The second week of mocks was another one filled with great chats and everyone learning a bit of strategy, ADP, and player evaluations.  We had our first “west coast” mock that started at 10:30pm ET on Thursday and that was one of the best chat rooms we had this year so far.  Couldn’t get a late one in this week but will get at least one a week in for the rest of the mock season.  Last week we covered the early part of the draft with the Acuna/Yelich/Trout debate and the “pocket aces” strategy being promoted by @batflipcrazy on Twitter.  There was a switch this week with Acuna being taken first in three of the four mocks.  The trend has filtered to the Army. Current ADP has it Acuna/Yelich/Trout in the NFBC over the last few weeks.  A lot of heads are shaking at this one.

One interesting player to look at is Mike Clevinger .  Before his knee injury he was being taken in the second round.  In the three 12 team mocks this week he went in the third, fourth and fifth rounds. I took him in the fourth round because I believe he had a debridement of his meniscus.  This surgery is relatively minor and he should bounce back quickly.  With the timetable given, he should only miss two to four starts and this shouldn’t affect his overall value much.  The discount by two to three rounds is just about right and if he beats his timetable, you’ll be rewarded.

Another player that intrigues me is Luis Robert .  I understand all the hype but I am not one to take on an unknown when there are players available a round or two later that are proven and projected to put up similar or better numbers.  In Tuesdays mock he was pick 10.2, Wednesday 9.6 and Thursday 8.5.  His ADP from 2/1-2/23 is 80.6 in the NFBC.  His steamer projections courtesy of Fangraphs are 25 HR, 75 R, 81 RBI, 23 SB and .273.   The following players are all projected to do better than him in EVERY category except steals with the exception of Michael Conforto ’s batting average….Conforto, Marcell Ozuna , Nick Castellanos and Eddie Rosario .  Their ADPs range from 92.6 for Rosario to 115 for Conforto.  Yes, I understand the hype, but if I’m going to invest in that range it’s going to be one of these four who have a track record.  I may miss out, but then again, I may not because the only thing I’m missing out on are the steals.  Many got burned by Vlad Jr. last year and were rewarded for waiting until later in the draft to take a chance on Pete Alonso instead. 

Our own Howard Bender is promoting a steals and saves strategy which he employed in a draft he did recently and covered in our draft guide.  Each year you have to decide what to do about saves. In a standalone league do you wait and get some saves late and use FAAB throughout the year or do you go for a dominant closer or two and put yourself in position to finish high in the category?  In a league with an overall component you have to get some saves to finish in at least the middle of the pack in order to have a chance at finishing near the top.  Of course with the volatility of the position, FAAB also comes into play and one can fish for saves throughout the season. I tend to go for a couple of middling closers as to not spend too much draft capital on them, and then supplement if needed during the season with FAAB or trades.

Where are the top closers going in our mocks as compared to the NFBC recent trends?  Josh Hader was the first closer off the board in all three of the 12 teamers.  He was taken in the fifth round twice, and sixth round in the other for an ADP of 70 vs. an ADP of 63 in the NFBC.  The Army is waiting about a half round later to start on the top five closers.  Kenley Jansen is the last of the top five to be taken and his Army ADP is 112 vs 127 in the NFBC.  It’s a small sample, but the Army is starting to take the top closers a little later, but it takes the fifth one about a round sooner. 

These little snippets are what allows you to use the MDA to your advantage.  Competing in a live mock while trying different strategies, asking questions, and learning how to adjust on the fly when you get sniped are what hones your skills and makes you a skilled drafter.  Join us every Monday to Thursday on RTSports.  Always available to answer your questions on Twitter @gasdoc_spit