Mock Draft #2

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of participating in a mock draft hosted by the fellas over at Fantasy Phenoms. There was a great group of participants including some fellow expert bloggers. The mock drafter’s are listed below. We drafted for 23 rounds using rosters of: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF (4), MI, CI, UT, P (9), BN (2).

  1. Adam Ronis – Newsday.com
  2. Robert Reed – Player Tracker
  3. Grey – Razzball
  4. Charlie Saponara – FB365 (Yours truly)
  5. Bob Sikon – FB Trade Market
  6. Ryan McNeil – Phenoms Reader
  7. Jason Sarney – Fantasy Phenoms
  8. Dalton Del Don – Rotoscoop
  9. Tim McLeod – RotoRob
  10. Geoff Stein – Free Agent (Formerly of Mock Draft Central)
  11. Mike Podhorzer – FP911
  12. Brett Greenfield – Fantasy Phenoms

You can view the draft results in list form here and in grid form here. I suggest that you open the draft results in a new window or tab so you can easily follow along. Along with the description of my own picks, I’ll go overany surprise and value picks that caught my attention in each round.

Round 1, pick 4 – I take Alex Rodriguez with the fourth overall pick. Chase Utley went third. No real surprise here. A-Rod should be 100% this season after hitting .286 with 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 14 steals in only 444 at bats. He gives me anace ata thin third base position.

Surprise pick: Joe Mauer continues to go high. In this draft he went eight overall. I’m not saying he’s not going to have a good season, but to ask for much more than he did last season with a new outdoor stadium is asking a lot.

Value pick: Brett Greenfield gets Miguel Cabrera with the last pick in the first round. I’m a huge Cabrera fan and if he did what he did last season while drinking too much…well, it was still great.If he haslearned from that mistake a big, big season is coming.

Round 2, pick 9-I was hoping that Grady Sizemore would fall to me here, but he was snagged one pick ahead of me. As plan “B” I turn to Matt Holliday, who should look more like the second half hitter he was in 2009 than the Oakland version.
Surprise Pick: None

Value pick: Ian Kinsler at pick five. As long as he doesn’t try to launch balls to the moon like he did last season (54%fly ballrate), his AVG should come back up and give him a shot at the 2011 first round.

Round 3, pick 4- Having selected two hitters likely to hit for a high AVG, I went for a pure power play here and selected Adrian Gonzalez. Even in that ballpark, even in that lineup, he should still produce top-notch power numbers. Who knows, maybe Kyle Blanks and Chase Headly will step up and provide some protection.

Surprise pick: Jason Bayat pick two of the third round. Bay was due for a bit of regression anyway and now he will head to a pitcher’s park having to cover more ground in the outfield.The Red Sox were worried enough about his knees to pull their mid-season four year offer.

Value pick: None

Round 4, pick 9- Some may see this one as the surprise pick, but I firmly believe even with some regression, Ben Zobrist will be a top five second baseman. His power has stayed consistent through the minors and he will add 10-15 steals to boot. I also want to grab some solid middle infielder early.

Surprise pick: Justin Morneau with the first pick of the fourth round. I have Morneau much further down on my first base rankings for a couple reasons: 1) Inconsistent health and power production. 2) Target Field should not be as hitter friendly as the Metrodome.

Value pick: None

Round 5, pick 4- I wanted to take Derek Jeter here, but I had just added Shane Victorino to my queue. When I clicked select Victorino was still in my draft box. Oh well, I still get some nice speed to help balance out my team. I would not have normally taken Victorino here because of the fact that Placido Polanco will be taking his spot in the two-hole. Thatmove shouldknock down his runs scored a bit.

Surprise pick: Not really a surprise, though I am not a fan of Carlos Beltran for 2010, but the news of his surgery broke literally mid-draft. I wonder how far he would have fallen had we known that information ahead of time.

Value pick: Nick Markakis as the last pick of round five. Sure, 2009 was a down season, but there are a lot of reasons to still believe in his potential. Even with a down year he was fairly consistent. Look for him to bounce back and then some in 2010.

Round 6, pick 9 – My initial target was Carlos Lee, but I will “settle” for Carlos Quentin here. As I wrote not too long ago, a healthy Quentin should easily hit 30-plus home runs and drive in 100 runs. I think round six is great value for someone who could very well outproduce Jason Bay, who was selected three rounds earlier.

Surprise pick: Not that it will turn out to be a bad pick, but Jonathan Broxton becomes the first closer off the board over the usual suspects like Joe Nathan and Jonathan Papelbon.

Value pick: All the starting pitchers taken this roundrepresent good value as theyshould provide ace-like numbers without costing a top five round pick.

Round 7, pick 4 – Thus begins my 7/10 split strategy. I want to take my first pitcher in round seven and my first closer in round 10. This strategy is subject to adjustments based on the flow of the draft, but it is a good guideline to strive for. With that said, Tommy Hanson becomes my ace. Yep, not even a full season under his belt, but he did throw a combined 194 innings last season so no worries there. I fully believe in his ability to strike out Major League hitters. As the season went along, Hanson just continued to get better. He finished with a 8.2 K/9 and that was with a slow start as far as the strikeouts were concerned.

