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Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Well, football is over thanks to some play calling that reminds me of Brian Sipe trying to beat the Raiders back in 1979, I think it was.

Which means bring on baseball, full speed.

If you really want to do some prep work for the coming season, I suggest you participate in Mock Drafts.

Mocks are a lot of fun, but more important, they give you an idea of the depth of the player pool, as well as the perceived value of the drafters of players (not to be confused with ADP, although oddly, mocks do set ADP).

The other thing about Mocks is they allow you to try things; that is, to draft a different roster, in different slots, and in different formats to get a feel of what might work, and what won't.

A few of the things I would suggest you think about while mocking are:

--If you are in a mixed format, try to resist drafting Clayton Kershaw in the first round. No doubt Kershaw is great, but pitching is so deep this year that it is better to load up with counting stats first.

--Similarly, outfield is deliciously deep. Not that I wouldn't take Giancarlo Stanton in the first round, but if there is a question, there are a lot of outfielder speed/power options that are mid-range selections.

--Again, if in a 12-team format, see about letting go of Closer till the end. Think of it this way: if there are 12 teams, and each grabs a pair of closers, there still should be six left. In the drafts I have done, I have saved my final three slots for closers, and grabbed a combo of Joe Nathan, Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Fernando Rodney and Casey Janssen. Now, I realize these guys are not Craig Kimbrel, but, at least one of them will keep his closer gig, and perhaps all three. But, while other guys are snatching up Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen in the middle rounds, you can indeed grab one of those speedy outfielders, or some other hitter figuring in a normal scheme, you can always grab a second closer via the waiver wire.

Just for fun, here are the two mocks I completed last week, with the players I grabbed in the appropriate round (my pick slot is in parenthesis).

By the way, you can go to RealTime Sports and CouchManagers to sign up for free mocks.

1. Miguel Cabrera (7)/Anthony Rizzo (12)

2. Josh Donaldson/Anthony Rendon

3. Yoenis Cespedes/Madison Bumgarner

4. Matt Kemp/George Springer

5. Zack Greinke/Kole Calhoun

6. Kolten Wong/Zack Greinke

7. Sonny Gray/Leonys Martin

8. Marcell Ozuna/Alex Wood

9. Andrew Cashner/Rusney Castillo

10. Yordano Ventura/Gio Gonzalez

11. Leonys Martin/Matt Carpenter

12. Rusney Castillo/Lucas Duda

13. Gio Gonzalez/Mike Zunino

14. Erick Aybar/Lorenzo Cain

15. Mike Zunino/Alcides Escobar

16. Brandon Belt/Mike Fiers

17. Anibal Sanchez/Chase Utley

18. Eric Hosmer/John Jaso

19. John Jaso/Wily Peralta

20. Jedd Gyorko/Kris Bryant

21. Joe Nathan/Joe Nathan

22. Sergio Romo/Sean Doolittle

23. Tyler Clippard/Sergio Romo

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