Fighting Chance Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft #2

On February 7th, 2018 nine of the best in the fantasy baseball world joined Steve, Patrick, and Ryan to conduct our second fantasy baseball mock draft of this offseason. The scoring is traditional 5X5 roto and the positions are C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, 4 OFs, CI, MI, UTIL, 5 SPs, 2 RPs, and 2 Ps. All of these folks truly know there stuff and you have to follow them all on Twitter if you want to have a shot to win your league. So, rather than blabber on more, lets get to the competitors and then the picks! The draft order was as follows:

Tim Heaney, Rotowire (@tim_heaney)
Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy (@fantasygeek37)
Joe Gallina, RotoExperts (@joegallina)
Mike Malamud, Razzball (@malamoney)
Danny Cross, Creative Sports (@_dannycross_)
Mike Harmon, (@swollendome)
John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts (@TheJohnLaPresto)
Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports (@lancebrozdow)
Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy (@polkapat)
Nick Mariano, RotoBaller (@NMariano53)
Brian Entrekin, The Sports Degens (@bdentrek)
Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy (@fightingchance)

Round 1

Round/Pick Team Player
1.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
1.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros
1.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
1.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies
1.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals
1.6 Michael Harmon, Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies
1.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox
1.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals
1.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
1.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Giancarlo Stanton, OF, New York Yankees
1.11 Brian Entrekin, Max Scherzer, SP, Washington Nationals
1.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

The first round is very similar to the first round in our first mock draft. In fact the first four picks are identical. Also like last time, two starting pitchers were drafted in Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer. Kershaw seems to be the consensus first pitcher off the board, but he is starting to get a little older, and his back issues are for real. Kershaw is still the most talented pitcher, but could Scherzer be the better first pitcher off the board? I'm starting to think it is possible. Trout or Altuve? Altuve or Trout? Trout tends to be the first pick, but with the recent seasons that Altuve has put together, there is starting to be more of a case for Altuve. Finally, who do you feel about Trea Turner going fifth overall to Danny Cross? I felt that Turner was overvalued last year in fantasy drafts, but I am much more on his bandwagon this season. He totally dominates the stolen base category with a little power as well. 

Round 2

Round/Pick Team Player
2.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
2.2 Brian Entrekin, Chris Sale, SP, Boston Red Sox
2.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
2.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians
2.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
2.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Manny Machado, SS/3B, Baltimore Orioles
2.7 Michael Harmon, Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
2.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
2.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Jose Ramirez, 3B, Cleveland Indians
2.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants
2.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Cody Bellinger, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers
2.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs

The second round is full of studs. I took Joey Votto, but I definitely considered Kris Bryant who went two picks later to Nick Mariano. I expect a monster year from the Cubs third baseman and think that Nick got a great pick. Three pitchers went with Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, and Madison Bumgarner to Joe Gallina. All three are high strikeout, stud pitchers and all are worthy of a second round pick. As much as I hate the Cubs in real life, I am saying good things about Kris Bryant and now Anthony Rizzo. I think Tim Heaney got a great pick to end the second round. Rizzo is a shoe in for 30 homers, I expect a bounceback in batting average and he will steal 10-12 bases as well. He is an all around great hitter. 

Round 3

Round/Pick Team Player
3.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins
3.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
3.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Dee Gordon, 2B/OF, Seattle Mariners
3.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball J.D. Martinez, OF, Free Agent
3.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports George Springer, OF, Houston Astros
3.6 Michael Harmon, Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets
3.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Stephen Strasburg, SP, Washington Nationals
3.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees
3.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox
3.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Luis Severino, SP, New York Yankees
3.11 Brian Entrekin, Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Cleveland Indians
3.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jacob DeGrom, SP, New York Mets

I was a big fan of Tim Heaney starting the round with Brian Dozier who will lead second base in power by a good margin. Steve Rapin took more power with his pick of Josh Donaldson before Joe Gallina filled his need for speed with Dee Gordon. Danny Cross had an awesome pick with George Springer, while Brian Entrekin took the guy I had queued up in Edwin Encarnacion. E5 is power personified and a great third round pick. However, I had no problem grabbing Jacob DeGrom to finish the round. Mike Harmon took Noah Syndergaard who is hoping for a big rebound season, while John LaPresto followed him with Stud Stephen Strasburg. Can he strikeout 275 guys this year? It might be a bit of a stretch, but it is possible. 

