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ESPN Fantasy Baseball ADP Mock Draft

Understanding Average Draft Position is a key element to a great draft.  You may feel that other people have players ranked as high or low as you do, but 9 times out of 10 every ones rankings are different.  Your draft strategy will determine if you reach for starting pitching early, or if you fill up your starting second base position last.  Last week we took a look at Yahoo ADP and did a mock draft, and got some interesting results.  This week we took ESPN ADP and as expected the results were quite similar, but it is interesting to note that depending on which service you are using, players values differ.  Teams consist of the following rosters:

1 Catcher
1 First Base
1 Second Base
1 Third Base
1 Shortstop
3 Outfielders
3 Starting Pitchers
1 Relief Pitcher

We did have to shuffle around some guys to make sure each 12 man roster filled the necessary requirements, but it is a good understanding of what your starting team could look like in a 12 man league, based on your draft slot.  ESPN Live Draft Results made it very difficult to shuffle the players around as they are listed with just a single eligible position.

(1) 1 Miguel Cabrera, Det 3B
(2) 24 David Price, TB SP
(3) 25 Jose Reyes, Tor SS
(4) 48 CC Sabathia, NYY SP
(5) 49 B.J. Upton, Atl OF
(6) 72 Aaron Hill, Ari 2B
(7) 73 Desmond Jennings, TB OF
(8) 96 Fernando Rodney, TB RP
(9) 97 Ryan Howard, Phi 1B
(10) 120 Hunter Pence, SF OF
(11) 121 Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SP
(12) 144 Brian McCann, Atl C

Every owner with the 1st pick is going to have to decide on Miggy, Trout and Braun.  Miggy is the safe pick, Trout has the highest ceiling and Braun is on the worst team.  I would go Trout, but hopefully I get pick #2 and don't have to make that decision!  Love Price, Reyes and Sabathia but not a fan of B.J. Upton in the top 50.  Aaron Hill is another guy I am not a HUGE fan of but he has power from the 2B position so thats a bonus.  Jennings could provide a ton of value in the 7th round and Fernando Rodney was unbelievable last season.  I would pass on Ryan Howard, but Hunter Pence is a guy who do a lot of different things for your fantasy team.  Kuroda has yet to have an ERA above 3.76 in a season and Brian McCann will be back eventually so not a bad idea to add him in the 12th round!

Overall - B+

(1) 2 Ryan Braun, Mil OF
(2) 23 David Wright, NYM 3B
(3) 26 Dustin Pedroia, Bos 2B
(4) 47 Yu Darvish, Tex SP
(5) 50 Yoenis Cespedes, Oak OF
(6) 71 Jonathan Papelbon, Phi RP
(7) 74 Carlos Santana, Cle C
(8) 95 Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle SS
(9) 98 Melky Cabrera, Tor OF
(10) 119 Mark Teixeira, NYY 1B
(11) 122 Jake Peavy, CWS SP
(12) 143 Jon Lester, Bos SP

I would pick Trout over Braun and David Wright scares me at 23.  I wouldn't even go near a second baseman in the first three rounds unless it was Robinson Cano.  Darvish is will not help your WHIP but he can strike out guys with the best of them.  I love Cespedes power and he can add stolen bases as well.  Papelbon will get less save chances this season with a weaker Phillies lineup, and if you waited until the 7th round for a catcher you can wait even longer.  I am a fan of Asdrubal Cabrera especially in that new Indians lineup and I LOVE Melky at the top of the Blue Jays lineup.  Tex will be back and take advantage of the short porch at Yankee Stadium and Jake Peavy proved he was healthy last season.  Jon Lester in the 12th round? SIGN ME UP!  I like the back of this draft better then the front.

