What fantasy baseball may look like in 2010

Two weeks ago, I got the idea to hold a mock auction for the 2010 fantasy baseball season.

Although it may seem early to begin contemplating next season when we have about six weeks left in the current one, many people who play fantasy baseball have already started to think about next year. In many keeper leagues, the trade deadline has just passed or will be coming soon, and many teams are trying to position themselves for success in 2010.

Sometimes, it’s hard to sort through values when so many things can happen between now and next April, but I figured the best way to get started was to take the “wisdom of crowds” by recruiting a bunch of smart fantasy baseball enthusiasts and conducting a mock draft on my blog. To add to this crowd-sourcing project, I told all of the participants they would be competing for a prize. The masses—that means you—will be voting on the team that did the best job in drafting.

So what players’ stock has risen this year? What players’ stock has fallen? Where will breakouts like Mark Reynolds, Ben Zobrist, Aaron Hill, Justin Upton, Zach Greinke, Wandy Rodriguez and Ubaldo Jimenez be picked next season?

Our first mock draft of 2010 may hold some clues.

We conducted two rounds daily. Each day, I asked the participants to give me a list of the 20 best players remaining, sorted by draft priority. As a result, I was able to not only administer this draft, but also to get inside the participants’ heads and measure variation in their valuations.

For example, on day one, all participants would have drafted Pujols, Hanley, Braun, and Utley in the first round. These guys are solid bets to be there next year. Will Mark Reynolds also be in the cream of the crop? Right now, it’s too early to tell. A couple of drafters had him high. But many others didn’t have him listed as a top 20 player.

From the looks of the draft and into the minds of the participants involved, players whose stock has risen for 2010 and who could escalate higher in the coming months include: Carl Crawford, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Joe Mauer, Ryan Zimmerman, Kendry Morales, Pablo Sandoval, Jayson Werth, Jon Lester, and Javier Vazquez.

In turn, here are some players on the wane whose stock could fall much further than what you see below: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Alex Rios, Jake Peavy, Brandon Webb, and Francisco Rodriguez.

It’s also clear by this draft that second base is experiencing a bit of a renaissance. By round five of this draft, most of the teams had already lined up their second baseman. In contrast, talent at shortstop seems meager, especially with Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins falling to second/third round territory.

What are your thoughts? Who was over-drafted and who deserves the newfound respect? Also, please vote in the poll of who had the best draft. I’ve sorted the draft by rosters. Plus, a prize is on the line.