Round 4

Round/Pick Team Player
4.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Marcell Ozuna, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
4.2 Brian Entrekin, Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros
4.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Daniel Murphy, 2B, Washington Nationals
4.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
4.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Rhys Hoskins, 1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies
4.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Justin Verlander, SP, Houston Astros
4.7 Michael Harmon, Zack Greinke, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
4.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Carlos Carrasco, SP, Cleveland Indians
4.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Carlos Martinez, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
4.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Robbie Ray, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
4.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox
4.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Kenley Jansen, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Five straight starting pitchers went in Round 4, led by Justin Verlander and finished with Robbie Ray. Carlos Carrasco and Carlos Martinez also went in that run and they may be my two favorite of those five. Both have great strikeout capabilities. Both are still young, and both play for good teams. Both are great fourth round picks. I also loved Brian Entrekin's pick of Alex Bregman. He had a rough first half, but Bregman was one of the hotter hitters in baseball after the Break. Lance Brozdowski is the one who took Rhys Hoskins. It seems like he is one of the more intriguing hitters this draft season after hitting 18 homers in just 50 games. While Hoskins clearly can't keep that pace up, I expect him to top 30 dingers in 2018. 

Round 5

Round/Pick Team Player
5.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Chris Archer, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
5.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
5.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Justin Upton, OF, Los Angeles Angels
5.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Jose Quintana, SP, Chicago Cubs
5.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
5.6 Michael Harmon, Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas Rangers
5.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
5.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
5.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Justin Turner, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
5.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller A.J. Pollack, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
5.11 Brian Entrekin, Wil Myers, 1B, San Diego Padres
5.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Dallas Keuchel, SP, Houston Astros

I hate to give him credit, but the best pick of the round might just be Jonathan Schoop. He had a monster year last season, and based on his career trajectory to this point, I see no reason why he won't repeat his 2017 season. Danny Cross took another very intriguing player in Byron Buxton. Once a top prospect who has struggled mightily, Buxton finally put it together in the second half of 2017. Danny, and many many fantasy players are hoping that we get a full year of that from Buxton this season. Christian Yelich went from Miami to Milwaukee to Lance Brozdowski. Many are hoping the move to a better hitters park will increase Yelich's home run numbers and perhaps his batting average as well. I finished the round with Dallas Keuchel as I didn't see a lot of pitchers left that had a chance to be dominating. 

Round 6

Round/Pick Team Player
6.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
6.2 Brian Entrekin, Aaron Nola, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
6.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners
6.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Khris Davis,OF, Oakland Athletics
6.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Shohei Ohtani, SP, Los Angeles Angels
6.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Willson Contreras, C, Chicago Cubs
6.7 Michael Harmon, Whit Merrifield, 2B, Kansas City Royals
6.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Yu Darvish, SP, Chicago Cubs
6.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Eric Hosmer, 1B, Free Agent
6.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati Reds
6.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy James Paxton, SP, Seattle Mariners
6.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Jean Segura, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks

This mock draft was conducted before Yu Darvish signed his contract with the Cubs, although I am not sure that I would see his value getting much higher just because of where he signed. He is a solid pitcher, but his ERA has gone up for four straight seasons and he has been hurt two of the last three. That being said, he can still be a dominant pitcher, so Danny Cross got solid value. In our first mock draft, Shohei Ohtani went in the seventh round. This time he goes in the sixth, which is probably the round that you can expect him to go. At least until Spring Training and we actually see him pitch. A lot of stolen bases went off the board in this round with Jean Segura, Billy Hamilton, Whit Merrifield, and Starling Marte. All four are very capable of stealing 35+ bags and are very solid selections here. I'm not the biggest Billy Hamilton fan personally, but you can't argue with the numbers. 

