Third Base Outcomes in Reader Mock Draft

As you well know by now, some dutiful readers of RotoGraphs took it upon themselves to virtually duke it out in an online mock draft, putting to test what we have repeatedly analyzed in the past several weeks — that is, just exactly where should we expect some of our favorite players to be taken?

There is of course a great deal of risk in relying solely on one source for your average draft positions, and while the draft was conducted in Mock Draft Central, having some well informed individuals making the selections instead of what could be third graders and well trained monkeys for all we know, provides us with a nice window for analysis.

For today, third base will be under the microscope.

The results:

Num MDC ADP RG Reader Difference
1 Jose Bautista 4 3 1
2 Evan Longoria 12 8 4
3 Adrian Beltre 31 25 6
4 David Wright 33 36 -3
5 Brett Lawrie 53 38 15
6 Ryan Zimmerman 40 39 1
7 Pablo Sandoval 67 53 14
8 Alex Rodriguez 59 55 4
9 Kevin Youkilis 83 64 19
10 Aramis Ramirez 68 69 -1
11 Michael Young 70 93 -23
12 Mark Reynolds 116 98 18
13 Emilio Bonifacio 170 123 47
14 Mike Moustakas 220 175 45
15 David Freese 159 191 -32
16 Martin Prado 191 196 -5
17 Edwin Encarnacion 284 221 63
18 Ryan Roberts 197 222 -25
19 Jed Lowrie 318 231 87
20 Mike Aviles 270 279 -9
21 Pedro Alvarez 300 281 19
22 Mat Gamel 285 302 -17
23 Chipper Jones 240 305 -65
24 Daniel Murphy 298 313 -15
25 Brent Morel 401 317 84
26 Chase Headley 258 318 -60
27 Lonnie Chisenhall 364 319 45
28 Casey McGehee 349 364 -15

The first four picks aren’t terribly surprising, but you can see that if you want Brett Lawrie badly enough, you better be willing to pay for it as he was plucked early in the fourth round, which is about a full round ahead of where he was projecting. If you’re snake drafting and you’re slotted with something like the 7th overall pick or lower, you’re going to have to reach as Lucky Strikes did if you want Lawrie’s services. I’m not saying it’s good or bad – just be prepared – because there’s nothing worse than crying over spilled Brett Lawrie.

Pablo Sandoval also came off the board about a round early, and it’s an interesting pick. Of course, if you’re bullish on the Panda, great – pay for him and pray you don’t see love handles flapping like the jowls of an English Bulldog chasing a ham hock by mid-season. I really don’t have a problem seeing Sandoval go 53rd overall one bit. But objectively – Alex Rodriguez, Aramis Ramirez, and Kevin Youkilis are all still on the board at that point, which creates a bit of an opportunity and a dilemma.

Unless you’re averse to the old men (which is fine) or you’re totally convinced Sandoval is going to significantly outproduce all three (which is fine too), you could throw caution to the proverbial wind, take a guy like Dan Haren (who went next) who was clearly the best starter on the board, and just hope you get one of those four guys with your next pick. Not criticizing the pick, just highlighting what goes through my head during the draft.

Speaking of the old men, A-Rod, Youkilis, and A-Ram all went next, with Youkilis actually being selected ahead of Ramirez, which is a little surprising given his age, his 2011 production, and history of injuries. But it’s a good reminder that you might be looking at ADP, hypothesizing that you can hang around until the 8th round for a third baseman because you can comfortably wait for a risk/reward pick in a guy like Youkilis, only to discover that the depth of the position panicked someone into an early 6th round pick for his services and you’re hung out to dry.

