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Took part in another mock draft the other day.  This mock team didn’t mock up as well as my last 2010 fantasy baseball mock team.  I underestimated how low catchers would fall.  In the 12th round — a round and/or around where I usually like to start thinking of catchers in 12 team leagues — Montero was staring at me in my Beetlejuiced-sized head (that picture of me above the post is actual size) and I just couldn’t turn him down at the 154th pick overall.  But then Soto sat there for another 5 rounds.  If I would’ve known I could’ve took Soto with the 200th pick, I would’ve took a better 4th outfielder, a better 3rd baseman and a better corner infidel.  But it didn’t work out that way.  Such is life.  I still think my team is solid.  The draft was a Mixed league, 5×5, 4 outfielders, an MI, a CI and 9 pitchers, any combination.  (FYI, rankings will start again Tuesday morning.  I’m on birthday-long-weekend until tonight.)  Anyway, here’s a 2010 fantasy baseball mock team, some thoughts on certain players and where I drafted them:

Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft

Round 2 – Jose Reyes – Usually when I draft speed of Reyes’s caliber, I ignore speed for the rest of the draft. I didn’t do that this time because I wanted to illustrate an employable strategy that might need its own post. When my crush of the moment, Ian Stewart, was drafted in the 8th round, I knew I was not getting a 3rd baseman. I had my Sleeper Pick For 3rd Base That No One Wants Including Myself in my back pocket, who I knew would be around because appropriately no one wants him.  But more on him in a second.  So to make up for my lack of a 3rd baseman, I drafted too heavy on speed.  I really don’t need Andrus and Reyes and the 10-20 steals I’m getting from others.  With extra speed, I’d be able to trade for someone.  Reyes for Zimmerman?  Andrus for Chipper?  Andrus for Beckham?  Reyes for Youkilis?  If I would’ve just took, say, Mark DeRosa at 3rd base when I took Andrus then I wouldn’t have a 3rd base or a shortstop to trade.  It’s obviously not an ideal strategy.  You should try and leave the draft with a team you want, not one you want to trade.  But it’s a strategy to keep in mind if your back’s against the wall.

Round 5 – Josh Hamilton – I didn’t believe the huge value coming out of 2008 and I don’t believe he’s washed up either.  In the 5th round, that’s solid value.  Plus, the great thing about Hamilton is if he starts the season hot, his value will soar because he’s the golden child.  Or is that the golden armed child?  Either way…

Round 6/7 – Johan Santana and Adam Wainwright – I’m sorry, but when I see Johan fall into the 70s in a draft, I’m taking him. The Wainwright pick was probably unnecessary, but I felt like my first five picks — Utley, Reyes, Votto, Grandy and Hamilton — are so stacked that I could’ve afforded the double starter pick.  I could conceivably have 5 top 10 overall picks from my first 7 rounds.

Round 8 – Raul Ibanez – Raul was not the best outfielder on the board when I took him.  He was the best threat for power and RBIs on the board.  I could’ve took Double I or Alfonso, but Torii’s less of a power threat and gives value with steals, which I didn’t want, and Soriano’s too risky for my team.

Round 9 – Francisco Rodriguez – Some ‘perts refuse to draft saves ever, to the point of absurdity.  K-Rod at the 111th pick overall is value.

Round 10 – Matt Garza – The one American League starter I drafted.  He K’d a decent amount in the minors but he didn’t show that until last year.  In 2010, he’ll continue to show it.

Round 16 – Ryan Ludwick – I don’t even particularly like Ludwick.  I think he can easily end up waiver wire fodder, but I was drafting heavy on power late and he was one of the few guys left.

Round 17/20 – Jonathan Sanchez and Johnny Cueto – 2nd mock draft in a row that I’ve taken both of them.  You might just see a sleeper post about each.

Round 18 – Chase Headley – Finally, my Sleeper Pick For 3rd Base That No One Wants Including Myself.  It’s not easy to get excited about a Padres hitter.  I realize this.  I almost wrote a sleeper post on Headley, but I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm.  Headley had a good 2nd half last year.  Optimistic projections have him at a .300 average and 25 homers.  With Kouzmanoff, um, off to Oakland, Headley will get to play 3rd base, where he looks more comfortable on the field, which could help him at bat.  Okay, I’ve said enough about him.  After all, as I mentioned in the Reyes blurb, I drafted so I could trade for an adequate 3rd baseman.

From Around The Web

  1. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Very fine draft. Love it until Andrus (and that’s 10 excellent rounds!). Wondering where A. Escobar and E. Cabrera went? Seems like they return pretty equivalent value a few rounds later? If so, this a spot for upgrade?

