Expert Mock Draft Analysis: Matt’s Team

I’ve been playing fantasy sports (baseball and football) for some time now, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve only been writing about it for a little more than a year. Last night’s 2012 Kick-Off Special Expert Mock Draft was the first expert mock I have participated in, and I learned a valuable lesson:  I don’t have sleepers (at least not in this crowd). There are no secrets; it’s just “Can I grab this guy I think will do well that was under the radar last year before everyone else in this room does without pulling a muscle reaching for him?”

With that being said, guys I hoped would fall didn’t and I was robbed on more than one occasion forcing me to rethink or scramble at the last moment. If you haven’t seen it yet, the complete results of the draft can be found here.

Standard 5×5 rules apply, rosters consisted of 2 catchers, all your infield positions, CI, MI, 5 OF’s and 9 pitchers of any variety or combination thereof. We had no bench to fill abd with that in mind I chose to overlook things like insurance players for injury.  I had the 9th pick in the snake style 12 team draft. The round I obtained a player is in the parenthesis after. 

C – Alex Avila (R7), Ramon Hernandez (R21)

1B – Mike Morse (R4)

2B – Robinson Cano (R1)

3B – Aramis Ramirez (R5)

SS – Dee Gordon (R11)

MI – Neil Walker (R12)

CI – Todd Helton (R17)

UTIL – Gaby Sanchez (R15)

OF – Carlos Gonzalez (R2), Alex Gordon (R6), Josh Willingham (R13), Brenan Boesch (R16), Jose Tabata (R19)

P – CC Sabathia (R3), Josh Beckett (R8), Yu Darvish (R9), Mariano Rivera (R10), Joel Hanrahan (R14),  Addison Reed (R18), Tyler Clippard (R20), Johan Santana (R22), David Robertson (R23)

I grabbed Cano first for a number of reasons.  He has a chance to hit 30 HRs and drive in 100 RBIs, there is nothing wrong with his average, and he plays a scarce position. Like SS, the gap in talent of the first 3 2B to the rest of the pack is large, and I wasn’t thrilled with prospect of settling for someone later when I would need a MI. It was almost a coin flip for me here between him and Pedroia. In the end I opted for the RBI’s figuring I can make up the steals at other positions.

Like Charlie, I tried to get some outfielders who have power and can steal a base. Cargo and Alex Gordon can do just that. Stubbs was on my list here too, but the catcher run that launched in the 7th round prevented me from going after him, since I was hell bent on leaving the draft with Wieters, Miguel Montero or Avila as my top catcher. The sacrifices we make… sticking along the speed line of thinking, I feel that Dee Gordon was an absolute steal for me in the 11th round.  No power and lightning fast, it’s almost like getting Elvis Andrus 7 rounds later.

The one thing I am missing is a “premier” power bat, the closest being Mike Morse. Which I don’t have too much of a problem with, since his last two seasons he has 788 AB’s and a combined 46 HR (one HR every 17 AB’s). The 1B’s flew off the board quick here, so I grabbed Morse a round earlier than I had been in previous mocks. While not my first or even 2nd choice given where I was planning to draft a 3B, Aramis Ramirez will be another source of power moving the 2nd friendliest hitter’s park in the NL without killing my average.

I normally don’t draft pitchers in the 3rd round either (in fact last year I waited until the 6th round in my drafts to get them) but the studs were going early, forcing me to jump on CC before the elite were guys were gone. Getting Becket in the 8th round felt right to me, and then I might have reached to get Darvish in the 9th. In previous mocks I had taken him in the 10th, and then waited to see if he would fall to the 11th, which he did, but was taken before my turn. I thought if I wanted him, 9th seemed right, and given the chance I would do it again. The Rangers are paying him like an ace, and expecting him to perform like one. If he does, the 9th will be a steal for him.

As for the relievers, Mariano needs no explanation and Hanrahan will once again get a lot of opportunities for saves. But that is it, for now, for guys that will be getting the saves. I drafted Addison Reed anticipating him getting the closers role at some point. Until he does, Reed, along with Clippard and Robertson will combine to be an All Star caliber starting pitcher/strikeout machine. If you combine their numbers from last year, they equal a pitcher who gave me 162.1 IP, 7 W, an ERA of 1.61 and 216 K’s.  Santana is like a lotto ticket. If he comes back awesome, if not it only cost me a round 22 pick.

That’s it. I think I have a well-rounded offense with power bats (Morse, Cano, Willingham), guys that will give me power and speed (Cargo and Alex Gordon),speed (Dee Gordon, Tabata) and then Helton to help lift my team average. My pitching staff should rack up W’s and K’s while posting acceptable or better ERA’s.

How do you think I did?