THT mock draft 2012

The 2012 Hardball Times Mock Draft has come and gone, and we are left with a wealth of fun information to discuss over the upcoming weeks. Look for several of the THT authors to write their own analysis of the results. For the time being, this will be only a results post.

First we need to give a collective thanks to Mock Draft Central. MDC hosted the THT mock without issue and put everything together for us amazingly quickly.

Here’s the draft order:

1. Ben Pritchett, The Hardball Times
2. Derek Carty, Baseball Prospectus
3. Robert Burghardt, TG Fantasy Baseball
4. Mike Stein, Fantasy Judgment
5. Dave Shovein, The Hardball Times
6. Paul Singman, The Hardball Times
7. Al O’Harra,Fantasy Sports R Us
8. Derek Ambrosino, The Hardball Times
9. Josh Shepardson, The Hardball Times, Fantasy Baseballl 365
10. Brett Greenfield, Fantasy Phenoms
11. Nick Fleder, The Hardball Times
12. Brad Johnson, The Hardball Times

I know you didn’t come here for the draft order, but I want everyone to notice the writers/owners of the other sites that were so gracious to lend their own expertise to our draft. Without them, we would not have been able to accomplish this draft, especially in such short notice. I personally know or compete against all these guys. They are some of the best minds in the business. I have visited all the sites above, and they all offer something a little different. Please take the time to visit their sites and see for yourself.

Now here are the results for The Hardball Times Mock Draft 2012 . We used the standard 5X5 rotisserie settings with a 1,600 innings pitched limit, 20-game eligibility. For all you fantasy nerds, including me, I also have the THT mock draft spreadsheet. Over the next weeks, we will be doing some further breakdown. For the time being, feel free to digest these results and comment below.

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  1. Will H. said...

    Thought 2: Ben, you are either going to soar or crash, what with the oft-injured guys and first time foreign guys playing in the US. Could go either way…

  2. Will H. said...

    Apart from fewer than 100 PAs at AA, Ellsbury never showed power in the minors, and 2011 was more than double his ISOs in his other full MLB seasons. I’m not so sure I’d make him the 3rd choice…

    That said, I get the feeling looking at this list that I’d love to have a later pick in the first round, as there is just so many good choices early on.

    The only other point (I looked at this for two seconds) is that Carty can’t be taking this seriously because it is just a mock or something: I like taking advantage of when the pendulum has swung too far, and perhaps it has in the case of the group think surrounding not drafting too much pitching early, but 5 of the first 7 are pitchers and then one of those other two is a catcher?? Adding a positional scarcity play to a (by design) poor offense doesn’t make any sense, and you’d still have a very good chance of owning four pitching categories if you spent even one of those 5 early round SP picks on another bat.

  3. jcxy said...

    I really liked Paul Singman’s draft. I suppose most would critize passing on Tulo for Votto but getting Drew and Cozart late kind of shows that he had a (pretty smart) plan in place. Also, I’d like to see him comment on Pineda that early. Did you feel like you were squeezed on SP pitching in round 6?

    The question I have for Derek is: Did Round 5/6 play out how you wanted? It seems like where you picked Mauer would have been the perfect spot for Strasburg, Gallardo, or Mbum. Was that the original intent or did you go in pulling for 2 premier Cs.

    I’m a little surprised to see Wieters go before McCann too.

  4. Chris Greene said...

    First thing that caught my eye: Desmond Jennings in the third round? I am a big fan of his, but will he produce like a third rounder?

  5. Ben Pritchett said...

    @Will H- I agree with you about Ellsbury. I was totally surprised he went at 3, but I wasn’t shocked. If you think he could repeat, or trade some homers back for some steals then he would still be worth a high pick. However, I don’t know if I’d have the guts to pick him over Albert Pujols

    Also, pertaining to Derek Carty, he wasn’t at the draft for the first 6 rounds or so. He had an important business call which caused his tardiness. So the pitcher-heavy first four rounds wasn’t his doing but I thought he did a nice job of recovering. In fact, the rotowire prediction engine picked his team to have the best projected stats for 2012. I also could see where someone could implore the SP-heavy approach in a draft so it’s good for a real-life example of what you could expect in any given draft.

  6. Ben Pritchett said...

    @Will H- I went very risky in this draft for a couple of reasons. Being at the turn, I underestimated how few of the guys I liked would make it through the 23 picks between my selections. Losing out on both Stanton and Braun before my second pick really messed me up. You always have an idea of what you want to do, and I had to essentially go to plan B. Plan B was to draft talent without regard to risk. More on my roster and thought process in my article on Monday.

  7. Ben Pritchett said...

    @jcxy- I told Paul Singman that he was drafting my team early on in the draft. Of all the teams, I think he did the best job of filling out his roster. He’s a veteran, and that’s what veterans do. I can’t speak for him on Pineda, but Votto, Stanton, Wright, Heyward, and Morrow I love.

    I, too, was surprised Wieters went before McCann. There’s really no comparison in my eyes. Sure, Wieters could hit 30 hrs and have a .300 AVG, but you’re all but guaranteed to get mid 20 HR and near .300 AVG out of McCann. Why take unneeded risk with unproven commodity for such a small rate of return compared to the risk on the investment. This is one time I would be risk averse, Wieters vs. McCann.

  8. Ben Pritchett said...

    @Chris Greene- It’s really a matter of opinion and projection. Bill James has Jennings slated for a .267/17/65/47/116Runs. I think that line is very reasonable and should warrant borderline 3rd round value. If you were to be of the mindset that he could improve on that AVG projection or SBs then you’re talking about a borderline 1st rounder (that famed Carl Crawford comparison that Jennings will be saddled with for his career in Tampa). I wouldn’t do it, but I certainly understand the pick.

