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Check out Rotoman’s Fantasy Baseball Guide 2023.

ASK ROTOMAN: Panik Attack

How did Joe Panik not get drafted in your mock draft in the Guide?

“Ordinary Joe”

Shocking, isn’t it? I have a few ideas, which may be of interest to those who follow mock and industry drafts.

  1. When you draft in November, there are no rankings. So the draft software (, thank you very much) throws up a list based off of who knows what. This doesn’t much matter early, when everyone is working off their own lists, but in the frenzy and late night (of all our souls) it is human nature to lean on the list in the endgame. Panik must have been ranked down the list after missing two months, and was overlooked.
  2. He’s just not ranked that highly. In last night’s Tout Wars Mixed Draft, he was taken in the 20th round. With the last pick in the 20th round. That’s number 300 overall. I think we may be undervaluing the power surge he showed before he was hurt last year, but that placement has been pretty consistent. If he hits 12-15 homers and .300+ someone (in this case Rudy Gamble) is going to be very happy.
  3. Not many 2B were taken in the endgame. Scarcity means those who are taken are taken earlier, and makes it easier for someone to slip through. In the last three rounds of the mock, after Panik’s place in Tout, the only second basemen taken were Micah Johnson and Jurrickson Profar.


There’s Going To Be A Mock Draft Tonight! UPDATE.

This is not a song by the Eagles.

Jimi at Couch Managers, a fine mock draft site, has invited a bunch of roto experts for a 5×5 draft tonight (February 3) at 8pm ET.

You can watch if you want at Couch Managers, and you might want to. The draft and chat room will be visible. This will not be a caucus.

The lineup is full of personality and includes  Cory Schwartz, Adam Ronis, Tim Heaney, Gene McCaffrey, Joel Henard, Doug Anderson, Tim McLeod, Paul Sporer, Mike Gianella, Lawr Michaels, Ryan Bloomfield, and Chris O’Brien, plus someone named big magoo, from Razzball. Oh, and I’m playing, too.

The draft is over. You can see the results here.

UPDATED: The upshot: I took Kershaw with No. 5. Scherzer went at 15. There was then a pause, and then near the end of Round 2 pitchers started to fall off the board.  All the shiny bubbles, the most desired players (Cory Seager went No. 30) kept being taken in the round ahead of where I had them ranked and so I ended up drafting boring productive hitters, until I had enough of them. Guys like JD Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez, Cargo. Closers went early, too. We really need some research on these different approaches. Do they matter? After all, if everyone is taking pitchers early the hitters they’re not taking early will be there later.

If you look at the draft, feel free to comment on who did best in the comments (and why).

Tim Heaney’s Real Mock Draft Simulation

FFG15-coverIn the Fantasy Football Guide 2015 Professional Edition mock draft, we had a glitch (as discussed earlier on the corrections page). Tim Heaney, sportswriter at USA Today, friend, and all around good guy, was unable to connect with the draft room, and his team was autopicked.

The problem was that we did not have time to gather another 14 fantasy experts and have another mock draft, and while Tim’s team was not one he would have picked in a million years, it wasn’t a total joke. Tim agreed to comment on his autopicks, and we decided to run with what we had.

Kind of like having an online draft with 13 regs and that one guy who always screws up.

While writing this up for the correction page it occurred to me that I should have had Tim write up who he would have taken with each of his picks, if he’d actually been drafting. Shoulda, but I didn’t, then. But I did this week, and here are the guys Tim says he would have picked if he’d been able (he had the 12th pick) :

1 Calvin Johnson WR1

2 C.J. Anderson RB1

3 Keenan Allen WR2

4 C.J. Spiller RB2

5 Matthew Stafford QB1

6 Charles Sims RB3

7 Charles Johnson WR3

8 David Johnson RB4

9 Pierre Garcon WR4

10 Tyler Eifert TE1

11 Danny Woodhead RB5

12 Rueben Randle WR5

13 Jameis Winston QB2

14 Dan Herron RB6

15 Indianapolis Colts DT1

16 Matt Prater PK


Guest Post: The Baseball Prospectus Mixed Mock

I received the following in email earlier today. It is a computer generated analysis of the Mock I did for Baseball Prospectus earlier this week. I can’t contest the wisdom of the machine, which will someday replace the fantasy experts at CBSsports, at least. I apparently have a terrible team. But its writing is dismal.

