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So, I have already posted the first four installments of my self-critique of the slow draft NFBC style “Commentary Mock” I was honored to join. See Rounds 1-4, Rounds 5-8, Rounds 9-12 and Rounds 13-16. My team is now complete. I have learned a lot and tried to inform and entertain in these articles. Hopefully my Article V does a better job at both than Rocky V.
To review, the first 16 rounds for me went as follows: 1.14 Joey Votto; 2.2 Jason Kipnis; 3.14 Hunter Pence; 4.2 Alex Gordon; 5.14 Zack Greinke; 6.2 Jordan Zimmermann; 7:14 Kyle Seager; 8.2 Starlin Castro; 9.14 Victor Martinez; 10.2 Steve Cishek; 11.14 Evan Gattis; 12.2 John Axford; 13.14 Lance Lynn; 14.2 Miguel Montero; 15.14 Neil Walker; 16.2 Michael Brantley. I filled out my team with the last 7 picks as follows.
Clay Buchholz – SP – Red Sox - Ordinarily I do not like to draft injury prone players. However, here at the end of round 17, I broke that rule. The downside of course is Clay is always hurt and has not pitched 150 innings of good ball since 2010. However, the upside is quite high. Last year, he posted sick numbers during his fleeting healthy period: 1.02 WHIP, 1.74 ERA and close to 8K/9. Even if his ERA rises to his FIP of 2.93, that is still pretty good at round 17. Frankly, I would not invest a lot in Clay in an AL-only auction but figure this may be worthwhile in an NFBC-style draft if he pitches 100 similar innings in 2014.
Angel Pagan – OF – Giants - I decided to bank some solid stats with a safe batting average and roster Angel Pagan. While there is little chance for a huge breakout, 20+ SB, a solid number of runs and a .280 average are bankable and I am headed to the bank. Bottom line - chasing upside all the time rather than using some picks to insure solid production is a mistake.
Mike Moustakas – 3B – Royals - I know many think that Moustakas is overhyped and simply may not be all that. I see upside and a worthwhile 19th round CI pick. First, he is entering his 3rd full major league season but will only be 25 during most of the year. I do believe in the hypothesis that such players have a real chance of jumping up in value. Second, a BABIP of only .260 portends at least some batting average increase. Third, his K rate came down 4 percentage points while his contact rate went up by the same amount. All in all, I do not see a superstar season but I do see a tidy profit this late.
Cameron Maybin – OF – Padres - Maybin had a lost year in 2013. Others may not but I am giving him a mulligan. I firmly believe that players who reach the Show at such a young age (Maybin was 20) are very likely to be top talents. I also firmly believe that those players tend to prematurely be labeled busts even before they reach peak age. Maybin could be that guy as only this year will he reach his age 27 season. I could easily see 30 SB. If he adds 12HR and a .250 average (all very attainable), I have a significant profit. If he hits .264 as he did in 2012, the profit will be even greater. This is the type of high upside pick in round 20 that could really make a difference (operative word, "could")
Cody Allen – RP – Indians - This was a cheap way to get quality numbers and protect against being wrong about Axford. Allen arrived last year with a 2.43 ERA and 88K in 70 innings. A deeper dive into the numbers support continued success though there are some warning signs. The good - his average FB velo kicked up to 95.4 and his walk rate went way down. The issues - FIP says the ERA will rise and his GB/FB ratio went up a bunch which always means HR risk. In all, the risk is well worth it to handcuff Axford.
Josh Beckett – SP – Dodgers - This has nothing to do with metrics or numbers. Beckett is a bulldog who I believe has something to prove. With so much talent around him both on offense and the pitching staff and considering the fact that he will be pitching in a hitters park in the NL West, Beckett should provide a tidy profit for the 22nd round pick he cost me. [Full disclosure – I have had a fantasy baseball man crush on Beckett since he lead Rick Wolf and me to the 2007 LABR-AL title.]
Carlos Martinez – SP – Cardinals - In the final round, I am very happy to gamble on an impact arm in Carlos Martinez. His stuff is filthy as shown by his 96.7 average FB velocity. As his 3.24 FIP shows, his ERA of 5.08 in the bigs is misleading. I also like that he got critical big game experience in the playoffs last year. Worst case scenario, Martinez will serve as a high quality set up guy. Best case, he gets into the rotation along with Wacha and Miller and forms the type of real dominant pitching troika that Wilson/Pulsipher/Isringhausen and Chaimberlain/Kennedy/Hughes were supposed to be but never were.
We always think we did well at the end of a draft don’t we? Happy to see what you all think whether in the comment section or by tweeting me at @glenncolton1 or by calling into Colton & The Wolfman on SiriusXM (Sirius210/XM87) on Tuesdays 8-10pm ET or during the week of February 24, from 10pm-midnite ET as Rick Wolf and I guest host the Fantasy Alarm show. No one can replace Jeff Mans but we are going to try our best!
While it may seem like pandering, the fact is that the 2014 Baseball Guys/Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide helped me immensely as I navigated this mock against some of the best in the business. Get the Guide here: http://www.fantasyalarm.com/ray