Mock Draft Watch List

OK, we’ve given you picks 1-12… now here are some guys who were considered for the Dynamic Dozen but just missed the cut, thus comprising our Mock Draft Watch List:

Mike Stanton, OF, Florida — Was No. 12 on our starter list a week ago, bumped off at deadline by Trevor Cahill. Continue reading

Mock Draft projections 10-12

We continue with the final three projected picks in the 2011 I-75 League Mock Draft…

10. Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Florida. In recent years, Marlins pitchers have been hot commodities as early-round draft picks. Now it might be the hitters’ turn. Sanchez has already racked up 268 at-bats, so we know his numbers are no fluke: .925 OPS vs. lefties, .817 vs. righties. He’s on pace for close to 20 homers and 35-40 doubles. He’s got 3 steals, so he’s not going  to be a lumbering clod. His error total (6) is a bit of a concern, but no worse than the average first baseman. And at 26, he’s got some seasoning.

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Mock Draft projections 7-9

We continue with the next three projected picks in the 2011 I-75 League Mock Draft…

7. Aubrey Huff, 1B/OF, San Francisco. Huff would have to be having a pretty darn good season for us to violate our new rule about not picking less-than-stellar defensive players in our top 12. And he is. Especially against righties, at .302-.399-.536.  He’s made no outfield errors this year while notching two assists. He’s played more games at 1B than OF to this point but for the rest of the year it looks like he’ll see more playing time in the outfield.

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2011 Mock Draft projections 4-6

We continue with the next three projected picks in the 2011 I-75 League Mock Draft…

4. Brett Gardner, OF, N.Y. Yankees. Why Gardner? Mostly because among this tier of players, he has a track record and we can reasonably expect him to have satisfactory defensive ratings. His 2010 card rated him at 2(-1)e5 in CF, and as 1-17 runner, *2-6 (19-15) stealer and a B/C bunter/hit-and-run guy. We don’t know what we’re getting defensively with some of the other projected high picks to come. And a year ago we saw how we projected guys like Chris Coghlan and Garrett Jones to go high based on their offense, but they tumbled in the draft (fifth round and third round respectively) because of their (lack of) defense. No such worries with Gardner, who will sit nicely atop somebody’s order with his current .424 on-base average against righties. Very little pop, but he should finish with at least 50 stolen bases. Continue reading

The first 2011 Mock Draft is here

So here it is, the mock draft you’ve been waiting for, and the question for the 2011 I-75 League Draft probably won’t be, “who’s No. 1?” but rather, “who’s No. 3?” It’s pretty clear who the top two picks are going to be, and short of Bryce Harper getting signed and called to the majors, it’s hard to see how the top two spots will change at all between now and March. Things get a lot dicier when trying to project spots 3-12.

1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington. No stats are necessary. Have you heard anybody say a negative thing about him? When there’s this much agreement that he has the best shot at being the league’s marquee pitcher over the next decade, you have to slot him No. 1.

2. Jayson Heyward, OF, Atlanta. A five-tool player, just 20 years old, and currently boasting a .394 OBA vs. RHPs.  Currently not hitting for average, doesn’t have an outfield assist, and is not hitting lefties. But could you do any of those things when you were 20? Continue reading

What should it say on your Strat tombstone?

After seeing countless gb (X) rolls to my 2 at ss and my 2 at 2b go through for hits this year, I call first dibs on “SINGLE PAST THE DIVING FIELDER!” as my Strat epitaph.

Which phrase commonly associated with Strat-O-Matic or the I-75 League should appear on your tombstone?

Strasburg takes an ‘L’ despite ‘best outing, by far’

That’s according to Nationals’ TV analyst Rob Dibble, who noted that in Strasburg’s fourth start, Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals, Strasburg consistently worked out of  jams despite allowing nine hits in six innings of work (while fanning nine).

Strasburg threw 95 pitches, 75 for strikes, without walking a batter. Dibble noted that the Royals are a contact-hitting team, and they basically stuck their bats out for many of their hits Wednesday. They scored in the fifth on three consecutive two-out hits.

After the game, Dibble and fellow MASN TV analyst Ray Knight got into a bit of a verbal sparring match on the air, with Knight suggesting that Strasburg got into trouble by throwing too many strikes — including good pitches on 0-2 counts that the Royals fought off for hits. Dibble argued there’s no such thing as throwing too many strikes when you throw in the high 90s. Watch the dispute here.

The Nationals were hurt by having a runner, Roger Bernadina, thrown out at home on a questionable umpiring call that would have tied the game.

Then also failed to score in the fifth after a first-and-third, nobody out situation, when down 1-0, manager Jim Riggleman elected to let Strasburg bat with two outs and men on second and third, despite Strasburg having already thrown more than 80 pitches on a mid-90 degree day (late afternoon start time).

Riggleman later said if Strasburg’s position had come up with one out, he would have pinch-hit for him, but with two outs he thought the chances of scoring were lessened and he wanted to keep Strasburg in the game.

Strasburg, who earlier in the game collected his first major league hit, grounded out to end the threat. (Yes, there is video of that too.)

Strasburg now has 41 Ks in his first four starts, another major-league record. Watch video of him mowing down the Royals here.

The winning pitcher, by the way, in KC’s 1-0 game, was Applegate’s Brian Bannister, the focus of a cover story in USA TODAY on Tuesday about his use of advanced metrics in trying to improve his pitching.

Will Strasburg be projected as the No. 1 pick in next year’s I-75 League draft? Stay tuned for our early Mock Draft predictions coming later this week.