Mar 12, 2015; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) singles during the game against the Washington Nationals at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
In the final article breaking down a single round, this was interesting. Round 10 of my mock draft featured two closers, two starters and two third basemen. I took my second closer here. While I say wait for saves, I wanted a player with potential of at least 30 saves. I believe I was set at the major positions while still being able to wait on the others. There were some players in this round I wish I was able to draft, but them the breaks. Some of the players drafted in this round are injury risks or one-category players, but that isn’t a bad thing this late.
10.91 3B/OF Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
Harrison was one of the most surprising players of 2014. By the season’s end, he was the ninth-best third baseman in the league. He was quadruple eligible at second base, third base, left field and right field. He had 13 home runs, 18 stolen bases and a .315 batting average. While he will lose second base, having third and outfield will be a nice wrinkle for your fantasy team. Having 20 home runs is likely his ceiling, but getting on base will be Harrison’s bread and butter. He is a top-10 third baseman.
10.92 OF Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins
As an owner of Yelich last season, I wish I played in a league that used on-base percentage instead of batting average. While his .284 average wasn’t bad, his .362 OBP was much better. He doesn’t have much power, but is a top run producer, 94 runs, 54 RBI. He also produces on the bases, 21 steals in 28 attempts. If you draft Yelich, it won’t be becuase of his power. It will be because of his ability to hit the ball into the gaps and steal 25 bases. He’s a great player this late in the draft.
10.93 SP Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners
Despite missing the first month of the season, Iwakuma picked up where he left off last season. In his first 21 starts, he pitched to a 2.57 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. However, the final two months were a struggle for fantasy owners. He had a 9.12 ERA and 1.75 WHIP over a six-start stretch. He was injured over the last month, which likely affected his performance. Iwakuma will turn 34 next month, so age becomes a concern. As the Mariners No. 2 pitcher, he should get 35 starts if he can stay healthy.
10.94 OF Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
Gordon looks to be on a little bit of a decline over the past couple of years. After hitting 45 and 51 doubles in 2011 and 2012, respectively, he hit just 27 and 34 in 2013 and 2014, respectively. As a result, his batting average has gone down as well, hitting under .270 for two consecutive seasons. With 30 doubles, 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases as his ceiling, he is a top-30 outfielder.
10.95 SS Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
Castro’s value suffered after a poor 2013 season. He was able to improve last year, but it might not have been enough to help his 2015 projections. He was able to raise his batting average (.245 to .292), home runs (10 to 14) and RBI (44 to 65), but still suffers from a high strikeout rate. As of now, he is slotted as the Cubs’ starting shortstop. However, with Javier Baez and prospect Addison Russell waiting in his shadow, Castro will have to perform at the highest level this season. He is a big risk to crack the top 12 this year.
10.96 RP Dellin Betances, New York Yankees
After appearing in eight games from 2012 to 2013, Betances was one of the best set-up men in the league. He finished 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA, 0.778 WHIP and 135 strikeouts in 90.0 innings. With former closer David Robertson in Chicago, Betances looked to be next in line as the closer. However, the Yankees signed Andrew Miller. If Betances is named the closer, he is a bona fide top-10 closer. If he loses the job, his ADP will drop, but will still be worth drafting because of his high strikeout rate and ability to keep his ERA and WHIP very low.
10.98 3B David Wright, New York Mets
Wright was bitten by the injury bug over the last two seasons. He played 112 games in 2013 and 134 games last season. Those injuries have taken a toll on Wright’s production. He his just eight home runs and 63 RBI in 2014. He has recovered from the shoulder injury and played in an intersquad game last week. Once considered an elite third baseman, he has fallen far down the rankings. The injury concerns are a big negative, which leads him to being a 10th round pick.
10.99 SP Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
As the National League Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a godsend for the Mets. He went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA, 1.140 WHIP and 144 strikeouts. Things look to be good this year as he struck out five in three innings on Thursday. I touched on my projections for deGrom here. He was so consistent last season and should be drafted as a top-30 pitcher in 2015.
10.100 2B Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
Pedroia had one of the worst seasons of his career last year. He played in 135 games, lowest since 2010. His .278 batting average was the lowest since his rookie season. I could keep going, but I think I made my point. He sustained a wrist injury early in the 2014 season and then had season-ending surgery in September. With the two injury-plagued seasons behind him, Pedroia should bounce back in the revamped Red Sox lineup. You just have to hope the injuries don’t resurface. He is more of a top-10 than a top-five second baseman.