Round 7

Round/Pick Team Player
7.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
7.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Craig Kimbrel, RP, Boston Red Sox
7.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Didi Gregorius, SS, New York Yankees
7.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Tommy Pham, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
7.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners
7.6 Michael Harmon, Andrew McCutchen, OF, San Francisco Giants
7.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
7.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Joey Gallo, 1B, Texas Rangers
7.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Domingo Santana, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
7.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
7.11 Brian Entrekin, Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
7.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Yoenis Cespedes, OF, New York Mets

Our second closer goes off the board with Craig Kimbrel to Steve Rapin. Nearly three full rounds after Jansen went off the board, this is a good selection for Steve. Perosnally, I think that we are going to have nice bounce back seasons from both Robinson Cano and Xander Bogaerts. Cano struggled mightily for a while, and while his end numbers were still respectful, it clearly has hurt his value in 2018. A hand injury zapped Bogaerts power in 2017, as well as a severe drop in batting average for the second straight year. I am looking for him to return to a near .300 batting average and the very high teens when it comes to home runs. What will Tommy Pham do in 2018? Personally, I think he is going to have another very productive year, and so does Malamoney. Pham nearly went 25/25 in 2017, and has publicly stated a goal to be a 30/30 player this season. While I think he might fall short of that goal, I can see him matching his breakout season and repeating 25 homers and steal. I took Yoenis Cespedes in the seventh knowing if he does stay healthy he could yank 40 jacks. 

Round 8

Round/Pick Team Player
8.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Gerrit Cole, SP, Houston Astros
8.2 Brian Entrekin, Chris Taylor, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
8.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Aroldis Chapman, RP, New York Yankees
8.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jose Berrios, SP, Minnesota Twins
8.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
8.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts David Price, SP, Boston Red Sox
8.7 Michael Harmon, Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks
8.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Justin Smoak, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays
8.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
8.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Mike Moustakas, 3B, Free Agent
8.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Masahiro Tanaka, SP, New York Yankees
8.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Rich Hill, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Malamoney was newsworthy again in the eighth round when he went for Ronald Acuna. This is a bit high for the Braves super prospect, but as I have stated in the past, if there is a guy that you really want, ADP be damned! Just hope that Acuna has such a great Spring that the Braves are forced to break camp with him. Miguel Cabrera finally goes off the board in the eighth round. Injuries and a dip in production has taken this former top five overall pick into a mid-rounder. If he is healthy this is a great pick by Lance Brozdowski, and in all honesty this isn't a high risk selection. Five pitchers went off the board here, three vets and two young guys. I went with the new Astro Gerrit Cole. I am not saying that I am expecting his 19 win season, but in the eighth round I like his chance to strikeout 180 batters and win 15 games. John LaPresto went with David Price, who could also produce above this draft spot, if healthy. Patrick Wisniewski went with Jose Berrios for the second straight draft. This kid has killer stuff and if he can keep throwing strikes consistently he could make a big jump this year. 

Round 9

Round/Pick Team Player
9.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers
9.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Luis Castillo, SP, Cincinnati Reds
9.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Alex Wood, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
9.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Luke Weaver, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
9.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Jake Arrieta, SP, Free Agent
9.6 Michael Harmon, Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox
9.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Rougned Odor, 2B, Texas Rangers
9.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Corey Knebel, RP, Milwaukee Brewers
9.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Travis Shaw, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
9.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Roberto Osuna, RP, Toronto Blue Jays
9.11 Brian Entrekin, Matt Olson, 1B, Oakland Athletics
9.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins

Two elite closers were selected in the ninth round in Corey Knebel to Lance Brozdowski and Roberto Osuna to Nick Mariano. I was really hoping Osuna fell to me, but unfortunately I was sniped two picks before. With the Brewers improved offense, Knebel should be given even more opportunities. Osuna hit a little bump in the road last year, but was great when all was said and done. Yoan Moncada went in the ninth round, as Mike Harmon fills his middle infield spot. Moncada has been a top prospect for a number of years, but so far his time in the Majors hasn't quite lived up to the hype. He still has amazing tools though and if this is his breakout season, Harmon got a great pick. I am a fan of the next selection, Rougned Odor to John LaPresto. Rougy didn't finish strong and his batting average was a complete tire fire, but the guy still hit 30 homers. Not to mention his batting average had never been near as bad as it was last season so I am looking for a bounceback season for Odor. Two great young pitchers in Luis Castillo and Luke Weaver also went. Weaver had a great first look for the Cards with seven wins and 72 whiffs in 60 innings. There's a chance he might be on a slight innings limit this year, but I would think it would be around 180 so he could pitch all year on that. Castillo didn't have the win-loss record that Weaver had, but his strikeout numbers were eyepopping and his ERA was very respectable for a rookie. Look for him to be a great contributor in 2018. 

Round 10

Round/Pick Team Player
10.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Edwin Diaz, RP, Seattle Mariners
10.2 Brian Entrekin, Manuel Margot, OF, San Diego Padres
10.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies
10.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals
10.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Trevor Bauer, SP, Cleveland Indians
10.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Matt Carpenter, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
10.7 Michael Harmon, Wade Davis, RP, Colorado Rockies
10.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Adam Eaton, OF, Washington Nationals
10.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
10.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Ian Desmond, 1B/OF, Colorado Rockies
10.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Felipe Rivero, RP, Pittsburgh Pirates
10.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Jon Lester, SP, Chicago Cubs

Three more high end closers were taken in Round 10, and you can start to see where you need to move when you are building your fantasy bullpen. Felipe Rivero, Wade Davis, and Edwin Diaz might not give you the numbers that Kenley Jansen or Craig Kimbrel will, but they won't be a long way off and they are being selected three to five rounds later. So, you have to decide whether you are willing to pay the price for the best of the best, or willing to hang back a little to get a slightly lower tier. Trevor Bauer is one the most intriguing pitchers to me in 2018. He had by far his best season with 17 wins in 2017, but his ERA still remained over 4.00. The Indians clearly will be a great team again this season, but can Bauer take the next step and get his ERA down to around 3.50? If he can, this is a great pick for Lance Brozdowski. And if it remains around 4.00, this is still solid value. I would be willing to take Bauer maybe even a round sooner than this if I was picking, but I already had three starters to this point and was filling other needs. 

Round 11

Round/Pick Team Player
11.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Javier Baez, 2B, Chicago Cubs
11.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Ender Inciarte, OF, Atlanta Braves
11.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Marwin Gonzalez, all over, Houston Astros
11.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Eddie Rosario, OF, Minnesota Twins
11.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers
11.6 Michael Harmon, Marcus Stroman, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
11.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers
11.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves
11.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins
11.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller D.J. LeMahieu, 2B, Colorado Rockies
11.11 Brian Entrekin, Lance McCullers, SP, Houston Astros
11.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

Eddie Rosario clearly took a nice step forward in 2017 as he more than doubled his previous career best in home runs. However, I don't think that this is completely out of nowhere and was a decent pick by Malamoney. I don't know that I see him hitting 27 homers again this year, but I don't think 23 is out of the realm of possibility, and in the 11th round, you can't argue with that. Lance Brozdowski took one of the more exciting young players in Ozzie Albies in Atlanta. He had a respectable rookie year a 21 year old, and I expect bigger things from him this year. Patrick Wisniewski took his third 3rd baseman of the draft in Miguel Sano. While it looks like Sano should be mostly healthy coming into the Spring, it is the sexual assault allegations against him that have fantasy owners hesitant to pull the trigger on the powerful young man. If he can avoid suspension or keep it to a month, that would be a win for fantasy players. Finally I finished the round with Rafael Devers. He had a great 2017 between the Majors and Minors and although he had a bit of a power drought at a point in Boston, the future is very bright for this young man. 

