SI Staff
Friday March 20th, 2015

Forget March Madness—when it's fantasy baseball drafting season, not much else else matters. With MLB's Opening Day a little over two weeks away, now is the time to study up for drafts, and is here to help you prepare.'s experts (most of whom are members of the fantasy baseball league) conducted a 10-team, 6x6, mixed head-to-head league. The positions: one catcher, one first baseman, one second baseman, one shortstop, one third baseman, one utility player, three outfielders, five starting pitchers and three relief pitchers, with five bench spots and two DL spots. For this mock draft, we only drafted one of the available bench spots. Here, we break down each round of the draft, and below, each owner gives a self-assessment, observations and more. 

And if you haven't already, bookmark our fantasy baseball draft kit. We'll be updating it throughout March with all of our fantasy baseball preview material.​

Note: This draft took place before the Mets announced that Zack Wheeler needs Tommy John surgery and will be out for the season.

Draft order

1. Lorenzo Arguello
2. Ben Glicksman
3. Jon Tayler
4. Tom Mantzouranis
5. Ryan Hunt
6. Eric Single
7. Bette Marston
8. Michael Beller
9. Colin Becht
10. Dave Kaye

OVERALL PLAyer team pos. owner
1 Mike Trout LAA OF Arguello
2 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF Glicksman
3 Giancarlo Stanton MIA OF Tayler
4 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B Mantzouranis
5 Carlos Gomez MIL OF Hunt
6 Jose Abreu CHW 1B Single
7 Clayton Kershaw LAA SP Marston
8 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B Beller
9 Jose Bautista TOR OF Becht
10 Edwin Encarnacion TOR 1B Kaye


Overall player team pos. owner
11 Felix Hernandez SEA SP Kaye
12 Adam Jones BAL OF Becht
13 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B Beller
14 Anthony Rendon WAS 3B Marston
15 Yasiel Puig LAD OF Single
16 Robinson Cano SEA 2B Hunt
17 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B Mantzouranis
18 Troy Tulowitzki COL SS Tayler
19 Jose Altuve HOU 2B Glicksman
20 Max Scherzer WAS SP Arguello


Overall player team pos. owner
21 Buster Posey SF C/1B Arguello
22 Michael Brantley CLE OF Glicksman
23 Chris Sale CHW SP Tayler
24 Stephen Strasburg WAS SP Mantzouranis
25 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B Hunt
26 Bryce Harper WAS OF Single
27 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B Marston
28 Ian Desmond WAS SS Beller
29 Madison Bumgarner SF SP Becht
30 Hanley Ramirez BOS OF/SS Kaye


Overall player team pos. owner
31 Ryan Braun MIL OF Kaye
32 David Price DET SP Becht
33 Jacoby Ellsbury NYY OF Beller
34 Corey Dickerson COL OF Marston
35 Nolan Arenado COL 3B Single
36 Corey Kluber CLE SP Hunt
37 Starling Marte PIT OF Mantzouranis
38 Cole Hamels PHI SP Tayler
39 Justin Upton LAD OF Glicksman
40 Johnny Cueto CIN SP Arguello


41 Carlos Santana CLE C/1B Arguello
42 Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B Glicksman
43 Kyle Seager SEA 3B Tayler
44 George Springer HOU OF Mantzouranis
45 Jon Lester CHC SP Hunt
46 Zack Greinke LAD SP Single
47 Matt Kemp SP OF Marston
48 Carlos Gonzalez COL OF Beller
49 Prince Fielder TEX 1B Becht
50 Albert Pujols LAA 1B Kaye


51 Jordan Zimmermann WAS SP Kaye
52 Ian Kinsler DET 2B Becht
53 Matt Harvey NYM SP Beller
54 Joey Votto CIN 1B Marston
55 Billy Hamilton CIN OF Single
56 Evan Longoria TB 3B Hunt
57 Mookie Betts BOS OF/2B Mantzouranis
58 David Ortiz BOS 1B Tayler
59 Jose Reyes TOR SS Glicksman
60 Brian Dozier MIN 2B Arguello


