Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/5/13
Last week I recapped the first five rounds of our super early mock draft for the 2014 season. Now that baseball is officially over it’s all we have holding us over other than countless hours of “who’s tendering who” coverage. Again, you can follow the mock here and you should vote on your favorite or least favorite picks! Let’s quickly recap the rules of the league and the drafters: Style: 5×5 roto Size: 12-team, 25-man rosters Positions: 2 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 5 OF, UTIL, 5 SP, 2 RP, 2 P, 2 BN George Fitopoulos, Baseball Professor — @BaseballProf Chris McBrien, Dear Mr. Fantasy — @cmcbrien Nate Springfield, Baseball Press — @NateSpringfield Clave Jones, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks — @clavejones Eric Broutman, Baseball Professor Paul Beck, Baseball Professor — @mroaklanda Jake Devereaux, Baseball Professor — @devjake Tanner Bell, Smart Fantasy Baseball — @smartfantasybb Bryan Curley, Baseball Professor — @BaseballProf Zach Pincince, Baseball Professor Adam Nodiff, Baseball Professor — @ANodBaseball Jason Longfellow, Razzball — @jaywrong Use the “Previous” and “Next” buttons below the table to scroll through rounds. Round.Pick (Overall)PlayerPos.Contributor2013 Stats 6.1 (61)Chris SaleSPJason Longfellow214.1 IP, 11-14, 3.07 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 226 K 6.2 (62)David PriceSPAdam Nodiff186.2 IP, 10-8, 3.33 ERA, 1.1 WHIP, 151 K 6.3 (63)Yadier MolinaCZach Pincince136 PA, 68 R, 12 HR, 80 RBI, 3 SB, 0.319 BA 6.4 (64)Wil MyersOFBryan Curley88 PA, 50 R, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 5 SB, 0.293 BA 6.5 (65)Everth CabreraSSTanner Bell95 PA, 54 R, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 37 SB, 0.283 BA 6.6 (66)Mark Trumbo1BJake Devereaux159 PA, 85 R, 34 HR, 100 RBI, 5 SB, 0.234 BA 6.7 (67)Zack GreinkeSPPaul Beck177.2 IP, 15-4, 2.63 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 148 K 6.8 (68)Cole HamelsSPEric Broutman220 IP, 8-14, 3.6 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 202 K 6.9 (69)Brandon Phillips2BClave Jones151 PA, 80 R, 18 HR, 103 RBI, 5 SB, 0.261 BA 6.10 (70)Ryan Zimmerman3BNate Springfield147 PA, 84 R, 26 HR, 79 RBI, 6 SB, 0.275 BA 6.11 (71)Carlos SantanaCChris McBrien154 PA, 75 R, 20 HR, 74 RBI, 3 SB, 0.268 BA 6.12 (72)Joe MauerCGeorge Fitopoulos113 PA, 62 R, 11 HR, 47 RBI, 0 SB, 0.324 BA 7.1 (73)Pedro Alvarez3BGeorge Fitopoulos152 PA, 70 R, 36 HR, 100 RBI, 2 SB, 0.233 BA 7.2 (74)Yoenis CespedesOFChris McBrien135 PA, 74 R, 26 HR, 80 RBI, 7 SB, 0.24 BA 7.3 (75)Jayson WerthOFNate Springfield129 PA, 84 R, 25 HR, 82 RBI, 10 SB, 0.318 BA 7.4 (76)Anthony Rizzo1BClave Jones160 PA, 71 R, 23 HR, 80 RBI, 6 SB, 0.233 BA 7.5 (77)Craig KimbrelRPEric Broutman67 IP, 50 SV, 1.21 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 98 K 7.6 (78)Billy HamiltonOFPaul Beck13 PA, 9 R, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 13 SB, 0.368 BA 7.7 (79)Jonathan LucroyCJake Devereaux147 PA, 59 R, 18 HR, 82 RBI, 9 SB, 0.28 BA 7.8 (80)Aaron Hill2BTanner Bell87 PA, 45 R, 11 HR, 41 RBI, 1 SB, 0.291 BA 7.9 (81)James ShieldsSPBryan Curley228.2 IP, 13-9, 3.15 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 196 K 7.10 (82)Jose Altuve2BZach Pincince152 PA, 64 R, 5 HR, 52 RBI, 35 SB, 0.283 BA 7.11 (83)Starling MarteOFAdam Nodiff135 PA, 83 R, 12 HR, 35 RBI, 41 SB, 0.28 BA 7.12 (84)Aroldis ChapmanRPJason Longfellow63.2 IP, 38 SV, 2.54 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 112 K 8.1 (85)Greg HollandRPJason Longfellow67 IP, 47 SV, 1.21 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 103 K 8.2 (86)Salvador PerezCAdam Nodiff138 PA, 48 R, 13 HR, 79 RBI, 0 SB, 0.292 BA 8.3 (87)Shane VictorinoOFZach Pincince122 PA, 82 R, 15 HR, 61 RBI, 