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Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
3/14/2007 01:16:00 PM

Mock Draft -- the SI edition

Alfonso Soriano
Alfonso Soriano surprisingly slipped to the No. 7 overall pick.
Brad Mangin/SI
The latest mock draft for your perusal comes from the halls of Sports Illustrated, where a number of my colleagues got together for a standard 5x5 mixed-league extravaganza.

You can see all the results, plus commentary from all the drafters here.

Some observations from the draft results:
-- The trio of Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard going 7-8-9 in the first round was a bit of a stunner, given all of them seemed to be top-five picks, and on the other end of the spectrum, Joe Mauer taken 10th right after that run was also a surprise.

-- With this roster setup, you can take advantage of that extra corner or middle man spot to load up with two studs at an infield position. David Sabino did that with Albert Pujols and Derrek Lee at first and corner, while Greg Ambrosius loaded up the middle with Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins.

-- Joe Lemire built up a nice 1-2 punch at the top of his rotation with Johan Santana and Carlos Zambrano. You could call his squad Team Venezuela.

-- Peter King cornered the market on players named Chris Young. He also picked up five Japanese players, including Daisuke Matsuzaka, a fifth-round pick.

-- As for other top rookies, Delmon Young went in the eighth round, Alex Gordon went in the 14th round, Troy Tulowitzki in the 17th and Phil Hughes in the 22nd.

Now it's your turn. What do you think of the picks? Who had the best and worst drafts? What were the biggest surprises?
posted by JQ | View comments |  

Comments:

Posted: 4:02 PM, March 14, 2007   by Adam Wood
How in the world is Holiday going ahead of surething sluggers such as Ortiz, Rameriz and Lee? And how does Crawford and Sizemore get ahead of Soriano. Soriano will keep up with them in steals and drasticly post higher HR and RBI numbers.
Sorry Peter, but hanging your power numbers on Beltre, Duncan, and Sizemore isn't going to get it done, and your pitching staff outside of Ryan and Cordero is speculative.
Posted: 4:57 PM, March 14, 2007   by William Gold
Can I say that on behalf of all fantasy baseball enthusiasts I am embarassed that this draft is published? I love King as a writer, but the man honestly doesn't know anything about fantasy sports, or he wouldn't have taken a player he could have gotten in the third round with his first pick. And a catcher in the first round? I've been playing for years, in at least twenty leagues, not to meantion have read countless mock drafts, and never never never have I seen a catcher in the first round. In fact I don't believe I've seen a catcher go in the second round more then twice. Webb in the second? Bonds in the third? Are the draftee's aware of what year this is? Closers in the second round? Closers!
Please, before you draft, go out and do a little research. Even if it's just buying a cheat sheet mag.
Posted: 5:02 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
Who cares. I am sure you will get a ton a posts from irate readers who can't understand how you could diss their favorite players or how you could rate their most hated players so high. But honestly who cares. If this draft upsets anyone, then that person really needs to get some therapy.
Posted: 5:18 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
you're all idiots
Posted: 5:19 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
love Peter King, hate his team. It seemed to me like I was going BLEH after every pick I saw.
Posted: 5:24 PM, March 14, 2007   by Jim Cargle
no one took Millwood or Sowers? Intriguing.
Posted: 5:25 PM, March 14, 2007   by quintjs
I am always stunned in these drafts to see Josh Beckett always go so low. As a #3-4 guy, thats a great pick.

As Luft (i think) said, the K's will be there, and in Boston, so will the wins.