  9. Chris Greene said...

    Thanks. I have him in a keeper league and am mulling whether to keep him.  I agree that if he produces at BIll James’ projection, then he should definitely go in the first 3 – 5 rounds. James’ has him as borderline 20-50, which you don’t get many places. Like you mentioned, it’s the stat line people have been seeking from Crawford for a long time.

  10. will h. said...

    Ahh, makes sense then with Carty. But interesting too because I was already thinking in one of my tougher leagues to try pitcher heavy because most tend to wait so long. As for yours, exactly what I suspected and, as I said, you could rocket or you could bomb.

    Good stuff…

  11. Paul Singman said...

    @jcxy – I wouldn’t say I felt squeezed for pitching, SP is really deep so there are always good pitchers on the board, and I definitely could have assembled a respectable staff without taking a pitcher there in round 6. However I do like having at least one “anchor” on my staff, someone with 20 win and 9.00+ K/9 potential. And looking at the guys picked after Pineda (and even some before) I think he was maybe the last pitcher taken with that upside. Most people may have Cain and CJ Wilson and a few others ranked ahead of Pineda and they may be a safer bet for a slightly lower ERA, but I think this is a situation where Pineda’s upside outweighs his added “riskiness”.

  12. Ben Pritchett said...

    @Josh Shepardson- I understand your argument and statistically speaking, you have some good points. I also shouldn’t have made the statement “sure bet for near .300 AVG”. That should read near “sure bet for near .290 AVG”. I think you are wrong about McCann. Last year he had 14 homers and a .314 AVG until he injured his oblique. After that he wasn’t the same player. There’s no reason to think he can’t replicate that stat line in a healthy season over both halves of the year.

    The year before that he couldn’t actually see. Everything was blurry. He had surgery before the 2011 season to fix the problem. Even with those two bad batting average seasons, McCann kept his career batting average line at .286. He’ll only be 28 this year, and there’s no debating that he’s an RBI machine in the middle of the Braves line-up.

    I agree with you that Wieters may have a greater ceiling, but don’t get confused McCann is the far safer bet. A healthy McCann beats a Wieters every day of the week at this stage of their careers.

  13. Josh Shepardson said...

    I think the general consensus of putting McCann before Wieters is a matter of remembering what McCann was, and a bit of a underrating Wieters 2011 stat line.  McCann hasn’t sniffed .300 since 2008.  He hit .269 in 2010, and .270 in 2011.  In OBP leagues, he has made up for that with an improved walk rate, but I’m inclined to believe McCann is more .265-.275 hitter than one that will flirt with .300 again.  Also, McCann has NEVER been a run scorer.  His single season high is 68 runs, and while part of that can probably be blamed on the lineup, a big part is that he’s a well below average runner.  He’s a safe bet to hit more than 20 home runs, but how many more? His career high is 24, and he tied that last year. 

    Turning to the attention to Wieters, he is a player on the rise, and not one without major league success.  Wieters 22 home runs last year stack up well with McCann’s.  His 72 runs scored already best McCann’s single season high, and his 140 runs+RBIs bested McCann’s 2011 total by 18.  His .262 average lagged a bit behind McCann’s, but his strikeout rate is trending in the right direction, and I’m inclined to believe his BABIP was a tiny bit on the low side.  He always posted high BABIPs in the minors, and his .276 mark lagged behind both his 2009 and 2010 rates.  He has shown the ability to hit both left-handed pitching at some point in time (clobbered lefties last year, and was significantly better against righties in 2009 and 2010).  I’m thinking it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll put it together against both in a season.  The final factors working in Wieters favor are his ballpark, and league.  Camden Yards is a significantly friendlier environment for hitting home runs, both to right-handed batters and left-handed batters.  Finally, by playing in the AL, the Orioles have the option of sticking Wieters at the DH on his days off behind the plate, something the Braves can’t do with McCann.  I’d venture to guess Wieters ends up with more plate appearances, which helps in piling up counting stats.

  14. Matt Vereb said...

    Jason Kinipis in the mid-rounds? Anyone (or homer) explain something that maybe the rest of us aren’t seeing?

  15. Brad Johnson said...

    I don’t see anything out of the ordinary with that pick. I would have taken Kendrick before him personally, but otherwise, he was the next 2b on the draft board.

  16. Derek Ambrosino said...


    I felt that in a 2-catcher league McCann had fallen too far. I was surprised nobody else took him already, as I’m not usually the one to take the top catcher. A healthy Mauer would be a steal at my next pick and signs seem to look good for him, so I took the plunge. I didn’t exactly plan it, but once I decided to take McCann, I told myself that I wanted to see how it would affect my team to take Mauer next.

    I was still yet to take an SP and probably would have rolled the dice on Stras if he was around. Probably would not have taken MBum or Gallardo though. Honestly, if I was drafting for real I might have done what I did, or I might have taken B-Phil. SS is barren, but already outfitted with Cano, I looked at Phillips as being my ticket to having another high-caliber MI. All told, I think I did decently there anyway. I kept waiting on SP, but then a bunch flew off the board. I was pretty happy to wind up with Hanson and Latos atop my rotation.

  17. Brad Johnson said...

    For the record, I’m telling everyone who will listen that my selection of Nyjer Morgan was a mistake. I had clicked on him while investigating last round picks and thought I had Erik Bedard selected. I was leaning toward drafting Bedard and Oswalt in that round and I was considering a number of elite setup men too.

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