Round 1

1. The Sports Banter – Albert Pujols

2. Hamboners – Hanley Ramirez

3. The Devil Wears Prado – Ryan Braun

4. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – Chase Utley

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

5. Evil Empire – Mark Reynolds

6. Unruhlies – Alex Rodriguez

7. .Beyond the Box Score – Tim Lincecum

8. He Thrills B. Mills – Carl Crawford

9. The Fat and the Furious – David Wright

10. The Juicy Danglers — Matt Holliday

Round 2

11. The Juicy Danglers — Justin Upton

12. The Fat and the Furious — Prince Fielder

13. He Thrills B. Mills — Miguel Cabrera

14. Beyond the Box Score —Matt Kemp

15. Unruhlies — Ian Kinsler

16. Evil Empire — Evan Longoria

17. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Mark Teixeira

18. The Devil Wears Prado — Jose Reyes

19. Hamboners — Grady Sizemore

20. The Sports Banter — Justin Morneau

Round 3

21. The Sports Banter – Ichiro Suzuki

22. Hamboners – Ryan Howard

23. The Devil Wears Prado – Joe Mauer

24. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – Derek Jeter

25. Evil Empire – Brandon Phillips

26. Unruhlies – Johan Santana

27. Beyond the Box Score – Dan Haren

28. He Thrills B. Mills – Manny Ramirez

29. The Fat and the Furious – Brian Roberts

30. The Juicy Danglers — Jimmy Rollins

Round 4

31. The Juicy Danglers — Ryan Zimmerman

32. The Fat and the Furious — Jason Bay

33. He Thrills B. Mills — Carlos Beltran

34. Beyond the Box Score — Zach Greinke

35. Unruhlies — Roy Halladay

36. Evil Empire — Troy Tulowitzki

37. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Bobby Abreu

38. The Devil Wears Prado — Kevin Youkilis

39. Hamboners — Adrian Gonzalez

40. The Sports Banter — Dustin Pedroia

Round 5

41. The Sports Banter – Josh Hamilton

42. Hamboners – Javier Vazquez

43. The Devil Wears Prado – B.J. Upton

44. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – CC Sabathia

45. Evil Empire – Curtis Granderson

46. Unruhlies – Brian McCann

47. Beyond the Box Score – Ben Zobrist

48. He Thrills B. Mills – Aaron Hill

49. The Fat and the Furious – Lance Berkman

50. The Juicy Danglers — Robinson Cano

Round 6

51. The Juicy Danglers — Joey Votto

52. The Fat and the Furious — Felix Hernandez

53. He Thrills B. Mills — Carlos Lee

54. Beyond the Box Score — Jacoby Ellsbury

55. Unruhlies — Nick Markakis

56. Evil Empire — Victor Martinez

57. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Justin Verlander

58. The Devil Wears Prado — Aramis Ramirez

59. Hamboners — Adam Dunn

60. The Sports Banter — Alfonso Soriano

Round 7

61. The Sports Banter – Alexei Ramirez

62. Hamboners – Cliff Lee

63. The Devil Wears Prado – Josh Beckett

64. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – Nelson Cruz

65. Evil Empire – Adam Jones

66. Unruhlies – Jonathan Papelbon

67. Beyond the Box Score – Nate McLouth

68. He Thrills B. Mills – Yovani Gallardo

69. The Fat and the Furious – Adam Lind

70. The Juicy Danglers — Jayson Werth

Round 8

71. The Juicy Danglers — Matt Cain

72. The Fat and the Furious — Raul Ibanez

73. He Thrills B. Mills — Michael Young

74. Beyond the Box Score — Andrew McCutchen

75. Unruhlies — Kendry Morales

76. Evil Empire — Hunter Pence

77. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Shane Victorino

78. The Devil Wears Prado — Josh Johnson

79. Hamboners — Andre Ethier

80. The Sports Banter — Jon Lester

Round 9

81. The Sports Banter – Adam Wainwright

82. Hamboners – Pablo Sandoval

83. The Devil Wears Prado – Torii Hunter

84. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – Johnny Damon

85. Evil Empire – Mariano Rivera

86. Unruhlies – Alex Rios

87. Beyond the Box Score – Joe Nathan

88. He Thrills B. Mills – Jake Peavy

89. The Fat and the Furious – Chris Carpenter

90. The Juicy Danglers — Shin Soo Choo

Round 10

91. The Juicy Danglers — AJ Burnett

92. The Fat and the Furious — Clayton Kershaw

93. He Thrills B. Mills — Geovany Soto

94. Beyond the Box Score — Ryan Doumit

95. Unruhlies — Cole Hamels

96. Evil Empire — Derrek Lee

97. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Chad Billingsley

98. The Devil Wears Prado — Carlos Quentin

99. Hamboners — Howie Kendrick

100. The Sports Banter — Tommy Hanson

Round 11

101. The Sports Banter – Matt Wieters

102. Hamboners – Russell Martin

103. The Devil Wears Prado – Asdrubal Cabrera

104. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – James Shields

105. Evil Empire – Joba Chamberlain

106. Unruhlies – Vladimir Guerrero

107. Beyond the Box Score – Chipper Jones

108. He Thrills B. Mills – Gordon Beckham

109. The Fat and the Furious – Jason Bartlett

110. The Juicy Danglers — Jered Weaver

Round 12

111. The Juicy Danglers — Wandy Rodriguez

112. The Fat and the Furious — John Lackey

113. He Thrills B. Mills — Jonathan Broxton