If he can get his curve and changeup for strikes (something he couldn't do in 2006) thats a Cy Young.
Posted: 5:43 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
Looks like you did best. Not that he's gold, but Willy Taveras was cheap at #156
Posted: 5:59 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
Sabino, you're delusional if you think your team is all about power. It seems like you feel that drafting Pujols means that your team is elite no matter what terrible picks you make in the final 22 rounds. 14 starting offensive players and 4 can be considered "sluggers" And you can count on being bottom 3 in pitching stats. As for Peter King.. he's one heckuva football writer. I'm "so" stunned at the number of players on his team with Boston ties.. what a stunner.
Absolutely pathetic and you guys call yourselves experts ?? Mauer at 11th overall,Webb ahead of Jeter and Bonds in the third OUCH.
Posted: 8:44 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
Bonds......why so early? I got him late into the draft in my league.
Posted: 8:51 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
Joe Lemire clearly has the best team of this bunch. His savvy draft skills netted him mashers Adam Dunn and Nick Swisher in Rounds 8 and 12, respectively, which is much later than either should have gone. In addition,stealing future aces Matt Cain and Ervin Santana in Rounds 10 and 14, respectively, speaks volumes about his ability to gauge a player's worth based on a player's potential in addition to his prior performances. Nice work, Mr. Lemire.
Posted: 9:35 PM, March 14, 2007   by Anonymous
Josh Beckett??!! That name and the term "Cy Young" should never be mentioned in the same universe.

You must be out of your mind...or a BOSOX fan.
Posted: 12:45 AM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
Joe Lemire? Not sure about that guy and his picks. He seems like kind of a shmuck. A likeable shmuck, maybe, but that Blalock pick? Lemire must have lived on Shmiscuits for an extended period of time to come up with a pick that dumb. Based on the management he showed in the draft I bet he couldn't even lead a YMCA kids bball team beyond one or two wins.
Posted: 2:24 AM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
I understand that this is supposed to be an SI draft, with SI writers and such... but come on. You can't tell me there's nobody else in the SI family that knows more about fantasy sports than who you have here... I mean there has got to be 10 interns that would pay you to allow them to participate and who have more fantasy knowledge than these guys.

There is really no point in posting these draft results. The reason other fantasy websites do so is because they actually get a group of fantasy "experts" (or at least SOMEWHAT knowledgeable players) together, and show you how they drafted. Mostly to give those who are reading the results some sort of idea what experienced players are going with this year.

This draft, and your past similar fantasy drafts that have been posted (I never thought I'd see a draft worse than the fantasy football one posted here at the start of football season, but even it is no match for this one...) fail to do accomplish this in any way.
Posted: 8:56 AM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
Adam Wainwright going in the 6th rd is absurd. I don't know how you can justify taking him ahead of Bonderman, Hamels, King Felix, etc..Not to mention the fact that he would have been available much later on in the draft. Too many players were going early. I don't have a problem with someone drafting a player they think will have a good year but if you take that player 5 rounds before you could have gotten him, it ruins his "sleeper" status.
Posted: 9:15 AM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
Nobody took Jermaine Dye?
Posted: 10:33 AM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
Dye was taken by Quintong early on.

This is the worst draft I've ever seen.

I could throw darts at a draft board and do better.
Joe Lemire clearly has the best team of this bunch. Blah, blah, blah... Nice work, Mr. Lemire.

Sincerely, Jon
Posted: 11:05 AM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
My guess is that Peter King had too much sake before/during the draft. How did David Ortiz drop so low? He's a MVP candidate every year. And your love for Grady Sizemore is rivaled only by 14 year old girls.
Posted: 1:12 PM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
I'm surprised Jon Garland didn't get drafted. 36 wins the last 2 years, 18 apiece, and a lock for 200 plus innings. It would send me to the waiver wire.
Posted: 2:31 PM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
Bonds, Adam Wainwright and Ian Kinsler went laughably early......it was just a bit of fun obviously. If it wasn't, I'd love some of them in my leagues!
Mike
Posted: 3:44 PM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
I almost stopped reading when I saw Mauer taken 10th and K-Rod going in the second round, but stuck with it. Third round...Bonds? Carlos Guillen ahead of Oswalt and Zambrano? Take this down.
Edwin Encarnacion lasting all the way until the last (276th overall) pick surprised me.
one of the worst drafts ive ever seen...
Posted: 4:45 PM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
i'd expect this crap from a small internet site but actually putting this in a nationally sydincated magazine is just embarrassing.


