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Expert Mock Draft

by Eno Sarris
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Round 1

 

 

1.1    Derek Carty (DerekCarty.com) - Miguel Cabrera 3B, DET

1.2    Glenn Colton (SiriusXM) - Mike Trout CF, ANA

1.3    D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Paul Goldschmidt 1B, ARI

1.4    Greg Ambrosius (NFBC) - Andrew McCutchen CF, PIT

1.5    Eno Sarris (Rotoworld) - Carlos Gonzalez LF, COL

1.6    Paul Sporer (Baseball Prospectus) - Bryce Harper OF, WSH

1.7    Nick Minnix (KFFL) - Hanley Ramirez SS, LAD

1.8    Scott Pianowski (Yahoo!) - Chris Davis 1B, BAL

1.9    Tom Kephart (BaseballHQ) - Adam Jones CF, BAL

1.10    Ray Flowers (SiriusXM/BaseballGuys) - Ryan Braun LF, MIL

1.11    Andrew Fiorentino (RotoWire) - Robinson Cano 2B, SEA

1.12    Alan Harrison (FanGraphs) - Troy Tulowitzki - SS, COL

1.13    Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Clayton Kershaw - SP, LAD

1.14    Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Prince Fielder - 1B, TEX

 

The top two picks are worth debating for much more than a sentence, so just be happy if you get one of the two. Even if Paul Goldschmidt doesn't steal as many bases, he has the power and batting average to be a top-five guy anyway. It is surprising how quickly the round starts to get wobbly. Bryce Harper at no. six? He could hit 30 and steal 20, but we know so little about his true talent power and health right now. Hanley Ramirez hasn't been the picture of health. Chris Davis has that one, fine year and then other ones that weren't so good. Adam Jones isn't stealing bases like he used to. Ryan Braun is a nightmare to project. Seems like Robinson Cano's drop in the mock might have been too extreme. Seattle's new fence alignment and Cano's pure hitting ability, at a middle infield position…maybe he should have gone earlier. It might make sense, given picks six through 12, to take Clayton Kershaw much earlier in your draft. The back end isn't full of sure things.

 

 

Round 2

 

2.15    Drew Silva - Adrian Beltre 3B, TEX

2.16    Ryan Boyer - Joey Votto 1B, CIN

2.17    Alan Harrison - Jacoby Ellsbury CF, NYY

2.18    Andrew Fiorentino - David Wright 3B, NYM

2.19    Ray Flowers - Jason Kipnis 2B, CLE

2.20    Tom Kephart - Edwin Encarnacion 1B, TOR

2.21    Scott Pianowski - Evan Longoria 3B, TB

2.22    Nick Minnix - Carlos Gomez CF, MIL

2.23    Paul Sporer - Giancarlo Stanton RF, MIA

2.24    Eno Sarris - Dustin Pedroia 2B, BOS

2.25    Greg Ambrosius - Freddie Freeman 1B, ATL

2.26    D.J. Short - Shin-Soo Choo RF, TEX

2.27    Glenn Colton - Jose Reyes SS, TOR

2.28    Derek Carty - Jay Bruce RF, CIN

 

Joey Votto changed his approach to get on base more and hit more doubles. And he doesn't steal the same bags anymore, so he's mostly runs, RBI and batting average. At least he's killer at two out of the three most years. Jason Kipnis is full of helium, for a good reason. There's no reason to believe his second-half splits will continue to be bad -- those kinds of splits are not predictive. Dustin Pedroia might look like an iffy pick, but he played the year with a torn thumb ligament. A healthy year probably gets him back close to 20/20 again. And then, by the end of the second round, you're already looking at health risks like Jose Reyes and flawed, more one-dimensional players like Jay Bruce. Not to knock their owners -- there seems to be a soft spot after the first 20 to 25 players. Shin-Soo Choo wasn't a second-rounder when he was younger!

 

 

Round 3

 

3.29    Derek Carty - Yu Darvish SP, TEX

3.30    Glenn Colton - Buster Posey C, SF

3.31    D.J. Short - Cliff Lee SP, PHI

3.32    Greg Ambrosius - Ian Desmond SS, WSH

3.33    Eno Sarris - Yasiel Puig RF, LAD

3.34    Paul Sporer - Allen Craig LF, STL

3.35    Nick Minnix - Albert Pujols 1B, ANA

3.36    Scott Pianowski - Matt Kemp CF, LAD

3.37    Tom Kephart - Alex Rios CF, TEX

3.38    Ray Flowers - Justin Upton RF, ATL

3.39    Andrew Fiorentino - Jean Segura SS, MIL

3.40    Alan Harrison - Matt Holliday LF, STL

3.41    Ryan Boyer - Jose Bautista RF, TOR

3.42    Drew Silva - Stephen Strasburg SP, WSH

 

Predicting pitcher injury is either tough or impossible, but a few warning signs seem to crop up in the best available research. No. 1 is being injured the year before. Others include heavy breaking ball usage and iffy control. Yu Darvish is great, but Yu Darvish also checks each of those boxes. Then again, octogenarian Cliff Lee sits right there behind him, and though he's been healthy forever, 2014 might be the year. You never know. Maybe you don't love the Yasiel Puig pick; that's fine. He's obviously a little rough around the edges when it comes to demeanor and plate discipline. But he reached a lot less in the second half, so he made some adjustments. Obviously he has tools. He could be a five-category guy here. Allen Craig is already turning 30 and may never hit 25 homers. But in a five-outfielder league, he's less of a stretch. This seems like a fine spot to get Jean Segura, though -- last year's top shortstop could regress a bit in batting average and power and still be worth this pick easily. Seeing Matt Kemp and Jose Bautista in this round is just about right. They still have borderline top round upside, defined by past results. Health wanted.