114. Beyond the Box Score — Ricky Nolasco

115. Unruhlies — Stephen Drew

116. Evil Empire — Roy Oswalt

117. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Chone Figgins

118. The Devil Wears Prado — Max Scherzer

119. Hamboners — Jarrod Washburn

120. The Sports Banter — Matt Garza

Round 13

121. The Sports Banter – Mark DeRosa

122. Hamboners – Brandon Webb

123. The Devil Wears Prado – Ubaldo Jimenez

124. Dan’s Dukie Blasters – Mike Napoli

125. Evil Empire – Rich Harden

126. Unruhlies – John Danks

127. Beyond the Box Score – Carlos Pena

128. He Thrills B. Mills – Scott Baker

129. The Fat and the Furious – Francisco Rodriguez

130. The Juicy Danglers — Miguel Montero

Round 14

131. The Juicy Danglers — Jose Valverde

132. The Fat and the Furious — Jorge Posada

133. He Thrills B. Mills — Jair Jurrjens

134. Beyond the Box Score — Jhonny Peralta

135. Unruhlies — Dexter Fowler

136. Evil Empire — David Price

137. Dan’s Dukie Blasters — Heath Bell

138. The Devil Wears Prado — Joakim Soria

139. Hamboners — Andrew Bailey

140. The Sports Banter — Brian Fuentes

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Morgan Conrad
12 years ago

I can’t believe that nobody picked Kurt Suzuki for catcher.

12 years ago

Went too high: Reynolds, J Upton, Roberts, Soriano, McCutchen, Kendrick, As Cabrera, Washburn

Went too low: Teixeira, Halladay, Berkman, Ellsbury, Peavy

I like Dan’s Dukie Blasters best. Teixeira’s ADP will be 10 at most next year. Getting him at 17 is laughable.

12 years ago

It’s all about reliability in the early rounds. Teixeira is as reliable as they come. This is not to mention the fact that he’s in a wonderful situation hitting in a very productive lineup in a hitter-friendly park.

I would take Teixeira before all of these players who were drafted before him: Reynolds, Wright, Holliday, J Upton, Fielder, Miggy, Kemp, Kinsler, and Longoria. Crawford and A-Rod are close calls for me too.

12 years ago

How the hell am i supposed to know who was most successful without knowing what stat categories are involved?

eriq Gardner
12 years ago

standard 5×5

12 years ago

Who do you think is too high above Tex besides Reynolds and Upton?

I think it can be argued that everybody except Pujols, Ramirez, Utley and A-Rod, and probably Wright, should go after Tex. Of course, there those who went after Tex who one could argue could go before him as well. Assuming health reports are good, there’s no way I don’t take Reyes or Sizemore ahead of Tex.

Dan’s taking Derek Jeter in the top 25, and Bobby Abreu in the top 40? (Abreu could definitely produce that value, but adjusting for perceived is an important skill too).

If Hamboners has a core of Hanley Ramirez, Grady Sizemore, and Ryan Howard after three rounds, there’s probably a bit too much blue sky thinking going on in this draft, in my opinion.

Overwhelmingly, you will not win your league because you draft Tex instead of Miguel Cabrera (barring injury of course). But, you might lose your league by drafting somebody with Joe Charboneau possibility.

Inside the top 50, floor is more important than ceiling, IMO.

12 years ago

“Inside the top 50, floor is more important than ceiling, IMO.


I’d even argue this is a fact, not an opinion.

12 years ago

Don’t tease me with “auction”

12 years ago

Seeing as my keepers(in a 14 team mixed league) are Hanley Ramirez, Tim Lincecum, Ian Kinsler, and Justin Upton, this article just made me feel very warm and fuzzy inside.

Big Mike
12 years ago

I don’t really think this is an accurate draft, mainly because of the “one closer” thing.  It just seems silly.  And Reynolds going at Number 5 seems even sillier.

Jeff - Beyond the Boxscore
12 years ago

Big Mike—- The list is accurate taking into the context of the draft.  Now if your league has different settings, you can pull out the hitters, SP and RP and use them for an initial ranking.

I did an analysis of my take at: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/8/18/993552/thoughts-on-a-2010-fantasy

The one RP carries way too much weight and that is why they may have been drafted too high.

Jason B
12 years ago

In perusing the rosters my gut instinct was that I liked the Unruhlies best, followed closely by the Hamboners.

Reynolds, BJ Upton, and Alexei Ramirez seemed like stretches to me at their respective draft positions.  Carpenter, Torii Hunter, and Carlos Lee seemed to provide good value.

Dan's Dukie Blasters
12 years ago

In defense of the Jeter and Abreu picks:

-In retrospect I should have gone w/ Rollins for the steals, or just basically punt the position and wait for value. But Jeter provides the position scarcity, consistency and multi-cat skills I was looking for early.
-Abreu is the same story as Jeter: extremely consistent, always gets a ton of R/RBI with solid production everywhere else.

