Today we continue chugging along in our look at the highly skilled RotoGraphs Readers’ Mock Draft. I tackle rounds 9 through 12, which are some of my favorites as these are the rounds I typically draft my first pitcher, woohoo!
|PirateInTheBay||Mark Reynolds (1B)|
|San Jose Athletics of Oakland||Miguel Montero|
|32||Michael Cuddyer (1B)|
|The Fighting Hellfish||C.J. Wilson|
|The Drew Henson`s||J.J. Hardy|
|Hebrew Hammer||Adam Wainwright|
|Lucky Strikes||Ike Davis|
|Prone to Bone||Billy Butler|
Best Pick: My answer here surprised me a bit, but no pick really stood out to me as a great value. However, I have always been a fan of Josh Beckett and like him better than a bunch of starters that were drafted earlier. His ERA last year was certainly aided by luck, but he was overdue after several seasons of poor fortune inflating it. An ERA jump back into the low-to-mid 3.00 range should still allow him to remain a top 15 pitcher.
Riskiest Pick: Jason Kipnis‘ ADP currently sits at 161, yet in this draft he went 103rd overall. This is what happens when a player becomes so overhyped as a sleeper, his draft cost skyrockets and any profit potential is wiped out. Now he needs to pretty much have that breakout season just to break even for his owner. Can he post a stat line right around where his current projections sit at? Sure he can, but that seems to be his ultimate upside for this season. Paying for a young hitter’s best case scenario usually leads to a loss (in terms of cost versus final season value).
|Prone to Bone||Chris Young|
|Lucky Strikes||Brett Gardner|
|Hebrew Hammer||Jesus Montero|
|The Drew Henson`s||Ryan Howard|
|The Fighting Hellfish||Ichiro Suzuki|
|San Jose Athletics of Oakland||Brandon Beachy|
Best Pick: Brett Gardner‘s ADP is 93 and according to Last Player Picked, he was around the 87th most valuable fantasy player last year. He went 110th here, which is a pretty good value assuming you expect Gardner to post similar stats as he did last year. I did his projection a couple of days ago and figured more of the same is on the way, with a slight bump in batting average. Steals only guys sometimes tend to be undervalued and this is a prime example.
Riskiest Pick: I am struggling to come up with a risky pick in this round, as all seem to be rather decent. Ryan Howard is a consideration depending on when he returns, but when you add in the replacement you would use, he isn’t such a bad choice at this point. I’ll go out on a limb here and say Ichiro Suzuki. I think he is the best candidate for a collapse this year. He’ll be 38 and there are already several signs that his speed is waning. Without his speed, his batting average is less likely to rebound, and his steals take a hit. Potentially devoid of the two main drivers of his fantasy value, the threat that he loses his leadoff spot and the another weak offense in Seattle expected, the downside here is substantial.
|San Jose Athletics of Oakland||Emilio Bonifacio (3B,LF)|
|The Fighting Hellfish||John Axford|
|The Drew Henson`s||Danny Espinosa|
|Hebrew Hammer||Dee Gordon|
|Lucky Strikes||Anibal Sanchez|
|Prone to Bone||Nick Markakis|
Best Pick: Dee Gordon is the next Juan Pierre, but at shortstop. Sure, he’s on a lousy offense, but he should contribute in average, while stealing 50-60 bases. That is worth much more than an 11th round pick. He does have his share of red flags though, most notably his meager walk rate. But the Dodgers really have no other decent alternatives to hit lead off, so as long as he’s hitting at least .280 or so, he should be okay.
Riskiest Pick: Emilio Bonifacio was taken quite early at pick 123, versus his ADP of 169. I actually think he is an excellent bust candidate no matter the cost. He rode an unsustainable .372 BABIP to his .296 batting average, so once that regresses, his steals are going to decline as well. With little power to fall back on, he’s going to have to rely on posting another inflated BABIP to even keep a full-time job.
|Prone to Bone||Jonathan Papelbon|
|Lucky Strikes||Cory Luebke|
|Hebrew Hammer||Andre Ethier|
|The Drew Henson`s||Chris Carpenter|
|The Fighting Hellfish||Jemile Weeks|
|San Jose Athletics of Oakland||Mark Trumbo|
Best Pick: Only two seasons ago, Andre Ethier hit 31 home runs and recorded 106 RBI. He is now coming off a season in which his knee clearly bothered him, but he had surgery in September that should have fixed the problem. This is how you win at fantasy baseball. You draft players coming off disappointing seasons at their low and then laugh all the way to the bank as you enjoy the profits. Ethier will still be just 30 years old this season, so the strong rebound potential at a discounted price is a no-brainer.
Riskiest Pick: Was San Jose Athletics on autopick when he selected Mark Trumbo? As has been mentioned many times over the off-season after the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a kajillion dollar contract, there is quite the logjam at first base/DH/outfield. Even if we ignore Kendrys Morales for a moment, Trumbo still doesn’t figure to be a full-time player unless he suddenly morphed into a capable fielder and takes over the third base job from Alberto Callaspo.
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