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Hey all, Mark Weston here and let’s run through the team I drafted in yesterday’s mock draft.
Mock Draft Details: 12-teamer, H2H, 5×5, with the 10th overall pick.
1st Round (10) – Freddie Freeman (1B/3B, Atlanta Braves) – This will probably jump out to you as a little early for Freddie Freeman, I admit. With the added 3B eligibility I believe he’s worthy of being taken in the first round. 35 home runs, a .300 average, and now he’s getting Albies and Inciarte batting ahead of him? For a 3B that’s exactly what you need. Sun Trust Park being a hitter’s park only adds to the level of safety here. Ultimately I went with the most consistent producer available at this point.
2nd Round (15) – Corey Kluber (SP, Cleveland Indians) – Kris Bryant and Joey Votto were the only bats I’d even consider here but I had already filled 3B and I did not want to take a 1B this early. I had my pick at the non-Kershaw starters and went with the Klubot. Max Scherzer or Chris Sale would be perfectly fine choices as well if you preferred.
3rd Round (34) – Jacob DeGrom (SP, New York Mets) – It wasn’t my initial goal to take two ace SP’s in the first three rounds but it ended up that way, and to be honest I liked how it worked out quite a bit. After this point I believe the SP pool drops off pretty quickly and DeGrom was the last one I felt truly confident in to return ace value.
4th Round (39) – Brian Dozier (2B, Minnesota Twins) – It was Dozier or Andrew Benintendi here for me and I like a lot of the late round options at OF. If I had not taken Freeman to be my 3B I would have absolutely taken Anthony Rendon here as I am a huge believer this year. The 2B pool gets unsteady fairly quick so I took someone who I still believed was near-elite at his position. Had I not taken DeGrom in the 3rd I would have probably gone Greinke here.
5th Round (58) – Aaron Nola (SP, Philadelphia Phillies) – I liked Justin Turner and Whit Merrifield as other options here but I had already filled those positions. Aaron Nola is a SP I am confident in. Nick Pollack has spoken before of his confidence in his ability to find SP’s late and off the waiver wire so he leans towards hitters earlier in drafts; I feel the exact opposite. I like a lot of late round hitters and therefore was willing to wait and instead build a very strong pitching staff.
6th Round (63) – Lorenzo Cain (OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – Ordinarily I would have taken AJ Pollock here but the humidor scares me a little bit. Cain, however, is going to Miller Park and into an excellent lineup. Given how challenging it can be to find speed I didn’t mind grabbing some right here. Another high average bat (along with Freeman) also gives me the flexibility to grab a low average power bat later.
7th Round (82) – Jose Quintana (SP, Chicago Cubs) – This is all about safety and further shoring up my starting rotation. Our drafting format called for 9 pitchers so with such a deep staff I definitely don’t mind having several quality arms. At this point I don’t believe there was any other teams with four SPs, giving me confidence I’m well on my way to the best pitching staff.
8th Round (87) – Joey Gallo (1B/3B/OF, Texas Rangers) – Like I mentioned before, having Cain and Freeman as high average bats gives me the flexibility to take someone like Gallo. He should provide elite power numbers. Gallo is only going to be 24 this year so he’s reaching that time where I wouldn’t be shocked if he put up one or two monster seasons like Chris Davis did earlier in his career.
9th Round (106) – Eddie Rosario (OF, Minnesota Twins) – I have already spoken about my interest in Eddie Rosario. When I saw him on the board at this point I was not going to miss my chance. This is probably a round or two earlier than you have to take him in most drafts but I wanted him far more than the other options I was looking at.
10th Round (111) – Wade Davis (RP, Colorado Rockies) – It was between Davis and Brad Hand here. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer to take a closer and I wasn’t enthralled with any of the non-closer options out there so I took the relatively safe RP.
11th Round (130) – Luke Weaver (SP/RP, St. Louis Cardinals) – Weaver has enough merits of his own to take him but the fact he’s SP/RP made him a sure bet for me. I was not intending on going the SP/RP route but given I could get the top guy this late led me there.
12th Round (135) – Brad Peacock (SP/RP, Houston Astros) – Now I’m fully invested in the SP/RP game. It was not the goal but I’m happy where it ended up. At this point, assuming I don’t take another RP, I could start eight high quality starters versus other teams’ six. You may not fully believe in the strategy of punting saves but I’ve seen it work quite well in the past when you can nail down legit SP/RP guys. I will lose saves every week but should take wins and strikeouts every week as well. Peacock and Weaver are good enough not to drain my ERA and WHIP either. Peacock won’t start the season in the rotation but with McCullers, Morton, and Keuchal there’s plenty of injury possibility.
