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Standard Mock Draft

by Drew Silva
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Follow @drewsilv and @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter.

 

This weekend (and the entire week following) represents the busiest period for fantasy baseball drafts. Especially standard, casual drafts that don’t require a ton of planning.

 

So to get you prepared for what might be coming, I recently hopped into a random 12-team league in Yahoo’s Mock Draft Lobby and took a spin for 23 rounds. Hopefully the results and round-by-round analysis can serve as a template for our readers, or at least offer up some good and bad ideas.

 

This is a one-catcher, three-outfielder league with one utility (UTIL, DH) spot. No middle infield (MI) or corner infield (CI) starters. 5x5 scoring -- AVG, R, HR, RBI, SB and W, ERA, WHIP, K, SV. About as standard as a fantasy baseball league can get. To the picks …

 

Round 1

1.1 Mike Trout, OF, Angels
1.2 Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
1.3 Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
1.4 Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
1.5 Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
1.6 Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
1.7 Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
1.8 Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles
1.9 Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers
1.10 Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
1.11 Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
1.12 Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins


Round Analysis: This is a pretty standard-looking first round. No real surprises. Some might take issue with Nolan Arenado going seventh overall -- his average draft position (ADP) right now on Yahoo is 10.8 -- but I’m fine with him as a top-seven guy and I’d probably even take him over Clayton Kershaw in a league with casual fantasy owners who aren’t going to dig deep for good late-round values at starting pitcher. Arenado tied Bryce Harper for the National League lead in home runs last season with 42 and he led all major leaguers in RBI with 130. He gets to play 81 games in the thin air at Coors Field. The poor supporting cast in that Rockies lineup doesn’t really bother me. It was just as bad last year, and Arenado thrived.

 

Round 2

2.13 Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
2.14 Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals
2.15 Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays
2.16 Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
2.17 A.J. Pollock, OF, Diamondbacks
2.18 Buster Posey, C, Giants
2.19 Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
2.20 Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox
2.21 Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
2.22 Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins
2.23 Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs
2.24 Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Blue Jays

 

Round Analysis: There seems to be a debate about which starting pitcher should be taken second this year after Kershaw -- Max Scherzer or Jake Arrieta. Scherzer got the nod in this draft, a whole 10 picks ahead of his Cubs counterpart. I think that’s probably the correct order, though it’s obviously an inexact science. Arrieta’s big workload jump from 2014 to 2015 is worrisome. He went from 176 2/3 innings to 248 2/3 innings. Scherzer has been doing the workhorse thing for much longer, and he quietly had a career year in 2015 with the Nationals. In a casual fantasy draft with casual fantasy owners I personally like to focus on position player production first before shifting my attention to pitching. So it’s Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Altuve for me thus far, if you’re keeping track at home.

 

Round 3

3.25 Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets
3.26 Chris Sale, SP, White Sox
3.27 Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants
3.28 Starling Marte, OF, Pirates
3.29 Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles
3.30 Jose Fernandez, SP, Marlins
3.31 Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
3.32 Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies
3.33 George Springer, OF, Astros
3.34 Corey Kluber, SP, Indians
3.35 J.D. Martinez, OF, Tigers
3.36 Nelson Cruz, OF, Mariners


Round Analysis: A big run on starters and outfielders here in the third round. Those are the two deepest positions in fantasy baseball -- where you can find a ton of high-output options but must strike early to grab the truly elite ones. I think Jacob deGrom at 25th overall is a stretch, but that’s mostly a personal preference thing. There’s no reason to think he can’t be a fantasy ace again in 2016, and a slight uptick in strikeouts would shoot him into the top-tier stratosphere. Jose Fernandez at 30th overall is bold considering he is probably going to be on some sort of workload limit, but the 23-year-old Cuban has the goods to absolutely dominate while active. I stuck with my position-player theme, grabbing the best power bat on the board in Nelson Cruz.

 

Round 4

4.37 Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals
4.38 Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Mets
4.39 Zack Greinke, SP, Diamondbacks
4.40 David Price, SP, Red Sox
4.41 Justin Upton, OF Tigers
4.42 Gerrit Cole, SP, Pirates
4.43 Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers
4.44 Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Rockies
4.45 Adam Jones, OF, Orioles
4.46 Noah Syndergaard, SP, Mets
4.47 Prince Fielder, 1B, Rangers
4.48 Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros

 

Round Analysis: It was go-time to grab my staff’s ace. That level of starting pitcher was beginning to run out. Stephen Strasburg frustrated a lot of fantasy owners last season with the injuries and early inconsistency, but he registered a brilliant 1.84 ERA with 110 strikeouts over his final 83 innings and he has looked sharp this spring in the Grapefruit League. I expect him to put it all together in 2016 at age 27 and then strike it rich on the free agent market next winter. Getting the guy at 37th overall feels like a great value. Stanton, Altuve, Cruz, and Strasburg -- my roster is looking both well-balanced and lethal through four rounds.

