Mock DraftsFebruary 12, 2008


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2008 Keeper Mock

By Josh Milczski

Mock drafts effectively prepare for your real draft. You can have all of your rankings and target-players set, but if you don’t know what round they’re projected to fall, you could either lose out or simply reach when you don’t have to. This started when deerayfan072 found 11 Cafe Regulars to participate in this slow mock that began with Alex Rodriguez being taken first overall by sportsguy138 on January 8th. A lot of thought and preparation went into this mock and I’ve taken the time to evaluate each round by making note of any trends or patterns, as well as my favorite and least favorite picks in each round. Many of our “mocksters” weighed in with their own opinions that are included as well. No mock or draft is alike, but the following will give you an idea of what to expect when your draft day comes.

This mock is based on a 12-team, H2H keeper league, using standard 5 x 5 scoring. Lineups consist of C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, OF, OF, UTIL, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, P, and 6 bench spots. Four players are kept each year with no round penalties. Position eligibility is based on Yahoo! requirements.

Pick #PlayerRoundTeam
1.Alex Rodriguez, 3B – NYY
1Sportsguy
2. Albert Pujols, 1B – Stl
1JCobb
3.  Hanley Ramirez, SS – Fla
1Snakes
4.   Jose Reyes, SS – NYM
1WaCoug
5.    David Wright, 3B – NYM
1Guzman
6.     Chase Utley, 2B – Phi
1Deeray
7.      Matt Holliday, OF – Col
1ThirdDay
8.       Ryan Howard, 1B – Phi
1CadensDad
9.        Miguel Cabrera, 3B – Det
1Jake
10.         Jimmy Rollins, SS – Phi
1Boomer
11.          Prince Fielder, 1B – Mil
1Omaha
12.           Carl Crawford, OF – TB
1Fade
13.           Ryan Braun, 3B – Mil
2Fade
14.          Alfonso Soriano, OF – ChC
2Omaha
15.         Grady Sizemore, OF – Cle
2Boomer
16.        Vladimir Guerrero, OF – LAA
2Jake
17.       Johan Santana, SP – NYM
2CadensDad
18.      David Ortiz, 1B – Bos
2ThirdDay
19.     Carlos Beltran, OF – NYM
2Deeray
20.    Carlos Lee, OF – Hou
2Guzman
21.   Jake Peavy, SP – SD
2WaCoug
22.  Mark Teixeira, 1B – Atl
2Snakes
23. Ichiro Suzuki, OF – Sea
2JCobb
24.Lance Berkman, OF/1B – Hou
2Sportsguy
25.BJ Upton, 2B/OF – TB
3Sportsguy
26. Brandon Phillips, 2B – Cin
3JCobb
27.  Magglio Ordonez, OF – Det
3Snakes
28.   Garrett Atkins, 3B – Col
3WaCoug
29.    Justin Morneau, 1B – Min
3Guzman
30.     Aramis Ramirez, 3B – ChC
3Deeray
31.      Curtis Granderson, OF – Det
3ThirdDay
32.       Derek Jeter, SS – NYY
3CadensDad
33.        Travis Hafner, 1B – Cle
3Jake
34.         Victor Martinez, C – Cle
3Boomer
35.          Alex Rios, OF – Tor
3Omaha
36.           Brandon Webb, SP – Ari
3Fade
37.           Manny Ramirez, OF – Bos
4Fade
38.          CC Sabathia, SP – Cle
4Omaha
39.         Adam Dunn, OF – Cin
4Boomer
40.        Corey Hart, OF – Mil
4Jake
41.       Russell Martin, C – LAD
4CadensDad
42.      Troy Tulowitzki, SS – Col
4ThirdDay
43.     Adrian Gonzalez, 1B – SD
4Deeray
44.    Erik Bedard, SP – Sea
4Guzman
45.   Nick Markakis, OF – Bal
4WaCoug
46.  Bobby Abreu, OF – NYY
4Snakes
47. Joe Mauer, C – Min
4JCobb
48.Josh Beckett, SP – Bos
4Sportsguy
49.Derrek Lee, 1B – ChC
5Sportsguy
50. Justin Verlander, SP – Det
5JCobb
51.  Chone Figgins, 2B/3B/OF – LAA
5Snakes
52.   Cole Hamels, SP – Phi
5WaCoug
53.    Brian Roberts, 2B – Bal
5Guzman
54.     Jason Bay, OF – Pit
5Deeray
55.      John Lackey, SP – LAA
5ThirdDay
56.       Robinson Cano, 2B – NYY
5CadensDad
57.        Scott Kazmir, SP – TB
5Jake
58.         Roy Oswalt, SP – Hou
5Boomer
59.          Carlos Guillen, SS – Det
5Omaha
60.           Jonathon Papelbon, RP – Bos
5Fade
61.           Ian Kinsler, 2B – Tex
6Fade
62.          Chris B Young, OF – Ari
6Omaha
63.         Paul Konerko, 1B – ChW
6Boomer
64.        Hunter Pence, OF – Hou
6Jake
65.       Francisco Rodriguez, RP – LAA
6CadensDad
66.      Eric Byrnes, OF – Ari
6ThirdDay
67.     Dan Haren, SP – Ari
6Deeray
68.    Miguel Tejada, SS – Hou
6Guzman
69.   Torii Hunter, OF – LAA
6WaCoug
70.  Chris Young, SP – SD
