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With your fantasy drafts rapidly approaching, we organized an expert mock draft last week. The 12-team "league" was selected on featuring writers from five different sites along with a few twitter fans. Among the RotoBallers represented were Kyle Bishop, Pierre Camus, Andrew Sullivan, JB Branson, and me. Also in the room were Nick Doran of Rotoworld, Seth Klein from Fantasy Fix, Dan Marcus for Fantasy Assembly, and the Birchwood Brothers of RotoGraphs.

Over the next couple days, we'll take the time to thoroughly explore values, reaches, and late-round fliers. For today, let's just focus on an overview of the draft. You can view the entire draft board below, or check out an old fashioned list of the picks.

The settings were standard - 5x5 scoring with one C, three OF, and no MI or CI. We picked for nine pitchers and three bench. Let's dig in.

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The Draft Board

Click image to enlarge


The Early Rounds

The draft started on familiar footing, with Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and Kris Bryant flying off the board. The first pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, was selected sixth overall (by me).

Pitchers went a little earlier than I'm used to seeing with Madison Bumgarner (13th overall), Noah Syndergaard (17th), Max Scherzer (19th), Chris Sale (22nd), and Corey Kluber (28th) all going in the first 30 picks. After Kluber, there was a 18 pick lull until Jake Arrieta came off the board. In the fifth round, seven pitchers were selected including Yu Darvish, Stephen Strasburg, and the first closer - Aroldis Chapman.


Shortstops - Top Talents

As you're undoubtedly well aware, baseball is swimming with star shortstops. Interestingly, Trea Turner was the only shortstop to be picked in the first round. And he's not technically eligible yet. Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, and Corey Seager went with the 14th through 16th picks. Jonathan Villar was also picked in the second round while Xander Bogaerts, Francisco Lindor, and Trevor Story fell into the third and fourth rounds.

Although Chapman was picked in the fifth round, the real closer run began in the seventh round. Unlike some leagues, there was no round of closers. They were consistently picked at a rate of about three per round until they were gone.


Catchers - Finding Value

We saw a fairly typical cadence for catchers. Buster Posey was popped in the third round, and Gary Sanchez was tagged in the fourth. While the sixth round is neither early nor late to target Jonathan Lucroy, he was a relative bargain in this draft. I expect him to compete with Posey and Sanchez for top catcher honors. Kyle Schwarber did NOT have catcher eligibility hence his seventh round price tag.

Willson Contreras was aggressively grabbed in the sixth round too. The next catchers were Evan Gattis (10th round), Yasmani Grandal (12th round), and J.T. Realmuto (also 12th round). Brian McCann fell all the way to the 17th round, proving you can find a perfectly acceptable catcher late in the draft. The last catchers to go were Matt Wieters and Devin Mesoraco. Stephen Vogt, Welington Castillo, Travis d'Arnaud, Cameron Rupp, and Austin Hedges were undrafted.

In other words, if you miss on a top name, you have plenty of opportunity to snag a solid last-round pick.


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