League one is cruising along as we’re about to finish the 8th round of the 2 Early Mock Draft. If you haven’t already checked out my review of rounds one through four go ahead and take a second to catch up. As you might recall, at the time we did not have accurate 2 Early Mock ADP on Mitch Haniger who I selected at pick 39. At this point, Haniger has only been selected in two other leagues, both times at pick 65. Turns out I am the high guy on Haniger in these early mock drafts.
My Next Four Selections:
- As I mentioned in my Chris Sale blurb, I found great success during the 2018 season attempting to roster starting pitchers with two requirements. 1) Strikeouts. 2) Projected winning team context. Pitching for the Boston Red Sox, David Price has totaled 15 wins so far in 2018 with over a strikeout per inning. While his velocity is slightly down, it doesn’t look too different from his 2016 season. There is some risk with an older pitcher who has had injury issues in the past, however, a one/two of Chris Sale and David Price is a gamble I’m willing to take for a potentially dominant front end of my fantasy rotation. As of this post, Price has been selected in three leagues with an average pick of 63rd overall.
- Travis Shaw has provided fantasy owners with another solid offensive season. Over the course of the year, Shaw has also gained second base eligibility to go along with his third base eligibility. The intriguing aspect of Shaw is the fact that his skills have actually improved from 2017 to 2018. Shaw’s batting eye has nearly doubled from season-to-season. This has helped Shaw to hit the ball even harder this season. Despite all of this, Shaw’s batting average currently sits at .240, a drop from the .273 batting average Shaw provided in 2017. That said, his expected batting average is much closer to his 2017 figure. Unfortunately, a return to double-digit stolen bases fell off the table this year. The underlying speed metrics aren’t strong enough to forecast a return to that level in 2019, however, anything is possible when it comes to stolen bases. Shaw has been selected twice so far in these mock drafts – my selection at 63rd overall and also at 71st overall in League 3.
- Justin Turner is getting old and has an injury history. That said, while he’s on the field the production cannot be ignored. Currently, Turner has a 0.90 batting eye while making hard contact at a clip over 40% higher than the league average. The batting average remains high with full support as well. Lastly, Turner continues to elevate the ball, a skill he discovered in 2017, which coupled with his outstanding approach at the plate, could lead to a surprise home run output in 2019 with health. Currently, my 82nd overall selection of Turner is the only such pick of the Dodger’s third baseman at this point.
- I couldn’t believe that Nelson Cruz was still available at pick 87. Cruz has been selected in two other leagues – picks 64 & 66. Once I realized how crazy it was that Cruz was around in the 80’s, it prompted the following Tweet:
Just selected UT Nelson Cruz in the 8th round (87th overall) of the #2EarlyMocks – @thenfbc #ADP in 2018 was 58th overall. He’s old, yes. Even a slight pullback in underlying power metrics. But he’s not 30 picks worse than 2018 pre-season, right?
— N.O.W. Roto (@NOWroto) September 18, 2018
Having multiple eligibility players in Whit Merrifield and Travis Shaw already rostered also makes it easier to select a Utility Only player such as Cruz.