 

Round 5

5.49 Todd Frazier, 3B, White Sox
5.50 Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Dodgers
5.51 Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals
5.52 Chris Archer, SP, Rays
5.53 Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners
5.54 Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
5.55 Kyle Schwarber, OF, Cubs
5.56 Carlos Gomez, OF, Astros
5.57 Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
5.58 Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians
5.59 Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners
5.60 Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Blue Jays


Round Analysis: Xander Bogaerts struck me as a reach pick when he came off the board at 57th overall. His Yahoo ADP as this mock draft goes live is 69.3. The selection probably stood out even more to me because I had Troy Tulowitzki queued before the round began, and I was able to Tulo with the round’s final pick. Bogaerts is a great talent and probably will take another step forward in 2016, but he finished with seven home runs and 10 stolen bases in 2015. I need a lot more from my starting shortstop. Tulo, if he can stay healthy, promises much much more. Some people just can’t help falling in love with upside.

 

Round 6

6.61 Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians
6.62 Matt Kemp, OF, Padres
6.63 Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals
6.64 Jason Heyward, OF, Cubs
6.65 Johnny Cueto, SP, Giants
6.66 Sonny Gray, SP, Athletics
6.67 Brian Dozier, 2B, Twins
6.68 Hunter Pence, OF, Giants
6.69 Jon Lester, SP, Cubs
6.70 Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
6.71 Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Yankees
6.72 Wade Davis, RP, Royals

 

Round Analysis: I was happy with the bats I had collected up to this point -- Stanton, Altuve, Cruz, and Tulo -- so I decided to dip back into the starting pitcher pool. Carlos Carrasco doesn’t have the name recognition yet, but he will soon if the Indians can play a little better all-around ball in 2016. The right-hander boasts a 3.17 ERA, 1.036 WHIP, and 356 strikeouts over his last 317 2/3 innings. He’s been a beast since converting full time from the bullpen to the rotation in mid-2015. Now with Strasburg and Carrasco on board, I can ignore my rotation for a bit.

 

Round 7

7.73 Carlos Rodon, SP, White Sox
7.74 Craig Kimbrel, RP, Red Sox
7.75 Kenley Jansen, RP, Dodgers
7.76 Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals
7.77 Cole Hamels, SP, Rangers
7.78 Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers
7.79 Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels
7.80 Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
7.81 Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
7.82 Tyson Ross, SP, Padres
7.83 David Ortiz, 1B, Red Sox
7.84 Kyle Seager, 3B, Mariners


Round Analysis: Rodon at the top of the seventh round is so aggressive -- his Yahoo ADP checks in at 145.3 -- but I can safely assume it wasn’t an uneducated pick. Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft out of North Carolina State University, registered a 1.81 ERA and 49 strikeouts over his final 54 2/3 innings last season as a rookie. The young left-hander carries megastar potential with his high-90s fastball and power slider. That said, Wainwright, Hamels, and Ross -- established starters taken in this same round -- offer just as high of a ceiling in 2016 with much more safety. I went Kyle Seager at No. 84, nailing down another big piece of my hard-raking infield.

 

Round 8

8.85 Jeurys Familia, RP, Mets
8.86 Danny Salazar, SP, Indians
8.87 Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels
8.88 Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers
8.89 Rougned Odor, 2B, Rangers
8.90 Michael Brantley, OF, Indians
8.91 Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals
8.92 Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies
8.93 Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
8.94 Mark Melancon, RP, Pirates
8.95 Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates
8.96 Masahiro Tanaka, SP, Yankees

 

Round Analysis: The parade of closers started at the end of the sixth round in this draft and I didn’t want to get left in the dust with another long wait coming between picks, so I decided to grab one of the remaining top-tier stoppers here in the eighth. Jeurys Familia posted a wicked 1.85 ERA across 76 appearances last season for the National League-champion Mets, managing an 86/19 K/BB ratio across 78 innings while racking up 43 saves. He should be awesome this season behind one of the top rotations in baseball. There is no good strategy for drafting closers. Don’t out-smart yourself and wait too long -- that’d be my only advice.