6Snakes
71. Aaron Harang, SP – Cin
6JCobb
72.John Smoltz, SP – Atl
6Sportsguy
73.Chipper Jones, 3B – Atl
7Sportsguy
74. Carlos Pena, 1B – TB
7JCobb
75.  Tim Lincecum, SP – SF
7Snakes
76.   JJ Putz, RP – Sea
7WaCoug
77.    Roy Halladay, SP – Tor
7Guzman
78.     Carlos Zambrano, SP – ChC
7Deeray
79.      Nick Swisher, 1B/OF – ChW
7ThirdDay
80.       Jeff Francoeur, OF – Atl
7CadensDad
81.        Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP – Bos
7Jake
82.         Felix Hernandez, SP – Sea
7Boomer
83.          Brian McCann, C – Atl
7Omaha
84.           Hideki Matsui, OF – NYY
7Fade
85.           Ryan Zimmerman, 3B – Was
8Fade
86.          Joe Nathan, RP – Min
8Omaha
87.         Gary Sheffield, OF – Det
8Boomer
88.        Rickie Weeks, 2B – Mil
8Jake
89.       Andruw Jones, OF – LAD
8CadensDad
90.      Kelvim Escobar, SP – LAA
8ThirdDay
91.     Vernon Wells, OF – Tor
8Deeray
92.    Brad Hawpe, OF – Col
8Guzman
93.   Dan Uggla, 2B – Fla
8WaCoug
94.  Matt Cain, SP – SF
8Snakes
95. Mariano Rivera, RP – NYY
8JCobb
96.Billy Wagner, RP – NYM
8Sportsguy
97.Rafael Furcal, SS – LAD
9Sportsguy
98. Mike Lowell, 3B – Bos
9JCobb
99.  Ben Sheets, SP – Mil
9Snakes
100.   Jorge Posada, C – NYY
9WaCoug
101.    Jamie Shields, SP – TB
9Guzman
102.     Michael Young, 2B – Tex
9Deeray
103.      Howie Kendrick, 2B – LAA
9ThirdDay
104.       Fausto Carmona, SP – Cle
9CadensDad
105.        Edgar Renteria, SS – Det
9Jake
106.         Matt Kemp, OF – LAD
9Boomer
107.          Takashi Saito, RP – LAD
9Omaha
108.           Javier Vazquez, SP – ChW
9Fade
109.           Yovani Gallardo, SP – Mil
10Fade
110.          Rich Hill, SP – ChC
10Omaha
111.         Francisco Cordero, RP – Cin
10Boomer
112.        Alex Gordon, 1B/3B – KC
10Jake
113.       Manny Corpas, RP – Col
10CadensDad
114.      Jose Valverde, RP – Hou
10ThirdDay
115.     Huston Street, RP – Oak
10Deeray
116.    Delmon Young, OF – Min
10Guzman
117.   Juan Pierre, OF – LAD
10WaCoug
118.  Bobby Jenks, RP – ChW
10Snakes
119. Brad Penny, SP – LAD
10JCobb
120.Jermaine Dye, OF – ChW
10Sportsguy
121.Johnny Damon, OF – NYY
11Sportsguy
122. Pat Burrell, OF – Phi
11JCobb
123.  Chad Cordero, RP – Was
11Snakes
124.   Adrian Beltre, 3B – Sea
11WaCoug
125.    Trevor Hoffman, RP – SD
11Guzman
126.     Chad Billingsley, SP – LAD
11Deeray
127.      Kenji Johjima, C – Sea
11ThirdDay
128.       Jacoby Ellsbury, OF – Bos
11CadensDad
129.        Adam Wainwright, SP – Stl
11Jake
130.         John Maine, SP – NYM
11Boomer
131.          Dustin McGowan, SP – Tor
11Omaha
132.           Todd Helton, 1B – Col
11Fade
133.           Joakim Soria, RP – KC
12Fade
134.          Placido Polanco, 2B – Det
12Omaha
135.         Matt Capps, RP – Pit
12Boomer
136.        Eric Gagne, RP – Mil
12Jake
137.       Philip Hughes, SP – NYY
12CadensDad
138.      AJ Burnett, SP – Tor
12ThirdDay
139.     Edwin Encarnacion, 3B – Cin
12Deeray
140.    Rafael Soriano, RP – Atl
12Guzman
141.   Brett Myers, SP – Phi
12WaCoug
142.  Shane Victorino, OF – Phi
12Snakes
143. Jason Isringhausen, RP – Stl
12JCobb
144.Brad Lidge, RP – Phi
12Sportsguy
145.Clay Buchholz, SP – Bos
13Sportsguy
146. Aaron Rowand, OF – SF
13JCobb
147.  Jim Thome, DH – ChW
13Snakes
148.   Kevin Gregg, RP – Fla
13WaCoug
149.    Francisco Liriano, SP – Min
13Guzman
150.     Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C – Tex
13Deeray
151.      Joba Chamberlain, SP – NYY
13ThirdDay
152.       Jeremy Bonderman, SP – Det
13CadensDad
153.        Carlos Marmol, RP – ChC
13Jake
154.         Josh Fields, OF – ChW
13Boomer
155.          Chien-Ming Wang, SP – NYY
13Omaha
156.           Tim Hudson, SP – Atl
13Fade
157.           Khalil Greene, SS – SD
14Fade
158.          Kosuke Fukudome, OF – ChC
14Omaha
159.         Mark Buehrle, SP – ChW
14Boomer
160.        Tom Gorzelanny, SP – Pit
14Jake
161.       Dontrelle Willis, SP – Det
14CadensDad
162.      James Loney, 1B – LAD
14ThirdDay
163.     Justin Upton, OF – Ari
14Deeray
164.    Billy Butler, 1B – KC
14Guzman
165.   BJ Ryan, RP – Tor
14WaCoug
166.  Pedro Martinez, SP – NYM
14Snakes
167. Oliver Perez, SP – NYM
14JCobb
168.Ian Snell, SP – Pit