 

 

Round 4

 

4.43    Drew Silva - Carlos Santana C, CLE

4.44    Ryan Boyer - Eric Hosmer 1B, KC

4.45    Alan Harrison - Adam Wainwright SP, STL

4.46    Andrew Fiorentino - Max Scherzer SP, DET

4.47    Ray Flowers - Jason Heyward RF, ATL

4.48    Tom Kephart - Justin Verlander SP, DET

4.49    Scott Pianowski - Felix Hernandez SP, SEA

4.50    Nick Minnix - Ian Kinsler 2B, DET

4.51    Paul Sporer - Josh Donaldson 3B, OAK

4.52    Eno Sarris - Zack Greinke SP, LAD

4.53    Greg Ambrosius - Jose Fernandez SP, MIA

4.54    D.J. Short - Ryan Zimmerman 3B, WSH

4.55    Glenn Colton - Adrian Gonzalez 1B, LAD

4.56    Derek Carty - Matt Carpenter 3B, STL

 

The pitchers start to go here, and there's no real reason to hate on taking a pitcher by now. You might have a slightly different order, but that's fine. As long as they're in this group, throw your dart. Josh Donaldson might raise some eyebrows here, but he shouldn't. He's only just now showing the rates and ratios that he had in the minor leagues, and he's admitted that he pressed when he first came up. A settled-in Donaldson can hit .280 with 25-homer-type power, and that works here. He's more likely to be healthy than Ryan Zimmerman, for example. And though I was prepared to write about how over-rated Matt Carpenter will be this year -- it's hard for anyone to score 120+ runs in consecutive seasons, much less for someone without much power -- taking him at the end of the fourth in a 14-teamer with a middle infield slot just doesn't seem like much of a stretch. He'll still hit for a good average (he sprays the ball everywhere and makes good contact with power), and even if he doesn't hit great heights in power or speed, his team-based stats should look good.

 

 

Round 5

 

5.57    Derek Carty - David Ortiz DH, BOS

5.58    Glenn Colton - Aaron Hill 2B, ARI

5.59    D.J. Short - Elvis Andrus SS, TEX

5.60    Greg Ambrosius - Wilin Rosario C, COL

5.61    Eno Sarris - Wil Myers RF, TB

5.62    Paul Sporer - Chris Sale SP, CWS

5.63    Nick Minnix - Alex Gordon LF, KC

5.64    Scott Pianowski - Madison Bumgarner SP, SF

5.65    Tom Kephart - Manny Machado 3B, BAL

5.66    Ray Flowers - Ben Zobrist RF, TB

5.67    Andrew Fiorentino - Craig Kimbrel RP, ATL

5.68    Alan Harrison - Yoenis Cespedes CF, OAK

5.69    Ryan Boyer - Everth Cabrera SS, SD

5.70    Drew Silva - Starling Marte LF, PIT

 

Aaron Hill is a dead pull hitter that hits the ball in the air half the time. When it's working, you are Jose Bautista. When it's not working, you are Mike Moustakas. Hill has had seasons like both, so he's a bit risky for the round, perhaps. But if you watched the end of the season, you may have noticed that there's some risk in taking Wil Myers or Manny Machado, too. Maybe those strikeouts will start to dampen Myers' batting average, and maybe Manny will never solve his pop-up issue (it threatens to hurt his batting average as it did in the minors) or go back to shortstop. Or maybe the two youngsters will shine again. You'll also notice that the first closer went here. But Craig Kimbrel is no normal closer. His extra strikeouts can change your worst starting pitcher into another team's third or fourth guy. That's meaningful, even if you don't have an innings limit.

 

 

Round 6

 

6.71    Drew Silva - Mark Trumbo 1B, ANA

6.72    Ryan Boyer - Aroldis Chapman RP, CIN

6.73    Alan Harrison - Brandon Phillips 2B, CIN

6.74    Andrew Fiorentino - Hunter Pence RF, SF

6.75    Ray Flowers - Starlin Castro SS, CHC

6.76    Tom Kephart - Billy Hamilton SS, CIN

6.77    Scott Pianowski - Josh Hamilton LF, ANA

6.78    Nick Minnix - Cole Hamels SP, PHI

6.79    Paul Sporer - David Price SP, TB

6.80    Eno Sarris - Anthony Rizzo 1B, CHC

6.81    Greg Ambrosius - Pedro Alvarez 3B, PIT

6.82    D.J. Short - Martin Prado LF, ARI

6.83    Glenn Colton - Jordan Zimmermann SP, WSH

6.84    Derek Carty - Jose Altuve 2B, HOU

 

Mark Trumbo has his flaws, but he doesn't strike out like Adam Dunn does, and he also doesn't have the same extreme fly ball rates that kill your batting average on balls in play. He could hit north of .250, and he's moving from a pitcher's park to a hitter's haven. That’s nice value for the sixth. Starlin Castro probably won't do the 20/20 thing that we always thought he would, but he won't hit for a bad average again. Josh Hamilton has his flaws, but he has a major league track record of power. Billy Hamilton might steal 100 bases…if he can actually hit enough, which is up in the air. Don't forget about how Dee Gordon panned out when dreaming on Billy. Anthony Rizzo had a disappointing season, but it was almost all about bad luck on balls in play. He strikes out less than league average and has a level swing -- he should hit close to .280 with 25+ homer power and be a sneaky pick in most drafts. And what's wrong with Cole Hamels? Yeah, his team might not get a bunch of wins, but he's been as steady as any pitcher over the last few years.