Overall - B

(1) 3 Mike Trout, LAA OF
(2) 22 Evan Longoria, TB 3B
(3) 27 Matt Cain, SF SP
(4) 46 Brandon Phillips, Cin 2B
(5) 51 Yadier Molina, StL C
(6) 70 Jordan Zimmermann, Wsh SP
(7) 75 Jason Motte, StL RP
(8) 94 Martin Prado, Ari OF
(9) 99 Ike Davis, NYM 1B
(10) 118 Dan Haren, Wsh SP
(11) 123 Nelson Cruz, Tex OF
(12) 142 Alexei Ramirez, CWS SS

Trout, Longo and Cain make for a solid start to a draft.  Brandon Phillips should NOT be drafted in the 4th round.  Same goes for Molina in the 5th.  Love Jordan Zimmermann and Jason Motte while Prado should continue to be a very productive fantasy player in Arizona.  Ike Davis has 35 home run power and Dan Haren is one of the sneakiest pitchers in the draft this year.  Nelson Cruz has plenty of RBI to pick up with Josh Hamilton in Los Angeles and using your 12th pick on a SS is the way to go!  The 4th and 5th rounds killed this draft for me.

Overall - B

(1) 4 Robinson Cano, NYY 2B
(2) 21 Felix Hernandez, Sea SP
(3) 28 Hanley Ramirez, LAD 3B
(4) 45 Jacoby Ellsbury, Bos OF
(5) 52 Adam Wainwright, StL SP
(6) 69 Aroldis Chapman, Cin SP
(7) 76 Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B
(8) 93 Elvis Andrus, Tex SS
(9) 100 Mariano Rivera, NYY RP
(10) 117 Carlos Beltran, StL OF
(11) 124 Torii Hunter, Det OF
(12) 141 Jesus Montero, Sea C

Cano is like a fantasy baseball god, and King Felix has an upgraded offense to help him win some games.  HanRam has an All-Star cast surrounding him in Los Angeles and Jacoby Ellsbury finished the season healthy but still a risky pick this high in the draft.  High risk, high reward.  Wainwright is a full season removed from surgery and should return to the 39-19 pitcher he was from '09-'10.  Aroldis Chapman could dominate the K category if he can keep himself in the rotation.  Paul Goldschmidt was a top 10 1B last year and is one of the better 1B at hitting for average while providing that power.  Gotta love any leadoff hitter for the Rangers, especially when they play SS.  Who knows what Rivera can give you this year, and Carlos Beltran played in over 150 games last year so there so be no lingering injuries this season.  Torii Hunter slides into a Tigers lineup nicely and Jesus Montero can do damage from a 12th round draft pick.

Overall - B+

(1) 5 Albert Pujols, LAA 1B
(2) 20 Adrian Beltre, Tex 3B
(3) 29 Jason Heyward, Atl OF
(4) 44 Matt Holliday, StL OF
(5) 53 Madison Bumgarner, SF SP
(6) 68 Jason Kipnis, Cle 2B
(7) 77 Jimmy Rollins, Phi SS
(8) 92 Alex Gordon, KC OF
(9) 101 Tim Lincecum, SF SP
(10) 116 Josh Johnson, Tor SP
(11) 125 Sergio Romo, SF RP
(12) 140 Wilin Rosario, Col C

This is EXACTLY why you wait for starting pitching.  Look at that start to the draft and this guy still ends up with Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Josh Johnson.  Great draft.

Overall - A

(1) 6 Andrew McCutchen, Pit OF
(2) 19 Jose Bautista, Tor OF
(3) 30 Ian Kinsler, Tex 2B
(4) 43 Gio Gonzalez, Wsh SP
(5) 54 Chase Headley, SD 3B
(6) 67 Mat Latos, Cin SP
(7) 78 Kris Medlen, Atl SP
(8) 91 Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B
(9) 102 Josh Willingham, Min OF
(10) 115 John Axford, Mil RP
(11) 126 Mike Napoli, Bos C
(12) 139 Alcides Escobar, KC SS

