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Fantasy Baseball 2011 Mock Draft, Rounds 6-8

Roto Arcade

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If this blog is mockin', don't, um … yeah. Ick.

Earlier results right here: Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 5.

ROUND 6

61. Billy Butler(notes), 1B, Kansas City Royals - We are at the point of the draft where you aren't going to love any pick. Butler is a borderline great hitter, but his power woes are inexplicable. Maybe the power suddenly becomes explicable this year, in the form of 25 jacks. You have to think there's a year like that somewhere in his future, given his size and ability to hit the ball hard (he doesn't have that .325 career BABIP based on his legs). His contact rate ensures a .300-15-90 type of floor, at least in terms of reasonable projections. That's worth a pick this round. -Salfino

62. Andre Ethier(notes), OF, Los Angeles Dodgers - He had 30-plus homers in 2009 and 14 at home last year in just 73 games. Dodger Stadium is not a homer haven. So I feel like 30 jacks is 50/50 — provided he plays 150 games — and 25 is about the floor. He has the stroke of a .300 hitter, but it's more reasonable to project for .285-27-95. Not bad value here, considering we haven't seen his power peak yet. -Salfino

63. Yovani Gallardo(notes), SP, Milwaukee Brewers - We're still waiting for him to put together a full season, but this is a rather cheap price for a likely 200 strikeouts. He trimmed the walk rate last year, an encouraging sign. -Pianowski

64. Jayson Werth(notes), OF, Washington Nationals - Don't hold the massive contract against him; you don't have to pay it. Werth will be a strong contributor in three categories, he'll steal a base now and again, and he should be neutral in average, maybe better. -Pianowski

65. Zack Greinke(notes), SP, Milwaukee Brewers - Moving from the AL to the NL is almost always good for a pitcher, and the 30 games against the NL’s two worst offenses (Pittsburgh and Houston) certainly won’t hurt. -Funston

66. Carlos Santana(notes), C, Cleveland Indians - Has as high of a ceiling as any backstop in terms of the power/batting average combo plate. Progress reports on his injured knee have been positive as he’s already resumed baseball activities. -Funston

67. Cole Hamels(notes), SP, Philadelphia Phillies - A season ago, the Camel carried his riders to an oasis of riches, posting career bests in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts. With his ground ball percentage on the rise, he will again be a top-of-the-line SP2 in mixers. -Evans

68. Francisco Liriano(notes), SP, Minnesota Twins - Burying "Fransucko" once and for all, the lefty returned to dominance in ’10, notching his best K/9 since ’06 (9.44). If his luck turns (.340 BABIP in ’10), a sub-3.25 ERA, 15 wins and 200-plus Ks are possible. -Evans

69. Jacoby Ellsbury(notes), OF, Boston Red Sox - It was time to add some speed to this roster, and Ellsbury fits the bill despite his injury-riddled '10 campaign. He should be at the top of a potent Boston lineup. I'm expecting 50 or more steals and well over 100 runs with this pick. -Steingall

70. Michael Young(notes), 3B, Texas Rangers - Another boring veteran for this roster. But with third base getting scarce, Young's safe floor was the obvious choice. I'm not looking for power here. Give me .290/15/90 with around 100 runs I'll be happy. -Steingall

71. Jered Weaver(notes), SP, Los Angeles Angels - He's a pitcher in his prime, coming off a season in which he threw 224.1 innings with a K/9 of 9.4, and the fantasy ratios were excellent (3.01, 1.07). That'll do. His stats weren't really about luck, but skill (.291 BABIP, 3.06 FIP). -Behrens

72. Hunter Pence(notes), OF, Houston Astros - Well, someone had to eventually draft an Astro. Pence is coming off three straight 25-homer seasons, and he's also an asset in steals (18 in 2010). Last year, he went 90/90 in runs and RBIs, too. -Behrens

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ROUND 7

73. Brian Wilson(notes), RP, San Francisco Giants - Should this guy be the first closer off the board? Not sure. But if you're a blogger conducting a mock draft, you need to think about photo possibilities. In this area, Wilson gets a serious edge over Mo, Marmol, Soria, et al. Wilson has also averaged 42 saves over the past three seasons, with a three-year K/9 of 10.4. -Behrens

74. Jay Bruce(notes), OF, Cincinnati Reds - We've been writing about Bruce for so long that it's easy to forget the fact that he's only 23. (He'll turn 24 in April). He's only now approaching his prime, and he's already given us three straight 20-plus homer seasons. This could very well be the year he tops 30 (or 35, or 40). -Behrens

75. Dan Haren(notes), SP, Los Angeles Angels - A reliable workhorse who is going to deliver over 200 innings and strikeouts with solid ratios. He's a great value here, and should be strong once again in '11. -Steingall

76. BJ Upton(notes), OF, Tampa Bay Rays - I know the average is frightful, but the steals are so delightful. Add in solid pop (18 homers in '10) and around 90 runs, and you've got a nice little upside play here. -Steingall

77. Alexei Ramirez(notes), SS, Chicago White Sox - After the top shortstop tier falls to the wayside, Alexei is downright sexy. Trim down the groundballs (1.44 GB/FB in ’10) and he’s a poor man’s Tulo. -Evans

78. Mike Stanton(notes), OF, Florida Marlins - With 359 at-bats under his belt, a major power explosion should be anticipated in ’11. By year’s end, the difference between the youngster and Adam Dunn(notes) will be negligible. -Evans

79. Carlos Marmol(notes), RP, Chicago Cubs - Saves are only part of the equation here. League has hit no better than .170 against him in each of his four full seasons, and he’s averaged 110 Ks in that span. -Funston

