Grayson Blazek here – we had a Pitcher List staff mock draft on Monday and we’re all reviewing our picks this week. Let’s take a look at how my first mock draft of the 2018 season went.
Mock Draft Details: 12 teamer, H2H, standard 5×5, with the 7th overall pick
1st Round (7) – Giancarlo Stanton (OF, New York Yankees) – I can understand the hate that may come with taking Stanton this early after an otherworldly 2017. While I do not think Stanton will test the 60 HR mark again in 2018, I do see him hitting 40+. With a stellar supporting cast around him, I’m confident in a 100+ RBI and solid Run season. With this pick I shied away from my typical ‘sure bet’ 1st round pick and went with a guy with incredible proven upside.
2nd Round (18) – Joey Votto (1B, Cincinnati Reds) – 1B continues to see a great deal of depth in 2018, but it’s too hard to pass up the consistency of Joey Votto – especially his ability to serve as an AVG/OBP buoy. With Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman off the board, it was between Anthony Rizzo and Votto, but I decided to go with the perineal silver slugger runner-up to hold down the first base bag for me.
3rd Round (31) – Dee Gordon (2B/OF, Seattle Mariners) – STEALS. Taking Gordon here was a no-brainer for me. Gordon can win steals for me each week on his own, without doing damage to the AVG department (see Billy Hamilton). The move to Seattle resulted in dual position eligibility, increasing his value even more.
4th Round (42) – Zack Greinke (SP, Arizona Diamondbacks) – in my opinion, there is a significant drop off at SP after Greinke so I wanted to grab him to make sure I had an ‘ace’ in my rotation. It will be interesting to see if the addition of the humidor to Chase Field has any effect on him, but either way I’ll be starting him with confidence each week.
5th Round (55) – Jean Segura (SS, Seattle Mariners) – at this point in the draft, the top 5 shortstops were off the board so I wanted to fill that position. I went ahead and grabbed Segura, a guy who can help me with Steals and Runs while keeping a healthy average, fully expecting shortstops to start flying off the board. Interestingly, I was wrong and could’ve held out (Didi in the 17th?!?!) so this is a position I plan to reevaluate heading into drafts this spring.
6th Round (66) – Craig Kimbrel (RP, Boston Red Sox) – My strategy the past few years has been Kenley Jansen, Craig or bust so I grabbed Kimbrel here to head up my closer committee. Barring injury, this is a guy who I expect to keep his job all year and provide consistent saves throughout the season.
7th Round (79) – Aroldis Chapman (RP, New York Yankees) – With Kimbrel in my pocket and not seeing any batters that fit my needs I went ahead and took Chapman here. Paired with Kimbrel I feel good going into the year with two guys who could very likely win saves for me each week. They’re both on great teams so should get lots of save opportunities this year.
8th Round (90) – Marcus Stroman (SP, Toronto Blue Jays) – While many may disagree, I am a firm believer Stroman is on the cusp of acehood. He turned in an impressive 2017 campaign where he saw great development in his breaking pitches. He keeps the ball on the ground often, limiting damage done against him and limiting the blowups that can ruin pitching categories for the week. He may be a bit of a stretch to serve as my number 2 guy, but I’m looking forward to seeing him compete this year.
9th Round (103) – Travis Shaw (3B, Milwaukee Brewers) – It was Shaw or Rosario here for me. This being my first mock of the year and being used to depth at the OF spot, I opted for Shaw, but likely should have grabbed a solid OF here. That being said, Shaw is a stud who I believe will have another 30+ homer year. As much as I hate to say it as a Cubs fan, the Brewers are looking mighty fine in 2018 and with such a strong lineup around him, I think Shaw is going to continue to impress this year.
10th Round (114) – Michael Fulmer (SP, Detroit Tigers) – having bought in on Stroman’s upside, I wanted to grab another solid starter to solidify my rotation and raise the floor a bit. Fulmer has looked great over the past two seasons and I am a believer that his performance will continue.
11th Round (127) – Kyle Seager (3B, Seattle Mariners) – I was surprised to see Kyle Seager fall all the way to the 11th round. Even with Shaw already slotted in as my starting 3B, Kyle was one of the best hitters still available. 2017 was a down year for him, hitting just .249, but with a solid lineup around him and 100 RBI upside I couldn’t pass him up.
