On Sunday, we discussed Rounds 1-5, and on Tuesday we looked at Roounds 6-10. So for the final part of my three-part mock draft series, we will take a look at how Rounds 11-15 of my first mock draft of the fantasy baseball season went. If you haven't done so already, I recommend going back and reading the first two parts of the series to really get a full view of the draft, what I was thinking with each pick, and how I tried to build my team.
(121) Team Temple - Will Venable RF
(122) Team Zeka - Brandon Moss 1B
(123) Team Smith - Everth Cabrera SS
(124) Team Boudreau - Mike Napoli 1B
(125) Team Baker - Jose Abreu 1B
(126) Team Ford - Michael Wacha SP
(127) Team Del - Alex Cobb SP
(128) Team wertz - Joe Nathan RP
(129) Team Jenkins - Daniel Murphy 2B
(130) Team Falcone - Hyun-Jin Ryu SP
(131) Team Neitzel - Chase Headley 3B
(132) Team Ruffo - Pablo Sandoval 3B
My pick: Everth Cabrera, Padres. Cabrera was having a breakout 2013 season as a top-five fantasy SS before his PED suspension. He was hitting for a decent average (.283) and leading the league in SB when his campaign was terminated. Additionally, the Padres offense was not as bad as it was perceived to be, and Cabrera was scoring his fair share of runs, so I was happy to get this speedster and leadoff hitter in the 11th round. If I had waited until my 12th-round pick, he almost assuredly would have been gone. I think he’ll pick up where he left off in 2013, with maybe just a tad lower batting average.
Other observations: Speaking of Padres, if Venable played anywhere but San Diego, he’d probably be going in the eighth round or so. He’s a legit 20/20 candidate again, just like he was last season in case you didn't notice, and while he’ll never hit .300, he’s a great speed/power combo in the outfield. And with the recent news of Cameron Maybin being out at least a couple months, Venable is virtually guaranteed everyday at-bats, if he wasn't already.
I also really like the Ryu pick, as he is definitely overshadowed by Kershaw and Greinke out in LA. He had an excellent rookie year, and grabbing a pitcher of his caliber in the 11th round is outstanding. Now that he has a full season of pitching in the big leagues under his belt, he’ll be more likely to stay effective as the season goes on.
(133) Team Ruffo - Norichika Aoki RF
(134) Team Neitzel - Julio Teheran SP
(135) Team Falcone - Brandon Belt 1B
(136) Team Jenkins - Alexei Ramirez SS
(137) Team wertz - Nelson Cruz RF
(138) Team Del - R.A. Dickey SP
(139) Team Ford - Sergio Romo RP
(140) Team Baker - Andrew Cashner SP
(141) Team Boudreau - Jeff Samardzija SP
(142) Team Smith - Salvador Perez C
(143) Team Zeka - CC Sabathia SP
(144) Team Temple - Glen Perkins RP
My pick: Salvador Perez, Royals. As I've said time and time again, I want to be one of the last owners to pick a catcher. There is just not a lot of variance between the best and the 12th-best at the position, so to me it doesn't matter if I wait until Round 12 to grab one, which is exactly what I did. Perez is a very solid hitting catcher that will probably hit around .300 but not for a ton of power, which is perfectly fine with me. I’m not looking for my catcher position to be the backbone of my team; I simply don’t want him to kill me in any one category. Perez fits the bill nicely.
Other observations: I love the Cashner pick. I am very high on him coming into this season. I think he’ll build on his brilliant second half of 2013, during which he only gave up 12 ER in all of August and September; he should put together a very good 2014. I also like the Nelson Cruz pick in this round. He’ll be a very good power hitter in the middle of the Orioles lineup, and have to opportunity to drive in a lot of runs.
I hate the Sabathia pick. CC was great for a long time, but if his name was Joe Smith and not CC Sabathia, you would look at his decline last year, quickly realizing that there’s several thousand innings on that left arm, and you would probably pass. I would much rather use this pick on something like a closer or perhaps some position-player depth. You could grab an innings-eater on a winning team in some of the last rounds, or even from the waiver wire.
(145) Team Temple - David Robertson RP
(146) Team Zeka - Matt Wieters C
(147) Team Smith - Jonathan Papelbon RP
(148) Team Boudreau - Wilson Ramos C
(149) Team Baker - Jedd Gyorko 2B
(150) Team Ford - Billy Hamilton CF
(151) Team Del - C.J. Wilson SP
(152) Team wertz - Curtis Granderson CF
(153) Team Jenkins - Coco Crisp CF
(154) Team Falcone - Victor Martinez DH
(155) Team Neitzel - Alfonso Soriano LF
(156) Team Ruffo - Carl Crawford LF
My pick: Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies. At this point in my draft, aside from stockpiling starting pitchers, I only needed another OF and RP to fill out my starting lineup. When it was my turn, I saw that relievers were starting to go pretty quickly, and that there were still many OF that would be available in the following several rounds, so I decided to take Papelbon and ensure that I got another bonafide closer on my roster. Papelbon’s appearances number wasn't as high in 2013 as it had been in prior years, mainly because the Phillies weren't that good, but he’s still one of the more consistent closers in the game, and he should rack up around 30 saves, if not more.