Round 12

Round/Pick Team Player
12.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Johnny Cueto, SP, San Francisco Giants
12.2 Brian Entrekin, Cody Allen, RP, Cleveland Indians
12.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals
12.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Trey Mancini, OF, Baltimore Orioles
12.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Kyle Seager, 3B, Seattle Mariners
12.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Sonny Gray, SP, New York Yankees
12.7 Michael Harmon, Carlos Santana, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies
12.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Raisel Iglesias, RP, Cincinnati Reds
12.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates
12.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
12.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Zack Godley, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
12.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore Orioles

You can ask some questions about guys taken in Round 12. Can Ryan Zimmerman repeat last year's resurgence? Can Johnny Cueto bounce back to be a top 30 pitcher? How will Carlos Santana fare in his new home? What will Sonny Gray be like in a full season in Yankee Stadium? As you get a little later in the draft, guys obviously will be a little more unsure. Lance Brozdowski got a real nice safe pick in Kyle Seager. He isn't going to win you a league, but Seager is going to have another .280, 25 homer kind of season. Finally I was a huge fan of Danny Cross picking Raisel Iglesias. He nearly had 30 saves last year, and he had a great strikeout rate for a closer. While the Reds will still suck, Iglesias still could be a top ten closer, and picking that up in the 12th round is awesome. 

Round 13

Round/Pick Team Player
13.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Brad Hand, RP, San Diego Padres
13.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs
13.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Jay Bruce, OF, New York Mets
13.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Jon Gray, SP, Colorado Rockies
13.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Adam Duvall, OF, Cincinnati Reds
13.6 Michael Harmon, Michael Fulmer, SP, Detroit Tigers
13.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Ken Giles, RP, Houston Astros
13.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Jeff Samardzija, SP, San Francisco Giants
13.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Alex Colome, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
13.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Garrett Richards, SP, Los Angeles Angels
13.11 Brian Entrekin, Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland Indians
13.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Yulieski Gurriel, 1B, Houston Astros

John LaPresto waited 13 rounds to take his first closer, and he got a good one in Ken Giles. He had 34 saves and his strikeout rate is very strong. Getting Giles this late is a great pick. Jay Bruce and Adam Duvall both could hit you 30 home runs from a 13th round pick. Michael Fulmer is a good pitcher who just doesn't strikeout a lot of hitters, while Jeff Samardzija is a great strikeout pitcher, but he will likely pitcher to a 4.00 ERA. Again, you aren't going to find more Kershaws and Scherzers this late in the round, so you have to pick out what kind of players you want. I am a big fan of Brian Entrekin's pick of Bradley Zimmer here. Zimmer is gonna steal a good number of bases but will also give you a little bit of pop too. He was who I was going to pick. I was left with Yulieski Gurriel, who I was happy to get. He finished the season and the postseason in great fashion, and I'm expecting career highs across the board for Gurriel in 2018. 

Round 14

Round/Pick Team Player
14.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jose Peraza, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
14.2 Brian Entrekin, Ian Kinsler, 2B, Los Angeles Angels
14.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
14.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Scooter Gennett, 2B, Cincinnati Reds
14.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Danny Salazar, SP, Cleveland Indians
14.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Michael Conforto, OF, New York Mets
14.7 Michael Harmon, Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis Cardinals
14.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Dylan Bundy, SP, Baltimore Orioles
14.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Paul DeJong, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
14.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Greg Bird, 1B, New York Yankees
14.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Andrelton Simmons, SS, Los Angeles Angels
14.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Justin Bour, 1B, Miami Marlins

At this point I needed to fill my second base spot and while I'm not thrilled with anyone left, I went with Jose Peraza as a guy who at least has the ability to steal 30 bases. Can he get on base enough is the question, and since he is my only second baseman I certainly hope so. Ian Kinsler went next who I also considered, instead of a speed threat he brings the power. He isn't nearly as sought after as he used to be, but still brings some production. Nick Mariano went with Gregory Polanco who also could be a steal this late. A neverending hamstring issue cost him 50+ games and made him pretty much ineffective all season. If he can be healthy this year, Polanco could be a fantasy force. John LaPresto went with Michael Conforto who could be a third or fourth round pick if he wasn't going to miss a couple months of the season. It's tough to start the season with someone already injured, but Conforto is a special bat when he's out there. Finally, two first basemen I really like went in this round with Justin Bour and Greg Bird. Bour has to consistently hit left handed pitching, but if he can he could hit 30 homers. Bird has spent much of his career injured, but he showed you in the last month of the season and the playoffs what he is capable of. I'm going to try to draft Bird a lot this year and I think he has a bright future as a power hitter in a stacked lineup. 

Round 15

Round/Pick Team Player
15.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Kevin Gausman, SP, Baltimore Orioles
15.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Charlie Morton, SP, Houston Astros
15.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Brandon Morrow, RP, Chicago Cubs
15.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
15.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Sean Doolittle, RP, Washington Nationals
15.6 Michael Harmon, Evan Longoria, 3B, San Francisco Giants
15.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Greg Holland, RP, Colorado Rockies
15.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Jameson Taillon, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates
15.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Chase Anderson, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
15.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Kyle Hendricks, SP, Chicago Cubs
15.11 Brian Entrekin, Mark Melancon, RP, San Francisco Giants
15.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Archie Bradley, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Round 15 saw five closers go off the board, and the position start to get very thin. I typically like to draft one of the top five to seven closers, another I feel really solid about, and one flier closer. Diaz was my first and I went with Archie Bradley as my next one. I think he is just outside of the guys I feel really solid about, but other guys I was considering all went before my pick. At this point, the bullpen is getting to be slim pickins. Most of the rest of the round was with solid, yet unspectacular pitchers. I am the biggest fan of Jameson Taillon out of this group, as I think he is the one who hasn't quite hit his stride yet. He had a pretty good 2017 and I think he still has room to get better. Kevin Gausman, Charlie Morton, Chase Anderson, and Kyle Hendricks are all middle tier pitchers. None are going to win you a league, but they are guys who will eat innings and give you a great performance a few times a year. They all should win double digit games and are solid choices for your fourth or fifth starter. 

Round 16

Round/Pick Team Player
16.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Avisail Garcia, OF, Chicago White Sox
16.2 Brian Entrekin, Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
16.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Eduardo Nunez, 3B, Free Agent
16.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jeurys Familia, RP, New York Mets
16.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Andrew Miller, RP, Cleveland Indians
16.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Danny Duffy, SP, Kansas City Royals
16.7 Michael Harmon, Drew Pomeranz, SP, Boston Red Sox
16.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Wilson Ramos, C, Tampa Bay Rays
16.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Blake Snell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
16.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Dinelson Lamet, SP, San Diego Padres
16.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Aaron Hicks, OF, New York Yankees
16.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Steven Souza, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Can Blake Snell finally stop walking everyone and giving up home runs? I mean the talent is there, he just needs more consistency. At Round 16 he is a great chance to take and Malamoney got a good pick. Joe Gallina took one of my favorite late round pitchers in Dinelson Lamet. Sure the Padres are gonna suck, but Lamet is a strikeout machine for this time of the draft, and if he can be a little more consistent he could FAR outperform this draft spot. Steven Souza and Avisail Garcia both should produce a good amount of power for this late, even if their batting averages aren't going to be overly helpful. Danny Cross got himself a solid catcher in Round 16 in Wilson Ramos. He doesn't have a ton of power, but Ramos is one of the few catchers who hits for a good average. If Jeurys Familia can keep his job full time, Patrick Wisniewski got himself a great closer. I still think he will hold off AJ Ramos and be the Mets closer for 2018. Finally, even if Andrew Miller doesn't take as many saves from Cody Allen as he did last season, he still should rack up a great number of strikeouts and his ERA and WHIP will be very formidable. 

