Every year, my Rock Remnants mate Peter Kreutzer (aka Rotoman) oversees the production of The Fantasy Baseball Guide and as part of my contribution to this esteemed periodical, which generally appears on bookshelves everywhere each February, is coordinating the annual mock draft.
So, last Tuesday, a cluster of industry names gathered at Couchmanagers.com, a very cool mock locale operated by Mike James, and administered by Jimi Nix.
November drafts are always dicey (oh, let's be honest: all drafts are always dicey, it is just November ones are even dicier) but we did make it through just fine. So, for the edification of the masses--and with hopes of generating some mag sales come next year--here is the first round with comments by the drafters.
1. Peter Kreutzer (blog.askRotoman.com): Mike Trout (OF): What else was I supposed to do?
2. Zach Steinhorn (MLB.com): Miguel Cabrera (1B): Posted a "disappointing" .313-25-109-101 line last year despite being banged up for most of the season. I'm expecting better results in 2015.
3. Greg Ambrosius (NFBC.stats.com): Andrew McCutchen (OF): I chose the five-category star who is still only 28.
4. Gene McCaffrey (Wiseguy.com): Paul Goldschmidt (1B): Just a little safer than Stanton or maybe not.
5. Joe Sheehan (SportsIllustrated.com): Giancarlo Stanton (OF): Some risk after how 2014 ended, but definitely best available at this spot.
6. Scott Pianowski (Yahoo.com): Carlos Gomez (OF): Bat targets gone, didn't want a pitcher. Pop and speed: fine.
7. Tim McLeod (PattonandCo.com): Jose Abreu (1B): 30-110 with a .300 BA. Sold!
8. Jeff Erickson (Rotowire.com): Clayton Kershaw (P): Third on my board (Stanton second); I understand the risks that come with drafting a SP early, especially with this crowd. But he's still head-and-shoulders above the pack, even in a pitching era.
9. Doug Anderson (Fantasysportsnetwork.com): Edwin Encarnacion (1B) Was gonna go Kershaw but can't complain about one of the few players who will threaten 40 HRs.
10. Jimi Nix (Couchmanagers.com): Jose Bautista (OF): A steady power source that should provide 100 runs, 35 homers, 100 RBI with a .280+ average.
11. Derek Van Riper (Rotowire.com): Jacoby Ellsbury (OF): I think 2014 is a reasonable baseline, well worth a late first-round pick.
12. Lawr Michaels (Mastersball.com): Anthony Rendon (3B): Like the power, speed, position flex combo and figure he is going to break through in 2015.
13 Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ.com): Adam Jones (OF): I hate picking 13th; lots of similar options--Jones is one of them.
14. Steve Gardner (fantasy.usatoday.com): Robinson Cano (2B): Steady, solid production at a premium position. His supporting cast will be better too.
15. Todd Zola (Mastersball.com): Anthony Rizzo (1B): Leap of faith last season was real and 2013 was an off-year but power potential renders it a risk well worth taking.