Inside the Mock War Room + My Shadow Draft

As I stated multiple times, the original intention of this website was intended to be a private reference point and create a visual of Kicker31′s Draft Board for whoever was in our chat room during the community draft. Good thing I later decided to turn the website into a public draft primer and blog about whatever as we only had 3 people total in the chat room on mock draft day, and not the larger number I had tried to prepare for. I tried to tell people that getting more involved with the mock draft would help their interest level for the real draft coming up, but I guess it didn’t take. But it got me more interested, which led to this blog, so I guess it was all worth it. Anyway, due to that connection to the mock draft and the original roots of the website, I figured I’d make a topic that described things a little more from that day and then throw in a little extra about what I would do if the decisions were up to me.

Leading up to draft day, all of us who got more involved with the mock portion kept ties on the MOD’s (discussion topics by other mock GMs. Think of it as our version of pre-draft buzz) to kind of get a feel of where other people may be leaning. The original plan created from that was to take the best available pitcher at 19, and then Tim Anderson at 28 who we thought might make it. But just before the draft, we found out that the interest level in Tim Anderson had picked up so we knew pick 19 would be a choice of either BPA pitcher, or Tim Anderson. After pick 17, the best available pitchers were Phil Bickford and Alex Gonzalez. Figured the Dodgers would take Bickford, but then they went with Hunter Harvey instead. The choice then came down to Phil Bickford or Tim Anderson due to Alex Gonzalez was not being talked about much at all and thought he’d fall to 28. Bickford being so high on Kicker31’s draft board (@13) basically made the decision easier for him.

Pick 28 was crazy easy. Just as Kicker31 originally suspected the possibility a week before the mock draft, and I checked into all the MOD’s for teams between picks 20-27 to verify at that time, Alex Gonzalez fell just as we thought. He was #17 on the draft board. No back up was even considered due to our confidence that he would be there.

Now with two pitchers in the fold, the thought was to target a bat. That was not as easy as it sounds though due to most of the target range on the draft board around that pick looked like pitchers. But Ryan Boldt fell to the 2nd round pick of 57 due to his injury making it yet another easy decision for Kicker31 given he was the highest remaining on the draft board at #37. If someone would have taken him before us, discussions would have taken place involving who to pick from: Dustin Peterson, Josh Hart, Michael Lorenzen, and Cord Sandberg.

The 3rd round pick at 93 had my fingerprints all over it. I became a big fan of RHP Myles Smith and Stuart Turner and made Kicker31 aware of them, which was reflected in his draft board, ranking 51 and 76 respectively. Smith draws comparisons to Braden Shipley in how he is very athletic, has an easy and repeatable delivery up to 97 MPH, awesome change up, and a developing breaking ball (slider for him as opposed to a curveball for Shipley). Turner is the #1 defensive catcher in all of college (including winning a gold glove in JUCO the year before) and was one of the top hitters in the SEC, which as you know has some of the toughest pitching to face, so good hitting there is impressive. Turner was the decision at the time between the two to help balance out the pitching picks more and thoughts on adding to the catching depth. But John Sickels (the guy who runs the website and is a well reknowned expert on baseball prospects) snapped him up before us at pick 78 for the team he was drafting for. That made the pick at 93 that much easier again.

Pick 125 in round 4 was another decision pick. Thoughts on getting a bat and adding another catcher to the farm system helped zero in on Zane Evans out of Georgia Tech. While he is not as good as Turner defensively, he is still considered to be pretty solid. However, he is a much better hitter with alot more power potential hitting a .367 avg with 14 HRs against ACC pitching (the second toughest pitching to face in NCAA). But in the end, Stephen Tarpley won out due to being at the BPA available on Kicker31’s draft board at #57. If we were to summarize his selections, you’d have:

  • Round 1, pick 19: Phil Bickford, RHP, Oaks Christian HS, Westlake Village, California
  • Round 1, pick 28: Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts University
  • Round 2, pick 57: Ryan Boldt, OF, Red Wing HS, Red Wing, Minnesota
  • Round 3, pick 93: Myles Smith, RHP, Lee University
  • Round 4, pick 125: Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Scottsdale Community College

While I think he did a great job, I can’t help but think how things would have turned out had I ran the draft. Therefore, I did my own shadow draft (making picks based on who was available at the time) to see how much difference there would have been. I thought of the idea based off how that is a pretty prevalent thing to do at Now remember, due to how involved I was with the original mock, there will be simularities. My decisions would have been based off of my own draft board seen here: CardzZilla’s Draft Board

I think many of you are aware of my high interest in shortstop, Tim Anderson (SS, JUCO). In fact, I’d like to think I was the one that got the ball rolling for Cardinal fans general hope that we drafted him. I’m such a big fan of him, expect a devoted topic to him soon. But I’d make that pick for more reasons than that. While I had Bickford higher on my draft board, Anderson was only 3 spots behind him. I also would weigh our need for an impact shortstop and the likelihood of the future availability of other impact shortstops. Finally, I thought this would be the optimal pick to take a bat considering I knew how many pitching options would be available at the next 3 selections. In short, I felt that if I went that direction, it would open up my options more in the future, as opposed to feeling like I’d need to be roped into taking a pitcher or a bat at any particular pick.

Pick #28 would have been exactly the same to me due to Gonzalez was the highest on my draft board at 17, and the need for a pitcher. I would have used the same theory that got Kicker31 to take Ryan Boldt to instead take Cord Sandberg in the 2nd Round. He was the top position player on my draft board (decided to focus there instead of a pitcher due to knew I could get a good pitcher at pick 93 or 125 if I wanted) and I think higher of him due to being a better athlete and more power potential, with a batting contact ability not far behind. I would have done the exact same thing at pick number 93 given how much I stated above that I was involved in that selection. And while Tarpley was the highest remaining player on my draft board at 58, I am a big fan of Zane Evans who I had at 64, so I would have picked him instead due to being happy with the pitching selections I had already made, and thoughts of adding a collegiate catcher. I’ll talk later on why I prefer a college catcher to a high school one.

My picks would then look like:

  • Round 1, pick 19: Tim Anderson, SS, East Central Mississippi Community College
  • Round 1, pick 28: Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Oral Roberts University
  • Round 2, pick 57: Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee HS, Bradenton, Florida
  • Round 3, pick 93: Myles Smith, RHP, Lee University
  • Round 4, pick 125: Zane Evans C, Georgia Tech

There you have it, more insight into how the Mock Cardinals did, as well as how I would have done things myself. One final thing that needs to be pointed out is that I would have had a little more financial flexibility for future picks if we went forward due to my #125 pick would not require any overslot money like his, and my #57 pick could probably be overslot a little less than him. Which draft would you have preferred?


Feel free to leave a comment about any of the players mentioned above, or other players from the Mock draft you would have shadow drafted yourself, or if you would have done a some combination of Kicker31 and my draft.

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  1. Is Stuart Turner not enough worth it to pick at 57?

    1. oh i love the guy. i’ll make a topic on him and zane evans tomorrow. in the real draft, i won’t be surprised if taken in the 2nd round. but in the mock draft, the other people were not talking about him much so we thought we could get him later. he ended up being taken at #78 by john sickels who apparently was playing things close to the vest

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