Round 17

Round/Pick Team Player
17.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Hector Neris, RP, Philadelphia Phillies
17.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Aroyds Vizcaino, RP, Atlanta Braves
17.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Lance Lynn, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
17.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Jordan Montgomery, SP, New York Yankees
17.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Zack Cozart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
17.6 Michael Harmon, Cole Hamels, SP, Texas Rangers
17.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Jacob Faria, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
17.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Blake Treinen, RP, Oakland Athletics
17.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Kyle Schwarber, OF, Chicago Cubs
17.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Michael Brantley, OF, Cleveland Indians
17.11 Brian Entrekin, Evan Gattis, C/OF/DH, Houston Astros
17.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Taijuan Walker, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Remember when I said earlier that I like my third closer to be a flier closer? Well, the guy I want to do that with this year is Hector Neris, but Tim Heaney took him first. Neris fell on his face a lot as the Phillies closer last year, but it was a LONG time before they took the job from him. Neris has good stuff, can get good strikeouts, and I believe he will be far better this season for a slowly improving Phillies team. I like the five starting pitchers that went this round in varying degrees. Cole Hamels is aging and wasn't very good last year, but he still has talent and is looking for a bounceback year, and in the 17th round he is definitely worth a shot. I took Taijuan Walker who really needs to become way more consistent. He has good stuff and there's no reason he can't be better. Jordan Montgomery isn't spectacular in any definition of the word, but he pitches for a team with a great offense and should be a solid contributor towards the back end of your fantasy rotation. I don't know where Lance Lynn will end up, but he is a very good pitcher. He isn't a dominating strikeout guy, but he is very reliable and is a great draft pick this late no matter where he signs. My favorite is Jacob Faria. He struggled some in his rookie season, but I saw some good things from him and I think his future is very bright. There may be some bumps in the road along the way still, but I think Faria is a a very worthy risk in the 17th round. 

Round 18

Round/Pick Team Player
18.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox
18.2 Brian Entrekin, Mike Clevinger, SP, Cleveland Indians
18.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Kenta Maeda, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
18.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Brad Peacock, SP, Houston Astros
18.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Mitch Haniger, OF, Seattle Mariners
18.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Jonathan Villar, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
18.7 Michael Harmon, Fernando Rodney, RP, Minnesota Twins
18.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Miles Mikolas, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
18.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Austin Barnes, C, Los Angeles Dodgers
18.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Brad Brach, RP, Baltimore Orioles
18.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Tim Beckham, SS, Baltimore Orioles
18.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Jonathan Lucroy, C, Free Agent

I liked Joe Gallina's pick of Brad Brach here in Round 18. Zach Britton is out for a long stretch of time and Brach was a dominating closer last season when Britton was hurt. I think he is a great choice even a few rounds earlier. Jonathan Lucroy going to Tim Heaney was also very savvy. Lucroy still doesn't have a home as of now, but he will get one, and I think he is in for a huge turnaround in 2018. One of the projected top five catchers in fantasy in 2017, Lucroy was.....well, shitty last year. However, he has been a pretty solid hitter throughout his career, and I believe last year was an abberation. Tim Beckham gave fantasy owners a good deal of power last year, and I think his 22 homers is again attainable. Beckham will move to third base this year so his dual eligibility is an even bigger plus. If Mike Clevinger has a rotation spot going into the 2018 season then Brian Entrekin got himself a great pick. Clevinger was great pretty much every time he started, but the Indians continued to bounce him back and forth from the bullpen. Right now he will need a good Spring to get that fifth spot for himself. Finally, Danny Cross went with Miles Mikolas. He is coming back from pitching in Asia where he reinvented himself into a really solid pitcher. Will his success translate back to America? Time will tell but this late in the draft he is a good gamble. 

Round 19

Round/Pick Team Player
19.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Sean Manaea, SP, Oakland Athletics
19.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Welington Castillo, C, Chicago White Sox
19.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Brent Honeywell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
19.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Kelvin Herrera, RP, Kansas City Royals
19.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Shane Greene, RP, Detroit Tigers
19.6 Michael Harmon, Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
19.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Delino DeShields, OF, Texas Rangers
19.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves
19.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Steven Matz, SP, New York Mets
19.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Luke Gregerson, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
19.11 Brian Entrekin, J.A. Happ, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
19.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Dellin Betances, RP, New York Yankees

