The Mock Draft Army threw down with a pair of 15-team mixed league drafts this past week and rather than take part and explain my thoughts and strategy with my own picks, I opted to sit both of these out and look at each draft from a more objective standpoint. I’ll start off with a round by round analysis and, similarly to the way we examined the Fantasy Alarm MLB Draft Guide mock draft, I’ll cite the pick I loved the most along with the pick I liked the least. To save a little time, I’ll do it that way through the first 15 rounds and from there, I’ll highlight a few selections over the final eight rounds. After that, I’ll give a shout to a couple of teams who I thought did a particularly good job or, in some cases, bombed. And finally, as always, we’ll finish it off with a look at the most updated ADP list which will include a trend column to show you who is rising and who is falling down draft boards over the last couple of weeks.
Mock Draft Army – Lucky #13
Round 1 – Considering how much we all love the list of names which usually come off in the first round, it’s difficult to highlight a pick that I particularly liked. You can’t fault someone for opting to take Andrew McCutchen over Giancarlo Stanton or Stanton over Paul Goldschmidt, so let’s not even go there. Instead, I can throw down a pair of picks I did not like and those would be the selections of Jose Altuve (Gashouse Gorillas) and Stephen Strasburg (Brad Jerde of FantasyTeamAdvice.com). It’s a mock draft and you’re supposed to try new things out all the time, but neither of these picks are something I would recommend ever doing. Maybe there is a belief that Altuve will hit for a .340 average again, but I just don’t see it. To me, he’s a better-than-average stolen base guy at a thin position. And Strasburg, well, based on his ADP, he’s simply a great start who could have been had a few rounds later.
Round 2 – I love Sandlot Boyz’ selection of Anthony Rizzo here and I bet he was a little surprised to see a .290-30-100 first baseman come back around to him. The Freddie Freeman pick, on the other hand, I’m not really loving. The owner of ShashBrowns sent in some comments regarding other picks he made, but he never said anything regarding Freeman. To me, he is a man alone on an island. The Braves’ lineup is suspect and while Freeman has the capability of banging 20 home runs, I don’t even know if he gets there as his walk rate skyrockets with pitchers opting to pitch around him plenty this year. Not to mention the limited RBI we may see.
Round 3 – A rough round, to be honest, but FiddleNumberTwo comes out on top with his Carlos Gonzalez pick. Sure there’s an injury risk, but even with missing some time here and there, CarGo still seems to manage some strong production. There were a number of picks I didn’t like here, particularly the Victor Martinez selection by Brad Jerde and the Jonathan Lucroy pick from Verlander’s Money Shot. Way too high for a catcher, but even worse for a catcher who is missing a significant amount of time this spring with a hamstring injury. And V-Mart, well, I just don’t see the same power from him, especially with him recovering from a recent knee injury.
Round 4 – Given the lack of depth at third base, I love the selection of Evan Longoria for ShashBrowns. He did note that he was hoping to land Kyle Seager who went the pick before him, but there’s nothing wrong with going into the season with a 25-80 guy at the hot corner. Yes, the average does come back up this year. Matt Lutovsky from the Sporting News grabbed Billy Hamilton while Sandlot Boyz took Yu Darvish right after, and neither pick do I enjoy. Hamilton just isn’t a strong hitter and while he’s got blinding speed, he’s just never going to crush it like the burners of old because of that woeful on-base percentage. As for Darvish, I think we’re looking at significant time missed this year due to injury and as your No. 1 starter, he’s just far too risky.
Round 5 – Love Prince Fielder here. Love him. His ADP is already climbing, so you have to act a little quicker than usual to get him, but he’s going to be well worth it. Not a fan of SiriusXM’s Rob Touzet’s selection of Charlie Blackmon. I know what the final numbers looked like for the Rockies outfielder but check out his splits from last year. That’s not a very pretty second half. Let’s also not forget that Drew Stubbs is going to be poaching at-bats often. Have to say, I also don’t like the Matt Harvey pick here. Way too early, in my opinion.