14Sportsguy
169.Jered Weaver, SP – LAA
15Sportsguy
170. Jonathan Broxton, RP – LAD
15JCobb
171.  Tony Pena, RP – Ari
15Snakes
172.   Paul Ibanez, OF – Sea
15WaCoug
173.    Rich Harden, SP – Oak
15Guzman
174.     Troy Percival, RP – TB
15Deeray
175.      Kerry Wood, RP – ChC
15ThirdDay
176.       Hank Blalock, 3B – Tex
15CadensDad
177.        Andrew Miller, SP – Fla
15Jake
178.         Jeremy Accardo, RP – Tor
15Boomer
179.          Evan Longoria, 3B – TB
15Omaha
180.           JR Towles, C – Hou
15Fade
181.           Rafael Betancourt, RP – Cle
16Fade
182.          Jeremy Hermida, OF – Fla
16Omaha
183.         Brandon Lyon, RP – Ari
16Boomer
184.        Josh Hamilton, OF – Tex
16Jake
185.       Troy Glaus, 3B – Stl
16CadensDad
186.      Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B – Bos
16ThirdDay
187.     Derek Lowe, SP – LAD
16Deeray
188.    Ken Griffey Jr, OF – Cin
16Guzman
189.   Jeff Francis, SP – Col
16WaCoug
190.  Jeff Kent, 2B – LAD
16Snakes
191. Orlando Cabrera, SS – ChW
16JCobb
192.Joe Borowski, RP – Cle
16Sportsguy
193.Ted Lilly, SP – ChC
17Sportsguy
194. Willy Taveras, OF – Col
17JCobb
195.  Geovany Soto, C – ChC
17Snakes
196.   Carlos Delgado, 1B – NYM
17WaCoug
197.    JJ Hardy, SS – Mil
17Guzman
198.     Scott Baker, SP – Min
17Deeray
199.      Cameron Maybin, OF – Fla
17ThirdDay
200.       Curt Schilling, SP – Bos
17CadensDad
201.        Gil Meche, SP – KC
17Jake
202.         Freddy Sanchez, 2B – Pit
17Boomer
203.          Joe Blanton, SP – Oak
17Omaha
204.           Bronson Arroyo, SP – Cin
17Fade
205.           Michael Cuddyer, RF – Min
18Fade
206.          Joey Votto, 1B – Cin
18Omaha
207.         Lastings Milledge, OF – Was
18Boomer
208.        Ivan Rodriguez, C – Det
18Jake
209.       Ryan Garko, 1B – Cle
18CadensDad
210.      Zach Greinke, RP – KC
18ThirdDay
211.     Stephen Drew, SS – Ari
18Deeray
212.    Shaun Marcum, SP – Tor
18Guzman
213.   Jon Lester, SP – Bos
18WaCoug
214.  Michael Bourn, LF – Hou
18Snakes
215. Pat Neshek, RP – Min
18JCobb
216.Todd Jones, RP – Det
18Sportsguy
217.Barry Zito, SP – SF
19Sportsguy
218. Andy Pettite, SP – NYY
19JCobb
219.  Randy Johnson, SP – Ari
19Snakes
220.   Jay Bruce, OF – Cin
19WaCoug
221.    Rocco Baldelli, OF – TB
19Guzman
222.     George Sherrill, RP – Bal
19Deeray
223.      Jhonny Peralta, SS – Cle
19ThirdDay
224.       Mark Prior, SP – SD
19CadensDad
225.        Matt Garza, SP – TB
19Jake
226.         John Danks, SP – ChW
19Boomer
227.          Bill Hall, OF – Mil
19Omaha
228.           Kevin Slowey, SP – Min
19Fade
229.           Matt Wieters, C – Bal
20Fade
230.          Jose Guillen, OF – KC
20Omaha
231.         Akinori Iwamura, 3B – TB
20Boomer
232.        Manny Parra, RP/SP – Mil
20Jake
233.       Kelly Johnson, 2B – Atl
20CadensDad
234.      Chris Carpenter, SP – Stl
20ThirdDay
235.     Scott Olsen, SP – Fla
20Deeray
236.    Bengie Molina, C – SF
20Guzman
237.   Richie Sexson, 1B – Sea
20WaCoug
238.  Homer Bailey, SP – Cin
20Snakes
239. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B – SD
20JCobb
240.David DeJesus, OF – KC
20Sportsguy
241.Kazuo Matsui, 2B – Hou
21Sportsguy
242. Carlos Villanueva, RP – Mil
21JCobb
243.  Jeremy Guthrie, SP – Bal
21Snakes
244.   Joel Zumaya, RP – Det
21WaCoug
245.    Dustin Pedroia, 2B – Bos
21Guzman
246.     Hideki Okajima, RP – Bos
21Deeray
247.      Orlando Hudson, 2B – Ari
21ThirdDay
248.       Ervin Santana, SP – LAA
21CadensDad
249.        Scott Shields, RP – LAA
21Jake
250.         Buddy Carlyle, SP – Atl
21Boomer
251.          Colby Rasmus, OF – Stl
21Omaha
252.           Clayton Kershaw, SP – LAD
21Fade
253.           Heath Bell, RP – SD
22Fade
254.          Bob Howry, RP – ChC
22Omaha
255.         Carlos Quentin, OF – ChW
22Boomer
256.        Andrew Sonnanstine, SP – TB
22Jake
257.       Jason Giambi, DH – NYY
22CadensDad
258.      Adam Jones, OF – Bal
22ThirdDay
259.     Masahide Kobayashi, RP – Bal
22Deeray
260.    Corey Patterson, OF – Bal
22Guzman
261.   Jon Rauch, RP – Was
22WaCoug
262.  Kyle Kendrick, SP – Phi
22Snakes
263. Josh Willingham, OF – Fla
22JCobb
264.Jason Varitek, C – Bos22Sportsguy

