And six weeks later, a team was born…
That’s right. After just six short weeks and hundreds of emails, we finally finished the RotoGraphs Ridiculously Early Mock Draft — Slow Draft Style. The process was definitely cumbersome, to say the least, but we all made it through relatively unscathed. Our fearless leader and draft overseer, Eno Sarris, published the results five rounds at a time (the links to all can be found in this post) and now it’s time to reveal our teams. Well, I don’t know if everyone is going to do it, but here’s mine:
All players are listed with which pick they were selected as well as their Bill James projections for the standard 5×5 roto categories.
Using the totals above, I went back to some of my leagues from last year to do a comparison just to see exactly what my strengths and weaknesses were. Unfortunately though, I played in just one 12-team league and those stats had already been wiped. I took a look at a 13-teamer I did, but the starting rosters were way bigger and even if I were to have added both bench hitters, the rosters were still plenty off. And the 10-teamer I looked at, well, you’re talking about two fewer teams and two fewer outfielders, so it looked like everyone had an All Star team. What can I say? My nephew and his friends prefer the shallow league and they needed a last minute fill-in.
So while I was unable to compare these projections to last year’s standings, I think we can make a pretty strong, educated guess as to what looks good and what looks light. Stolen bases? Very, very good. Home runs and RBI? Pretty light. Runs scored appears to be around the middle to back end of the pack while batting average appears to be middle to upper half.
As for pitching, if these projections were to actually come true (yes, yes, I know the odds of that really happening), my staff actually sits on the higher end of the spectrum. It’s easier to compare pitching as nine-man staffs are, pretty much, the norm, so when I match up last season’s standings, I’m at the top in saves and in the upper half in every category except for strikeouts. In the strikeout category, I’m looking at middle to back end of the group.
Now obviously this is just a rough look as no one who competes actually sits on their original roster, but this is, at least, a good way to see what kind of foundation I’m working with. It also enables me to see how I should be drafting differently if I’m looking for a team with higher power numbers, or whatever specific goal I am trying to meet. In the case of this team, as I discussed in the great Michael Bourn debate, I am looking at some early trades of stolen bases for power.
Pujols notwithstanding, going for speed early, as we all discussed, can really hurt you in the long run, especially if everyone else in the league covets power right from the start. I did try to make up for it with middle picks like Hosmer and Rosario, as well as late picks like Viciedo and Quentin, but in the end, I’m still going to be in need of some bigger bats. An early season trade of someone like Reyes or Bourn or even Gomez might do the trick, at least to start. But overall, I like the base team I finished with. Am I 100% happy? Of course not. But I think if this were to turn into a league, I could do fairly well with it.
Favorite Pick: Rosario — Well past where he is going even in two-catcher leagues.
Least Favorite Pick: Pena — Didn’t realize LaRoche was still on the board.
Biggest Reach: Haren — I believe in a comeback with a return to the NL but could have gotten him a few rounds later.
Biggest Bargain: Quentin — Injury prone, for sure, but great power for a last round pick.
Guy I’m Drafting In As Many Leagues as Possible This Year: Holland — Great K-rate and the Royals will play a lot of close ones this year.
*Bill James projections not available; Fan projections used