The last of the really viable closers went off the board here which brings up the debate late in drafts would you rather a subpar closer or a dominant setup man. The setup man won't get you the saves, but the strikeouts, potential wins, and ERA and WHIP dominance might outweigh the help in saves. I was planning on taking a closer this round, but once the other three guys went in Herrera, Greene, and Gregerson, I decided to go with Dellin Betances instead of an Angels closer or Marlins closer. Betances struggled at times last year, but he is a reliever with 100 strikeout capabilities and could help me in many categories. There were some more upside picks in Round 19 in Brent Honeywell and Steven Matz. Honeywell is the Rays top prospect and if given the chance this Spring he could be a very productive pitcher. Tampa has had so-so success with bringing their pitching prospects to the Majors, but so far Honeywell looks legit. Matz has already had some success at the Major League level, but the dude just can't stay healthy. However, in the 19th round you aren't putting a lot of pressure on him to be a major part of your team as you didn't pass up any great stud to select him. And if by chance he can stay healthy then Patrick Wisniewski got himself a stud late. Will former number one pick Dansby Swanson finally live up to his hype? He was abysmal last season hitting just .230 with single digits in home runs and steals. If you can pick him up this late, I like Swanson as a guy to take a flier on with good potential, especially in leagues that require a middle infielder. 

Round 20

Round/Pick Team Player
20.1 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Lucas Giolito, SP, Chicago White Sox
20.2 Brian Entrekin, Patrick Corbin, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
20.3 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Gio Gonzalez, SP, Washington Nationals
20.4 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Gleyber Torres, 2B, New York Yankees
20.5 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Michael Wacha, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
20.6 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Tanner Roark, SP, Washington Nationals
20.7 Michael Harmon, Jimmy Nelson, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
20.8 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Aaron Sanchez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
20.9 Mike Malamud, Razzball Alex Reyes, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
20.10 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Addison Reed, RP, New York Mets
20.11 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Carlos Rodon, SP, Chicago White Sox
20.12 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Brett Gardner, OF, New York Yankees

Finding gems in the last couple of rounds is one of the big keys to winning your leagues. Some picks I liked late were, Jeimar Candelario to Steve Rapin, Aaron Sanchez as a solid pitcher when healthy to Danny Cross. Lance Brozdowski took Michael Wacha who has had some health concerns, but he is another guy who is generally good when on the mound. Patrick Wisniewski went with one of the top prospects coming into the year in Gleyber Torres who will likely start the season in the Minors, but not stay there for long. John LaPresto went with Jorge Polanco who had a great second half with 13 homers and 13 steals. As a last round pick, his potential production is solid. I also like Sean Newcomb who went to Tim Heaney with his final pick. Newcomb struggled some in his rookie season and didn't pile up the strikeouts, but I did like what I saw from him and I think his best years are definitely in front of him. My last two picks were Lucas Giolito and Ryon Healy. Healy faded some down the stretch but he hit .271 with 25 home runs in his rookie season in Oakland. Moving to a better lineup in a little better hitters park makes me think I got a great late pick. Giolito was the best pitching prospect in baseball just two years ago and while he has struggled there's still time for him to improve and he finished the season very strong. I'll take that in the 20th round. I hope you enjoyed our mock draft and look forward to our third and final mock coming sometime in March. 

Round 21

Round/Pick Team Player
21.1 Tim Heaney, Rotowire Sean Newcomb, SP, Atlanta Braves
21.2 Steve Rapin, Fighting Chance Fantasy Jeimer Candelario, 3B, Detroit Tigers
21.3 Joe Gallina, Rotoexperts Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies
21.4 Mike Malamud, Razzball Kyle Barraclough, RP, Miami Marlins
21.5 Danny Cross, Creative Sports Josh Harrison, 2B, Pittsburgh Pirates
21.6 Michael Harmon, Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
21.7 John LaPresto, So-Called Fantasy Experts Jorge Polanco, SS, Minnesota Twins
21.8 Lance Brozdowski, Big Three Sports Hanley Ramirez, 1B, Boston Red Sox
21.9 Patrick Wisniewski, Fighting Chance Fantasy Michael Pineda, SP, Minnesota Twins
21.10 Nick Mariano, RotoBaller Blake Parker, RP, Los Angeles Angels
21.11 Brian Entrekin, Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
21.12 Ryan Hallam, Fighting Chance Fantasy Ryon Healy, 1B/3B/DH, Seattle Mariners

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