Sportsguy = sportsguy138
JCobb = jcobb79
Snakes = Snakes Gould
WaCoug = WaCougMBS
Guzman = Guzman24
Deeray = deerayfan072
ThirdDay = Third Day
CadensDad = CadensDad
Jake = jake_harv88
Boomer = OneLoveBoomer
Omaha = Omaha Red Sox
Fade = Fade2White12

 

Round 1

Round Highlights: No real surprises in the first round, but it’s safe to say that most drafters prefer to use this round to draft a stud infielder to build their team around. 10 of the 12 players drafted here are infielders.

Best Pick: Miguel Cabrera (1.09). Jake got a steal here with the ninth pick of the draft. Cabrera is only 24 and is now in one of the best lineups in baseball. At the very least, Cabrera should have been taken before Ryan Howard in the eighth spot. At best, he could have gone with the fourth overall pick of the draft.

Worst Pick: Jose Reyes (1.04). Reyes should certainly be a first-round pick, but not before Wright or Holliday. Sure, he is the second best fantasy option at shortstop (behind Hanley Ramirez) but Reyes should be downgraded a few spots in H2H leagues given his primary contribution to fantasy teams is the unreliable stolen base.

Round 2

Round Highlights: If round one is where you take your infielder, then round two is the spot to take your stud outfielder. Seven of the 12 players taken here were outfielders.

