Editor's Note: I was just informed that this was not a draft with experts participating, but a draft involving people attending First Pitch Arizona. Sorry for the confusion.
The first experts draft of the offseason took place over the weekend at First Pitch Arizona, a weekend of fantasy baseball talk hosted every year by the good folks at BaseballHQ. In addition to lots of fantasy baseball talk, taking in a few Arizona Fall League games, as well as the AFL All Star game, the fantasy baseball experts hold an NFBC style 50 round draft. If I am not mistaken, this type of league does not allow any waiver wire pick ups or trades, so the roster you drafted in early November 2015 is the roster you have in late September 2016.
The participants include Paul Sporer, Ron Shandler, Jason Collette, Doug Dennis and others. I have already ranked my top 50 overall rankings earlier this offseason, so I like to look at the early experts drafts to see if I can glean something from the results of the draft.
First Pitch Arizona Draft Results: Round 2
1. Mookie Betts, Red Sox
2. Carlos Correa, Astros
3. Jose Altuve, Astros
4. Jose Abreu, White Sox
5. Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
6. Starling Marte, Pirates
7. Lorenzo Cain, Royals
8. Max Scherzer, Nationals
9. Kris Bryant, Cubs
10. Jake Arrieta, Cubs
11. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
12. Troy Tulowitzki, Blue Jays
13. George Springer, Astros
14. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
15. Chris Davis, free agent
First Pitch Arizona Draft Results: Round 3
1. Madison Bumgarner, Giants
2. Gerrit Cole. Pirates
3. Chris Sale, White Sox
4. Robinson Cano, Mariners
5. David Price, free agent
6. Yoenis Cespedes, free agent
7. Kevin Pillar, Blue Jays (WHAT!!)
8. Jacob deGrom, Mets
9. Dallas Keuchel, Astros
10. Matt Harvey, Mets
11. Chris Archer, Rays
12. Noah Syndergaard, Mets
13. Jose Fernandez, Marlins
14. Corey Kluber, Indians
15. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
- Mookie Betts is going to get a lot of love this offseason, so get used to it. He has the potential to put up a 20 home run, 20 stolen base, 100 run scored season in 2016, as you have to expect the Red Sox lineup to be better than it was in 2015.
- I would have drafted Astros shortstop Carlos Correa ahead of some of the hitters taken in the first round, as he is another hitter capable of putting up a 20-20 season. Actually, he has the power to put up a 30-20 season. If you want him in 2016, you will have to grab him early as the shortstop position is pretty thin.
- Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon doesn't get much love. Usually. But I like the pick here in the early second round. It's aggressive, but in a deep league like this, you want someone you can count on to put up stats and Rockies hitters have a habit of doing just that.
- The Lorenzo Cain grab is a bit agggressive, but he had a breakout season in 2015 and will be looking to build on that in 2016.
- Astros outfielder George Springer is another name that I would draft in the first round, as he has the power and speed to put up a 30 home run, 20+ stolen base season should he be able to stay healthy. His critics will say he can't stay healthy and he strikes out a lot, but he reduced his strikeout rate from 33% in 2014 to 24% in 2015, while maintaining a solid walk rate.
- The third round brought us a huge PITCHER RUN!! Of the 15 picks in the third round, 12 were starting pitchers. Not sure if I ever saw that before, but when you see a run of 3-4 in a row, you don't want to miss out on the ace to anchor your staff.
- Wow. I have to say I am a little surprised that Mets SP Noah Syndergaard was drafted this early, especially ahead of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, but he doesn't have the injury history that Fernandez has.
- Kevin Pillar? What am i missing here? Ok, he hit 12 home runs and stole 25 bases, but you can get that from the David Peraltas of the world later in the draft. I would love to see who drafted Pillar here and his reasoning.
- Lastly, I think the owner who drafted Cano in the third round may be disappointed at the end of the season. Age is catching up to him and second baseman age pretty quickly. I think Pirates second baseman Neil Walker can put up similar counting stats and you can draft him much later.