Monday, February 10, 2014

Fantasy Focus: Mock Drafting

I participated in a couple of mock fantasy drafts over the weekend on Yahoo.  I'll review the first one here and the second one in a later post.  I play in an auction league, but accidentally signed up for a traditional snake draft(10 teams).  I decided to stick with it, because some of you readers probably play in a snake draft league and could share my results with you.  First, I'll post the roster I ended up with along with the round and overall draft position for each player.  Then I'll offer some analysis.  I had the #8 drafting position in the first round.

C    Wilin Rosario  9-88
1B  Adrian Gonzalez  7-68
2B  Jason Kipnis  3-28
3B  David Wright 2-13
SS  Jean Segura 6-53
OF Ryan Braun 1-8
OF Josh Hamilton 8-73
OF Ben Revere 19-188
UT Xander Bogaerts 14-133
UT Christian Yelich 20-193
SP  Max Scherzer 4-33
SP  Cole Hamels 5-48
RP  Michael Wacha 10-93
RP  Tony Cingrani 15-148
P     Gerrit Cole  11-108
P     Danny Salazar 12-113
P     Hiroki Kuroda 13-128
P     Sonny Gray 16-153
BN Taijuan Walker 17-168
BN  Bartolo Colon 18-173
BN  Tim Hudson  21-208
BN  Bronson Arroyo 22-213
BN  Rick Porcello 23-228

The first 7 in order were Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen, Clayton  Kershaw, Carlos Gonzalez, Robinson Cano.  Ryan Braun seems to be discounted significantly due to the injury/suspension last year.  Without that, he should be #3 overall.  I guess part of it depends on how much you believe PED's actually improve performance.  Personally, I am quite skeptical.

Last year, I did fine on the pitching side using a no-closer strategy.  My downfall was on the offensive side where I did not draft enough power and did not play enough attention to position scarcity.  3B and 2B are positions that thin out quickly, so I wanted to try to fill them with top 3-4 performers at the positions.  David Wright has had trouble staying healthy in his career, but is a 5 category monster when healthy.  Kipnis is an emerging fantasy who helps in all 5 offensive categories.  I do not consider either of these picks reaches.

I had my sights set on Ian Desmond, another 5 category performer, in round 4 until my computer screen went haywire I missed the next 3 rounds while I figured out how to fix it.  The autopicker took Scherzer, Hamels and Segura in rounds 4, 5 and 6 respectively.  This may well be a better sequence than what I would have ended up with had I taken Desmond in round 4.

Adrian Gonzalez is likely never going to hit 40 HR's again, but he's a solid bet to hit 20+ with 100 RBI's and close to a .300 BA.  There was a run on first basemen and I decided to grab AGone in round 7 rather than trying to guess which of Anthony Rizzo, Brandon Belt or Justin Morneau would have a breakout season.

Josh Hamilton's stock has really cratered.  He's been on my no-draft list for a long time, but feel he is a reasonable candidate for a bounce back season and he is really a discounted buy right now.  Wilin Rosario has the best power of any of the catchers and he's going way too late in both the drafts I participated in.

There are basically 4 SP's with RP eligibility.  Wacha, Cingrani, Andrew Cashner and Joe Kelly.  If your strategy is to completely punt Saves for the entire season, you may need to reach to make sure you fill the RP positions with starters, although it would not be the end of the world to fill them with setup guys.

I love what I've seen of Xander Bogaerts and am willing to gamble a utility position on him.  Christian Yelich projects to put up very similar numbers as Starling Marte who is going in rounds 4 or 5.

I love drafting young, hard throwing pitchers.  Cole, Salazar, Gray and Walker are exactly what I like to load up on.  Don't believe the old saw about young pitching breaking your heart.  I've been drafting this way for years and always, always have great pitching!

Lastly, I like to load up on low WHIP guys at the end of the draft.  Porcello lasting until the final round is downright criminal negligence on the part of the other drafters!

As for weaknesses, I am afraid that using Bogaerts and Yelich as the UT guys may leave me short on power again.   I would have preferred Desmond to Segura at SS and looked for steals in the OF and UT positions, but I can't really complain about Scherzer and Hamels at the top of my rotation.


  1. I like this draft better than the auction draft you did Dr. B. Love the young pitchers, out of Cole, Cingrani, Wacha, Salazar, Gray, and even Walker, 2-3 of those guys have to go off this year is my guess. I would be happy to have 2 of them on my roster. My guess is that your auction league is a little more competitive than this one??

    1. Yeah, it's a little more competitive, but I've found the doing a few mock drafts are very good preparation and not too far off from my real life fantasy draft(did I just write real life fantasy draft?).

      I think the lesson learned from this mock auction draft is don't overpay for mid-range OF's such as Marte when a Christian Yelich will probably be there for close to nothing. Use the savings on better pitching. I could have gotten Cingrani and Salazar with about $10 extra dollars to spend. I don't like to run out of money before the final round because you can pick up huge value if can just bid $2 on a nominated player after everybody else is out of money, so I don't mind having $3-5 left over. I don't consider $5 or less to be money left on the table, because if you spend it earlier, you would not have that flexibility at the end of the draft.

    2. I would also point out that the auction draft was 12 teams and the traditional draft 10 so you can't really compare them player for player because there were more teams competing for the player pool in the auction draft.