Round 6 – A bit of a reach for Kris Bryant by the Sandlot Boyz. He may not even start the season in the majors and you just can use such a high draft choice on someone like that. I do like the Jon Lester pick here, especially considering he’s ShashBrown’s first starter taken in the draft. Not a bad way to start off your rotation.
Round 7 – Velveeta Pizzas was light on power but is sure to get a boost with the Mark Trumbo pick here at the end of the round. He’s got some decent batting average guys to help offset the big guy’s expected .230 average, but 30 bombs are 30 bombs. A definite reach for Carlos Carrasco who looks like a super-trendy pick this year. Great second half last year, but with no proven track record, we’re putting an awful lot of stock in one half-season.
Round 8 -- Love Zack Wheeler here. His ADP is climbing and with the way starters were being taken, it was appropriate if you didn’t think he’d come back around in the next round. Not a fan of the Tyson Ross pick. I know that people love him, but throwing your slider 42-percent of the time is a nice, quick way to land on the DL. Doesn’t anyone remember him being shut down with forearm tightness last year? ShashBrowns does cite the extensive depth at the position which allowed him to take the chance on Ross and while, he makes good sense, I’d still prefer to go in another direction.
Round 9 – A smart move by Joel Nickels to start the second/third tier closer run and he kicks it off with a solid option in Mark Melancon who should excel once again. His pick started a run of four closers in the next eight pitcher-picks. For me, Brandon Moss could/should be taken later in the draft. The hip injury concerns me regarding his power ability this year, not to mention his inability to hit lefties with any sort of consistency.
Round 10 – Love the Neil Walker pick here. If you’re going to wait on the position and still land a potential 20 home runs here in the 10th, you’re doing something right. Despise the Masahiro Tanaka pick. A partially torn UCL and no surgery screams “you should have just had Tommy John and gotten it over with then” to me.
Round 11 – Joel Nickels waits on first base and still lands a power bat like Adam LaRoche in the 11th round? That’s a coup, dammit. Love the pick. He may sit some during interleague play, but he’s still good for roughly 25 home runs and a .270-ish average. Obviously it’s the Tony Watson pick here. Looks like we caught Brad Jerde napping here. This is what happens when you don’t pay attention, kiddies!
Round 12 – Mookie Betts falls a little further in this draft than usual because of the announcement that Shane Victorino is John Farrell’s starting right fielder, but considering the other high-upside outfielders still on the board, this pick comes from name recognition and not stat potential. I remain undecided as to whether or not I love the Avisail Garcia or the Chris Archer pick most. Both teams had needs at the respective positions and both, make for great choices.
Round 13 – Lots of great picks in this round including the likes of Danny Salazar, A.J. Pollock and Mat Latos, but the one I love the most is Adam Eaton. With Vince Coleman hired to teach lil’ Spanky how to steal, he could be a huge force as a leadoff hitter in Chicago. I do not love the Tanner Roark pick. Just too high for a No. 6 starter who needs either an injury or a trade to start seeing regular starts.
Round 14 – I wish fewer people felt the same way about Brandon McCarthy as I do. Adam Ronis from the RotoExperts makes a nice pluck here, but I do wonder if he could have had him later in the draft. However, given the draft position and number of starters coming off the board in recent rounds, if he doesn’t think he’s coming back to him for the 16th round, then he may as well make the move now and lock him in. I’m not in love with the Yasmani Grandal pick and would have probably gone with a different backstop here. Grandal is likely to end up splitting time close to evenly with A.J. Ellis.
Round 15 – As much as I love the Michael Saunders pick now that he’s in Toronto, I love the Mike Minor pick more. Minor has already proven himself in the majors and now that he coming into the year and NOT having urethra surgery to kick things off, he should regain that form that made him a MUCVH higher selection in past seasons. Tough to say that any of these picks in this round are particularly bad, so I’ll just say that I’m not a Shelby Miller fan and moving to Atlanta doesn’t change my mind on that at all.