Best Pick: Johan Santana (2.05). At the time of this pick in the mock draft, Santana was still a Minnesota Twin, however the likelihood of a trade to one of the AL East powerhouses or the New York Mets easily warranted an earlier pick for Santana. Since the conclusion of the trade to the Mets, Santana’s value increases (as should his draft position) moving to the pitcher-friendly confines of Shea Stadium with a great offense to give him the run support he has not enjoyed in the past.

Worst Pick: Ichiro Suzuki (2.11). If forced to choose a pick I found questionable, I’d have to go with Ichiro, but only because this is a keeper mock draft and Ichiro will be turning 35 at the end of the 2008 season – an age when players typically begin to steal fewer and fewer bases, one of Ichiro’s strongest stats. Although Seattle Mariners Manager John McLaren stated in December that Ichiro could steal 80 bags this season, I think it is more realistic to expect closer to 30 in the near future.

Round 3

Round Highlights: Like the first round, the third seems to be good spot to grab another infielder. Half of the picks in this round were infielders, seven if you plan to utilize Victor Martinez’s first base eligibility.

Best Pick: Travis Hafner (3.09). Many fantasy owners who invested an early round pick on Hafner were disappointed by his 2007 season. However, injuries (hand, knee, hamstring) were largely to blame for his poor season. I fully expect the 30-year-old slugger, who has first base eligibility in some formats, to rebound in 2008.

Worst Pick: Derek Jeter (3.08). Despite batting over .320 and getting over 200 hits for the third consecutive season, 2007 was a down year for Jeter. He had only 12 home runs and stole less than half as many bases as he did in 2006. Jeter will be turning 34 in June, and while he can still be considered a top-six shortstop, the third round is too early for him – especially in keeper leagues.

Round 4

Round Highlights: This round is generally when you start to see second tier starting pitchers go off the board, but I was surprised when only three were taken – CC Sabathia (4.02), Erik Bedard (4.08), and Josh Beckett (4.12). Instead, youth seemed to be the theme of this round as all but two players (Manny Ramirez and Bobby Abreu) were 30 years of age or younger.

Best Pick: Josh Beckett (4.12). Considered by many to be the third best starting pitching option, Beckett was the steal of this round by sportsguy138, when he took the only pitcher to win 20 games in 2007 (and the first since 2005). At only 27 years of age (he turns 28 in May), the runner up for the AL Cy Young has many good years ahead of him.

Worst Pick: Joe Mauer (4.11). While an argument can be made for Corey Hart and Adrian Gonzalez going too early as well, I feel Mauer was the worst pick of this round. Although the 24-year-old catcher could very well rebound in 2008, the questions surrounding his health and the development of power that most scouts expected, still remain. It’s precisely these question marks that should put him closer to Brian McCann’s draft position, 3 rounds later, than in Victor Martinez and Russell Martin territory.

Round 5

Round Highlights: In this mock, it appears that round five was the round of the second tier starting pitchers, as five of the twelve picks play only every fifth day.

Best Pick: Derrek Lee (5.01). Another good pick, and back to back no less, by sportsguy138. Although Lee hit .317 in 2007, it was considered a down year for him as he hit only 22 home runs and knocked in only 82 RBI. Lee had 16 of those 22 home runs in the second half, however, and another year removed from wrist problems will have Lee bouncing back in 2008.

Worst Pick: Jason Bay (5.06). Bay is certainly a bounce back candidate for 2008, but I think deerayfan072 reached here. Drafted in the second and third rounds last year, Bay disappointed his owners by hitting .247 with only 21 home runs in 2007. This was nearly four rounds too early for this 29-year-old.

Round 6

Round Highlights: A handful of starting pitchers went in this round as well, four to be exact, and the closers started leaving the board as well.

Best Pick: Aaron Harang (6.11). The always undervalued Harang was the 14th starting pitcher selected in this mock, which was a steal for jcobb79. You can expect another 15-plus wins and 200-plus strikeouts for this soon to be 30-year-old.

Worst Pick: Ian Kinsler (6.01). I really like Kinsler and think he could develop into a top five second baseman, possibly as early as 2008, but he barely cracked the .260 mark in 2007 and hit nearly half of his home runs in one month (April). It should also be noted that he only hit .215 away from the hitter friendly confines of Rangers Ballpark. Even in a keeper, round six is too early for Kinsler.

Round 7

Round Highlights: The smörgåsbord round. Forget trends, this round was messy.

Best Pick: Brian McCann (7.11). Drafted exactly three rounds after Joe Mauer, I expect the seventh-rounder to have a better year than the fourth. At only 24, I think McCann is capable of 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in the very near future.

Worst Pick: Nick Swisher (7.07). Many fantasy owners seem to be enamored with Swisher’s recent trade to the White Sox and while his stats could very well improve in the hitter friendly U.S. Cellular Field, he will likely never hit for a good average (.251 in three plus seasons) and his walk ratio, his bread and butter, dropped nearly 100% in the second half of last season.

