Reviewing My Mock MLB Expansion Draft

Prior to the season, I took a look at how I would have approached an MLB Expansion Draft. Now that we have reached the half way mark of the 2018 season, let’s take a look at how the team performed.

This was the roster layout on March 19th.

Major Leagues

STARTING PITCHERS:

Jerad Eickhoff

Eickhoff has missed the entire season to date based on injuries. It seems likely that his spot on the roster would have been given to a waiver replacement, as none of the minor league starting pitchers made it to the major leagues just yet.

Kenta Maeda

Maeda has performed very well, posting 86.1 innings of 3.13 ball, which is backed up by strong peripherals including a 2.74 FIP, an 11.2 K/9 and a 3.3 BB/9. He has been worth 2.3 fWAR and 1.1 bWAR

Zack Godley

While Godley got off to a strong start, he came back down to earth, and has posted a 4.61 ERA over 105.1 innings pitched. While his peripherals have suggested that he has been better, as he sports a 4.25 FIP,  the control has been an issue. He has been worth -0.4 bWAR and a 1.2 fWAR.

Doug Fister

While Fister posted efficient bottom line numbers and ate innings through the first few months, he got hurt and landed on the 60-day disabled list in June. The vet pitched 66 innings of 4.50 ball with mediocre 5.23 ERA en route to a 0.1 fWAR and 0.5 bWAR.

Wily Peralta

Peralta actually spent the majority of the season to date in the minor leagues, but has recently been called up as a reliever and has looked solid in that position. He currently sports a 1.17 ERA and a 3.40 FIP, but has struggled mightily with the walks, as he has walked 7/9 innings. He has been worth 0.4 bWAR and 0.1 fWAR.

As a follow up to an earlier mock expansion draft, BBE columnist Joe Orsatti reviews the team he selected.Click To Tweet

RELIEVERS:

Ryan Tepera

After turning in a very solid performance early on, 2.97 ERA with a 3.59 FIP, he landed on the disabled list. The reliever likely would have been considered to be the closer early on, and was worth 0.6 fWAR and 1.0 bWAR.

Tyler Lyons

Lyons has been awful this season, posting a 6.91 ERA with an uninspiring 5.30 FIP. He has had a lot of trouble with the long ball, and has been worth -0.5 bWAR and -0.2 fWAR.

Miguel Castro

Castro has performed well as a multi-inning reliever, and while his 4.32 FIP suggests a bit of regression from his strong 3.04 ERA, the velocity remains strong and he has been worth 0.2 fWAR and 1.4 bWAR.

Pedro Araujo

Araujo has been abysmal this season, but as a Rule V selection, must remain on the roster all season. He has been stashed on the disabled list over the past month or so after posting a 7.71 ERA and a 7.39 FIP. He has been worth -0.5 bWAR and -0.6 fWAR.

Chase Whitley

Whitley hasn’t even seen much major league time this season, as he was been on the disabled list in Triple-A. While he has posted a string 2.31 ERA in Gwinnett, he was hit rather hard in his lone inning of work, allowing two runs. He holds a -0.1 fWAR and bWAR.

Tommy Kahnle

Easily the most disappointing of my selections, Kahnle has posted a 7.00 ERA over nine innings, with a 5.69 FIP. He has been worth -0.6 bWAR and -0.1 fWAR.

Jared Hughes

Rounding out the opening day bullpen, Jared Hughes has been one of the most successful players selected, as he has helped the Reds to a 1.47 ERA and a 3.06 FIP. He comes in with a 0.9 fWAR and a 2.3 bWAR.

STARTING LINEUP

Catcher, Victor Caratini

While Caratini hasn’t been up very much, as he has only collected 88 plate appearances. All told, he has slashed .275/.341/.338 in the bigs good for a 0.2 bWAR and fWAR. His .313/.409/.478 Triple-A line inspires confidence.

First baseman, Jesus Aguilar

The no-doubt MVP of the team has slashed an outstanding .302/.370/.634 with 24 home runs and 68 RBI’s en route to a 3.0 fWAR and a 2.9 bWAR. While he has not been placed into the All-Star Game, he is one of the final four.

Second baseman, Joey Wendle

Joey Wendle has been a very productive major league starter slashing .277/.325/.381 with seven stolen bases and four home runs on his way to a 1.2 bWAR and fWAR.

Shortstop, Addison Russell

The defensively gifted 24-year old shortstop has hit reasonably well this season slashing .275/.350/.398 while exhibiting his standard defensive prowess, leading to a 2.1 fWAR and a 2.6 bWAR.

Third baseman, Jurickson Profar

Profar has posted solid numbers as a starter in 2018 slashing .248/.330/.440 with nine home runs. The once top prospect has been worth 1.4 bWAR and 2.0 fWAR.

Left fielder, Mac Williamson

It has been a rough year for Williamson, as he has hit just .213/.295/.383 in the majors, despite a much more inspiring .310/.431/.680 line in the hitter friendly PCL. While a low .254 BABip could be part of the reason for his struggles, he has only been worth 0.3 fWAR and 0.5 bWAR.

