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March 15, 2011

Fantasy Beat

Expert Mock Draft Results

by Jason Collette

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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)

Player

Pick

ADP

Difference

Albert Pujols

1

1

0

Troy Tulowitzki

2

5

-3

Hanley Ramirez

3

2

1

Miguel Cabrera

4

3

1

Ryan Braun

5

9

-4

Evan Longoria

6

5

1

Carlos Gonzalez

7

7

0

Joey Votto

8

7

1

Robinson Cano

9

11

-2

Carl Crawford

10

16

-6

Adrian Gonzalez

11

9

2

David Wright

12

10

2

Chase Utley

13

19

-6

Ryan Zimmerman

14

22

-8

Alex Rodriguez

15

16

-1

Mark Teixeira

16

13

3

Josh Hamilton

17

14

3

Jose Reyes

18

28

-10

Matt Holliday

19

23

-4

Prince Fielder

20

21

-1

Kevin Youkilis

21

30

-9

Ryan Howard

22

16

6

Joe Mauer

23

20

3

Justin Upton

24

41

-17

Andrew McCutchen

25

45

-20

Matt Kemp

26

23

3

Dustin Pedroia

27

32

-5

Nelson Cruz

28

34

-6

Shin-Soo Choo

29

27

2

Roy Halladay

30

14

16

Dan Uggla

31

52

-21

Felix Hernandez

32

30

2

Brian McCann

33

29

4

Ian Kinsler

34

52

-18

Brandon Phillips

35

34

1

Cliff Lee

36

38

-2

Jose Bautista

37

49

-12

Tim Lincecum

38

21

17

Victor Martinez

39

30

9

Jacoby Ellsbury

40

68

-28

Zack Greinke

41

49

-8

Adam Dunn

42

46

-4

Jayson Werth

43

50

-7

Adrian Beltre

44

52

-8

Jason Heyward

45

52

-7

Ichiro Suzuki

46

31

15

Clayton Kershaw

47

48

-1

Buster Posey

48

47

1

Rickie Weeks

49

40

9

B.J. Upton

50

66

-16

Jon Lester

51

40

11

Elvis Andrus

52

71

-19

Mike Stanton

53

154

-101

Jimmy Rollins

54

41

13

Hunter Pence

55

83

-28

Alex Rios

56

59

-3

Jay Bruce

57

79

-22

Derek Jeter

58

47

11

Chris Young

59

98

-39

Andre Ethier

60

39

21

CC Sabathia

61

48

13

Colby Rasmus

62

94

-32

Carlos Marmol

63

94

-31

Mariano Rivera

64

59

5

Curtis Granderson

65

71

-6

Carlos Santana

66

135

-69

Kendry Morales

67

62

5

Drew Stubbs

68

156

-88

Adam Wainwright

69

INJ

INJ

Justin Morneau

70

50

20

Josh Johnson

71

73

-2

Neftali Feliz

72

114

-42

Joakim Soria

73

70

3

Justin Verlander

74

66

8

Shane Victorino

75

148

-73

Heath Bell

76

80

-4

Alexei Ramirez

77

99

-22

Brian Wilson

78

75

3

Cole Hamels

79

62

17

Francisco Liriano

80

79

1

Grady Sizemore

81

97

-16

Torii Hunter

82

92

-10

Andrew Bailey

83

148

-65

Billy Butler

84

82

2

Martin Prado

85

74

11

Stephen Drew

86

120

-34

Yovani Gallardo

87

64

23

Jonathan Papelbon

88

127

-39

Jason Bay

89

138

-49

Tommy Hanson

90

79

11

Michael Bourn

91

116

-25

Ubaldo Jimenez

92

43

49

Adam Lind

93

172

-79

Pedro Alvarez

94

84

10

Nick Markakis

95

107

-12

Jered Weaver

96

50

46

Mark Reynolds

97

133

-36

Kelly Johnson

98

111

-13

Delmon Young

99

116

-17

Pablo Sandoval

100

139

-39

Mat Latos

101

71

30

Dan Haren

102

49

53

Aramis Ramirez

103

102

1

Chone Figgins

104

90

14

David Price

105

61

44

Roy Oswalt

106

108

-2

Shaun Marcum

107

105

2

Corey Hart

108

105

3

Paul Konerko

109

71

38

Jose Valverde

110

143

-33

Ben Zobrist

111

126

-15

Max Scherzer

112

108

4

Michael Young

113

79

34

Matt Cain

114

