Mock fantasy draft: Breaking it down

March, 10, 2014
Mar 10
I participated in our fantasy team's Mock Draft Monday earlier today (here's the mock draft lobby if you want to participate). Here's a review of my draft. I participated in a 12-team, standard league (5x5).

Round 1: Robinson Cano (2B)

I had the sixth pick and Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gonzalez were off the board. Our fantasy team has Cano ranked ninth overall but I took him ahead of the higher-ranked Chris Davis, Jacoby Ellsbury and Edwin Encarnacion due to position scarcity (second base seems pretty weak to me) and Cano's durability. I'm not too concerned about the move to Safeco Field, which is more punishing to right-handed power than to lefties. While Seattle's lineup isn't great, remember that Cano drove in 107 runs and scored 81 in a weak Yankees lineup a year ago.

Round 2: Joey Votto (1B)

In a time when batting averages are going lower and lower I've got two good bets to hit .300 in Cano and Votto. Considered taking Carlos Gomez here (he went two picks later) but I like Votto's consistency. He only drove in 73 runs last year, but I expect that to be higher. Having Jay Bruce behind him instead of Brandon Phillips should make it a little more difficult for pitchers to pitch around him.

Round 3: Yasiel Puig (OF)

How much do I like Puig? I took him over Felix Hernandez. Puig is ranked 28th on our list and I got him 29th overall. He could be a .300 hitter with 25 to 30 home runs and 15 to 20 steals. Let's just hope he matures a little and that nobody on the Diamondbacks hits him in the head.

Round 4: Buster Posey (C)

I went offense early because there's so much pitching to be had in a 12-team league that I believe you can wait. This also gives me the highest-rated player at two positions. Posey slumped in the second half last year but he should be fine and put up his usual excellent numbers.

Round 5: Justin Verlander (P)
Round 6: Zack Greinke (P)

I like this a lot, snagging these two guys with the 54th and 67th picks. Considered Anibal Sanchez with the Greinke pick (he went 72nd) but Greinke was dominant over his final 16 starts with a 1.57 ERA. His calf sprain shouldn't be a big issue even if it will cause him to miss a start in Australia.

Round 7: Desmond Jennings (OF)
Round 8: Alex Gordon (OF)

I needed some speed and Jennings does a little of everything: 20 SB, 14 HR, 82 runs last year. Still a small chance he has a breakout year and steals 30 (like he did in 2012) and hits 20 bombs. Took him over Matt Kemp, who went a few picks later. Could be a bargain getting Kemp that late. Gordon is another well-rounded outfielder who I think will have a better year.

Round 9: Trevor Rosenthal (RP)

In our draft, Rosenthal was the fifth relief pitcher chosen, behind Craig Kimbrel (fourth round), Aroldis Chapman (sixth), Kenley Jansen (sixth) and Greg Holland (seventh). Thought about Pedro Alvarez and his 36 home runs. He went a couple picks later.

Round 10: Xander Bogaerts (3B)

With Alvarez off the board, I went with Bogaerts, who is third-base eligible now before becoming shortstop-eligible once he plays there. This gives me positional flexibility with later picks as well, always nice to have. Billy Hamilton went in this round, before my pick. Some people believe he should go in the top five rounds but that seems high. Round 10 seems about right for a 12-team league.

Round 11: Brandon Belt (1B)

Belt made some mechanical teaks with his swing around midseason last year and had a monster final two months, hitting .346/.408/.576 in August and September with seven home runs in 52 games. I don't think he's a 30-homer guy but he could hit .300 with 20 to 25 home runs.

Round 12: Jon Lester (P)
Round 13: Glen Perkins (RP)

Waited one round too long on Michael Wacha, who went a few picks before Lester. Lester should win a lot of games with Boston's lineup behind him and he's been very durable. Question is if he'll pitch like he did in the postseason (ace) or like the regular season (3.75 ERA). Took Perkins for a second closer as the relievers were starting to drop here.

Round 14: Brett Gardner (OF)

Needed some speed and while Gardner may no longer be the 40-something steals guy of 2010-11, he did steal 24 bags last year and contributes in batting average and runs scored.

Round 15: Justin Masterson (P)
Surprised he fell this far -- 174th overall -- but the fantasy guys have him ranked 194th, so I guess you can argue I drafted him two rounds too early. There's risk since he wasn't that good in 2012 but he had a big spike in his K rate in 2013, which I'm buying into. May have taken Sonny Gray here but he went 173rd.

Round 16: Johnny Cueto (P)

Over the past three seasons he owns the second-lowest ERA in the majors among starting pitchers, behind only Clayton Kershaw. Of course, he made just 11 starts last year due to a strained right lat that landed him on the disabled three times. But the arm is sound and if he's healthy otherwise this is a steal for Round 16.

Round 17: Jimmy Rollins (SS)
Round 18: Colby Rasmus (OF)
Round 19: Anthony Rendon (2B)

Three guys to plug my shortstop hole, final outfield spot and the reserve infielder. Rollins should contribute some steals, which I needed, while Rasmus quietly hit .276 with 22 home runs for the Blue Jays. Rendon is the fantasy sleeper (well, he's not that much of a sleeper considering he was a first-round draft pick), a guy who performed well enough of a rookie but has big potential with that bat. He doesn't run and the power is more gap-to-gap than over-the-fence, but he could hit .285 with 15 home runs, good numbers for a second baseman.

Round 20: Nate Jones (RP)

In a league like this, most teams probably go either six starters and three relievers or seven and two. Jones should win the closer job for the White Sox. Took him over Tommy Hunter, about whom I'm skeptical will hold on to the closing role in Baltimore.

Round 21: Jhonny Peralta (SS)
Round 22: Bartolo Colon (P)

In case my team is struggling at midseason, these two can perhaps provide a necessary, umm, lift.

Round 23: Wade Miley (P)
Round 24: Chris Johnson (3B)
Round 25: Derek Jeter (SS)

Hey, never bet against Derek Jeter.

So, the final roster looks like this:

C: Buster Posey
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Robinson Cano:
3B: Xander Bogaerts
SS: Jimmy Rollins
2B/SS: Anthony Rendon
1B/3B: Brandon Belt
OF: Yasiel Puig
OF: Desmond Jennings
OF: Alex Gordon
OF: Brett Gardner
OF: Colby Rasmus
UT: Jhonny Peralta

P: Justin Verlander
P: Zack Greinke
P: Jon Lester
P: Justin Masterson
P: Johnny Cueto
P: Bartolo Colon
P: Trevor Rosenthal
P: Glen Perkins
P: Nate Jones

Bench: Chris Johnson
Bench: Derek Jeter
Bench: Wade Miley

David Schoenfield | email

SweetSpot blogger



Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.