It’s Dave Cherman’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.
Round 1, Pick 9: Carlos Correa (SS, Houston Astros) – When we posted the draft on /r/fantasybaseball, someone said they were surprised he went in the first round. I say, that’s crazy. He hit .315/.391/.550 with a 152 RC+ last season (with an absolutely awful April) and had he played 150 games, his pace would have left him with 33 HRs, 116 RBI, 113 Rs, and a 7.2 WAR. At SS?? Yes please. The best part is he underperformed his xStats triple slash. I absolutely LOVE Correa and was thrilled to build this team around him. If he’s somehow available at the 1/2 turn, snatch him up and ask questions later.
Round 2, Pick 18: Aaron Judge (OF, New York Yankees) – I get why everyone thinks he’ll regress, I do. His BABIP was way too high, he hit HRs on 35.6% of FBs, and outperformed his xStats. He’s not a .284 hitter. I expect closer to .260/.270 but the power is legit. You only have to watch him to know it. He could still easily be a top 10 player. Plus, I’m a Yankee fan who traded Judge away in my keeper league so I need to have him wherever possible.
Round 3, Pick 35: Jacob deGrom (SP, New York Mets) – This last season taught me the importance of elite starting pitching. With HRs on the rise across the board, I need to have at least one top tier starter. I almost took Kluber in the 2nd, but couldn’t pass up Judge. I’ll admit, I’m afraid he’ll struggle without his trademark hair. I might come to regret not taking Severino here, but deGrom is too consistent to pass up.
Round 4, Pick 44: Starling Marte (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – I play almost exclusively points leagues and forgot for a while that this draft was 5×5 scoring. I remembered this pick by taking one of the few players in the league with a shot at 50 steals. Given the rest of my team, he might have to carry the burden of that category almost exclusively. Oops. Yes, he missed time last year, but his September was white hot, hitting .322/.380/.456, as he finally adjusted back to the game from his long suspension.
Round 5, Pick 61: Robinson Cano (2B, Seattle Mariners) – One of the only picks I already regret. 2B is a deep position and he doesn’t provide outstanding numbers in any category, but his 200 RBI over the last 2 seasons definitely helps. He’s just like deGrom, stable and consistent. I may not be thrilled with the pick, but I could’ve done a lot worse.
Round 6, Pick 70: Aaron Nola (SP, Philadelphia Phillies) – For the last two years, Nola has flashed his ability to absolutely dominate. All he needs is to put together a full season and he’ll make me look like a genius at the 70th overall pick. I get some people saying this is early, but, I’d rather take a chance on upside. As you’ll see, I picked only 2 starters in the first 9 rounds. I find it very helpful to put together the initial parts of your rotation early and then backfill with high upside arms late.
Round 7, Pick 87: Andrew McCutchen (OF, Pittsburgh Pirates) – Everyone wrote off McCutchen last year and he proved the doubters wrong. Yes, he faded big time in the second half, but I have faith that there’s still something left in the tank. At 87th overall, the risk is fairly low. Besides, he’s my 3rd OF and I was able to supplement the position later on.
Round 8, Pick 96: Joey Gallo (OF/1B/3B, Texas Rangers) – As you can tell, I went for power with a lot of my picks. Nobody is expecting him to hit for average, but he’ll draw walks, and hit for a ton of power. And he has the flexibility to play either corner infield position. There’s almost nothing I value more than position flexibility.
Round 9, Pick 113: Yuli Gurriel (1B, Houston Astros) – Gurriel was a quietly solid performer throughout the season, hitting near .300 and almost slugging .500. He’s a question mark in that he’ll turn 34 next year, but I’ll take that production in the 9th The draft software told me he was 3B eligible as well, but he won’t carry the eligibility this year, which frustrated me as I realized; a mistake I attribute to this being a mock draft in November.