Admittedly I played it ultra-conservative at the beginning. After round 4 I switched gears and picked up a couple awesome arms in rounds 5 and 6. And I am extremely happy with Figgins/Napoli to round out my lineup.

Jeff – my take was that the one closer only rule lowered the value of great closers, or rather all closers. In a normal league you’d presumably draft 2 closers. The difference between #1 and #10 beats the difference between #1 and #20. So the relative value of a batter or SP becomes higher.

Follow up
12 years ago

Sorry, that should read “The difference between #1 and #20 beats the difference between #1 and #10.” In other words, the marginal value of a great closer is less.

I don’t know how many of you play fantasy football, but if you were in a league that started 2 TE instead of the usual 1, wouldn’t that elevate your valuation of all TE, as opposed to reducing it? Someone like Heath Miller would get drafted in pretty much every league, and someone like Jason Witten would have to go earlier due to increased demand.

So, why should going from 2-3 closer spots to 1 increase the demand for a top closer? By all means, if you have a closer you love, take him. But I really don’t think the unusual rules cause a “paradigm shift.”

12 years ago

If Beckham is only going to be eligible at 3b, will he really get picked this high? I own him and am thinking that if he isn’t a MI I should protect someone else

12 years ago

@Follow up I think you may be missing the point.

Yes, the difference between #1 and #20 is bigger than #1 and #10, but the difference between #10 and #20 is much smaller than the difference between #1 and #10.

That’s why the demand for a top guy increases.  When each team has two or three closers, the impact of the top guys is smaller.  It’s a great advantage for the teams at the top, but you have a reasonably good chance of being middle of the pack in saves if you wait to buy cheaper closers with upside because there’s not a huge amount of difference between closers #11 through #25, say.

In a 10 team league with only 1 closer, if you don’t grab a top stud, you may end up with a very good closer, but you’ll still only score 1 point in saves.

Chad Burke
12 years ago

Closers basically give you saves and saves from year to year are completely unpredictable.  If you look at closer rankings from the start of this year and the top-10 closer from the preseason that has fallen the furthest is probably Lidge, who still has 23 saves and, at least for now, a closing gig.  The variation between the guys in the next 10 from the preseason is a much wider range with some guys like Bell, Broxton, Wilson, Street being top notch this year down to guys like BJ Ryan and Kerry Wood who have really struggled.  If you know that nobody else is going to take more than one closer there is no rush since at worst you end up with the #10 guy who is just as likely to be solid in saves for you as a top guy.  It’s like drafting kickers in football when it comes to a thing like this.  Sure you want to get the accurate kicker on a good offense but you could end up with a guy on a crappy offense leading the league by a wide margin.

FWIW, I don’t think there’ll be many that will defend that Justin Upton pick at the 11th pick and not because people don’t think he’s a good player.  It is ridiculous to pick him there because there is no way he isn’t still there when your next set of picks came around at the 3rd/4th turn and he’s probably a bit of an early pick at that spot.  You could have safely picked him a heck of a lot later and still gotten him and upgraded that squad at another position.

12 years ago

I see people raging on david wright. He just isnt hitting home runs because pitchers are not giving him anything to hit cuz if they walk him his protection is gary sheffield…next year if jerry manuel was smart he would put carlos beltran behind him. If this happens I could easily see him getting 25+ home runs.

As much as I like upton seeing as he is one of my keepers…along with wright…11 is a little high for him, I personaly think he is a 3rd rounder.

I dont see how CC would fall that low, especially that far behind grienke

Can someone tell me how my keepers look in a 20 team mix league?… david wright, jose reyes, jacoby ellsbury, johan santana, and jake peavy

12 years ago

Going by this my team in a 16 team Dynasty League looks good for next year.

CA M.Napoli 6.30 (2011)
2B I.Kinsler 5.81 (2011)
3B R.Zimmerman 20.32 (2011)
SS H.Ramirez 27.33 (2011)
OF J.Hamilton 8.13 (2011)
OF B.Zobrist 2.00 (2011)
OF N.Cruz 4.08 (2010)
DH D.Fowler 2.00 (2011)
SP F.Hernandez 14.00 (2011)
SP C.Kershaw 2.00 (2011)
SP J.Shields 9.06 (2011)

I also have B.Abreu and H.Bell but being a Dynasty League, I won’t keep either.