    Not sure I could manage the backup trade strategy; one has to be a picasso (which you obviously are) to employ that on the fly!

    BTW: I’m reading Lilly won’t be ready for the start of the season.

  2. Steve says:
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    Grey – you ever get into the business of targeting specific players in specific rounds? “I must have Player X and I want him in Round Y”

    Or are you always thinking needs and who is available, selecting as per your rankings and perceived value of those available players?

  3. JoeC says:
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    So I figure that Bobby Jenks is one of those closers where you feel compelled to take his back-up (Thornton) because you don’t fully trust him? I call those guys “umbilical closers”, other examples being Fuentes/Rodney, Lidge/Madson, Lyon/Lindstrom (or Lindstrom/Lyon). You’d be silly to draft one without the other.

  4. Big Mike says:
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    Ludwick & Swisher … double ugh. You WERE grasping for HR only late in the draft weren’t you?

  5. mikey boy324 says:
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    wow i cant believe cueto went that late i cant imagine him falling that far 2 months from now the same goes for santana as long as he hasnt had tommy john surgery without the mets consent lol btw grey what round did the likes of josh johnson and peavy go?

  6. xxxthetoadxxx says:
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    Grey, what do you think Reyes’ line will look like at seasons end? Here is my pick for the next mock you publish: Its Only Mock and Roll, but I Like It!

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Simply Fred: Not sure where they went, but they are very similar a few rounds later. Yeah, saw that on Lilly after this mock.

    @Steve: Usually just needs and who is available.

    @Big Mike: Yeah, I was. Swisher’s my CI.

    @JoeC: Ha! Yes, my umbilical closer.

    @mikey boy324: Starters rankings will be soon.

    @xxxthetoadxxx: Nice line! I went over Reyes’s line in the top 20 rankings.

  8. Martin Van Buren says:
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    Splendid work, chap!

    Wondering which 5 keepers you would go with:

    5×5 league with OBP instead of AVG, K/BB instead of straight Ks

    Verlander $4 (2 yrs left)
    C.Carpenter $13 (2 yrs)
    The Wandwagon $3 (2 yrs)
    McCann $15 (2 yrs)
    Quentin $7 (last year he can be kept)
    ChUtley $41 (2 yrs)
    Jason Heyward $0 (3 yrs left; price increases to $7 in yrs 2 & 3)

    12 team league, 27 man active rosters (10 pitchers), $300 cap, keeper inflation is typically 25-30%

  9. Nate Marcum says:
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    Happy Birthday Grey. When was it? I realize Ludwick is a stretch and a bleh, but he has the capability to perform this year with a tremendous return on investment. First, if they hit him 5th, behind albert and holliday, then let the RBI’s start coming in. Secondly, if he hits in the 2 hole, which is possible according to rumors I have heard, not to mention it’s Tony LaRussa, that is a lot of nice pitches to hit with Albert serving as protection.

    I am not saying to draft him with high hopes, I just wouldn’t be too upset if he is my 16th round pick.

  10. Don’t you think drafting any Met is like Charlie Brown kicking the football? Even Jason Bay is doomed for an April injury playing for the Canadians in the World Baseball Classic.

  11. Tom says:
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    I like Rasmus so late.

    Also, your OF surprised me. Granderson in NY makes more sense, but I can’t get over Hamilton’s injury risk.

    I get Ibanez and Granderson, but Hamilton scares me in any round. (well…. I think took him in the fifth or sixth round two years ago and was king of the world, so nevermind. I’m a dumbass.) Makes sense. Good mock.

    I like to draft closers when I plan for a trade later. My league loves them

  12. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Were either Soria or Bell available in the 9th or had they been kidnapped by a closer run all ready?

  13. Andrew P says:
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    happy birthday, grey
    hope it was a good one

    i love that mock. my one quibble might just be with taking a 3B at all. with a player like headley, i’d consider leaving him on the FA list until the actual season starts (unless he starts getting some helium). once he’s on your team, other owners are aware of him if you have to drop him at some point in the future. then again, not rostering a 3B might be seen as an extra place for opposing owners to try to leverage in trade talks. all this is probably moot, since it’s a mock draft.

    re: andrus vs everth cabrera and alcides

    i’d much rather have andrus than either of them. both cabrera and escobar have a good chance of returning value on their draft position, but i still believe andrus has a significantly higher floor and ceiling than both of them.

    cabrera is in a lineup with adrian gonzalez, 7 schmohawks (word theft), and a pitcher. though it won’t hamper him as much as a power hitter, petco will also sap some of his value. finally, his k rate probably precludes him matching andrus in avg barring flukey BABIPs for both.

