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Expert Mock Draft

by Seth Trachtman
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Round 1

 

1.1 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Mike Trout, OF, LAA

1.2 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA

1.3 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT

1.4 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, AZ

1.5 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD

1.6 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Jose Abreu, 1B, CHW

1.7 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Carlos Gomez, OF, MIL

1.8 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Miguel Cabrera, 1B, DET

1.9 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, TOR

1.10 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Robinson Cano, 2B, SEA

1.11 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHC

1.12 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Anthony Rendon, 3B, WSH

 

Mike Trout is the man with the first pick in just about every draft, but after that it’s up in the air.  Giancarlo Stanton has been a common second pick, while I’ve seen Clayton Kershaw and Miguel Cabrera go second, as well.  Cabrera’s value has been plummeting recently with news about his offseason ankle surgery.  Despite missing the last two months to injury, Paul Goldschmidt is holding his place as a top-five pick in most drafts.  The end of the first round seems to be a crapshoot this season, with Edwin Encarnacion, Robinson Cano, Anthony Rizzo and Anthony Rendon finishing out the round.  You won’t see those players in every first round, which is not to say that they aren’t solid picks.  It is to say that this is probably not the year to pick at the end of the draft, if you can avoid it.

 

Round 2

 

2.13 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Jose Bautista, OF, TOR

2.14 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Troy Tulowitzki, SS, COL

2.15 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU

2.16 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Hanley Ramirez, SS, BOS

2.17 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Buster Posey, C, SF

2.18 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Yasiel Puig, OF, LAD

2.19 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Adam Jones, OF, BAL

2.20 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, NYY

2.21 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Ian Desmond, SS, WSH

2.22 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Felix Hernandez, SP, SEA

2.23 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Ryan Braun, OF, MIL

2.24 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX

 

Troy Tulowitzki is a yearly risk near the beginning of drafts.  He suffered through more injuries last season, though it at least looks like he will remain with the Rockies for another year.  However, he has a combined four steals over the last three seasons, so the five-tool upside from earlier in his career just isn’t there.  Jose Altuve has gone in the first round of most drafts I’ve seen, but this group apparently doesn’t see him in the same light.  It’s still difficult to pass on his elite three-category ability, and he stands to hit leadoff regularly with Dexter Fowler out of the way.  Hanley Ramirez represents big upside in the second round while his shortstop eligibility remains.  The hope is that his move to the outfield will allow him to stay healthy.  I was thrilled to find Adam Jones with the 19th overall pick.  He’s usually taken around the No. 15 spot, as he was last season, which says he’s one of the most consistent hitters in the game.  Ryan Braun is another early risk selected in this round, but the offseason reports regarding his thumb surgery have been good.  With a good spring, Braun’s stock could shoot up.

 

Round 3

 

3.25 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Evan Longoria, 3B, TB

3.26 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Michael Brantley, OF, CLE

3.27 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Josh Donaldson, 3B, TOR

3.28 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Justin Upton, OF, SD

3.29 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Bryce Harper, OF, WSH

3.30 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Dee Gordon, 2B, MIA

3.31 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL

3.32 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Yoenis Cespedes, OF, DET

3.33 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL

3.34 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Hunter Pence, OF, SF

3.35 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Chris Sale, SP, CHW

3.36 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - George Springer, OF, HOU

 

Evan Longoria’s draft spot has declined after one of his worst seasons, but he still piles up counting stats hitting in the middle of Tampa Bay’s batting order.  His supporting cast has taken a hit, but he should still see plenty of opportunities.  This round featured some diverging strategies, with several high upside hitters such as Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado and George Springer and also some annual plug-and-plays like Freddie Freeman and Hunter PenceYoenis Cespedes finds himself high on the Rotoworld rankings and mock draft.  While the move to Comerica Park isn’t necessarily favorable, he will get plenty of opportunities in a great Tigers lineup likely driving in Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez as the team’s No. 5 hitter.

