My FanGraphs Keeper League Mock Draft: Rounds 4-10

Oops. I messed up. Although I was aware that the FanGraphs mock draft on Sunday night used a keeper format, I missed the dynasty aspect. That’s what happens when you arrive just before your first round pick and can’t see the pre-draft banter. That makes quite a difference and would have dramatically changed my strategy. But hey, I still think my team would win in 2012! They would just collapse due to old age soon after. Here is a refresher of my (now flawed) strategy and my first three picks. Now let’s get to my remaining picks from the first ten rounds…


(4.11) Jimmy Rollins

This is your first clue that I completely missed on the dynasty aspect. Yikes. But for 2012, he remains solid and he is still a nice all-around contributor. There are no real signs that he is going to suddenly fall off a cliff, so that at least keeps my “Win in 2012!” mantra intact. With a fantastic contact rate, he always has the potential to surprise in batting average, as he just needs a bit of BABIP luck and suddenly he’s a .290 hitter.

(5.2) Nelson Cruz

Obviously, I not only go for the over 30 crowd, but the injury prone as well. The speed may be gone, which is unfortunate, but man does Cruz have power. I would really like to see him just once reach 550, or even 600, at-bats to see what kind of power numbers he could put up.

(6.11) Shin-Soo Choo

Hoping, heck, needing, a bounce back year from Choo or this pick is quite bad. I am always hesitant drafting guys who rely on a high BABIP for a lot of their value and you could see what happened when it falls back to Earth. Choo remains a .291 career hitter, but it’s just tough to keep posting a BABIP near his current career average of .353. Now that I have totally dissed my pick, let’s look on the bright side — he has power and speed and walks at an above average clip, ensuring a decent runs scored total.

(7.2) Alex Rodriguez

Ughhh. Again, might still have enough in the tank for 2012, but beyond that he may be limping around the diamond. Let me see if I could find any positives. Well, he hits in a great lineup, and right in the middle of it. And, he still does have good power, though his ISO has now declined for four consecutive years. I would say, however, that he’s the type who despite his advancing age, does still have the potential to pull a Lance Berkman and enjoy a last hurrah.

(8.11) Chase Utley

Tally another for the “they were once awesome in fantasy, but injuries have ruined their value” column. Though his power was way down, it was nice to still see 14 steals, which is a good sign that he isn’t completely doomed to fantasy irrelevancy just yet. He continues to make excellent contact, but has been hampered by a low BABIP, so the upside is there to once again contribute in batting average. He could very well be quite undervalued for 2012, but at age 33, doesn’t make the best choice in a dynasty league (yeah, I suck).

(9.2) Adam Jones

And finally we have our first hitter who is just entering his prime. It was only a matter of time before I accidentally made a pick that actually fit with the draft type. I don’t actually really care for Jones, but do think he was a decent value in this neighborhood. It would be cool if he learned to take a walk, as that would allow him to actually contribute in runs scored, rather than appear to be a slow-footed first baseman when looking at the stat sheet. His HR/FB ratio has bounced around, which is important given his extreme ground ball ways. I don’t foresee further upside for the HR/FB ratio, so he will need to hit more fly balls if he were to ever have a chance at 30 home runs.

(10.11) Victor Martinez

An absolute bargain in single-season leagues at this spot, but not necessarily so in dynasty leagues. Though, batting average challenged J.P. Arencibia and Chris Iannetta both went just before V-Mart. His power mysteriously disappeared, but he makes some of the best contact in baseball and plays nearly every day. Such a strong batting average over that many at-bats for a catcher is extremely valuable. And the counting stats that come along for the ride all combine to make V-Mart one of the top catchers again for next year. At 33 though, he may soon lose his catcher eligibility and his value would drop significantly as a first baseman or DH only.

C- Victor Martinez
1B- Albert Pujols
2B- Ian Kinsler
SS- Jimmy Rollins
3B- Alex Rodriguez
MI- Chase Utley
OF- Carl Crawford, Nelson Cruz, Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Jones

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Mike Podhorzer produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

6 Responses to “My FanGraphs Keeper League Mock Draft: Rounds 4-10”

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  1. Simon says:

    That teams offense actually looks very good for, but as you said, in future years your team may fall apart.

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  2. Todd says:

    Flags fly forever! Win it all in 2012 and who cares if your team falls apart afterward.

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  3. True North says:

    Comments such as the following by Mike Podhorzer, beg for a retake:

    “Oops. I messed up. Although I was aware that the FanGraphs mock draft on Sunday night used a keeper format, I missed the dynasty aspect. That’s what happens when you arrive just before your first round pick and can’t see the pre-draft banter. That makes quite a difference and would have dramatically changed my strategy.”

    Then, we have Dan Wade in another Fangraphs piece, offering the following:

    “This is the earliest mock I’ve ever done, typically I wait until at least Jan. 1 to start prepping, and it really showed, especially in the early/middle rounds. I just didn’t have a great list of players in my head, and wound up being somewhat beholden to the master list, which is never a great strategy. I ended up with a team I liked, but missed a lot of good values by about half a round.”