    alcides is a nice prospect. i just don’t expect the same performance from him as i do from andrus. it would be interesting to see where he was drafted in relation, though.

    as far as andrus goes, i basically agree with grey’s analysis in his sleeper post

  14. matthole says:
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    @Grey: how do you think your team is solid, but not mine in last week Razz mock….wasnt too proud of the draft, but very similar teams (if anything mine was better)

    anyhow….in a real draft would you feel comfortable drafting reyes in rd #2 knowing u can get a reyes lite in andrus, evercab, escobar 10 rds later? which players did you pass up for reyes? id be shocked if youk and zimmerman go rd 2

  15. big o says:
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    @JoeC:
    umbilical closers …. i like it .

    @Turnip:
    still with the wbc ?
    he has a better chance of getting hurt in this year’s superbowl

    @Grey:
    not liking the granderson pick ,
    and i give up trying to talk you off of the johan ledge .

  16. Furtah says:
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    Is swisher still eligible at 1B? Headley as your starting 3B, OUCH! (this is a mock, I’m just looking at what you have since trading is no gaurantee). I liked your first mock, but with very little power and just an average pitching staff – I see this team finishing in the middle of the pack, at best. Obviously, the draft is only one portion of how you build your roster (trades, FA pickups, etc.) so you never know…

  17. Dad says:
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    @Grey: I’m not sure if this bit of info has made it ’round the world wide web yet, but your mention of Soto reminded me that he supposedly lost 37 pounds this offseason. Before his breakout rookie year he had done a similar thing during an off-season weight loss contest with Big Z. I’m admittedly a Cub fan, but I’m a paranoid and fairly pessimistic one. But this has me thinking that, Soto in rounds 14-17 is a huge bargain.

    http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2010/1/16/1253916/cubs-convention-report-day-1

  18. Critter Nagurski says:
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    I have real life issues with reyes, but other than that I like that team!

    I have no idea what to make of Garza. I was so high on him last year and then he becomes much more inefficient. I don’t know if it’s dropping the CH in favor of the CB, but that regression in walk rate pains me. I don’t know if it’s true – but do young pitchers usually find the K before the control? Seems plausible, but I wish there was a trend. I also crap myself whenever I draft a pitcher in the AL East

  19. sean says:
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    Going Utley/Reyes could have made for a dicey situation if someone sniped Votto. Any advice on what to do at 1B if you were to miss out on Votto with the third round pick there (27)? I know you have to draft based on your team, but I don’t think I could have drafted Morneau there and lived with myself.

    To further make this a worst case scenario type deal, let’s say that Adrian Gonzalez was off the board. I would think that if you don’t jump up and take Morneau or Youk, you’re left with Morales or Berkman by the time it comes back to your pick… Vomit

  20. Thanks for the mocks Grey. Are you or Oscar Gamble going to be doing any AL or NL only mock drafts? I like getting into the deeper leagues and seeing the prizes at the bottom. Or did I hear that in a Ginger and Amber Lynn movie from childhood?

  21. Dingo says:
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    Happy Birthday, Grey! I turned 30 today. Yourself?

  22. While it’s true the next WBC won’t be held until 2013, time traveling Met’s from the future will assure the injury occurs in 2010. How else can you explain what takes place in that organization?

  23. Bob says:
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    No draft goes entirely as expected. My goal when I come out of a draft is to give myself a chance to win. I think you clearly did that. Excellent balance. Yes, you have some work to do via the waiver wire or trade, but the bottom line is that you have a competitive team.

    It’s great to see these mocks because it helps me orient myself to the new realities of player worth. Starting with your first two picks, you got them in reverse of where they were going last year. But the bottom line is you may have ended up with two top five players I think Hamilton was a great pick. I love Santana in the 6th and K Rod in the 9th.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Martin Van Buren: Wandy, McCann, Verlander, Utley and Heyward…. Not crazy about them and I can see trying to sneak in Quentin.

    @Nate Marcum: Actual birthday is today. Just away from Friday until tonight. Yeah, agreed with Ludwick. Has the ability to outperform his draft spot, which can’t be said about a lot of guys taken there.

    @Turnip: You might be right.

    @Tom: Closers always have great value after the draft unlike speedsters.

    @Eddy: Probably still there, don’t remember, sorry.

    @Andrew P: Yeah, Andrus is the safest because he has one season under his belt. Alcides can do the same, but that can is the big if. Agreed on Headley, probably waiver wire fodder, and could end up back there by mid-April if someone breaks out.

    @matthole: Passed up lots of guys for Reyes. I don’t buy that he’s done at age 26. He can easily bounce back to form.