Dishonorable Mention: Rafael Soriano (22nd), Carlos Correa (23rd)
All in all, I don’t see anyone in particular as having so phenomenal a draft that they would run away with it should we be playing this out for the year. I like the squads put together by Adam Ronis, Colby Conway, Joel Nickels, FiddleNumberTwo and ShashBrowns is kind of growing on me as well. I also like the team from Ivar Anderson, though losing Kenley Jansen knocks his overall pitching down a notch or two. My heart goes out to Coach Swinson and the Sandlot Boyz. Risky picks in Darvish and Harvey makes me wonder if he wasn’t just better off loading up on offense first. This is a team that will require some savvy waiver play.
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Mock Draft Army #14
Round 1 – As I said earlier, there’s a whole lot to love in this round so it’s tough to highlight one in particular. The lowlight, on the other hand, goes to my man Mike Gianella’s pick of Troy Tulowitzki. Yes, when healthy, he is unrivaled by any shortstop and, well, numerous others at every other position, but you know me…I just don’t like that much risk with my top pick.
Round 2 – Gianella quickly gets back on my good side with the Ryan Braun pick here. The thumb is completely healed and he’s had ample time to test it out in the cage. He’s shown that he can still hit for power in the post-suspension part of his career and will continue to rake this season. Plenty to love in this round, but if I have to crap on a pick, it’s going to be the Buster Posey selection. TrainRex obviously looking to cover position scarcity here, but it’s just too early for me to take a catcher, even one as great as Posey.
Round 3 – I’m starting to come around to a top-flight starter somewhere in the first few round and Max Scherzer falling to the third makes Dave Kerr’s pick my favorite of the round. The move to the NL, and to the Nationals at that, is going to make for some killer numbers here. Not so sure I like the David Wright pick here. For one thing, he probably could have been had a few rounds later even with the lack of depth at the position and also, the Francis Marion team took Adrian Beltre already in the second. That’s a bit of a reach for a corner infielder, in my opinion. He could/should have looked to fill in elsewhere.
Round 4 – Given the position eligibility, I like Alan Logan’s pick of Carlos Santana here. It gives him a solid power guy and he can feel out his draft a little more to see if he wants to use him at first or third. Obviously you prefer him at third, but it will depend on how each position starts coming off the board. I didn’t like the Lucroy pick in the third round of the first draft and I still don’t like him here in the fourth. Much better options to be had.
Round 5 – So not to get too repetitive with picks I like, I’ll turn to the Joey Votto pick here in the fifth as a favorite. Arctic Char did a nice job in the first four rounds and considering I see a power rebound to the 20-25 home run level for Votto, he could be a steal here in the fifth. Yes, Darvish and Hamilton stand out as the ugliest to me, but I also can’t get on-board with Nelson Cruz here. I think the power takes a major hit with the move to Seattle.
Round 6 – I come back to Mike Gianella here with a sixth round steal of Greg Holland. His offense is tasty (should Tulo remain healthy) and now he grabs an elite closer who will help balance his ratios and supplement strikeouts. You can afford to eait on some starting pitching if you know you’ve got a no-brainer closer to help. As much as I love the potential from Salvador Perez, I think he could have been had a little later. He still hasn’t delivered that power we hoped to see and while Doug Moore may think it’s coming this year, it’s not so much a “value pick” here in the sixth.
Round 7 – Doug makes up for it with the David Robertson selection, the last of the no-brainer closers for me. I also like the Alex Wood grab from Alan Logan here. I’m obviously not a fan of Harvey or Betts in this round, but I’ll also say that I think people are overestimating Jacob deGrom. A Rookie of the Year award will certainly juice the stock of any player, but I just don’t know if deGrom has another season in him like last year.
Round 8 – I know that the Naturals needed a first baseman, but I just don’t know if Matt Adams is the direction I’d lean. The Cardinals don’t trust him fully and he could lose at-bats if he doesn’t learn to hit lefties better. Considering Brandon Belt went three round later, the Naturals could have waited and still done better. I do love that Shin-Soo Choo pick by Fantasy Alarm’s Jon Impemba though. I see a solid bounce-back season for him this year and as a third outfielder behind the likes of Mike Trout and Yoenis Cespedes, he’s going to prove to be a solid asset.
