Recently, the blog Fantasy Ball Junkie (edited by Eriq Gardner, also of The Hardball Times Fantasy) ran the very first 2010 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft. The idea behind this was to let owners know how players may be valued next season in a standard league. I was chosen as one of the participants as the team He Thrills B. Mills (it should be noted that I know Eriq through a very competitive fantasy league I play in ). In the draft, 10 teams participated for a standard 5x5 Roto format. Each team rosters 14 players (8 position players, 1 DH, 4 SP, 1 RP). I ended up with the 8th pick in the snake draft format. The draft was run over a 7 day period, with 2 rounds being completed each day. Owners of each team in the draft sent Eriq a list of their top 20 players for each 2 rounds, and he did an 'autodraft' format. This unfortunately led to the inability to adjust to previous picks for each round. However, there was the ability to adjust the lists each day in order to take into account the previous 2 rounds. Overall, I think it worked out quite well.
He Thrills B. Mills turned out as follows:
C: Geovany Soto
1B: Miguel Cabrera
2B: Aaron Hill
SS: Gordon Beckham
3B: Michael Young
OF: Carl Crawford
OF: Manny Ramirez
OF: Carlos Beltran
U: Carlos Lee
SP1: Yovani Gallardo
SP2: Jake Peavy
SP3: Scott Baker
SP4: Jair Jurrjens
CL: Jonathan Broxton
My first overall pick was Carl Crawford, which was not ideal. I felt like I was forced to put Crawford where he was, and really did not want him on my team. I generally lean toward not paying so much for the Stolen Base category. With the premium placed on stolen bases, chasing them can really hurt a team in other categories like BA, RBI, and HR. Crawford is a possible exception here, given he does not take too much away from other categories. Still, my HR and RBI numbers could suffer from this pick.
Following Crawford, I really like my picks. I got Miguel Cabrera in the second round, who in recent years has essentially been an 'Albert Pujols light' (this year excluded). I followed that pick up with Carlos Beltran (a great 5-tool player who I think was overlooked due to his injury this year), and Manny Ramirez. I'm not sure how I got Manny in the 4th Round. I think this was a fantastic pick, and really saved my team from falling too far behind in the power categories. I don't see Manny's production being affected by his suspension, and I may have gotten a .315-30-120 guy very late.
After these picks, I really had to go after low positional depth areas. I took Aaron Hill in the 5th Round. I think this was about right for this pick. Currently, Hill is equaling Chase Utley (a top 5 overall pick) in production, if not surpassing him. I don't think Hill will repeat as a 35 to 40 HR threat. However, before his injuries in the previous season(s), he was showing a very solid skill set. Remember, this is an early draft, and we can't completely deny the fact that he has 29 HR at a notoriously powerless position.
I followed up Hill with what I felt was the best player available at this time. The top shortstops were off the board, and the ones left were almost all equal in ability (guys like Yunel Escobar, Stephen Drew, Gordon Beckham, etc.). Because of the lack of bench spots, I did not have to worry about losing out on a decent shortstop from someone picking up a backup. The best player available in my mind was Carlos Lee. This is a perennial .300-30-100 hitter. As a 6th Round pick, I think there is great value there.
The next 2 entries will finish up the draft.