It’s Alasdair Thornton’s turn to detail his round-by-round thoughts as we continue our coverage of the Pitcher List 2018 Mock Draft. Let’s do it.
To read the analysis of other teams in the draft, head to our Mock Draft hub page here.
1. Bryce Harper (OF, Washington Nationals) – Not only was Harper the best player available, considering his contract, it’s only logical to expect him to try his damnnest to improve on his 2017 stats (Slugging percentage of .595, 87 RBI and 29 homers). Look for Bryce to be in the MVP conversation come October.
2. Cody Bellinger (1B, Los Angles Dodgers) – As you’ll see, a lot of my picks are banking on rookies and younger guys coming into their own, and Bellinger is probably the best example of this. After a monstrous NL Rookie of the Year Campaign in which he amassed 128 hits, had a .933OPS with 97 RBI. There’s no reason to think he can’t take those next steps.
3. Madison Bumgarner (P, San Francisco Giants) – Forget Ohtani, Bumgarner is the modern day Babe Ruth. After the first two rounds, I was looking to get a pitcher, and man did I strike gold. Dirt bikes aside, there’s no reason to believe Mad-Bum can’t get back to form next season. The real question for the Giants is if they can get an offense around Bumgarner, which with the players they are apparently courting shouldn’t be an issue.
4.Anthony Rendon (3B, Washington Nationals) – I couldn’t pass up Rendon this late in the draft. After a completely underrated season in which he didn’t wasn’t voted to the NL All-Star team despite having a 6 WAR rating, Rendon, along with his Nationals teammate Harper must be foaming at the mouth to finally get past the NLDS.
5.Wilson Contreras (C, Chicago Cubs) – Contreras’s stats in his short career have climbed well enough for the pick here. The real kicker with Contreras as to someone like, say, Buster Posey, is that Chicago (NL) has so much firepower, they can’t really afford to pitch around someone like Contreras.
6.Ryan Braun (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – Trying to discuss why I took Braun is like a director explaining their new film is “passion project” of theirs. He’s old, his numbers were down (.268 batting average, 17 homers, 52 RBI) etc. But Dammit after seeing his OPS was a decent .823, I’m convinced that left calf hounded him all year. This is a total boom or bust choice.
7. Xander Bogaerts (SS, Boston Red Sox) – Bogarts was a great pick here. I needed a shortstop and couldn’t have asked for a better guy to fall into my lap. His numbers might have been down from his 2016 All-star campaign (.746 OPS, 10 HR, 62 RBI) but then again so were his games played, plate appearances etc.
8.Yoan Moncada (2B, Chicago White Sox) – If I were drafting for a dynasty league, Moncada would certainly be one of my top considerations. Moncada made his debut in 2016, playing 8 games for the Boston Red Sox. After getting traded to the White Sox as part of the Chris Sale deal, Moncada’s numbers almost doubled in every category (.216 Slugging percentage in 2016, .412 in 2017, 1 RBI in 2016, 22 in 2017) . His trajectory has nowhere to go but up, and I’m glad I was able to snag him when I did.
9. Masahiro Tanka (P, New York Yankees) – This is a gamble. Anytime you’re talking about a pitcher with a torn UCL, it’s essentially waiting for a bomb to go off. But the upside here is too much to ignore Admittingly, Tanka had his worst season in the MLB last year, pitching himself to a 13-12 record and his highest ERA at 4.74. That being said, I think he settles down this year. He won’t have the contract issues hanging over his head like he did last year, which clearly affected him. And I think the Yankees have come to realize that he is at his best at pitching once a week. So they will adjust in order for him to succeed.
10. Adam Jones (OF, Baltimore Orioles) – I needed a Center Fielder, and Jones intrigues me. He played 5 fewer games and lost 22 at-bats, yet was able to get 4 more hits, his batting average went up 20 points, and his OPS went up 30. He might be in his thirties, but next year should bode well for Jones.
