Edit: The entire draft can be found in this Google document set up for your viewing pleasure.
The RotoGraphs crew has already finished one (slow) mock draft, and while there has been plenty of position and round based evaluation, what follows is a team evaluation. I’ll be the first to admit my mistakes and I’m not too proud to laugh at them either.
My final team is as follows, displayed in standard ESPN format. While normally 25 man rosters is the norm, I’ll have two empty BN spots. I would have filled those spots with two relievers.
In retrospect, there were plenty of mistakes made. Probably the two most glaring is seeing myself breaking my arms trying to reach for both a third basemen and a second basemen too early. Panic-drafting a third basemen in the third round when plenty of other choices were still available much later in the draft is an inexcusable mistake. When it comes to Altuve, my eyes got big for those steals and that average. Making a grab for Jedd Gyorko so early is regretful as well. I think he’d be there in the 25th round. I still think he’ll see plenty of time with the San Diego Padres this season, but to spend a mid round draft pick on him is over zealous at best.
On the pitching side of things, any strikeouts that I’m missing by not taking an elite starter — not to mention no pitcher at all until the 9th round — should be counter-balanced by my late round choices with those relievers and Frieri. My pitching staff is hands down the question mark on this team, but for good reason: pitchers spring up left and right, it is rare to find a position player worth streaming or one who catches lightning in a bottle. I’ll risk my pitching staff on the waiver wire, but give me hitters. Luckily I now realize that in mixed leagues I can afford to wait on middle infielders and continue to spend big on outfielders.
My plan was to take power above all else, fill in steals and average where I could, to wait on pitchers and to avoid expensive and established closers altogether.. To say that I accomplished that would be an understatement. Going from 2012’s totals, my team has plenty of home run power and I took four players with 30 or more steals last season in McCutchen, Aoki, Altuve, and Rollins. Points in batting average will be low or middle of the pack, but I feel like I should lead the league in both home runs and RBIs. To be middle of the road in average and a tick above average in steals is something I can deal with. My blend of lead-off type hitters as well as mashers should provide me with plenty of runs as well. All things told, I’m not happy how my offense was drafted, but the end justified the means. I really like this offense. I was very happy to wait on a catcher for so long — nothing out of the ordinary there for me — but especially happy to take a solid player like Avila there.
My two favorite picks have to Granderson in the 4th and Aoki in the 15th. I think I lucked out on each one to grab them in their respective places. Fiers in the 23rd is also a pretty solid pick there. Hard to complain about that K% so late in the draft.
My plan of not taking pitchers was easy to execute, but I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of players that I really like for 2013 were all available. I guess so goeth the nature of mixed leagues. Paying for saves isn’t something I’ll ever really do, so being able to grab just one in League (even with Jansen breathing down his neck) is just fine, especially at that price.
Overall this was a mixed bag of results, just like real drafts. I’ve learned some valuable lessons here (particularly about waiting on my middle infielders) and I hope you have as well. I’m usually my toughest critic, and I would give myself a C+ or B- on this draft. The good outweighed the bad, but the mistakes were awfully glaring in retrospect. Given the way the rest of the league drafted, I think I would finish in the top 5, potentially breaking through with the right moves or with a little luck on the production front.
You can catch David spouting off about baseball, soccer, esports and other things by following him on twitter, @davidwiers.