Other observations: In roto leagues, Billy Hamilton has the potential to carry you to a win your league’s SB category. With that said, generally speaking, I think he’s being way over-drafted in most leagues. At pick 150, this is a tad lower than his ADP, but it's still not great. I’m never a big fan of drafting a player who is basically a one-trick pony. Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, didn't you take Pedro Alvarez at your 3B several rounds ago?” Yes, you are correct, but Pedro’s power affects not only his HR, but his RBI, R and SLG/OPS numbers, which more and more leagues are starting to incorporate into their scoring, so it’s somewhat of an apples and oranges comparison, in my mind. Alvarez contributes in multiple categories, whereas when it's all said and done, Hamilton might just give you the stolen bases
(157) Team Ruffo - Mark Teixeira 1B
(158) Team Neitzel - Addison Reed RP
(159) Team Falcone - Will Middlebrooks 3B
(160) Team Jenkins - Leonys Martin CF
(161) Team wertz - Jed Lowrie SS
(162) Team Del - Miguel Montero C
(163) Team Ford - Jurickson Profar 2B
(164) Team Baker - Danny Salazar SP
(165) Team Boudreau - Jim Johnson RP
(166) Team Smith - Torii Hunter RF
(167) Team Zeka - Sonny Gray SP
(168) Team Temple - Jason Grilli RP
My pick: Torii Hunter, Tigers. I was still lacking a third OF, and the fact that Hunter was still there at the 166th pick was great news for me. Hunter keeps plugging away year-in and year-out, and when you look up at the end of the season, he has a productive, workmanlike stat line. You know he’s good for about 20 HR and 80 RBI while hitting around .280. And in that Tigers’ lineup, he’ll certainly score his fair share of runs.
Other observations: I wrote about Teixeira as potentially a sleeper 1B to keep an eye on, and so in Round 14, I think he’s an excellent pick. He’ll probably hit 30 HR and drive in a fair amount of runs for the Yankees. He’s a great name to keep in mind if you miss out on some of the bigger names at 1B earlier in your draft and you want to wait on the position.
I've heard a lot about Sonny Gray and Danny Salazar and how they’re ready to shine as everyday starters in 2014. This is exactly the type of spot in a draft where you want start looking at those kind of high-upside starting pitchers. The more of them you can grab in the later rounds of your draft, the more likely that one or two of them will pan out and you’ll strike gold.
(169) Team Temple - Hiroki Kuroda SP
(170) Team Zeka - Xander Bogaerts 3B
(171) Team Smith - Tony Cingrani SP
(172) Team Boudreau - Andrelton Simmons SS
(173) Team Baker - Ernesto Frieri RP
(174) Team Ford - Kendrys Morales 1B
(175) Team Del - Jason Castro C
(176) Team wertz - Zack Wheeler SP
(177) Team Jenkins - Matt Garza SP
(178) Team Falcone - Grant Balfour RP
(179) Team Neitzel - Dan Haren SP
(180) Team Ruffo - Adam Lind 1B
My pick: Tony Cingrani, Reds. I was debating this pick between Cingrani and Matt Garza. It really came down to what I'd just stated in my last paragraph. With Garza, I know who he is. There’s nothing new there that I’m going to see where he could potentially be different. He’s a decent starter, if he can stay on the mound, which is probably his biggest question mark. Sure, the change of scenery to Milwaukee might help, but I've seen enough of him. So instead, I went with Cingrani, who came into the league flying last summer and has very good potential as a near-top-of-the-rotation kind of arm, depending on how the Reds use him. His arm is live, and he proved able to get hitters out at the major league level. He’s a great upside guy to grab in Round 15.
Other observations: News coming out of Boston is that Bogaerts is the most hyped prospect to hit Fenway since Nomar. He’s listed at 3B in some leagues, but if he doesn't already have it, he’ll get SS eligibility soon as well, since that’s where he’ll be playing. Again, 3B is pretty scarce after the first few names, so if you miss out and prefer to wait at the position, Bogaerts is a great name to plant in the back of your brain. I think he’ll have a very good first full season for the Red Sox.
After the first 15 rounds of my first mock draft of the season, here’s how my team looks:
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
11(123). Everth Cabrera- SS
12(142). Salvador Perez- C
13(147). Jonathan Papelbon- RP
14(166). Torii Hunter- OF
15(171). Tony Cingrani- SP
In Rounds 16 and on, I wanted to grab one more OF to protect me against the Kemp injury situation, get one more RP/closer, and use the rest of my picks on high-upside starting pitchers. Assuming you are in a fairly standard OF, OF, OF, UTIL league format, there’s no need to draft a bunch of extra position players whom you can get off waivers. You’re much better off selecting as many SP as you can. If you play with MI and CI, or two UTL spots, obviously the above commentary isn't as relevant.
That’s it for my three-part mock draft series! I hope you enjoyed following along. You can find me on Twitter @rsmith9.