15-Round Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft, Round-by-Round Analysis

Eric MatulaContributor IIMarch 8, 2013

15-Round Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft, Round-by-Round Analysis

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    Fantasy baseball drafts are in full swing.

    So, as the season inches closer, here is a look at my 15-round mock draft. I ranked my players in accordance to a 12-team league with basic scoring settings, except I also factored OPS and WHIP into consideration as well.

    Don't be surprised if these rankings are much different than Yahoo! and ESPN. That's the way I like it.  

Round 1

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    1. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

    2. Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

    3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Detroit Tigers

    4. Robinson Cano, 2B, New York Yankees

    5. Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels

    6. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins

    7. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds

    8. Matt Kemp, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

    9. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

    10. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies

    11. Prince Fielder, 1B, Detroit Tigers

    12. Buster Posey, C/1B, San Francisco Giants

     

    Analysis

    It's a good year to have a top-three pick because you can basically interchange Trout, Braun and Cabrera. You are getting a No. 1 overall player with any of those guys.

    Recent ADPs have Kershaw going much lower, but he deserves to go in the first round. He's an ace who will dominate in every pitching category except for saves.

    Also, don't overlook Stanton. He, too, is going later in most drafts. There were just six players who hit 40-plus home runs last season, and Stanton could join that group in 2013.

Round 2

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    13. Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

    14. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies

    15. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

    16. Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers

    17. Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals

    18. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers

    19. Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays

    20. Cliff Lee, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

    21. Matt Holliday, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

    22. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners

    23. David Wright, 3B, New York Mets

    24. Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

     

    Analysis

    McCutchen's ADP is inside the top five, but I would wait on him until the second round. As good as he is, he'll most likely suffer a letdown in 2013. Unfortunately, you'll still have to reach for him if you really want him.

    In most drafts, Lee, Hernandez and Hamels are going significantly later than the second round. However, they deserve to be higher because you're looking at 14-plus wins, an ERA around 3.00 and 200-plus strikeouts from each guy.

    Outfield might be the deepest position out there, but you don't want to wait too long to grab one. There could be at least eight outfielders snagged within the first two rounds, and you might want to act quick to get an elite option.

Round 3

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    25. David Price, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

    26. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

    27. Josh Hamilton, OF, Los Angeles Angels

    28. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers

    29. Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants

    30. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox

    31. Joe Mauer, C/1B, Minnesota Twins

    32. Hanley Ramirez, SS/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

    33. Jose Reyes, SS, Toronto Blue Jays

    34. Jered Weaver, SP, Los Angeles Angels

    35. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays

    36. Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds

     

    Analysis

    Don't forget about Mauer. His power outage is a concern, but he still remains a valuable catching option. There were only three catchers that hit .300 or higher last season, and Mauer is just about a lock to reach that mark every year.

    HanRam, surprisingly, has a lower ADP than the third round. He might not be the player that he was five years ago, but he has 20/20 potential at third base AND shortstop. That's huge, and you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to grab a player of his caliber.

    Again, starting pitchers are being undervalued. Price and Cain are going much later in other drafts, but I just wouldn't want to pass up on the chance to snag an ace. 

Round 4

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    37. Zack Greinke, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

    38. Justin Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves

    39. Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City Royals

    40. Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals

    41. Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles

    42. Craig Kimbrel, RP, Atlanta Braves

    43. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals

    44. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs

    45. Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies

    46. CC Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees

    47. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, San Francisco Giants

    48. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas Rangers

     

    Analysis

    I'm a huge Rizzo fan. He might be young and unproven, but I'm not going to pass up on his 30-homer potential. There's a reason why he was viewed as one of the best MLB prospects at one time.

    Justin Upton will definitely not last this long in most drafts, but I wouldn't want to take him any earlier. He's very inconsistent from year to year, and you never know which Upton you are going to get. With the outfield position being so deep, Upton is a risk that I don't want to take.

    I never thought I would put a closer in the top-50, but Kimbrel deserves it. He's the exception to the rule. Kimbrel averaged 5.27 strikeouts per week last year, and in head-to-head leagues, that's like having another starter going. He's a hidden ace.

