Who doesn’t love a good mock draft?
Over the next two weeks we’ll be participating in quite a few ESPN mock drafts, and we’ll analyze each team we draft and each pick we make. Our first mock draft was in a mixed 10-team league with your standard 5×5 categories and the following starting positions:
This team drew the first overall pick in the. 25-round draft, and here’s what I ended up with. Note: some of the draft strategies we wrote about recently were used in this mock draft.
|1||1||Hanley Ramirez||Yeah I passed on Pujols, but come on. I need to start 3 middle infielders!|
|2||20||Ian Kinsler||With a 2B/SS spot, I really don’t want to start someone like Asdrubal Cabrera.|
|3||21||Matt Holliday||I need 5 OF, and Holliday is elite.|
|4||40||Joey Votto||1B/3B was getting thin and I still needed 3. Between Votto, Morneau, Reynolds.|
|5||41||Dan Haren||Unusual for me to take a SP so early, but I like Haren’s first-half stats in the 5th.|
|6||60||Kendry Morales||Looks like I might be stuck with a lower-tier 3B, but my 1B/3B slot is loaded.|
|7||61||Andre Ethier||Between Ethier and Abreu, but I don’t want two left-handed Angels.|
|8||80||Torii Hunter||Because I passed on Abreu, I could afford to take his right-handed teammate.|
|9||81||Gordon Beckham||Love this pick. He’ll qualify at 2B soon, and 2B/3B elig. is perfect for this format.|
|10||100||Clayton Kershaw||He might have lasted until my pick in Round 12, but I like him enough to reach.|
|11||101||Wandy Rodriguez||He wouldn’t have lasted until Round 12. Chose over Lackey, Baker, Anderson.|
|12||120||Scott Baker||Baker should fairly easily outproduce his ADP.|
|13||121||Nyjer Morgan||Reached a little, but between Hanley, Kinsler, Morgan, I won’t worry about SB.|
|14||140||Jorge Cantu||With Beckham my soon-to-be 2B/SS, Cantu becomes my 100-RBI 3B.|
|15||141||Jorge Posada||I didn’t want to wait any longer on a C. Either Posada or Montero. I like the vet.|
|16||160||Brian Fuentes||Just so I don’t end up with only two closers.|
|17||161||Ryan Ludwick||Ludwick is the perfect late-round complement to Morgan. 25 HR and 90 RBI.|
|18||180||Jorge de la Rosa||Has a better combination of upside and “done it before” than anyone left.|
|19||181||Jason Heyward||As my 6th OF, I’d say he’s worth taking a chance on.|
|20||200||Mike Gonzalez||Closers were looking bare. Time to get my second and third guys.|
|21||201||Brad Lidge||I’ll take the chance he can channel some of 2008’s magic. Philly will win a few.|
|22||220||Miguel Tejada||Fills my temporary void at 2B/SS, then slides over to UTIL. Old, but consistent.|
|23||221||Corey Hart||He’s been disappointing, but I’ll take the small risk. Maybe he has 20/20 in him.|
|24||240||Nick Swisher||Provides pop off the bench as well as 1B/OF dual-eligibility.|
|25||241||Carlos Zambrano||Does he really deserve to be in the same tier as Liriano? I don’t think so.|
What I Liked
I think I did a good job maximizing production from my 2B/SS and 1B/3B spots without really crippling any other areas of my team. I have flexibility with Beckham’s 2B/3B eligibility and Cantu’s 1B/3B eligibility, so I’ll be able to rotate fairly freely.
Disagree if you will, but taking Ramirez first overall set the tone for the entire draft. It allowed me to fill my shallow positions and then sit back and wait on Votto and Morales. Getting Beckham at 81st overall might have been a bit of a reach, but his potential and projected dual-eligibility make him extremely valuable in this format. Ludwick at 161st overall (and as a fifth outfielder) was great as well.
What I Didn’t Like
I really like my value ace in Haren, but I wish my second, third, and fourth starters were better overall. Between an elite offense and pitching depth, I opted for the former.
At the time, I didn’t really like Haren at 40th overall, but in retrospect I needed his arm. I think I waited a round too long to get my last closers as Gonzalez and Lidge have more risk than I would like. That said, I didn’t feel I could pass on Heyward at 181st overall.
Honestly, I couldn’t be much happier with this team. I would like my starting pitching to be a little stronger, but it’s almost impossible to accomplish that and have an all-around elite offense in a league as deep as this one. If forced to choose, I go for offense over pitching every time.
How Does This Team Project?
Ladies and gentleman, our Team Analyzer is complete! It will be released shortly as a Microsoft Excel download (once we reformat the formulas to be compatible with Excel 2003), but it is done and fully operational.
If we plug this team into the analyzer, the offense gets the following results as compared to the average team in a league with the exact same format:
- R: +29.7
- HR: +15.5
- RBI: +64.3
- SB: +10.5
- AVG: +6 points
Major Strengths: HR, RBI, SB
Major Weaknesses: None
Projected Record in Hitting Categories: 74-34-2 (.682)
Once we release the analyzer, you’ll have a better idea of what these numbers really mean, but for now they’ll suffice. Clearly, this offense is both balanced and potent. Morgan appears to be a key selection with his 50-SB potential, but his lack of production in the power categories is easily made up for. Credit the selections of Cantu (round 14) and Ludwick (round 17) for this.
As for the pitching categories, this team is projected to struggle some.
- W: -1.4
- SV: +4.7
- K: +98.8
- ERA: -0.21
- WHIP: -0.07
Major Strengths: SV, K
Major Weaknesses: ERA, WHIP
Projected Record in Pitching Categories: 52-58-0 (.474)
You can only wait so long to solidify your pitching staff and not expect to hurt your ERA and WHIP. In this draft, I knowingly waited on starting pitchers, and my ERA and WHIP have suffered. However, by acquiring closers with good save potential and starters with high K potential, I have given myself a great chance to win the counting categories. If this pitching staff can finish middle-of-the-pack, the offense should do the rest.