 

Round 4

 

4.37 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Corey Kluber, SP, CLE

4.38 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Ian Kinsler, 2B, DET

4.39 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Madison Bumgarner, SP, SF

4.40 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Max Scherzer, SP, WSH

4.41 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Stephen Strasburg, SP, WSH

4.42 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - David Price, SP, DET

4.43 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Corey Dickerson, OF, COL

4.44 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Jose Reyes, SS, TOR

4.45 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL

4.46 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD

4.47 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Johnny Cueto, SP, CIN

4.48 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Yu Darvish, SP, TEX

 

We can safely call Round 4 the round of starting pitching.  Among the 12 picks, seven were starting pitchers.  All are high upside arms that fit the ace mold, as teams attempted to anchor their staffs.  Each pitcher taken in this round has the potential for 200 strikeouts.  Elsewhere, we saw Corey Dickerson taken ahead of Carlos Gonzalez, which would have seemed crazy one year ago but is now becoming a common occurrence with the outfielders standing at nearly the same ADP.  Dickerson stands to see even more playing time this season as a regular from the get-go.

 

Round 5

 

5.49 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Prince Fielder, 1B, TEX

5.50 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Jordan Zimmermann, SP, WSH

5.51 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Jonathan Lucroy, C, MIL

5.52 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Jason Kipnis, 2B, CLE

5.53 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA

5.54 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Zack Greinke, SP, LAD

5.55 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Victor Martinez, 1B, DET

5.56 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Albert Pujols, 1B, LAA

5.57 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Kolten Wong, 2B, STL

5.58 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Joey Votto, 1B, CIN

5.59 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Starling Marte, OF, PIT

5.60 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Cole Hamels, SP, PHI

 

The elite starting pitchers were just about finished off in Round 5, with Jordan Zimmermann, Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels finding their homes.  These pitchers arguably stand a tier below those selected in Round 4, though each has shown consistency in recent seasons.  Prince Fielder looks like a major X-factor in drafts, as fantasy owners aren’t sure what to expect considering his amazing durability prior to last season’s neck injury.  Likewise, Victor Martinez is an interesting case study with a power breakout in his mid-30’s.  Joey Votto is a risk that some owners aren’t willing to take considering the nagging injuries to his lower half over the last few seasons, but the upside still remains intact, especially at a hitter-friendly home park and with a decent lineup.  Kolten Wong’s value has skyrocketed in early drafts partially due to his strong second half, along with some talk that he could challenge for the leadoff spot in the Cardinals lineup.  He has 20/20 upside already.

 

Round 6

 

6.61 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Todd Frazier, 3B, CIN

6.62 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Matt Carpenter, 3B, STL

6.63 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Matt Harvey, SP, NYM

6.64 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Evan Gattis, C, HOU

6.65 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Devin Mesoraco, C, CIN

6.66 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN

6.67 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Adam Wainwright, SP, STL

6.68 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Chris Davis, 1B, BAL

6.69 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Matt Kemp, OF, SD

6.70 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Aroldis Chapman, RP, CIN

6.71 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Carlos Santana, 1B, CLE

6.72 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Craig Kimbrel, RP, ATL

 

At the time of the 2014 All-Star break, Todd Frazier looked like an elite third baseman for fantasy owners.  The streaky Frazier slowed down the stretch, but still represents strong value for fantasy owners.  Matt Carpenter is also a great option for batting average and runs, though his spot in the batting order will be very important to watch.  Matt Harvey will likely be on an innings count this season, but could still be a dynamite option with 180 innings.  Evan Gattis’ value increases slightly with a likely full-time role in the outfield, providing more at-bats without the rigors of catcher while still being eligible at the position.  Billy Hamilton’s horrendous second half has really dropped his value, though the upside remains for a second round value and 60-plus steals if he gets his bat working like it did in the first half.  We see the two elite closers off the board in Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel, showing that these experts don’t care much about their shaky supporting casts.

