Breaking Down the /r/fantasybaseball Mock Draft

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Mock draft season is here! After sadly missing out (damn you, pacific time zone) on the /r/fantasybaseball mock draft put on this Wednesday for the /r/baseball crossover day, I figured it'd be fun to at least take a look at how everyone did. As always, we'll look to the Big Board, which will be used to produce every image and bit 'o analysis that follows. It is the best tool around for finding all the answers to who had the best draft, who drafted the best sleepers, and who just couldn't resist drafting Blake Snell to piss off /u/fawkesmulder.

To quickly recap the settings:

  • C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UTIL, 8 P, and 3 bench
  • 5x5 (HR, R, RBI, SB, AVG and W, SO, ERA, WHIP, SV)

Kicking off with the main result, there's two ways of looking at the total values of the teams. For one, the BIGz scores. In this case I summed only the *positive* BIGz scores for each team's players, meaning I didn't penalize Rzo for drafting retired old-man A.J. Burnett, or any of the other negative value players drafted onto teams in this draft. Since this is set to a standard $260 budget, and only about $100 of above-replacement value talent was left undrafted, I'd say any team above $250 generally beat expectations with what they ended up with, and any team below, the opposite. Props here to NLF (/u/NextLevelFantasy) for gathering up the best team in terms of total $ value.

The other way is of course Roto score, which is maybe more relevant given that this is intended to be a Roto mock draft! This will generally be a measure of which teams were the most balanced across the 10 categories, in addition to having good players. I'll note here that at least one team looked like they ignored AVG, and a couple ignored SVs, totally valid strategies in a shallow league where winning AVG can be very luck-based, and winning SVs can easily be achieved via the waiver wire. The result is less clear-cut here, but I'd say Butt munchers (/u/butt-munch), NLF (/u/NextLevelFantasy), and The Regiment (/u/realregicidal) came away the winners.

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Since fantasy baseballers love granularity, here are the full projected standings:

Team-by-Team Analysis

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The Rzo - /u/TooObviousToFail Rzo put together the 2nd best team by z-scores, and is projected to lead the league in both SBs and AVG. The team definitely leaned heavily on a core of heavy hitters, going Trout-Posey-Votto in the first three rounds, but his best pick of the draft came in the 12th rd when he nabbed David Ortiz. Despite being old as sin the projections love him, and he's projected for $24 of value in 2016 (about $18 of surplus value in the 12th rd). The A.J. pick is a puzzler, but maybe he's got an inside line on Burnett's plans to un-retire that we're all missing out on.

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/u/elfassigaming ElfAss led with Goldy at #2 overall and proceeded to put together a solid all-around team. He's projected to lead the league in K's, despite owning less SPs than several other teams. Sale, Harvey, Hamels is a pretty sick 1-2-3, and you don't have to squint too hard to see an ace dropping out of the Pineda, Severino, Rodon crew. He'll need some help in the middle of the infield, where Brett Lawrie is just replacement level and Asdrubal isn't even sniffing the line. His best pick came in the 14th rd, scooping Khris Davis ($14) for $9 of surplus value.

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Butt munchers - /u/butt-munch Classiness of username notwithstanding, I like this team. Sano in the 2nd round looks a little like a reach just because he could've been drafted lower, but otherwise his projection mostly backs it up. Especially given that butt-munch might have been ignoring batting average. This team is essentially projected to lead the league in HR's (Autodraft technically beat him by 1, but that team has 14(!) hitters on it), plus the best WHIP and 2nd-best ERA. Best pick is clearly Bryce Harper in my opinion, but the Big Board liked Pujols in the 11th rd ($9 surplus). Sure he could miss time this year after getting offseason surgery, but he's projected for nearly 30 HR's in 2016 and even if his gimpy foot limits his AVG he'll still bring real value to a team punting AVG and going all-out for dingerz.

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Green Monkees - /u/brad4498 The Monkees have a nasty bullpen, and that's step one to earning yourself the #1 projected team ERA. But the Price-Cole-Cueto combo is nothing to sneeze at either. It looks like this offense will need breakouts from a few youngsters and a return to relevance from Hanley Ramirez in order to compete, but it could definitely happen. I'm not sure I can backup the choice of Arenado as the #1 3B over Donaldson and Machado, but the 18th and 19th rd picks of V Mart and Grandal are both great value picks, worth about $9 of surplus each.