61 Alex Gordon KC OF Arguello
62 Yoenis Cespedes DET OF Glicksman
63 Aroldis Chapman CIN RP Tayler
64 Craig Kimbrel ATL RP Mantzouranis
65 Gerrit Cole PIT SP Hunt
66 Julio Teheran ATL SP Single
67 Matt Holliday STL OF Marston
68 Jorge Soler CHC OF Beller
69 Todd Frazier CIN 3B/1B Becht
70 Adam Wainwright STL SP Kaye


71 Nelson Cruz SEA OF Kaye
72 Jason Heyward STL OF Becht
73 Alex Cobb TB SP Beller
74 Jacob deGrom NYM SP Marston
75 Jonathan Lucroy MIL C/1B Single
76 Sonny Gray OAK SP Hunt
77 Tyson Ross SD SP Mantzouranis
78 Devin Mesoraco CIN C Tayler
79 Jeff Samardzija CHW SP Glicksman
80 Christian Yelich MIA OF Arguello


81 Greg Holland KC RP Arguello
82 Jake Arrieta CHC SP Glicksman
83 Kolten Wong STL 2B Tayler
84 Evan Gattis HOU C/OF Mantzouranis
85 Jay Bruce CIN OF Hunt
86 Hisashi Iwakuma SEA SP Single
87 Dee Gordon 2B MIA Marston
88 Jason Kipnis CLE 2B Beller
89 James Shields SD SP Becht
90 Chris Davis BAL 1B/3B Kaye


91 Charlie Blackmon COL OF Kaye
92 Alex Wood ATL SP Becht
93 Kole Calhoun LAA OF Beller
94 Dellin Betances NYY RP Marston
95 Starlin Castro CHC SS Single
96 Michael Wacha STL SP Hunt
97 Kris Bryant CHC 3B Mantzouranis
98 Brandon Moss CLE 1B/OF Tayler
99 David Robertson CHW RP Glicksman
100 Gio Gonzalez WAS SP Arguello


101 Alexei Ramirez CHW SS Arguello
102 Masahiro Tanaka NYY SP Glicksman
103 Brett Gardner NYY OF Tayler
104 Carlos Carrasco CLE SP Mantzouranis
105 Victor Martinez DET 1B/DH Hunt
106 Jose Quintana CHW SP Single
107 Anibal Sanchez DET SP Marston
108 Phil Hughes MIN SP Beller
109 Yan Gomes CLE C Becht
110 Mark Melancon PIT RP Kaye


111 Trevor Rosenthal STL RP Kaye
112 Pablo Sandoval BOS 1B Becht
113 Hyun-jin Ryu LAD SP Beller
114 J.D. Martinez DET OF Marston
115 Hector Rondon CHC RP Single
116 Chris Carter HOU 1B Hunt
117 Garrett Richards LAA SP Mantzouranis
118 Doug Fister WAS SP Tayler
119 Kenley Jansen LAD RP Glicksman
120 Josh Harrison PIT 2B/3B/OF Arguello


121 Cody Allen CLE RP Arguello
122 Manny Machado BAL 3B Glicksman
123 Glen Perkins MIN RP Tayler
124 Koji Uehara BOS RP Mantzouranis
125 Jimmy Rollins LAD SS Hunt
126 Marcell Ozuna MIA OF Single
127 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF Marston
128 Huston Street LAA RP Beller
129 Elvin Andrus TEX SS Becht
130 Neil Walker PIT 2B Kaye


131 Andrew Cashner SD SP Kaye
132 Chris Archer TB SP Becht
133 Ian Kennedy SD SP Beller
134 Salvador Perez KC C Marston
135 Chase Utley PHI 2B Single
136 Yadier Molina STL C Hunt
137 Denard Span WAS OF Mantzouranis
138 Gregory Polanco PIT OF Tayler
139 Mike Fiers MIL SP Glicksman
140 Ben Zobrist OAK 2B/SS/OF Arguello


