Mocking It Up
One of my homies at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio is assistant producer Trevor Ray. TR was asked to participate in an NFBC style draft this week, and I thought it might be interesting to see where some key players were drafted in the mock draft that featured some rather prominent names in the industry, minus Trevor Ray of course (sorry TR, I had to).
Rules: NFBC Style. 15 teams, 30 rounds. 5X5 scoring
14 hitters: (C,C,1B,2B,3B,SS,CI,MI,UT,OF,OF,OF,OF,OF) nine pitchers (any mix of starters, relievers)
Here is a link to the results of the draft courtesy of MockDraftCentral.com.
Here are just some random thoughts from the draft.
Albert Pujols going first isn't a shock, but it's a bit surprising. More shocking is Jose Bautista going second overall. I wonder how many others will overlook the .257 second half batting average of Bautista that still surpassed his career mark of .254?
Ryan Braun went 5th and Matt Kemp 6th. I'm gonna be hard pressed not to have both in my top-3 when I release my rankings next year.
Evan Longoria and David Wright both had down 2011 efforts, yet both still went in the first round.
Ian Kinsler went 15th overall. I'm not saying that's too late, his average is all over the place, but when you go 30/30 as a second baseman isn't it odd to see that you're taken eight picks after a shortstop who doesn't have more power and one who doesn't steal nearly as many bases (Troy Tulowitzki)?
Hanley Ramirez was the first pick of the second round. He has the talent to surpass that cost, we all know as much, but it's still pretty early for a guy coming off an awful season that included shoulder surgery.
Roy Halladay was the first pitcher taken. No surprise there. Two other hurlers were taken in the second round in Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander. No issue with any of those guys being an ace in 2012 but I still question whether taking a hurler in the second round is the best play.
Carlos Santana had a fantastic season for the Indians, and I wouldn't be at all shocked if his batting average went up at least .030 points in 2012 (he hit .239 last season). Still, 29th overall is way too early for me. The next catchers off the board weren't until the 4th round when three went in six picks – Brian McCann, Victor Martinez and Buster Posey.
Carl Crawford went 31st overall. I'm comfortable with that spot and would be happy to take him there, even after his disastrous 2011.
Mike Stanton at #32 overall? The youngster could certainly hit 40 homers and drive in well above 100 runs, but his batting average just isn't going to be much better than league average which causes me to question taking him this early. I'd much rather have taken Hunter Pence 53rd overall.
The third round saw four second sackers taken in seven picks: Dan Uggla, Rickie Weeks, Chase Utley and Brandon Phillips. I'm a huge Utley fan, but at this point of his career, I think he was taken too early.
Jason Heyward went in the 6th round, one pick before Shin-Soo Choo. How does a guy who hits .300 with 20/20 in 2009-10 end up being drafted after Corey Hart? I don't get that one.
David Freese wins the World Series MVP award and presto, he's a fantasy star. He was taken with the first pick of the 7th round. To me, that's pretty darn early when Mark Reynolds was still around in the 8th round.
Ubaldo Jimenez fell all the way to the 11th round.
Adam Wainwright should be 100 percent for opening day. Still, I find it odd that the Tommy John surgery returner was drafted before names like Ervin Santana, Bud Norris, Roy Oswalt and Justin Masterson.
You can have Aroldis Chapman in the 15th and give me Julio Teheran in the 18th.
Kendrys Morales is a total unknown this coming season. He was taken with the last pick of the 17th round, two selections before an even bigger unknown in Adam Dunn.
Per usual, there was a fair amount of pitching talent available in the later rounds: Tim Stauffer (21st round), Javier Vazquez (22nd), Gavin Floyd (24th), Jonathan Niese (25th) and Carlos Zambrano (29th).
The best 30th round draft pick was a tie between Jim Johnson and Tyler Clippard. Johnson could open the year as the Orioles closer giving him a ton of value there. As for Clippard, he may be the most dominating setup man in baseball right now. Just look at his numbers the past two seasons: 14-8, 2.46 ERA, 10.84 K/9, 3.22 K/BB, 5.87 H/9. Compare that effort to what Cole Hamels did in 2011: 14-9, 2.79 ERA, 8.08 K/9, 4.41 K/BB, 7.04 H/9. See what I'm saying?
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 5-8 PM EDT and Sunday 7-10 PM EDT), Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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