Of all the possible 2 OF draft picks possible, these might be my LEAST favorite.  So many guys I would draft before McCutchen and I can't trust Jose's wrist.  Ian Kinsler is not a top 30 fantasy player and is a .255-.260 these days.  Don't expect him to hit 30 home runs again.  Gio Gonzalez seems like a steal at 43 overall and Chase Headley is also a steal because most people don't like that he is a member of the Padres.  Latos lost just 4 games last season....4 games.  He had an ERA under 3 in the second half.  Kris Medlen on the other hand is not someone I would draft based on his second half.  Freddie Freeman is a nice 1B option in round 8 and a reason why we suggest waiting to draft that position.  Willingham quietly hit 35 homers and drove in 110 runs for the Twins last season.  Axford is nothing more than strike outs for me while Napoli could get a boost in doubles and raise that average with the friendly Green Monster.  I could live without Escobar.

Overall - B

(1) 7 Matt Kemp, LAD OF
(2) 18 Stephen Strasburg, Wsh SP
(3) 31 Bryce Harper, Wsh OF
(4) 42 Billy Butler, KC 1B
(5) 55 Ryan Zimmerman, Wsh 3B
(6) 66 Austin Jackson, Det OF
(7) 79 James Shields, KC SP
(8) 90 Rafael Soriano, Wsh RP
(9) 103 Jose Altuve, Hou 2B
(10) 114 Doug Fister, Det SP
(11) 127 Erick Aybar, LAA SS
(12) 138 Salvador Perez, KC C

Kemp isn't going to steal 40 bases but he is still in the middle of a top flight Dodgers lineup.  Strasburg has no innings limit this season and Harper has a full season under his belt.  Billy Butler is a .300 hitter who hits cleanup a young but talented Royals lineup.  Zimmerman is healthy and on fire this spring hitting .500.  Austin Jackson is a near lock for 100 runs scored as the Tigers leadoff man.  Shields is one of the better strikeout pitchers in baseball, and Soriano will have a boat load of saves opportunites with the Nationals.  I don't know if I would draft 4 players from a single team, but if I did the Nationals is one roster I would pick from.  Jose Altuve is the only player worth owning in the Astros lineup and Doug Fister is a solid #3 pitcher.  Erick Aybar does nothing for me and Salvador Perez is one of my favorite young players.

Overall - A-

(1) 8 Justin Verlander, Det SP
(2) 17 Justin Upton, Atl OF
(3) 32 Edwin Encarnacion, Tor 1B
(4) 41 Zack Greinke, LAD SP
(5) 56 Ben Zobrist, TB OF
(6) 65 Michael Bourn, Cle OF
(7) 80 Brett Lawrie, Tor 3B
(8) 89 Matt Moore, TB SP
(9) 104 J.J. Putz, Ari RP
(10) 113 Neil Walker, Pit 2B
(11) 128 J.J. Hardy, Bal SS
(12) 137 Miguel Montero, Ari C

I have a real hard time justifying a starting pitcher in the 1st round and I also don't value Justin Upton as a top 20 player.  Edwin Encarnacion is solid, Greinke might start the season on the DL and Ben Zobrist has the advantage of hitting in front of Evan Longoria.  I love Bourn at the top of the Indians lineup but not a fan of Brett Lawrie this season.  Moore is a good pitcher who strikes out nearly a batter per inning.  I really don't like Putz or Walker.  Hardy gives you power from the SS position which is hard to find in round 11 and Miguel Montero is an absolute steal at pick 137.

