Draft Strategy: Mock Draft Analysis Rounds 6-10

RotoBaller Richie Smith helps you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts by taking part in a mock draft and analyzing the best and worst picks of each round. Need draft help? Look no further!

Richie Smith - RotoBaller


Mock Draft Analysis Rounds 6-10

On Sunday, I wrote about how rounds 1-5 of my mock draft went. Today, we’ll take a look at rounds 6-10 as my three-part mock draft series rolls on. If you haven't done so already, I recommend going back and reading the first part of the series to truly get a full view of the draft, what I was thinking with each pick, and how I tried to build my team.

The middle rounds of a draft are just as important as the first few picks because this is where you are able to grab the guys who could be near top-tier talents but have fallen in drafts due to injury history or perceived inadequacies.  Let’s take a look!


Round: 6

(61) Team Ruffo - Homer Bailey SP
(62) Team Neitzel - Kenley Jansen RP
(63) Team Falcone - Matt Holliday LF
(64) Team Jenkins - Brandon Phillips 2B
(65) Team wertz - Allen Craig 1B
(66) Team Del - Mark Trumbo 1B
(67) Team Ford - Joe Mauer C
(68) Team Baker - Jean Segura SS
(69) Team Boudreau - Starling Marte LF
(70) Team Smith - Jason Heyward RF
(71) Team Zeka - Zack Greinke SP
(72) Team Temple - Anibal Sanchez SP

My pick: Jason Heyward, Braves. I was really excited when Heyward was still available at the end of the sixth round for me.  After a couple of fluky injuries, an emergency appendectomy and HBP breaking his jaw derailed his 2013 season, I think he is primed for a great year in 2014. The Braves will probably hit him leadoff, where he’ll be getting on base, stealing bases and scoring a million runs. OK maybe not a million, but there’s plenty of fire power in the Braves’ lineup to drive Heyward in, probably over 100 times. He’s also got some good pop, and should be in the 20 HR range. I personally think I got a steal with Heyward at the 70th overall pick, as I believe he’ll perform more like a fourth or fifth rounder. He’s definitely falling further than he should in drafts, so he’s an outstanding sleeper candidate.

Other observations: Phillips has been very good for a long time now, but I think he’s due for a bit of tailing off. He was an RBI machine last season, in part to Shin-Soo-Choo getting on base so much in front of him. Choo is no longer in Cinci, and so I think Phillips’s RBI total could come down significantly (he had never eclipsed the 100 RBI mark prior to last season). He also stole far fewer bases in 2013 (just five), as his days of stealing 20+ bases per year appear to be long gone. All of these factors affect his overall value. Jedd Gyorko (another sleeper candidate), for example, is going three or four rounds later, and will probably finish with similar numbers as Phillips this year, if not better.


Round: 7

(73) Team Temple - Greg Holland RP
(74) Team Zeka - Wil Myers RF
(75) Team Smith - Matt Kemp CF
(76) Team Boudreau - Kyle Seager 3B
(77) Team Baker - Carlos Santana C
(78) Team Ford - Starlin Castro SS
(79) Team Del - Mike Minor SP
(80) Team wertz - Carlos Beltran RF
(81) Team Jenkins - Cole Hamels SP
(82) Team Falcone - Jose Altuve 2B
(83) Team Neitzel - Matt Cain SP
(84) Team Ruffo - Wilin Rosario C

My pick: Matt Kemp, Dodgers. Yes I agree…this is a risky pick. But it’s a pick with potentially big upside. There’s a fair chance that Kemp won’t be ready for opening day. But even so, Kemp is a great flyer...at the right time in a draft. When healthy, we all know how good he is. I wouldn’t touch him before the sixth round, but at this point in the draft, I think he’s the kind of selection that could win you your league if it pans out, and if it doesn't it won’t kill you because of where you picked him. You would be smart to grab a decent fourth OF just in case though.

It’s a good guess that Kemp won’t be stealing as much this year, given his history of hamstring injuries, but I think he’s still a decent bet for 20 SB. If the Dodgers are smart, they won’t rush him back just so he can play on opening day. Even if he misses the first couple weeks of the season, he can still be a huge difference maker for fantasy teams during the year, if he stays on the field.

Other observations: I think Cain is great value at the end of the seventh round, and he should have a nice bounce back season, as last year will prove to be an anomaly.  I also think Beltran will find a good deal of success in pinstripes and will have another very solid year. It feels like the Seager pick is a couple rounds too early. There's still plenty of good starting pitching available at that spot where that pick could have been used. And unless you had some obsession with Seager in particular, at this point in the draft you could wait a couple rounds and get an equally capable 3B (maybe even Seager).


Round: 8

(85) Team Ruffo - Gio Gonzalez SP
(86) Team Neitzel - Aramis Ramirez 3B
(87) Team Falcone - Masahiro Tanaka SP
(88) Team Jenkins - James Shields SP
(89) Team wertz - Mat Latos SP
(90) Team Del - Asdrubal Cabrera SS
(91) Team Ford - Jayson Werth RF
(92) Team Baker - Aaron Hill 2B
(93) Team Boudreau - Alex Gordon LF
(94) Team Smith - Shelby Miller SP
(95) Team Zeka - J.J. Hardy SS
(96) Team Temple - Jonathan Lucroy C

My pick: Shelby Miller, Cardinals. It always happens in a draft. At least once…possibly more. One pick away from your turn and the player you want keeps falling closer to you…and then bam. Just like that he’s gone. And all of a sudden, you need to regroup in 45 seconds and go with your back up plan.

