**This is the follow-up to a prior article about the FSWA 12 team mixed draft, to see the first article just click here.
I am in the minority here but this is my favorite part of the draft. Filling the queue, seeing if players are valued correctly and watching how each team builds their remaining rosters. Before going through rounds 13 through 28, here is my FSWA team so far with their round and draft selection following:
1B – Joey Votto 1.3
2B – Chase Utley 11.123
3B – Kyle Seager 7.75
SS – Everth Cabrera 9.99
CI – Albert Pujols 5.51
OF – Giancarlo Stanton 2.22, Jay Bruce 3.27, Jason Heyward 6.70
P – Madison Bumgarner 4.46, Mike Minor 8.94, Koji Uehara 10.118, Hisashi Iwakuma 12.142
Before going into the last sixteen selections I was a bit surprised on the veterans who fell to me and I will be hoping for healthy seasons from Pujols and Utley. Their ability to get on base and hit for power made them worth the risk to me. Utley has a career OPS of .871 and Albert Pujols’ OPS in 2012 was .859 which I believe he can rebound to in 2014. The pitching staff is a bit thin but with only 180 allowed starts, managing how many players get and avoiding places like Coors Field will allow for some flexibility. At this point I would like to get a catcher but missed on a big catcher run, another closer would be nice and at least two more solid starting pitchers would be a great benefit. Here are my next three picks:
- Pick 13.147 Sonny Gray SP, Oakland
- Pick 14.166 Leonys Martin OF, Texas
- Pick 15.171 Addison Reed RP, Arizona
Without knowing the fallout from the recent injury concerns to Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin, I wanted to take a pitcher with upside. Sonny Gray, come on down. Safer picks in this round included Jon Lester and Patrick Corbin but the ballpark and possibility to get strike outs led me to Gray. Also going in this round were CC Sabathia and Francisco Liriano, two polarizing left handers. I honestly looked at Sabathia but the concerns regarding his velocity again swayed my decision. Martin is another upside play. With a full season under his belt he can improve upon his OBP which was in the 400’s in the minors and has the potential to hit double digit home runs while stealing 35 bases. This is the one spot I regret because I had Brad Miller in the queue and Jason Collette took him immediately before me in round fifteen which led me to Addison Reed. I did not want to be married to a middle infielder and had Reed on the radar to get a second closer. He has the ability to get strikeouts and the move to Arizona should provide him with more opportunities to get saves in 2014. With the time in between picks I started to look at another starting pitcher to add when my time comes to pick in round sixteen. It takes a long time to watch the queue for eighteen picks….
- Pick 16.190 Jedd Gyorko 2B, San Diego
- Pick 17.195 Huston Street RP, San Diego
- Pick 18.214 Dexter Fowler OF, Houston
No draft will go perfectly, especially against players of this magnitude, but I was really hoping for Chris Archer to fall to me in the sixteenth. There is no way he would be there with Jason Collette picking twice after me. But Rich Migliorisi grabbed him before I had a chance and I adjusted. There was not a pitcher I really wanted yet so I took a power hitting second baseman as my middle infielder instead. I am a big Gyorko fan and his OPS last year was .745, so let’s go Padres infielders. Gyorko also had .900+ OPS in both his 2011 and 2012 minor league seasons so there is room to grow. It never hurts to have a power hitting second baseman especially when my outfield is shaping up as 15/20 guys. I am not a huge Huston Street proponent, but when healthy he does not put people on base and gets saves. Instead of waiting for a Chad Qualls type late, I opted to take him now. Rex Brothers to me possesses much more upside, but he does not own the job and reports out of Colorado suggest they prefer him in the eighth inning role. Catchers and starting pitchers are still a need for this team but seeing the OBP potential of Dexter Fowler was too much to pass up in the 18th round. Other players taken in this round were Neftali Feliz, Crawford, Adam Eaton and Lance Lynn prior to my turn. Pitcher and catchers….
