BP Mock Prospect Draft Results – Round 1-2
I mentioned participating in this draft a week or two ago, but didn’t expect results to go live so fast. To read the full piece, a subscription is required, but I figure it’s safe to talk about my picks and why I made them. At this point, we are in the 9th round, so I expect the draft to be over by the end of the week. Phew! This is one of my favorite baseball things to be involved with each year, but it’s a grind considering each pick is made via reply all email. It will be fun to empty my inbox.
Archie Bradley (1-7) – For my money, Bradley is the best pitching prospect in baseball. Had Masahiro Tanaka been eligible, I still would have taken the Diamondbacks right-hander. For fantasy baseball purposes, Bradley is a dreamboat. He can run the fastball into the mid-90’s and has a swing-and-miss curveball. A true power pitcher, I expect a number of 200-plus inning and strikeout seasons from him. For prospect writers, the term “ace” is used rarely by those who are worth a shit. Bradley has “ace” stuff, second to only Dylan Bundy in terms of players I’ve seen in person.
When the Bradley pick was made, the best available position player was Athletics shortstop Addison Russell. I’m enamored with him based on the combination of youth and productivity, but seeing a prospect in person versus picking from video, stats, etc. is important to me. And seeing Bradley neuter Yasiel Puig on an inside fastball against Jacksonville last season was too impressive to pass on.
One thing about fantasy baseball to remember is losing teams spend on above average starting pitchers and think paying $15-20 each for six 2-3 starters is better than dropping $40 on Kershaw and rounding out the rotation with cheap arms like Kyle Lohse. For me, the only time to spend a high pick on a pitcher like Bradley who has the ability to truly dominate. In fact, a cheap ace becomes much more valuable than a cheap anything else because you can still afford to go big on one of the best pitchers in the game.
Robert Stephenson (2-22) – In a case of taking the BEST arm or a position player who’ll be a stronger Major League player than fantasy contributor, my Stephenson pick was sandwiched between Francisco Lindor and Albert Almora. For the record, both should develop into excellent Major Leaguers, but defense doesn’t matter in most fantasy formats. As with Bradley, Stephenson has a chance of being a true impact talent in any fantasy format. He’s a player I’ll travel to see this year as Stephenson will play in the Southern League.
To be honest, I’m not sure why other owners chose to avoid pitching like the plague. for one, every team should have as many pitchers as position players on a prospect roster. When I played in a league with 30 prospect slots, 15 pitchers was always the goal.
Also, teams love acquiring pitching prospects. In this new league, I was able to acquire Andrew McCutchen with Danny Salazar as THE key piece. In most cases, quality pitching prospects are an even better trade chip than position players because so many owners load up on bats. If this describes your league, then it would be beneficial to take advantage.
Quite often, I receive emails from readers asking for trade advice. Owners who are desperate for pitching send me scenarios where they pay too much for it. Others who have plenty of pitching are often able to package a couple of big name prospects for just about any position player in the game not named Cabrera, McCutchen or Trout.
4 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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