Round 9 – While some people still enjoy Jimmy Rollins and feel that his move to the Dodgers is a positive one, I’m just not sold. The Evil Empire weren’t short on runs scored or speed, so I would have preferred someone different for him there. Maybe someone with a little more power upside. Rollins is going to have a hard time duplicating last season’s success, I think. I like the Drew Storen pick from TrainRex in this round. People may be concerned with Casey Janssen in-house, but Storen has proven that he can hold down the job.
Round 10 – RotoBaller’s Scott McCloy makes a nice grab here with Elvis Andrus and it’s probably the move I would have made had I been in charge of Evil Empire’s last pick of Rollins. Andrus should swipe 30 bags and if all goes right in Texas (because it couldn’t possibly go so horribly wrong two years in a row, could it?), he should have some killer runs scored as well. Not much to dislike here, but if I have to pick, I’ll say that I just don’t love Garrett Richards. It’s not a pick that is totally awful here in the 10th round, but I just don’t trust him to come back to where he was last year after the knee injury.
Round 11 – Gregory Polanco here in the 11th round of a 15-team league is a fantastic bargain. He had some struggles last year but he also looked brilliant at times. Another year in the majors should produce a season of 15 home runs and 25-30 steals. Kenley Jansen makes for a nice play in the 11th, but if you’re going to take a second closer, there were still a few available who are probably equally established and less of a risk.
Round 12 – If the only starter on your roster is Julio Teheran, why are you making Jose Fernandez your No. 2 here? Yuck. Not only will he miss the entire first half of the season, but we have no idea how he is going to perform post-Tommy John surgery. People love his upside and are hoping he’s going to be the guy he once was, but you can’t stake your whole rotation on a half-year guess. I like the Jean Segura selection from McCloy here. He bulked up on some power early and is now complementing his Andrus pick here with more speed in the middle infield. Segura has his flaws, but if he finds a happy middle-ground here in his third season, he could be a great baragin.
Round 13 – Hot damn, it’s that crazy Gianella kid again with the Wil Myers pick that I love so much. Myers is still a work in progress, but I love him in this lineup with Justin Upton and Matt Kemp and feel like he’ll pick up more from these veterans than he did in Tampa. Not much to dislike here, so I’ll just reiterate my lack of affection for any Grandal pick this season.
Round 14 – I’ll repeat myself once again and mention Avisail Garcia as a pick that I like, but this round, for me, is all about the yuck with selections of Joe Mauer and Sean Doolittle. I just don’t get anyone’s love for Mauer. You’re drafting on name, not statistical contribution. There’s no power, a huge health risk, he’s not hitting .320 again and given the surrounding lineup, you can’t bank on decent runs scored. He’ll never touch my lineup. Ever. Neither will Doolittle who is likely to have a very tough time wrestling the job away from Tyler Clippard whenever he returns from injury.
Round 15 – I’m just not a Henderson Alvarez fan. He can do well for you with regard to his ratios, but there just aren’t any strikeouts to be had. Arctic Char has Strasburg, but Harvey is a huge risk and Cashner doesn’t get much in the way of K’s either. He’s going to need to find some serious strikeouts on the waiver wire to compete in the category. I will say that in the 15th round, I’m willing to take that shot on Justin Verlander and I think Impemba makes a good gamble pick here.
Dishonorable Mention: Francisco Rodriguez (17th), D.J. LeMahieu (21st)
As for team thoughts, I like what Dave Kerr did with his offense and with Scherzer and Gerrit Cole anchoring his pitching, he should fare well despite the Tanaka pick. Evil Empire, Jon Impemba, Mike Gianella and Tim mills all have squads with which I would be very happy to go into battle for a season. While the Fantasy Pros Draft Analyzer doesn’t say nice things about Arctic Char or Dan Schwartz’ RotoGraphs team, each squad has some merits. Put a gun to my head and force me to tell you the team I like the least and I’m going to say it’s the Naturals. Sorry, Shawn.
Now let’s have a look at the most updated ADP for the Mock Draft Army. Note the trends column we’re looking at all the way to the right. Now that we have a full month’s worth of data we’re going to start analyzing these trends in more detail.
If you would like to have a copy of the Mock Draft Army ADP in a more sortable, user-friendly Excel format, just send me an email and I’ll be happy to pass it along.