 

 

Round 7

 

7.85    Derek Carty - Carlos Beltran RF, NYY

7.86    Glenn Colton - Matt Cain SP, SF

7.87    D.J. Short - Domonic Brown LF, PHI

7.88    Greg Ambrosius - Anibal Sanchez SP, DET

7.89    Eno Sarris - Gerrit Cole SP, PIT

7.90    Paul Sporer - Jedd Gyorko 3B, SD

7.91    Nick Minnix - Joe Mauer C, MIN

7.92    Scott Pianowski - Jayson Werth RF, WSH

7.93    Tom Kephart - Greg Holland RP, KC

7.94    Ray Flowers - Desmond Jennings LF, TB

7.95    Andrew Fiorentino - Matt Adams 1B, STL

7.96    Alan Harrison - Yadier Molina C, STL

7.97    Ryan Boyer - James Shields SP, KC

7.98    Drew Silva - J.J. Hardy SS, BAL

 

Glenn Colton waited until the sixth to get his first two pitchers, and though his strikeout rate isn't grand, Matt Cain and Jordan Zimmermann are an interesting one-two punch. Domonic Brown can regress some and still be worth this pick -- he didn't quite play a full season, and there's no reason to think he's injury-prone yet. More plate appearances will help uncover that he should be a little bit worse this season. Gerrit Cole is worth your attention. His strikeout rate didn't look good in the first half, but then he started using his breaking pitches more in the second half, and his stats started looking super sexy. The ballpark, the defense behind him and the league he pitches in -- these things all give him a boost. Catcher-eligible non-catchers are the best. Joe Mauer will play first base in real life and catcher for your fantasy team, and that probably means a ton of plate appearances. Matt Adams showed power and made enough contact to believe in an okay batting average, and he should start in St. Louis this year. The bad news is that he pulls the ball fairly hardcore, and that leads to shifts. Late last year, he was shifted on a lot more, and his batting average on balls in play plummeted. It’s probably better to expect a batting average in the .260s next year, at best.

 

 

Round 8

 

8.99    Drew Silva - Michael Wacha SP, STL

8.100    Ryan Boyer - Mike Minor SP, ATL

8.101    Alan Harrison - Michael Cuddyer RF, COL

8.102    Andrew Fiorentino - Shelby Miller SP, STL

8.103    Ray Flowers - Pablo Sandoval 3B, SF

8.104    Tom Kephart - Kyle Seager 3B, SEA

8.105    Scott Pianowski - Daniel Murphy 1B, NYM

8.106    Nick Minnix - Kenley Jansen RP, LAD

8.107    Paul Sporer - Brian McCann C, NYY

8.108    Eno Sarris - Brett Lawrie 3B, TOR

8.109    Greg Ambrosius - Shane Victorino LF, BOS

8.110    D.J. Short - Homer Bailey SP, CIN

8.111    Glenn Colton - Billy Butler DH, KC

8.112    Derek Carty - Hisashi Iwakuma SP, SEA

 

Andrew Fiorentino ruined my narrative by taking Shelby Miller so close to Michael Wacha. I was prepared to say that the postseason would have Wacha rated much higher than his equal in the rotation since Miller went missing, but there they went, just about as they should. Pablo Sandoval can't keep healthy -- and heavier players do end up on the disabled list more often -- but this year is his contract year, and he's 28. If not now, when? Homer Bailey had a great season, but he also gained velocity to have it, and he's 28 this year. Pitchers generally lose velocity from the minute they enter the league, actually. Be cautious. Daniel Murphy did something similar when he spiked his stolen base attempts at 27 years old. That generally doesn't happen, and if you take those bags away next year, he's an empty batting average that will be lucky to hit double digits in bags or homers. Brett Lawrie makes contact, has at least league average power and steals bases despite a bad success rate. That should all add up to .280 and 15/15 at least, with obvious upside beyond. Bet you didn't know he's only 24. Hisashi Iwakuma was injured a lot in Japan and is now 33, I wouldn't project him into a full season.