Overall - B

(1) 9 Prince Fielder, Det 1B
(2) 16 Josh Hamilton, LAA OF
(3) 33 Jered Weaver, LAA SP
(4) 40 Craig Kimbrel, Atl RP
(5) 57 R.A. Dickey, Tor SP
(6) 64 Ian Desmond, Wsh SS
(7) 81 Aramis Ramirez, Mil 3B
(8) 88 Victor Martinez, Det C
(9) 105 Curtis Granderson, NYY OF
(10) 112 Ian Kennedy, Ari SP
(11) 129 Shane Victorino, Bos OF
(12) 136 Dan Uggla, Atl 2B

Fielder, Hamilton and Weaver are a great start to a team but no way in hell would I draft a CLOSER in the 4th round.  Even if he ends up being the #1 closer, which is highly likely, Kimbrel is NOT a top 40 fantasy player.  Dickey should get tons of run support while Ian Desmond continues to develop into one of the leagues top power hitting SS.  Aramis Ramirez will look to hit 25 home runs for the 4th straight season while Victor Martinez returns to the Tigers after missing last season.  Granderson will return and hit 30+ home runs while Ian Kennedy is a lock for 15 wins.  Who knows how Victorino will play in Boston but it seems like a park he can take advantage of, while Dan Uggla gives 20 home runs from the 2b position.

Overall - B-

(1) 10 Joey Votto, Cin 1B
(2) 15 Buster Posey, SF C
(3) 34 Cole Hamels, Phi SP
(4) 39 Starlin Castro, ChC SS
(5) 58 Chris Sale, CWS SP
(6) 63 Roy Halladay, Phi SP
(7) 82 Pablo Sandoval, SF 3B
(8) 87 Shin-Soo Choo, Cin OF
(9) 106 Joe Nathan, Tex RP
(10) 111 Carlos Gomez, Mil OF
(11) 130 Angel Pagan, SF OF
(12) 135 Danny Espinosa, Wsh 2B

Votto is solid, and Posey COULD duplicate last years near MVP campaign, but the odds of that are very low.  Taking Posey with pick #15 is not something I suggest doing.  Posey before Josh Hamilton?!  Hamels is the Phillies Ace and Starlin is my #1 ranked shortstop so I like this pick.  Chris Sale was our breakout pitcher of the year last year and there is no doubt he is a solid fantasy pitcher.  Doc Halladay won't win 20 games again and has even struggled in spring training, but as your 3rd pitcher he can help your fantasy team.  I wouldn't draft him this early, with 2 pitchers already on the roster.  Kung Fu Panda just needs to stay healthy to have value way above this draft slot.  Choo on the Reds is great for fantasy baseball.  Not sure I would draft Joe Nathan over Jim Johnson.  Carlos Gomez is really not that good and Pagan will need to duplicate the best season of his career and Espinosa is nothing but a power bat from the 2B position.

Overall - C

(1) 11 Carlos Gonzalez, Col OF
(2) 14 Giancarlo Stanton, Mia OF
(3) 35 Cliff Lee, Phi SP
(4) 38 Jay Bruce, Cin OF
(5) 59 Allen Craig, StL 1B
(6) 62 Joe Mauer, Min C
(7) 83 Yovani Gallardo, Mil SP
(8) 86 Max Scherzer, Det SP
(9) 107 Jim Johnson, Bal RP
(10) 110 David Freese, StL 3B
(11) 131 Chase Utley, Phi 2B
(12) 134 Derek Jeter, NYY SS

What a start to the draft!  CarGo and Stanton are 2 of the top 10 OFs.  Cliff Lee has to have a better season than last year.  He was great after the All-Star break but the Phillies will have to score some runs for him to help you in the Win column.  Bruce will add 30+ home runs and Craig can keep your average up while providing homers and just as many RBI as Bruce.  Mauer used to be a 1st round pick so taking him in the 6th is alright by me.  Gallardo and Scherzer are two of the best pitchers you will find in rounds 8 and 9 while David Freese just needs to stay healthy to have extreme value in the 10th round.  Utley is risky but can't hurt at this point and Derek Jeter is still the Captain.

