Analyzing the FanGraphs’ Mock Draft from an Outsider’s Point of View – OF (part 3)

As an avid reader of FanGraphs, I’ve been following the ongoing mock draft and thought it would be interesting to compare the results to the dollar value rankings I created using Steamer’s 2015 projections.

UPDATE: I downloaded the chat spreadsheet and the following commentary is up through the middle of the 21st round, pick #249 (Rick Porcello). Here is a breakdown, position-by-position. I’ve included the overall pick and the dollar value for that player based on 2015 Steamer projections in parentheses.

Outfield—part 3

In part 1, I wrote about the first 20 outfielders taken in the FanGraphs Mock draft.

Part 2 had the next 20 outfielders. This is part 3.

In rounds 13 and 14, four outfielders went off the board. Brandon Moss (146th–$13) was taken early in the 13th round. Moss had a brutal second half of 2014, but Steamer projects him to hit 28 homers with 76 RBI in 2015. Five picks later went Gregory Polanco (151st–$5). Polanco hit quite well in AAA last year but struggled in the big leagues. His Steamer projection calls for a .250/.310/.382 line but, at 23 years old, he could easily beat that. He’s also projected for 14 homers and 23 steals. Seven picks after Polanco was Avisail Garcia (164th–$6), who is projected to be of similar value but in a different way, with more homers, RBI, and a better batting average but fewer steals. The final pick of the 14th round was Arizona’s A.J. Pollock (168th—[-$1]). Pollock hit .302 with 14 steals in 75 games in 2014, but is projected to be worth -$1 in 2015, with a .262 average and 16 steals in 127 games.

The next five outfielders were taken within nine picks of each other in the 15th round. Here are the Steamer projections for this group:

578 AB, 79 R, 5 HR 47 RBI, 23 SB, .282 AVG—Denard Span (171st–$11)

487 AB, 65 R, 24 HR, 74 RBI, 4 SB, .258 AVG—Oswaldo Arcia (172nd–$12)

526 AB, 66 R, 10 HR, 56 RBI, 27 SB, .264 AVG—Leonys Martin (173rd–$9)

564 AB, 77 R, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 19 SB, .270 AVG—Adam Eaton (177th–$7)

537 AB, 60 R, 8 HR, 55 RBI, 21 SB, .267 AVG—Lorenzo Cain (179th–$4)

Here in the 15th round, drafters had four guys who provide some steals with varying levels of power and batting average ability and one guy who should hit 20 or more homers. Later in the draft, it becomes more about team need than value. If you get to the 15th round and still need home run power, Oswaldo is your guy.

No outfielders were taken in the 16th or 17th rounds, but four came off the board in the 18th. Danny Santana (211th–$0) is more valuable at shortstop than outfield but his Steamer projection pegs him at replacement level even at the shortstop position. In seven minor league seasons, Santana hit .273/.317/.391. Then he came up last year and hit .319/.353/.472 for the Twins, with 7 homers and 20 steals in 101 games. He also had a .405 BABIP. If you take his stats with the Twins last season and adjust his BABIP from .405 to the .314 BABIP projected by Steamer for 2015, with all of the lost hits being singles, his batting line last year would have been .252/.288/.405. Steamer projects a .261/.299/.371 line. He should steal some bases (projected for 18), but don’t go overboard because of last year’s 100-game stint.

Two picks later, Michael Cuddyer (213th–$8) was added by Eno. Cuddyer hit .307/.362/.525 in his three years with the Rockies but no one expects that kind of production this year with the Mets. This late in the draft, he looks like a good value, based on Steamer projections. He was the 51st outfielder taken and is ranked 44th by Steamer among outfielders.

Michael Saunders (214th—[-$2]) was taken with the next pick. He’s only projected for 477 plate appearances, so he’s not expected to be as valuable as some other outfielders who are projected for more playing time. Saunders is a guy who could get to double-digits in homers and steals, so he’s not a bad flyer to take in the later rounds, particularly if you think he’ll play more than his projection.

The last of the four outfielders taken in the 18th round was Arismendy Alcantara (216th–$1). Alcantara has 2B eligibility and is more valuable at that spot. He will steal you some bags and has good power for a middle infielder, but the batting average will hurt you.

Seven outfielders were taken from rounds 19 through 22 and this group is all over the place. Here are the Steamer projections for this group of seven:

492 AB, 55 R, 10 HR, 58 RBI, 17 SB, .265 AVG—Alex Rios (221st–$2)

377 AB, 48 R, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 28 SB, .265 AVG—Rajai Davis (229th—[-$5])

552 AB, 75 R, 14 HR, 55 RBI, 19 SB, .241 AVG—Desmond Jennings (237th–$6)

415 AB, 55 R, 16 HR, 55 RBI, 19 SB, .246 AVG—Steven Souza (240th–$2)

510 AB, 64 R, 19 HR, 70 RBI, 4 SB, .247 AVG—Josh Hamilton (250th–$5)

526 AB, 74 R, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 13 SB, .246 AVG—Dexter Fowler (251st–$3)

567 AB, 73 R, 15 HR, 69 RBI, 4 SB, .284 AVG—Torii Hunter (253rd–$14)

We’re getting to the late rounds and here you can get an idea of what might be available. There are guys who will steal some bases and reach double-digits in home runs, but they won’t help you much in RBI and will hurt you in batting average.

Alex Rios has been all over the place in his career, from a high wRC+ of 126 in 2012 to a low of 60 in 2011. Over the last three years, his wRC+ has dropped from 126 to 104 to 92. Steamer projects him to bump it up slightly to 95 next year.

Rajai Davis is a guy who won’t play every day, but will steal some bases when he’s in the lineup and has been particularly good against left-handed pitching, with a career wOBA against lefties of .353. He can be quite productive if used correctly.

Desmond Jennings had his best stretch of hitting in a 63-game stint in 2011 at the age of 24 (128 wRC+), but hasn’t been as good since. He’s one of the better options this late in the draft, but doesn’t seem likely to ever live up to his early promise.

Steven Souza’s projection is very similar to Jennings, minus some runs scored and in less playing time. If you think Souza will get more regular playing time than the 415 at-bats he’s projected for, he’s a guy to target.

Josh Hamilton’s two years with the Angels have been very disappointing and Steamer doesn’t see any improvement coming.

Dexter Fowler is similar to Jennings and Souza but with fewer projected steals.

Finally, Torii Hunter projects to be the best of this bunch, despite his advanced age (he’ll be 39 in 2015). Hunter was the 60th outfielder taken but is ranked 31st based on Steamer projections.

Bobby Mueller has been a Pittsburgh Pirates fan as far back as the 1979 World Series Championship team ("We R Fam-A-Lee!"). He suffered through the 1980s, then got a reprieve in the early 1990s, only to be crushed by Francisco Cabrera in 1992. After a 20-year stretch of losing seasons, things are looking up for Bobby’s Pirates. His blog can be found at and he tweets at

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