 

 

Round 9

 

9.113    Derek Carty - Jonathan Lucroy C, MIL

9.114    Glenn Colton - Austin Jackson CF, DET

9.115    D.J. Short - Salvador Perez C, KC

9.116    Greg Ambrosius - Trevor Rosenthal RP, STL

9.117    Eno Sarris - Koji Uehara RP, BOS

9.118    Paul Sporer - Mat Latos SP, CIN

9.119    Nick Minnix - Danny Salazar SP, CLE

9.120    Scott Pianowski - Kris Medlen SP, ATL

9.121    Tom Kephart - Alex Cobb SP, TB

9.122    Ray Flowers - Gio Gonzalez SP, WSH

9.123    Andrew Fiorentino - Matt Wieters C, BAL

9.124    Alan Harrison - Jeff Samardzija SP, CHC

9.125    Ryan Boyer - Chase Utley 2B, PHI

9.126    Drew Silva - Jurickson Profar 2B, TEX

 

As you move from the first five rounds into the second five, the picks begin to get more risky. That's why it makes sense to get your first closer here -- they are inherently full of risk, as a third of them lose their jobs every year. There isn’t anything wrong with a little Trevor Rosenthal and Koji Uehara. Mat Latos is safer than Danny Salazar in terms of projecting performance, but the older you get, the more likely you are to hit the disabled list. Salazar's big velocity and great changeup are great, but he got predictable in hitters' counts last year, and if a major league hitter knows 98 is coming, they can square it up. Jeff Samardzija might look out of place in this group to you, but he's got 94 mph gas and a wicked slider/splitter combo. If he can give up homers at a league-average rate, his ERA will drop this coming year. And look at Chase Utley and Jurickson Profar right next to each other! There's your age risk vs. lack of major league track record situation encapsulated. Do you want a proven great with a degenerative knee condition, or a young man on the way up that may not have the stolen-base speed that he was supposed to?

 

 

Round 10

 

10.127    Drew Silva - Mike Napoli 1B, BOS

10.128    Ryan Boyer - Leonys Martin CF, TEX

10.129    Alan Harrison - Chase Headley 3B, SD

10.130    Andrew Fiorentino - Jose Abreu 1B, CWS

10.131    Ray Flowers - Johnny Cueto SP, CIN

10.132    Tom Kephart - Alexei Ramirez SS, CWS

10.133    Scott Pianowski - Curtis Granderson CF, NYM

10.134    Nick Minnix - Aramis Ramirez 3B, MIL

10.135    Paul Sporer - Andrelton Simmons SS, ATL

10.136    Eno Sarris - Masahiro Tanaka SP, NYY

10.137    Greg Ambrosius - Howie Kendrick 2B, ANA

10.138    D.J. Short - Glen Perkins RP, MIN

10.139    Glenn Colton - Jon Lester SP, BOS

10.140    Derek Carty - Francisco Liriano SP, PIT

 

 

Leonys Martin was last year's Cuban rookie, and now he's got the training wheels off and should face lefties and play every day. Facing lefties might depress his batting average a bit, but the extra plate appearances should help him get to 10 homers and 30 stolen bases fairly easily. This year's Cuban rookie, Jose Abreu, had video game numbers in Cuba. Translations of those stats range from Bondsian to something a lot more like Kendrys Morales. Pay for Morales in a hitter's park -- .280/25+ -- as Fiorentino did, and you won't be risking too much. Masahiro Tanaka does embody some risk, and in a lot of ways his numbers weren't as nice as Yu Darvish showed in Japan, but he has a wicked splitter and better control than Yu. Imagine a much, much younger Hiroki Kuroda, and then add in the possible bonus of pitching in a pitchers' park, and you get the excitement. Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan were once traded to the Twins together, but the now-Tiger and now-Pirate only have health questions separating them from greatness in their old age.

 

 

Round 11

 

11.141    Derek Carty - Joe Nathan RP, DET

11.142    Glenn Colton - Xander Bogaerts SS, BOS

11.143    D.J. Short - Michael Bourn CF, CLE

11.144    Greg Ambrosius - Matt Moore SP, TB

11.145    Eno Sarris - Hyun-Jin Ryu SP, LAD

11.146    Paul Sporer - Doug Fister SP, WSH

11.147    Nick Minnix - Zack Wheeler SP, NYM

11.148    Scott Pianowski - Jered Weaver SP, ANA

11.149    Tom Kephart - Brandon Belt 1B, SF

11.150    Ray Flowers - C.J. Wilson SP, ANA

11.151    Andrew Fiorentino - Patrick Corbin SP, ARZ

11.152    Alan Harrison - C.C. Sabathia SP, NYY

11.153    Ryan Boyer - Alfonso Soriano LF, NYY

11.154    Drew Silva - Julio Teheran SP, ATL

 

The peril of an early mock is that you have to pick a guy like Xander Bogaerts in the 11th round without knowing more about his situation. If the Red Sox sign Stephen Drew again, his path to playing time might be in trouble. He was originally brought up to platoon on the short side with Will Middlebrooks. A big postseason might have changed that calculation, but you never know. If it works out for Colton, he'll get an infielder that could hit for a decent average with good power, some speed and great runs and RBI batting in that lineup. Michael Bourn looks like a cheap speed pick, but he's 31 now, and stolen bases don't age well even if speedy players do fine overall. He's no lock to steal even 30 next year, and if you want a meh batting average and 10 homers and 20 stolen bases, you could always look to teammate Michael Brantley many rounds later. Zack Wheeler is an up-and-comer, but shoulder problems late in the season and ongoing control problems make him riskier than many young sleepers. I'd pick Patrick Corbin -- despite the lack of a good changeup to get righties out -- and Julio Teheran -- whose changeup disappeared for some reason -- over the Mets' pitcher.