Surprise pick: Michael Bourn, not a fan of using a top ten round pick on him. See this article for reasons why.

Value pick: I am a huge fan of Gordon Beckham. His already good plate discipline numbers should only improvewith experience and he could develop 20-plus home run power as soon as this season. This may be the last season in which we can get Beckham below round five.

Round 8, pick 9 - Since I missed out on Derek Jeter due to my own error, I wanted to sure up my infield before the market thinned out. I select Alexei Ramirez for his power/speed combo. I like his chances of improving upon 2009 ashe showedimprovement inhis selectiveness at the plate last season.

Surprise pick: None

Value pick: Hunter Pence has not put up top-end fantasy numbers, but he has been consistent. There is still upside in him for more and he goes here after Andrew McCutchen, Micheal Bourn and Adam Jones, all of which have yet to put up good numbers in back-to-back seasons…I do love McCutchen though.

Round 9, pick 4 - I am ecstatic that Cole Hamels is available for my ninth round pick. He simply didn’t prepare right for the 2009 season and his coaches would tell you as much. Despite that he still posted a 3.91 K/BB rate, but was victim to a career high .325 BABIP against. I’m looking for a big bounce back from Hamels in 2010.

Surprise pick: Howie Kendrick still has some nice upside and the second base market is starting to get thin at this point in the draft, but I’m note sure I’d take a top ten round pick on him. He has alot to prove between health and plate discipline before we can completely trust him.

Value pick: There were some really good ones here. Joe Nathan comes off the board three rounds after Broxton was selected as the first closer. Chad Billingsley has a good chance to bounce back and be a fantasy ace…So does Ricky “Hot Nolasco Sauce”.

Round 10, pick 9- Part two of the 7/10 split strategy and I am more than elated to find Heath Bell waiting for me in round ten. Gladly, I draft him as my number one closer.

Surprise pick: Yunel Escobar is a solid player, but offers little else outside of a .300 AVG. I’d much rather get a big stolen base threat like Elvis Andrus (went one round later) or Alcides Escobar (went eight rounds later).

Value pick: Yovani Gallardo and Wandy Rodriguez are excellent pitchers to snag in a double digit round. Gallardo has ace potential.

Round 11, pick 4 – Back to offense. With solid options at 1B, 2B, 3B and SS I look to sure up my catcher spot. Since Russell Martin makes for a good bounce back candidate, I take him here to get some power and speed.

Surprise pick: Vladimir Guerrero may very well have a nice 2010 now that he is not playing the field, but that is half of the problem with drafting him. There is nowhere to put him except for your utility spot. He is in the decline phase of his career and still carries injury risk. Hitting in Texas should help, but I’m not sure if it will help enough to justify an eleventh round pick.

Value pick: Alex Rios’ 2009 was forgettable due to a .247 AVG, yet he still almost went 20/20. He had held a line drive rate of 20-percent or higher each of the previous threeseasons. That rate dropped to 16-percent last season. At age 29, he is far from done.

Round 12, pick 9 - I have seen some closer runs in my day, but my goodness! My selection of Carlos Marmol made it eight straight closers taken. Marmol has as much upside as any closer available on draft day. A correction in command and he could be a ten closer with ease.

Surprise pick: Ryan Franklin, because he is one heck of a risk due to a poor strikeout rate and high 2009 strand rate.

Value pick:None

Round 13, pick 4 - Time to get back to my starting rotation. Ervin Santana represents somewhat of a risk, but his strikeout numbers should improve over an injury affected 2009. As long as he is healthy, I expect a nice comeback.

Surprise pick: Adrian Beltre had three straight good, not great, seasons before his injury plagued 2009. Sure the move to Fenway may help, but remember that the Green Monster can take away line drive home runs just as it can help fly balls leave the yard. Don’t get too wrapped up in the hype. Beltre will be better, but still not great.

Value pick: Is there reallya six rounddifference between the value of Michael Bourn and Nyjer Morgan? I think not. Getting Morgan in round 13 is great value for 40-plus steals.

Round 14, pick 9 – - I’m looking to fill up my corner and middle infield spots in the next few rounds. I select Garrett Jones here expecting a significant regression from hit 50/30 pace in 2009. Even so, he had shown steady power in the minor leagues so 25-plus home runs is reasonable to expect. Along with the power,Jones should steal 10-15 bags.

Surprise pick: None

Value pick: Denard Span is a safe play in round 13. He has been a good source for AVG, steals and runs for two years running.

Round 15, pick 4 - This was about the time my buddy called me to say he had just bought his first house. A little distracted, I select Brad Lidge. I wanted a third closer and Lidge’s kneelooks to be healthy by spring training. Sure, he was a disaster last year, but he did pitch better in September and October.