 

Round 9

9.97 Aroldis Chapman, RP, Yankees
9.98 Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Rangers
9.99 Adam Eaton, OF, White Sox
9.100 Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
9.101 Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays
9.102 Ben Revere, OF, Nationals
9.103 Trevor Rosenthal, RP, Cardinals
9.104 Garrett Richards, SP, Angels
9.105 Francisco Liriano, SP, Pirates
9.106 Hanley Ramirez, 1B, Red Sox
9.107 Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees
9.108 Jonathan Lucroy, C, Brewers


Round Analysis: None of the selections here vary greatly from their Yahoo ADPs. I’ll say that my favorite pick of the round was Adam Eaton at 99th overall, and his ADP at the time of this column’s publishing sat at 102.2. Eaton finally turned some of his gap-to-gap line drives into over-the-fence flies last season, finishing with a .792 OPS, 14 homers, and 56 RBI in 153 games. He also stole 18 bases and tallied 98 runs scored. I expect even more this year from the leadoff man of what should be a very good White Sox offense. Eaton isn’t a sleeper anymore, but I think people still do underrate him. I went with Lucroy, whom I love as a bounceback candidate. He’ll be traded somewhere with a better supporting cast around midseason.

 

Round 10

10.109 Ken Giles, RP, Astros
10.110 David Robertson, RP, White Sox
10.111 Cody Allen, RP, Indians
10.112 Hector Rondon, RP, Cubs
10.113 Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins
10.114 Anthony Rendon, 2B, Nationals
10.115 Jeff Samardzija, SP, Giants
10.116 Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Tigers
10.117 Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants
10.118 Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays
10.119 Michael Pineda, SP, Yankees
10.120 Salvador Perez, C, Royals

 

Round Analysis: Had to dip back into the closer pool. Giles should prove to be a nice value at 109 overall -- the eighth closer off the board in this draft. He had been struggling badly in the Cactus League, but a perfect inning Wednesday (March 23) puts him back on top for the Astros’ ninth-inning gig. Luke Gregerson, the primary competition for Giles, has been limited all spring by an intercostal strain. Giles, 25, posted a 1.56 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 115 2/3 innings with the Phillies before heading over to Houston this winter in a blockbuster trade. He’ll now be racking up saves on a very good Astros team. That selection set off another big run on closers. I’m glad I got one more potentially-elite option before the swing.

 

Round 11

11.121 Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers
11.122 Zach Britton, RP, Orioles
11.123 Carlos Martínez, SP, Cardinals
11.124 Jake Odorizzi, SP, Rays
11.125 Kendrys Morales, 1B, Royals
11.126 Raisel Iglesias, SP, Reds
11.127 Steven Matz, SP, Mets
11.128 Russell Martin, C, Blue Jays
11.129 Gerardo Parra, OF, Rockies
11.130 David Peralta, OF, Diamondbacks
11.131 Ben Zobrist, 2B, Cubs
11.132 Curtis Granderson, OF, Mets


Round Analysis: A couple of nice young buy-lows in this round. Joc Pederson, 23, had an .851 OPS with 20 home runs over his first 89 games last season before cratering at the All-Star break. He should now be better accustomed to playing out a demanding 162-game major league schedule. The same goes for Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez, who wasn’t able to pitch in the 2015 playoffs because of a shoulder strain. With his nasty arsenal of power and movement, the sky is the limit. And he’ll have the green light to go 200-plus innings if the shoulder cooperates. It has cooperated so far this spring. I opted for Curtis Granderson in somewhat of a hurry, content with another highly productive bat. He’ll hit leadoff atop a pretty good Mets lineup.

 

Round 12

12.133 Matt Holliday, OF, Cardinals
12.134 Ian Desmond, SS, Rangers
12.135 Alex Gordon, OF, Royals
12.136 Billy Burns, OF, Athletics
12.137 Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Nationals
12.138 Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers
12.139 Huston Street, RP, Angels
12.140 Randal Grichuk, OF, Cardinals
12.141 Jose Quintana, SP, White Sox
12.142 Taijuan Walker, SP, Mariners
12.143 Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals
12.144 Lance McCullers, SP, Astros

 

Round Analysis: If you owned Ian Desmond at any point last year, you’re probably a little frustrated with him. For the first time since 2010 he failed to notch 20 home runs or 20 stolen bases, finishing the 2015 season with 19 jacks and 13 steals. But we can probably expect a resurgence in power this summer in Texas -- a much friendlier home hitting environment than Nationals Park -- and playing the corner outfield rather than shortstop could maybe help his energy level on the basepaths. That last part is a stretch, but a guy with 20-20 potential and eligibility at the shallowest position in fantasy baseball (shortstop) is a real steal at 134th overall. I again opted for a big bat. Matt Holliday carries a lot of bounceback potential (AVG, HR, RBI) at the heart of a decent St. Louis lineup.