21 SB, 0.294 BA 8.4 (88)Alex GordonOFBryan Curley156 PA, 90 R, 20 HR, 81 RBI, 11 SB, 0.265 BA 8.5 (89)Kyle Seager3BTanner Bell160 PA, 79 R, 22 HR, 69 RBI, 9 SB, 0.26 BA 8.6 (90)Daniel Murphy2BJake Devereaux161 PA, 92 R, 13 HR, 78 RBI, 23 SB, 0.286 BA 8.7 (91)Matt CainSPPaul Beck184.1 IP, 8-10, 4 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 158 K 8.8 (92)Martin Prado3BEric Broutman155 PA, 70 R, 14 HR, 82 RBI, 3 SB, 0.282 BA 8.9 (93)Hisashi IwakumaSPClave Jones219.2 IP, 14-6, 2.66 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 185 K 8.10 (94)Ben Zobrist2BNate Springfield157 PA, 77 R, 12 HR, 71 RBI, 11 SB, 0.275 BA 8.11 (95)Curtis GrandersonOFChris McBrien61 PA, 31 R, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 8 SB, 0.229 BA 8.12 (96)Jordan ZimmermannSPGeorge Fitopoulos213.1 IP, 19-9, 3.25 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 161 K 9.1 (97)Austin JacksonOFGeorge Fitopoulos129 PA, 99 R, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 8 SB, 0.272 BA 9.2 (98)Starlin CastroSSChris McBrien161 PA, 59 R, 10 HR, 44 RBI, 9 SB, 0.245 BA 9.3 (99)Domonic BrownOFNate Springfield139 PA, 65 R, 27 HR, 83 RBI, 8 SB, 0.272 BA 9.4 (100)Kenley JansenRPClave Jones76.2 IP, 28 SV, 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 111 K 9.5 (101)Nelson CruzOFEric Broutman109 PA, 49 R, 27 HR, 76 RBI, 5 SB, 0.266 BA 9.6 (102)Mat LatosSPPaul Beck210.2 IP, 14-7, 3.16 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 187 K 9.7 (103)Xander BogaertsSSJake Devereaux18 PA, 7 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 0.25 BA 9.8 (104)Homer BaileySPTanner Bell209 IP, 11-12, 3.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 199 K 9.9 (105)Alfonso SorianoOFBryan Curley151 PA, 84 R, 34 HR, 101 RBI, 18 SB, 0.255 BA 9.10 (106)Manny Machado3BZach Pincince156 PA, 88 R, 14 HR, 71 RBI, 6 SB, 0.283 BA 9.11 (107)Brett Lawrie3BAdam Nodiff107 PA, 41 R, 11 HR, 46 RBI, 9 SB, 0.254 BA 9.12 (108)Anibal SanchezSPJason Longfellow182 IP, 14-8, 2.57 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 202 K 10.1 (109)J.J. HardySSJason Longfellow159 PA, 66 R, 25 HR, 76 RBI, 2 SB, 0.263 BA 10.2 (110)Mike MinorSPAdam Nodiff204.2 IP, 13-9, 3.21 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 181 K 10.3 (111)Shelby MillerSPZach Pincince173.1 IP, 15-9, 3.06 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 169 K 10.4 (112)Joe NathanRPBryan Curley64.2 IP, 43 SV, 1.39 ERA, 0.9 WHIP, 73 K 10.5 (113)Desmond JenningsOFTanner Bell139 PA, 82 R, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 20 SB, 0.252 BA 10.6 (114)Carlos BeltranOFJake Devereaux145 PA, 79 R, 24 HR, 84 RBI, 2 SB, 0.296 BA 10.7 (115)Pablo Sandoval3BPaul Beck141 PA, 52 R, 14 HR, 79 RBI, 0 SB, 0.278 BA 10.8 (116)Michael CuddyerOFEric Broutman130 PA, 74 R, 20 HR, 84 RBI, 10 SB, 0.331 BA 10.9 (117)Kris MedlenSPClave Jones194 IP, 15-11, 3.11 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 155 K 10.10 (118)Gerrit ColeSPNate Springfield117.1 IP, 10-7, 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 100 K 10.11 (119)Gio GonzalezSPChris McBrien195.2 IP, 11-8, 3.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 192 K 10.12 (120)Jered WeaverSPGeorge Fitopoulos154.1 IP, 11-8, 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 117 K Round 6 My pick (Joe Mauer, 72nd overall): Normally, an elite catcher isn’t important, but in a 12-team, two-catcher league that’s not the case. Mauer’s power may be non-existent these days, but you can pretty much take a .320 BA and .400 OBP to the bank. Round recap: In this round we saw a real hogepodge of players. There were three catchers drafted (Yadier Molina, Carlos Santana, and Mauer), four starting pitchers with ace potential (Chris Sale, David Price, Zack Greinke, and Cole Hamels), a speedster (Everth