 

 

Round 12

 

12.155    Drew Silva - David Robertson RP, NYY

12.156    Ryan Boyer - Jed Lowrie SS, OAK

12.157    Alan Harrison - Nelson Cruz RF, TEX

12.158    Andrew Fiorentino - Adam Eaton CF, CWS

12.159    Ray Flowers - Andrew Cashner SP, SD

12.160    Tom Kephart - Coco Crisp LF, OAK

12.161    Scott Pianowski - Nolan Arenado 3B, COL

12.162    Nick Minnix - Alejandro De Aza CF, CWS

12.163    Paul Sporer - Brett Gardner LF, NYY

12.164    Eno Sarris - Khris Davis LF, MIL

12.165    Greg Ambrosius -Victor Martinez DH, DET

12.166    D.J. Short - Sonny Gray SP, OAK

12.167    Glenn Colton - Asdrubal Cabrera SS, CLE

12.168    Derek Carty - Brandon Moss 1B, OAK

 

Andrew Cashner switched from a soft slider to a hard knuckle slider midway through the year last year, and his strikeout rate improved. With his velocity and breaking stuff, in that home park, he's absolutely worth the health risk in double-digit rounds. It was panic from having him stolen from me that led me to take Khris Davis too early. Not that I don't love Davis -- he's got the ability to hit .280 with 25 homers, and he'll get all the playing time he can handle -- it's that I could have waited. The room agreed, and it cost me possible 2014 ace Sonny Gray (if he can figure out lefties). The outfielders taken here might remind you that, in a five outfielder setup, outfielders can actually get scarce. Coco Crisp, Nelson Cruz, Adam Eaton and Alejandro De Aza -- especially as third outfielders -- are a bit underwhelming. White Sox GM Rick Hahn assured me that Adam Eaton was the starter, and that the team would figure it out with Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza, but Eaton still has the risk of an unproven player about him. Cruz is coming off suspension and is already turning 34 this season. Thirty-four-year-old Crisp suddenly showed a career-high in power, but its health that's repeatedly failed him over his career.

 

 

Round 13

 

13.169    Derek Carty - Jimmy Rollins SS, PHI

13.170    Glenn Colton - Mark Teixeira 1B, NYY

13.171    D.J. Short - Carl Crawford LF, LAD

13.172    Greg Ambrosius - Dexter Fowler CF, HOU

13.173    Eno Sarris - Tony Cingrani SP, CIN

13.174    Paul Sporer - Addison Reed RP, ARZ

13.175    Nick Minnix - R.A. Dickey SP, TOR

13.176    Scott Pianowski - Jhonny Peralta SS, STL

13.177    Tom Kephart - Neil Walker 2B, PIT

13.178    Ray Flowers - Sergio Romo RP, SF

13.179    Andrew Fiorentino - Rafael Soriano RP, WSH

13.180    Alan Harrison - Jim Johnson RP, OAK

13.181    Ryan Boyer - Christian Yelich LF, MIA

13.182    Drew Silva - Norichika Aoki LF, KC

 

Apparently this is the round for undervalued veterans with absolutely no sex appeal. Jimmy Rollins can hit .250 with 10 homers and 25 stolen bases, and in a 14-team league with a MI slot, that's valuable, amazingly. Mark Teixeira's not dead yet. Carl Crawford was decently healthy -- he just needs an Andre Ethier trade to assure him of value. R.A. Dickey got healthy in the second half, and that allowed him to throw the hard knuckler and excel again. Neil Walker and Jhonny Peralta might not combine for 30 homers, but they'll play. And look what happens when you get a closer in the 13th…Sergio Romo, Jim Johnson and Rafael Soriano? Giddyup, even if Soriano had some health issues that might come back to haunt him in 2014. Dexter Fowler away from Coors is worrisome -- Coors actually inflates batted ball luck more than homers at this point, so watch his batting average tank -- but it wouldn't be tough for him to hit 10 homers and steal 20 bases in a healthier season.

 

 

Round 14

Round 15

 

14.183    Drew Silva - Drew Smyly SP, DET

14.184    Ryan Boyer - Justin Masterson SP, CLE

14.185    Alan Harrison - Jason Grilli RP, PIT

14.186    Andrew Fiorentino - Evan Gattis C, ATL

14.187    Ray Flowers - Justin Morneau 1B, COL

14.188    Tom Kephart - Wilson Ramos C, WSH

14.189    Scott Pianowski - Jonathan Papelbon RP, PHI

14.190    Nick Minnix - Casey Janssen RP, TOR

14.191    Paul Sporer - Ernesto Frieri RP, ANA

14.192    Eno Sarris - Brad Miller SS, SEA

14.193    Greg Ambrosius - Steve Cishek RP, MIA 

14.194    D.J. Short - Clay Buchholz SP, BOS

14.195    Glenn Colton - Danny Farquhar RP, SEA

14.196    Derek Carty - Torii Hunter CF, DET

 

15.197    Derek Carty - Ubaldo Jimenez SP, CLE

15.198    Glenn Colton - Will Venable RF, SD

15.199    D.J. Short - Jim Henderson RP, MIL

15.200    Greg Ambrosius - Chris Archer SP, TB

15.201    Eno Sarris - Bobby Parnell RP, NYM

15.202    Paul Sporer - Avisail Garcia RF, CWS

15.203    Nick Minnix - Kendrys Morales 1B, SEA

15.204    Scott Pianowski - Nick Swisher 1B, CLE

15.205    Tom Kephart - Grant Balfour RP, TB

15.206    Ray Flowers - Huston Street RP, SD

15.207    Andrew Fiorentino - Alexander Guerrero 2B, LAD

15.208    Alan Harrison - Rex Brothers RP, COL

15.209    Ryan Boyer - Neftali Feliz RP, TEX

15.210    Drew Silva - Ben Revere CF, PHI

 

