If we’ve done nothing else in this blog during Spring Training, we have successfully tested the theory that great fantasy baseball drafts produce great seasons. The 2015 draft is our best evidence.
The top three teams in the 2015 final standings were A-Rod’s Mirrors, Bacon at Mile 11 and the Lower Haighters. The players they drafted also had the best average value of any teams in the league. In fact, they turned in three of the Top 10 drafts in league history.
The Mirrors uncovered a gem late in the draft when GM Sean McKenna selected reliever AJ Ramos with the 349th pick. Ramos converted 36 of his 42 save situations with a 2.30 ERA and 11.1 K/9. He finished the season 31st in the player rankings and helped the eventual league champions post a 321.00 average player value for the draft class. It is the best draft in franchise history and fourth best in league history.
Outfielder Bryce Harper was the team MVP, finishing the season ranked 10th. Cole Hamels, Craig Kimbrel, Prince Fielder, Yoenis Cespedes, Eric Hosmer, Ben Revere, and Ramos all finished the season ranked in the Top 100 of the player rankings.
The Lower Haighters had the seventh best draft in league history, posting a 335.07 APV. It was the third best draft in franchise history. The team had eight players finish in the Top 100 led by Jake Arrieta, who finished 2015 ranked second behind league MVP Clayton Kershaw.
Bacon at Mile 11 GM Eric Brown turned in the best draft in franchise history with a 336.19 APV. It was the ninth best draft in league history. Seven players finished the season ranked in the Top 100 led by sluggers Anthony Rizzo and Nolan Arenado. Rizzo had a career-high 701 plate appearances and finished with a .899 OPS, 101 RBI and 94 runs scored. Arenado led the league with 42 home runs and 130 RBI.
The Monkeys and GM Jordan Mazur had the steal of the 2015 draft when he selected reliever Jeurys Familia with the 395th pick. Familia converted 43 of 49 save situations with a 1.85 ERA and 9.9 K/9. He finished the season as the 31st ranked player in the league.
While the 2015 draft was decent compared to the previous two seasons, it still trailed 2010, 2011 and 2012. A total of 43 keepers failed to deliver keeper value at season’s end.
It also featured the second worst draft in league history. The Bulls finished 2015 with a 647.96 APV for their draft class. Of the team’s 26 draftees, 21 finished the season ranked below 416th in the final player rankings. It was essentially a draft class with less value than most free agents and the results were predictable – the Bulls finished with the worst record in league history at 81-169-14 and won just two series.
Clearly, the value of a good draft can’t be overstated.