Drew Silva

Draft Strategy

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February Mockin': Part Two

Thursday, February 11, 2010

This column is part of an ongoing series recapping an intentionally slow-moving baseball industry mock draft that I recently hosted over at the excellent CouchManagers.com. Part One covered the first six rounds and can be found at this link. Below I'll wrap up rounds seven through 12 with a fair share of hard-hitting analysis.

If you need a refresher, here's the crew that helped me pull this thing off:

Team 1: Eno Sarris (FanGraphs.com, FantasyLoungeSports.com)
Team 2: Auto-Queue (Computer-run)
Team 3: Drew Silva (That's Me!)
Team 4: Steve Gardner (USA Today)
Team 5: Tim Dierkes (MLBTradeRumors, RotoAuthority)
Team 6: Mike Axisa (River Ave. Blues, MLBTradeRumors)
Team 7: Jesse Spector (New York Daily News)
Team 8: Sam Miller (Orange County Register)
Team 9: Chet Gresham (Razzball.com)
Team 10: Dan Wade (Bleacher Report)
Team 11: Thor Nystrom (Rotoworld)
Team 12: D.J. Short (Rotoworld)

Oh, and if you haven't already checked out everything our annual Rotoworld Draft Guide has to offer, what the heck are you waiting for?

[My picks can be found in bold, blue lettering.]

Round Seven

7. 1. Hunter Pence
7. 2. Michael Young
7. 3. Dan Uggla
7. 4. Billy Butler
7. 5. Andrew McCutchen
7. 6. Joe Nathan
7. 7. Matt Cain
7. 8. Matt Wieters
7. 9. Josh Hamilton
7. 10. Adam Jones
7. 11. Josh Beckett
7. 12. Shane Victorino

Talking Points

  • Every year, in every fantasy baseball draft, a parade of closers begins streaming down the draft board right around pick No. 80. This mock took a little longer to embrace the saves category than most, but Joe Nathan being selected as the first or second overall ninth-inning hurler is likely to be a common theme throughout the spring. He has collected 35 or more saves in each of the last six seasons and converted 47-of-52 save chances in 2009 while posting an ERA of 2.10 and a WHIP of 0.93. He's as solid as it gets and the Twins boast a much-improved roster heading into 2010. Nathan also fans batters at a higher rate than most of the game's elite closers, including Mariano Rivera (taken in the 5th round of this mock). It never hurts to add a few more strikeouts to the mix.

    Jonathan Broxton was the next closer to go, followed by Jonathan Papelbon, Joakim Soria, Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Wilson. You'd have a tough time arguing against any of those picks. The fact is, saves are an important part of any category-based league and you can't deny the immense fantasy value of a solid closer.

  • Best Value

    Josh Hamilton has fallen past the fifth round in every mock draft I've participated in this winter and I can't exactly figure out why. Perhaps owners are worried that he won't be able to stay on the field for a full season -- a fair concern given his recent run of injuries -- but you can't deny the RBI potential that the big man boasts in that cozy ballpark down in Arlington and with the lineup the Rangers have assembled. Plus, he's no longer manning the physically-demanding center field position. Julio Borbon is all set to take over that gig this season with Hamilton sliding to right. Whatever might be happening in Texas, his ADP (53) suggests that he was a stellar value pick in this mock draft.

    Round Eight

    8. 1. Tommy Hanson
    8. 2. Alexei Ramirez
    8. 3. Gordon Beckham
    8. 4. Raul Ibanez
    8. 5. Clayton Kershaw
    8. 6. Jose Lopez
    8. 7. Yunel Escobar
    8. 8. Torii Hunter
    8. 9. Jonathan Broxton
    8. 10. Jason Bartlett
    8. 11. Javier Vazquez
    8. 12. Yovani Gallardo

    Talking Points

  • It's pretty hard to understand why Alexei Ramirez was taken 86th overall in this draft, ahead of Yunel Escobar, Jason Bartlett, Stephen Drew, and even Elvis Andrus. The shortstop position is as thin as it's been in years and it is incredibly hard to find good value if you miss out on the top dogs. But if you're going to draft a shortstop in the eighth round this season make sure it's someone who has redeemable fantasy qualities.

    Ramirez, 28, batted just .277/.333/.389 last season in 542 at-bats for the White Sox. He stole fewer bases than Barlett, drove in fewer runs than Escobar, and scored fewer runs than Drew. Let's not reward mediocrity, especially for a guy whose backup is a much better bet defensively (see: Omar Vizquel).

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    Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
    Email :Drew Silva

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