Overall - A-

(1) 12 Troy Tulowitzki, Col SS
(2) 13 Clayton Kershaw, LAD SP
(3) 36 Adrian Gonzalez, LAD 1B
(4) 37 Adam Jones, Bal OF
(5) 60 Matt Wieters, Bal C
(6) 61 Johnny Cueto, Cin SP
(7) 84 Alex Rios, CWS OF
(8) 85 Mark Trumbo, LAA OF
(9) 108 Brandon Morrow, Tor SP
(10) 109 Joel Hanrahan, Bos RP
(11) 132 Howard Kendrick, LAA 2B
(12) 133 Mike Moustakas, KC 3B

I am not the biggest fan of drafting a shortstop in the 1st round.  Tulo is not Cano and following him up with a pitcher is not wise either.  Adrian Gonzalez can be a top 5 1B and Adam Jones can provide good stats in categories across the board.  Too soon for a Matt Wieters but Johnny Cueto is one of my favorite pitchers.  Alex Rios rebounded very nicely last season and has really been a solid option since joining the White Sox.  Huge fan of Mark Trumbo and Brandon Morrow but could do with out Hanrahan, especially as a member of the Red Sox.  Howie Kendrick does nothing for me but Mike Moustakas in the 12th round could prove very valuable.

Overall - B-

What is your draft strategy heading into this years Fantasy Baseball season?  Let us know in the comment section!

Best Players Still Available

Don't waste early round picks on catchers!  Look whats still available!

J.P. Arencibia, Tor    C
A.J. Pierzynski, Tex    C
Jonathan Lucroy, Mil    C
Carlos Ruiz, Phi    C
Ryan Doumit, Min    C

If you are forced to wait for a first baseman, wait for Kendrys Morales!

Eric Hosmer, KC    1B
Anthony Rizzo, ChC    1B
Paul Konerko, CWS    1B
Adam LaRoche, Wsh    1B
Chris Davis, Bal    1B
Kendrys Morales, Sea    1B

David Ortiz, Bos 1B

Ackley and Murphy are just as valuable as Kendrick and Espinosa!

Rickie Weeks, Mil    2B
Marco Scutaro, SF    2B
Jurickson Profar, Tex    2B
Dustin Ackley, Sea    2B
Daniel Murphy, NYM    2B
Jedd Gyorko, SD    2B

So much value left here with Frazier, Seager, Youk and Middlebrooks! Don't waste your picks!
Pedro Alvarez, Pit    3B
Todd Frazier, Cin    3B
Manny Machado, Bal    3B
Kyle Seager, Sea    3B
Kevin Youkilis, NYY    3B
Will Middlebrooks, Bos    3B

Andrelton Simmons, Atl    SS
Josh Rutledge, Col    SS
Jed Lowrie, Oak    SS
Jhonny Peralta, Det    SS

Still value left in the OF but I would rather take chances on other positions and solidify my OF early in the draft

Andre Ethier, LAD    RF
Brett Gardner, NYY    LF
Alejandro De Aza, CWS    CF
Carl Crawford, LAD    LF
Ben Revere, Phi    RF
Michael Morse, Sea    LF
Jason Kubel, Ari    LF
Nick Swisher, Cle    RF
Josh Reddick, Oak    RF
Ichiro Suzuki, NYY    RF
Dexter Fowler, Col    CF
Alfonso Soriano, ChC    LF
Coco Crisp, Oak    CF
Colby Rasmus, Tor    CF
Norichika Aoki, Mil    RF

This is why you can wait on pitching!

Anibal Sanchez, Det    SP
Lance Lynn, StL    SP
Jonathon Niese, NYM    SP
Brett Anderson, Oak    SP
C.J. Wilson, LAA    SP
Jeff Samardzija, ChC    SP
Tim Hudson, Atl    SP
Jarrod Parker, Oak    SP
Matt Harvey, NYM    SP
Jeremy Hellickson, TB    SP
Wade Miley, Ari    SP
Homer Bailey, Cin    SP
Matt Harrison, Tex    SP

Addison Reed, CWS    RP
Greg Holland, KC    RP
Huston Street, SD    RP
Rafael Betancourt, Col    RP
Jonathan Broxton, Cin    RP
Chris Perez, Cle    RP