 

Round 7

 

7.73 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Yan Gomes, C, CLE

7.74 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS

7.75 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Dellin Betances, RP, NYY

7.76 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Alex Cobb, SP, TB

7.77 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Mookie Betts, OF, BOS

7.78 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Jon Lester, SP, CHC

7.79 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Pablo Sandoval, 3B, BOS

7.80 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Manny Machado, 3B, BAL

7.81 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD

7.82 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Salvador Perez, C, KC

7.83 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Sonny Gray, SP, OAK

7.84 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Jay Bruce, OF, CIN

 

The front of the Boston lineup is a potential gold mine after the Red Sox added so much punch this offseason.  It will likely start off with Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia, who could really help in batting average and runs if all goes according to plan.  Pedroia is coming off a down year, but has usually been rock solid for fantasy owners.  Dellin Betances shows the potential of an elite closer, though his lack of experience and the addition of Andrew Miller could make some owners nervous to draft him this early.  Kenley Jansen certainly represents a safer option.  Manny Machado is coming off an up and down year, but showed streaks of brilliance that makes picking him this early appropriate.  Jay Bruce was Mr. Consistency prior to last season, and hopes to rebound from a down year due to knee issues.

 

Round 8

 

8.85 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Starlin Castro, SS, CHC

8.86 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Matt Holliday, OF, STL

8.87 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Jason Heyward, OF, STL

8.88 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Mark Trumbo, 1B, AZ

8.89 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Greg Holland, RP, KC

8.90 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Brian McCann, C, NYY

8.91 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Yadier Molina, C, STL

8.92 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Mark Melancon, RP, PIT

8.93 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Jeff Samardzija, SP, CHW

8.94 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Julio Teheran, SP, ATL

8.95 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Matt Wieters, C, BAL

8.96 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT

 

Round 8 completed the second tier of catchers, which is significant in a two-catcher league.  The drop -off after Brian McCann, Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters is quite significant, with Wilin Rosario’s playing time in question and Russell Martin attempting to repeat what looks like an outlier season in his recent history.  The sub-one tier of closers also went off the board in Greg Holland and Mark Melancon.  Holland has established himself as a truly consistent option, while Melancon has been an elite reliever over the last two seasons but has yet to close for a full season.  Those slightly lower saves totals shouldn’t deter fantasy owners from paying a significant price for him.

 

Round 9

 

9.97 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Brian Dozier, 2B, MIN

9.98 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - David Robertson, RP, CHW

9.99 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Rusney Castillo, OF, BOS

9.100 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - James Shields, SP, FA

9.101 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Alex Wood, SP, ATL

9.102 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Alex Gordon, OF, KC

9.103 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Trevor Rosenthal, RP, STL

9.104 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Christian Yelich, OF, MIA

9.105 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Kole Calhoun, OF, LAA

9.106 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Zach Britton, RP, BAL

9.107 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Wilin Rosario, C, COL

9.108 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Sean Doolittle, RP, OAK

 

The upside, projection picks run rampant in Round 9.  Rusney Castillo’s draft spot could be all over the map until he shows something in spring training, but the Cuban has the ability to produce top-10 outfield value if he can find a favorable spot in Boston’s batting order.  Alex Wood probably won’t see much run support with Atlanta, but has an opportunity for more starts and had a 2.59 ERA as a starter last season.  Christian Yelich and Kole Calhoun bring significant five-tool upside, and should also be able to pile up at-bats near the top of the batting order in their respective lineups.  It should be noted that this draft took place before Sean Doolittle’s shoulder injury was announced.  He’s likely closer to a Round 20 value with questions about his health.