Round 5

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    49. Mike Napoli, C/1B, Boston Red Sox

    50. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves

    51. Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals

    52. Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, Tampa Bay Rays

    53. Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants

    54. Gio Gonzalez, SP, Washington Nationals

    55. Kris Medlen, SP, Atlanta Braves

    56. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

    57. Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox

    58. Allen Craig, 1B/OF, St. Louis Cardinals

    59. Carlos Santana, C/1B, Cleveland Indians

    60. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincinnati Reds

     

    Analysis

    Don't forget about the trustworthy, seasoned vet Konerko. As usual, he is being overlooked. He might be 37 years old, but he's almost a lock to hit 25-plus homers with a .285 average.

    I love Zobrist. He's doesn't do anything spectacular, but he'll contribute all across the board. Not only that, but he has eligibility at three different positions, including both middle infield spots. That's big.

    I expect Napoli to have a very nice season. He shouldn't come close to matching that .320 average from a couple years ago, but he should hit at least 25 homers.

Round 6

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    61. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox

    62. Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

    63. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Oakland A's

    64. Chris Sale, SP, Chicago White Sox

    65. Mat Latos, SP, Cincinnati Reds

    66. Brett Lawrie, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

    67. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves

    68. David Ortiz, 1B, Boston Red Sox

    69. Yu Darvish, SP, Texas Rangers

    70. Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego Padres

    71. B.J. Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves

    72. Josh Rutledge, SS, Colorado Rockies

     

    Analysis

    Most of you will think that this is way too low of a position for Headley. Maybe it is, but I'm not completely sold on a guy who has just one monster second half under his belt. Prior to last year, he never hit more than 12 homers.

    Conversely, you're probably thinking that Rutledge is being valued entirely too high here, but I am a huge fan of this kid. He made a very nice splash last year in his debut, and I expect big things from him in 2013. He'll start the year with shortstop eligibility, but it won't take long for him to gain second base eligibility as well.

    B.J. Upton is being hyped up. We can thank that to a blockbuster deal that sent him to Atlanta. He has that rare blend of power and speed, but he hasn't hit above .246 since 2008.

Round 7

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    73. Nelson Cruz, OF, Texas Rangers

    74. Martin Prado, 2B/SS/3B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

    75. Wilin Rosario, C, Colorado Rockies

    76. Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros

    77. Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati Reds

    78. Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs

    79. Mariano Rivera, RP, New York Yankees

    80. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Cincinnati Reds

    81. Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals

    82. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Philadelphia Phillies

    83. Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles

    84. Jason Motte, RP, St. Louis Cardinals

     

    Analysis

    Prado is another player who I really love. Like Zobrist, he doesn't stand out in any statistical category, but he provides solid numbers in each of them. His positional flexibility is also a huge bonus, not to mention that's he is moving to a more hitter-friendly stadium in Arizona this season.

    This is about the time that you typically begin to see closers come off the board, unless people start to panic after Kimbrel goes a few rounds earlier. Rivera might be 43 years old, but it's hard to drop him in the rankings. Papelbon and Motte are also elite options.

    Also, take a chance on Rosario. He has crazy pop and plays his home games at Coors Field. Is there really any better combination that you could have?

Round 8

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    85. Melky Cabrera, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

    86. Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Washington Nationals

    87. Michael Cuddyer, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies

    88. Aroldis Chapman, RP, Cincinnati Reds

    89. Josh Willingham, OF, Minnesota Twins

    90. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Boston Red Sox

    91. Carlos Beltran, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

    92. Yovani Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

    93. Aaron Hill, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks

    94. Sergio Romo, RP, San Francisco Giants

    95. Ian Kennedy, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

    96. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Cleveland Indians

     

    Analysis

    How will Chapman transition into being a starting pitcher this season? That will be one of the biggest questions of the year. The success of Kris Medlen and Chris Sale—two other former relievers that are now starting—show that Chapman can certainly have another great year. The only problem is that he'll start with only RP eligibility.