12th Round (138) – Kyle Hendricks (SP, Chicago Cubs) – I had big plans to draft DJ LeMahieu here, slot him in at 2B and move Dee Gordon to OF but he was taken one pick before me. With a 45 second clock and no one in my queue I blindly grabbed Hendricks who was the highest ADP SP available. His performance has been solid the past few years but there are many areas of concern that typically keep me away. This pick served as an important reminder to always have a contingency plan in place.
13th Round (151) – Jameson Taillon (SP, Pittsburgh Pirates) – I was stoked to get Jameson in the 13th to serve as my 4/5 starter. He’s still early in his career and off a shortened season due to cancer, but the talent is there and I think he’s in for a breakout year.
14th Round (162) – Andrew Miller (RP, Cleveland Indians) – hard to pass up on a reliever who is as consistently efficient as Miller. Year after year he has served as an inning eater and an anchor to ERA and WHIP. I would have gone with a third closer here, but the only guy with a sure job was Herrera who I have very little confidence in.
15th Round (175) – Scooter Gennett (2B/3B/OF, Cincinnati Reds) – It’s around this time in the draft I always try to grab a utility guy who can fill multiple roles during off days/injuries. Scooter showed his upside in 2017, and while it’s hard to see him returning with those stats, the potential is there.
16th Round (186) – Patrick Corbin (SP, Arizona Diamondbacks) – At this point I already had 5 starters but should Hendricks regress or Taillon not live up to the hype I wanted to have another solid starter option to go with. Corbin and Jordan Montgomery were available leading up to my pick, and I would’ve had trouble deciding, but JMont was taken one spot before so Corbin fell to me.
17th Round (199) – Ian Kinsler (2B, Los Angeles Angels) – Maybe a change of scenery will do Kinsler some good. He’s being slotted into an incredibly boosted Angels lineup, so my hope is he will have another 2016-esk year. If not, I’m set at 2B between Gordon and Gennett.
18th Round (210) – David Dahl (OF, Colorado Rockies) – 2016’s darling outfielder dealt with injuries throughout 2017 which kept him from seeing a single big-league pitch. A guy with as much power as he exhibited in 2016 and getting ½ of his ABs in Coors could be a late round gem…or a bust. Only time will tell.
19th Round (223) – Ryon Healy (1B/3B/DH, Seattle Mariners) – Similar to Gennett, I took another guy who could fill multiple roles on my roster. I’m interested to see how he will fit into the Mariners lineup, but at the very least will serve as a solid bat to fill in as my only other 1B eligible player when Votto has the day off.
20th Round (234) – Avisail Garcia (OF, Chicago White Sox) – Garcia enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, hitting .330 over 518 ABs and delivered 80 RBIs. Will he return with similar statistics? The upside with Garcia is clear, which in the 20th round is all you can ask for.
21st Round (247) – Jonathan Lucroy (C, Free Agent) – I took a catcher at this point because I figured I should probably field a complete team. Lucroy has really fallen off after posting impressive numbers during his Brewer days but I really didn’t like any of the other catchers available. Maybe he’ll have a comeback year? If not, no loss there.
22nd Round (258) – Aaron Altherr (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – Altherr had a power breakout in 2017, hitting 19 home runs, far surpassing his career high. A negative side effect was a 28% strikeout rate, however, which was frustrating. Should the power continue and plate discipline improve, Altherr could be an absolute steal this late in the draft.
23rd Round (271) – Chris Davis (1B, Baltimore Orioles) – What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment. I continue to draft Chris Davis every year, hoping he will deliver another 50+ HR season, but realistically he will likely be one of the first guys cut from my roster. The sub .220 average is just too much to stomach.
Headed into the season my roster is as follows:
C: Jonathon Lucroy
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Dee Gordon
3B: Travis Shaw
SS: Jean Segura
OF: David Dahl
OF: Avisail Garcia
UTIL: Kyle Seager
UTIL: Ryon Healy
BN: Scooter Gennett
BN: Ian Kinsler
BN: Aaron Altherr
BN: Chris Davis
SP: Zach Greinke
SP: Marcus Stroman
SP: Michael Fulmer
RP: Craig Kimbrel
RP: Aroldis Chapman
RP: Andrew Miller
Overall, my feelings on this draft were mixed. Building a team around Stanton is a high risk high reward proposition in my opinion, and I don’t love feeling like my season hinges on the performance of one guy. I’m pleased with Greinke, Stroman and Fulmer serving as my core rotation, but things came a bit unhinged with the Hendricks pick – but I think Taillon and Corbin serve as solid reserve arms. All told, I see my team as a middle of the pack performer with a lot of upside potential.