I do hope they send out a story after the season, showing how these teams actually did, and how good or bad their analysis actually was.

Draft Recap

By CBSsports Interactive

Thanks to players like Jose Altuve, Brian Walton are the team to beat
Thanks to players like Jose Altuve, Brian Walton are the team to beat

The final victory is still up for grabs, but Brian Walton have taken a good first step, winding up with the top ranked draft. Coach Walton’s squad, led by Jose Altuve, are projected to wind up with 120 category points. That’s 55 more points than you are projected to come up with. You will have all year to prove us wrong, but for now, you are slated to finish in last place.

Bret Sayre are expected to be better than that overall, and much better on the outfielders front, where they have the best group in the league. Coach Sayre can trot out Andrew McCutchen, Michael Brantley, and George Springer into the starting lineup. Steve, meanwhile, are the worst in the league in that area, with Allen Craig, Melvin Upton, and Drew Stubbs gracing the starting lineup. Coach Moyer won’t be able to blame outside factors for that soft spot in the roster either, given that they had the 2nd easiest path through the draft.

Speaking of draft difficulty, you had it pretty rough, as you ended up with less value available to you than all but two other teams. You had to watch as good value picks like David Price, J.D. Martinez, and Dallas Keuchel were snatched right before it was your turn.

Turning to individual picks, we tapped Steve as having made the best pickup with Cliff Lee in the 169th slot. He was projected to be off the board a full 85 picks earlier. On the other hand, Fake Teams made the worst move of the draft. Coach Guilfoyle selected Starlin Castro with the 57th pick, which we pegged as a serious reach.

Your best pickup of the draft was Corey Kluber, who was expected to have been selected in the 25th slot, but who you got with pick #39. However, you mixed in some duds as well, the worst of whom was Daniel Murphy, taken 74 spots ahead of what his average draft position suggests.



Projected Category Points

Brian Walton


Bret Sayre


Lawr Michaels


Lamentation of Their Women




Team McLeod




Matthew Pouliot


Tim Heaney


Mike Gianella


Walter Kuberski


Ryan Bloomfield


Fake Teams


Asches to Asches, Cust to Cust


Rotoman’s Vertigos


Players Drafted


Pick Number

Average Draft Position

Pick Value Rank

Jose Abreu




Ryan Braun




Corey Kluber




Hunter Pence




David Wright




Daniel Murphy




Marcell Ozuna




Salvador Perez




Leonys Martin




Huston Street




Michael Pineda




Drew Smyly




Erick Aybar




Danny Salazar




Matt Shoemaker




Martin Prado




Nick Castellanos




Jenrry Mejia




Taijuan Walker




R.A. Dickey




Angel Pagan




Jose Ramirez




Tyler Flowers




The Fangraphs Mock Draft: Live Blog

I’m posting here as it goes along, on Monday night, about my picks. I’m sitting in the 17th seat in an 18-team league, mostly because I didn’t realize that the hammer was available. Now, every seat is taken but first. Interesting.

UPDATE: You will find the whole draft results at Couch Managers. There is a discussion going on over at Fangraphs.

Music: Holy Modal Rounders 1+2
Beer: Six Points Sweet Action (with dinner)

Bring it on at 9pm. See you then.

8:51pm: With the 17th pick, I’m hoping for scraps. That someone really good will fall. This isn’t really a year for such a thing. After Trout and Cabrera, I would argue, everyone is a little suspect (or perhaps better said, interchangeable). For instance, I don’t know if I’d take Cano over Hanley Ramirez, and yet there is some small chance that Ramirez will fall to 17th, while no chance at all that Cano will. So, I wait.

9:01: Derek Van Riper took Mike Trout.

Jason Kipnis9:11: Hanley Ramirez didn’t fall, didn’t come close. I took Jason Kipnis, even though I had Adrian Beltre ranked higher, hypnotized by the colors of Couch Manager’s software.

9:12: Beltre was still there on the way back. Brilliant. Now I have to wait 34 picks. The guy on the turn took Ellsbury and Fielder, perfectly fine picks ahead of Beltre, but I’ll suggest that position aside (which is an advantage for Beltre), he’s been a better and more consistent offensive player than those two. But he’s getting older, and any of these guys can have a great year that beggars all the others.

