After the first twenty-five starters are off the board, it gets a bit dicey. As we’re seeing in the PL Experts Mock, starters went quickly in the first six rounds (23 gone in the first 72 picks!), but just twelve were plucked in the following five rounds. The cliff hits suddenly and owners are taking their time to pick up their fourth and fifth starters.
But when the time comes, who should they target? Here are five names to consider during the middle rounds of your drafts.
J.A. Happ (Free Agent) – At 35-years-old, Happ continued to produce, registering his fourth straight season under a 3.70 ERA while boasting career bests in WHIP (1.13), strikeout rate (26.3%), and over swinging-strike rate (10.4%). His new affinity for the K began when he elevated four-seamers consistently and even a transition to the Yankee squad didn’t hold back the punchouts. The major pushback from owners is his elevated Hr/9, which rose to a 1.37 mark along with his career-high 13.4% HR/FB rate.
There’s a case to be made that all but the worst landing spots will help keep the longballs down while I expect his strikeouts to stay elevated near the 23-25% mark given his strong high heat approach. Mix in his ability to produce solid H/9 and walk rates and Happ transforms into a prime option for owners to pad their rotation.