Last Friday, my mates Howard Bender (@Rotobuzzguy) and Ray Flowers (@baseballguys) were good enough to toddle into Hayward, where my band, The Biletones, were playing a gig.
It was a fun evening, and we had a good trio of sets, the second completing with the wonderful Sonny Curtis tune, "I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)."
During the existence of Howard's #MockDraftArmy, Howard and I have often discussed the best draft slots, and we generally come back to 1 and 15 (or last, depending upon how many teams) in a snake. So, when Howard heard us cover "I Fought the Law", during the break he came up to me and said, "Thursday, during the 15-team mock, I am calling it 'I Fought the Lawr,' with one of us drafting first, and one drafting 15th.
I have actually used that moniker as a fantasy team name before, but this was just fine with me. I like picking at the wheel for it allows me to plot the pairing of picks, which not only can flesh out a team, but also pair players to ideally jack with the plans of my opponents.
BTW, check out Howard's assessment of the Mock right here.
1.15 Mookie Betts: I wanted to go young, and pair up picks. I was hoping maybe Anthony Rizzo and Josh Donaldson would slip with players pushing for Carlos Correa and Kris Bryant. Wrong. So, I went with Betts, looking at power/speed/upside.
2.1 A.J. Pollock: And then took Pollock to complement Betts. Collectively, they should be good for 45 homers, 190 each of runs and RBI, solid average, and 60-plus swipes.
3.15 Xander Bogaerts: I confess, man-crush, but this gives me a shortstop I like who can produce and who would not be there by my next round of picks.
4.1 Adrian Gonzalez: Wanted a little more power, and A-Gon is just so consistent it is hard to ignore. So, I paired him with Bogaerts while starting to flesh my infield.
5.15 Kenley Jansen: 15 teams does mean grabbing closers at the right time. This might have been a tad early, but I was hoping to initiate scarcity fear in my league mates and while they were picking closers, take advantage of other players available.
6.1 Craig Kimbrel: Part II of the Jansen argument, plus this gave me a solid saves foundation.
7.15 Marcus Stroman: This will give you an idea of how quickly the starting pitcher elite were wiped off the face of everything. No Sonny Gray. No Gerrit Cole. Tough draft if this is my #1, but fantastic upside.
8.1 Jose Quintana: Much the same as Stroman, and I had to start somewhere, so it was power pitchers for me.
9.15 Jeff Samardzija: Looking at the Shark to get it together at ATT, and help my pitching numbers.
10.1 Stephen Piscotty: Outfielder #3, whom again I knew would never last. This kid can rake.
11.15 Travis d'Arnaud: Second tier catchers were there, so I went with Travis.
12.1 J.T. Realmuto: And then complemented the Mets backstop with the Fish one. Again, trying to slim the pool and force early decisions on the others.
13.15 Wade Miley: Struggling to put a staff together, I was hoping the park and the whiffs fall my way.
14.1 Mike Fiers: Actually love Fiers at this point, and as a #5 I guess I could do worse.
15.15 Joe Panik: I let my infield go, knowing there were a lot of comparable picks towards the lower portion. Panik, who has a great line drive swing, is just fine for me right here. .290-10-65 with 80 runs, perhaps, is totally doable.
16.1 Nick Castellanos: Filling third with another guy with upside, on a good hitting team. As a veteran, I expect the Tigers' third sacker to step it up and hit .260-19-75 (or better).
17.15 Andrew Cashner: Finally healthy, he made 31 starts last year, so I am hoping he can build on that. Considering the skill set, Cashner could be a steal down here.
18.1 Brandon Finnegan: More manlove here. I have picked Finnegan wherever I can. Looking at the sweet upside, with ideally very little pressure on a rebuilding team.
19.15 Danny Valencia: Filling the corner with the Oakland third sacker, whom I have liked since the minors, and who now looks like he will be a solid everyday guy at third. After all, the last reclamation project Oakland had at third was Josh Donaldson.
20.1 Trea Turner: Rookie crapshoot. Don't ask me why. I think I am attracted to shiny objects. If he succeeds, though, boy will I be a fan.
21.15 Brock Holt: Fourth outfield slot, and it is Holt? I told you this was a tough mock.
22.1 Nick Markakis: Fleshing out my outfield with back-to-back outfielder picks. The down side is this pair hit a collective five homers last year. The upside is both should help my average, and Holt gives me some position flexibility. But, the main thing is that they put up 900 or so at-bats between them. That would be a contribution.
23.15 Oswaldo Arcia: My utility slot, and another crap shoot among many. I am hoping Arcia joins his fellow Twins youngsters and kicks it. But, most of the guys I would have taken for this (think Domingo Santana) were way gone.
Like I said, a very tough draft, and my hats off to all the participants for both making great picks and making it tough all around.