 

Round 10

 

10.109 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Cody Allen, RP, CLE

10.110 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - David Ortiz, DH, BOS

10.111 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - David Wright, 3B, NYM

10.112 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Avisail Garcia, OF, CHW

10.113 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Nelson Cruz, OF, SEA

10.114 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Carlos Carrasco, SP, CLE

10.115 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX

10.116 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Marcell  Ozuna, OF, MIA

10.117 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, WSH

10.118 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Chris Carter, DH, HOU

10.119 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Jake Arrieta, SP, CHC

10.120 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Javier Baez, 2B, CHC

 

Several players in Round 10 present interesting cases for fantasy owners.  David Ortiz has usually lasted longer than his projection would indicate because of his age, but the batting average decline last season makes this an appropriate spot for his services.  David Wright is coming off of a terrible season, piggybacking on an injury-plagued 2013 campaign.  Nelson Cruz cashed in on his career year with Baltimore, but could have a much tougher time hitting at Safeco Field.  Carlos Carrasco has some skeptics after posting a 2.55 ERA, but the peripherals show brilliant ability.  Javier Baez was a strikeout machine during his major league debut, and those struggles haven’t stopped in winter ball.  However, it’s rare to find 30 home run potential at second base or shortstop, and fantasy owners are being forced to pay appropriately.

 

Round 11

Round 12

 

11.121 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Masahiro Tanaka, SP, NYY

11.122 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Shin-Soo Choo, OF, TEX

11.123 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC

11.124 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Doug Fister, SP, WSH

11.125 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Russell Martin, C, TOR

11.126 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, SEA

11.127 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Neil Walker, 2B, PIT

11.128 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Jacob DeGrom, SP, NYM

11.129 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAD

11.130 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Ben Zobrist, 2B, OAK

11.131 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Koji Uehara, RP, BOS

11.132 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - J.D. Martinez, OF, DET

 

12.133 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Marcus Stroman, SP, TOR

12.134 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Alexei Ramirez, SS, CHW

12.135 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Adam Eaton, OF, CHW

12.136 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN

12.137 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Yasmany Tomas, OF, AZ

12.138 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Jhonny Peralta, SS, STL

12.139 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL

12.140 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Travis d'Arnaud, C, NYM

12.141 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Wilson Ramos, C, WSH

12.142 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Ben Revere, OF, PHI

12.143 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS

12.144 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Brett Gardner, OF, NYY

 

Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow is the elephant in the room preventing him from top-20 starter consideration.  He’s a major risk, but one worth taking at this point in a shallow mixed league with replacement options.  Kris Bryant presents huge upside, and I’ve actually seen him go as early as Round 5 in drafts.  As we said with Tim Tebow in the real NFL draft, it only takes one team.  Bryant is arguably the best hitting prospect in the game, but could spend the first month in the minors.  Despite going on age 40, I’ve been surprised at the value Koji Uehara has presented.  He’s still the unquestioned closer for a team Vegas really likes, and has a combined 10.65 K/BB ratio since joining Boston.  Paul Sporer is showing that he believes in the breakouts of J.D. Martinez and Marcus Stroman.  Both should have ample opportunities to succeed, with Martinez likely hitting sixth in Detroit’s loaded lineup and Stroman showing clearly the most upside of anyone in the Blue Jays rotation.  Round 12 featured many nice outfield values, led by Adam Eaton.  The White Sox leadoff hitter showed Batting Title potential during the second half, and should be profitable if he can stay healthy.  Oswaldo Arcia has fallen further in most other drafts I’ve seen thus far, but has 30 home run upside.  Yasmany Tomas isn’t considered on the same level as Yasiel Puig or Jose Abreu, but has big upside at hitter-friendly Chase Field.  Charlie Blackmon’s value has declined after a poor second half and trade rumors, but I’ll happily take any leadoff hitter in Colorado.

