So, the idea was to push Rendon up in a 15-team mixed format, and see if that shuffled anything, and what kind of squad I could assemble underneath him.
Well, earlier in the week, the Bender and the Mock Army had a 12-team mixed draft, where I picked fourth, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
To preface, we all know just how deep pitching is this year, in fact in several mocks I have waited until the 10th round before selecting a starter, and at the FSTA draft, Todd and I did not grab a starting hurler until the ninth round. In fact, I have been very clear to readers that during your mixed league drafts, it is smart to postpone pitching as long as you can, grabbing hitters and counting totals up front.
However, I thumbed my nose at that on Tuesday, selecting Clayton Kershaw as my first pick (in the #4 slot), then taking Chris Sale when the pick returned to me, and then going out in the third round selecting Madison Bumgarner, giving me a formidable core of a rotation.
I then planned to simply take hitters the next 14 rounds, finishing up with starters and closers (remember, 12 teams means stoppers at the end, albeit volatile ones).
I did want to see just what kind of offense I could build after the first three rounds of those stat grabbing hitters were gone, so I did speculate a little, but here are my selections, by round, with appropriate thoughts.
1. Clayton Kershaw: Best pitcher, and I knew if I got Kershaw, this was the plan I would invoke. He has been a first rounder.
2. Chris Sale: The American League version of Kershaw. Generally drafted in the third round.
3. Madison Bumgarner: Being grabbed in rounds 3-4.
4. Yoenis Cespedes: Consistent fourth rounder for me, should hit well in Motown.
5. Kole Calhoun: I seem to be getting Calhoun in the fourth, and look for an uptick.
6. Marcell Ozuna: You know the spiel: up-and-comer in the best young outfield in the Show, and again, been drafting Ozuna right around here.
7. Alex Gordon: Very steady at the dish, after his early struggles. First time I have drafted Gordon this year, but again, this is pretty much on par with where he has gone.
8. Kolten Wong: There are guys I like, and Wong is one of them. This is right around where I have been drafting him.
9. Lucas Duda: A little earlier than I have been getting Duda. I know he cannot hit lefties: I am hoping that changes.
10. Brandon Belt: Earlier than most drafts (he has been grabbed rounds 14-17) and I got him to hopefully hedge Duda.
11. Alcides Escobar: A little earlier than most mocks I have done, but was trying to build speed later since no hitters those first three rounds.
12. Mike Zunino: Might have been able to wait, but I like his upside (check out BB:K numbers in the Minors) and 20-plus homer pop is good.
13. Derek Norris: Like to pair with Zunino, and more double-digit power potential.
14. Lorenzo Cain: Another speed threat, Cain is another guy I have been targeting right around here.
15. Alex Rios: First draft I have grabbed Rios, but more speed/power potential from a guy who was a top-three rounder last year.
16. Nick Castellanos: More power gambles, this time at the corner. First time I've seen Castellanos go in a 12-team draft.
17. Yordano Ventura: Surprised he was still available. Note, I planned on taking Gyorko here, but he just went. So, held off on MI till the end.
18. Taijuan Walker: Again, see just how deep pitching is?
19: Chris Tillman: So steady, great second half, and again, in a 12-team league, Tillman seems an afterthought. That should not be.
20. Trevor Bauer: Bauer gets taken in 15-team drafts, but not 12 teams, and again, pretty good gamble here.
21. Sergio Romo: Closer #1. Been taking Romo right around here in 12-team leagues.
22. Joe Nathan: Again, I know folks don't trust him, and I have grabbed him here. 35 saves last year, and just one down year. I am willing to trust at this juncture.
23. Marcus Semien: Filling the middle, last, with a little pop and speed. Thought about Joe Panik--neither of these guys gets any attention even in 15-team formats--but was hoping I could get a little more bang out of Semien.
What this really tells me is my draft was not that different. Can the combo of Rios, Castellanos and Gordon offset not taking hitters the first three rounds? I think they can, meaning the sky is the drafting limit.