Drew Smyly starting should be fun. The worry is that a year spent away from his changeup has hurt his best weapon against righties, and that he may have an innings limit. If Justin Masterson falls to the 14th in your draft, you can ignore the fact that he's still devoid of a weapon against lefties and should regress. He can be worth this pick even with regression. This looks like a great place to get a catcher -- Evan Gattis has power, and Wilson Ramos should hit for a good batting average with possible power upside. Brad Miller was literally the last starting shortstop I could pick without gagging -- hopefully my outfield (Carlos Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Wil Myers, Khristopher Davis, Marcell Ozuna) would make up for some shortcomings on the middle infield. But Brad Miller has a job, and the power, speed and contact ability to hit .275 with 15/15 type stats. Of the closers in these two rounds, Casey Janssen and Jim Henderson are probably the safest. No injury concerns in 2013, and starting the year with a job in hand and debatable competition. Cuban import Alexander Guerrero has a lot of questions about his game. It looks like he might be a pull hitter with questionable plate discipline, which sounds like 15-20 home runs and a bad batting average to me. But Ben Revere with the 210th pick? Yes. Even without any power at all.

 

 

Round 16

Round 17

 

16.211    Drew Silva - Nate Jones RP, CWS

16.212    Ryan Boyer - Nick Castellanos 3B, DET

16.213    Alan Harrison - Jarrod Parker SP, OAK

16.214    Andrew Fiorentino - Brandon Beachy SP, ATL

16.215    Ray Flowers - Tim Lincecum SP, SF

16.216    Tom Kephart - Chris Tillman SP, BAL

16.217    Scott Pianowski - Lance Lynn SP, STL

16.218    Nick Minnix - B.J. Upton CF, ATL

16.219    Paul Sporer - Nick Franklin 2B, SEA

16.220    Eno Sarris - Anthony Rendon 2B, WSH

16.221    Greg Ambrosius - George Springer OF, HOU

16.222    D.J. Short - Kole Calhoun RF, ANA

16.223    Glenn Colton - John Axford RP, CLE

16.224    Derek Carty - LaTroy Hawkins RP, COL

 

17.225    Derek Carty - Corey Kluber SP, CLE

17.226    Glenn Colton - Yovani Gallardo SP, MIL

17.227    D.J. Short - Todd Frazier 3B, CIN

17.228    Greg Ambrosius - Jonathan Villar SS, HOU

17.229    Eno Sarris - Jason Castro C, HOU

17.230    Paul Sporer - Taijuan Walker SP, SEA

17.231    Nick Minnix - Derek Holland SP, TEX

17.232    Scott Pianowski - Matt Garza SP, TEX

17.233    Tom Kephart - Omar Infante 2B, KC

17.234    Ray Flowers - Michael Brantley LF, CLE

17.235    Andrew Fiorentino - A.J. Burnett SP, SP, PIT

17.236    Alan Harrison - Chris Carter 1B, HOU

17.237    Ryan Boyer - Alex Wood SP, ATL

17.238    Drew Silva - Hiroki Kuroda SP, NYY

 

You aren't picking your bench yet, but you should be taking some chances here and picking for upside, most likely. And you see that the picks took that turn pretty quickly. Nate Jones might not have a job, but he's the favorite to close for the White Sox. Nick Castellanos should play third for the Tigers, but he seems overrated. For a guy that supposedly has a plus hit tool, his batting averages in the minor leagues were underwhelming. He doesn't have a lot of power either. I'd take Hiroki Kuroda, Corey Kluber, Taijuan Walker, Derek Holland and Tyson Ross over Chris Tillman and Tim Lincecum. The Giants’ vet never showed good control of his fastball and now it's down to 91, and the younger pitcher doesn't have a single pitch with plus peripherals in terms of grounders or whiffs. The Nick Franklin pick nearly gave me a heart attack -- but I'd much rather have Anthony Rendon, who has a job right now, and could show more power in his second go-around at the league. If you don't get a top catcher, you might as well wait. Jason Castro told me early in the season that he'd changed his swing to put more loft in it, so that sort of intentional change in both approach and results seems believable. Kole Calhoun played in hitter's parks and was old for his league, but now he has a job. He'll likely show better results as a more polished youngster with a regular role than George Springer, who despite the hype, has real problems making contact and has something to prove before playing.