    Don't sleep on Kennedy. He bad a bad year in 2012, but he was great in 2011 and good in 2010. Don't write him off after one below-average season.

    Cuddyer notched just 358 at bats last season, but he still belted 16 homers and stole eight bags. If he's healthy, he's capable of 20-plus home runs with 10 steals and a .285 average.

Round 9

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    97. Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians

    98. Ike Davis, 1B, New York Mets

    99. Jimmy Rollins, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

    100. Alex Rios, OF, Chicago White Sox

    101. J.J. Putz, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks

    102. Max Scherzer, SP, Detroit Tigers

    103. Ryan Howard, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies

    104. Tim Lincecum, SP, San Francisco Giants

    105. Huston Street, RP, San Diego Padres

    106. Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals

    107. R.A. Dickey, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

    108. Dan Haren, SP, Washington Nationals

     

    Analysis

    It might be surprising to see Dickey, the reigning N.L. Cy Young Award winner, being drafted this low. I know that he won't last this long in most drafts, but I wouldn't overpay for him. I think he'll have another good season, but I expect his ERA to come up more than a run because pitching in the American League is usually a tougher task.

    Street is going unnoticed. He only pitched 39 innings last season, but you cannot ignore his 1.85 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 rate.

    Kipnis had a tale of two halves last season. He was great in the first part of the season and then he was downright awful in the second. If he can be more consistent, then his 97 ranking will go way up.

Round 10

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    109. Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Angels

    110. Jesus Montero, C, Seattle Mariners

    111. Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

    112. Torii Hunter, OF, Detroit Tigers

    113. Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees

    114. Josh Beckett, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

    115. James Shields, SP, Kansas City Royals

    116. Miguel Montero, C, Arizona Diamondbacks

    117. Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers

    118. Joe Nathan, RP, Texas Rangers

    110. Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit Tigers

     

    Analysis

    I think Trumbo is very overvalued. Yes, he provides the potential to belt 30 home runs, but his OPS is very low for being such a power hitter. He ranked 53rd in OPS last season behind guys like Andre Ethier, Daniel Murphy and Austin Jackson.

    Expect Beckett to turn it around in 2013. He's in a more pitcher-friendly stadium, and he'll be the team's No. 3 starter instead of No. 1.

    Hunter should be garnering more attention. He's coming off of another fine season, and he'll hit second in Detroit's lethal lineup, ahead of guys like Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez.

Round 11

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    111. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals

    112. Rafael Soriano, RP, Washington Nationals

    113. Hunter Pence, OF, San Francisco Giants

    114. Shane Victorino, OF, Boston Red Sox

    115. Norichika Aoki, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

    116. Alejandro De Aza, OF, Chicago White Sox

    117. C.J. Wilson, SP, Texas Rangers

    118. Matt Garza, SP, Chicago Cubs

    119. Rafael Betancourt, RP, Colorado Rockies

    120. Josh Johnson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

    121. Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas Rangers

    122. Neil Walker, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates

     

    Analysis

    At this stage of the draft, you're most likely looking to fill up those outfield and pitcher slots. Even in Round 11, you can snag guys like Aoki and De Aza who are just as valuable as Victorino but don't have as hefty of a price tag.

    Andrus' ranking is pretty low here, but I'm concerned with the below-average stolen base output that he had last season. After stealing 30-plus bases in each of his first three seasons, he stole just 21 bags last year.

    Betancourt is going overlooked again. Even after putting up solid numbers in 2012, owners are still ignoring him, despite last year's 31 saves and 2.81 ERA.

Round 12

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    123. Shaun Marcum, SP, New York Mets

    124. David Freese, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals

    125. Chase Utley, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies

    126. Ernesto Frieri, RP, Los Angeles Angels

    127. Alexi Ogando, RP, Texas Rangers

    128. Curtis Granderson, OF, New York Yankees

    129. Doug Fister, SP, Detroit Tigers

    130. Jason Grilli, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates

    131. Chris Davis, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles

    132. Ryan Madson, RP, Los Angeles Angels

    133. Fernando Rodney, RP, Tampa Bay Rays

    134. Casey Janssen, RP, Toronto Blue Jays

     

    Analysis

    It will be interesting to see how the closer situation pans out for the Angels. Madson was signed to bring stability, but it appears that he won't be ready for the start of the season. Frieri will be the guy, but for how long?

