In this trifling particular, then, I appear to be wiser than he, because I do not fancy I know what I do not know.
I was chatting with my colleague Meg Rowley recently when Harry Frankfurt’s essay “On Bullshit” came up. This was not actually about our midseason list making process, but it could have been. Frankfurt separates “bullshit” from “lying” by virtue of the speaker’s knowledge of the truth. You lie knowingly. You bullshit merely to convince. No one can claim objective, absolute truth of ordinal rankings or prospect outcomes. Some of us sure act like it of course. But especially within a midseason list I find myself on slipperier footing. The tiers get mushier. “I don’t know” feels like an appropriate answer more often than it should in this line of work. Here are five prospects we ranked last week. I really don’t knowing the numbers are right, but I must still venture to convince.
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Why being early can be a good thing... [glares] millennials.
I love being early. It’s a character trait that was instilled in me early, my father always told me you never want to leave anyone waiting for you, especially if it’s for something important. While there are some downsides, such as being the guy trying to leave while everyone else is getting ready, there are some positives too. Namely showing up early to baseball games, in time to catch batting practice.
The industry, and prospect team members, weigh in on who they'd start a franchise with in center field.
A friendly reminder on how this works. I asked three scouts and two front-office members the following question: If you could start your franchise with one player at each position, who do you take? I then asked those scouts/front-office members to submit an MVP-style ballot at each position, with the first-place vote counting for five points, second place for four, etc.
Next up: center field. Everyone reading this knows how important center field is, so I won’t waste your time by telling you that many of the game’s best players play here. I guess I just did, though. The position isn’t as loaded as it once was, but there are plenty of talented options, and as you’ll see from the answers, those players draw a wide variety of opinions.
Mookie Betts, Travis d'Arnaud, and Jorge Soler are among those who came off the board between picks 29 and 56.
In the first episode of the BP Mock Expert Draft, we went over the backstory and parameters of this draft, so there’s no need to rehash that here. Plus I know you’re all just going to skip past the intro anyway to see who else got picked and when. Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.
So, without any further ado, here are the next two rounds (three and four) of the Baseball Prospectus Expert Mock Prospect Draft with analysis from the participants themselves:
A look at the top draft picks and international bonus babies from the past year, and how they rank for fantasy purposes.
Once the holidays have moved on and the calendar has flipped, dynasty leaguers all start to crawl out of the woodwork to submit their rosters for the current season and draft the new group of eligibles to dream on. As Wooderson would say, "that’s what I love about these current-year draftees, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” The promise of the 2013 signees collectively pool together to give dynasty-league rebuilders new hope of contention and dynasty-league contenders new trade chips with which to get the pieces to put them over the top.
And while the 2013 crop isn't the strongest we've seen in recent memory, there are still high-upside options from which to choose. The slight quirk of this year is that the options with the most fantasy upside are, for the most part, not the high school players. In fact, only one of the top six players on this list fit into that category—which is a change of pace from last season, when Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and Addison Russell all fell into that space (and are all now top-10 prospects in the game). There is no prep arm with more impact potential than Jonathan Gray and no prep bat with more power potential than Kris Bryant. On the international front, just like last year, the crop is headlined by a Cuban hitter and a Japanese pitcher who have impact upside—though for fantasy purposes, they may be less exciting than Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes. Then again, that's not much of a knock on Masahiro Tanaka or Jose Abreu, as you'd be hard pressed to find a one-two punch to match them in most seasons.