I was so close to getting Alex Gordon, my guy, until Team Boudreau ripped him from my clutches. Gordon had such an underrated, all-around season last year and I think he’ll have even a better year this year, including hitting for a higher average. I admit, I did not do a good job of having a backup plan. I got a tad flustered and ended up with Miller, who is, to be fair, a good pitcher coming off an outstanding rookie season. But I think Miller falls into a large group of “good, solid pitchers” and I could have easily waited another round or two and grabbed someone just like Miller. In hindsight, I probably would have gone with Domonic Brown with this pick, who went at the beginning of round nine (remember, I just took Kemp, so I was looking for another capable OF as insurance). But that’s what mock drafts are for - practicing under pressure!

Other observations: We should probably touch on the Tanaka pick. I think the selection at the beginning of the eighth round is pretty good value. There’s really nothing to compare him to, aside from what other Japanese pitchers have done when they've come over in the past. I’m not as high on him as others are, but I think he’ll be very good and going 87th overall seems to be a good value.

I don’t trust Aramis Ramirez at all. Productive when healthy, but he’s never healthy and aging fast. And he is apparently still having some knee troubles into spring training. I would stay away altogether and let him be someone else's headache.


Round: 9

(97) Team Temple - Jordan Zimmermann SP
(98) Team Zeka - Domonic Brown LF
(99) Team Smith - Pedro Alvarez 3B
(100) Team Boudreau - Jered Weaver SP
(101) Team Baker - Trevor Rosenthal RP
(102) Team Ford - Hisashi Iwakuma SP
(103) Team Del - Josh Hamilton RF
(104) Team wertz - Gerrit Cole SP
(105) Team Jenkins - Desmond Jennings CF
(106) Team Falcone - Doug Fister SP
(107) Team Neitzel - Kris Medlen SP
(108) Team Ruffo - Jon Lester SP

My pick: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates. You know what you’re getting with Pedro. He’ll hit a ton of bombs, but not a very high batting average. As I've alluded to in the past, 3B gets shallow very quickly after Cabrera, Beltre, Longoria, and Wright. It may have been a bit of a reach for Alvarez in round nine, but I wasn't going to be picking for another 20 picks or so, and wanted to make sure I ended up with someone decent (this turned out to be good foresight because Manny Machado, Martin Prado, and Brett Lawrie all were gone by the time my next pick came around. As the rounds go on in a draft, it becomes more acceptable to reach for certain players that fill needs, simply because of the reason I just mentioned). I’ll gladly take Pedro’s 35-40 HR and decent RBI output and deal with a BA around .250, especially in roto leagues.

Other observations: It looks as though Iwakuma won’t be available until at least mid-April. If this timetable holds true, I think this is still a good spot to grab him. The season is so long, and he’d only miss a few starts, so he would be helping your team for most of the season. And fewer innings in April could mean a fresher arm later in the year. As previously mentioned, I like the Domonic Brown pick, as I believe he’ll continue to rake in the middle of the Phillies’ order.


Round: 10

(109) Team Ruffo - Anthony Rizzo 1B
(110) Team Neitzel - Chase Utley 2B
(111) Team Falcone - Brian McCann C
(112) Team Jenkins - Michael Cuddyer RF
(113) Team wertz - Manny Machado 3B
(114) Team Del - Martin Prado 3B
(115) Team Ford - Matt Moore SP
(116) Team Baker - Billy Butler DH
(117) Team Boudreau - Brett Lawrie 3B
(118) Team Smith - Koji Uehara RP
(119) Team Zeka - Matt Adams 1B
(120) Team Temple - Shane Victorino RF

My pick: Koji Uehara, Red Sox. With a good portion of my starting position players set (I was still missing C, SS, and an OF spot) and a nice starting pitching trio, I wanted to assure myself at least one solid RP. Koji seemed like as good of a choice as any other closer that was available, so I went with him. The Red Sox should be one of the top teams in the AL again, so he’ll have a plethora of save opportunities.

Other observations: I liked a lot of the picks in this round. People have been really down on Matt Moore for some reason. I’m not one of them, as I think he has as much upside as some of the very good starters going several rounds ahead of him. He’s exceptional value in the 10th round in my opinion (115 overall). I also like the upside selection of Manny Machado in this round, even though he’s coming off a fairly significant injury. Matt Adams, who I wrote about a couple weeks ago, is an underrated 1B, and should mash in the middle of the Cardinals lineup. The 10th round for him is also a good pick up.

The Victorino pick doesn't do much for me, although he’s not a terrible choice to round out your three OF spots. But again, you could probably wait another couple rounds to get an equally sufficient OF, and use this pick to fill another need or grab an upside arm.


So to recap my total picks so far:

1(3). Paul Goldschmidt- 1B

2(22). Joey Votto- UTL

3(27). Jason Kipnis- 2B

4(46). Madison Bumgarner- SP

5(51). Jose Fernandez- SP

6(70). Jason Heyward- OF

7(75). Matt Kemp- OF

8(94). Shelby Miller- SP

9(99). Pedro Alvarez- 3B

10(118). Koji Uehara- RP

How am I doing so far? Any comments or criticisms? Check back on Thursday for the final part of my mock draft, where we will review rounds 11-15.

Week 8 Waiver Wire & FAAB Bids