141 Jake Odorizzi TB SP Arguello
142 Javier Baez CHC 2B/SS Glicksman
143 Jose Fernandez MIA SP Tayler
144 Ben Revere PHI OF Mantzouranis
145 Steve Cishek MIA RP Hunt
146 Jenrry Mejia NYM RP Single
147 Fernando Rodney SEA RP Marston
148 Yordano Ventura KC SP Beller
149 Mat Latos MIA SP Becht
150 Lance Lynn STL SP Kaye


151 Matt Wieters BAL C Kaye
152 Matt Shoemaker LAA SP Becht
153 Drew Storen WAS RP Beller
154 Wil Myers SD OF Marston
155 Mark Trumbo ARI 1B/OF Single
156 Francisco Liriano PIT RP Hunt
157 Michael Pineda NYY SP Mantzouranis
158 Joaquin Benoit SD RP Tayler
159 Homer Bailey CIN SP Glicksman
160 Collin McHugh HOU SP Arguello


161 Matt Adams STL 1B Arguello
162 Joc Pederson LAD OF Glicksman
163 Rick Porcello BOS SP Tayler
164 Xander Boegarts BOS SS/3B Mantzouranis
165 Zack Wheeler NYM SP Hunt
166 Danny Salazar CLE SP Single
167 Drew Smyly TB SP Marston
168 Jayson Werth WAS OF Beller
169 Justin Verlander DET SP Becht
170 Jered Weaver LAA SP Kaye


171 Scott Kazmir OAK SP Kaye
172 Ervin Santana MIN SP Becht
173 Russell Martin TOR C Beller
174 Matt Cain SF SP Marston
175 Leonys Martin TEX OF Single
176 Jonathan Papelbon PHI RP Hunt
177 Erick Aybar LAA SS Mantzouranis
178 Shelby Miller ATL SP Tayler
179 Brian McCann NYY C Glicksman
180 A.J. Pollock ARI OF Arguello

• Lorenzo Arugello—Mike Trout, Max Scherzer, Buster Posey, Johnny Cueto, Carlos Santana, Brian Dozier, Alex Gordon, Christian Yelich, Greg Holland, Gio Gonzalez, Alexei Ramirez, Josh Harrison, Cody Allen, Ben Zobrist, Jake Odorizzi, Collin McHugh, Matt Adams, A.J. Pollock

Drafting Mike Trout and Max Scherzer in the first two rounds were no-brainers. I like having roster flexibility, so getting two players who are eligible at multiple positions like Josh Harrison and Ben Zobrist worked out in my favor as well. One thing I wish I could change? I wanted to draft one Colorado Rockies hitter, i.e. Nolan Arenado or Corey Dickerson, to take advantage of Coors Field, but I waited a round too long and both were gone by the time I picked last in the fourth round. You can't win them all.

• Ben Glicksman—Andrew McCutchen, Jose Altuve, Michael Brantley, Justin Upton, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Reyes, Yoenis Cespedes, Jeff Samardzija, Jake Arrieta, David Robertson, Masahiro Tanaka, Kenley Jansen, Manny Machado, Mike Fiers, Javier Baez, Homer Baileym Joc Pederson, Brian McCann

My strategy was to select the best player available through the first 12 or so rounds, although I certainly went hitter-heavy. I was thrilled to secure a starting outfield of Andrew McCutchen, Michael Brantley and Justin Upton, but wish I would have taken my first pitcher a few rounds earlier than I did. In retrospect I’d consider grabbing Gerrit Cole or Julio Teheran instead of Yoenis Cespedes in round seven, particularly given the depth in the outfield. I decided to lock in speed at the middle infield spots (Jose Altuve, Jose Reyes) while taking a flier on high-upside prospects (Javier Baez, JocPederson) to fill out my bench. I also targeted Kenley Jansen as soon as he fell past the 10th round; the closer won’t return until mid-May, but recorded 44 saves with a strikeouts-per-nine average of 13.9 in 2014.

