I actually broke into baseball writing on the internet by focusing on the draft at the now-defunct “The Baseball Analysts” site… with some pretty talented guys that moved on to work for MLB clubs like Sky Andrecheck, Joe Sheehan, Jeremy Greenhouse, and Jeff Albert. The site’s genius/creator, Rich Lederer, led the charge to have Bert Blyleven inducted into the hall of fame, which has a great story it.
But in those early days we focused on previewing, reviewing, scouting, and live coverage of the drafts — which was a lot of fun. I also interviewed impending draft picks like Brett Lawrie, Matt LaPorta, and Phillippe Aumont. I didn’t get paid for any of the work but I got to learn from some really smart baseball minds and it led to my gig at FanGraphs, which began more than 10 years ago. This is a great approach to take for any of you hoping to one day make a little money writing about baseball (my journalism degree also helped) or working in baseball.
I’m not nearly as heavily invested in the draft now — we have some much smarter minds in charge of that on the FanGraphs side — but it’s still a lot of fun to follow.
Here is an exercise that I still do to this day and I thought I’d go on record doing it this year: Suggesting who I’d pick for each team in the first round of the draft. Here is an example of what I did for the 2008 draft. I didn’t do so well in the example provided from ’08 but in other years I’ve heavily advocated for first overall picks like Madison Bumgarner, Carlos Correa, and Kris Bryant.
Here is how I’d play out the 2018 first round if I was the Scouting Director (and/or General Manager) at each slot, based on a healthy mix of video, statistics, and scouting reports.
1. Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, college
2. Giants: Brady Singer, RHP, college
3. Phillies: Joey Bart, C, college
4. White Sox: Alec Bohm, 3B, college
5. Reds: Carter Stewart, RHP, prep
6. Mets: Jonathan India, 3B, college
7. Padres: Nick Madrigal, 2B, college
8. Braves: Jackson Kowar, RHP, college
9. Athletics: Travis Swaggerty, OF, college
10. Pirates: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, prep
11. Orioles: Mason Denaburg, RHP, prep
12. Blue Jays: Logan Gilbert, RHP, college
13. Marlins: Jordyn Adams, OF, prep
14. Mariners: Jarred Kelenic, OF, prep
15. Rangers: Nolan Gorman, 3B, prep
16. Rays: Shane McClanahan, LHP, college
17. Angels: Noah Naylor, C, prep
18. Royals: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, prep
19. Cardinals: Cole Wilcox, RHP, prep
20. Twins: Steele Walker, OF, college
21. Brewers: Jeremiah Jackson, SS, prep
22. Rockies: Lineras Torres Jr., RHP, prep
23. Yankees: Greyson Jenista, OF, college
24. Cubs: Blaine Knight, RHP, college
25. Diamondbacks: J.T. Ginn, RHP, prep
26. Red Sox: Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, prep
27. Nationals: Alek Thomas, OF, prep
28. Astros: Ryan Rolison, LHP, college
29. Indians: Seth Beer, 1B, college
30. Dodgers: Nander De Sedas, SS, prep
Great Supplemental and Second Round Options: Cole Winn, Ryan Weathers, Trevor Larnach, Triston Casas, Brice Turang, Jeremy Eierman, Connor Scott (pitcher, not outfielder), Griffin Conine, Tyler Frank, Jordan Groshans, Matt Mercer, Anthony Seigler, Ethan Hankins, Gunnar Hoglund, Kumar Rocker, Nico Hoerner
OK, so that was fun. And now you have some names to consider for your dynasty teams and Ottoneu leagues. And you can judge me in about five to six years time.
Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.