9:31: Third round I took Elvis Andrus, whose youth outweighs his struggles last year. In the fourth after the turn I took Joe Mauer, filling out my skill positions. I would have taken Jason Heyward ahead of Mauer, but he was taken just before it got back to me. I didn’t really set out to take skill position guys, but in each case the available outfielders and first basemen seemed wanting. But now it’s time to change focus. I’m still waiting on pitchers unless someone prime falls to the next spot.

Music: Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis

9:52: Fifth round goes to Josh Hamilton, my first outfielder. The timing is right, though my confidence of a rebound isn’t strong. But it is possible. Sixth round to Mike Napoli, rounding out my infield. Last year is repeatable, which would be just fine here.

10:06: Seventh round I had to turn to pitchers. The only offensive players who attracted were JJ Hardy and Leonys Martin. I took Mike Minor, hoping Martin would fall, but he was grabbed. I took Shelby Miller next, not Hardy, because it seemed like a time to take pitchers. Not sure there was a right or wrong choice, just my preference to build somewhat symmetrically, if I can.

10:20: Ninth round went for Addison Reed, a closer. This is unusual for me, but in keeping with my determination that it is good to have a closer. With the 10th pick I was going to take Will Venable, but he was snatched, so I took Brett Gardner instead. I’m now a little speed heavy. The alternative was Johnny Cueto, who might be great again but comes with some risk. Adding an outfielder felt like it made more sense.

Music: Off. The rest of the house is in bed.

10:36: 11th and 12th round went to my top two picks in queue, while I was chatting about Tout Wars and the new auction location, which will be open to the public. Details to come. Hello Justin Masterson and RA Dickey. I couldn’t be happier.

10:52: 13th round had Dayan Viciedo and Carlos Quentin atop the queue, and I gladly grabbed Viciedo, who will have a very big year someday soon. But I had second thoughts on Quentin and took George Springer instead. Some power, more speed than I need, but more health and excitement, too. The guy after me took Quentin with the next pick.

11:07: 15th Round I took Mike Moustakas, who is a hard worker and will succeed if he’s physically capable. He should get another solid chance to try. I consider him sold post-hype speculation. In Round 16 I took Gerardo Parra, who is probably better defined by his limitations so far than his excellent baseball skills. I hope for some sort of breakout.

11:13: Round 17 goes to Joe Kelly, who could be a potent starter but qualifies as a reliever in this league. Erasmo Ramirez, who should be healthy and has the skills to succeed if he can get the rest of it in place, is my 18th pick. In a regular mixed league these seem like reaches, but at this point in an 18 team league we’re all grasping a little.

11:26: In the 19th I took Rickie Weeks for middle infield. Maybe he’s done, but he was by far the most potentially potent MI available. In the 20th I took Archie Bradley, who isn’t a sure thing either, but has the skills to step into the rotation and succeed immediately.

11:39: It’s late and the pickin’s are very slim. My hitting is mostly reliable, so I added Byron Buxton, who will have to be replaced for the first half of the season (at least), but at this point there will be reserve guys who can fill in. At 22 I take Tanner Roark, who I’m surprised has lasted this long. The idea is the same: Big upside, if they play, and replaceable in the near term if they don’t.

11:49: At 23 I take Jeremy Hellickson, coming off an awful year after showing years of great potential and modest results. I still see success coming, but I’m glad it’s the reserves. In the 24th round I go for Michael Pineda, a great arm coming back from potentially career-ending surgery (and some shoulder woes last summer during rehab), which is exactly where he should go.

11:54: Final pick, last reserve pick, is Felix Doubront, who had a good run last summer, sandwiched by a terrible start and an awful ending. He’s still young with good stuff. Fingers crossed and I hope I don’t have to use him once Bradley makes the bigs.

The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2013 Mock Draft

The first three picks (not giving much away) were Ryan Braun, Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. The Guide will appear in stores at the start of February. Come back here after the first of the year for information about a digital version available online.

Mastersball’s Lawr Michaels organized the mock draft for this year’s Guide (as he has each Mock since the beginning). It is a raucous affair at Mock Draft Central, with a robust pace and lots of sniping. You can read Lawr’s comments about his draft in his Bed Goes Up, Bed Goes Down column.