We’re in the back-nine of this 2015 Fantasy Baseball experts mock draft, and the pickings are starting to get slim — from a mixed league standpoint, at least.
Step right up and get your corner infielders, upside starting pitchers, fourth outfielders and questionable closers! This slow draft has entered its third week and these guys are getting punchy!
Each owner, from 12 different Fantasy Baseball sites that helped us out with our #Fantasy30for30 Team Previews series, has been writing analysis for each of his picks. So make sure you go back over the past rounds to see how it all went down.
Have a comment about some of these picks — or about how a writer is building his roster? Drop a comment at the bottom of this 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 11 & 12 | Rounds 13 & 14 | Rounds 17 & 18 | Rounds 19 & 20
15.01 Alex Rios, OF, Kansas City
Steve Pimental, FantasyAlarm.com: I need stolen bases, and Rios has never stolen fewer than 11 in a season. He has at least 17 in seven of the last eight seasons and stole 42 in 2013 while batting .278 with 18 home runs. Rios has demonstrated the ability to bounce back from disappointing seasons in the past, and I feel pretty good about his chances to do so again. We know he will get the green light in Kansas City, so I am happy to bank 20 stolen bases with the potential for production across the board.
Roster: C-Ramos, 1B-Votto, 2B-Pedroia, SS-Ramirez, 3B-Beltre, OF-Trout/Braun/Cruz/Tomas, SP-Wainwright/Lester/Shields, RP-Melancon/Uehara
15.02 Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego
Chris Zolli, FantasyPros.com: There is a lot of potential with Gyorko, as he hit 23 HR in 2013 and twice hit 30 HR in the minors. Gyorko, even at his best, will not give me much in the way of batting average, but I feel comfortable enough with the other guys in my lineup providing average. The Padres lineup will be considerably better in 2015, giving Gyorko an opportunity for more RBI and alleviating pressure on him to be the main power source. He is still only 26 years old and a poor 2014 season does not fully scare me away from a potential 25 HR hitting 2B. Hey, Dan Uggla hit 25 or more HR six times …
Roster: C-Gomes/Rosario, 1B-Freeman, SS-Zobrist, 3B-Santana, OF-McCutchen/Kemp/Yelich/Betts/Gardner, SP-Hernandez/Darvish, RP-Benoit/Rodney
15.03 Jimmy Rollins, SS, L.A. Dodgers
Jim Finch, FantasyAssembly.com: Rollins gets a bad rap by many because of his age and power collapse in 2013, but take out that one year and there is some steady production since 2011. Looking at the minimum total for each category for those years and you get 78 runs, 58 RBI’s, 16 home runs and 28 stolen bases. Those minimums would rank him as a top 10 player for power, speed and runs scored and a top 20 for RBIs among middle infielders. Rollins isn’t much for batting average these days, but as long as he delivers in the other 4 categories I can live with the .245.
Roster: C-d’Arnaud, 1B-Goldschmidt, SS-Desmond, 3B-Frazier, CI-LaRoche, MI-Rollins, OF-Trumbo/Choo/Pollock/Zimmerman, SP-Hamels, RP-Kimbrel/Chapman/Jansen/Allen
15.04 Wil Myers, OF, San Diego
Andy Singleton, FantasyFiveStar.com: I’m not ready to write this kid off just yet, and while the move to Petco may not be ideal, the change of scenery and excitement in Southern Cali is a bet I am willing to make. I also have the luxury of having him as my 5th OF, which makes me love the pick even more. He just turned 24, has shown 25+ HR potential, the ability to hit for a high average, and comfort as the centerpiece to a lineup. Putting a full season together for the first time as a pro could put him right back on the map as a Top 30 Outfielder… or higher.
Roster: C-Mesoraco/Perez, 1B-Cabrera, 2B-Utley, SS-Reyes/Boagaerts, 3B-Seager, CI-Hosmer, OF-Springer/Marte/Soler/Blackmon/Myers, SP-Teheran/Gray
15.05 Anibal Sanchez, SP, Detroit
Lawr Michaels, Mastersball.com: 2014 totals cut short due to blisters and sore muscles, but Sanchez still delivered some excellent numbers (103 K over 126 IP with a 1.10 WHIP). He is just 31, and smells like bounce back (180 IP or thereabouts).
Roster: C-Posey/Lucroy, 1B-Duda, 2B-Wong, SS-Escobar, 3B-Donaldson, OF-Cespedes/Calhoun/Ozuna/Martin, SP-Wood/Ventura/Stroman/Cashner/Sanchez
15.06 Brett Lawrie, 2B/3B, Oakland
Daniel Archer, LeagueSafePost.com: I’m running out of guys who project for both playing time and untapped upside, but not useful hitters who play tough positions. Lawrie’s best fantasy asset is his dual 2B/3B eligibility, allowing me to slot him at either 3B or MI. His Steamer projection of .263/.322/.426 with 17 HR, low 60s for R/RBI, and 7 SB actually seems ambitious to me. Let’s just say it’s a lot harder to hit 12 HR in 282 PA in Oakland than it is at Rogers Centre, where everyone seems to hit them in bunches. That said, Lawrie has a relatively high floor at two tough positions and that also makes him a little easier to replace when he misses the likely 25-30 games. Already thinking about that fantasy bench…
Roster: 1B-Gonzalez, 2B-Dozier, 3B-Lawrie, CI-Pearce, OF-Gomez/Puig/Harper/Moss/Pederson, SP-Greinke/Harvey/Tanaka, RP-Rosenthal/Perkins
15.07 Drew Storen, RP, Washington
David Kerr, FantasySquads.com: With Rafael Soriano being lost to free agency and Tyler Clippard now in Oakland, the Nationals have a clear cut closer in Drew Storen. While Storen’s strikeout rate isn’t elite, he is going to rack up a ton of saves playing for the best team in the National League. Last year, Storen owned a sparkling 1.12 ERA; that number is bound to rise, but he will be an excellent closer in 2015 regardless. In the 15th round, this was an absolute no brainer pick.