88

26

Aaron Hill

115

166

-51

Jonathan Broxton

116

175

-59

John Axford

117

169

-52

Chris Carpenter

118

98

20

Travis Snider

119

294

-175

Brett Gardner

120

184

-64

Jose Tabata

121

246

-125

David Ortiz

122

183

-61

Jonathan Sanchez

123

173

-50

Brandon Morrow

124

127

-3

Chad Billingsley

125

85

40

Geovany Soto

126

99

27

Huston Street

127

153

-26

Adam Jones

128

189

-61

Ian Stewart

129

114

15

Mike Napoli

130

119

11

Matt Wieters

131

134

-3

Rafael Furcal

132

142

-10

Francisco Rodriguez

133

143

-10

Daniel Hudson

134

134

0

Chris Perez

135

163

-28

Ian Desmond

136

168

-32

Josh Beckett

137

184

-47

J.J. Putz

138

148

-10

Brad Lidge

139

214

-75

Brian Roberts

140

132

8

Juan Pierre

141

135

6

Francisco Cordero

142

219

-77

Gordon Beckham

143

216

-73

Carlos Pena

144

192

-48

Tim Hudson

145

154

-9

Drew Storen

146

199

-53

Matt Thornton

147

240

-93

Gio Gonzalez

148

179

-31

Joel Hanrahan

149

275

-126

Wandy Rodriguez

150

124

26

Angel Pagan

151

281

-130

Carlos Beltran

152

258

-106

Matt Garza

153

107

46

Ricky Nolasco

154

172

-18

Nick Swisher

155

122

33

Colby Lewis

156

114

42

Miguel Montero

157

122

35

Casey McGehee

158

107

51

Carlos Quentin

159

214

-55

Jorge De La Rosa

160

201

-41

Derrek Lee

161

265

-104

Ted Lilly

162

211

-49

Carlos Lee

163

132

31

Brett Anderson

164

148

16

Jhoulys Chacin

165

271

-106

Ryan Dempster

166

90

76

Jorge Posada

167

153

14

Kurt Suzuki

168

179

-11

Craig Kimbrel

169

266

-97

Aroldis Chapman

170

369

-199

Clay Buchholz

171

97

74

Trevor Cahill

172

92

80

Leo Nunez

173

376

-203

Joe Nathan

174

241

-67

Jeremy Hellickson

175

158

17

Ian Kennedy

176

245

-69

Vernon Wells

177

99

78

Howie Kendrick

178

211

-33

Madison Bumgarner

179

153

26

Frank Francisco

180

297

-117

Bobby Abreu

181

119

62

Austin Jackson

182

337

-155

Gaby Sanchez

183

200

-17

Rajai Davis

184

289

-105

Jake McGee

185

393

-208

Denard Span

186

150

36

Adam LaRoche

187

183

4

Ike Davis

188

224

-36

Ryan Raburn

189

315

-126

Domonic Brown

190

336

-146

James Loney

191

255

-64

John Danks

192

101

91

David Aardsma

193

245

-52

Hong-Chih Kuo

194

360

-166

Manny Ramirez

195

165

30

Chris Sale

196

375

-179

Neil Walker

197

343

-146

Starlin Castro

198

157

41

Jonny Venters

199

368

-169

Alfonso Soriano

200

96

104

Fernando Rodney

201

260

-59

Hiroki Kuroda

202

184

18

C.J. Wilson

203

196

7

Carlos Ruiz

204

222

-18

Jake Peavy

205

359

-154

Omar Infante

206

272

-66

Edwin Encarnacion

207

371

-164

Asdrubal Cabrera

208

163

45

Ricky Romero

209

139

70

Sean Rodriguez

210

349

-139

Phil Hughes

211

158

53

Dexter Fowler

212

259

-47

Lance Berkman

213

320

-107

Russell Martin

214

306

-92

Chase Headley

215

325

-110

Alcides Escobar

216

349

-133

Chris Coghlan

217

385

-168

Ervin Santana

218

239

-21

Daniel Bard

219

361

-142

Tsuyoshi Nishioka

220

355

-135

Edinson Volquez

221

318

-97

Brandon Lyon

222

304

-82

Michael Cuddyer

223

262

-39

J.J. Hardy

224

371

-147

Matt LaPorta

225

383

-158

Aubrey Huff

226

107

119

