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Friday 19th Jan 2018

Ok, I don't want to go on and on about mock drafts, but, as I wrote last week, mocks are so revealing in so many ways.

So, when I joined the 12-team NL mock Pasko Varnica moderated along with Howard Bender Wednesday, I wasn't sure exactly what tack I would take.

Of course, sometimes I don't really know for sure till the last minute. And, often even in real-time drafts and auctions I am not sure which way I am going to go till I indeed fetch my first player.

So, with the fourth selection in the arguably lean National League, I just decided to exploit pitching to start, and grabbed Clayton Kershaw with my first pick, following up with Yasiel Puig as selection #2.

However, pick three was Jose Fernandez, and then I went hurlers with #6 (Sergio Romo), #7 (Jonathan Papelbon), #8 (Michael Wacha) and #9 (Andrew Cashner).

From there, no pitchers till the 20th round, and then I was able to close with Robbie Erlin (#20), Jacob Turner (#21) and Nick Vincent (#22).

What that did tell me is there was actually some pretty good pitching out there at the end, but, what I liked was that even though I have a lot of junk players in my infield, so does everyone else.

In fact, in looking at the other teams in the mock, no team came even close to filling out a full-time roster. Worse, if we pick the bottom feeder players just within the infield, it is clear just how offensive offense is in the NL.

1 2 3 4 5 6
Owings McGehee Scutaro Arias Johnson Wong
Francisco Rutledge Furcal Chavez Cozart Gennett
Frazier Baez Mercer Barney Drew Asche
7 8 9 10 11 12
Ellis Sanchez Alonso LaRoche Hill Morales
Descalso LeMahieu Abreu Franco Walker Uggla
Pacheco Prado Guerrero Hechevarria Peralta Solano

Now, there is no question Team 11 has got it going the best with Aaron Hill, Neil Walker and Jhonny Peralta.

But, the rest of us are full of junk.

Which, though it might seem distressing, is actually kind of reassuring.

What it means is that every team in such a format will have to deal with that crap, hoping for some meaningful at-bats out of the likes of Joaquin Arias.

But, it also makes the middle infield analogous to relief pitcher in that if you play the waiver wire carefully, you can pick up at-bats and the related numbers out of the free agent pool if you work said pool diligently.

What is kind of strange is that I really love the challenge of playing in a deep league, having the challenge of trying to win with the likes of Tim Federowicz and maybe Junior Lake.

For, even if the numbers, or players may never set a league record, winning is always satisfying. And, it is especially so when your team comes through with a hodgepodge of surprises.

Back to the topic at hand, however, I am not sure I would have noticed just how really lean the NL in particular is.

Sure, the lack of the DH removes one more than average bat from the National League player pool (and mind you some of the players selected out of the pool were the free agent ultimate gambles, like Morales).

But, a lot of expectations going into the draft can be baselined—in a realistic fashion—by going through the motions of those goofy mocks.

Like I said: I cannot recommend it enough.

By the way, we have one more mock coming up this Wednesday, February 12 at 5 PM PST. Check with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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