Round 10, Pick 122: Luke Weaver (SP, St. Louis Cardinals) – Nick took both of the starters I wanted at pick 113 (Godley and Castillo), but I love Weaver. A 2.93 xFIP over 60 innings? I want all of that despite his struggles at the end of the year.
Round 11, Pick 131: Adam Duvall (OF, Cincinnati Reds) – The power trend continues. Saul Forman wrote an awesome article on fangraphs last year about how good Adam Duvall has been and he wasn’t wrong. This may be my points league bias, but how he fell to pick 131 is beyond me. He has the ability to be a top 20 OF at a discount sticker price. He won’t help me in average or OBP much, but his power is unreal.
Round 12, Pick 148: Greg Holland (RP, FA) – You’ll never see me take a closer in the first 10 rounds. I only took one this early because things got very thin very fast with 13 teams.
Round 13, Pick 157: Aaron Sanchez (SP, Toronto Blue Jays) – The shine of Aaron Sanchez has completely worn off apparently. Have we all forgotten the AL Cy Young candidate from 2016? If the blisters are behind him, this is a massive steal in the 13th In today’s game, that could be a big if.
Round 14, Pick 174: Justin Bour (1B, Miami Marlins) – Does Dave like power hitters? Oh yeah. Here’s another guy who had an injury plagued 2017 and his value dropped big time for it. Don’t want to pay elite value for a 1B? Wait and grab Justin Bour in the middle rounds. His pace from 108 to 150 would’ve put him at 35 HRs and 115 RBI while hitting .289/.366/.536. I’m not sure what more you could want with the 174th Getting him here makes me regret Yuli 5 rounds earlier. Everyone is sleeping on Bour. You shouldn’t be.
Round 15, Pick 183: Patrick Corbin (SP, Arizona Diamondbacks) – Was there a more dominant pitcher this past summer than Patrick Corbin? Okay, besides Corey Kluber. Corbin’s 1st half ERA was 4.71 vs 3.26 in the 2nd, but Corbin’s xFIP actually went up in the second half from 3.87 to 3.91. Who is he really? The book is still out for now, but I’m totally cool with taking a flier at #183.
Round 16, Pick 200: Lucas Giolito (SP, Chicago White Sox) – Why not? He showed promise at the end of the season and could make me feel pretty smart if he continues to put it together. I also feel no allegiance towards him if he bombs.
Round 17, Pick 217: Collin McHugh (SP, Houston Astros) – Solid veteran arm. High floor, moderate upside. Usually any pick after 200 for me needs to a high upside play, but I made an exception because I love what McHugh did last season. I don’t get why he fell this far. He’s prone to blowups every now and then, but he’s better than a lot of people realize. Don’t let him slip this far in your drafts.
Round 18, Pick 226: Wellington Castillo (C, Chicago White Sox) – Repeat after me, “I will not overpay for a catcher. I will not overpay for a catcher. I will not overpay for a catcher” Gary Sanchez went 24th in this draft. Buster Posey went 60th. I do not expect either to end up at that value by season’s end. Realmuto was a good value at 129 and I’d likely have taken him over Duvall were he there 2 picks later. If you don’t end up with Sanchez, Posey, Yadi, Realmuto, Contreras, or Salvy, you’re likely going to end up streaming catchers, but there are certainly gems in the later rounds. Evan Gattis will likely fall far in your draft, as will Wilson Ramos and Wellington Castillo. Very serviceable options(fingers crossed Beef Wellington goes to a team that’ll play him more often than Baltimore did).
I had to end the draft early to study for finals, but here is my team as of 18 rounds:
C- Wellington Castillo
1B- Justin Bour
2B- Robinson Cano
SS- Carlos Correa
3B- Joey Gallo
OF- Aaron Judge
OF- Starling Marte
OF- Andrew McCutchen
UTIL- Adam Duvall
UTIL- Yuli Gurriel
SP- Jacob deGrom
SP- Aaron Nola
RP- Greg Holland
RP- Was targeting Fernando Rodney
P- Luke Weaver
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