Impressions one gets from mock drafts are subjective and dependent on individual factors like whom other participants value and pick up, but here are a few things I have learned so far. Your experience could be different. Anyway, allow me to generalize about what I see coming for 2014 based on mock drafts held recently by Mastersball. The following thoughts apply to a mixed league, 15-team draft, unless otherwise noted.
- Corner Infield position is shallow. Third base is unquestionably scarce. Some may argue that 1B is plentiful, but this is how I see it: if you remove Mark Teixeira, who may be still hurt, Ryan Howard, who is in decline, and Albert Pujols, whom I would not pick, and take into account that some people draft a CI for their Utility position, the 1B position becomes a concern. If you are lucky to get Miguel Cabrera (duh), Paul Goldschmidt (fourth pick) or Chris Davis (fifth), go for it. If not, keep an eye on Edwin Encarnacion or Joey Votto.
- Second Base is also shallow, but only because of a big drop-off after the top-tier players. Do not wait too long. After drafting a good 2B, you can wait to pick up your MI at the very end of the draft.
- Clayton Kershaw will likely go in the first round. After that, one or two pitchers will trickle per round. You could wait if that is your strategy. The starting pitching position seems deep but is not too deep. Do not wait too long for your sixth pitcher. The 16th or 17th round (out of 23) could be the right time for your last hurler.
- If you get one of the first two draft spots, great, but if not, a later spot may be a better choice than the third or fourth spot this year. At #8 or #9, you could get Adam Jones, for example, and then a top 2B will still be available on the way back.
- Surprisingly, the catcher position is deep.
- Note to NL-only leaguers: good outfielders are scarce.