Fantasy baseball 2015 mock draft

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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 SI.com is here to help you prepare.

SI.com's experts (most of whom are members of the SI.com 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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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

 

OVERALL

PLAYER

TEAM

POS.

OWNER

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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