Snell
        SP2 Giolito
        Sp3 Domingo German
        SP4 Glasnow
        RP1 Pagan
        RP2 Iglesias
        P Heaney
        P Yarbrough
        Bench Lamet+Montas

        above listed future rookie star can be added for free, but drop one out of my team
        Rookies not starting the season would be stashed on bench

        right now i have no C , and no RP for holds… SAGNOF ^^

        Hampson is gone ,,, as FA pool opened just after the end of the finale

        • Nick says:

          OH by the way ;; i have 7 players in that 60 1st picks :

          Round 1 : Acuña /Lindor
          Round 2 : JD Mart / Rendon
          Round 3 : Snell/Villar
          Round 4 : Giolito

          :) nice 2020 (Y)early beginning

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:

            Nice! Your team is strong so not sure if rock the boat but Brujan would be a nice add. But if you add him he eats a major league bench spot til he’s up?

  5. Dave D says:

    Haha on Grey and Giancarlo. That sleeper post is not to be missed. Looks like some very odd choices in this draft. It seems like you’re aware passing on Tatis might come back to burn you (if it were a real league). Soto over Story and Turner? I like the guy but geez! Judge over Rendon or Xander? No thanks. Scherzer at 10? No way after watching the playoffs. Syndergaard over Gioloto? Why? Ohtani at 59? Completely insane. I definitely take with a pinch of salt. By comparison the early NFBC had Turner 4, Story 10, Tatis 16, Harper 36, which are all closer to where Id value them.

    Looking at Guerrero, I cannot help but think of Prince Fielder. Obese at 20 does not bode well for long term value. I say he’s done in MLB by age 30 but might have some good years before his crappy poor body maintenance supersedes his good genes.

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:

      Dave! how you feel about how the coaching staff is shaping up with Maddon in now?
      Bench Coach – likely mike gallego
      infield/3b – Butterfield following from cubs
      pitching coach – Mickey Callaway let go from Mets
      asst hitting coach – John Mallee (not sure how i feel about him, seeing as how he affected the phillies and then replaced by Manuel)

      • Dave D says:

        I’m pretty happy about that. The only thing I’m upset about in the news is seeing that d’bag Josh Hamilton. I’m disgusted he ever wore our uniform. What a loser.

        • Coolwhip

          Coolwhip says:

          haha yeah. never give a bunch of money to someone with a drug problem. he needed help, not a contract.

      • Dave D says:

        Hopefully Callaway can straighten out Cole after we sign him 7 years $225 million.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Prince sounds about right. He had a few awesome fantasy seasons Will be interesting to see how seriously Vlad takes his off season conditioning.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    Wait, did you draft Yordan before FTJ?

    I was not nodding fatherly approval, I dressed as a Pez for Halloween (in September).

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Yep I was a little distracted with the recording of Donkey Does Dallas, you get how that goes.

      • Grey

        Grey says:

        Way too familiar

  7. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:

    I’m with you on the Joey Gallo train. As I covered in my post on him earlier this season, he’s on the verge of a Adam Dunn season — .240 AVG 40+ HRs. If there’s anyone who can appreciate a Big Donkey, it’s you DT ;-)

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Good to hear, Coolwhip! Woulda been interesting to see Gallo’s numbers had he stayed healthy…he was so locked in early season but never quite got dialed in after his return.

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:

        in 150+ games, i see no reason why he can’t hit 50+ bombs with the juiciness. he finished last year (including his unhealthy dropoff after first injury) — #1 in EV on FB+LD, #3 in HardHit%, #3 in barrel%/PA, and #8/7 in SLG/xSLG respectively… theres a lot to like there!

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Absolutely! You’re speaking my language, just always that chance he hits .200 in the back of the head…

      • darren says:

        How high could you see Gallo going in an OBP league?

        And speaking of effect league settings/cats, Ohtani ADP is going to have a huge variation depending on league type. In a daily roster league with dual eligibility he is going to have a lot of value, especially if weekly transactions are limited to limit streaming. I’m in one like that with a limit of 4 transactions (and only 10 active slots with 2 UTIL). I’m thinking in that league he might be an early second rounder. OTOH if weekly transaction leagues or worse, two Ohtani leagues, his value drops precipitously. Goign to really have to know your league type to value him correctly.

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:

          Off the top of my head he’s probably a top 25 OBP player, could see him going top 20.

          Completely agree on Ohtani. I didn’t think he was a reach there but I’m a huge Ohtani fan. If it’s a weekly league then it doesn’t look as great…

  8. Was just gonna ask about Yordy over Tatis (then read further) LOVE Yordan but it seems if you’re targeting Tatis (which I am) it will most likely require calling his name in rounds 1 or 2. If I get an early pick I’ll have to hope he is there in the 2nd (12 team redraft)
    Donk did you consider a big dog SP (maybe a Clevinger, Strasburg, Snell or a Castillo) in the 3rd or 4th at the expense of Grey’s wrath? Haha – you out there brother-man?
    Agree with Harley and Dave D – Springer a big miss, and just can’t pull trigger on Vlad.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      Pitcher in the 3rd or 4th really depends on the league…I’ll definitely consider something like that in a competitive 15 teamer. Just depends on opportunity cost and who I think will fall to me in the 5th/6th. Some leagues I feel more confident piecing the pitching staff together than others, know what I mean?

      Agreed on Springer, he needs to go in the first 4 rounds.

  9. Ralphy says:

    I am curious where Ryu goes? He seems to be a tough one to rank.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:

      I actually took him a pick 118, seems like he’s getting pretty undervalued…

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