Other than that i love SI.
Posted: 4:46 PM, March 15, 2007   by Dave from the 'cuse
What makes Mauer a 1st round pick?! His BA is way above average of course, but he's average or below average in every other category (86 runs, 84 RBI, 13 HRs, 8 SBs). Being the best at a position doesn't make a player a 1st rounder, at least when it comes to catcher.

And regarding the comments on Beckett - this guy is the most overrated pitcher in MLB. His stats don't support his rep (i.e. ERA of 5.01 last year).
Posted: 6:10 PM, March 15, 2007   by Anonymous
SI must be clueless to allow you "experts" to publish your "mock draft" on thier website. If I were running a reputable sports magazine, I wouldn't let this garbage anywhere near my trademark. Cosmo could have picked 12 of thier fashion experts, and they could have picked better than this mockery of fantasy sports. The fact that SI actually pays you to give advice about this is absolutely amazing. How David Ortiz went so late, Mauer so early, and a closer in the second round is an absolute joke; not to mention Sizemore at 5. Bonds before Abreu? I could go on and on, but I won't. I will just recommend that all 12 of you drive your short bus off a tall cliff. May God have mercy on your souls.
looks like this draft was mostly filled with people who know and like baseball, but who don't know/care anything about fantasy baseball except with a passing interest for a few weeks every preseason.

sizemore and mauer going in the 1st round, webb and ortiz in the 2nd round, and bonds in the 3rd round are just embarrassing moves. i mean, there will always be picks that people will disagree with and not like, but none of them are actually "wrong" - except for these.
The first thing that jumped out at me was Sizemore in the first at the fifth pick overall. I love Sizemore and he may actually live up to that pick if he gets to hit in the middle of the lineup. Brandon Webb being picked in the beginning of the second round is also a big stretch. Carpenter went 21 picks later and the fact that Webb was drafted this high after his Cy Young season shows that there's some hype here. Barry Bonds in the 3rd is another unbelievable pick. Prince Fielder in the 10th and Josh Barfield in the 11th are great picks. Ervin Santana in the 14th and Adrian Gonzalez in the 15th are great value as well. Whenever there are reaches like there were early in the draft there is value to be had later. Don't be the reacher in your draft, try to be the guy that gets the mid to late round value that can win you your league. You can't win your league in the first few rounds but you can lose it there.
Posted: 3:00 AM, March 16, 2007   by Anonymous
Peter King is absolutely nuts with his draft. Picking Ichiro that early was crazy since Ichiro's getting older and his SB's will likely dip into the 20's, which doesn't come close to offsetting his extreme lack of HR and RBI's. Sure "watching him play" is fun as Peter states, but that is no reason to draft someone. Unless you don't mind losing.

You can tell this guy is a Boston fan with picks like Ortiz, Matsuzaka, Arroyo, Lugo, and Nomar. Ortiz is a great pick, but those others are suspect. Lugo and Nomar?? Nomar is way out of his league as a Fantasy first baseman. Peter acknowledges that he was desperate there since he had no 1B player, so I'll buy that explanation. Arroyo is not likely to come close to repeating last year's performance, and so I think he was drafted too early. And having Lugo at SS means that he waited too long to draft a SS since there was a ton of depth at that position. Come to think of it, this same thing happened at first base. There is so much depth at first base and shortstop. How can he possibly go through a draft and screw up both positions by waiting too long? It's not like this is 2B or C where there are only a handful of good players.

And what's the deal with all the unknown quantities? Matsuzaka, Igawa, Iwamura, Hughes, Young. Some of these guys like Young look like good risks, but you can't take that many guys who you've never seen before in a regular season MLB game. Peter picked Igawa because "I have no idea if he's any good." And Peter's explanation for drafting Iwamura is very similar: "I have no idea who this guy is." Ok Peter, then why the hell did you draft these guys?????

And his rationale for drafting Cordero is laughable. It doesn't matter if this guy pitches in a pitcher's park, the botttom line is that he pitches for the worst team in baseball. The saves will be scarce unless he is traded to Boston. And Otsuka was picked too early for a guy that might not even get a chance to save many games this year.