The last pick I’d like to point out is the Ryan Roberts one which kind of represents the hung out to dry notion. While I’m not necessarily bullish on Roberts going forward, I tend to like what The Drew Hensen’s did with his approach to third base. It could be that he was hoping to get a guy like Kevin Youkilis or Aramis Ramirez and simply lost out. But there’s a sizable drop-off from that tier and a lot more question marks start to enter the picture for the remaining third basemen. I’m not going to be thrilled about taking Michael Young or Mark Reynolds in the 8th and 9th rounds because honestly that’s when I’m often scrambling for my second starting pitcher and trying to fill gaps in my outfield. So The Hensen’s seemed to do a modified punt of third base, waiting until Ryan Roberts fell all the way to 222 overall to take him. It could have been that he was going to take one of Edwin Encarnacion or Ryan Roberts, and when E5 was selected 221, it was time to do his business or get off the throne, so to speak.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that while Danny Valencia has an ADP of 332, he went undrafted. So if you’re a Valencia fan, you might be able to take that 332 to the bank and wait for him to the bitter end. Ian Stewart went undrafted too – and perhaps rightly so, but he certainly seems to be a last-round-flyer candidate. Oh, and Chone Figgins went undrafted as well — but, well…yeeah.




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Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.


14 Responses to “Third Base Outcomes in Reader Mock Draft”

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  1. JakeB says:

    How does Hanley Ramirez fit into this equation?

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    • Matt H says:

      Same goes for Miguel Cabrera. Those two make 3B a LOT stronger.

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    • pastadiving jeter says:

      as far as i’ve seen, he’s going shortly after longoria in most cases…my guess is that most people will still be using him at SS, so the 3B eligibility is just a slight plus as far as team flexibility goes.

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    • Michael Barr says:

      Hanley’s value is at SS, and I imagine that’s where he’ll be used. I think I’ll wait until Miggy qualifies at third base before we start fully including him in the conversations/rankings. If he really stinks it up in Spring Training, they might need to come up with a plan B. But yeah, if eligible at third, he’s probably the top pick overall.

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  2. Ben says:

    The fear of old men is exactly why I took panda when i did.

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    • jimbo says:

      Not only is Panda young enough to post a career year (something those old guys aren’t likely to do), he gives you a somewhat reliable path to 25/90 while also making your 2nd round pick less damaging in BA. Elite batting averages are pretty rare–and underappreciated imo. I love that pick in the 5th.

      The ‘old guys’ went either that round or the next, and I’d hate to spend a top 6 pick on them just because of name and position. Gimme Alex Gordon or Adam Jones or even Corey Hart there, and then mousetacos or freese in the teens.

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    • Colin says:

      As I’ve played more and more fantasy, I too have developed a strong fear of old men.

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  3. ballsdeep says:

    I caught some flack for taking Beltre early. I know Miggy may qualify at third, but he also fills the 1B position very well. I really like what Beltre has to offer in his second season in Texas, and you can’t argue that I will be getting some serious power production from my corner infield positions.

    Your thoughts Mr. Barr?

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    • Michael Barr says:

      I’m not sure you can expect Beltre to reproduce a .265 ISO, but it should be well north of his career .190 average. If it settles in around .220 and he has the same kind of contact skills and HR/FB rates as he had in 2011, he’ll be a good pick in the 3rd. But I wouldn’t bet on the same kind of pace we saw from last season. Also been prone to nagging injuries two of the last three seasons. He’s a fun guy to root for though, which never hurts.

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  4. Ben says:

    If you look at my roster, it made complete sense to take sandoval at that spot. Arod is a shell of his former self, Aram typically disappears for half the season. youk has various health risks, so meh.

    Basically what I’m saying is panda/gallardo>Haren/Arod-Youk-Aram

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    • Michael Barr says:

      I think I actually commented that it made sense for Panda to go there, specifically because the obvious concerns about the other three, so I was in no way being critical – I just was observing a point in the draft where I might stop and think a little bit about a gamble based on what was still available.

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  5. Ben says:

    No problems, man. Just giving my rationale that wen through my head at that time.

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  6. kid says:

    Adrian Beltre has been pretty great the past two seasons. Even if he does “only” post a .220 or so ISO, with the great counting numbers that come from being a Ranger, he’s awesome for fantasy. I avoided him in ’11 thinking that his ’10 was a fluke… won’t make that mistake again.

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  7. kip says:

    ARod is just enough of an egomaniac to pull off a big season in 2012. But I get to Sandoval on that list and I start to get very nervous thereafter…

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