 

Round 13

Round 14

 

13.145 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Yordano Ventura, SP, KC

13.146 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Steve Cishek, RP, MIA

13.147 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Michael Pineda, SP, NYY

13.148 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Miguel Montero, C, CHC

13.149 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Daniel Murphy, 2B, NYM

13.150 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Joaquin Benoit, RP, SD

13.151 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Jorge Soler, OF, CHC

13.152 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Danny Santana, SS, MIN

13.153 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT

13.154 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Fernando Rodney, RP, SEA

13.155 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Melky Cabrera, OF, CHW

13.156 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Josh Harrison, 3B, PIT

 

14.157 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Justin Morneau, 1B, COL

14.158 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Adam LaRoche, 1B, CHW

14.159 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Yasmani Grandal, C, LAD

14.160 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, LAD

14.161 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Tyson Ross, SP, SD

14.162 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Drew Storen, RP, WSH

14.163 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Jonathan Papelbon, RP, PHI

14.164 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Huston Street, RP, LAA

14.165 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC

14.166 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Joc Pederson, OF, LAD

14.167 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Andrew Cashner, SP, SD

14.168 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Glen Perkins, RP, MIN

 

I’m a bit surprised Jorge Soler fell this far with the youthful optimism following his 2014 debut.  The Cuban has suffered through injuries since arriving to the states, but has done nothing but hit when he’s been available.  Likewise, Gregory Polanco has the upside to be a huge bargain if he can put it together this season.  The Pirates showed their full support of Polanco by trading Travis Snider, and should have the most dynamic outfield in the game if Polanco shows any semblance of the ability he displayed in the minors as a near 20/20 man.  Another big upside outfielder in this range was Joc Pederson.  It looks like Pederson will have a chance to earn playing time this spring, competing with Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke.  He’s shown promising 30/30 upside.  Round 14 featured the rush to lock down a solid closer, with the second tier going off the board in Drew Storen, Jonathan Papelbon, Huston Street and Glen Perkins

 

Round 15

Round 16

 

15.169 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Alcides Escobar, SS, KC

15.170 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Lucas Duda, 1B, NYM

15.171 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Chris Archer, SP, TB

15.172 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Zack Wheeler, SP, NYM

15.173 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Drew Smyly, SP, TB

15.174 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Pedro Alvarez, 1B, PIT

15.175 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Ian Kennedy, SP, SD

15.176 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Jimmy Rollins, SS, LAD

15.177 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Andrew Miller, RP, NYY

15.178 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Lance Lynn, SP, STL

15.179 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Anibal Sanchez, SP, DET

15.180 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Michael Wacha, SP, STL

 

16.181 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Justin Verlander, SP, DET

16.182 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Leonys Martin, OF, TEX

16.183 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Gio Gonzalez, SP, WSH

16.184 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Brandon McCarthy, SP, LAD

16.185 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Phil Hughes, SP, MIN

16.186 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Mike Zunino, C, SEA

16.187 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Martin Prado, 3B, MIA

16.188 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Dallas Keuchel, SP, HOU

16.189 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Addison Reed, RP, AZ

16.190 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Jean Segura, SS, MIL

16.191 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Jose Quintana, SP, CHW

16.192 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Alex Rios, OF, KC

 

These rounds show just how deep pitching is in the majors.  Chris Archer, Zack Wheeler, Drew Smyly, Michael Wacha, Brandon McCarthy and Jose Quintana are showing up as sleeper darlings all over expert lists, while Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Dallas Keuchel are coming off of huge seasons.  Gio Gonzalez was near the elite fantasy starters in the game as recently as 2012, and remains in a very favorable situation with the Nats.  It’s sad to see Justin Verlander fall this far after being the best starter in fantasy baseball for so many years, but you can’t blame these owners for passing on him after last year’s decline.

