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Saturday 24th Feb 2018

This past Tuesday, as Lawr discussed in yesterday’s Bed Goes Up, Bed Goes Down, a bunch of us participated in the annual 23-round, 15-team mock draft that is featured in The Fantasy Baseball Guide, a season preview publication put together by Peter Kreutzer (Rotoman). If you’re going to purchase one magazine this winter (and I strongly suggest keeping it to a minimum to avoid a brain overload), this is the one to get, and I’m not just saying this because I’m biased. Trust me. Oh, and there’s a heavy Mastersball presence in the magazine as well. Back to the draft, let me echo Lawr in thanking Mike and Jimi of couchmanagers.com for hosting the proceedings using their comprehensive applet. There were no snafus whatsoever!

Anyway, Lawr only revealed the Round 1 results, and since I really do want everyone to buy the magazine, I’m not going to share too much more of this top secret information. So here are just a few of the picks, all made within the first ten rounds of the draft, that caught my attention.

Brian Dozier (Round 3, Pick 13) – Last season, Dozier proved that his promising 2013 campaign (18 HR, 14 SB) was no fluke, shattering those numbers en route to a career year (23 HR, 21 SB, 112 R), so maybe I should be giving this guy more credit. But I still need to see a bit more from this .241 career hitter before I can take him in the top-50. He did rank 6th in the Majors in walks, so if this were an OBP league, I guess I could justify the pick. I’d certainly feel more comfortable with Ian Kinsler as my starting 2B. He went off the board three picks later.

Hanley Ramirez (Round 3, Pick 14) – Although I don’t have any intention of drafting Hanley in 2015, largely due to his recent injury history, he was a no-brainer selection at this spot. Think about this. Ramirez was drafted in the early second round (#15 overall) in last month’s 12-team MLB.com mock. A 29 pick difference? Really?

Nolan Arenado (Round 4, Pick 12) – There went my plan! I’m a big fan of Arenado this year. The Rockies third sacker has shown steady improvement in just about every statistical category since his 2013 call-up and his power finally broke through in the second half last season (12 homers in 202 post-All Star break at-bats). The problem was I thought I could wait awhile longer to draft him. I might have even passed on him at 5.02, figuring that he would fall to 6.14. Apparently not. If I really want Arenado this year, I will need to be more aggressive. Lesson learned.

Matt Harvey (Round 6, Pick 6) – While it’s entirely possible that the 2015 version of Matt Harvey will be just as dominant as the 2013 version, it’s not a given, at least early on, as pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery often need a little extra time to return to form. Personally, in a non-keeper league, I’ll be staying away from Harvey unless I can get him at a significant discount. There are simply too many question marks. At 6.06, he’s no bargain. Cole Hamels, a legit fantasy ace, was drafted one pick later.

Carlos Carrasco (Round 10, Pick 6) – The pitcher counterpart to Arenado in that I underestimated the demand. Carrasco finally shook off the “prospect bust” label last year and it looks like he’s in the big leagues to stay. Duplicating last season’s 2.55 ERA and 0.99 WHIP might be too much to expect, but draft him as your #3 or #4 mixed league SP and you won’t be disappointed. I was planning on grabbing Carrasco somewhere in the Round 12-13 range. So much for that. Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister and Jeff Samardzija were all taken after Carrasco.

Lesson learned.

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