 

Round 13

13.145 Dexter Fowler, OF, Cubs
13.146 John Lackey, SP, Cubs
13.147 Brian McCann, C, Yankees
13.148 Travis d'Arnaud, C, Mets
13.149 Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Tigers
13.150 James Shields, SD, Padres
13.151 Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds
13.152 Collin McHugh, SP, Astros
13.153 Yu Darvish, SP, Rangers
13.154 A.J. Ramos, RP, Marlins
13.155 Scott Kazmir, SP, Dodgers
13.156 Lucas Duda, 1B, Mets


Round Analysis: In this big “industry experts” draft I participated in two years somebody selected Billy Hamilton in the second round. Even last year, I saw him go in the fourth round. The reach two years ago was maybe kind of excusable because at that point we thought Hamilton might be able to get on base at a decent clip, but it made no sense to take him that high last spring. I think the 13th round -- where Hamilton was selected in this draft -- is about right for his empty speed. The 25-year-old center fielder owns a .242/.287/.330 career batting line in 1,087 career major league plate appearances. He hit just .226/.274/.289 in 2015. I again drafted power, nabbing a 30-homer guy in Lucas Duda to fill my opening at first base.

 

Round 14

14.157 Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, Mariners
14.158 Shelby Miller, SP, Diamondbacks
14.159 Patrick Corbin, SP, Diamondbacks
14.160 Shawn Tolleson, RP, Rangers
14.161 Daniel Murphy, 2B, Nationals
14.162 Glen Perkins, RP, Twins
14.163 Corey Dickerson, OF, Rays
14.164 Gio Gonzalez, SP, Nationals
14.165 Matt Duffy, 3B, Giants
14.166 Josh Reddick, OF, Athletics
14.167 Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
14.168 Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox

 

Round Analysis: The impact bats are beginning to dry up, as you can see in this round, but I’m content with my offense and ready to shift back into the pitching market anyway. Waiting on pitching was the strategy from the outset. Sitting there at the top of the 14th round for me was Hisashi Iwakuma, owner of a career 3.17 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 7.6 K/9 who gets to make half his starts at Safeco Field, which often ranks as the least-power-friendly park in the major leagues. Seattle re-signed him this offseason to a one-year, $12 million free agent contract with vesting options for 2017 and 2018.

 

Round 15

15.169 Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
15.170 Julio Teheran, SP, Braves
15.171 Khris Davis, OF, Athletics
15.172 Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Marlins
15.173 Jason Hammel, SP, Cubs
15.174 Jay Bruce, OF, Reds
15.175 Addison Russell, SS, Cubs
15.176 Jaime Garcia, SP, Cardinals
15.177 Andrew Miller, RP, Yankees
15.178 Kevin Pillar, OF, Blue Jays
15.179 Yordano Ventura, SP, Royals
15.180 Drew Smyly, SP, Rays


Round Analysis: I went back to the starting pitching well for another refreshing drink. This time it’s Drew Smyly, who missed a large chunk of the 2015 season with a major shoulder injury but felt worth the risk here at 180th overall. He owns a 2.52 ERA, 0.997 WHIP, and 9.5 K/9 over 19 starts in a Rays uniform and the 26-year-old left-hander has been pitching discomfort-free this spring in the Grapefruit League. If he can give me 150-plus innings, we’re talking about a mighty 15th-round steal. I actually had Jaime Garcia in my queue, and he and Smyly carry a similar profile into 2016 as injury-prone lefties with nasty stuff. If they’re healthy, they’re gonna rock.

