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March 15, 2011
Expert Mock Draft Results
I recently had the pleasure of doing a slow—and I mean slow—mock draft over the past four weeks with a few of my friends and colleagues in the fantasy baseball industry. That group included most of the mlb.com folks, Fernando DiFino, and the legendary Joe Sheehan. The draft started on February 17 and survived a few lost weekends, DiFino’s nuptials (congrats!) and several copy and paste issues from some of us that are still using not-so-smartphones.
It was a standard 12-team 5x5 league. We were told in advance it would not be played out but, at least for me, that did not change the way I drafted the team (I had the 12th spot in the draft). The table below shows each player’s draft spot, their current Average Draft Position, and the difference between those two numbers (my personal picks are bolded)
Before getting into my own team, I think it is important to look at who the “experts” are reaching for and who they are letting slide. These were the ten biggest reaches in the draft according to the latest ADP reports from MockDraftCentral.com:
The Encarnacion reach hit close to home, as I let him go by me in order to take Jake Peavy. If there is someone who loves Encarnacion more than me in 2011, it is Cory Schwartz, who picked two spots after me.
You will recall from my piece on closers last month that I like Leo Nunez as a late grab in drafts for this season and that apparently has not caught on with the mock drafters yet: Nunez’s current ADP is 376 which would not even have placed in this draft. Six of the ten players on this list are either closers or potential closers as drafters jumped up to take the players they thought would get saves this season. The biggest reach, McGee, may be the worst one at this stage: manager Joe Maddon has not yet showed his cards on how the bullpen will set up to start the season. In fact, McGee has gotten very little work to date and it has been mostly against minor league competition, so no one knows how high leverage his work will be.
As always, there are certain players that go right at their projected value and most of the time that happens early in the draft. The following players went within one pick or were taken right at their current ADP:
Of those 15, 10 were taken in the first 20 spots of the draft which helps with predictability in the early rounds. Hudson and Matusz, two players I like very much for this season, were not reached for despite their potential for more upside this season.
Meanwhile, these are the ten players that were taken well past their current ADP in this draft.
Players 11 and 12 on that list were John Lackey and Clay Buchholz, as both of them went 70-plus picks after their current ADP. Guerrero’s slide was one of the biggest surprises—he nearly fell all the way out of this draft as the group was clearly turned off by his second half of the season with the Rangers. Huff was also a surprise as a slide given his dual position eligibility and his strong skills last season. After all, he went nearly 40 picks after Ike Davis despite better numbers from the Player Forecast Manager. Soriano’s slide is not a surprise as I saw the exact same thing happen in two other drafts I did in recent days—he is a strong bargain late in drafts. The PFM has him at 23 home runs, 13 steals, 77 RBI, and a .265 average, solid production at pick 200 in a draft.
My own roster came together as such:
C: M. Montero
P: F. Rodriguez
What I like about my roster is that I have players such as Prado and Bautista that have multi-position eligibility. I make sure I get at least two players like that in any draft I do, particularly in AL- or NL-only leagues. Excepting speed, this roster should be very competitive on the offensive side despite the fact I used two early picks on staff aces in Lee and Sabathia. Wright, Furcal, and Abreu will have to provide the bulk of the steals for this squad as the rest of the team is rather slow of foot (maybe Butler will chip in).
On the pitching side, I like the group of starters I was able to assemble as I resisted the urge to jump into the first closer run and still ended up with two guys in Rodriguez and Francisco that I have been targeting due to their skills for this season. The PFM projects that duo for 53 saves, and is also very bullish on League—he’s projected for 31 saves right now. That was the last of the three relievers I took, following my typical plan of taking a high-skills set up man late in mixed leagues rather than chasing a third closer early.
If you are an auction type player, we now have the results of the LABR drafts to utilize and if you need more, all three ToutWars drafts are this weekend in New York City. The draft is not open to the public as it is in the MLB front offices, but it will be covered live on Sirius/XM radio on the fantasy sports channel and various writers will be live blogging the event directly from ToutWars.com. I will be live-blogging most of the NL draft on Sunday morning so I encourage you to drop in to either avenue and check out the auctions. If you live in the New York area, the ToutWars pre-party is Friday night at the infamous Foley’s NY bar near the Empire State Building. Feel free to come by and say hi to all the touts and buy us a beer!