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Gman - /u/ChikenNipplz Outside of punting steals, this is a great all around team. Gman's squad is no worse than 6th in any category except AVG and SB's, and has a great crew of mashers between Cruz, CarGo, Trumbo, Frazier, and Pederson. Steamer's regressing many of these guys pretty significantly, so there could be upside here as well. CarGo's the best pick of this crew at $8 of surplus in the 4th rd, but Murphy in the 19th is also great - his projection is good, and the last time we saw him he was making the best pitchers in baseball look silly in the playoffs.

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The Wrigley Warriors - /u/RyanTheCubsSTH Color me surprised that this didn't end up as an All-Cubs team - as a Cubs fan I am getting unapologetically hyped for the Cubbies and their 2016 team. In any case, props for getting two Cubs in Soler and Rondon and not reaching for either of them! Snell is, I assume, completely here to mess with Fawkes, but I could see him being taken in the final round or two of some deeper mixed leagues this year. Overall, the Wrigley Warriors will be a plus offense with a pitching staff that will rely on some question marks, between continued LOB% skills from Greinke, health from Ryu, and a legit breakout from Iglesias. It could happen, but it's risky! The best pick is, of course, Puig, who I recently identified as *the most* undervalued player in ESPN's standard rankings according to steamer projections.

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NextLevelFantasy - /u/nextlevelfantasy Oo yeah. This team is good, NLF was not messing around. He won't have to play the wire for saves, because he's got four elite closers, which will likely free up some spots to troll for middle infield help if any of Wong (platoon?), Semien (defense?), or K. Marte (who?) don't work out. There isn't a ton to dissect here as this is just a good all-around team. I'm not sure why Salvie Perez was still around in the 17th round, but picking him up was nearly the best pick of the draft (followed closely by the Upton pick in the 5th).

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Autodraft What a bad person. A bad person with a bad team because they autodrafted. Don't be this person.

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PEDs - /u/scottyway Team PEDs has got an absolute ton of W's and K's on their hands here. With two aces and a big group of potential upside plays, the pitching staff likely shakes out to be above average, with room to pick up some OF platoon bats, streamers, etc. once a couple of the SPs flame out. And, assuming the league has a DL spot, Yu will be a nice stash while waiting for him to debut. All of his top 6 picks were surplus value picks, but it's Bogaerts in the 6th coming away as the best pick with $12 of surplus value.

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Blue Va Jay Jays - /u/fawkesmulder Fawkes was all about the speed demons in this draft. Both the hitters and the pitchers! Strasburg-Carrasco-Salazar is dirty, and I like basically every other SP after that (Cobb might not make it back early enough to be worth drafting in this shallow a league, though). Between Altuve, Gomez, Lindor, and DeShields, he's got a crew projected for 2nd-most SBs in the league. That said, his 20th rd pick was the Big Board's favorite: Kendrys Morales. Morales is getting severely underrated in some drafts I've seen this year, maybe due to his DH-only position, but projects to be a very useful guy this year.

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Kwanzaasanta - /u/infieldofdreams Oof, sorry Kwanzaasanta. The Board does not like your team. Part of that could just be taking too many SPs and not enough hitters. But it's not all bad - maybe with a return to glory for Desmond, an early return for Brantley, and some magic resistance to regression from Conforto and Duffy, this team could significantly exceed expectations. Marte in the 3rd was a really solid grab - he's projected to be just as good as Pollock, but went a whole round later.

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The Regiment - /u/realregicidal Good teams with bad middle infields seems to be a running theme here. Welcome to shallow leagues! Regiment snapped up an elite offense along with two aces and three potential breakout SPs. Between the Chapman suspension and only owning two closers, SVs will be tough, but eh. You can always find more! McCann in the 12th is great value here ($14 surplus) - especially now that Bird is gone for the season, he seems to be a lock for 500 PA between C/1B.

BONUS: Best Undrafted Players

How'd you guys miss these? JK most of them are bad.

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