Cabrera), a power hitter (Mark Trumbo), and then there’s Wil Myers. I believe Myers, who had a 150-game pace of 20 HR/10 SB and 180 R+RBI, is set to become a super star sooner than people think. Called Out! Zach Pincince on drafting Yadier Molina 63rd overall Because it’s a two catcher format I wanted to make sure that I grabbed one of the top tier catchers. In 2013, catchers hit just .245 (lowest among all positions) so I decided to grab a catcher that is elite in batting average. Mauer and Molina both meet that criteria, but Molina gets the edge power-wise and he hits in a much better lineup as well. Clave Jones on drafting Brandon Phillips 69th overall Sometimes you have to draft a guy simply because SOMEBODY has to play second base. This is what happened when all the top keystones were off the board, so I drafted Brandon Phillips at the end of the 6th round. Despite declining skills, Phillips still has a fantastic smile and that sucked me in. I gambled, thinking that the guys I had in my queue would wrap around and come back to me. I lost that bet when Adam from Baseball Professor swept them out from under me. That’s what happens when you mock draft in late October. But wait until March of 2014. I’ll get you, Baseball Professor! I’ll get you!!! Round 7 My pick (Pedro Alvarez, 73rd overall): Who better to pair with the high-average, low-powered Mauer than Alvarez? This is exactly my train of thought as I haven’t yet drafted a major power threat an with 2-3 potential .300+ hitters I can absorb Alvarez’s likely .230 BA that will likely come with a juicy 35+ HR. Round recap: The seventh round is led by a couple of low-average, high-power hitters in Yoenis Cespedes and Anthony Rizzo. Cespedes struggles against righties and Rizzo can’t hit lefties, but where they differ is that Cespedes is able to hit for power no matter the pitcher. Last year Rizzo managed just a .153 ISO vs. LHP (.202 vs. RHP). We see our first closer come off the board and while I don’t usually condone paying for saves, Kimbrel is usually the only exception. Called Out! Paul Beck on drafting Billy Hamilton 78th overall I took him a little early to make sure he was on my team. Hamilton has top 10 player potential just because of his speed and you won’t find that this late in the draft. The upside of Hamilton I felt was more valuable than the safety of guys like Starling Marte and Shane Victorino, who were taken right after him. I do worry about the “Dee Gordon syndrome”, but you don’t go anywhere in life without taking a chance, and Hamilton is the best looking lottery ticket money can buy. Adam Nodiff on drafting Starling Marte 83rd overall Starling Marte doesn’t have to be as good as he was in 2013 to return fair value for were I took him. Even starting only 119 games, he was able to produce 83 R, 12 HR, and 40 SB. At just 25, I still don’t believe we have seen the best from Marte. If you want to see the glass half empty, you might think his .363 BABIP will probably drift down some, bringing the BA with it, harp on his K rate, or worry about a poor stealing success rate.  I don’t see it that way.  In my opinion there is a relatively low probability of his overall value dropping, especially considering there are potentially 35-40 more games worth of stats for him to accumulate. Round 8 My pick (Jordan Zimmermann, 96th overall): In a 12-team league I think you should go into the 8th round with 1 SP and 6 hitters, which was my exact situation. I believe rounds 8-12 are where you can find some great values for your staff and I usually come away with ~3 arms. I decided to draft Zimmermann’s skill set (low BB, avg K) because I believe pitchers like him set themselves up for more wins and really help stabilize a rotation. Round recap: Jake nabbed Daniel Murphy a lot earlier