Center fielder, Brian Goodwin

Goodwin has not been able to follow-up a solid 2017 season, as he has slashed just .194/.320/.355 this season over 76 plate appearances. All told, he has been worth -0.1 bWAR and fWAR.

Right fielder, Hunter Renfroe

Renfroe has produced in line with expectations, as he has slashed a solid, albeit unspectacular .237/.309/.420 with five home runs over 55 games. He has been worth 0.3 fWAR and 0.7 bWAR.

Designated hitter, Lonnie Chisenhall

When he’s been on the field, Chisenhall has been spectacular, slashing .321/.394/.452 over 95 plate appearances. Unfortunately, he has spent the vast majority of the season on the disabled list. His injuries have limited him to a 0.1 bWAR and a 0.8 fWAR.

BENCH

Catcher, Tony Wolters

Wolters has struggled considerably in 2018, slashing an unsightly .160/.268/.269 en route to a -0.2 fWAR and a 0.2 bWAR. His plate discipline and defense are the two qualities that have kept in in the bigs.

Infielder, Aledmys Diaz

Diaz has been a serviceable semi-regular infielder, who has slashed .234/.281/.401 with eight home runs in the first half. This performance has been given a 0.5 bWAR and a 0.6 fWAR.

Infielder, Christopher Bostick

Bostick hasn’t seen any time in the majors, but has posted a solid .291/.343/.437 line in Triple-A.

Outfielder, Preston Tucker

While he got off to an unbelievable start, he cooled off after the call-up of Ronald AcunaHe has slashed .248/.295/.407, resulting in a 0.0 fWAR and a -0.1 bWAR.

Here are the initial minor league rosters. You can click on the links to baseball-reference to see more, but I will review those who have had a major league impact.

Triple-A

STARTING PITCHERS:

Andrew Moore

Rogelio Armenteros

Joan Gregorio

Jayson Aquino

Taylor Guerrieri

RELIEVERS:

Chasen Bradford

Bradford has been a great piece of the Mariners bullpen, and while his 4.71 FIP suggests that his 2.72 ERA is set for regression, his bWAR is a very respectable 0.8. Unfortunately, fangraphs wasn’t so high on him giving him a -0.2.

Mauricio Cabrera

Mark Montgomery

Sam Moll

Victor Arano

Arano has been quite a pleasant surprise this season posting a very stellar 2.38 ERA and a 2.87 FIP over 34 innings while posting three saves. Overall, he’s been worth a 0.7 fWAR and a 1.2 bWAR. He would be pitching in a set-up capacity.

Adam Conley

Conley has enjoyed quite a nice rebound season, as he has posted a 3.04 ERA and a 3.48 FIP with a very strong 11 K/9. He has been worth 0.2 bWAR and fWAR.

Phil Bickford

STARTING LINEUP

Catcher, Chad Wallach

Wallach has seen major league time, but it has been a negligible sample size.

First baseman, Edwin Espinal

Second baseman Andy Ibanez

Shortstop, Rosell Herrera

Herrera struggled out of the gate, upon his initial call-up in Cincinnati, but seemed to gain some footing in Kansas City where he has slashed .250/.272/.340. While he could stand to improve on the plate discipline, I would imagine that it comes with experience and practice. His defense has been great, but based on some offensive struggles he has a 0.0 fWAR and a 0.3 bWAR.

Third baseman, Jake Peter

Left fielder, Mason Williams

Center fielder, Mark Zagunis

Right fielder, Jake Cave

While he has not been up for long, Cave has been fantastic slashing .324/.351/.577 over 74 plate appearances. While he could stand to walk a bit more, his bWAR is a promising 1.3 and his fWAR is 0.9.

Designated hitter, Sandber Pimentel

BENCH

Catcher, Spencer Kieboom

Infielder, Melvin Mercedes

Outfielder, Kyle Wren

Outfielder, Kevin Kaczmarski

Double-A

STARTERS:

Albert Abreu

Dedgar Jimenez

Ranger Suarez

Ian Clarkin

Travis Ott

RELIEVERS:

Gerson Bautista

Bautsita has been rough in a limited sample size posting a 12.46 ERA struggling with his command. He has posted a -0.3 fWAR and bWAR.

Hildemaro Requena

Gerson Garabito

Rob Kaminsky

Brusdar Graterol

Rodolfo Martinez

Matt Custred

STARTING LINEUP:

Catcher, Seby Zavala

First baseman, Josh Ockimey

Second baseman, Jamie Westbrook

Shortstop, Wander Javier

Third baseman, Kevin Kramer

Left fielder, LaMonte Wade

Center fielder, Gilberto Celestino

Right fielder, Wuilmer Becerra

Designated hitter, Mike Papi

BENCH:

Catcher, Joe DeCarlo

Infielder, Leonardo Rivas

Outfielder, Wade Ynfante

While this team doesn’t seem likely to be making it far into the postseason, a feat accomplished by the NHL’s expansion Vegas Golden Knights a few months ago, there are certainly some encouraging pieces. We’ll check back with the club at season’s end.

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