• Jon Tayler—Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Sale, Cole Hamels, Kyle Seager, David Ortiz, Aroldis Chapman, Devin Mesoraco, Kolten Wong, Brandon Moss, Brett Gardner, Doug Fister, Glen Perkins, Gregory Polanco, Jose Fernandez, Joaquin Benoit, Rick Porcello, Shelby Miller

My draft strategy: Power, power and more power. The two biggest gambles were drafting Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Fernandez, but if the former is healthy and the latter comes back in his pre-surgery form, they'll be steals at these draft slots.

• Tom Mantzouranis—Paul Goldschmidt, Josh Donaldson, Stephen Strasburg, Starling Marte, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Craig Kimbrel, Tyson Ross, Evan Gattis, Kris Bryant, Carlos Carrasco, Garrett Richards, Koji Uehara, Denard Span, Ben Revere, Michael Pineda, Xander Bogaerts, Erick Aybar

Overall, I’m happy with how my team turned out. I’ve got a ton of power and enough speed from a mix of reliable known entities and strategic breakout grabs. Usually I put too much of an emphasis on pitching early, but—other than Strasburg—I waited and felt like it paid off with a deep rotation of guys that should all out-pitch their ADP. The one position I got caught on, though, is shortstop. I had my sights set on Starlin Castro in the 10th, but when he went two picks before mine I decided not to reach and effectively punt the position until the end of the draft altogether. And when you’re doing that, it makes sense to at least take a flier on a guy with upside like Xander Bogaerts, even if he has shown nothing so far. The downside to this strategy is that I had to waste another pick on a shortstop as insurance in case Bogaerts flames out, which is where the more reliable Aybar comes in. Ideally I’d have grabbed a shortstop earlier and used the Aybar roster spot on another starting pitcher, but in looking back at my draft pre-Castro there really isn’t anything I’d take back. Just the way the chips fell, I guess.

• Ryan Hunt—Carlos Gomez, Robinson Cano, Freddie Freeman, Corey Kluber, Jon Lester, Evan Longoria, Gerrit Cole, Sonny Gray, Jay Bruce, Michael Wacha, Victor Martinez, Chris Carter, Jimmy Rollins, Yadier Molina, Steve Cishek, Francisco Liriano, Zack Wheeler, Jonathan Papelbon

It's almost a given that Trout, McCutchen, Goldschmidt and Stanton will be the first four picked in fantasy drafts, but I'm perfectly content taking Gomez with my first pick, knowing that he'll hit for plenty of power and boost my average. I stocked up on pitchers in the middle rounds, drafting five in rounds four through 10 to give me a solid rotation (also, potential trade fodder in the middle of the season). Also, I'll reiterate that we conducted this draft before we knew that Wheeler would be out for the season. Obviously, he belongs on no fantasy rosters this season.

• Eric Single—Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, Zack Greinke, Billy Hamilton, Julio Teheran, Jonathan Lucroy, Hisashi Iwakuma, Starlin Castro, Jose Quintana, Hector Rondon, Marcell Ozuna, Chase Utley, Jenrry Mejia, Mark Trumbo, Danny Salazar, Leonys Martin​

From the No. 6 slot, I knew I'd miss out on the elites but didn't feel comfortable springing for the top player at a thin position. Abreu began a trend I stuck with throughout my draft: grabbing young position players who are already league-wide stars yet still have room to grow. I took the opposite tactic with pitchers, waiting out the initial rush to take a trio of high-floor top-end starters. I'll lean on Hamilton and Martin for steals, a stat category I'm wary of chasing on the waiver wire—I mistakenly thought I could wait one more round for Dee Gordon.

