Intriguing shakeup for August mock draft

Jon Jay and Joaquin Benoit are two players you may have heard little or nothing about.

But Jay is the St. Louis Cardinals’ regular right fielder these days, and all the 25-year-old second-round pick has done is rack up a 1.065 on-base-plus-slugging number against lefties, and a 1.008 OPS vs. righties. The lefty swinger hit .431 in July, and now has four outfield assists against no errors in 115 at-bats. Jay’s performance induced the Cardinals to trade Ryan Ludwick in an exchange that netted them starter Jake Westbrook.

Benoit, a 33-year-old righty, has been flying under the radar as a middle reliever with Tampa, but he’s posted some mind-boggling numbers that suggest a potentially hitless card: In 37 innings pitched, just 14 hits allowed (.115 BAA and 0.54 WHIP), while striking out 53. He’s equally ridiculous against both righties and lefties.

Congratulations, Jon and Joaquin. You’ve made the Watch List for the 2011 I-75 League Mock Draft, August installment.

That’s right, not just anybody can crack our Dynamic Dozen, and although three new faces appear this month, Jay and Benoit are not among them. Keep it up though boys, there’s always next month. Without further ado:

1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington (last month’s rank: 1) — His injury isn’t serious and he’ll be back on the mound in mid-month. The guy can throw four pitches for strikes, is a tough competitor, and no one in their right mind would take a pass on the guy many experts expect to be the pitching star for the next decade.

2. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta (LMR: 2) — Heyward had a strong July with a .457 on-base month against righties, raising his mark in that category from .394 to .406. He sports an .894 OPS vs. RHPs. Dynamic. 

3. Trevor Cahill, RHP, Oakland (LMR: 12) — Cahill rockets up the charts from 12 to 3 after posting a 0.89 WHIP and .166 BAA in July. For the season he now carries a 1.01 WHIP, a .196 BAA and a .579 OPS.

4. Buster Posey, C-1B, San Francisco (LMR: 9) — Posey improves dramatically too because now he’s seeing increased action behind the plate, with Bengie Molina having been dealt to Texas. Posey hit a ridiculous .417 in July and is hitting .355 for the season in exactly 200 at- bats. He carries left/right OPS values of 1.003 and .921.

5.  Colby Lewis, SP, Texas (LMR: 3) — Lewis slips, but just a bit, after a 1.32 WHIP in July, bringing him down to 1.13 overall. Still, he’s nice and balanced and 1.13 is a great number.

6. Brett Gardner, OF, N.Y. Yankees (LMR: 4) — Gardner’s on-base numbers in July slid just a tad and he’s no longer over .400, but we’ll take left-right values of .391/.398.

7. Aubrey Huff, 1B-OF, San Francisco (LMR: 7) — We wanted to move Huff up in the rankings — he had a studly 8-HR month, hitting .367 and OPS-ing at 1.155) — but there was nowhere to go with the guys above him and Huff’s still dubious defensive value. But this guy brings it all to the plate: Against lefties, .311/.387/.534; against righties, .309/.403/.557. Someone’s gonna get a helluva hitter at No. 7.

8. Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit (LMR: 6) — Jackson’s on-base average has fallen 14 points to .385, but he remains awful against lefties. He’s very volatile in these rankings; can improve significantly or drop out completely in the next two months.

9. Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland (LMR: eight)  — After starting the year with a 1.179 OPS, Santana posted just a .692 OPS in July. He still kills righties to the tune of a 1.016 OPS. His OPS vs. lefties is a piddly .593, but it’s not so bad at a platoon position like catcher, unlike centerfield.

10. Jose Bautista, 3B-RF, Toronto (LMR: not ranked) — Bautista’s numbers cannot be ignored any longer after he started hitting for average in addition to power. After socking 11 homers and OPS-ing at 1.183 in July, Bautista can boast of a .998 OPS vs. righties currently. He also has nine outfield assists in 72 games.

11. Carl Pavano, SP, Minnesota (LMR: not ranked) — At age 34 he’s no spring chicken, but someone will surely be looking for a solid starter by this pick, and Pavano fills the bill with a 1.03 WHIP and .238 BAA overall.

12. Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs (LMR: not ranked) — Moved to the top of the order behind fellow rookie Tyler Colvin, Castro hit .361/.398/.546 in July to get his offensive numbers into first-round consideration. He’s hitting .305, with OPS splits of .787/.791, pretty solid for a shortstop. Considering he’s only 20 years old, and that he’ll improve over time on his defense (currently 14 errors), Castro is a potential SS to count on for a dozen or more years.

Dropped out: No. 5 Brennan Boesch, No. 10 Gaby Sanchez, No. 11 Tyler Colvin.

Watch list: Mike Stanton, Leo Nunez, Pedro Alvarez, Madison Bumgarner, Evan Meek, Jon Jay and Joaquin Benoit.

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3 Responses

  1. Okay, so now what?

  2. Well, what does a second DL trip mean to Strasburg’s status oh Mock Draft God?

    • It means…. nothing! Strasburg said he would have this same kind of twinge in college and keep pitching. The Nats are just being overly cautious.

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