Luke Scott

227

345

-118

Seth Smith

228

357

-129

James Shields

229

175

54

Anibal Sanchez

230

293

-63

Ryan Franklin

231

235

-4

Rafael Soriano

232

355

-123

Magglio Ordonez

233

212

21

Raul Ibanez

234

216

18

Jason Kubel

235

136

99

Mike Minor

236

306

-70

Jordan Zimmermann

237

192

45

Javier Vazquez

238

194

44

J.D. Drew

239

329

-90

Jaime Garcia

240

233

7

Jair Jurrjens

241

185

56

Rick Porcello

242

400

-158

John Lackey

243

172

71

J.P. Arencibia

244

360

-116

Chris Iannetta

245

326

-81

Johnny Cueto

246

325

-79

Brian Matusz

247

247

0

Koji Uehara

248

385

-137

A.J. Burnett

249

352

-103

Gavin Floyd

250

149

101

Mitch Moreland

251

386

-135

Matt Joyce

252

397

-145

Brandon League

253

386

-133

Tim Stauffer

254

346

-92

Kevin Gregg

255

273

-18

Nate McLouth

256

386

-130

Miguel Tejada

257

224

33

Vladimir Guerrero

258

79

179

Cameron Maybin

259

400

-141

Andres Torres

260

266

-6

Kila Ka'aihue

261

394

-133

Jesus Montero

262

292

-30

Joel Peralta

263

400

-137

Mike Aviles

264

158

106

Justin Smoak

265

396

-131

Brett Wallace

266

394

-128

Freddie Freeman

267

341

-74

Yadier Molina

268

207

61

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

269

391

-122

John Buck

270

235

35

Josh Thole

271

397

-126

Nick Hundley

272

395

-123

A.J. Pierzynski

273

286

-13

Coco Crisp

274

326

-52

John Jaso

275

368

-93

Jason Hammel

276

400

-124

 
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:
  1. Jake McGee – 208 picks early
  2. Leo Nunez – 203 picks early
  3. Aroldis Chapman – 199 picks early
  4. Chris Sale – 179 picks early
  5. Travis Snider – 175 picks early
  6. Jonny Venters – 169 picks early
  7. Chris Coghlan – 168 picks early
  8. Hong-Chih Kuo – 166 picks early
  9. Edwin Encarnacion – 164 picks early
  10. Matt LaPorta – 158 picks early

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:

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Prince Fielder
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Albert Pujols
  5. Carlos Gonzalez
  6. Daniel Hudson
  7. Brian Matusz
  8. Hanley Ramirez
  9. Miguel Cabrera
  10. Evan Longoria
  11. Joey Votto
  12. Brandon Phillips
  13. Buster Posey
  14. Francisco Liriano
  15. Aramis Ramirez

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.

  1. Vladimir Guerrero – 179 picks later
  2. Aubrey Huff – 119 picks later
  3. Mike Aviles – 106 picks later
  4. Alfonso Soriano – 104 picks later
  5. Gavin Floyd – 101 picks later
  6. Jason Kubel – 99 picks later
  7. John Danks – 91 picks later
  8. Trevor Cahill – 80 picks later
  9. Vernon Wells – 78 picks later
  10. Ryan Dempster – 76 picks later

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

C: Ruiz

1B: Butler

3B: Wright

CI: Konerko

2B: Utley

SS: Furcal

MI: Prado

OF: Ethier

OF: Bautista

OF: Hart

OF: Abreu

OF: Smith

U: Joyce

P: Lee

P: Sabathia

P: Lewis

P: Shields

P: Hammel

P: Peavy

P: F. Rodriguez

P: Francisco

P: League

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!

Jason Collette is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

44 comments have been left for this article.

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