Who doesn’t love a mock draft!?! Better yet, how about a 2015 Fantasy Baseball experts mock draft? (The ones from 2012 are sooo not good.) Now that we’re officially into the middle rounds of the draft, we’re going to start to see more closers go off the boards.)
Everyone’s also getting ready to fill out their infield and add a couple pieces to their rotation.
Comment on the picks at the bottom of this page — who would you rather have? Whose team is looking 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.
9.01 Mark Melancon, RP, Pittsburgh
Steve Pimental, FantasyAlarm.com: I usually wait a bit longer to grab my first closer, but I couldn’t resist. Melancon’s 6.45 K/BB rate last season was better than every closer taken so far. I’m not saying Melancon is better than those guys, but he clearly belongs in the conversation. Just in case you think 2014 was a fluke, his K/BB was even better in 2013.
Roster: 1B-Votto, SS-Ramirez, 3B-Beltre, OF-Trout/Braun.Cruz, SP-Wainwright/Lester, RP-Melancon
9.02 Yan Gomes, C, Cleveland
Chris Zolli, FantasyPros.com: Gomes was an unknown prospect coming up through the Blue Jays system, but, since coming to Cleveland, has supplanted Carlos Santana as the starting catcher. Gomes has an .801 OPS over 778 AB with the Indians and was one of six catchers with 20 or more home runs. He does not walk, he only has 48 walks in 876 MLB AB, but Gomes had the second-highest SLG percentage of any catcher in the majors last season. Gomes is a great option at catcher and gives more power to my team.
Roster: C-Gomes, 1B-Freeman, 3B-Santana, OF-McCutchen/Kemp/Yelich/Betts, SP-Hernandez/Darvish
9.03 Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Arizona
Jim Finch, FantasyAssembly.com: There is no statistical analysis or deep meaning behind this pick; my reasons are simple. When Round 9 rolls around and you have a chance at a player who can deliver 30 home runs with 90-plus RBIs, you take it. That’s exactly what Trumbo did on average from 2010 to 2013. Granted, I will have to accept the .235 average that comes with those numbers, but I’m willing to take that gamble.
Roster: 1B-Goldschmidt, SS-Desmond, 3B-Frazier, CI-Zimmerman, OF-Trumbo, SP-Hamels, RP-Kimbrel/Chapman/Jansen
9.04 Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs
Andy Singleton, FantasyFiveStar.com: The sample size may be small, but right now this guy is an urban legend. A hulking 6 feet and 4 inches of tiny baseball crushing power, I want him on every team I can possibly get him on.
The young Cubs are going to get on base, and more impressive than the 5 HRs in 24 games Soler hit in his late season call up, is the 20 RBI and .292 batting average he sported. With the success of Puig and Abreu, its hard not to look at Soler and be convinced he’s the real deal.
Roster: C-Mesoraco/Perez, 1B-Cabrera, SS-Reyes/Boagaerts, 3B-Seager, OF-Springer/Marte/Soler
9.05 Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis
Lawr Michaels, Mastersball.com: Now ensconced at second, Wong wound up with a pretty good line for a first time, mostly full timer last year. Over 402 at-bats, 12 homers and 20 swipes suggest the 25-year-old has 20/20 potential, and with a good manager and organization, there is no reason he cannot fulfill those numbers, as well as raising his average to the .260 range. After all, he did hit .306 in the minors (.366 OBP).
Roster: C-Posey/Lucroy, 1B-Duda, 2B-Wong, 3B-Donaldson, OF-Cespedes/Calhoun/Ozuna/Martin
9.06 Brandon Moss, 1B/OF, Cleveland
Daniel Archer, LeagueSafePost.com: I am thrilled to get 30-35 HR potential at this point. Moss flat out raked until August and it was revealed after the season that he had been playing through serious pain from an injured hip. With more favorable park factors in Cleveland I expect up to 600 PA and I am taking the over on his power projections. I also think there’s a chance he continues to improve his contact rate and makes marginal gains in batting average
Roster: 1B-Gonzalez, 2B-Dozier, OF-Gomez/Puig/Harper/Moss, SP-Greinke/Harvey, RP-Rosenthal
9.07 Manny Machado, 3B, Baltimore
David Kerr, FantasySquads.com: It is expected that Manny Machado will be ready for the start of the 2015 season, so the ninth round seems like a fine place to snag him. He is certainly a gamble given the fact that he has had two knee surgeries since September 2013, but these are the rounds where you have to take an occasional risk. If healthy, Machado will provide a solid average and could easily reach 20 home runs. I expect a slow start out of the gate for the 22-year-old, but once he gets rolling, he could finish the season as as one of the better third basemen. His ceiling is extremely high and if he takes a big step forward this season, this could go down as my best value pick of the draft.
Roster: 1B-Martinez, 2B-Gordon, SS-Ramirez, 3B-Machado, OF-Stanton/A.Jones/Ellsbury, SP-Cueto, RP-Robertson
9.08 Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh
Brendan O’Brien-Cockson, FantasySquads.com: Okay, I admit this is a bit of a stretch, but I am gambling on Polanco’s massive upside here to complement fellow NL Central foe Billy Hamilton in my OF. With a chance to produce in the majors for a full season, I think the highly regarded prospect can have a serviceable 2015 campaign, especially at this position in the 9th round. He can improve his plate discipline a little (18.9% SO, 9.6% Walk rate), but I think he can accomplish that. If he can stay healthy and continue to improve, I forsee 15-20 HR, 70 RBI, and a .270 BA which is awesome to find in the ninth round.
Roster: 1B-Fielder, 2B-Kinsler, SS-Castro, 3B-Longoria, OF-B.Hamilton/Polanco, SP-Kershaw/Bumgarner/DeGrom
9.09 J.D. Martinez, OF, Detroit
Roster: 1B-Abreu, 2B-Rendon, OF-Brantley/Gonzalez/Gordon/Martinez, SP-Strasburg/Zimmermann, RP-Holland
9.10 Alex Cobb, SP, Tampa Bay
Brad Binns, MoxyBall.com: Cobb is someone that needs to put together a full season — and if he does .. look out. With a healthy K rate that should continue to be north of 8 per 9, and excellent ratios, he is a pretty good SP option that I’m happy to take in Round 9. I think this is the year he takes things to another level by pitching at the same level as the past two seasons, but clearing the 200 IP mark.
Roster: 1B-Encarnacion, 2B-Altuve, 3B-Davis, OF-Dickerson/Holliday, DH-Ortiz, SP-Scherzer/Kluber/Cobb
9.11 Gerrit Cole, SP, Pittsburgh
Neil Parker, LockerRoomFantasySports.com: Two separate injuries interfered with the bottom line in 2014, however his 4-1 record, 3.44 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 60 strikeouts over 52.1 innings to finish the season was encouraging. The arrow is pointing straight up for the budding ace, and there is plenty of room for improvement on his .316 BABIP. The Pirates are a contending team with a strong bullpen, too, which always helps.
Roster: C-Gattis, 1B-Pujols, 2B-Cano, SS-Tulowitzki, 3B-Arenado, OF-J.Upton/Pence/Bruce, SP-Cole
9.12 David Wright, 3B, N.Y. Mets
Greg Jewett, TheSportsScript.com: I am happy for him to fall to me here though there is inherent risk. All the reports are glowing about David Wright’s shoulder (rotator cuff) rehab going well and his return to camp ready to play. If that is the case then David Wright’s 2012 and 2013 are being forgotten. He obviously played through being hurt and the injury label may be a bit harsh for him. His 2012 and 2013 seasons averaged together look like this: 134 G, 77 R, 19 HR, 75 RBI, 16 SB, .307/.391/.501. If he can rebound to even 85% of those levels then this pick is well worth the risk. It is rare you can find batting average protection this late in the draft. Plus having a potential top 10 third baseman as my corner infield is a nice bonus.
Roster: 1B-Rizzo, 2B-Kipnis, 3B-Sandoval, CI-Wright, OF-Bautista/Heyward, 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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