13th Round (154) – Jay Bruce (OF, New York Mets) – Bruce hasn’t been able the shake the bad reputation from his 2014-2015 seasons, but advanced stats verify that he’s right back to being the solid, high power, .255 hitter he once was. I will take the consistency and power Bruce offers in the 13th round any day.
14th Round (159) – Mitch Haniger (OF, Seattle Mariners) – The safety of Bruce can be countered with the upside of Haniger. We didn’t get to see a full season from a healthy Haniger last year. Adding Dee Gordon to the lineup should only bolster the RBI opportunities he will see.
15th Round (178) – Paul DeJong (SS, St. Louis Cardinals) – I waited so long to fill SS because there were three good options out there, the others being Didi Gregorius and Trevor Story. Even though the others were still available I figured it was time to finally lock one in. I wouldn’t blame someone for going with any of those three options but figured I should take the guy I’ve been saying good things about.
16th Round (183) – Kyle Schwarber (OF, Chicago Cubs) – At this point in the draft I’m all about upside. Schwarber lost a whole bunch of weight in an attempt to regain some athleticism. That storyline and the former prospect pedigree is enough for me to take a shot this late in drafts. I like to establish a firm base for your roster and then go after the upside fliers in the later rounds.
17th Round (202) – Steven Matz (SP, New York Mets) – Everything I said about Schwarber applies to Matz. Upside, former prospect pedigree, and storyline. The Mets now have Micky Callaway as the Manager and seemed to have finally realized they need to keep their pitchers healthy. At this point the SP depth was getting VERY thin so I took one of the few remaining options I have hope for.
18th Round (207) – Bradley Zimmer (OF, Cleveland Indians) – I was pretty shocked by how little interest there was in Zimmer. For a rookie having a hard hit rate over 30% and a contact rate over 70% was good enough for me. His speed is where the real value comes from and this late in the draft the other options don’t have nearly the upside.
19th Round (226) – Austin Barnes (C, Los Angeles Dodgers) – I wanted Beef Wellington here but he was taken four picks earlier by Austin Bristow. Barnes is not a bad consolation pick. The risk with him is playing time and how much Grandal eats into, but Barnes has the talent to outperform all of the remaining catcher options. Worst case scenario I end up swapping him out for James McCann or Robinson Chirinos during the season.
20th Round (231) – Jake Odorizzi (SP, Minnesota Twins) – Odorizzi ended the season much better than he started it in 2017. He has plenty of problems but in the 20th round, they all do. He will just be a bench SP so not much risk here.
21st Round (250) – Mike Minor (SP/RP, Texas Rangers) – I was bummed I missed out on Zack Cozart a few picks earlier, I regret not taking him in the 20th. Minor is a further play on the SP/RP strategy. He’s had success as a starter before and now is finally healthy again. Not the worst chance to take this late in drafts.
22nd Round (255) – Francisco Mejia (C/3B, Cleveland Indians) – Mejia is an advances bat and despite his age, Cleveland seems confident moving him quickly. I see a legitimate possibility he sees 400+ at bats this year, and if he does he’s very likely a top 10 catcher.
23rd Round (274) – Victor Robles (OF, Washington Nationals) – I’m still not entirely certain how quickly Robles is up. It might be out of spring training if we are lucky. If that’s the case then Robles moves way up draft boards. His speed is a huge value this late in drafts. Still very young, he could see early career success based on his strong approach at the plate and well rounded skill set. For the last round, I’ll take it.
In the end my team is as follows:
- C: Austin Barnes
- 1B: Joey Gallo
- 2B: Brian Dozier
- 3B: Freddie Freeman
- SS: Paul DeJong
- OF: Lorenzo Cain
- OF: Eddie Rosario
- OF: Jay Bruce
- UT: Mitch Haniger
- UT: Kyle Schwarber
- BN: Bradley Zimmer
- BN: Francisco Mejia
- BN: Victor Robles
- SP: Corey Kluber
- SP: Jacob DeGrom
- SP: Aaron Nola
- RP: Wade Davis
- RP: Luke Weaver
- RP: Brad Peacock
- P: Jose Quintana
- P: Steven Matz
- P: Mike Minor
- BN: Jake Odorizzi
I’m very happy with how things turned out. I have a very strong rotation set to punt saves. My offense is solid with room for improvements in the utility positions if Haniger or Schwarber don’t work out. I think I liked how it turned out taking multiple early starters and will probably do it again in the future. There is no glaring mistake to my eyes other than I still wish I had Wellington Castillo at catcher instead of Barnes. All told I’d be very happy with this team going into the year.