 

Round 17

Round 18

Round 19

 

17.193 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Steve Pearce, 1B, BAL

17.194 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Matt Adams, 1B, STL

17.195 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Wil Myers, OF, SD

17.196 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Chase Utley, 2B, PHI

17.197 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - A.J. Pollock, OF, AZ

17.198 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Cliff Lee, SP, PHI

17.199 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Mat Latos, SP, MIA

17.200 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX

17.201 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Matt Cain, SP, SF

17.202 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Jayson Werth, OF, WSH

17.203 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - John Jaso, C, TB

17.204 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Lorenzo Cain, OF, KC

 

18.205 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Arismendy Alcantara, OF, CHC

18.206 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Steven Souza, OF, TB

18.207 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Jered Weaver, SP, LAA

18.208 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Stephen Vogt, 1B, OAK

18.209 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Jose Fernandez, SP, MIA

18.210 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Jedd Gyorko, 2B, SD

18.211 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Dexter Fowler, OF, CHC

18.212 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Brandon Belt, 1B, SF

18.213 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Hector Rondon, RP, CHC

18.214 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Brett Lawrie, 3B, OAK

18.215 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Garrett Richards, SP, LAA

18.216 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Brandon Moss, OF, CLE

 

19.217 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Santiago Casilla, RP, SF

19.218 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Jason Castro, C, HOU

19.219 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Derek Norris, C, SD

19.220 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Neftali Feliz, RP, TEX

19.221 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Erick Aybar, SS, LAA

19.222 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Jake McGee, RP, TB

19.223 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Francisco Liriano, SP, PIT

19.224 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Josh Hamilton, OF, LAA

19.225 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Joe Mauer, 1B, MIN

19.226 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Nick Markakis, OF, ATL

19.227 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Chris Tillman, SP, BAL

19.228 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Homer Bailey, SP, CIN

 

We start to see some interesting fliers in these later rounds, but some of the stalwarts look like the biggest bargains.  Cliff Lee suffered through arm problems last season, but entered last season still among the elite pitchers in the game and was drafted seven rounds after similarly fragile Masahiro TanakaJayson Werth’s stock has fallen as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but it would be almost impossible to lose value on him this late.  Young Steven Souza could have the opportunity to hit in the middle of Tampa Bay’s lineup, which gives him big potential.  Jered Weaver doesn’t have great peripherals, but has been a wins machine when healthy.  Garrett Richards showed elite ability before tearing his Achilles last season and should easily be worth his draft slot if he meets his late April/early May timetable.  Jake McGee will be out at the beginning of the season with arm trouble, but showed terrific ability as Tampa Bay’s closer last season and could be a huge bargain if he can return healthy and regain the role.

 

Round 20

Round 21

Round 22

 

20.229 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Ken Giles, RP, PHI

20.230 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Brad Boxberger, RP, TB

20.231 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Marcus Semien, 3B, OAK

20.232 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Francisco Rodriguez, RP, FA

20.233 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Danny Salazar, SP, CLE

20.234 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Carlos Beltran, DH, NYY

20.235 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Billy Butler, DH, OAK

20.236 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - John Lackey, SP, STL

20.237 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Carl Crawford, OF, LAD

20.238 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Scooter Gennett, 2B, MIL

20.239 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Chase Headley, 3B, NYY

20.240 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Jenrry Mejia, RP, NYM

 

21.241 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Khris Davis, OF, MIL

21.242 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Kevin Gausman, SP, BAL

21.243 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Collin McHugh, SP, HOU

21.244 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Desmond Jennings, OF, TB

21.245 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Michael Fiers, SP, MIL

21.246 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Jesse Hahn, SP, OAK

21.247 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Marlon Byrd, OF, CIN

21.248 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Denard Span, OF, WSH

21.249 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Matt Shoemaker, SP, LAA

21.250 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Scott Kazmir, SP, OAK

21.251 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Jake Odorizzi, SP, TB

21.252 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Francisco Cervelli, C, PIT

 

22.253 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Wily Peralta, SP, MIL

22.254 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Rick Porcello, SP, BOS

22.255 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Drew Hutchison, SP, TOR

22.256 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Derek Holland, SP, TEX

22.257 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Joe Nathan, RP, DET

22.258 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Henderson Alvarez, SP, MIA

22.259 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Jonathan Broxton, RP, MIL

22.260 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Curtis Granderson, OF, NYM

22.261 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Trevor Bauer, SP, CLE