Round 8

Round Highlights: Second-tier closers began going off the board in this round, as three of the twelve picks were well known ninth-inning pitchers.

Best Pick: Joe Nathan (8.02). While 2007 was Nathan’s first season in Minnesota in which he posted a WHIP over one, he is still a top tier closer and should be drafted similarly to the likes of Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz; rather than Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner.

Worst Pick: Gary Sheffield (8.03). While Sheffield seemed untouchable for three months in 2007, he will be 39 this season and needs to be downgraded in keeper leagues because of this. It should also be noted that Sheffield hasn’t topped 500 at bats in a season since 2005.

Round 9

Round Highlights: A mix of older and younger players went off the board in this round, as well as another slew of infielders (5).

Best Pick: Rafael Furcal (9.01). Many fantasy owners forget that Furcal was injured early last season and really never quite recovered. He will be healthy for 2008 and will add a nice bit of power and a considerable amount of speed to your roster.

Worst Pick: Ben Sheets (9.03). Sheets has always been a high risk/high reward-type pitcher and this is no less the case here in a keeper. I think the risk is higher than the reward when you pass up young pitchers like Fausto Carmona (9.08) and Yovani Gallardo (10.01).

Round 10

Round Highlights: This round seemed like a good time for five of our drafters to take a closer. A couple former top prospects left the board in this round as well – Alex Gordon and Delmon Young.

Best Pick: Delmon Young (10.08). One of the better steals in this draft, it’s beyond me how Young slipped to the mid-tenth round. This former top prospect maintained a quality batting average in 2007 and batted in over 90 runners with Tampa Bay. He’s in Minnesota now, a team rebuilding with young talent, and he is an important piece of that puzzle.

Worst Pick: Brad Penny (10.11). Two young pitchers, Yovani Gallardo (10.01) and Rich Hill (10.02) went earlier than Penny in this round, so I can’t give jcobb79 too hard of a time for grabbing a starting pitcher here, but I feel as if he could have continued the young trend instead of taking a pitcher he’ll love for the first three months of the season and then wonder where he went after the All-Star Break.

Round 11

Round Highlights: Four young pitchers left the board in this round, as well as a handful of older players like Trevor Hoffman (11.05) and Todd Helton (11.12).

Best Pick: Trevor Hoffman (11.05). Yeah, he’s 40, but that’s also how many saves you’re basically guaranteed to get year in and year out. An image of consistency, the only knock on Hoffman in this draft, is his age. While he’s not the flashy closer many of us would like to have on our staff, Guzman24 got a steal in the 11th.

Worst Pick: Chad Cordero (11.03). Keep in mind my vote for best pick in this round and it’ll shed light on why I thought Cordero was the worst pick. The only advantage Cordero has on Hoffman is his age. His ERA and WHIP are going to be higher and his save opportunities will be fewer with the Nationals.

Round 12

Round Highlights: Another round where closers seemed to be the trend as half of the players picked came from the bullpen.

Best Pick: Edwin Encarnacion (12.07). A great value this late, Encarnacion has improved each season in the majors, and that should continue.

Worst Pick: Placido Polanco (12.02). I like any player in Detroit’s lineup, but I think I took too long to take my second baseman and ended up reaching a bit for Polanco – I could have waited another round.

Round 13

Round Highlights: Round 13 looked to be a good time to take some risk,s as injury prone players and perennial underachievers went off the board here.

Best Pick: Jim Thome (13.03). Could have gone with Francisco Liriano here too, but both of these players are in the same risk category. If either of these are able to stay healthy and perform even close to what we’ve come to expect in recent years, they will be steals. Snakes Gould might have gotten 40 home runs in the 13th round.

Worst Pick: Joba Chamberlain (13.07). Yes it’s a keeper, and yes Chamberlain is a top prospect on one of the best teams in the league, but his position in the rotation is still up in the air and it appears as if he’ll start the season in the bullpen. This pick may pay off for Third Day when August rolls around, but his value will be very little when he constantly takes the mound in the 8th inning.

Round 14

Round Highlights: Quite of bit of optimism was displayed in round 14 as young players with loads of potential (but little experience) and players hoping to bounce back in 2008 went off the board.

Best Pick: Ian Snell (14.12). Other than wins, Snell bettered all of his relevant statistics from 2006 to 2007. I see this trend continuing and sportsguy138 got another gem in this 26-year-old.

Worst Pick: Dontrelle Willis (14.05). Willis seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. This once promising prospect and young stud pitcher, achieved highs in ERA and WHIP while tallying career lows in strikeouts and wins last season.

Round 15

Round Highlights: As in round 14, this became a round of hope and promise, as young players and bounce back candidates dominated.

