Why I won’t be doing a mock draft this year

It’s become an annual tradition, this mock draft thing, in which I try to peer into the crystal ball to project or predict which players will be taken in roughly which order in the annual I-75 Strat-O-Matic League draft.

It’s been a fun exercise, sparked a lot of conversation, and helped inform the Clips as well as we mapped out our strategy.

But now that we are less than 30 days from Draft Day, we’re here to tell you we’re not doing a mock draft this year. Or perhaps any year going forward.

Here’s why.

For one thing, it’s time. I happen to be really swamped with work this year with Olympics going on, and though I’ve covered Olympics before, I have a smaller pool of resources to draw from now and that leads to more hours for myself. As a result, I’ve done very little draft preparation to this point, and will really be cramming the last week and a half leading up to the draft.

And though any mock draft or opinion/analysis-related piece is always going to draw hoots and hollers, that has never bothered me. But it shows there are no shortage of experts out there who are even more capable than me of scoping out the first round and figuring out who the best draft choices are. Anyone who wants to publicize their mock draft projections can send them along for publishing consideration.

But here’s the thing. The other experts tend to publish ‘rankings’ more than a mock draft. A mock draft assigns a player to a particular team. That requires assessing the needs of that team. And, more importantly, revealing something about your own intentions, if your mock draft includes your own club.

That’s the part I struggle with, even moreso this year, having two picks in the first round.

I can put on my objective hat, analyze teams — including my own — calculate cards, read up on prospects, and figure out the best match for each team. But in doing so, I reveal the Paperclips’ plans, if I’m being honest with myself.

The Web site manager in me wants to do that, but the Paperclips manager in me doesn’t. This format requires me to either play my cards for all to see, or to be deceptive (essentially, dishonest) and write around my plans.

Neither one of those is a good option, so for now, I’m going to take Door No. 3 and just not do a mock draft this close to the draft.

I am not saying that revealing my own team’s plans has had any impact on how other teams have drafted in past years, or that I lost players I wanted because of publishing the mock draft; I am not claiming to be so smart. I just want to remove that potential conflict and that potential doubt.

Let’s Draft!


4 Responses

  1. […] Don’t call it a mock draft. We said we weren’t doing mock drafts anymore. […]

  2. […] Roselli said it would, starting with Hickory’s selection of Marlins starter Jose Fernandez. Phil nailed 14 of the 15 first-round picks, missing only on Wisconsin’s selection of Ervin Santana, a pick borne out of a last-minute […]

  3. 1. Destin: Jose Fernandez. No-brainer here. Mark has resisted all overtures so far to part with the first pick so far (I speak from experience), and appears locked in on the Marlins’ young phenom. Mark, if your resolve is wavering, you know where to find me.

    2. South Grand Praire: Josh Donaldson. A bit of a curve ball here. Garth has a squad that is loaded for bear in 2014, except for one position: David Freese, you ARE the weakest link. Puig or Meyers will tempt, but Donaldson is a unique card in the set that rounds out the Warriors, and SGP already has Nava, Gomez and Stanton to patrol his OF. Surprise pick of the draft has Donaldson going to SGP.

    3. Hickory: Wil Myeers. Back to back picks for retooling Hickory, which now has a dilemma (or a dilemna– how do you spell it? May depend on where you grew up) that it didn’t expect to have. Mike Willie could snap up both Myers and Puig and be set in the OF for a long time. But Mr. Wilson, a fan of that old movie “The Karate Kid,” feels he “must bring balance.” In past rebuild drafts he has shown a penchant to go hitter/pitcher in similar situations (witness Pineda/Hosmer a few years back). In addition, Mr. Wilson, like all of us, has patrolled the roto wires leading up to draft and learend that Mr. Puig has shown up at Dodgertown at 251 lbs., 26 lbs. heavier than his playing weight last season. So, Mr. Wilson, having followed the minor league career of all former KC Royals, goes Wil Meyers here.

    4. Hickory: Michael Wacha. Mike Willie LOVES those young arms as much as anyone in the league. He watched the post-season last year like the rest of us. He saw Wacha’s run down the stretch. Must bring balance. Hitter-Pitcher at 3/4 (no jokes about waxing on and waxing off here).

    5. Applegate: Yasiel Puig. Gary would have preferred Donaldson to be sure, and cleared the decks for him with the trade of Adrian Beltre to Springfield. But he will be more than happy to add the uber-toolsy phenom Puig to his roster, hire him a dietician, and hope to snag Chris Johnson in the 2nd round.

    6. Applegate: Gerrit Cole. Debated here over whether Gary would take Cole or Shelby Miller, who has more IP. My crystal ball says former # 1 overall pick Cole, who possesses better splits and a presumed higher upside, despite having fewer IP.

    7. Bushwood Jurickson Profar. This one seems easy, the rebuilding Gophers snatch up Mega Rangers prospect still just 21– he actually just TURNED 21 last Thursday on 2/20.

    8. Satellite Beach: Christian Yelich. Steve lives in Florida and knows all about the young Mr. Yelich, and will need help in the OF, particularly going forward, with Alfonos Soriano and Nick Swisher not looking like long term solutions at this point. Caveat: 50/50 the Strat Colonel already has a deal in place to move up from 10 to 8 and snag Yelich. Either way I see Yelich going here, barring other trades.

    9. Iowa: Trevor Rosenthal. Iowa is also loaded this year, and needs a third OF, and a bullpen. With the coveted Yelich off the board, young Renbarger taps Rosenthal, hoping, as many have predicted, that he is the second coming of Craig Kimbrel.

    10. Savannah: Xander Bogaerts. If (and it is a big if) the Colonel doesn’t move up to take Yelich, he will find it hard to pass on budding Bosox star Bogaerts. It’s not like he needs help at SS right now as he has the flying Ramirez brothers, Hanley and Alexei, but in about 3 years Bogaerts would be looking darn good as a fixture at SS in the Savannah infield.

    11. Michigan: Jose Iglesias. SOOOO close; so very close. All signs point to Iglesias for the Moneyballers. Ken loves Tigers. Ken loves defense. If he adds Iglesias he will have a 1 at every single position except for first base (this is how I figured Ken, of everyone in the league, would be interested in Russell Martin when I posted him for sale). He actually had to CUT some 1 fielders at cutdown in Cain and Escobar. There are just no 1 fielders to be had at 1B, so Michigan will have to live with Brandon Belt and his leaden 2e10 defense out there.

    12. Wisconsin: Shelby Miller. Wisconsin has a full team around the field and a full bullpen, but needs some more SP. Welcome Mr. Miller. * starter Ervin Santanna is also a possibility, but Miller brings almost as many IP, and a future.

    13. Superior: Yan Gomes. Joe Mauer is moving to first base, along with half of Superior’s roster. Yan Gomes fits beautifully for Superior this year, and in the future. Perfect platoon partner for Mauer, and Superior’s catcher of the future.

    14. Bushwood: Sonny Gray. Renbo watched those AL playoffs as well, and saw Mr. Gray match Justin Verlander pitch for pitch. Another nice fit for the rebuilding Gophers. “Sonny, thank you for the joy that you’re bringing me!”

    15. Margaritaville: Danny Salazar. Doc Grid loves those young arms as well, and expect him to take whichever one drops. 100 mph fastball is a good place to start.

  4. We will all miss Gary’s mock draft, but I certainly understand his situation, especially this year. He was in a tough spot with his mock drafts in years past and would have really been giving away too much info this year with two early picks. Maybe somebody with no picks until No. 14 should step up…
    Gopher Dave

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