It's shocking how weak this lineup really is. Ortiz is the only mega power guy in the group, and there are way too many guys that won't crack 20 Homeruns.

And someone should have told him that Brian Cashman constantly says that Phillip Hughes will preferably spend the entire year in AAA, and at the earliest you won't see him in a Yankee uniform until midseason. The Yankees are not going to rush this guy. They will give Jeff Karstens a callup early in the season before they even think of going to Hughes. Peter even acknowledges the possibility that Hughes might not even be called up this year. Then why did you draft him?

And Sizemore is a solid player and probably Peter's next best player after Ortiz, but he was drafted much too early. Utley, Soriano, Howard, or Alex Rodriguez all would have been better picks. Oh but I forgot, Sizemore is another player that Peter drafted because he likes to watch him play.

His explanation for picking Biggio is absurd: "Met him in Florida. Said to self: 'Pick this man on every team you own.'" Ok well if you met Darin Erstad in Florida and were presumably impressed with his moxy, would you draft him as well? Go ahead and draft David Eckstein while you're at it. The guy has a ton of heart!

Peter states that Adrian Beltre is the most unpredictable player in baseball. Well first of all that is a false statement. For example, Chris Duncan is more unpredictable since he has had far fewer MLB at-bats than Beltre, and so it is logically more difficult to predict his performance based on the low number of career at-bats. And obviously along those lines there are other players that are much more unpredictable than Adrian Beltre. Furthermore even if I do grant you that premise, it is still generally a bad idea to pick unpredictable players in Fantasy baseball.

And sorry Peter, but the surprising power surge that Chris Duncan had last year was more of a result of things that happen due to a small sample size of at-bats. Is this guy even going to be a starter in St. Louis? I honestly don't know. But his minor league history suggests that he is not likely to smash 30 HR's with 100+ RBIs as you predict, even if he does get regular at-bats.

And here is Peter's explanation for picking Francis: "Someday, a Rockies pitcher will win the Cy Young. Not this one, though." Ok that's nice. Now can you tell me why you drafted him? I'm sure there's some other reason other than the fact that he won't win a Cy Young award this year.

It's one thing for me to criticize Peter for picking guys like Arroyo or Ichiro where it is more or less my opinion that those guys won't be great this year, just like it is Peter's opinion that those guys will be great players. However, Peter has shown with a lot of his other picks that he has no clue what he is doing.

To sum it all up, Peter King drafts a given player according to the following criteria:

1. Peter has no idea who the player is.

2. Peter likes to watch him play.

3. Peter thinks the player is unpredictable.

4. Peter met the player in Florida.

5. Peter is sure that this player will not win a Cy Young award.

6. Peter thinks the player could stay in the minors for most of the season.

7. The player's name is Chris Young.

8. The player pitches in Petco or RFK stadium.

9. The player is Japanese.

10. The player is Rod Barajas.


Last year was the first time I've ever done Fantasy baseball but I already feel like I'm way better than Peter King at this stuff. I enjoy Peter's football column, but in the future whenever Peter makes any comments in his MMQB about baseball (as he usually does), I just don't think I can take the guy seriously. And once again, you're picking Biggio because you met him in Florida???
Posted: 10:06 AM, March 16, 2007   by Jeff Hickok
This is definitely one of the worst Mock Drafts of all time. Did you guys us cheatsheets or have any kind of list to use or just pick guys off the top of your head. If I need anyone to fill a spot in my league I will be contacting SI to fill the spot.
I’m not sure what is going on with some of the folks who are posting on this issue. Sure, there were a couple mistakes (Bonds going so early being the biggest)… but in general it was a reasonable draft. I am surprised at so many folks commenting on the selection of Mauer early on - fantasy baseball is a game of statistics… placing Mauer early in your draft gives you an opportunity to maximize your statistics at the catcher position. There are only a couple other positions in baseball (namely shortstop) which significantly benefit from early selection. In plain English, filling the “offensively deprived” positions of catcher and shortstop early in the draft is more beneficial than filling another position where a player’s stats are, in actuality, only slightly better than someone you can draft in the next round. The only exception would be if you are fortunate to be able to draft someone who gets monster numbers (e.g. Pujols).