 

 

Round 18

Round 19

 

18.239    Drew Silva - Tyson Ross SP, SD

18.240    Ryan Boyer - Martin Perez SP, TEX

18.241    Alan Harrison - Ricky Nolasco SP, MIN

18.242    Andrew Fiorentino - Dan Straily SP, OAK

18.243    Ray Flowers - Corey Hart RF, MIL

18.244    Tom Kephart - Dayan Viciedo RF, CWS

18.245    Scott Pianowski - A.J. Pierzynski C, BOS

18.246    Nick Minnix - Josh Johnson SP, SD

18.247    Paul Sporer - Oscar Taveras OF, STL

18.248    Eno Sarris - Marcell Ozuna CF, MIA

18.249    Greg Ambrosius - A.J. Griffin SP, OAK

18.250    D.J. Short - Rick Porcello SP, DET

18.251    Glenn Colton - Nick Markakis RF, BAL

18.252    Derek Carty - Rajai Davis OF, DET

 

19.253    Derek Carty - Adam LaRoche 1B, WSH

19.254    Glenn Colton - Ivan Nova SP, NYY

19.255    D.J. Short - Erick Aybar SS, ANA

19.256    Greg Ambrosius - Marlon Byrd RF, PHI

19.257    Eno Sarris - Ryan Howard 1B, PHI

19.258    Paul Sporer - Nathan Eovaldi SP, MIA

19.259    Nick Minnix - Josh Willingham LF, MIN

19.260    Scott Pianowski - Brian Dozier 2B, MIN

19.261    Tom Kephart - Mike Leake SP, CIN

19.262    Ray Flowers - Eric Young Jr. OF, NYM

19.263    Andrew Fiorentino - Jake McGee RP, TB

19.264    Alan Harrison - Adam Lind DH, TOR

19.265    Ryan Boyer - Fernando Rodney RP, TB

19.266    Drew Silva - Oswaldo Arcia RF, MIN

 

Christian Yelich will get the attention, but Marlins teammate and starting center fielder Marcell Ozuna has some power and speed and the batting average shouldn't be terrible. Nick Markakis is safer, especially in terms of batting average, but he won't steal any more bags and his homer totals keep dwindling. Oswaldo Arcia should get playing time, but power is his best (only) skill and Minnesota's cold park won't help in that department. Among the infielders, Brian Dozier has to be the best pick of the bunch. If he irons out his pop-up problem, he'll have it all at second base. If he doesn't, the batting average will suck, again. The bargain-bin first basemen all have their obvious flaws. Would you rather have vanilla but younger and healthier Adam Lind, or take a chance on injured veterans Corey Hart or Ryan Howard? The pitchers all have their issues, but look at a few that found missing pieces recently for the best values: Dan Straily (and his changeup), Rick Porcello (and his new curveball) and Ivan Nova (and his sinker) all added missing pieces that make them much more valuable going forward.

 

 

Round 20

Round 21

Round 22

 

20.267    Drew Silva - Kolten Wong 2B, STL

20.268    Ryan Boyer - Hector Santiago RP, ANA

20.269    Alan Harrison - Zack Cozart SS, CIN

20.270    Andrew Fiorentino - Jonathon Niese SP, NYM

20.271    Ray Flowers - Brandon Morrow SP, TOR

20.272    Tom Kephart - Charlie Morton SP, PIT

20.273    Scott Pianowski - Travis Wood SP, CHC

20.274    Nick Minnix - Scott Kazmir SP, OAK

20.275    Paul Sporer - Davis Freese 3B, ANA

20.276    Eno Sarris - Yordano Ventura SP, KC

20.277    Greg Ambrosius - Will Middlebrooks 3B, BOS

20.278    D.J. Short - Colby Rasmus CF, TOR

20.279    Glenn Colton - Melky Cabrera CF, TOR

20.280    Derek Carty - Bartolo Colon SP, NYM

 

21.281    Derek Carty - Angel Pagan CF, SF

21.282    Glenn Colton - John Lackey SP, BOS

21.283    D.J. Short - Dan Haren SP, LAD

21.284    Greg Ambrosius - Jake Peavy SP, BOS

21.285    Eno Sarris - Junior Lake CF, CHC

21.286    Paul Sporer - Kelly Johnson 2B, NYY

21.287    Nick Minnix - Chris Johnson 3B, ATL

21.288    Scott Pianowski - Yan Gomes C, CLE

21.289    Tom Kephart - Michael Morse OF, SF

21.290    Ray Flowers - Joaquin Benoit RP, SD

21.291    Andrew Fiorentino - Jackie Bradley Jr. CF, BOS

21.292    Alan Harrison - Josh Reddick RF, OAK

21.293    Ryan Boyer - Emilio Bonifacio CF, KC

21.294    Drew Silva - J.P. Arencibia C, TEX

 

22.295    Drew Silva - Erasmo Ramirez RP, MIA

22.296    Ryan Boyer - Matt Davidson 3B, CWS

22.297    Alan Harrison - Peter Bourjos CF, STL

22.298    Andrew Fiorentino - Chris Young OF, NYM

22.299    Ray Flowers - Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, MIA

22.300    Tom Kephart - Burch Smith SP, SD

22.301    Scott Pianowski - Matt Dominguez 3B, HOU

22.302    Nick Minnix - Marco Estrada SP, MIL

22.303    Paul Sporer - Jhoulys Chacin SP, COL

22.304    Eno Sarris - Chad Qualls RP, HOU

22.305    Greg Ambrosius - Ervin Santana SP, KC

22.306    D.J. Short - Jose Veras RP, CHC

22.307    Glenn Colton - Dillon Gee SP, NYM

22.308    Derek Carty - David Phelps SP, NYY

 