Best Pick: JR Towles (15.12). I like Towles potential to be a top 6 catcher and I think Fade2White12 made a great pick here to fill that position.

Worst Pick: Jered Weaver (15.01). Weaver needs to show fantasy owners that he can stay healthy before I take a gamble on him in this spot.

Round 16

Round Highlights: Two young outfielders (Jeremy Hermida and Josh Hamilton) and popular fantasy names (Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., and Jeff Kent) went off the board in this round.

Best Pick: Jeremy Hermida (16.02). Hermida showed what the hype is about when he ended the 2007 season strong, batting .340 after the All-Star Break with 10 home runs.

Worst Pick: Derek Lowe (16.07). Two pitchers followed deerayfan072’s Lowe pick here, Jeff Francis (16.09) and Ted Lilly (17.01), both of whom will outperform Lowe this season.

Round 17

Round Highlights: A former ace (Curt Schilling) and a former slugger (Carlos Delgado) found fantasy owners who wanted them in this round.

Best Pick: Ted Lilly (17.01). What’s not to love about 15 wins and a sub-four ERA? Getting Lilly in the 17th was another great grab for sportsguy138.

Worst Pick: Carlos Delgado (17.03). Delgado’s average and power seemed to fall of the table in 2007, posting his worst stats in 11 years.

Round 18

Round Highlights: Well-known sleepers for 2008 were the trend of the 18th round, as Joey Votto, Zach Greinke, Stephen Drew and Shaun Marcum highlighted the picks in this group.

Best Pick: Stephen Drew (18.07). Drew is just too good to continue to post a poor batting average. If he hits near the top of the order in Arizona, Drew could put up some very good numbers as early as 2008.

Worst Pick: Todd Jones (18.12). Sure, Jones had nearly 40 saves in 2007, but it was absolutely ugly at times. I have to wonder how long Jones will keep his job when Joel Zumaya gets/stays healthy.

Round 19

Round Highlights: Our drafters seemed intent on filling out their respective rotations in this round, selecting seven pitchers.

Best Pick: George Sherrill (19.06). Sherrill seems to have been given the closer’s job in Baltimore and if he can maintain the strikeout rate that we’ve come to expect, deerayfan072 found a late-round steal.

Worst Pick: Bill Hall (19.11). I’m hoping Hall finds the stroke he had in 2006 when he moves back to the infield this season, but he’s got a long way to climb back from an abysmal 2007.

Round 20

Round Highlights: This is the time you begin filling out your roster, as these drafters began doing in the 20th.

Best Pick: Bengie Molina (20.08). I like the Kelly Johnson (20.05) pick by CadensDad as well, but I couldn’t ignore a catcher who can belt 20 home runs and drive in 80 in the 20th round.

Worst Pick: Matt Wieters (20.01). I have no doubt that Wieters will be a top catcher in the majors soon, but I don’t see him getting the call this season. In a keeper with no minor league roster, Wieters has very little (if any) value.

Round 21

Round Highlights: Some lesser known players were taken as the draft draws to a close, and it’s becoming more difficult to find trends as most fantasy owners have filled their rosters and are simply going to take the best players available to fill their remaining bench spots.

Best Pick: Hideki Okajima (21.06). While he won’t give you instant results like your starters and closers will, Okajima will help your team’s ratios over the course of the season, and you’re losing very little by taking him this late.

Worst Pick: Clayton Kershaw (21.12). Kershaw is certainly one of the best pitching prospects in the game today, but in a limited keeper, a fantasy owner will likely never be able to utilize a player who will spend all or most of 2008 in the minors (much like Wieters).

Round 22

Round Highlights: The final round is where you take a chance on a player no one else has on their radar or a vet everyone else has forgotten about.

Best Pick: Bob Howry (22.02). I’ll go ahead and pat myself on the back in this round. The Cubs closer situation is very unclear, but if Howry is given the role, I got a steal in the final round.

Worst Pick: Jon Rauch (22.09). Tough to pinpoint a worst pick in the final round, but I’ll go with Rauch because his value lies solely on the possibility of him replacing Chad Cordero as closer – which is unlikely.

 
I though it would be helpful to get a few more opinions from participants of the mock, so below are some comments regarding the best and worst picks, as seen by those who may have made them.

Fade2White12 comments:

-Atkins over Aramis
In the third round, WaCougMBS chose Garrett Atkins over Aramis Ramirez. I find this somewhat puzzling. There hasn’t been as consistent of 3B as ARam over the past few seasons, ARam is virtually the same age, and in 100 less ABs last season Ramirez had very similar numbers to Atkins. Other than his multiple position eligibility, I think that was the wrong pick there.