 

Round 16

16.181 Jarrod Dyson, OF, Royals
16.182 Sean Doolittle, RP, Athletics
16.183 Starlin Castro, 2B, Yankees
16.184 Dellin Betances, RP, Yankees
16.185 Brad Boxberger, RP, Rays
16.186 Santiago Casilla, RP, Giants
16.187 Jose Reyes, SS, Rockies
16.188 Alex Rodriguez, 1B, Yankees
16.189 Michael Conforto, OF, Mets
16.190 Jake McGee, RP, Rockies
16.191 Stephen Vogt, C, Athletics
16.192 Byron Buxton, OF, Twins

 

Round Analysis: Don’t chase speed. You can find it late. I did here in the 16th round, grabbing Jarrod Dyson with the 181st overall pick. He suffered an oblique strain in the Royals’ very first Cactus League game and will likely miss the first two weeks of the regular season, but I have enough starting outfielders to get by and Dyson should be worth the wait when I need to make up some ground in the stolen bases department. He’ll operate as Kansas City’s starting right fielder this season and is probably going to have the green light whenever he reaches first base. The 31-year-old speedster has made 288 career starts at the major league level and in that time has racked up 146 steals. Compare that to Billy Hamilton’s 126 steals in 248 starts.

 

Round 17

17.193 Luis Severino, SP, Yankees
17.194 David Wright, 3B, Mets
17.195 Mike Fiers, SP, Astros
17.196 Arodys Vizcaino, RP, Braves
17.197 Byung Ho Park, 1B, Twins
17.198 Brad Ziegler, RP, Diamondbacks
17.199 Josh Harrison, 2B, Pirates
17.200 Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs
17.201 Kenta Maeda, SP, Dodgers
17.202 Jung Ho Kang, SS, Pirates
17.203 Justin Turner, 3B, Dodgers
17.204 Delino DeShields, OF, Rangers


Round Analysis: Another round with a focus on speed for me. You don’t feel as bad focusing on such things when it’s the 17th round and other members of the draft are selecting high-risk bats and unproven starters. DeShields was a nice surprise for the Rangers in 2015, racking up 22 doubles, 10 triples, and 25 stolen bases in 121 games. He scored 83 runs, taking over as the primary leadoff man for Texas by midseason. I expect 100-plus runs and 30-plus steals this year. If he meets that projection -- and I really don’t think it’s too lofty considering what he did as a rookie -- DeShields will be a massive value grab for me in the 200s.

 

Round 18

18.205 Eduardo Rodriguez, SP, Red Sox
18.206 Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
18.207 Mark Teixeira, 1B, Yankees
18.208 Drew Storen, RP, Blue Jays
18.209 Jimmy Nelson, SP, Brewers
18.210 Mike Leake, SP, Cardinals
18.211 Yan Gomes, C, Indians
18.212 Joe Ross, SP, Nationals
18.213 Marco Estrada, SP, Blue Jays
18.214 Jean Segura, SS, Diamondbacks
18.215 Clay Buchholz, SP, Red Sox
18.216 Victor Martinez, 1B, Tigers

 

Round Analysis: Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was one of my very favorite SP sleepers heading into the spring, and then he had to go and suffer a subluxation of the patella tendon in his right knee during a late-February fielding drill. It’s not an arm injury, so he shouldn’t be limited in any way once he does make it into Boston’s active starting rotation. If that happens before the end of April, he’ll make for a nice draft-day value at 205th overall. The young southpaw registered a 3.85 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and 98 strikeouts over his first 121 2/3 major league innings last season. He had a 2.98 ERA, 1.097 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings at Triple-A Pawtucket before his early-summer promotion.

 

Round 19

19.217 Edinson Volquez, SP, Royals
19.218 DJ LeMahieu, 2B, Rockies
19.219 Neil Walker, 2B, Mets
19.220 Steven Souza, OF, Rays
19.221 Evan Gattis, OF, Astros
19.222 Ender Inciarte, OF, Braves
19.223 Joe Panik, 2B, Giants
19.224 Carlos Santana, 1B, Indians
19.225 Welington Castillo, C, Diamondbacks
19.226 Andrew Cashner, SP, Padres
19.227 Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals
19.228 Steve Cishek, RP, Mariners


Round Analysis: Some sneaky-good power grabs here in the 19th round. Steven Souza should have been a breakout star for the Rays last season, but he suffered freak injuries to his forearm, wrist, and hand at various points in the summer, finishing with an underwhelming .717 OPS, 16 home runs, and 12 stolen bases in 110 games. I like him as a post-hype breakout candidate for 2016. The 26-year-old outfielder batted .350/.432/.590 with 18 home runs, 75 RBI, and 26 stolen bases in 96 games at the Triple-A level in 2014. He’s a proven counting stats compiler in what could be an underrated Tampa Bay offense. Evan Gattis and Carlos Santana also jump out as value picks considering their past power production. I took my third closer: Steve Cishek.