• Bette Marston—Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rendon, Adrian Beltre, Corey Dickerson, Matt Kemp, Joey Votto, Matt Holliday, Jacob deGrom, Dee Gordon, Dellin Betances, Anibal Sanchez, J.D. Martinez, Shin-Soo Choo, Salvador Perez, Fernando Rodney, Wil Myers, Drew Smyly, Matt Cain​

When I saw I had the No. 7 pick, I told myself that I would draft Clayton Kershaw if he was still available. By doing that, I was able to focus on drafting hitters for the next several rounds, knowing that I had my pitching ace. I nearly took Adrian Beltre with my second-round pick, so I was thrilled to still see him available in Round 3. Sure, he may be old, but he hasn't turned off the power switch yet. A regret? Not drafting a shortstop... I mentally penciled Dee Gordon into that slot, and didn't realize until after that he, in fact, only has 2B eligibility this year. Don't make that same mistake.

Michael Beller—Miguel Cabrera, Anthony Rizzo, Ian Desmond, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Harvey, Jorge Soler, Alex Cobb, Jason Kipnis, Kole Calhoun, Phil Hughes, Hyun-jin Ryu, Huston Street, Ian Kennedy, Yordano Ventura, Drew Storen, Jayson Werth, Russell Martin​

I'm not sure I've ever been happier about my first two picks in a draft than I am about this one. With Miguel Cabrera and Anthony Rizzo, my corners are locked down and could easily give me 60-plus homers, 200-plus RBI and runs, along with great rates. Given that I waited on pitching, I'm happy with the rotation I built, though I got burned by passing on guys who I thought I could get later, especially Tyson Ross. Jacoby Ellsbury should provide 15 homers and 30 steals, but in retrospect I wish I would have taken Starling Marte. This team doesn't have any holes offensively, and as long as a pitcher or two step up alongside Harvey and Cobb, it will be one of the best in the league. Other than my team, I really like what both Mantzouranis and Glicksman did with their squads.​

Colin Becht—Jose Bautista, Adam Jones, Madison Bumgarner, David Price, Prince Fielder, Ian Kinsler, Todd Frazier, Jason Heyward, James Shields, Alex Wood, Yan Gomes, Pablo Sandoval, Elvis Andrus, Chris Archer, Mat Latos, Matt Shoemaker, Justin Verlander, Ervin Santana​

I didn't go into the draft intending to punt on saves. I just didn't value the top closers as highly as others did, and then when the option of Alex Wood (a starter with reliever eligibility) presented itself, the strategy became clear. I'll trade a guaranteed loss in saves for a significantly improved chance of winning the usage stats (wins, strikeouts and quality starts in our league). As long as my extra starters give me one of those three per week, I'll break even. Two or more, and I'll profit. As for my offense, I like that my outfield can contribute across the stat sheet, and don't forget that we've yet to really see what kind of power numbers Prince Fielder can produce in the hitter-friendly confines of Globe Life Park.

Dave Kaye—Edwin Encarnacion, Felix Hernandez, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols, Jordan Zimmermann, Adam Wainwright, Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, Charlie Blackmon, Mark Melancon, Trevor Rosenthal, Neil Walker, Andrew Cashner, Lance Lynn, Matt Wieters, Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir​

Ryan Braun is coming off the worst season of his career, but I attribute his poor numbers to a lingering thumb injury rather than PED withdrawal. Besides Giancarlo Stanton and maybe Freddie Freeman, there are no scary bats a Nationals starter will face in the NL East. That makes Jordan Zimmermann a steal at 51, but not as big a steal as elite starter Adam Wainwright at 71. If Chris Davis can split the difference between his previous two night and day seasons, he’ll hit .241 with 40 homers and 105 RBI. I’ll take Adam Dunn numbers at 3B. And I’d take Neil Walker over half the 2B drafted ahead of him. He and Brian Dozier led the position with 23 homers last year.​

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