than he’s ever been drafted before, but can you blame him? He’s set for another full-time role in 2014 and while I think it will be tough for him to steal another 20+ bases, the rest of the numbers are very repeatable. Bryan picked up the always underrated Alex Gordon, who could help himself a lot in 2014 by deciding to be more patient at the plate. I was all on the Martin Prado bandwagon last year and he finally came around in the second half by hitting 28 extra-base hits in 278 PA (24 XBH in 386 PA in 1st half). Called Out! Jay Longfellow on drafting Greg Holland 85th overall If you are going to pay for saves, make sure it’s for the ‘sure thing.’ With Craig Kimbrel (Did anyone notice that Holland had a better year than Kimbrel?) taken the round before, my strategy here was two-fold. First, the obvious was to nab the remaining two elite closers left on the board in one fell swoop with a shock and awe campaign. The second part was — I just wanted to see what would happen. Would I start a rush on closers? Would I be burned at the stake as a heretic? Would someone buy me a Twix bar? While none of things happened, seeing as I had to buy myself a Twix (jerks), you could say it was a scenario of mine that fell flat. On the other hand, you could also say that I was able to concentrate in other areas of my team later on the in the draft when other teams were fighting over scraps like Fernando Rodney and Huston Street. There’s something to be said for that peace of mind. Maybe. If this was a real draft, would I do something like that again? Eh. I’ll let you know when I finish up this Twix bar. Tanner Bell on drafting Kyle Seager 89th overall Seager is 26 years old, so he’s at an age where his skills should still be progressing. And that’s pretty much what we’re seeing with him. His walk rate has increased the last two seasons (from 6.5% in 2011 to 7.1% in 2012 to 9.8% in 2013). He has pretty much kept his strikeout rate constant. And his fly ball rate has been consistent, even increasing some (41.9% in 2011 to 42.3% in 2012 to 45.0% in 2013). I’ll take a chance at 25 HR and 10 SB from my third baseman. Chris McBrien on drafting Curtis Granderson 95th overall Although it’s easy to dismiss Granderson as a product of the ballpark in which he plays, a closer look at the numbers aren’t exactly as one-sided as you might think. Over the past four seasons, he has hit 63 HR in Yankee Stadium and 52 on the road. Those aren’t exactly Coors Field splits and although his batting average can be a drain, this is a player who produces across four categories. As an 8th round pick, I consider this to be a decent value pick, regardless of where Granderson ends up calling home in 2014. Round 9 My pick (Austin Jackson, 94th overall): His career .347 OBP is good enough to keep him atop that potent lineup and the value shows with his 99 R in just 129 games last year. Jackson doesn’t deliver much in terms of HR, RBI, or SB, but he doesn’t hurt your BA and is an elite contributor in R. It’s not easy to find a player who can be among the league leaders in a 5×5 category this late in a draft so I think this was a great value. Round recap: A trio of risky outfielders (Domonic Brown, Nelson Cruz, and Alfonso Soriano) were followed up by a duo of risky third basemen (Brett Lawrie and Manny Machado). Can Brown approach 30 HR again even though his HR/FB rate jumped from 9.8% to 19.3%? Is Cruz a product of PEDs and will he go back to be a AAAA player? Is this finally the year where Soriano breaks down? Will Lawrie actually stay healthy and realize his potential? How will Machado recover from his injury and will he be able to turn those golden doubles into home run treasures? So many questions. Called Out! Jake Devereaux on drafting Xander Bogaerts 103rd overall The concern with extremely talented young hitters is often over-aggressiveness. Xander showed throughout the playoffs that he has a tremendously mature approach at the plate as he was able to draw key walks and hit good pitches in the highest pressure situations against some of the best pitchers in the game. This, coupled with his raw power and his ability to hit for average at every level, gives me tremendous confidence that he will be able to step in right away and produce close to a .280 BA/20 HR/70 R/70 RBI season playing everyday with the Red Sox.  