2012 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Robinson Cano and More Infield Studs
Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees is one of baseball's best players, but he doesn't get the respect he deserves.
Cano is one of several infielders who you should consider with your first-round pick in your fantasy baseball draft.
Let's look at a complete first-round mock draft to use as a guide for your draft.
1) Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels
Pujols is still the best player in the game, and even though his 2011 season was one of the weakest of his career, it was still fantastic by normal standards.
In the American League, Pujols will dominate in a talented Angels lineup against some very weak AL West teams.
There's no reason to pass on Pujols with the top overall pick.
2) Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers
Cabrera is pretty close to Pujols in fantasy value because he's an absolute beast at the plate. He will hit over 30 home runs, drive in over 120 runs and have a high batting average.
In a loaded Tigers lineup that now includes Prince Fielder, expect Cabrera to have another monster season in Detroit.
3) Jose Bautista, 3B/OF, Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays slugger has been the best home run hitter in baseball over the last two seasons, and while he may not reach 50 again, he will certainly eclipse the 40 mark.
Bautista has been able to dominate in a tough AL East division without a ton of protection in his Toronto lineup, which really proves how talented he is.
You can't go wrong taking Bautista anywhere in the first round, even No. 1 overall.
4) Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies
Troy Tulowitzki is the best hitting shortstop in baseball and will carry a talented Rockies lineup throughout the season.
The key for Tulowitzki is health, but that doesn't seem to be a major issue heading into 2012. The Rockies infielder will be a fantasy stud in all categories if healthy.
5) Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees
Is Cano the best 2B in MLB?
There's no question that Yankees star Robinson Cano is the best 2B in all of baseball, and his hitting ability is amazing for someone at his position.
Cano plays in a very hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, and there's no reason he can't break the 30-HR mark, drive in over 100 runs and bat over .300 this season.
6) Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Matt Kemp is a superstar player and will build on his MVP-caliber season of 2011 this year. Kemp is an all-around fantasy stud with his ability to hit for average and power consistently.
Kemp even had 40 steals last year. There's nothing he can't do, which makes him one of the safest first-round picks you can make.
7) Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury had an MVP-level season last year, with over 30 home runs and more than 100 RBIs and runs. Ellsbury is also one of the best base stealers in baseball.
If he remains healthy, which I don't foresee him having any issues doing, then Ellsbury will have another great season with similar power numbers. His stolen base total should be even higher and could reach the 50-base mark.
Ellsbury is a great all-around fantasy star who will give you important stolen bases.
8) Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander is one of the most reliable pitchers because he is always going to give you around 30 starts and pitch a ton of innings each game.
Verlander was the MVP and Cy Young Award winner in the AL last season and should certainly reach the 20-win mark again this season.
With a great chance to have a sub-3.00 ERA and over 200 strikeouts, Verlander is the safest first-round pick of all pitchers.
9) Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is one of the best power hitters in baseball and plays on a quality Reds team that doesn't play in a very challenging NL Central division.
There's a lot of quality first basemen to choose from, but few of them are as reliable as Votto is with his bat.
10) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Boston Red Sox
Will the Red Sox win the AL East?
Adrian Gonzalez had a very good season last year but didn't always look comfortable at the plate in his first season playing in a big-time baseball market.
Gonzalez had 27 home runs last season but should easily hit over 30 this season. The Red Sox slugger will also drive in over 100 runs and dominate Fenway Park, which is arguably the best hitters park in baseball.
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