 

Round 20

20.229 Andrew Heaney, SP, Angels
20.230 Mitch Moreland, 1B, Rangers
20.231 Hector Santiago, SP, Angels
20.232 Wil Myers, OF, Rays
20.233 Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Nationals
20.234 Derek Norris, C, Padres
20.235 Denard Span, OF, Giants
20.236 J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins
20.237 Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies
20.238 Adam Lind, 1B, Mariners
20.239 Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs
20.240 Anibal Sanchez, SP, Tigers

 

Round Analysis: I like to shoot for upside in the later rounds, and young Angels starter Andrew Heaney fits that bill. The 24-year-old left-hander registered a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP across 105 2/3 innings last season for Anaheim and he’ll be relied on heavily in 2016 as part of what could otherwise be a disastrous Angels starting rotation. Heaney, the ninth overall selection in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Oklahoma State University, held a 3.22 ERA and 8.9 K/9 in 338 career minor league innings. Angel Stadium can be a friendly place to pitch if you have a decent arsenal and can throw strikes. Don’t tell that to C.J. Wilson.

 

Round 21

21.241 Jerad Eickhoff, SP, Phillies
21.242 Alcides Escobar, SS, Royals
21.243 Mark Trumbo, OF, Orioles
21.244 James Paxton, SP, Mariners
21.245 Andrew Bailey, RP, Phillies
21.246 Howie Kendrick, 2B, Dodgers
21.247 Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians
21.248 J.J. Hoover, RP, Reds
21.249 Logan Forsythe, 2B, Padres
21.250 Stephen Piscotty, OF, Cardinals
21.251 Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds
21.252 Domingo Santana, OF, Brewers


Round Analysis: You can wait to grab a catcher in a standard one-catcher league, as evidenced by Devin Mesoraco not even cracking the top 250 in this draft. Mesoraco, 27, tallied 25 home runs and 80 RBI over 114 games in 2014 before missing the large majority of the 2015 season with a hip impingment. He underwent surgery in June, so he’ll be around 10 months removed when the 2016 regular season opens. The guy should bounce back in a big way. The short porches at Great American Ball Park will help. I went with Domingo Santana, who will take over as the Brewers’ starting right fielder in 2016 after posting enticing offensive numbers last year in the minor leagues.

 

Round 22

22.253 Will Smith, RP, Brewers
22.254 Marcus Semien, SS, Athletics
22.255 Ian Kennedy, SP, Royals
22.256 Carlos Beltran, OF, Yankees
22.257 Melky Cabrera, OF, White Sox
22.258 Chris Carter, 1B, Brewers
22.259 Alex Wood, SP, Dodgers
22.260 Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Yankees
22.261 Kris Medlen, SP, Royals
22.262 Rusney Castillo, OF, Red Sox
22.263 Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins
22.264 Luke Gregerson, RP, Astros

 

Round Analysis: I like to draft 3-4 closers in a standard, casual draft. If they’re out there and nobody is going to take them, might as well pounce. They make for wonderful trade chips even if you don’t ever use them. Closers can also be a sneaky-good source of ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts beyond the saves. Dominate one category, get a little help in the others. Not a bad deal as long as your starters can carry their own share. Will Smith is not locked into the Brewers’ ninth-inning job as this mock draft article goes live, but he is the most talented member of that bullpen. It will happen eventually. Jeremy Jeffress is Smith’s primary competitor for that gig; he wasn’t even selected in this draft.

 

Round 23

23.265 Darren O'Day, RP, Orioles
23.266 Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Red Sox
23.267 Ketel Marte, SS, Mariners
23.268 Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays
23.269 Phil Hughes, SP, Twins
23.270 Eugenio Suarez, SS, Reds
23.271 Josh Tomlin, SP, Indians
23.272 Brett Lawrie, 2B, White Sox
23.273 Pedro Alvarez, 1B, Orioles
23.274 Francisco Cervelli, C, Pirates
23.275 Justin Bour, 1B, Marlins
23.276 Jesse Hahn, SP, Athletics


Round Analysis: There are some who like Justin Bour as a mixed-league sleeper this year at first base. I’m not totally with that, but the argument does make some sense. He tallied 23 home runs and 73 RBI in 129 games last season for the Marlins, and he should bat right behind Giancarlo Stanton on a regular basis in 2016. The walls have been altered at Marlins Park to make the place a little more power-friendly. I went with Jesse Hahn, a nice late-round starting pitching stash. He boasts a 3.23 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 170 career major league innings and gets to make half his starts at O.Co Coliseum. Pretty good fantasy upside at the final draft slot.

 

Drew Silva

Drew Silva is a longtime baseball writer and editor for Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter.