Fighting Chance Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft #1

On January 18th, Fighting Chance Fantasy, together with a band of our favorite minds in fantasy baseball, got together for an early mock draft for the upcoming 2017 year. Right away I want to get out in the open that we had a couple of glitches with our participants and unfortunately two spots ended up being autopicked. Not ideal, but we weren’t going to cancel the whole thing. Most likely your drafts are still six weeks to two months away, but it is never too early to start looking at the trends and draft styles of some of those that you follow online and/or listen to on the radio. If you are serious about competing in your fantasy leagues this year I encourage you to follow all of our competitors on Twitter and visit their sites. Our participants were as follows:

Tim McLeod, @TimothyLMC                                  
Todd Zola, Mastersball @ToddZola
Andrea Lamont, Rotoexperts @rotolady                                          
Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts @joegallina
Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts @rotodaddy                   
Tim Heaney, Rotowire @tim_heaney
Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm @rotobuzzguy                                  
Mike Harmon, @swollendome

The following are the results of the draft as well as my quick analysis of each round. You will find my thoughts, and then immediately following are the selections. You can follow the links if you’d like to visit the sites of any of our great participants. Again, follow them all both on Twitter and in print, and you will give yourself an advantage over your competition. Any thoughts, criticism or praise is welcome in the comments below.  

You can follow us on Twitter, Steve @fantasygeek37 and Ryan @fightingchance. Also please like Fighting Chance Fantasy on Facebook here.

You are not going to find a bad pick in the first round when you have participants like this in the mock draft. All of these people have been covering fantasy baseball for years and they know their stuff. If anything, I should have gone with one of the third basemen over Bryce Harper, but every single pick here is solid!

Round 1

Round/Pick Team Player
1.1 Tim McLeod, Mike Trout, OF, Angels
1.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
1.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
1.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, D'Backs
1.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
1.6 Autopick Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox
1.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
1.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles
1.9 Michael Harmon, Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
1.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
1.11 Computer 2 Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
1.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Carlos Correa, SS, Astros

Another round of really solid picks, as you would expect in the first two go arounds. My favorite part of this rounds is all of the awesome, young talent that is now in the Major Leagues. Blackmon, Corey Seager, Trea Turner, A.J. Pollock, and Noah Syndergaard weren’t in the league, or weren’t relevant just a few years ago. Now, they are major players in fantasy baseball. Joe Gallina got an absolute stud in Madison Bumgarner, Todd Zola might have the league leader in home runs in Edwin Encarnacion, and I am a HUGE fan of Starling Marte to Tim McLeod at the end of the round.

Round 2

Round/Pick Team Player
2.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers
2.2 Computer 2 Max Scherzer, SP, Nationals
2.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies
2.4 Michael Harmon, Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
2.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants
2.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox
2.7 Autopick Trea Turner, SS, Nationals
2.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts A.J. Pollock, OF, D'Backs
2.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Daniel Murphy, 2B, Nationals
2.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Indians
2.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Noah Syndergaard, SP Mets
2.12 Tim McLeod, Starling Marte, OF, PIrates

Two more starting pitchers went off the board in Round 3, making it seven to this point. Clearly the idea of waiting five or six rounds to start selecting pitchers is a thing of the past. Three first basemen also were taken, further showing that the position isn’t as deep as it once was. Can A.J. Pollock bounce back from injury? Can Daniel Murphy repeat his MVP-like season? The third round is still full of good choices with very few question marks.

Round 3

Round/Pick Team Player
3.1 Tim McLeod, Corey Kluber, SP, Indians
3.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
3.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
3.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs
3.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Robinson Cano, 2B, Mariners
3.6 Autopick Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
3.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy George Springer, OF, Astros
3.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Brian Dozier, 2B, Twins
3.9 Michael Harmon, Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
3.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
3.11 Computer 2 Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Rockies
3.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Nelson Cruz, OF/DH, Mariners

We had a late round run on shortstops after Jonathan Villar went off the board. Studs Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Jean Segura were all taken by Zola, Rapin, and McLeod. Four more starters were selected, and two teams (mine and Andrea Lamont), both have two starting pitchers after four rounds. Outside of wondering if Jonathan Villar can repeat his breakout year, most picks here fit what would make sense. As long as Yu Darvish can stay healthy he is a great choice. I know that Tim Heaney wasn’t a huge fan of taking two Mariners back to back in Rounds 3 and 4 but Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager should ease his concern once the season starts.

Round 4

Round/Pick Team Player
4.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Kyle Seager, 3B, Mariners
4.2 Computer 2 Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates
4.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Justin Upton, OF, Tigers
4.4 Michael Harmon, David Price, SP, Red Sox
4.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B, Cardinals
4.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Johnny Cueto, SP, Giants
4.7 Autopick Jonathan Villar, SS, Brewers
4.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Yu Darvish, SP, Rangers
4.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Jon Lester, SP, Cubs
4.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
4.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
4.12 Tim McLeod, Jean Segura, SS, Mariners

Our first catcher was selected in Round 5 when Doug Anderson went with Buster Posey. His power numbers have dropped the past couple of years, but I expect a return to near 20 jacks for Posey. The first closer also was taken in the fifth round when Howard Bender went with Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is the best fantasy closer in baseball, and while the Yankees might not be a playoff team again, he is nearly a lock for 40 saves and 100+ strikeouts. The middle infield continues to be represented when I went with Trevor Story. Last year’s rookie darling will hopefully get right back on track with his home run power. I also considered Tim Heaney’s selection of Rougned Odor. The Rangers second sacker broke out in a big way last season, and I’m looking for a slight regression but still an awesome season.  After a couple disappointing seasons, Wil Myers had a gigantic year and Tim McLeod made him his starting first baseman. A great choice by my favorite Canadian!

Round 5

Round/Pick Team Player
5.1 Tim McLeod, Wil Myers, 1B, Padres
5.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers
5.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Todd Frazier, 3B, White Sox
5.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Steven Strasburg, SP, Nationals
5.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Buster Posey, C, Giants
5.6 Autopick Adam Jones, OF, Orioles
5.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Trevor Story, SS, Rockies
5.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins
5.9 Michael Harmon, Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Mets
5.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Aroldis Chapman, RP, Yankees
5.11 Computer 2 Mark Trumbo, OF, Orioles
5.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Rougned Odor, 2B, Rangers

Tim Heaney continued the great choices with Carlos Carrasco to start the sixth round. As long as he can stay healthy, Carrasco is a great fantasy pitcher, and should threaten 200 strikeouts. Steve Rapin took one of my favorite guys on a new team in Ian Desmond. A move to Colorado should have Desmond back over 25 homers again in 2017. Anthony Rendon had a nice bounceback season after spending most of ’15 injured, and Joe Gallina selected him as his 3rd third baseman in six rounds. The league does require a corner infielder and a utility spot, so Joe is certainly cornering the market at the hot corner. Matt Carpenter will also be playing first base for the Cardinals, so he will have that option as well. Doug Anderson has a great pick with JD Martinez looking to recapture his 2015 magic, and I went with one of my favorite fantasy pitchers in Jacob DeGrom. Let’s hope the entire Mets pitching staff doesn’t get hurt again!

Round 6

Round/Pick Team Player
6.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Carlos Carrasco, SP, Indians
6.2 Computer 2 David Dahl, OF, Rockies
6.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Cole Hamels, SP, Rangers
6.4 Michael Harmon, Chris Archer, SP, Rays
6.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
6.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jacob DeGrom, SP, Mets
6.7 Autopick Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers
6.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts J.D. Martinez, OF, Tigers
6.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Matt Kemp, OF, Braves
6.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Jonathan Lucroy, C, Rangers
6.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Ian Desmond, 1B, Rockies
6.12 Tim McLeod, Jose Quintana, SP, White Sox

I have a lot of favorite picks here in the seventh round. It started with Tim McLeod and Carlos Martinez. He's young and a little crazy, but a great pick in this part of the draft. Todd Zola may have taken the league leader in stolen bases with Dee Gordon, and I was kicking myself for not taking him sooner. Chris Davis is one of the biggest power bats in the league, even if his average isn't great. I chose Alex Bregman as one of the more exciting young hitters in baseball and I was thrilled to get him. I was surprised to see Kyle Schwarber last this long, and then to end the round was Gary Sanchez. Can this kid come close to the barrage of home runs he hit in the second half of last season? I'm not sure, but I think he is a good pick in the last pick of round 7.

Round 7

Round/Pick Team Player
7.1 Tim McLeod, Carlos Martinez, SP, Cardinals
7.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Kenley Jansen, RP, Dodgers
7.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Dee Gordon, 2B, Marlins
7.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
7.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Chris Davis, 1B/OF, Orioles
7.6 Autopick Jackie Bradley, Jr., OF, Red Sox
7.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros
7.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Kenta Maeda, SP, Dodgers
7.9 Michael Harmon, Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays
7.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians
7.11 Computer 2 Kyle Schwarber, C/OF, Cubs
7.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees

Round 8 finds Fantasy Alarm's Howard Bender choosing Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi. He is one of the more exciting young prospects coming into the 2017 season, and with a starting job all but guaranteed to him, Howard has a very exciting pick. Two of my favorite closers went off the board with Zach Britton to Todd Zola and Roberto Osuna to Tim McLeod. Britton didn't blow a single save last season, and should be elite again this season. Osuna is a fireballing young closer on one of the better teams in the American League. He has a knack of keeping things interesting, but overall he is a top ten closer. I selected Willson Contreras who promises to be one of the more exciting and productive fantasy catchers in 2017. I am thrilled to get him here. I am also a fan of Doug Anderson's pick of Julio Teheran. He was a hard luck loser a lot for the Braves last year, but with the team improving slightly, I like his chances to win 15 games this year.

Round 8

Round/Pick Team Player
8.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals
8.2 Computer 2 Khris Davis, OF, Athletics
8.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox
8.4 Michael Harmon, D.J. LeMahieu, 2B, Rockies
8.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds
8.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Willson Contreras, C/OF, Cubs
8.7 Autopick Stephen Piscotty, OF, Cardinals
8.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Julio Teheran, SP, Braves
8.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs
8.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Zach Britton, RP, Orioles
8.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Ian Kinsler, 2B, Tigers
8.12 Tim McLeod, Roberto Osuna, RP, Blue Jays

Wow the ninth round belonged to the closer as four were selected this group. Somehow, perhaps the best one of the group went last in Wade Davis to Tim Heaney. I selected Mark Melancon, Todd Zola went with Oh in St. Louis and Tim McLeod went back to back closer and chose Edwin Diaz in Seattle. All should be awesome choices and outside of my guy in Melancon. all should be dominant strikeout pitchers. Joe Gallina and Mike Harmon both got great starters in Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka. There are injury concerns to both, but both could far outperform their draft position. I also think that Doug Anderson might have won the round with his choice of Miguel Sano. His batting average suffered last season, but I love his ability and think he will bounce back in 2017.

Round 9

Round/Pick Team Player
9.1 Tim McLeod, Edwin Diaz, RP, Mariners
9.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Adam Eaton, OF, Nationals
9.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Seung Hwan Oh, RP, Cardinals
9.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Javier Baez, 2B/SS, Cubs
9.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
9.6 Autopick Adam Duvall, OF, Reds
9.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Mark Melancon, RP, Giants
9.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Gerrit Cole, SP, PIrates
9.9 Michael Harmon, Masahiro Tanaka, SP, Yankees
9.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Jose Peraza, SS, Reds
9.11 Computer 2 Justin Turner, 3B, Dodgers
9.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Wade Davis, RP, Cubs

Starting pitchers were the story of Round 10 as four guys went off the board. Tim Heaney started it with Danny Duffy who finally showed some consistency and was rewarded with a new contract. In 2017 he could have his best year yet. Aaron Sanchez is one of the better pitchers that is flying under the radar even after going 15-2 last season. Howard Bender got a great pitcher this late. I chose Danny Salazar who has a bit of a walks problem, but the guy has dominant stuff and could have a huge season. Doug Anderson chose Zack Greinke, who had a down 2016 but still has all the talent in the world. He is a good bounceback candidate for the upcoming year. I am also a big fan of Kole Calhoun to Todd Zola as an under the radar power source, and Marcell Ozuna to Steve Rapin as a player who has finally lived up to his potential.

Round 10

Round/Pick Team Player
10.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Danny Duffy, SP, Royals
10.2 Computer 2 Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Yankees
10.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Aaron Sanchez, SP, Blue Jays
10.4 Michael Harmon, Carlos Beltran, OF/DH, Astros
10.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Craig Kimbrel, RP, Red Sox
10.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Danny Salazar, SP, Indians
10.7 Autopick Aledmys Diaz, SS, Cardinals
10.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Zack Greinke, SP, D'Backs
10.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Cody Allen, RP, Indians
10.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels
10.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins
10.12 Tim McLeod, J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins

Addison Russell started Round 11 to Tim McLeod after having a huge breakout year in 2016. His plate discipline might not be the best and he's never going to win the batting title, but he will give you a nice speed/power burst. Despite it being from an autopicker, I still do like Maikel Franco. He did disappoint a little last season, but he still has the ability to hit 25-30 homers, especially in that small ballpark. Odubel Herrera to Andrea Lamont was a solid pick. He is way under the radar, gives you a solid batting average and a nice speed/power combination. I chose Jonathan Schoop who doesn't give you a great batting average but is one of the better power options at second base. Considering how long I waited at the position, I could have done far worse. Even if Rick Porcello isn't able to repeat his Cy Young season, Tim Heaney got a great pick in the 11th round.

Round 11

Round/Pick Team Player
11.1 Tim McLeod, Addison Russell, SS, Cubs
11.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Evan Gattis, C/OF/DH, Astros
11.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Kevin Gausman, SP, Orioles
11.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Odubel Herrera, OF, Phillies
11.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays
11.6 Autopick Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies
11.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Orioles
11.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Salvador Perez, C, Royals
11.9 Michael Harmon, Alex Colome, RP, Rays
11.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Welington Castillo, C, Orioles
11.11 Computer 2 Hunter Pence, OF, Giants
11.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Rick Porcello, SP, Red Sox

Tim Heaney started off the 12th round with Hanley Ramirez who had a huge bounce back season with 30 home runs for the Red Sox. Even if he can't repeat that performance, he should be a great option halfway through the draft. Todd Zola may have won the round though with the American League Rookie of the Year in Michael Fulmer. This kid had a huge first year, and he is only going to get better. He is going to be better this year and is a TOTAL STEAL in Round 12. If Troy Tulowitzki stays healthy then Howard Bender has a great pick. I believe Tim McLeod had one of the best picks also in Kendrys Morales who goes to a great lineup in Toronto. He should be a lock for 30 home runs. In a two catcher league both Joe Gallina and I grabbed our second guys this round when he took Brian McCann and I took Russell Martin. McCann should be more healthy when he is able to DH a lot for the Astros, and Martin has shown consistent 20 homer power. Both of us were very happy with our choices.

Round 12

Round/Pick Team Player
12.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Hanley Ramirez, 1B, Red Sox
12.2 Computer 2 Albert Pujols, 1B/DH, Angels
12.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Blue Jays
12.4 Michael Harmon, Carlos Santana, 1B/DH, Indians
12.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Brian McCann, C, Astros
12.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Russell Martin, C, Blue Jays
12.7 Autopick Corey Dickerson, OF, Rays
12.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Ken Giles, RP, Astros
12.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Tanner Roark, SP, Nationals
12.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Michael Fulmer, SP, Tigers
12.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Eduardo Nunez, SS, Giants
12.12 Tim McLeod, Kendrys Morales, 1B, Blue Jays

Young players and prospects have started to permeate the mock draft in lucky Round 13. Andrea Lamont selected Astros outfield prospect Hunter Renfroe, Doug Anderson went with Cardinal pitcher Alex Reyes, and Mike Harmon drafted Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias. Renfroe looks to have a starting outfield spot sewn up in Houston, and with that short porch he has a chance to have a great rookie season. Reyes has dynamite stuff to be a dominant starting pitcher, and although he might be on an innings limit he should be great. Urias showed great potential in his first year in the National League. Now that he has a partial season under his belt he should only be better in 2017. Joc Pederson was selected by Joe Gallina in the hopes that his batting average can keep up with his power potential. He is definitely a good risk at this point of the night and could be a good choice in this round.

Round 13

Round/Pick Team Player
13.1 Tim McLeod, Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
13.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Yasmani Grandal, C, Dodgers
13.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Carlos Gomez, OF, Rangers
13.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres
13.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Alex Reyes, SP, Cardinals
13.6 Autopick Jake Lamb, 3B, D'Backs
13.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Dodgers
13.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Joc Pederson, OF, Dodgers
13.9 Michael Harmon, Julio Urias, SP, Dodgers
13.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Lance McCullers, SP, Astros
13.11 Computer 2 Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners
13.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Kelvin Herrera, RP, Royals

The highlights of Round 14 start with shortstop Tim Anderson. He started his career slowly, but picked it up big time as the season wound to a close. He should be a great option later in drafts at shortstop. Not far removed from his Cy Young season, somehow Dallas Keuchel falls this far and is a steal to Joe Gallina. Doug Anderson is hoping that Steven Matz can possibly stay healthy, and Tim McLeod drafted Nomar Mazara in the hopes that he can rekindle the flame that came with his early season callup and not his late season struggles.

Round 14

Round/Pick Team Player
14.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox
14.2 Computer 2 Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
14.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox
14.4 Michael Harmon, Drew Pomeranz, SP, Red Sox
14.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Dallas Keuchel, SP, Astros
14.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy David Robertson, RP, White Sox
14.7 Autopick Tyson Ross, SP, Padres
14.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Steven Matz, SP, Mets
14.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Brad Miller, SS/1B, Rays
14.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball John Lackey, SP, Cubs
14.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Rich Hill, SP, Dodgers
14.12 Tim McLeod, Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers

If Jeurys Familia can avoid a suspension for his domestic violence arrest, Steve Rapin got a complete steal in the 15th round. Familia wasn’t quite as good last season, but he is still a dominant closer. Even if he is suspended, Steve will have a great midseason addition to his team. I took the 15/15 outfielder in Dexter Fowler who finds himself in St. Louis. As my third outfielder I didn’t think that was too bad. I am expecting a bounceback season from Marcus Stroman, so to get him in the 15th round seems like awesome value for Tim Heaney. I have been praising his picks too much, I need to bash a few before this is over!

Round 15

Round/Pick Team Player
15.1 Tim McLeod, Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays
15.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jeurys Familia, RP, Mets
15.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Ben Zobrist, 2B, Cubs
15.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Victor Martinez, DH, Tigers
15.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Ketel Marte, SS, D'Backs
15.6 Autopick Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
15.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Dexter Fowler, OF, Cardinals
15.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Tony Watson, RP, Pirates
15.9 Michael Harmon, Francisco Rodriguez, RP, Tigers
15.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Matt Moore, SP, Giants
15.11 Computer 2 Ryan Schimpf, 2B/3B, Padres
15.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays

Mike Harmon getting a potential 30 home run hitter in the 16th round was a great selection with Jay Bruce. He struggled in his first month or so with the Mets, but with a full offseason behind him, he should settle in nicely. Joe Gallina got some sleeper power with Athletics Ryon Healy. He isn’t a name that the casual player knows, but could pay nice dividends. I took a shot that Sonny Gray will get back on track in 2017, and Doug Anderson took young hurler Jameson Taillon who has a nice high ceiling.  

Round 16

Round/Pick Team Player
16.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Max Kepler, OF, Twins
16.2 Computer 2 Danny Espinosa, SS, Angels
16.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Sam Dyson, RP, Rangers
16.4 Michael Harmon, Jay Bruce, OF, Mets
16.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Ryon Healey, 1B/3B, Athletics
16.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Sonny Gray, SP, Athletics
16.7 Autopick Jordan Zimmermann, SP, Tigers
16.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Jameson Taillon, SP, Pirates
16.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Ender Inciarte, OF, Braves
16.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Jerad Eickhoff, SP, Phillies
16.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Sean Manaea, SP, Athletics
16.12 Tim McLeod, Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers

Was J.A. Happ's 2016 season an outlier or will he be that good again in 2017? I don't think he will match last season, but it still isn't a bad 17th round pick for Steve. Carlos Rodon finished the season last year with two absolute gems, and Tim McLeod is betting that he can keep that momentum heading into this year. I think he might be right. If Michael Brantley can get healthy, Doug Anderson got the steal of the round, possibly of the whole draft. You have to be rooting for this guy to be able to stay on the field this year. Jon Gray has the stuff to be a front line starter, but will the conditions at Coors Field make him fail to live up to expectations? Mike Harmon took Andrew Miller in Cleveland. I don't think anyone knows what his exact role will be this year, but I can guarantee you he will strike a lot of guys out and won't allow too many runs. I took Brandon Belt for my corner infield spot as a guy with a nice batting average and decent pop in his bat.

Round 17

Round/Pick Team Player
17.1 Tim McLeod, Carlos Rodon, SP, White Sox
17.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy J.A. Happ, SP, Blue Jays
17.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Stephen Vogt, C, Athletics
17.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Robbie Ray, SP, D'Backs
17.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Michael Brantley, OF, Indians
17.6 Autopick Aaron Nola, SP, Phillies
17.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants
17.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Jake Odorizzi, SP, Rays
17.9 Michael Harmon, Andrew Miller, RP, Indians
17.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Michael Pineda, SP, Yankees
17.11 Computer 2 Jon Gray, SP, Rockies
17.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Eric Thames, 1B, Brewers

Michael Harmon took a great calculated risk with Michael Conforto. The young Mets outfielder got off to an amazing start and then was so lost he eventually went back to the Minors. The talent is there, can he put it together? I like the pick. Next, back to back shortstops went in all power/no average Marcus Semien, and last year's breakout in Didi Gregorius. Despite the fact that I picked Gregorius, I don't expect either of these players to replicate last season's success. I believe Gregorius will find the teens in home runs with a solid batting average. Semien should get to the low level of 20 home runs and a .240 batting average. For your middle infield spot, or bench depth, either are great choices. I think Doug Anderson has the pick of the round with Greg Bird. The Yankees powerful first baseman missed all of last year with a shoulder injury, but the kid's power is legitimate. I think he is going to far outperform his draft position. Todd Zola took a chance on an outfield prospect in Manuel Margot. If this kid gets a starting job and regular at-bats he could steal 35 bases. Adam Ottavino is the closer of the round who has a chance to be a dominant strikeout option. This late in the draft you could do far worse.

Round 18

Round/Pick Team Player
18.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Jason Heyward, OF, Cubs
18.2 Computer 2 Jeff Samardzija, SP, Giants
18.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Reds
18.4 Michael Harmon, Michael Conforto, OF, Mets
18.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Marcus Semien, SS, Athletics
18.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Didi Gregorius, SS, Yankees
18.7 Autopick Anthony DeSclafani, SP, Reds
18.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Greg Bird, 1B, Yankees
18.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals
18.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Manuel Margot, OF, Padres
18.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy C.J. Cron, 1B, Angels
18.12 Tim McLeod, Adam Ottavino, RP, Rockies

Tim McLeod chose catcher Tom Murphy who showed great power in the Minor Leagues last season. If he gets regular at-bats he could be a huge sleeper. You wouldn't think that such quality pitching would still be available in Round 19, but you would be wrong! A.J. Ramos is a great closer in Florida drafted by (ahem) me. It wasn't a good 2016 for Cardinals Adam Wainwright, but he still has a few good years left in him, and 2017 should be a nice return to solid performance. Drew Smyly got a nice boost in value this offseason when he got off of the awful Rays roster and to a much more competitive team in Seattle. He should be good for 15-16 wins. Blake Snell is one of the more exciting young pitchers in baseball. He struggled to go deep in games in his rookie season, but he certainly has the talent to be very effective. Matt Shoemaker and Hisashi Iwakuma are both under the radar but solid pitchers. Finally, outfielder Leonys Martin went to Andrea Lamont, who had a great year. He easily surpassed his career high in home runs, and had a great 24 stolen bases. If he can get his batting average around .260, Andrea got herself an amazing selection.

Round 19

Round/Pick Team Player
19.1 Tim McLeod, Tom Murphy, C, Rockies
19.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Yasmany Tomas, OF, D'Backs
19.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Matt Shoemaker, SP, Angels
19.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Leonys Martin, OF, Mariners
19.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts James Paxton, SP, Mariners
19.6 Autopick Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, Mariners
19.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy A.J. Ramos, RP, Marlins
19.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Blake Snell, SP, Rays
19.9 Michael Harmon, Jedd Gyorko, 2B/SS/3B, Cardinals
19.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Matt Holliday, OF, Yankees
19.11 Computer 2 Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals
19.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Drew Smyly, SP, Mariners

I'm very intrigued by Joe Gallina's pick of Byron Buxton. Once universally thought of as the top prospect in all of baseball, Buxton certainly has had his struggles since coming to the Majors. However, he was able to show some progress with ten homers and ten steals in 91 games. He isn't a power hitter, but Buxton could make a nice impact in the stolen base category. I selected Randal Grichuk who had a career high in home runs last year, but he also had a huge stretch where he was absolutely terrible. He will need to show more consistency in 2017, but the talent is definitely there. Steve Rapin selected Tyler Glasnow. He has great potential, but definitely showed last year that he needs to improve his control. He has a high ceiling, but could struggle again one more year. He is a good choice this late in the night. Tim McLeod selected Dansby Swanson. The number one pick of the 2015 draft looks to have a starting spot ready for him. Swanson is more of a base stealer than a home run hitter, but he has decent pop for a shortstop as well. He has great control of the strike zone and could have nice value as a middle infielder in 2017.

Round 20

Round/Pick Team Player
20.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Keon Broxton, OF, Brewers
20.2 Computer 2 Gio Gonzalez, SP, Nationals
20.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Dellin Betances, RP, Yankees
20.4 Michael Harmon, Matt Duffy, 3B, Rays
20.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Byron Buxton, OF, Twins
20.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Randal Grichuk, OF, Cardinals
20.7 Autopick Marco Estrada, SP, Blue Jays
20.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Ryan Madson, RP, Athletics
20.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
20.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Vince Velasquez, SP, Phillies
20.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pirates
20.12 Tim McLeod, Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves

Two pitchers in Round 21 intrigue me, one a starter, the other a reliever. Last year Raisel Iglesias was a popular sleeper as a starting pitcher for the Reds. Injuries cut his season short, and he was sent to the bullpen when he was finally able to return. He is the frontrunner for the closer role in Cincinnati this season, and he could be an electric option at the back of the bullpen. He has a great ability to miss bats and if he only has to pitch one inning he could be great. Taijuan Walker could have a great season in the National League after coming from the American League, but scoring wins on a subpar Diamondbacks team might hinder his value a little. I chose Mike Moustakas who tore his ACL last season, but should be good to go for 2017. He had his best season in 2015 with 22 homers and a .280 average, and I'm hoping was a great choice in the 21st round of the draft.

Round 21

Round/Pick Team Player
21.1 Tim McLeod, Raisel Iglesias, RP, Reds
21.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Logan Forsythe, 2B, Rays
21.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Curtis Granderson, OF, Mets
21.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Fernando Rodney, RP, D'Backs
21.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Travis D'Arnaud, C, Mets
21.6 Autopick Taijuan Walker, SP, D'Backs
21.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals
21.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts David Peralta, OF, D'Backs
21.9 Michael Harmon, Hector Rondon, RP, Cubs
21.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Jim Johnson, RP, Braves
21.11 Computer 2 Francisco Liriano, SP, Blue Jays
21.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Wilson Ramos, C, Rays

Michael Wacha had an incredibly disappointing season in 2016, but he definitely is better than that. I expect him to be better in 2017. Domingo Santana has a chance to be a 15/15 outfielder and perhaps a good choice as your fourth guy, a utility play, or injury insurance on the bench. I selected Joe Ross who is one of my favorite late round choices at starting pitcher. He struggled at times last year, but has good stuff and is on a strong offensive team. Lance Lynn missed all of last year with Tommy John Surgery, but is in a contract year and very motivated to pitch well. Steve selected Oakland prospect Jharel Cotton. He has a good chance to stick in the rotation and has great strikeout stuff. He likely will struggle to rack up the wins on such a poor offensive team, but the kid definitely has the stuff to be successful at the Major League level.

Round 22

Round/Pick Team Player
22.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Jose Ramirez, SS, Indians
22.2 Computer 2 Michael Wacha, SP, Cardinals
22.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Jeff Bandy, C, Brewers
22.4 Michael Harmon, Rajai Davis, OF, Athletics
22.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Domingo Santana, OF, Brewers
22.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Joe Ross, SP, Nationals
22.7 Autopick Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals
22.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees
22.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Hernan Gomez, 3B, Brewers
22.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Yangervis Solarte, 3B Padres
22.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jharel Cotton, SP, Athletics
22.12 Tim McLeod, Ian Kennedy, SP, Royals

Steve took Jorge Soler in the 23rd round, and at this point of the draft is a very good risk. He has a world of power, but his inability to stop swinging at balls out of the strike zone is holding him back. He gets a new start in Kansas City and has the chance to hit 25 home runs if he can stay healthy and show any sort of consistency. Scott Schebler hit 22 homers and drove in more than 80 runs between the Majors and Minors last season and will be the starting right fielder for the Reds in 2017. Can he repeat his success of last year? I believe he can and Doug Anderson got a great pick in the 22nd round. I selected Tyler Naquin who had a pretty successful season both at the plate and in the field. He has a little bit of power and a little less speed and will be the starting centerfielder for the Indians. He shouldn't be someone you count on all season long, but can be nice injury insurance somewhere on your bench.

Round 23

Round/Pick Team Player
23.1 Tim McLeod, Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Rangers
23.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jorge Soler, OF, Royals
23.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers
23.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Brandon Maurer, RP, Padres
23.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Scott Schebler, OF, Reds
23.6 Autopick Byung Ho Park, 1B, Twins
23.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Tyler Naquin, OF, Indians
23.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Chris Tillman, SP, Orioles
23.9 Michael Harmon, Derek Norris, C, Nationals
23.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Travis Jankowski, OF, Padres
23.11 Computer 2 Collin McHugh, SP, Astros
23.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Garrett Richards, SP, Angels

Lucas Giolito might start 2017 in the Minors, but he shouldn't be there long. He struggled last year in Washington, but the talent is undeniable and could be a nice pick at the end of drafts. Devon Travis has had a hard time staying healthy the last two seasons, but if he can stay on the field, Travis has a chance of being a top ten second baseman. The risk is certainly there, but his reward could be worth it. Ivan Nova resigned in Pittsburgh and has a chance of being a very good pitcher in the National League. He isn't a dominating strikeout pitcher, but is a great pick in the second to last round. I chose Bartolo Colon who should have been out of baseball a couple of years ago, but is still pitching with great effectiveness. He isn't much of a strikeout threat, but he is still getting guys out and is still worth a roster spot in 12 team leagues. Mallex Smith needs to get a little bit of luck to get regular at-bats in 2017, but his base stealing ability hopefully will get him in the lineup most days. In the 24th round he is certainly worth the risk.

Round 24

Round/Pick Team Player
24.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Ivan Nova, SP, Pirates
24.2 Computer 2 Yan Gomes, C, Indians
24.3 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Cameron Maybin, OF, Angels
24.4 Michael Harmon, Nate Jones, RP, White Sox
24.5 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates
24.6 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Bartolo Colon, SP, Braves
24.7 Autopick Francisco Cervelli, C, Pirates
24.8 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Mallex Smith, OF, Rays
24.9 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Josh Reddick, OF, Astros
24.10 Todd Zola, Mastersball Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
24.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Devon Travis, 2B, Blue Jays
24.12 Tim McLeod, Lucas Giolito, SP, White Sox

If Devin Mesoraco could ever stay healthy he could be a top five fantasy catcher with his bat, but that is a huge if he can stay healthy. Cameron Rupp had a breakout year for the Phillies behind the plate for a team that is just dying for some sort of fantasy value. He has an outside chance to hit 20 home runs as a catcher in 2017. Jose Berrios was one of the most hyped pitching prospects heading into 2016 and fell flat on his face. With nearly a full season under his belt, can he improve in 2017? I like his chances. I selected Aaron Judge as a huge power prospect in 2017 as long as he can keep his batting average over .250. Steve picked Jarrod Dyson who could lead the league in stolen bases if he gets every day at-bats in Seattle. Alex Cobb was the last pick and missed most of last season with Tommy John Surgery but will be ready for the start of the year. He has the stuff to win 15 games and strikeout 180 guys if he can stay healthy in 2017.

Round 25

Round/Pick Team Player
25.1 Tim McLeod, Alex Cobb, SP, Rays
25.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jarrod Dyson, OF, Royals
25.3 Todd Zola, Mastersball Tyler Skaggs, SP, Angels
25.4 Andrea Lamont, RotoExperts Mike Napoli, 1B, Indians
25.5 Doug Anderson, So-Called Fantasy Experts Chris Carter, 1B, ????
25.6 Autopick Mike Zunino, C, Mariners
25.7 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
25.8 Joe Gallina, RotoExperts Jose Berrios, SP, Twins
25.9 Michael Harmon, Cameron Rupp, C, Phillies
25.10 Howard Bender, Fantasy Alarm Mitch Haniger, OF, Mariners
25.11 Computer 2 Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds
25.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Hector Neris, RP, Phillies

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