A Way Too Early Mock Draft
Last week I had the pleasure of taking part in a way too early mock draft for the 2018 Baseball season. For me personally, this was a great opportunity to see how long term industry pros approach this draft. To allow me to see how others evaluate players performance this year, as the likes of Lawr Michaels, Lenny Melnick, Andrea Lamont, Tim McLeod, and Ryan Bloomfield were all taking part, not to mention the big boss himself Justin Mason. I think there is a lot to be learned from taking part in a draft like this, especially when you are there with a collection of people who have been playing fantasy baseball longer collectively for longer than I have been alive, from player evaluation to team construction.
The draft itself didn’t start smoothly, I was initially slated to pick 12 of 15, but due to some technical issues the draft got reordered again, which moved me up to 10. The initial plan was to go pitching heavy when I was at 12, if a five category star fell to me at that place I would go for it, but I was planning to get Scherzer or Sale with my pick, and then grab Kluber on my way back in the 2nd. However when I got moved up to ten that plan changed. I turned my focus to Mookie Betts hoping he would fall to me. This was not the case. After Justin took Kershaw at one, and Trout went at two, Betts was off the board at three. Time for the backup plan, Trea Turner. He made it to me at 10, so I had no complaints getting an above average hitter who could steal 50 and will score well over 100 runs if healthy.
As round two starts, I’m still hoping to get into the top four starters, but at the 20th pick, Kershaw, Sale, Scherzer, and Sale were all gone, but Votto was on the board, so that was going to be my pick. I’m a big fan of Votto, as he is providing you with more than just power at 1B, he is going to help you in every category except steals.
In round three, we start to hit further technical issues, as my pick of Buster Posey turned into Xander Bogaerts. While not the worst pick in the world it wasn’t the one I was looking for. With Gary Sanchez recently coming off the board, I needed to get in at catcher (this is a two catcher set up), so potentially missing out on Posey felt like it could have been a disaster, given the current wasteland that is the position. However, Posey was around for me in round four, so I lucked out and crisis was averted. Phew!
Due to the continued technical issues, the draft finished after five rounds, but I still have one gaping hole in my team. I don’t have any pitching. I went from an initial plan of leaving the first two rounds with two starts to hitting round five and at risk of not even getting a top ten starter. My pick comes around, and I start checking to see what’s left on the board, looking… still looking… ah Carrasco, not someone I would have hoped for, but I will have to take it. He is clearly the best starter left on board.
With the draft completed, I am happy with what I have accumulated. I would have preferred to having more pitching, but I have a good start with these guys:
Who I Drafted
1 – Trea Turner
2 – Joey Votto
3 – Xander Bogaerts
4 – Buster Posey
5 – Carlos Carrasco
Not bad. Here were the players that I had targeted knowing these were all players that would contribute to all five hitting categories, and I noted the round they were drafted in:
Some of my Targets
1 – Mike Trout – 1
2 – Paul Goldschmidt – 1
3 – Mookie Betts – 1
4 – Jose Altuve – 1
5 – Aaron Judge – 1
6 – Charlie Blackmon – 1
7 – Jose Ramirez – 2
8 – Travis Shaw – Undrafted
9 – Justin Upton – Undrafted
10 – Domingo Santana – Undrafted
11 – Andrew McCutchen – Undrafted
I was mildly surprised to see Jose Ramirez go in the 2nd round, but this is mostly because I had hoped he would fall to me in the 3rd, but this reassured me that I was not crazy high on him. I was interested to see where Shaw was going to go, however I expect McCutchen would have been the next player off the board, and then Upton and Santana would potentially be around for a few rounds to come still.
This full draft may still happen, and if it does I look forward to seeing how the full draft shakes out as I suspect it gets interesting come the later rounds when you have 15 people who are very well versed in the player pool, and all live and breathe fantasy baseball at least as much as I do, if not more. If I get to be involved, you can be assured that you will get to read about it here.