Kolten Wong has a platoon caddy in Mark Ellis, but if he takes the job outright, he has the ability to hit .275 with 10 homers and 25 steals -- a middle infield bargain here. Hector Santiago's main problem was homers, and he's moving to Anaheim, which could help. Charlie Morton was exciting at 93-94 mph. If he returns back to 91 mph in spring, pass. Yordano Ventura doesn't have that problem; he sits at 96 mph comfortably, but we need to know more about his secondary stuff. Will Middlebrooks won't have a good batting average -- too many strikeouts -- but probably enough power to be a 14-team CI. Jake Peavy seems like the most likely of the aged veterans here to stay healthy, but John Lackey is still in his Tommy John honeymoon at least. Junior Lake has bad plate discipline but a lot of tools, and his team will give him all the chances he can handle. A bad batting average with power and speed could fit your team if you protected batting average through the beginning of the draft. Jackie Bradley Jr.'s game is probably better suited to real life -- playing defense and getting on base are his strengths -- but a little bit of everything from the fifth outfielder spot works. Erasmo Ramirez lost a lot of the velocity that turned him from a non-prospect to a prospect. Can he get it back? Matt Davidson will be a popular sleeper, but he won't make much contact or show a good batting average with his power. Chad Qualls is probably the favorite for saves in Houston to begin the year, and Jose Veras in Chicago. Why not? And though Dillon Gee can't break 91 most games with his fastball, his excellent changeup makes him relevant.

 

 

Round 23

Round 24

Round 25

 

23.309    Derek Carty - Tommy Hunter RP, BAL

23.310    Glenn Colton - Mike Moustakas 3B, KC

23.311    D.J. Short - A.J. Pollock CF, ARZ

23.312    Greg Ambrosius - Archie Bradley SP, ARZ

23.313    Eno Sarris - Jeremy Hellickson SP, TB

23.314    Paul Sporer - Alberto Callaspo 3B, OAK

23.315    Nick Minnix - Stephen Drew SS, BOS

23.316    Scott Pianowski - Tim Hudson SP, SF

23.317    Tom Kephart - Wily Peralta SP, MIL

23.318    Ray Flowers - Derek Jeter SS, NYY

23.319    Andrew Fiorentino - Jarrod Dyson OF, KC

23.320    Alan Harrison - Ian Kennedy SP, SD

23.321    Ryan Boyer - Miguel Sano 3B, MIN

23.322    Drew Silva - Devin Mesoraco C, CIN

 

24.323    Drew Silva - Jaime Garcia SP, STL

24.324    Ryan Boyer - Cameron Maybin CF, SD

24.325    Alan Harrison - Miguel A. Gonzalez SP, PHI

24.326    Andrew Fiorentino - Andrew Lambo OF, PIT

24.327    Ray Flowers - Justin Ruggiano OF, CHC

24.328    Tom Kephart - Miguel Montero C, ARZ

24.329    Scott Pianowski - Henderson Alvarez SP, MIA

24.330    Nick Minnix - Ryan Vogelsong SP, SF

24.331    Paul Sporer - Phil Hughes SP, MIN

24.332    Eno Sarris - Alcides Escobar SS, KC

24.333    Greg Ambrosius - James Paxton SP, SEA

24.334    D.J. Short - Kevin Gausman RP, BAL

24.335    Glenn Colton - Gerardo Parra RF, ARZ

24.336    Derek Carty - Mitch Moreland DH, TEX

 

25.337    Derek Carty - Ike Davis 1B, NYM

25.338    Glenn Colton - Bud Norris SP, BAL

25.339    D.J. Short - Yonder Alonso 1B, SD

25.340    Greg Ambrosius - James Loney 1B, TB

25.341    Eno Sarris - Cody Asche 3B, PHI

25.342    Paul Sporer - Ryan Flaherty 2B, BAL

25.343    Nick Minnix - Jameson Taillon SP, PIT

25.344    Scott Pianowski - Scooter Gennett 2B, MIL

25.345    Tom Kephart - Logan Morrison 1B, SEA

25.346    Ray Flowers - Alexi Ogando SP, TEX

25.347    Andrew Fiorentino - Tanner Roark RP, WSH

25.348    Alan Harrison - Noah Syndergaard RP, NYM

25.349    Ryan Boyer - Russell Martin C, PIT

25.350    Drew Silva - Rickie Weeks 2B, MIL

 

Now you're in the bench rounds. Now, the best philosophy is to look at your weak positions and stats and take some upside shots. For example, my team skimped on steals and middle infielders, so I got Alcides Escobar, who could hit .275 with 30 steals. Ryan Howard was my corner infielder, so I needed some youth and got that with Cody Asche, the little-bit-of-everything favorite to start at third in Philadelphia. And with fireballer Yordano Ventura as my last pitcher, I took a gamble on a Jeremy Hellickson revival. Other upside plays caught my eye. Ian Kennedy could be fine in a full year with homer-suppressing PetCo behind him. Devin Mesoraco is probably a two-catcher-league sleeper, but don't forget that he has top-prospect pedigree and the rates and ratios to produce a good batting average with decent power. James Paxton was a bust at 91 mph, but he fixed his knee and got it back up to mid-90s. If the change up can get better, he could be really good. Kevin Gausman is good enough to go way earlier, so great pick by D.J. Short. He has high-90s gas and the breaking stuff -- plus great control -- to be an ace. Seriously. Jameson Taillon is very interesting, but we don't know if he has a role yet. Scooter Gennett might only put up an empty batting average, but he looks like the favorite in Milwaukee at second base. Don't forget, Derek Jeter could do the same even in his old age. Jaime Garcia was really good once, when he was healthy. That's all you can ask for in the last round.