Mock DraftsJanuary 30, 2008


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The Outrageously Early New Year’s Day Mock – Part II

By Erik Blomain

Ok, so I lied. It was a little more than a week since Part I was posted. School work got the better of me for awhile, but now I am back and ready to talk baseball. I received a lot of emails from you guys, and I really appreciate all the feedback and hope to answer your questions in this column. So before I get back to more hot mock action, let’s take a look at where we left off:

10 Team 5×5 H2H

Team 1: Arod, Ichiro, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia
Team 2: Reyes, Sizemore, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez
Team 3: Hanley, Vlad, Lance Berkman, Russel Martin
Team 4: Wright, Ortiz, Carlos Lee, Brian Roberts
Team 5: Pujols, Peavy, Brandon Philips, Aramis
Team 6: Utley, Braun, BJ Upton, Manny
Team 7: Fielder, Johan, Curtis Granderson, Chone Figgins
Team 8: Matt Holiday, Carl Crawford, Erik Bedard, Adam Dunn
Team 9: Howard, Soriano, Justin Morneau, Travis Hafner
Team 10: Cabrera, Rollins, Magglio Ordonez, Teixera

One thing immediately stands out (several of you pointed this out to me in email): Team 9 has three first basemen. I honestly did the picks right from my big board and because of that, I did not notice. For the sake of argument let’s switch Adam Dunn and Hafner, to make the teams:

Team 1: Arod, Ichiro, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia
Team 2: Reyes, Sizemore, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez
Team 3: Hanley, Vlad, Lance Berkman, Russel Martin
Team 4: Wright, Ortiz, Carlos Lee, Brian Roberts
Team 5: Pujols, Peavy, Brandon Philips, Aramis
Team 6: Utley, Braun, BJ Upton, Manny
Team 7: Fielder, Johan, Curtis Granderson, Chone Figgins
Team 8: Matt Holiday, Carl Crawford, Erik Bedard, Hafner
Team 9: Howard, Soriano, Justin Morneau, Dunn
Team 10: Cabrera, Rollins, Magglio Ordonez, Teixera

So without further ado, here comes round 5:

1. Robinson Cano
2. Gary Sheffield
3. Brandon Webb
4. John Lackey
5. Alex Rios
6. Chris Young
7. Derek Jeter
8. Carlos Guillen
9. Nick Markakis
10. Cole Hamels

Comments:

Nothing too groundbreaking occurs in this round. Cano’s presence atop the round underscores the value of second base talent this season. I still caution about drafting a second baseman not named Utley in rounds 1-3, but at this point Cano is a good pick. Two more stud SPs are taken here in the first half of the round, proving my earlier point that pitching aces will fall out of the first few rounds. I like Hamels and Young more as SP2s than SP1s, but these teams still should be able to get by. Two consistent shortstops are taken here, I especially like Jeter.

Round 6:

10. Eric Byrnes
9. John Smoltz
8. Chipper Jones
7. Chris B Young
6. Carlos Pena
5. Torii Hunter
4. Derek Lee
3. Garrett Atkins
2. Dan Haren
1. Jonathon Papelbon

Comments:

I think that Torii Hunter is a great player. I took him in the fourth round last year, and was rewarded with an amazing year. However I am tempering my expectations this season following his contract year and moving to Anaheim. He will certainly go much higher in your draft, but this is my draft. Hunter and Byrnes are great value multi-tool threats here. Atkins, Carlos Pena, and Chipper Jones are good players with question marks, and could pay huge dividends. They are much riskier than the other players in this round though, but as the saying goes: no guts no glory. Haren is a great SP2 at this point. At long last the first closer ends the round, an ominous sign for the round to come (the talent pool is such that closers shouldn’t go until at least round 5).

Round 7:

1. Troy Tulowitzki
2. Bobby Abreu
3. Joe Nathan
4. Michael Young
5. Miguel Tejada
6. Francisco Rodriguez
7. Joe Mauer
8. JJ Putz
9. Roy Oswalt
10. Jorge Posada

Comments:

The closer rush has begun! As we saw earlier with catchers, herd behavior kicks in when the first closer goes. People throw rationality out the window and reach on closers. Rather than join the madness you should use it to your advantage. Closer rushes cause players to fall half a round farther than they should. Ignore closers until the next round after the first is taken, and use the pick in between to fill a team need with a good player. You can see that the teams that did not take closers addressed a need, and got good talent in the process. The top 10 closers are all very similar, do not stress out if you miss out on the first tier. Also notice at the end of the round that more quality SPs are still available as SP2s. Also notice that stud catchers are available almost four rounds after the initial rush.

Round 8:

10. Dan Uggla
9. Hunter Pence
8. Carlos Zambrano
7. Felix Hernandez
6. Roy Halladay
5. Billy Wagner
4. Takashi Saito
3. Brian McCann
2. Francisco Cordero
1. Aaron Harang

Comments:

Round 8 is a round of pitchers, as they comprise 7 of the 10 picks. Note the teams that passed on closers in Round 7: most of them landed more than adequate closers a round later. More great SPs go off on the board, further underscoring that in this draft, the first SP is not that much better than the 15th SP. Any team that has 2 SPs at this point in the draft has a very solid core to build around. Dan Uggla leading off the round shows the importance of position scarcity.

Roster Recap:

Team 1: Arod, Ichiro, Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Robinson Cano, Papelbon, JJ Putz, Aaron Harang
Team 2: Reyes, Sizemore, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez, Gary Sheffield, Dan Haren, Bobby Abreu, Francisco Cordero
Team 3: Hanley, Vlad, Lance Berkman, Russel Martin, Brandon Webb, Garrett Atkins, Joe Nathan, Brian McCann
Team 4: Wright, Ortiz, Carlos Lee, Brian Roberts, John Lackey, Derek Lee, Michael Young, Brad Lidge
Team 5: Pujols, Peavy, Brandon Philips, Aramis, Alex Rios, Torii Hunter, Miguel Tejada, Billy Wagner
Team 6: Utley, Braun, BJ Upton, Manny, Chris Young, Carlos Pena, Francisco Rodriguez, Roy Halladay
Team 7: Fielder, Johan, Curtis Granderson, Chone Figgins, Derek Jeter, Chris B Young, Joe Mauer, Felix Hernandez
Team 8: Matt Holiday, Carl Crawford, Erik Bedard, Hafner, Carlos Guillen, Chipper Jones, Takashi Saito, Carlos Zambrano
Team 9: Howard, Soriano, Justin Morneau, Dunn, Nick Markakis, John Smoltz, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence
Team 10: Cabrera, Rollins, Magglio Ordonez, Teixera, Cole Hamels, Eric Byrnes, Jorge Posada, Dan Uggla

I will continuously revise this draft up until draft day. Subsequent articles on this draft will take the form of a big board rather than an actual draft. I hope that more important than the actual picks this draft has educated newcomers in avoiding pitfalls as well as given veterans some insight into how I see the draft breaking down. I got many emails from you in the last few weeks, and I will post them in a Q & A mailbag that I am posting concurrently with this article (I ran out of room in this post). Keep sending your emails to esb37@cornell.edu.

 
Erik Blomain is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Erik in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of cyberer.
 
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