    Another interesting closer battle will be between Janssen and Sergio Santos. Janssen was named as the team's closer, but can Santos steal it from him and return as a reliable ninth inning guy?

    Ogando and Marcum are two starting pitchers that are being overlooked. Ogando will rejoin the rotation this season, and Marcum is coming off of an injury-riddled season. In 2011, Marcum went 13-7 with a 3.54 ERA.

Round 13

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    135. Todd Frazier, 1B/3B, Cincinnati Reds

    136. Nick Markakis, OF, Baltimore Orioles

    137. Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta Braves

    138. Andrew Cashner, SP, San Diego Padres

    139. Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B, New York Mets

    140. Matt Harvey, SP, New York Mets

    141. Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers

    142. Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox

    143. Hiroki Kuroda, SP, New York Yankees

    144. Jeff Samardzija, SP, Chicago Cubs

    145. Greg Holland, RP, Kansas City Royals

    146. Ryan Ludwick, OF, Cincinnati Reds

     

    Analysis

    Don't forget about Cashner. His 4.27 ERA from last season doesn't look very appetizing, but his 3.55 FIP, 10.1 K/9 rate and home stadium do.

    Murphy provides solid numbers for someone that can be taken this late in the draft. He's no superstar by any means, but at least he won't kill you at second base. If he hits around .300 with seven homers and seven steals, you can be happy with that production.

    Without the timeshare at third base anymore, Frazier should be in for a fine season. I expect his .273 batting average to come down a bit, but he has 25-homer potential.

Round 14

14 of 15

    147. Jim Johnson, RP, Baltimore Orioles

    148. Lance Berkman, 1B, Texas Rangers

    149. Jaime Garcia, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

    150. Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox

    151. Bobby Parnell, RP, New York Mets

    152. Angel Pagan, OF, San Francisco Giants

    153. Mike Fiers, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

    154. Brandon Morrow, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

    155. John Axford, RP, Milwaukee Brewers

    156. Trevor Cahill, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

    157. Josh Reddick, OF, Oakland A's

    158. Ryan Vogelsong, SP, San Francisco Giants

     

    Analysis

    I like Berkman's move to Texas. I think he can still play, but I'm not confident that he can stay healthy. He will be able to DH the majority of the time, though, so that should limit the damage done on his fragile body.

    Jim Johnson was fantastic in 2012, but can he repeat that performance? I don't think he can. His 3.63 xFIP is more than a full run higher than his ERA, and his low strikeout rate scares me.

    The Mets shut down Frank Francisco because of elbow inflammation, and they named Parnell as the team's closer. His WHIP is way too high, but he also possesses an electric fastball that can get hitters out.

Round 15

15 of 15

    159. Adam LaRoche, 1B, Washington Nationals

    160. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, New York Yankees

    161. Marco Estrada, SP, Milwaukee Brewers

    162. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

    162. A.J. Pierzynski, C, Texas Rangers

    163. Carlos Marmol, RP, Chicago Cubs

    164. Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta Braves

    165. Jason Kubel, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

    166. Alexei Ramirez, SS, Chicago White Sox

    167. Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

    168. Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

    169. Grant Balfour, RP, Oakland A's

    170. Matt Moore, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

     

    Analysis

    Uggla won't last this long, but he's still a low-tier second base option. Although he does have great power, he has hit .245 or lower in three of the last four seasons, and I'd rather have a more complete player at second. You can find plenty of power guys at first base.

    I'm big on Estrada. He has a solid ERA and WHIP, and his 9.0 career K/9 rate should be welcomed by any fantasy owner.

    There's no way Moore will last this long, but I'm not sold on him yet. His WHIP is terrible, and he walked more than four batters per nine innings last season. Not only does that hurt that one specific category, but it doesn't allow him to go deeper into games, meaning that he has fewer chances to obtain wins.