Mock Draft held on 2/4
Rules: Snake, 15 teams, mixed league, standard 5x5 Roto, 23 players
Strategy: Get Clayton Kershaw in the first round
I must say that I am not fond of getting a pitcher this early, especially in the second spot. Paul Goldschmidt or Andrew McCutchen would have been preferable. However, having committed to experiment with the early Kershaw strategy, I took this opportunity to go for it. I may not get another chance. Up to now, Kershaw has been typically the fourth or fifth pick overall.
The biggest dilemma when drafting Kershaw in the first round is how many rounds one should wait before acquiring the next pitcher. In my opinion, when to get the second hurler should depend on the players the other teams select. This particular draft was pitcher heavy, as ten top starters were gone by the end of round four. When Jeff Samardzija became the 21st pitcher to go off the table, I decided to jump back in, and in round six, I drafted Julio Teheran. Overall, my team’s pitching is competitive. You can see the results of the draft HERE.
Has spending my first round pick on Kershaw affected my hitting? I think so. A couple of observations: the first is about catchers, the second about corner infielders. I was eyeing Buster Posey in the second round. When he went two spots before me, I selected Jonathan Lucroy, the next best catcher. Lucroy’s projected overall performance in a standard 5x5 Roto league is similar to Posey’s, so I was OK with it. But, who and when to pick depends on how a draft is going. In this particular one, catchers were selected late. It appears that only Posey is highly regarded. Beyond him, one could delay drafting catchers until the fourth or later rounds.
Which brings me to the CI’s. Third tier CI's are plentiful, but the top tier ones are scarce. After missing on Goldschmidt in round one due to drafting Kershaw, a better alternative to Lucroy in round two would have been to grab the next best available 1B, which in this case was Freddie Freeman.
The nearby article written by Perry about his NFBC draft confirms the above observations.
In conclusion, the early mock drafts that I participated in this season told me that we should not delay picking pitching as some of us have done in the past. It appears that a safe strategy would be to acquire a top pitcher in the third round. Then continue by getting the next one in the sixth. That said, it all depends on the flow of the draft, but all things remaining equal, that’s what I will attempt to do in my next snake mock draft.
I want to thank Howard Bender from Fantasy Alarm and his Mock Draft Army for organizing the mocks. Should you be interested in joining, please refer to my article posted on this blog on January 20.