Roster: 1B-Martinez, 2B-Gordon, SS-Ramirez, 3B-Machado, CI-Harrison, MI-Walker, OF-Stanton/A.Jones/Ellsbury, SP-Cueto/Gonzalez/Ross, RP-Robertson/Storen
15.08 Justin Morneau, 1B, Colorado
Brendan O’Brien-Cockson, FantasySquads.com: Enter the “well, he plays half his games at Coors Field so that’s a good enough start for me” argument here for Morneau. But in all honesty, even though the veteran Canadian first baseman isn’t getting any younger, he has a great opportunity to post a lot of great stats with the Rockies this year in that ever-potent lineup. Pending health, I see Morneau approaching 140 GP and he can easily hit 18+ HR and keep his average above .300, which I’ll take in a heartbeat in the 15th round.
Roster: C-Wieters/McCann, 1B-Fielder, 2B-Kinsler, SS-Castro, 3B-Longoria, CI-Morneau, OF-B.Hamilton/Polanco, MI-Murphy, SP-Kershaw/Bumgarner/DeGrom, RP-Street/Doolittle
15.09 Melky Cabrera, OF, Chicago White Sox
Alex Kantecki, FakeTeams.com: I really liked what the White Sox did this offseason. Cabrera gives you a little bit of everything, from home runs in the teens to a handful of steals. I think he can approach 80 runs in this new and improved lineup, and the batting average is what gives Melky hidden value. There simply aren’t many guys who consistently hit for average anymore.
Roster: C-Grandal, 1B-Abreu, 2B-Rendon, SS-Andrus, 3B-Carpenter, CI-Adams, OF-Brantley/Gonzalez/Gordon/Martinez/Cabrera, SP-Strasburg/Zimmermann, RP-Holland/Cishek
15.10 Denard Span, OF, Washington
Brad Binns, MoxyBall.com: Span should help bolster the speed category on my team and provide a stable source of BA and R’s. Fresh off a season where he hit north of .300, swiped 31 bags and scored 94 runs, even if he hits 90% of those numbers in 2015, I will be very happy with what he brings to the table from a round 15 selection.
Roster: C-Molina, 1B-Encarnacion, 2B-Altuve, 3B-Davis, OF-Dickerson/Holliday/Werth/Span, MI-Kendrick, DH-Ortiz, SP-Scherzer/Kluber/Cobb/Iwakuma, RP-Britton
15.11 Hector Rondon, RP, Chicago Cubs
Neil Parker, LockerRoomFantasySports.com: Punting saves in a draft is a mistake. Yes, bullpens are fluid and plenty of save candidates emerge during the season. However, competitive leagues will have save vultures and battling with them while chasing the category all season is a difficult road. Waiting a few more rounds for a closer would have been ideal, but the position run has begun, and Greg only has Betances on his roster. Expect Rondon to finish as a mid-tier closer. The Cubs are improved, and his 49.2 percent GB% and 8.95 K/9 mark from a year ago are nice indicators he’ll continue to be successful.
Roster: C-Gattis, 1B-Pujols, 2B-Cano, SS-Tulowitzki, 3B-Arenado, CI-Bryant, OF-J.Upton/Pence/Bruce/Castillo, SP-Cole/Arrieta/Fister/Lee, RP-Rondon
15.12 Ken Giles, RP, Philadelphia
Greg Jewett, TheSportsScript.com: It is hard to pass up upside like this in round 15. Neil was very savvy since I had my eyes on Hector Rondon but he beat me to the Cubbie. Giles is a soft fall though. His 12.6 K/9 in his rookie debut along with his 1.18 ERA which is supported by a 1.34 FIP and 2.03 xFIP are hard to pass up. He could strike out 100 this year and I believe that Papelbon will be traded before they break camp, Paps just needs to sign off on his option and he will be granted his wish to be traded. That opens up the closer position for Giles to take the ball and run, no pun intended. Neil made a great point though, by noting what I needed he made a great choice prior to giving me the chance to take a target of his.
Roster: C-Martin, 1B-Rizzo, 2B-Kipnis, 3B-Sandoval, CI-Wright, OF-Bautista/Heyward/Revere, DH-Carter, SP-Sale/Price/Carrasco/Ryu, RP-Betances/Giles
Click the arrow to see the picks and analysis of the next round of our Rotisserie mock draft!
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