I would venture that a lot of folks with the negative feedback of your draft did, in fact, win their leagues (congrats). I would also venture that they came nowhere close to winning the overall prize; take Yahoo Fantasy Baseball for example… when you look the top-100 final, overall teams, the average response will be, “they won with those players?” That’s because their owners took the time to balance-out a team that would get them the most points statistically. The critics to your draft would have a field day if they saw how those top-100 (even top 1000) drafted. Obviously, these folks also do a superb job maintaining (not neglecting) their teams.
Posted: 3:06 PM, March 16, 2007   by Anonymous
"placing Mauer early in your draft gives you an opportunity to maximize your statistics at the catcher position."

Actually it will maximize your batting average at the catcher position, and possibly runs... Other than that, there will be other catchers who will hit more HRs, get more RBIs, and steal more bases, even if it's just a few when it comes to SBs.

In the mean time you pass up on someone like ummm, lets say in this draft David Ortiz, who will play 30 more games than Mauer, get 30 more HRs, 50 More RBIs, 30 More Runs, and hit for 300+.

You're going to sit there and actually claim that picking Mauer early so that your CATCHER who is going to play less games than any non-catcher that you could possibly take instead, whom has ONLY a better Batting Average than everyone else's catcher in the league, and whom is lagging behind in every other statistic compared to other catchers (many of which can be had after round 10 might I add), makes taking Mauer within the top 3 rounds viable? Right.

You enjoy that contribution to your overall batting average, while people with even a slight bit of intelligence will be enjoying their top 3 picks actually helping them in more than just a single stat.
Posted: 4:43 PM, March 17, 2007   by Anonymous
what bunch of idiots.
Posted: 5:24 PM, March 17, 2007   by Anonymous
This is an absolute embarassment to the magazine. More than half the writers didn't know a thing about fantasy baseball. I could have entered this draft and won the league easily. None of the drafters had any concept of where players would be drafted and simply picked players they liked. This is something I would expect out of a bunch of 5th graders doing a draft.
Analyzing a mock draft such as this one with so-called experts has a lot of value, especially for those players who haven't drafted yet or want to see how their cheat sheet holds up. It can be a pretty valuable tool.

The value of this mock draft is about zero. My response to anyone who would take Mauer in the first round would be "We have his entry fee, right?" Then after taking Bonds in the third, "Is it the 12th round already? I must've blacked out."

By allowing people who have no clue about fantasy baseball, that negated most of the benefits of this draft being published. Sheesh, you'd be better off getting an absolute nobody to draft instead of claiming this was an SI "experts" draft!
Posted: 12:03 AM, March 19, 2007   by Anonymous
Why would anyone take Mauer 10th when he's virtually guaranteed to be there 15th?
Posted: 7:53 PM, March 19, 2007   by Anonymous
Could this actually be the one and only Tony "Get Me My Prizes" Finn.
I couldn't read past the second round... actually I felt sorry for any enthused participant who suddenly found himself having to endure what would ultimately end up being a huge waste of time... unless there was money on the table, in which case having morons and suckers at the table is a very good thing.
Posted: 12:07 PM, March 22, 2007   by Anonymous
This is the worst Mock Draft Ever.
Posted: 8:02 AM, March 26, 2007   by Anonymous
this mock draft is a tragedy. it's like a fantasy baseball 9/11.

and everyone who said peter king doesnt know anything about fantasy baseball...you're absolutely right. his picks are horrible. grady sizemore his #1 lol cmon peter you're supposed to be a respected sports expert what are doin?
Posted: 4:26 PM, March 29, 2007   by Anonymous
Can someone explain to me why Corey Patterson was selected that high?
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