- Pick 19.219 Chris Carter 1B/OF, Houston
- Pick 20.238 Devin Mesoraco C, Cincinnati
- Pick 21.243 Dan Haren SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
One pick away from Marco Estrada, I was foiled again. So I turned my attention to some more power late and went with Chris Carter. The caveat being that his batting average will not affect my team and he has patience and power. Both of those qualities make him much more valuable in this type of format. It also helps that he has dual eligibility in the event in an injury. Carter is overlooked to often in drafts in my opinion and his OPS of .770 last year has room to grow in 2014. More closers went off the board like Tommy Hunter and Jose Veras along with Yan Gomes at catcher who I was targeting on the way back still needing a catcher. So why not grab another old favorite of mine, Devin Mesoraco as my first catcher in round 20. But I should have managed this pick better as the next two picks following him were Scott Kazmir (great late round grab) and George Springer. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, “Doh”! Mesoraco would have been there on the way back and I really could have used Kazmir on my staff. Lesson learned, Jason Collette. I did get Dan Haren who in a quality start format should be solid and pitching in LA only helps that. Over his last 87.7 inning of 2013 Haren had a 3.39 ERA and 1.05 WHIP so he is not sexy but solid. But those K’s I could have had with Kazmir……
- Pick 22.262 Justin Ruggiano OF, Chicago Cubs
- Pick 23.267 Carlos Ruiz C, Philadelphia Phillies
- Pick 24.286 Ivan Nova SP, New York Yankees
Ruggiano was not a target either but he allows for flexibility for my weekly lineups. Like Carter, his OPS ability outweighs his batting average limitations in standard leagues. His career OPS is .747 and is only one season removed from a .900 OPS in 2012 with Miami. When filling my second catcher slot I did not want a player that would affect ratios. Ruiz fits the bill with a career OPS of .770 as well and he has baseball’s clearance to continue taking Adderall during the season. I do not know what the effects Adderall has on a player’s performance but when NFL players are suspended taking it and he is allowed, it opens eyes. Ruiz is a bounce back candidate and will still generate stats as a late round second catcher. Ivan Nova is in a make or break year and the Yankees need him to step up in the rotation. There are many things to like in his underlying statistics and his ground ball tilt as a Yankee is needed to be successful. If he can continue to generate a 9.3 swinging strike percentage, his evolution as a pitcher should continue. Only four picks left, upside and depth….
- Pick 25.291 Kevin Gausman SP/RP, Baltimore
- Pick 26.310 Mark Melancon RP, Pittsburgh
- Pick 27.315 Gregory Polanco OF, Pittsburgh
- Pick 28.334 Yasmani Grandal C, San Diego
Since I do not like chasing saves all season long I added Gausman and Melancon. Melancon is a nice filler for weeks I need to avoid a Haren start in Colorado and if anything happens to Grilli, whether injury or trade, I have his replacement. Gausman is interesting to watch since I do not trust Tommy Hunter as closer and Gausman would be perfect in that role. Polanco was just demoted but his blend of patience and speed with occasional power will make him a coveted player in this type of format. I profiled Polanco here and he should be up no later than June hopefully hitting second for the Pirates. My last pick is another player that I have coveted but he cannot stay healthy. Grandal provides insurance for Mesoraco and Ruiz and if he continues to get healthy, could be a great player in the second half of the season.
It is hard to be completely satisfied with a team in an industry draft but I do like my team. It will need some breaks and the need for a stronger SP2 and SP3 may become evident if Iwakuma suffers a setback. One more power bat may have helped as well but if Stanton and Bruce have strong seasons that will help preserve the ratio boost that Votto provided in the first round.
The biggest thing I took away from the draft was the options that OBP and SLG provided during the draft. Players like Chris Carter and Justin Ruggiano really are enhanced in a different format like this. It is nice to get outside the traditional box and do something different. My goal was to finish in the top half in my first draft of this magnitude and hope I can accomplish that goal.
Greg Jewett is a staff writer for Roto Analysis and you can follow us on Twitter @RotoAnalysis and @gjewett9
Sonny Gray picture credit: http://cbs910espn.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/162663960-e1381413943879.jpg?w=620&h=349&crop=1