80. Drew Stubbs(notes), OF, Cincinnati Reds - This squad was in need of some SBs, so I’m willing to take a possible .250 bullet for the potential of 40 SBs (and 25 HRs). -Funston

81. Mariano Rivera(notes), RP, New York Yankees - I've got New England roots, so it's difficult to select a player who's fantasy success is tied to the Yankees winning. (I don't mind with the offensive guys; I'll root for high-scoring losses in that case). That all said, Rivera is one of the safest roto picks of all time, and I like my first closer to be someone I'm not at all worried about. -Pianowski

82. Matt Cain(notes), SP, San Francisco Giants - His modest win totals scare a lot of people away, but he's a safe bet everywhere else (figure 175 strikeouts, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) and one of these years he'll fall into a lucky 17-18 win season. The roomy home park provides a nice floor. -Pianowski

83. Grady Sizemore(notes), OF, Cleveland Indians - Every player has his price, and I think this is fair when assessing Sizemore's upside and his undeniable downside, too. We're just trying to find the proper balance between risk and reward. But, ultimately, we are just guessing. -Salfino

84. Colby Rasmus(notes), OF, St. Louis Cardinals - I think last year was the tip of the iceberg. I'm not sure when the upside that Rasmus projects is coming — and I conceded there likely will be some dips along the way — but I'm very confident that the laudatory scouting reports about him were, on balance, correct. -Salfino

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ROUND 8

85. Chris Young, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks - Usually I do not think of roster construction this early. But this squad has batting average to burn. The steals provide flexibility in seeking to win that category, or get into the power mix as this draft progresses. Of course, Young has demonstrated ample pop, too. No one is without risks at this juncture of the draft. -Salfino

86. Heath Bell(notes), RP, San Diego Padres - I'd punt steals in competitive leagues, maybe opting for some cheap upside late in the draft to keep myself in the mix for the big waiver-wire saves scores that will inevitably come. But you have to draft closers around this spot in a league that's innings-capped, because you are not allowed to attack the pitching categories with innings volume. -Salfino

87. Jonathan Papelbon(notes), RP, Boston Red Sox - I don't think his 2010 season was as bad as some do; poor sequencing of events turned into the biggest problem. Papelbon plays on a team that should be a lock for 90-plus wins, he strikes out more than a batter per inning, and he'll own the ninth inning for all those cushy stat-grabs. Sign me up. -Pianowski

88. Kelly Johnson(notes), 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks - His fast start put the regression police on guard. "Correction coming!" they screamed. Johnson didn't follow the narrative; he posted a .293/.365/.495 line in the second half. Arizona's a fun place to hit, too (.976 OPS at home). -Pianowski

89. Aramis Ramirez(notes), 3B, Chicago Cubs - He hit 15 home runs (.847 OPS) after the break and, in a walk year, he won’t be lacking in the motivation department. -Funston

90. Mat Latos(notes), SP, San Diego Padres - I feel fortunate to land Latos this late. He was a top 10 roto starter in ’10 and the fluke factor had very little to do with it. -Funston

91. Shane Victorino(notes), OF, Philadelphia Phillies - It’s dumbfounding the Pineapple Express isn’t getting more respect in early drafts. He’s a steady, multi-cat producer whose AVG should rebound back to his ’09 level (.292). -Evans

92. Delmon Young(notes), OF, Minnesota Twins - The firebrand cooled his temper and exercised his pedigree a season ago, establishing career benchmarks in HR, RBIs and AVG. If his fly-ball rate continues to climb, 25-30 bombs are on the horizon. -Evans

93. Joakim Soria(notes), RP, Kansas City Royals - His team stinks, so the games they do win will be close. He boasts excellent ratios (1.78 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) and a strong K/9 (9.73), numbers that will serve my pitching staff well. -Steingall

94. Nick Markakis(notes), OF, Baltimore Orioles - Deeply discounted due to a down year (.290/12/60) that was driven mainly by the lineup around him. A healthy Brian Roberts(notes) and the addition of Mark Reynolds(notes) should boost his value to the pre-2010 level. -Steingall

95. Roy Oswalt(notes), SP, Philadelphia Phillies - I had to triple-check to make sure Oswalt was really still on the board. Perhaps we've already seen his best seasons, but c'mon. He gave us over 210 innings last season, he struck out 193 hitters, and he led the NL in WHIP. Also helping his cause: The Phillies offer the sort of run support that Astros starters only dream of. -Behrens

96. Paul Konerko(notes), 1B, Chicago White Sox - It seems doubtful that Pauly can repeat last year's ridiculous numbers (89-39-111-.312), not in his age-35 season. But this is nonetheless a reliable slugger in an extremely friendly park. With every pick spent on a hitter thus far, this team has managed to draft 25-35 homers. -Behrens

And just to make it an even 100, here are four bonus picks:

97. Max Scherzer(notes), SP, Detroit Tigers - He was absolutely dominant in the second-half for Detroit, following a brief trip to Triple-A to reboot.

98. Neftali Feliz(notes), RP, Texas Rangers - Speaking of second-half dominance, check out Feliz's post-break numbers: 1.42 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 29 Ks, 31.2 IP, 17 SV. Let's all do our part to make sure he remains in the Rangers' bullpen, please.

99. Geovany Soto(notes), C, Chicago Cubs - While he's not clearly more valuable than, say, Miguel Montero(notes) or Jorge Posada(notes), there's a chance that the tier would be empty on the way back.

100. Corey Hart(notes), OF, Milwaukee Brewers - He's entering his age-29 season, coming off a 91-31-102-.283 campaign. We can't exclude this guy from the top-100, right? No, of course we can't. Feel free to get aggressive on the basepaths, Corey.

OK, here's a snapshot of each team through eight rounds…

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