    @big o: Gotcha…

    @Furtah: Yeah, I like my first mock better too.

    @Dad: Yeah, I had a Soto sleeper post not that long ago. Can search the site to read more.

    @Critter Nagurski: Yeah, AL East is scary, but I think Garza can take a step forward this year. Curb his walks a bit and hold his K-rate.

    @sean: I probably would’ve had to take Youk or Morneau.

    @Beelezebub’s Bus: Ha! I have no problems as of right now to mock a single league, but I would.

    @Dingo: Today is my actual birthday.

    @Turnip: That’s a good point! Stupid, time travelers.

    @Bob: Thanks… That’s what I was thinking. If Hamilton bounces back, I could probably trade him for anything. People love a healthy Hamilton. And people weren’t excited about drafting Utley last year either, but he was fine. Hopefully the same with Reyes this year. Yeah, I think my team’s fairly balanced.

  25. Tony says:
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    @sean: morales, berkman, derek lee, or butler…. all could have a solid year, and then again…

    @Grey: alot of either old, are recent injury history, or just guys I DONT LIKE on this team….

    If I came out of my draft with this team I would not be excited. Sh*t happens.

  26. royce! says:
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    @Grey: It is really interesting to compare this mock with your last one. I agree that the previous one was better, but the teams share a lot of players… it seems that the difficulty is in picking one of the IF positions that you can wait for a sleeper on and grabbing top tier players for the remaining positions. But this can also backfire if someone scoops you on the sleeper pick. As you acknowledge, had you not been scooped on Stewart in this mock your team would likely be much better. An IF of Votto, Utley, Reyes and Stewart could kill, and seems pretty easily attainable.

    Anyhow, thanks for sharing. I’m hoping I can pull off a similar team when the draft rolls around.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Yeah, this team had some issues, but if you had Utley, Johan, Hamilton and Reyes going into last year, you wouldn’t have blinked. One year shouldn’t ruin players this talented/young.

    @royce!: Yeah, agreed. If I had Stewart, I would’ve felt better about the team.

  28. I am hosting a mock draft on MDC this Wednesday evening at 8 PM EST. There are now three openings left. Would welcome anyone who wants to jump in. Look for draft titled FantasyGameday.net #1 and use P/W FGD2010. 12 team, 5×5 roto with 22 roster spots (1 catcher league), 75 sec. per pick. Should go fast. More information is available on the internet at this link:
    Mock drafts for everyone

  29. JohnIndy says:
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    He probably wouldnt have fit this team, as you seem to have stolen bags covered, but just wondering where did Bourbon go in this draft?

  30. sean says:
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    @Grey: If you had Reyes, Utley, Hamilton, and Johan last season, I’d accuse you of having two picks in the first and second rounds. Ridic.

    I know that generally you’re a big fan of the post-hype sleeper, but
    without you getting all Alex Gordon on us, there were almost as many first round busts last year as sure bets (Reyes, Wright, Sizemore, Rollins, Hamilton) and a bunch in the second round too (Beltran, Berkman, Upton, Manny, Soriano). Is youth the biggest factor in expecting a return to glory for these former top-25 players? Is the first third of this year’s draft all about taking the right risks on the former studs?

  31. Tony says:
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    @Grey: Thats true. Some i’m more worried about than others. Reyes is a BIG (?)

    Here’s a mock I just did, 12 teamer, almost all drafters were present. I missed the first two picks, took kemp 9th overall (darn) and then Crawford (wouldnt have done that with your team grey).

    C Geovany Soto CHC R12 P4
    1B Justin Morneau MIN R6 P4
    1B Derrek Lee CHC R7 P9
    1B Chris Davis TEX R13 P9
    SS Elvis Andrus TEX R11 P9
    3B Ryan Zimmerman WAS R3 P9
    3B Ian Stewart COL R9 P9
    OF Matt Kemp LA R1 P9
    OF Carl Crawford TB R2 P4
    OF Jay Bruce CIN R10 P4
    OF Nolan Reimold BAL R15 P9
    OF Rajai Davis OAK R17 P9
    OF Chase Headley SD R20 P4
    SP Felix Hernandez SEA R4 P4
    SP Cliff Lee SEA R5 P9
    SP Clayton Kershaw LA R8 P4
    SP Daisuke Matsuzaka BOS R18 P4
    SP Rick Porcello DET R19 P9
    SP Johnny Cueto CIN R21 P9
    RP Matt Capps WAS R14 P4
    RP Leo Nunez

    I actually love this team and would kill to own it in a real league. I took morneua in the mid 6th, i didn’t particularly like that, but it was great value, then backed him with derek lee (who for some reason i’m kinda starting to like) and chris davis. My pitching is solid, my closers not so much, sagnof…..

