Draft Prep Tiers:| | | | | | |
| | |
People don't want to get boxed out of the stolen base category.
That's the takeaway from our latest mock draft, a standard 5x5 Rotisserie league. It wasn't even the deepest of formats -- 12-team mixed -- and yet between Billy Hamilton going in the sixth round, Dee Gordon in the third round and Trea Turner third overall, the urgency was real.
But perhaps not entirely necessary.
It's true you could be left with nothing but scraps in one of the five hitting categories, and that's a scary thought. But the same has always been true for one of the five pitching categories, saves, and we've learned to pace ourselves appropriately.
Stolen bases and the players who provide them may be scarcer, but the offshoot is that you don't need as many of them to compete in the category. And competing may be all you need to do. Getting just one point by finishing dead last in something would be hard to overcome, but getting six or seven gives you some margin for error in the other categories.
So that's all I was aiming to do: pick up 25 steals from Elvis Andrus here, 25 from Lorenzo Cain there, another 15 from Ian Kinsler -- you get the idea. Other than Bradley Zimmer late, I don't feel like I had to reach for anyone. It was more about staying mindful throughout. The projections show me finishing sixth in the category, and that's just projections, which are only as valuable as the extent to which we can predict the upcoming season (i.e., not much). Spreading my stolen bases among several players instead of relying on one better protects me from disaster.
That isn't to say I had my ideal draft. I couldn't decide which pitcher I wanted early in Round 4 (Zack Greinke was next in my rankings, but I'm higher on him than most), so I opted for Buster Posey thinking I'd still have a pretty good selection of pitchers late in Round 5. I did not. My team would look much better with a true No. 1, bumping everyone else down a spot, and probably wouldn't miss the elite but declining catcher so much.
Here's who took part in this draft with me:
- R.J. White, CBS Sports
- Mike McClure, SportsLine
- Tim McLeod, Patton & Company
- George Maselli, CBS Sports
- Danny Cross, Creativesports
- Adam Aizer, CBS Sports
- Phil Ponebshek, Patton & Company
- Paul Sporer, FanGraphs
- Mike Kuchera, The Fantasy Man
- Scott White, CBS Sports
- Matt Hayes, Razzball
- Heath Cummings, CBS Sports
And here are the results: