There probably isn’t a more foolhardy errand than mock drafting the 36th round of an already deep league, but no one said that we weren’t just the fools to do so. Here are a few players in each league worth considering so that you don’t just automatically pick the first Brazilian on a two-week hot streak who crosses your path.
Since we can’t reflect every individual situation, we’ve intentionally chosen players available in more than half of all Scoresheet leagues. You should of course first check to make sure that your league isn’t the one that hasn’t left Matt Harvey undrafted, but these players could help get you through your next week otherwise. And if you’ve already made your picks, or don’t mind sharing, add to the list in the comments—we don’t claim these mock drafts are exhaustive by any means.
Johnny Giavotella (owned in 43.1% of AL leagues)
Because of his scorching three weeks, Giavotella is liable to go 1/1 in many drafts (well, 36/1, we suppose). The hot start is a fluke, but it buys Giavotella time in the big leagues to be the league-average hitter and below-average fielder that has been his delayed destiny, which makes for a great Scoresheet depth player. He’s almost guaranteed to be better than Omar Infante at this point.
Roberto Osuna (45.5% owned)
Osuna has been tied to Miguel Castro in the minds of many, but he’s the far more valuable Scoresheet property. In 2015, he’ll be in the bullpen for much of the year (unless the Jays’ rotation continues to deflate), but unlike Castro, he’s likely to move to the rotation in the year ahead. Caution: he may not be in the majors during playoff season.
Trevor May (23.7% owned)
In his first 11 innings in the Twins’ rotation, he’s allowed only one walk, and a Trevor May with fewer control issues becomes very intriguing. The Twins’ rotation is beginning to resemble the end of a Mortal Kombat X match, which helps May’s cause.
Everth Cabrera (41.7% owned)
Not a candidate for owners with a strong morals clause, but Jonathan Schoop’s injury is going to give Cabrera some run. The positional flexibility and switch hitting makes him a solid utility player, or even help from the farm.
Manuel Margot (30.3% owned)
The minor-league position player with the greatest chance of stardom in the organization, Margot is under-owned in continuing leagues. The Red Sox outfield depth is a tomorrow problem; today, just watch him rake and see if the power develops.
Roberto Perez (21.3% owned)
Not the backup catcher with the best bat (that’s probably Erik Kratz in your league), but the guaranteed playing time makes him a near guaranteed pickup in your league for Yan Gomes or Christian Vazquez owners.
Justin Smoak (30.8% owned)
This could easily be Mitch Moreland (42.7% owned) or Garrett Jones (42.2% owned), depending upon your league. There’s a reason these guys went undrafted, certainly, but you could probably use a pinch hitter with playing time and a potential above average bat.
Brandon Guyer (17.1% owned)
Maybe the last Ray standing, Guyer is a lefty-masher with a consistent role in Tampa and mild upside. If you’re looking for lefty coverage, we’d start here.
Liam Hendriks (2.8% owned)
Lost in the glitz of Toronto’s rookie invasion, Hendriks also made a weak bullpen out of spring training. He showed signs of breaking out in the minors last year, and a move to the bullpen and strikeout rate spike are promising signs for the season ahead.
Evan Scribner (9.5% owned)
Scribner made Oakland’s bullpen due to the Sean Doolittle injury and surprising demotion of Ryan Cook, but he seems likely to hold the spot on merit. There may be enough talent here for him to be a late inning option in your pen.
Chris Heston (4.1% owned)
Heston is the player most likely to be owned in about 95 percent more leagues than he was to date. The hot start makes him a fad, but Heston was already a decent starting pitching option in search of playing time. The park makes him a potential long-term keeper. He may be worth trading up for.
Hector Olivera (6.4% owned)
Yes, he’s not guaranteed playing time. Yes, his visa is delayed. Yes, he may have a torn UCL. Yes, he may be Justin Turner. There are a number of reasons to let Olivera pass by, but it’s a rare opportunity to get an above average middle-infielder with a 36th round pick. Consider anything you get in 2015 a bonus, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Chad Billingsley (39.9% owned)
We may prefer Heston slightly, but Billingsley shouldn’t be forgotten. Barring a setback, which is more than a formality, Bad Chillingsley should be back in the rotation soon. Once there, he’ll merely have to outpitch Dustin McGowan and Jerome Williams to hold his value.
Orlando Arcia (27.5% owned)
He’s really good! Already in Double-A Biloxi (okay, technically not in Biloxi, but instead wandering the earth), Arcia is young, talented, and off to a hot start. Trendlines are up, and it’s time for prospect hounds to add him.
J.T. Realmuto (28.9% owned)
Early in the season, we’ve learned that Saltalamacchia is actually Italian for “salting the earth.” The Marlins are a disaster, and Salty is taking the brunt of the criticism from his hometown team. Realmuto will be up while Jeff Mathis is out, and it seems as though the Marlins are interested in making this arrangement permanent. He’s unlikely to hit well enough to be protectible after 2015, but he’s a play for those looking for catcher depth.
Cody Martin (8.7% owned)
The best way to build a safe space for yourself as a rookie reliever is through doing good work. The second best way to gain value is to watch everyone around you blow out their elbow, get traded to the Padres, or get suspended for half a season. Martin has gone from a late bet to an Atlanta mainstay within seconds, and job security and his two weeks of monster performance means that he should be the first reliever off the board in most leagues.
Eric Campbell (39.0% owned)
Partly a bet against David Wright, but mostly acknowledgement that Eric Campbell has some value as a four-corner lefty mashing type. Well, his best skill is his plate approach, so mashing isn’t the right word. Lefty working? Please workshop this in the comments. Either way, he’s a good fit for the next few weeks.
Billy McKinney (22% owned)
Maybe he’s a fourth outfielder, but we like him more than that as a player with a broad base of skills. He seems to be turning it on in a limited look in 2015, as his strikeout rate has dropped considerably. This could easily be a fluke, but you may as well spend your 37th round picks on potential flukes.
Arquimedes Caminero (29.8% owned)
Remember Arquimedez Pozo? The proto-Mookie was beloved in BP’s Precambrian era, and if you remember him, claim your Red Sox fandom or low user ID below. 20 years on, and kids today are still making Eureka jokes, this time with Pittsburgh’s fireballing waiver claim. Early results don’t have him nuking the league as in spring training, but he’s plenty good enough, and he’s probably not the first Pirate out the door in case of disaster, which is always a valuable reliever quality.
Matt Belisle (41.3% owned)
Speaking of job security, Belisle is a workaday reliever who has been even better in the past (a fact mostly covered by simultaneously improving and moving to Coors). We like job security and name recognition, and Belisle will be better than playing a starter in the pen and more likely to keep his job than most of the other relievers on the draft board. Not a sexy pick, but good team filler.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now