How soon is too soon?
Ray and Craig have posted their results in our Mock Draft Central 5x5 fantasy baseball draft from Tuesday night and I know some people have asked for full results, which makes some sense since it will give you a better idea of the why's and the how's of the draft.
I have not spoken to each participant individually to get answers on the why's and the how's but I have the results of the draft and want to give you some perspective so that you're more prepared for your own fantasy baseball drafts, which I assume are any day now!
It's funny because you feel prepared and then all of a sudden the draft starts and your brain starts farting and I couldn't remember simple things like if Pablo Sandoval was still good or how long my Pizza Rolls had been in the oven. (Kinda and Too Long. Oh no, I mentioned fantasy baseball and Pizza Rolls in the same sentence. I just keep giving Jason Whitlock more ammunition.)
The beginning of the draft is easy because the players are good and difficult because there are so many good players. As you get going though, it becomes increasingly difficult because I found myself trying to find reasons to draft a player rather than why not to draft a player. It makes it more and more clear just how hard it is to be good at baseball and to have significant value in a game (fantasy that is) that simply relies on statistics to judge a player.
There are millions of high school and college players. There are thousands of minor league players. At any given time during the season, there are 750 active major league baseball players. In a 12-team league with 23 players on each roster, there are 276 players. And out of those 276, you've got a few stars and a bunch of other guys that you just hope won't kill you, or that will give you a three week hot-stretch that you can ride to victory for a little while.
The top of the draft should be filled with the elite, but even as early as the second round we can see flaws in many players. Here are the first five rounds of the FakeTeams Mock Draft.
As Craig pointed out: 12 teams, 2 C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 5 OF, CI, MI, 9P
Ray's analysis of his draft can also be found here.
Notes: I had the fourth pick and didn't hesitate to take Troy Tulowitzki. Boom, my SS search is over and I have the best of the best. I would have taken Jose Bautista if Craig didn't. I decided not to take Albert Pujols and waited until near the end of the draft to take a first baseman because of the deepness of the position.
Also, Albino midget wrestling squad, Final stand, and xfactor, were team names not decided by those users but by the computers that control the internet. Don't be mad at Albino midget wrestling squad.
Notes: I sort of went with my opinion of the Best Player Available method. Josh Hamilton may have injury questions and off-field questions, but when he's hot he has the talent to be the #1 player in the game and I got that value at pick 21. It's a risk but it was a risk I was willing to take. Besides, I want to know that the guy I'm drafting is a guy that I can just sit around and have a beer with.
Notes: Again, I went with my opinion of the best player available. I'm one of the biggest Stephen Strasburg fans that there is. I think he's the best pitcher in baseball. He may have injury questions, but Strasburg can hurt himself just as easily as Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels or Tim Lincecum. And he was dominant in his return in 2011. I got the guy who I think is the best pitcher in baseball at pick 28.
Notes: Okay, this is where I really start to feel like you're stretching a little bit. At least, at my pick that's how I felt. I would not hesitate for Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, CC Sabathia. I do hesitate slightly with Matt Wieters. However, in a two catcher league without very many good offensive catchers and Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana off of the board, I went with Wieters. I do feel that he's been underrated because of how highly rated he was as a prospect and then he had a very good 2011. I expect him to get even better in 2012. Didn't need a SS like Starlin Castro and though I like Ryan Zimmerman, I decided Wieters had the better value.
Notes: So I pass on Zimmerman and then decide to grab Sandoval in the fifth and fill my 3B need anyway. Starting pitching I wasn't going to panic on. Outfield I could wait on. I went with the third baseman I liked the most at the time, though you'll notice I passed on Alex Rodriguez. I may dislike him as a person, but the upside might have made my Sandoval acquisition a bad one. I like guys who "just get hits" and I feel Sandoval can do that consistently this season.
So those are the first 5 rounds of the FakeTeams Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft. I've exposed our writers and now you can do the mocking! Especially of me!
I'll let the other guys decide if they want to answer any questions you may have for them, just throw it in the comments and we'll have one of those old fashioned "discussions" in which I'm sure there will be no arguing or in-fighting.