Analysis mock drafts are fun to watch because you can see teams slowly coming apart, making a couple reaches to fill positions they had ignored up to now, and reacting to runs they didn’t expect. The 2015 Fantasy 30 for 30 Baseball Experts Mock Draft is a great early exercise for readers and experts alike.
Now that we’re in the double-digit rounds, we see three teams that have drafted just one starting pitcher thus far. They’ll no doubt start to attack the position soon, so we’ll get to see just how deep this position is. Note how strong their hitters are and decide for yourself if that’s a strategy worth employing.
Got a comment on one of the picks? You should put that — right in the comments section at the bottom of the page! Which player would you have picked? Which team looks the best so far?
This 2015 experts mock draft is for a mixed Rotisserie mock draft, with standard 5×5 scoring, 12 teams, with the starting lineup set up this way: 2-Catchers, 1-1B, 1-2B, 1-3B, 1-SS, 5-OF, 1 corner infielder, 1 middle infielder, one utility hitter and nine pitchers.
Each writer was asked to give a sentence or two of analysis for each pick, so you’ll get to see the thinking behind each selection.
Rounds 1 & 2 | Rounds 3 & 4 | Rounds 5 & 6 | Rounds 7 & 8 | Rounds 9 & 10 | Rounds 13 & 14 | Rounds 15 & 16 | Rounds 17 & 18 | Rounds 19 & 20
11.01 Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston
Steve Pimental, FantasyAlarm.com: At the very least I am getting someone who should hit .280 with double-digit home runs and steals. There is a non-zero chance he shakes the nagging injuries—he is just 31 years old—and returns to his old form. That would just be gravy.
Roster: 1B-Votto, 2B-Pedroia, SS-Ramirez, 3B-Beltre, OF-Trout/Braun.Cruz, SP-Wainwright/Lester/Shields, RP-Melancon
11.02 Brett Gardner, OF, N.Y. Yankees
Chris Zolli, FantasyPros.com: This could be a bit early for Gardner, but I feel that the Yankees lineup will be better this year and Gardner has 100+ run potential. There were only seven players with more than 100 runs scored last year and if Gardner can return to 30+ steals, then this pick is solid. If he is able to continue on his 17 home runs of 2014, there is also very good 20-20 potential, even with a low batting average. Gardner’s .265 career batting average is not impressive for a leadoff hitter, nor is the fact that has not had a .350 OBP since 2010 and that was the only season where he hit that benchmark, but his ability to fill many categories makes him valuable.
Roster: C-Gomes, 1B-Freeman, SS-Zobrist, 3B-Santana, OF-McCutchen/Kemp/Yelich/Betts/Gardner, SP-Hernandez/Darvish
11.03 Travis d’Arnaud, C, N.Y. Mets
Jim Finch, FantasyAssembly.com: Among qualified catchers in the second half, d’Arnaud ranks fourth in ISO, tied for fourth in home runs, fifth in wRC+ and sixth in wOBA. His second half numbers were in line with players like Mesoraco, Posey and Lucroy who were all taken earlier. There are health risks here and there will be more growing pains, but there is also the potential for d’Arnaud to put up the same home run and RBI totals Brian McCann did last season with a much better batting average. I’ve played it pretty safe with my players up until this point, but it’s time to gamble on a little upside.
Roster: C-d’Arnaud, 1B-Goldschmidt, SS-Desmond, 3B-Frazier, CI-Zimmerman, OF-Trumbo/Choo, SP-Hamels, RP-Kimbrel/Chapman/Jansen
11.04 Sonny Gray, SP, Oakland
Andy Singleton, FantasyFiveStar.com: Mr. No Pitching now goes back-to-back with hurlers. I debated making Gray my ace in the last round before ultimately settling on Teheran, so seeing him still available makes me very happy. The cons are his workload taxing his 5’11” frame. There’s no more cons… that’s it! He’s young, and has shown flashes of dominance. He is learning to pitch, and I expect improvement across the board for Gray in 2015. I wish the # worked better, but lets call it the ‘200 Ks of Gray‘ in honor of the books movie release this weekend. And no, I have not read the book, nor intend to see the movie, but it’s hard to live in America and not be familiar with the franchise.
Roster: C-Mesoraco/Perez, 1B-Cabrera, SS-Reyes/Boagaerts, 3B-Seager, OF-Springer/Marte/Soler, SP-Teheran/Gray
11.05 Yordano Ventura, SP, Kansas City
Lawr Michaels, Mastersball.com: I had hoped Gray would slide, but, well, hope is clearly a low level of consciousness. I do love Ventura, who will likely grab hold of the ace role in a good pitcher’s park, with a now winning team. Yordi should be good for 200 innings, and I think the improved strikeout-to-walk from the second half of last year shows Ventura is really trying to pitch, and not throw (the fact that his hits were up over that same span sort of suggests the same to me: fine tuning control), so, posting close to 200 whiffs is certainly a possibility as well. And, well, he has clocked at 100 MPH.
Roster: C-Posey/Lucroy, 1B-Duda, 2B-Wong, 3B-Donaldson, OF-Cespedes/Calhoun/Ozuna/Martin, SP-Wood/Ventura
11.06 Joc Pederson, OF, L.A. Dodgers
Daniel Archer, LeagueSafePost.com: With picks all around me demonstrating how shrewd it is to wait, wait, and wait some more on pitching, I’m going to zag here and go with tantalizing upside. Pederson put up a 30/30 season in the minors last year while absolutely mashing lefties, which had hitherto been his greatest weakness. Scouts think he’s ready for the big leagues and so do the Dodgers. While he still strikes out too much to put up a high average, I’m taking the over on his .225 Steamer projection and think there’s a 15/15 floor here with plenty of upside.
