Although I’m an “auction” guy here on Fantasy Assembly, I do play in the @NFBC and will participate for the first time in the @TGFBI which are draft format leagues. Last night I participated in a mock draft dubbed the Mock Draft Army, run by Howard Bender, the @rotobuzzguy, of FantasyAlarm.com. Howard runs these almost every weekday night and uses the results to develop an ADP. Joining in these mocks are usually 2 or 3 other industry “experts” who give commentary of their picks and answer questions along the way about players, strategies, etc. I’ve been a Joe going against the Pros for a few years now with Howard. My fantasy football moniker “Buttered Stones” comes from the chat room of one the football MDA drafts, but that’s a story for the football season. Tonight’s draft was a 12 team, mixed league, 28 round draft with Colby Conway, Dan Malin and Greg Jewett all of Fantasy Alarm joining in
Here is the draft board of the mock. https://www.rtsports.com/baseball/draft-board.php?LID=524928&UID=0a377e834b2595805cb8a22204b7ca3&X=356425
Why is this type of mock better than that on a website like ESPN, etc? Commitment. No one here is dropping out and leaving the draft after round 2. How many times does one on ESPN have 7 or 8 teams on auto after a few rounds? Realistic. Yes, we may all be trying out a strategy but they are legit ones. No one is just drafting Orioles or guys named Bruce. If you want to see how drafting two SPs in the first 3 rounds works out for you, do it here. Want to pull a Todd Zola and wait on pitching? Try it here and see how it goes against some industry experts and some dedicated Joes.
You can follow Howard on twitter and see his announcements when he posts the weekly schedule for the MDA. Also follow as many industry experts as you can and watch for them posting mock draft announcements. This is a great way to prepare. You can make your lists, stare at your cheat sheets, check the NFBC ADPs, but you cannot duplicate actually having a minute to decide between drafting another hitter in round 6 or going after a closer.
I’ll go over a few highlights and my thought process for a few of the rounds in this mock. I picked from the two hole, and with Trout going first, Betts was an easy pick. Can you make an argument for picking someone else? I can’t. I’m taking whichever one of these are left for me at 2. No debating it, and there is no trying to convince me otherwise. That was the easy part of the draft.
Rounds 2 and 3: My thoughts here are to get my first starting pitcher and another hitter. With Machado available, I couldn’t pass him up, and considering I’d be happy with Nola, Cole, or Snell, it was easy to take Machado first and not risk losing him. Nola was taken on the turn so I decided on Cole over Snell. Better team and just a little more experience. Snell could regress slightly.
Rounds 4 and 5: Ten starting pitchers were taken after I took Cole in round 3 and what was left was not as appealing to me as to take two hitters with these picks. Yes I passed on Kershaw, but he is a risk. I took Rendon, who you can just bank on, and then Bellinger over the likes of Gary Sanchez, Matt Carpenter, and Vlad Jr. I liked Bellinger for his dual position eligibility. You can keep Sanchez in the 5th round and his sub Mendoza batting average. Vlad Jr. better live up to his hype to warrant his ADP. I’m not taking the chance, although I admit, it could be a mistake if he is like Acuna and Soto last year.
Rounds 6 and 7: I am now very happy with my decision to wait on a pitcher. I take Tommy Pham in round 6 looking for some steals, and then after two closers get taken on the turn I pounced on Jose Berrios. He made slight improvements last year but saw his HR/FB percentage take a jump. If he gets this back down to 2017 levels, he can take another step forward. He has been taken as early as pick 46 in the NFBC and his current ADP there is 75.
At this point in the draft I’m looking at my team and see I can use some more speed and will have to get a closer soon as they are going to start being taken off the board. I do pass on speed in rounds 8 and 9, but pick up my first closer in Doolittle – hopping Jose Peraza gets back to me for round 10… but that doesn’t happen. Even though I need speed, Billy Hamilton is not on my radar. I take JA Happ who, by the way does not ice his arm after pitching (my son heard him speak at a baseball convention a few weeks ago), as my SP3, and a strong overall player in round 11 in Eddie Rosario.
In my quest for steals I had Amed Rosario queued up for round 12 and was sniped by Colby Conway, so I pivoted to Luis Castillo as my SP4, and then I took a “mock” chance on Eloy Jimenez here in round 13. That’s the beauty of mocking. You can take these chances with no consequences and see how it turns out.
The remainder of the draft I looked for hitters who could contribute a few steals and for pitchers who would not hurt me in ERA and WHIP. In the end I was pleased with my squad, and the “evaluate” button that links the mock to the FantasyPros website had my team ranked 2nd overall. Thanks to RTSports for hosting the MDA.