The mock continues. You should be familiar with the set-up by now: Six fantasy experts, 12 teams, one round per day, public league settings. We haven't been especially bold so far. If you're looking at Mock Draft Central ADPs, the big departures are Lincecum at 13 (vs. ADP 26.3), Holliday at 27 (vs. 13.9) and Quentin at 29 (vs. 36.7).
Nate McLouth, Pirates OF – Round 5, Pick 2. McLouth's coming off a 26/23 season in which he boosted his contact and walk rates and hit a passable .276 as a 26 year old. He turned 27 this past October and enters this season in his prime – there's no reason to expect a drop-off, and there's still the possibility of further growth. (CL)
Alexei Ramirez, White Sox 2B/SS/OF – Round 5, Pick 3. Despite having the appearance of a withered mummy, the svelte infielder was one of three 2B and one of two SS who launched at least 20 homers and swiped 10 bags a year ago. Since the drop-off after Ramirez at 2B is rather precipitous, he's a must pick for this middle infield deprived team. (Brad Evans)Chris Davis, Rangers 1B/3B – Round 5, Pick 4. The Noise may have Stretch Armstronged this pick (68.1 ADP per Mock Draft Central), but, in a league of experts, the odds of Davis falling into the late sixth are minute. The Rangers powerhouse is not a player, he just crushes…a lot. The youngster's enormous 35-40 HR upside and potential .280-plus BA are very desirable, especially given his dual eligibility. (BE)
Corey Hart, Brewers OF – Round 5, Pick 5. Hart's disastrous September caused all sorts of problems last year, both for the Brewers and fantasy owners. Still, the 26-year-old has now produced back-to-back 20/20 seasons. He isn't willing to draw walks, but that's not really a deal-breaker in this format.
For the record, this owner doesn't see the precipitous drop-off at second base. In a 12-team mixed league, that position isn't particularly messy. (Andy Behrens)
Shane Victorino, Phillies OF – Round 5, Pick 6. As threatened, this team went for speed. Ellsbury was the preferred pick, but Victorino will do. He offers steals and runs (36 and 102 in '08) without being a liability in homers and average (14 and .293). The fact that Chris Davis is off the board is a small concern; the options at 3B are suddenly less interesting. (AB)Adam Dunn, Free Agent 1B/OF, Round 5, Pick 7. In the past five seasons, Dunn has hit 40 homers five times, scored 100 runs three times and driven in 100 three times. There's something to be said for reliability, even if it comes at a one-category cost (career .247 hitter). (Matt Romig)
Dan Haren, Diamondbacks SP, Round 5, Pick 8. This roster needed an ace, and the numbers put Haren in that category even if the name recognition hasn't quite caught up yet. The strikeouts peaked in 2008 (career-high 206) and the WHIP bottomed out to a career-low 1.13 even without the aid of that expansive foul territory in Oakland. (Mig)
Dan Uggla, Marlins 2B – Round 5, Pick 9. I considered several different directions with this pick. There’s plenty of value at the still untapped catcher and closer positions, but that value will still mostly be there for this team on the come-back. Instead, I’m opting to grab one of the remaining top-shelf talents at a more premium position. Uggla doesn’t get the respect he deserves, and I’ve probably been as much to blame for that as anyone since his arrival. But his three-year averages don’t lie: 30 HR, 90 RBI, 105 Runs. The batting average will always be a concern, but we’re at the point (see Adam Dunn two picks earlier) where that becomes a more justifiable trade-off. (BFun)
Rafael Furcal, Dodgers SS – Round 5, Pick 10. This team is going to have to concentrate on power ASAP, but it also needs speed, and Furcal offers that from a thin shortstop locale. Assuming he can stay relatively healthy this time around, he should push .300, 25-plus steals and 100-plus Runs. (BFun)
Russell Martin, Dodgers C – Round 5, Pick 11. I'm generally not a guy who attacks at this position. When Matt Wieters gets drafted like the second coming of Johnny Bench in a non-keeper league, I'm right there throwing a flag. But there comes a point where the value is too great to look away, and that's the case here with Martin (consider he went No. 39 in last year's Friends & Family Draft and his current ADP is 44.5; I'm getting him at selection 59). We know Martin has outstanding wheels for a catcher (18 steals, 87 runs), and we know Joe Torre will play him into the ground (position-high 155 games and 553 at-bats last year). Owners must be prepared to reverse course and take what the draft allows, and that's why I'm breaking form with this pick. (Scott Pianowski)
Garrett Atkins, Rockies 1B/3B – Round 5, Pick 12. He had a down season in 2008 and everyone's jumping ship en masse, but at pick 60 I'm fine to give Atkins a pass. His production dip might be tied to the position jumping the Rockies forced on him (Atkins lost 102 OPS points in his 61 games at first base), and unlike a Chipper Jones, say, at least we can feel confident Atkins will hold up physically throughout the year (he's missed just 17 games in three seasons). Now that the trade rumors have died down and it looks certain Atkins will be in Colorado for most (if not all) of 2009, I'll make room for his usual .300-90-25-100 line – and better production across the board would not surprise me at all. (Pianow)
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