    Chris Cwik in yet another Fangraphs exclusive, stumbles on his analysis on account of another expert’s auto-pick selections:

    “Especially considering Roy Halladay — who went later in the round — was just as good last season. In his defense — or not — Bradley Woodrum was not present at the draft for this selection, so Verlander was an auto-pick As many of you have pointed out, Roy Halladay was the auto-pick. Warne selected Justin Verlander with his second round pick.”

    And then this gem from Bradley Woodrum, in the comment section of Chris Cwik’s write-up:

    “FUNNY STORY: Missed the first three rounds. Got the players I would’ve probably picked anyway. :)

    (I went into the draft knowing I was thinking, thinking of Matt Kemp.)”

    Also, MDC was not the appropriate forum for conducting a dynasty draft, as we’ve seen from Eno Sarris’ article:

    “(Just remember that Brandon Wood is a placeholder for Nolan Arenado, Anthony Vasquez = Danny Hultzen, Hector Gomez = Jurickson Profar, and Anthony Slama = Trevor Bauer.)”

    A lot of us value the opinion of “experts” that write on Fangraphs and as a matter of continued reliability and professionalism, we expect such experts to attend an expert draft with a certain level of preparedness.

    A participant who drafts without knowing the league settings, another who relies on a failed cheat sheet and who promises he’ll only show his true drafting prowess after Jan. 1st, and yet another whose autodraft picks (critical picks from the first 3 rounds, to boot) are just brushed aside as if they were intended (even if he liked the auto-picks after the fact, that’s not the point).

    Far too many things have gone wrong with this draft, which cause its results to be not only unreliable, but absolutely not worthy of all the self-basking articles by several of its participants who conveniently set aside all of the huge elephants they created in the room.

    That MDC link or reference to your draft that all of you are using in your write-ups — it needs more asterisks than its page can handle. Please do the honorable thing and schedule a re-take.

    If not, how about a 15-team draft for a one-year league, something that MDC should be able to handle. And with hopefully everyone on the same page, ready and on time.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Mocks are mocks and people are fallible. I did a mock with MDC employees where we did the same thing — placeholders — so I don’t feel that’s such a big deal. Four prospects instead of four no-names.

      Any MDC mock is going to have placeholders and any mock is going to have its’ issues. Honestly, in the thousands of drafts I’ve done, I don’t think I’ve had one that didn’t have a WAIT WAIT moment or at least a whoops.

      In other words, the subjective experience of the draft was not really any different than any other draft — mock or real — that I’ve done in the past.

      Also, it’s a testament to the strength and size of our organization that were able to get 12 people from the same org in a room at the same time for a draft. It still wasn’t easy.

      In general, I disagree with your sentiment that the faults of the draft outweigh the value provided by the picks. We still have plenty of interesting decisions that were made here, from Ackley to Lawrie to Braun and beyond. I’d just focus on those valuable bits rather than being too bogged down by the fact that one writer missed four rounds and one writer thought it might be a keep-five or keep-six because he had some connection issues and missed my blanket statement.

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  4. juan pierres mustache says:

    they do retakes every year, they’re called “Mock Draft #2” and the like.

    in seriousness, though, it probably would be better if all the owners had been e-present, but i don’t really care that they weren’t prepared, because it’s interesting to see a more off-the-cuff draft to compare with the later ones when everyone has more information/preparation. and also they will do like a thousand more. and bitching about ad hoc solutions to minor issues with draft software for a mock draft makes you seem petty and diminishes the more accurate point you made, which is that auto-drafting a mock draft which will be published is iffy and suggests that the mock draft is not being taken all that seriously. personally, i don’t really care, but it’s the one reasonable complaint you made, so i’ll give you half credit for it

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  5. True North says:

    Thanks for your replies.

    I certainly didn’t want to come across sounding petty or insensitive to the process.

    I only wanted to hold the participants to a higher standard. I’ll beg to differ with Eno Sarris — missing the first 3 rounds of a draft may not seem critical, but when you add it up to the rest (especially the drafter whose picks were made with a totally different league setting in mind and the other writer who used a master list and who asserted he was not in a position to identify “good values”), creates a situation where at least 9 picks made in the first 3 rounds, are of questionable value and so on for the rest of the rounds where the named participants were handicapped.

    Sure, some of the draft results might be salvageable from the standpoint of comparing different value points and fostering discussion that way. However, bottom line is I’m looking forward to Mock no. 2 and hopefully, an outcome where participants will be in a better position to show their drafting acumen.

    And I am with you on getting your 12 participants together in the same room — I absolutely applaud that. And here I was hoping for a 15-team draft next time — what was I thinking. ;o)

    Hopefully, my comments will be taken in the constructive light in which they were meant.

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