22.262 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Tanner Roark, SP, WSH

22.263 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Luke Gregerson, RP, HOU

22.264 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - James Paxton, SP, SEA

 

With the Jonathan Papelbon trade rumors continuing to swirl, Paul Sporer’s pick of Ken Giles to open Round 20 could be a major coup.  Giles was an elite setup man during his rookie debut, and currently stands as the clear closer-in-waiting behind Papelbon.  Danny Salazar also brings high upside after a good second half.  He was a common sleeper entering last season, and was able to right himself after some struggles.  Kevin Gausman, Mike Fiers and Jesse Hahn spur similar optimism on sleeper lists heading into 2015.  The last of the closers go off the board with Francisco Rodriguez, Jenrry Mejia, Joe Nathan and Luke Gregerson.  Each has their share of wilts, which is obviously why they lasted so long.  It’s notable how little speed remains at this point in the draft.  Denard Span is probably the only true 20 steal threat taken in these three rounds, and that’s an important note as you plan when to pick up steals in a roto league.

 

Round 23

Round 24

Round 25

 

23.265 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Aramis Ramirez, 3B, MIL

23.266 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Drew Pomeranz, SP, OAK

23.267 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Kyle Hendricks, SP, CHC

23.268 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Taijuan Walker, SP, SEA

23.269 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Jake Peavy, SP, SF

23.270 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Mike Napoli, 1B, BOS

23.271 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Ervin Santana, SP, MIN

23.272 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Carlos Martinez, RP, STL

23.273 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Rafael Soriano, RP, FA

23.274 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Michael Cuddyer, OF, NYM

23.275 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Shelby Miller, SP, ATL

23.276 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Tyler Flowers, C, CHW

 

24.277 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Coco Crisp, OF, OAK

24.278 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Adam Lind, 1B, MIL

24.279 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - Danny Duffy, SP, KC

24.280 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, CLE

24.281 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Austin Jackson, OF, SEA

24.282 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Matt Moore, SP, TB

24.283 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Nick Hundley, C, COL

24.284 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - Wade Davis, RP, KC

24.285 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Colby Rasmus, OF, HOU

24.286 Clay Link (RotoWire) - T.J. House, SP, CLE

24.287 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Rajai Davis, OF, DET

24.288 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Nick Castellanos, 3B, DET

 

25.289 Brad Pinkerton (Sporting News) - Christian Bethancourt, C, ATL

25.290 Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld) - Everth Cabrera, SS, FA

25.291 Clay Link (RotoWire) - Noah Syndergaard, SP, NYM

25.292 Ray Flowers (FantasyAlarm.com) - Aaron Sanchez, SP, TOR

25.293 D.J. Short (Rotoworld) - J.J. Hardy, SS, BAL

25.294 Seth Trachtman (Rotoworld) - Michael McKenry, C, COL

25.295 Drew Silva (Rotoworld) - Jung-Ho Kang, SS, PIT

25.296 Nathan Grimm (Rotoworld) - Chris Owings, SS, AZ

25.297 Matthew Pouliot (Rotoworld) - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, MIA

25.298 Patrick Daugherty (Rotoworld) - CC Sabathia, SP, NYY

25.299 Rob Leibowitz (Mastersball.com) - Dalton Pompey, OF, TOR

25.300 Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs) - Michael Morse, 1B, MIA

 

In the closing rounds of the draft, the debate is always upside vs. a sure thing.  We saw plenty of both as owners finished off their rosters, though Round 25 showed more upside plays.  The most intriguing of the upside plays to close out the draft include Taijuan Walker, Carlos Martinez, Matt Moore, Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Jung-Ho Kang and Dalton Pompey.  Each player’s draft stock will be heavily influence by what we see between the time of this draft in late January and spring training, with performance, opportunities and medical updates rapidly changing the stock of the draft pool for these high upside talents.

 

Note: Special thanks to Couchmanagers.com for hosting the draft.