-Mauer in the 4th
I don’t buy into the “catchers are interchangeable so don’t draft them until the last round” mumbo jumbo. I’ll take a stud C anytime as long as the value is there. However, Mauer in the 4th wasn’t much value.

-Bay in the 5th
I’m a Bay fan and supporter, but Deeray picking him in the 5th was a bit too optimistic for my taste. I expect him to rebound very well from his poor season last year, but he probably would have been available 1, 2, or maybe even more rounds later.

-The New Tiger
With this being a keeper league, I was dumbfounded to watch MCab slip to 9th overall. It’s hard to be critical in the 1st round, but here he was great value. As a Fish, he was deserving of this spot, but as a Tiger in that lineup, I don’t know how this happened.

CadensDad comments:

Like
BJ Upton 2B/OF 3.01 to me this was a steal, Upton is a stud and in a keeper draft his value should go up, how he slipped this far is beyond me.

Dislike
Miguel Tejada SS 6.08 to me this is a bit too early for a guy who’s HR numbers fell, and AVG fell also for a guy who possibly might end up in jail at some point in the season

Like
Derek Lee 5.01 1B A full year removed from his wrist surgery, a lot of people don’t realize he hit 16 of his 22 home runs came after the all star break where he hit .302 16 hr 40 RBI, his Hits and 2B’s fell some but with the HR total nearly tripling in 50 less at bats leads me to think his power will be back in a big way.

Dislike
Jason Bay 5.06 He’s one of my sleepers but not at this price .247 21/84/78 isn’t what I want with my 5th round pick, Francoeur went .293/19/105/84 and went 2 rounds later and is 6 years younger.

deerayfan072 comments:

Least Favorite Pick
Jason Bay in the 5th. Reached for a guy when I did not have to. I think he will have a nice year this year, but he can be had 3-4 rounds later and I could have done better.

Favorite Pick
D. Young in the 10th. He was by far the best OF left at the time and in a keeper I am not sure how he went that late.

sportsguy138 comments:

Bad

Braun: Even though he’s a good young player that can put up great numbers, the risk over taking him over proven guys such as Soriano/Guerrero/Ortiz/C.Lee, etc. isn’t worth it. He could end up putting good enough number up where he has good value there, but I’d rather not take the risk at 2.01. The most I would reach at him is around round 3, so I probably won’t be owning him this year.

Bay: He’s not the 5 tool stud he once was. He’s lost his speed and after having that brutal year last year I think it’s way too early to gamble on him at 5.06. I’d much rather have a couple young guys such as Pence, C.B.Young, Kinsler, etc.

Good

C. Jones: I’m not just saying this because I made the pick, but it really was great value where I got him. I didn’t mind locking up my UT spot that early at all. Even after missing about 30 games he put up great numbers: 29 HR 102 RBI with an average of .337 and 108 runs. Even though this does kind of take away from his value if you’re in a H2H league, I couldn’t pass him up there.

jake_harv88 comments:

The Good

Rich Hill (pick 110, Omaha Red Sox) – This is a perfect example as to why I do not worry about drafting pitchers early. Hill is a fantastic pitcher with a good ability to strike batters out. While playing for a solid Cubs team this year it would not be totally outrageous to expect 15 wins and 180 Ks. All this from a player outside the top 100 picks.

Delmon Young (pick 116, Guzman24) – Expectations were set pretty high last year for this young outfielder. He finished with respectable numbers in his first full season (13 HRs, 93 RBIs, 10 SBs) but he struggled through much of the first half of the season (.278 AVE pre-All Star break). With a season under his belt and a much needed change of scenery I think you can expect a decent improvement from Young this year. I have ranked along the likes of CB Young and Pence this year yet Young went four rounds later.

The Bad

Vladimir Guerrero (pick 16, jake_harv88) – I have to pick on myself here. This free swinger continues to put up numbers but appears to be a very “old” 32. It will most likely be worth my while to keep him this year, but after that who knows. Bottom line is in any style of keeper you have to knock him down a few pegs, and this was certainly too early. In hindsight I would have taken Teixeira instead and locked up my corner infield spots.

Chone Figgins (pick 51, Snakes Gould) – Personally I have a hard time drafting a player whose value is solely dependent upon steals in the first 5 rounds. I have Chone as the 8th best at his position, while this pick made him the 4th two-bagger off the board. It will be interesting to see how his off-season wrist surgery affects his numbers, but considering he does not have much power to lose we should not see much change. However, his usual numbers do not warrant a fifth round pick.

 
Josh Milczski is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Josh in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Omaha Red Sox. Josh would like to thank Bryan Freilich for his contributions as an alternate for this mock and an enormous contributor to this article. You can find him around the Cafe's forums posting under the name of rookies and cream.
 
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