2014 Draft Prep: Head-to-Head draft (2/3)
How did our first Head-to-Head mock draft of 2014 turn out? Who went first overall? Check out how our 21 rounds played out by round and by team.
The Mike Trout/Miguel Cabrera conundrum (who do you take first in a Head-to-Head points format?) will likely not have a solid resolution by the time actual drafts roll around. So far this preseason, we've done two H2H mocks, and both players have taken a turn occupying the top spot. On Dec. 2, Cabrera was the top pick; on Feb. 3, it was Trout. I'm not sure there's a wrong choice here, and the two will likely continue to do their dance with the first two spots through the rest of mock draft season. This looks to be more of a personal preference for the person holding the No. 1 pick than an indication of Trout suddenly looking better than Cabrera.
The latest mock did feature a major momentum shift, though, with four pitchers (Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Adam Wainwright, and Yu Darvish) taken with the third, seventh, 11th, and 12th picks in the first round, respectively. Conversely, only one pitcher (Kershaw) was selected in the first round on Dec. 2. The reasons for this may vary -- we've had two months of outlooks, previews, and rankings to form stronger opinions; some drafters may have wanted to experiment this time around to see what teams would look like if they featured a stud pitcher; perhaps the early selection of Kershaw set a tone for starting pitchers going a little earlier. Points leagues tend to favor pitchers -- in 2013, 22 pitchers scored 500 or more points in standard formats, while only 16 hitters passed that mark. Still, 2014 seems to have an exceptionally deep pool of second-and-third-tier pitchers, so there may not be a need to stretch early for an arm. There's a very good chance the next H2H mock may revert to just Kershaw in the first round. If that isn't the case, and we see three or four starters taken in the first round again, it may be the start of a trend. Roto drafts, meanwhile, should continue to go hitter-heavy early on.
When the dust settled in this latest mock, six pitchers ended up being taken in the first three rounds, while seven were taken in the first three back in December. But 14 pitchers were taken in the first four rounds of the Feb. 3 draft, while the 14th pitcher wasn't taken until the end of the fifth round on Dec. 2. This appeared to simply be a matter of the pitcher run starting earlier in our latest mock. And, weirdly, the same five pitchers were in both runs. Stephen Strasburg, Cliff Lee, Chris Sale, Madison Bumgarner and Cole Hamels were all selected within 11 picks of one another in both drafts. So, if you want to set off a run on starters, this group seems to spark something in fellow drafters.
Some notable names for your consideration:
• Matt Kemp -- who isn't sure if
he'll be ready for opening day -- was taken in the fifth round, after
H2H darlings Martin Prado and Adrian Gonzalez. In December, he was taken in the fourth round, ahead
of Prado and Gonzalez (who were taken in the sixth).
• David Ortiz, who is eligible only at utility, was taken at the end of the sixth round. He was selected in the fifth in December.
• Carlos Gomez, who had over 20 homers, steals, and doubles last season, was selected in the seventh round. He went in the fifth in December.
• The first four relief pitchers taken (in order): Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, Greg Holland. In December, Holland went before Jansen, and Koji Uehara was squeezed between the two. This time around, Uehara dropped to the 11th round, below Trevor Rosenthal.
• Alex Wood was the first of the starters-with-relief-pitcher-eligibility (SPARP!) to go off the board, as he was taken in the middle of the 10th round. Drew Smyly went in the 14th and Tyson Ross went in the 15th. In December, it was Wood in the 13th, Ross in the 17th, and Smyly was left undrafted.
• This was Masahiro Tanaka's mock draft debut; he was taken in the 10th round, after Alex Wood and Ubaldo Jimenez, and before Andrew Cashner and Francisco Liriano.
• Billy Hamilton was taken with the first pick of the 11th round. He was selected in the 12th round in December.
• Starlin Castro was taken in the 12th round, which was an improvement over his 13th round selection on Dec. 2.
• Three of the young, buzz-generating pitchers went in this order: Michael Wacha (Round 8, Pick 1), Gerrit Cole (Round 8, Pick 5), Sonny Gray (Round 9, Pick 10). In December, they went Wacha (Round 8, Pick 12), Cole (Round 10, Pick 8), and Gray (Round 12, Pick 5). So while there's now a consensus for order, it looks like Cole is closing the gap, with all three moving up.
• Kole Calhoun Watch (just because): The Angels outfielder went from undrafted in December to Round 18 this time around.
This is still an early mock draft, and these choices are far from set in stone. In fact, these mocks are as much for us staff members as they are for readers. Fists were slammed on desks and nasty(ish) comments were thrown down in the chat room as players were swiped from would-be owners. These mocks not only serve as a way to see how a team shakes out with certain choices being made (like taking a pitcher in the first round, or going exclusively after starters with reliever eligibility for the RP slots), but also gives us an idea of what everyone else is thinking and where values are for certain players. For instance, my love for Jedd Gyorko drove me to draft him in the sixth round in our December mock. After some polite commentary on that perhaps being a little overzealous from my colleagues, I waited until the ninth to strike this time, which led to a couple, "you took my Gyorko!" comments. Perhaps he goes in the eighth next time, but these mocks allow us to feel out when it's too early to take someone you like for 2014.
We have many more mocks on the way, with the promise of further fluctuation as spring training nears. But this early one helps to further the base laid down back in December.
1. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator
2. Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Editor
3. Peter Madden, Director, Fantasy Sports
4. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
6. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
7. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer/Clear Winner of This Mock
8. Jameson Fleming, CBSSports.com Social Media Editor
9. Larry Hartstein, Fantasy Writer
10. Chris Cwik, Fantasy Writer
11. Adam Aizer, Fantasy Video/Podcast Host
12. Marty Gitlin, Fantasy Writer
Scoring for Batting Categories
1B -- 1 point
2B -- 2 points
3B -- 3 points
BB -- 1 point
CS -- -1 point
HP -- 1 point
HR -- 4 points
KO -- -0.5 points
R -- 1 point
RBI -- 1 point
SB -- 2 points
Scoring for Pitching Categories
BBI -- -1 point
ER -- -1 point
HA -- -1 point
HB -- -1 point
INN -- 3 points
K -- .5 points
L -- -5 points
QS -- 3 points
S -- 7 points
W -- 7 points
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