On Thursday night RotoBaller hosted an industry mock draft with some of the industry's brightest minds, and for some reason, they invited us!
Josh Donaldson 1.5With the 5th pick, I assumed Donaldson or Clayton Kershaw would be my only options. Manny Machado went 4th overall and I went was lucky enough to grab Donaldson. I believe in waiting on pitching but would have selected Kershaw with pleasure
Jose Abreu 2.8 (20th overall)Lost out on A.J. Pollock by one pick, so I filled out the other CI position with Jose Abreu rather than Edwin Encarnacion/Chris Davis, over pitchers Chris Sale/Madison Bumgarner and outfielders J.D. Martinez/George Springer.
The addition of 1B/3B position allowed me to draft Abreu and Votto. The Reds lineup is limited this year but Votto is a great hitter who will produce regardless of the talent around him. Passed up Carlos Gomez (not a fan and reach in the third round these days) and Starling Marte for him.
Joey Votto 3.5 (29)
David Price 4.8 (44)
Couldn't pass up David Price at pick 44 and while the strategy should stay the same with Greinke in the 5th, pitchers weren't flying off the board so I went with my first outfielder, Adam Jones 53rd overall.
Adam Jones 5.5 (53)
Matt Carpenter 6.8 (68)Tough time debating between Adrian Gonzalez and Carpenter, both with a 57 ADP across sites, but with two 1B already, I loved the flexibility Carp provides at 3B/2B while filling in my UTIL roster spot.
Jason Kipnis 7.5 (77)
I was banking on Kipnis or Kinsler making it back around to me in the 7th and I took Kipnis after Rougned Odor was drafted ahead of both guys. Needing at least two 2B or SS, I left Kinsler in my queue and he was available in the 8th so I turned two at 2B.
Ian Kinsler 8.8 (92)
Jonathan Lucroy 9.5 (101)In a two catcher league, I feel lucky to grab Lucroy in the 9th. He was the third catcher drafted overall, after Buster Posey and Kyle Schwarber in the 3rd round. Russell Martin and Brian McCann were the next catchers drafted at the start of the 10th round.
Jacoby Ellsbury 10.8 (116)Ellsbury as my 2nd OF if a huge risk but in the 10th round, it's way past his ADP and he has a huge ceiling. I got him between Cardinals OFs Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk.
Michael Wacha 11.5 (125)
I decided to focus on pitching for the next two rounds. My strategy was to add a starter and a closer - got Wacha in round 11 after Marcus Stroman but before Jeff Samardzija. I was hoping for Cody Allen but he went early in round 12 so I drafted Rodon.
Hector Rodon 12.8 (140)
Brandon Crawford 13.5 (149)At this point in the draft I figured, might at well grab a SS and Crawford, at 149 overall is a good spot. I would have been left with Jhonny Peralta or Jung-Ho Kang (both injured) but they were drafted ahead of Crawford.
James Shields 14.8 (164)Shields will make a fine 3rd starting pitcher for me in the 14th round. Raisel Iglesias and Luis Severino were the next two started selected.
Jay Bruce 15.5 (173)I am believer in Bruce, despite his recent decline, but it was him or Khris Davis and I take Bruce every time. Bruce went between Mets OFs Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto.
Shelby Miller 16.8 (188)Davis was still available in the 16th, but there was a run on SP and Shelby Miller was skipped over but that ended at 188. I was one of seven owners to draft a start in the round.
Khris Davis 17.5 (197)And again, Davis was there for me in the 17th and I pulled the trigger this time.
Brad Ziegler 18.8 (212)Needing another RP, I added Ziegler over Jake McGee out in Colorado and Roberto Osuna who is not the Blue Jays closer yet with Drew Storen in town.
Jorge Soler 19.5 (221)Despite the crowded OF in Chicago, I took Jorge Soler as my fifth OF in the 19th round. Marcell Ozuna, Jake Marisnick, Austin Jackson and Aaron Hick were the only other OF drafted in the next two rounds.
Yadier Molina 20.8 (236)Was hoping for Blake Swihart but he went early in the round, so I "settled" on Yadi in the 20th round as my 2C.
Jaime Garcia 21.5 (245)
Aaron Nola 22.8 (260)
Tony Watson 23.5 (269)
So here are my main takeaways from this draft:
- I do not want to take Clayton Kershaw in the first round
- I do want to take two pitchers in the first seven rounds or so
- I do not want to take one of those elite closers early on, as even nabbing Kimbrel “late” in Round 8 felt wrong, nor do I want to take a second-tier RP around Round 10-12
- Evan Longoria is the last 3B I’m really comfortable taking, as I really started to freak out when I saw the player pool behind him (Mike Moustakas is fine, but I don’t like fine)...
- …But 1B is supremely deep, and as such CI is not something you need to press
Rapid Reactions and Lessons Learned
- In two-catcher leagues you’re going to want to spend at least a 12th rounder or so on your first, but then can wait a looong time before filling in that second slot. James McCann was the only catcher taken that I wouldn’t want, and that was in the very last round