  32. brett says:
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    @Tony: I like that team A LOT, Tony. I might rather have a guy with more pop in place of Crawford and i’m not sold on Cliff Lee in the fifth, but otherwise really good all around.

  33. royce! says:
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    Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the Padres… Apparently they didn’t learn from their last experiment with employing brothers. Marcus Giles really carried them in 07!

    Actually, I’m totally fine with this move. It’s more expensive than I would like, but he makes a good backup for almost everyone.

    I bought a box of 70s and 80s cards at a thrift store the other day. They’re basically worthless, but the hour or so of entertainment was worth the $5. Also worth the $5 was my discovery that Rollie Fingers has what I perceive as an optimistic mustache. I’m thinking of using that as my 2010 team name: “Fingers Optimistic Mustaches.” Hmm….that sound a bit risque.

  34. Tony says:
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    @brett: ya i missed the first two picks (was out grocery shopping), so i wouldnt have taken crawford either. I dont think Cliff Lee will fall farther than that in drafts. Round 5 pick 9 is ALMOST the 6th round…. I felt pretty good when the draft ended.

  35. jamesllegade says:
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    This Votto thing is getting a LITTLE creepy. I hope we won’t see Grey on the news getting busted for sneaking into the Red’s locker room and sniffing his jersey…

    Well at least not until all the rankings are done.

  36. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JohnIndy: Not sure, but I would assume in the early 200s.

    @sean: Does one year make a former stud? Hamilton’s an injury risk and Reyes and Johan had injuries. This draft was probably a bit too heavy on risk, but as I said I did like my first mock better but this one is manageable.

    @Tony: Wow, that’s a great team. Your mock is better than mine.

    @royce!: The Padres really know how to make those big moves to get their fan excited.

    @jamesllegade: Ha!

  37. Cole says:
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    I like the strategy in this mock although I don’t think Stewart will go before the 10th round in most drafts. This may be a beginner question, but few seem to worry about drafting players for BA. Mine always seems to come in at about .260 unless I concentrate on drafting good overall hitters. I understand it is just one category, but so are steals, yet they are the fetish of all ‘perts.
    Also, what website(s) do you suggest for mock drafting?

    –Thanks

  38. Eddy says:
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    @Cole:
    I draft on mockdraftcentral.com. The only catch is that if you get the free version you could only do 3 mocks a week and one per day. There’s also a $3 a month plan where you draft unlimited. Couchmanagers.com is another one, but I have no experience with it.

    And i fall for the average trap too, but I’ve come to realize that you’re ALWAYS going to have one or two categories that are below average. I asked Grey once and he said runs, HRs, Ks and something else (steals?)were his most important categories. Just don’t draft too many players that are sub-.270 hitters (Pena, Uggla, Stewart and Reynolds) on one team and you should be fine.

  39. Pat says:
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    Happy Birthday Grey. You deserve a Daiquiri.
    Love Johan in the 7th and Hamilton in the 6th. Though I don’t like Wainwright as much in the 8th, between him and Santana, you probably got 420 innings of B+/A- pitching stats. If I recall you said I. Stewart went in the 8th. His upside is tantalizing, but that’s too much risk for me. I’d consider him in the 10-11th

    Ivar: I joined your mock, ‘Worldwide Suicide’

  40. Bryan says:
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    It’s funny that you said you were planning on using Elvis as trade bait for a team that needs speed, because the first thing I noticed when I saw your mock was that I felt you needed more speed….I’m sure you’ve noticed that speed is becoming more and more prevalent than in years past….Last year there were 7 players who had more than 40 SB and that’s not including Andrus or Pierre/Podsednik (who just got full time jobs) There could easily be 10-15 players this season with 40+ SB….

    I don’t think that SB are going to be as easy to win as it has been recently. It’s going to take more than just one big speed guy like Reyes, Crawford, Ellsbury etc…

  41. cubfever7 says:
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    First time commenter–LONG time disciple and lurker. Are you really THAT sold on Montero? You freely admitted reaching somewhat, but do you see him as more of a sure thing than Soto? I’ve been see SPs getting grabbed earlier that usual this year–almost in a panic. Have you noticed?

  42. Neil says:
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    I think catchers would have been drafted earlier if it was a two catcher league. With 12 teams and a one catcher requirement, there’s not much advantage to drafting the 7th or 8th best catcher in round 12 when you can get the 13th best catcher in round 23.

    I love the Johan-Wainwright punch in round 6-7. I don’t like taking pitchers earlier than round 8, but I will seriously consider taking Johan in round 6.

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