I Took Ryan Braun in the Dynasty Mock

We got the RotoGraphs team together for a mock dynasty draft, the results of which I believe you can see here. (Just remember that Brandon Wood is a placeholder for Nolan Arenado, Anthony Vasquez = Danny Hultzen, Hector Gomez = Jurickson Profar, and Anthony Slama = Trevor Bauer.)

My team seems strong and young, at least to me. My core infield is Dustin Pedroia, Mike Morse, Brett Lawrie and Elvis Andrus, and I love starting the draft with the infield at the premium positions. Got some love in the outfield for my Jay Bruce pick earlier today, and even though I waited longer than anyone not named Podhorzer for starting pitchers, I ended up with Michael Pineda, Dan Hudson and Ricky Romero. Maybe I’ll write about all this in the future.

But maybe the most interesting thing, at least today, is that I took Ryan Braun with my second-round pick in this dynasty league mock.

First: this was not a move that I would couch. I didn’t pick Braun because this was a mock draft and it wouldn’t be my team in the future. I picked Braun because I thought he was a value pick.

Of course he represents a short-term risk. If the suspension holds, my team will be forced to start Bruce, Carlos Quentin, Martin Prado, Lucas Duda and Mitch Moreland in the outfield for the first 50 games of next season. That’s an okay outfield for a third of the season, but it also has ramifications for the rest of the team.

Domonic Brown would be my utility player going into the season should the suspension hold. He’s supposedly starting the season in the minor leagues. That means the short bench might force me to drop Rex Brothers even though I like him as a possible replacement for Rafael Betancourt in the Rockies closer role by the end of the year — otherwise I’d have to drop Brown or Jacob Turner, neither of which would be a happy moment. So more moves might be on the way, and this team would have to deal with a self-created problem for the first third of the season.

But this is a dynasty league. That would ostensibly play beyond this year.

Once Braun comes back, I suspect that his performance will be mostly unaffected. Especially with all the confusion about his particular situation — did his second sample test clean, or did he test positive for a banned substance that wasn’t a PED — it seems almost probable that he’ll be fine after he returns. Once he’s back, he’d combine with Bruce to make a formidable duo at the top of my outfield, and he’d push Moreland and Brown into a high-upside platoon at utility that could resolve itself well by the end of the year.

This was my chance to get a top-five type of player, an MVP no less, at a reduced price, so I took it.

How much will the 50-game suspension hurt his value in 2012? Well, we can pro-rate his MVP 2011 production to 112 games and use Zach Sanders’ auction calculator to figure this out. His value came out to an impressive $36.50 in a full year. Move that production into 112 games, and you get a .332 25/25 season instead… worth about $24. That would put him basically on par with Carlos Gonzalez ($22) and Justin Upton ($24.60), both guys that went in the first two rounds of our dynasty mock. Of course, there’s dual risk that he performs worse in his remaining games and drops to about a $20 outfielder. That’d be about Michael Bourn level ($20). So, still valuable. In the short term.

In the long term, this team would have a chance to have two or three first-rounders (if you are as excited about Brett Lawrie as I am), all without (hopefully!) shooting myself in the foot this year.

That’s why I took Ryan Braun in the mock.

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Barry Bonds

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