MLB Mock Draft Army - Week 1 Review
Andy Spiteri breaks down the four mock drafts that took place this week!
We’re back! The Mock Draft Army kicked off the season with four mocks that saw many of Fantasy Alarm’s staff join in. We started to compile our ADP with two roto style and two head-to-head points mocks. It’s too early to report on it, but let’s take a look at what went down and see if there were any surprising picks.
On Monday, we had a 12-team roto style mock and right off the bat, Ronald Acuna was taken first overall. This has been one of the biggest debates over the early part of the draft season. Should you take the consensus best player in the game, Mike Trout , or does Acuna’s stolen base numbers make him a more attractive pick at first overall? Howard Bender is steadfast in his belief that Trout is the right choice as he took him first overall in the FSGA draft. Looking at NFBC data Acuna has an ADP of 1.38 and Trout 2.33 in all drafts going back to November 1st. Over the last month, the numbers are almost identical but over the last two weeks, Christian Yelich has moved into the second slot over Trout. Taking Acuna first happened to be the outlier for the MDA this week as the remaining drafts all went Trout/Acuna/Yelich with the first three picks. Is there a right or wrong pick here? I don’t think so. If you’re lucky enough to get one of the first three picks in your draft, you’re going to get one of the best players in the league.
Another yearly debate is when to take the first starting pitcher. Gerrit Cole went fourth overall in this one. His NFBC ADP is 5.69 going back to Nov. 1st. Here he was taken over Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger . You can debate whether it’s smart to take a pitcher in the first round, but the drafting trend has been to take pitching early. The surprising thing in this mock was that the second pitcher taken, Jacob deGrom , went at pick 15. Jen Piacenti and Bobby Sylvester of Fantasy Pros both passed on him twice from the 11 and 12 spots taking two hitters and passing on the high end starting pitching. Bobby went with Chris Sale in the 4th round, taking him ahead of Strasburg, Castillo, Corbin and Snell, while Jen waited until the 6th round taking Zach Wheeler as her first pitcher. Everyone else had at least one starter by the end of the 4th round.
These are the things that the Mock Draft Army can help you with. Trying different strategies over the next few weeks to see what works best for you from different spots on the draft board. If you’re in the top three who do you take? Do you go “pocket Aces” as @batflipcrazy has been touting, with two pitchers early to get a leg up there? Do you wait on pitching and load up on hitting first? In Tuesday’s mock Nate Marcum of Fantasy In Frames took three pitchers to start off his draft loading up with Verlander, Buehler and Flaherty. On Wednesday, Mike Barner of RTSports, took Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg with his first two picks and he explains his logic in his article that reviews his picks https://www.rtsports.com/news/baseball/5258/mock-draft-army-recap
I drafted from the 10 spot on Wednesday and here’s my team:
C O. Narvaez (rd 19)
1B M. Muncy (rd 8)
2B K. Marte (rd 4)
SS T. Anderson (rd 11)
3B N. Arenado (rd 2)
MI D. Gregorius (rd 16)
CI M. Machado (rd 6)
OF B. Harper (rd 3), E. Rosario (rd 7), D. Santana (rd 14), M. Canha (rd 21), R. Braun (rd 23)
U R. Nunez (rd 22) J. Profar (rd 26)
P J. Verlander (rd 1), L. Severino (rd 5), T. Rogers (rd 9), E. Rodriguez (rd 10), K. Giles (rd 12), M. Minor (rd 13), J. Odorizzi (rd 15), A. Civale (rd 17), J. Lucchesi (rd 18)
Bench M. Melancon (rd 20), F. Cordero (rd 24), C. Bassitt (rd 25), M. Pineda (rd 27), H. Renfroe (rd 28)
In a 12 or 15 team draft I feel that you have to get a starter in the first two rounds. I decided to go with Verlander as I didn’t know what pitchers would get back to me and the hitter choices would be fairly equal in the second round. I took Arenado over Freeman and Tatis here. When Harper made it to me in round 3 I couldn’t pass him up. On the way back, it was tough to decide whether to take my second starter here or go with more hitting. I like K. Marte and decided to chance waiting on another starter until the 5th round.
Here I took Severino. I’m not sure if I would do that right now in an actual draft. I need to make sure he’s healthy and watch him pitch some in spring training. If he’s Sevy of old, he’s a steal in round 5.
Getting Tim Anderson in the 11th round was surprising. Many believe he can’t sustain what he did last year, but even if he hits .290 and steals 20, it’s a great pick up at this point in the draft. There seems to be a sweet spot of shortstops from round 11-13 with Anderson, Andrus, Rosario, Polanco and Segura all going in that range. For my middle infielder spot, I was able to pick up Didi Gregorius in the 16th. He finally made strides in the playoffs and can find his way to 25+ home runs in Citizen Bank Park.
Pitching can be my downfall with this squad. I have to hope that Rodriguez, Minor and Odorizzi can repeat, or at least come close to, their performances from last year. I was happy with getting Rogers, Giles and Melancon for saves. Civale, Lucchesi, Bassitt, and Pineda provide decent depth in case of injuries.
The advantage of participating in mocks is that you can evaluate how your team comes out without paying for a draft. Each mock is different, as will be your drafts, and the more you get used to the zigs and zags one needs to do during a live draft, the more you’ll be ready to make solid decisions when constructing your team. The Mock Draft Army schedule comes out every Saturday. If you’re not on the email list, send me your email to email@example.com or follow me on twitter @gasdoc_spit and watch for the announcement and posting of the link. The Army has begun it’s march and it’s on to fantasy championships!