Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 Mock Draft, Review & Recap

So there you have it. My first ever fantasy baseball mock draft before the 2012 Major League Baseball season. It was a privilege to perform this exercise with some of the most intelligent guys in this department.

BleacherGM made a list of everyone's draft pick and sorted them by round and team. I suggest checking them out to see how each team turned out. I am not sure if he plans to determine a champion of this draft, but I had my own theory. I decided to compile everyone's draft picks into an Excel spreadsheet and use Bill James' 2012 projections from FanGraphs.

There were two players whose projections were missing (Chris Young, Matt Moore), so I used the FanGraphs fan projections in their stead. I did not adjust several other players who may miss significant playing time (Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, Allen Craig), could be demoted (Mark Trumbo, Mike Trout, Juan Oviedo, Mark Melancon, Francisco Rodriguez) or may have been promoted (Daniel Bard, Matt Capps, Chris Sale, Matt Thornton). There are still several months before spring training and opening day, which is why I chose not to adjust statistics based upon incomplete data and swirling rumors.

I'm not here to toot my own horn... Okay, maybe once. *honk*

My team ranked highly in all categories except home runs and saves. Abandoning those categories may have allowed me to win the batting and pitching crowns, though I wish my team had a more defined source of power. David Ortiz is usually great, but I would have preferred someone younger. I regret not drafting a second closer earlier, but several teams decided to draft more than just two to ensure they won the saves category. I gave up on saves after realizing this and chose to draft more quality starters instead to preserve the other four categories.

I know a lot of the guys were accrediting askROTObaseball with the best team as we chatted during the draft. He made some pretty strong choices, which explains why he is ranked second on my projected list. He won the runs and stolen bases categories by a landslide, which is why he could have afforded swapping one or two of his offense picks for more homers and runs batted in.

TribeBball was right behind him even though he placed quite a few absentee ballots. The power is definitely there, but at the expense of his batting average and quite a few stolen bases. He was also tied for the most saves due to drafting four relief pitchers and K-Rod's projection as a closer, even though he is currently setting up for Brewers in front of John Axford. These choices were detrimental to his win and strikeout rankings.

We may do this again sometime before spring training, so stay tuned if you'd like to see more fantasy baseball mock drafting.

I did receive one critique from an anonymous commenter on Wednesday (don't be shy next time!) who approved of three of my nine offense choices and only one of my seven pitchers. They left their preferences had they been in my shoes, so let's see if their team is an improvement over mine.

These changes would cause my rotisserie league score to slide down to 95 and I slip to a five point lead. BleacherGM would take over as the dominant offense, while RepLevel would assume control of pitching. These altered choices would provide more home runs, wins, and strikeouts at the expense of runs, batting average, ERA, and WHIP.

I probably would still favor my team compared to this even without the statistical comparison. Their reasoning makes sense, though I would not have drafted Howard due to his questionable season start due to his injury. In addition, I am just not the type to draft so many pitchers in the earlier rounds, especially since there are so many quality pitchers available in the later rounds.

Don't forget, blog reader! Choosing one player in favor of another does not necessarily mean everything will work out for your aforementioned team. Altering my draft picks would certainly cause repercussions throughout the draft which would cause the other managers to change their approach. For example, if I chose Carl Crawford instead of Jered Weaver, then rytwin would be forced to make a different selection and Weaver would land on a different team.

Time travelers should be careful when they alter the past, otherwise your best friend could be your dad.
(The Terminator)

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