I believe that he wouldn’t have been starting throughout the playoffs if he wasn’t going to be an everyday player for them in 2014. Bryan Curley on drafting Alfonso Soriano 15th overall His upside is what we saw last season: 34 HR, 101 RBI, and 18 SB. Soriano gets the David Ortiz treatment, where people know the decline is coming so they pass on him like a hot potato, afraid they’re going to be the ones stuck with him when the music stops. That’s fine with me. I’ll gladly take a guy who’s had back-to-back 30/100 seasons. A worst-case season of 25 HR and 80 RBI is still a useful line, and I’ll gladly take Soriano over Nelson Cruz and Domonic Brown, two power-first players who went before Soriano in our mock. Round 10 My pick (Jered Weaver, 120th overall): Weaver was the second pitcher I selected in the coveted 8-12 rounds and he’s another pitcher in the mold of Zimmermann (low BB, avg K). I don’t worry so much about his fly ball tendencies because he plays in a friendly pitcher’s park and he’s shown he can limit home runs with his above-average infield-fly rates and low HR/FB rates. He’s reminds me of Matt Cain, but unfortunately pitches in the AL West and not the NL West. Round recap: Before I had the chance to take Weaver I was eyeing two pitchers who were taken before my pick was up (Shelby Miller and Gerrit Cole). I think those two are going to be special in 2014 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both land in the top 15 by season’s end. There we a lot of un-sexy picks in this round between Carlos Beltran, Michael Cuddyer, and Pablo Sandoval, but the one who has the potential to really shine is Desmond Jennings. He took a step in the right direction last year by improving his eye at the plate and we’ve seen the Crawford-like potential without the batting average. Called Out! Eric Broutman on drafting Michael Cuddyer 116th overall Cuddyer really likes playing in Colorado. If we take his numbers over 2 seasons and tease out an average year of 150 games played here is what we get: .301 BA, 23 HR, 92 RBI, 82 R, and 12 SB. Granted he has only played 150 games 3 times in his career, but at the 10th round, playing half his games in the thin air, even with 120 games played I’ll get my 10th round value back. Sure the average will drop to the .265-.280 range, but the other numbers should remain about the same and I’ll take that for my 4th OF. Nate Springfield on drafting Gerrit Cole 118th overall I see 180+ quality innings again, and depending how the organization wants to handle his young arm will determine how far beyond the 200 inning mark he will end up. I think his upside is a 3.10 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, with 220 Ks over 200 innings. My more realistic projection for him – and one I’d be more than happy with – is a 3.30 ERA, 1.30 WHIP with 200 Ks in 200 innings. His strikeout rate should climb close to the 9 K/9 mark, but I also see his walk rate increasing close to his MiLB average of 3.00, which will directly effect the WHIP and ERA. All other peripherals speak to the makings of a very solid young starting pitcher. Stay tuned for the next installment where we’ll take a look at the middle rounds 11-15.
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