Surprise pick: None

Value pick: Nolan Reimold has as good a chance as any to hit around .270 with 25-plus home runs. Not a bad third or fourth outfielder.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/310115-keep-nolan-reimold-on-your-radar

Round 16, pick 9 - Here I am just looking for some more power to fill my utility spot. Paul Konerko fits the bill, but I am not crazy about the pick.

Surprise pick:Jeff Nieman posted a6.23 K/9 to go along with a 3.94 ERA. He never had great strikeout numbers in the minors either. A 4.00-plus ERA with only mediocre strikeouts is my 2010 projection.

Value pick:There were a few good ones in this round. Everth Cabrera could steal a ton of bases, though I think his AVG will be a struggle. Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka represent solid upside plays this late in the draft.

Round 17, pick 4 – John Danks saw a regression in his strikeouts in 2009, but that number has a good chance of bouncing back in 2010. Danks also continued to miss bats at a 20-percent clip for his second straight season.

Surprise pick: Jack Cust has one 30-plus home run season and even that year he hit a mere .231. Nick Swisher went four rounds later and should out pace Cust in both runs and RBI as a part of the stacked Yankees lineup.

Value pick:Geovany Soto is a low risk/high reward pick this late in the draft. Juan Pierre also represents a good value as he should steal around 40 bases as a full time lead-off hitter once again.

Round 18, pick 9 - To fill my middle infield spot, I select a rookie speedster in Alcides Escobar. Escobar is an excellent contact hitter, but tends to chase too many bad pitches. That may hold down his AVG a bit, but .285 is not out of the question along with 30-40 steals.

Surprise pick: None

Value pick: This late in the draft, to get a 40-50 stolen base threat like Rajai Davis is good value. While Davis should regress a bit in the AVG department, he should put up numbers in the vicinity of Njyger Morgan and Michael Bourn.

Round 19, pick 4 - One of my deep sleepers for 2010 is Dexter Fowler and I am happy to grab him in round 19 as my fourth outfielder. A top prospect coming into the 2009 season, Fowler struggled with strikeouts early, but improved every month as the season went along. He also stole 27 bases in only 135 games last season, which gives him an excellent chance to steal 30-35 in 2010as the starting centerfielderfrom day one.

Surprise pick: Orlando Hudson doesn’t even have a team yet and is mediocre at best as far as fantasy stats are concerned. I do believe this one may have been an auto pick.

Value pick: These are my favorite rounds of the draft. There are a bunch of upside plays here like Travis Snider and his 25-plus home run potential. Magglio Ordonez may have lost his power, but he can sure still hit for AVG and in round 19 makes for a nice value pick.

Round 20, pick 9 – I go for some depth here as I draft my first bench player, J.J. Hardy. He should bounce back from a miserable 2009, but I still temper my expectations a bit.

Surprise pick: J.P. Howell, but again, I believe it was an auto pick.

Value pick: I love the two speedy outfielders that start out the round in Julio Borbon and Drew Stubbs. Francisco Liriano also represents a nice upside play.

Round 21, pick 4 - I love the potential in Mat Latos. Who would have guessed I would end up drafting both him and Tommy Hanson after this article.

Surprise pick: None

Value pick: There are so many decent arms still available this late in the draft. For example a guy like Marc Rzepczynski, who put up good strikeout numbers (8.8 K/9), is a great flier pick.

Round 22, pick 9 – Kelly Johnson was a popular sleeper before last season, but ended up losing his job to Martin Prado by season’s end. Johnson still has some upside for 15-20 home runs, especially now that he’ll play his home games in Chase Field. I’ll take a flier on him as my backup.

Surprise pick: Austin Jackson may have been surprising, but he has some upside. I just don’t think 2010 will be his breakout year, if he ever has one.

Value pick: Derek Holland struggled mightily upon his call-up last season, but he is a much better pitcher than his overall numbers show. He did fall victim to a .321 BABIP against and a low strand rate of 64.7-percent.

Round 23, pick 4 – Speaking of high upside young arms, my selection of Brian Matusz is just that. In eight starts to begin his professional career, Matusz put up a decent 7.7 K/9 and an impressive 2.82 BB/9.

Surprise pick: None

Value pick:I couldn’t believe that Ryan Doumit fell this far, but my favorite pick was the second to last pick in the draft. Felipe Paulino posted an 8.6 K/9 between 17 starts and the bullpen for the Astros in 2009. He features a fastball that routinely hits 95-96 mphand can reach 100 at the top end.

My team:

C Russell Martin
1B Adrian Gonzalez
2B Ben Zobrist
3B Alex Rodriguez
SS Alexei Ramirez
OF Matt Holliday
OF Shane Victorino
OF Carlos Quentin
OF Dexter Fowler
MI Garrett Jones
CI Alcides Escobar
UT Paul Konerko
SP Tommy Hanson
SP Cole Hamels
SP Ervin Santana
SP John Danks
SP Mat Latos
SP Brian Matusz
RP Heath Bell
RP Carlos Marmol
RP Brad Lidge

As always, i would love to read your thoughts on the draft.