In Round One of the mock draft I’m conducting with a group of fantasy bloggers, I took Troy Tulowitzki. In Rounds Two and Three, I snagged Mike Stanton and my first starting pitcher, Felix Hernandez. In Rounds Four and Five, I took Pablo Sandoval and Brian McCann. This morning, I found my team long on offense (with a solid defense to boot), but low on pitching.
In the sixth round, I had my eye on Alex Gordon, whom I see repeating his brilliant 2011 this year, but Gordon went 81st overall, the last pick before mine. My heartbreak was quelled when I noticed that Yovani Gallardo, the top pitcher left on my board, was still available. Gallardo struck out 207 batters in 207 innings in 2011, and at age 26, may be poised to take that next step to superstardom.
Five picks later, my next outfield crush, Desmond Jennings, was swept up, but again the pitcher I most coveted was still there. I took Madison Bumgarner, who was one ugly outing away from a sub-3 ERA in 2011. His strikeout (8.4), walk (2.02), and home run (0.53) rates were all superb, helping him to 5.5 wins above replacement per Fangraphs. I’m not sure he’ll get much better than that, but if his underlying numbers are just as good at age 22 as they were at 21, he could be in for a 2.80 ERA and 18 wins next year.
My five favorite picks of the day:
1) Stephen Strasburg going 72nd overall to Clave. Will this be the year he strikes out 250?
2) Alex Avila going 89th to Eddie Mayrose. Anyone remember his outstanding 2011?
3) Kevin Youkilis going 78th to Jeremy Manning. I thought Youk was too risky, but 78th?!
4) Adam Wainwright going 79th to Pat Adair. If he’s half the pitcher he was before last year’s surgery, he’s an ace.
5) Joe Mauer going 74th to Ryan Dross. I would have picked Mauer 1st or 2nd had I done this last year, and I would have been burned, but for a Twins fan to be able to get him in the sixth round this year must have been a thrill.