Mock draft season is starting to draw to a close and real drafts are starting to fill our calendars, but we here at Fangraphs — with the help of a few friends — put together another staff mock for reference’s sake. It was a 12-team, 23-round mixed mock with 2 SP, 2 RP, and 5 P slots, with the vast majority of those general pitching slots filled by starters.
My personal NL SP ranks will be up next week, but in the meantime, here’s how they fell in our latest mock. As always, the parenthetical note is listed as (round.pick).
Cliff Lee (3.5)
Matt Cain (6.7)
Adam Wainwright (8.2)
Johnny Cueto (12.6)
Shaun Marcum (14.5)
Trevor Cahill (18.11)
This is a really tough call. I love Jackson at the end of the 20th round, I like the back-to-back Gonzalez and Beachy picks in the 10th, but the best of the bunch might be Bumgarner in the late 7th round. I have a bit of a concern about his jump in innings last year, but not enough of one to dissuade me from drafting him, and the seventh round is a really great value for him. In all the mocks I’ve done, Jackson seems to be the player that people forget about most often. His prerank is too low across the board; it may be worthwhile to throw him into a predraft list before the draft gets going, just so Chris Cwik doesn’t pick him in the 20th and leave everyone slapping their head.
There are a couple picks here I don’t much care for, most notably Lilly in the 16th and Myers in the 19th, but to the credit of the crew, I don’t see anything that strikes me as really out of phase.
If there’s one group that seems to be getting undervalued, it’s the pitchers switching from the AL to the NL. Gonzalez, Cahill, and Jackson — who only nominally counts after his trade to St.Louis at the deadline — were all picked on the later side, while Mark Buehrle wasn’t picked at all*.
I was surprised to see Myers and Norris go when they did — maybe the Astros have some value for fantasy miners after all. I like Norris as the better of the two, but I see both as NL-only options more than mixed. Norris should rack up the strikeouts, but his WHIP and ERA project on the high side and it’s unlikely that the Astros are going to win them too many games.
It deserves a longer post, but I am completely of two minds about Zambrano. Obviously, I have no problem with drafting him as the last SP taken. At that point, if he flames out, it’s pretty easy to throw him back on the wire and move in another direction, but I can’t help wondering if his best years are well and truly behind him.
* I would have taken Buehrle at 22.5, but I had obliged myself to take Bruce Chen, who filled my last pitching spot.