Roster: 1B-Gonzalez, 2B-Dozier, OF-Gomez/Puig/Harper/Moss/Pederson, SP-Greinke/Harvey/Stroman, RP-Rosenthal
11.07 Jeff Samardzija, SP, Chicago White Sox
David Kerr, FantasySquads.com: The eleventh round is a fine place to take my second starting pitcher and the fact that Jeff Samardzija was still on the board is amazing. He has emerged as a solid number two that will reach 200 strikeouts while keeping the ERA and WHIP down. He should also be able to reach double-digit wins for the first time in his career now that he’s in a better situation. Another thing that’s looming in the background for Samardzija is that he will be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season. He’s going to want to get a fat pay day and the best way for that to happen is to have a career year.
Roster: 1B-Martinez, 2B-Gordon, SS-Ramirez, 3B-Machado, CI-Harrison, OF-Stanton/A.Jones/Ellsbury, SP-Cueto, RP-Robertson
11.08 Brian McCann, C, N.Y. Yankees
Brendan O’Brien-Cockson, FantasySquads.com: Yeah, he had a down year in 2014 with a poor slash line of .232/.286/.406. That being said, McCann still had 23 dingers and 75 RBI which is fantastic value out of a catcher especially in the 11th round. With that short porch in RF in Yankee Stadium (I could’ve probably hit a home run there in my glory days) and a lefty slugger with 25 HR and 80 RBI potential, I’m all in. I’m happy to have 2 solid AL East catchers on my roster, and I’m glad I waited to find later value at C.
Roster: C-Wieters/McCann, 1B-Fielder, 2B-Kinsler, SS-Castro, 3B-Longoria, OF-B.Hamilton/Polanco, SP-Kershaw/Bumgarner/DeGrom
11.09 Matt Carpenter, 3B, St. Louis
Alex Kantecki, FakeTeams.com: Carpenter has been the lost man in fantasy mocks this offseason, and I get it. He no longer has 2B eligibility, and a light-slugging third baseman isn’t ideal. However, he still has the upside for 100 runs and provides a steady batting average. General Manager John Mozeliak even floated the idea in November of moving Carpenter down the order to an RBI spot. That sounds like just talk, but Carpenter is a very safe pick in the 11th round. He represents excellent value here.
Roster: 1B-Abreu, 2B-Rendon, 3B-Carpenter, CI-Adams, OF-Brantley/Gonzalez/Gordon/Martinez, SP-Strasburg/Zimmermann, RP-Holland
11.10 Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, Seattle
Brad Binns, MoxyBall.com: In a mock, I understand the intrigue and reasoning that has led many to be going for upside, breakout pitchers in order to say they landed 2015’s Corey Kluber. On the other hand, I am happy to plug in a reliable arm that seems to fall the last couple of seasons in drafts. Last year, I understand Iwakuma dropping with the questions surrounding the health of his finger. This year – I don’t quite get it, and he seems to be undervalued across the industry in my opinion. With an elite WHIP, a very strong ERA and very healthy K rates, I’m thrilled to see Iwakuma on the board in Round 11 to add to my staff. Plus, by taking him, I can name my team 3:10 to Iwakuma and appeal to the copious number of Russell Crowe and Christian Bale fans out there reading this mock … No? OK, as you were …
Roster: C-Molina, 1B-Encarnacion, 2B-Altuve, 3B-Davis, OF-Dickerson/Holliday, DH-Ortiz, SP-Scherzer/Kluber/Cobb/Iwakuma
11.11 Jake Arrieta, SP, Chicago Cubs
Neil Parker, LockerRoomFantasySports.com: Control (2.36 BB/9), ground balls (49.2%) and strikeouts (9.59 K/9, 27.2 K%) will take an arm a long way, as it did for Arrieta in 2014. Slight regression across the board has already been built into his draft value, because everything beyond his win total was exceptional in 2014. Expect an uptick in wins with solid ratios in 2015. Those numbers at Wrigley Field (6-1 record, 1.46 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 80 strikeouts over 80.0 innings) were killer last season, too.
Roster: C-Gattis, 1B-Pujols, 2B-Cano, SS-Tulowitzki, 3B-Arenado, CI-Bryant, OF-J.Upton/Pence/Bruce, SP-Cole/Arrieta
11.12 Chris Carter, DH, Houston
Greg Jewett, TheSportsScript.com: There has been an interesting theory initiated by Ron Shandler in taking “one-trick” ponies and pairing them up for a dynamic duo. In this instance, my last two picks are an example. I drafted Ben Revere for average, stolen bases and solid runs as the leadoff hitter, and now I will try to get myself 35+ home runs from Chris Carter who was tied for first with Jose Bautista with 18 home runs in the second half. Even if he does not maintain his .252/.338/.521 averages from last years second half, here is what his ZiPS projections along with Ben Revere average out to: 73 R, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 22 SB with a .268 average. While Starling Marte has been out performing his BABIP for two years, his 2014 looked like this: 73 R, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 30 SB while hitting .291. So in rounds 10 and 11 I may have created two Marte-lites but maybe more.
Roster: 1B-Rizzo, 2B-Kipnis, 3B-Sandoval, CI-Wright, OF-Bautista/Heyward/Revere, DH-Carter, SP-Sale/Price, RP-Betances
Click the arrow to see the picks and analysis of the next round of our Rotisserie mock draft!
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