11.Cole Hamels, (P, Texas Rangers) – After watching my fellow writers gobble up pitchers, I felt the need to follow suit. Hamels is an all right pick here. His numbers have been down, (4.20 ERA, 105 strikeouts) but fantasy wise, he is still serviceable.
12.Brand Hand (P, San Diego Padres) – What. A. Steal. Hand is my opinion, one of the bargains of this year’s draft. After earning his first all-star nod, Hand is set to be the Padres closer for next season. Although there is concern that he might get those opportunities, considering it is…you know…The Padres, the team actually had 45 saves in 2017. 21 of which were earned by hand.
13. Odubel Herrera (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – Interesting year for Herrera last year. While the body of work isn’t as impressive as his 2016 all-star campaign, there are some intriguing numbers to suggest he can be a productive member of your fantasy roster. Namely, his doubles doubled from 21 to 42, he had seven more RBI while playing in twenty-one fewer games. He should be a solid play next year.
14. Andrew Miller (P, Cleveland Indians) – Another risk here. The general consensus around the Yankees organization when they traded Miller to the Indians two years ago was that his elbow would not hold up for the remaining length of his contract. However, this late in the draft, Millers upside way outweighs a potential injury. His era was 1.44 (third lowest of his career) and he only gave up 3 home runs all of last season. Miller continues to prove he is one of the best RP in the game today and should be a welcome addition to anyone’s fantasy lineup.
15. Héctor Neris (P, Philadephia Phillies) – Decent numbers last year for Neris. 3.00 ERA, a 4-5-win total and 26 saves out of 74 games played. That’s good value for where he was taken. After only giving up 26 runs on 68 hits, it’s pretty evident that Neris is boom or bust, but again, seeing as here I took him, the value is there.
16.Aaron Hicks (OF, New York Yankees) – The steal of the draft in my opinion. In an injured riddled 2017 season saw Hicks play 88 games, he had his best season as a pro. Hitting getting 80 hits, scoring 54 times and earning a .847 OPS. With Giancarlo Stanton coming to NY, the team has virtual murderers row, and if he can stay healthy, there won’t be anywhere to hide Hicks.
17.Kyle Schwarber (OF, Chicago Cubs) – So, anyone who watches baseball knows that the 2017 season was the worst of Schwarbers career. He batted leadoff (Isn’t Joe Maddon just SO creative you guys?) and ended up getting demoted to triple-A after hitting .120. His one saving grace is that he was able to raise his batting average by 43 points in the month of September. If he can play like he did in September next season, he’ll be just fine.
18. Eric Thames (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – Well, it seems as though Thames year’s abroad really served him well. He seemed to be much more patent at the plate this season and his patience paid off. In 469 plate appearances this year, Thames had 116 hits, (31 of them being HR’s and earned himself a .359 OBP. He cooled off towards the end of the year, but should be a fine replacement if one of my other Outfielders goes down.
19. Avisail Garcia (OF, Chicago White Sox) – Another guy who I think will be better next year then he was in 2017. Sure, he isn’t the player everyone thought he was going to be, but that fine. If you take a look at his strike of percentage, it’s the lowest it’s ever been (which isn’t saying much considering its 20.7 and his BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS were the highest of his career.
20. Delino Deshields (OF, Texas Rangers) – At this point, I was just grabbing the best player available, and Deshields was that player in my mind. The third-year vet had his best year in 2017 (.714 OPS, 22 RBI, 29 SB). By all indications should have a better season in 2018.
21. Julio Tehran (P, Atlanta Braves) – Not a great year for Tehran, but not a terrible one. His ERA (4.49) was the highest since his second year in the MLB and he only pitched 188.1 innings. He’s an emergency replacement only.
22. Marco Estrada (P, Toronto Blue Jays) – Basically, the same thing here as it was with Tehran. Although, Estrada will benefit from a higher-powered offense than Tehran will. I wouldn’t start him unless you have too.
23. Mike Foltynewicz (P, Atlanta Braves) – I needed a pitcher and he was the highest rated on the draft board ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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