Last week, the fantasy baseball "experts" on the payroll at ESPN did their own head-to-head (H2H) points league mock draft for their gazillion readers. Of all the H2H mock drafts I’ve reviewed to this point, I think this might just be the best so it could do you some good to click on that little link above and check out the whole darn draft, top to bottom. That goes double for those of you preparing for the first annual Fake Teams H2H Points League draft later this week. Triple even.
About the only pick I’m not too keen on is Felix Hernandez in the second round as the fourth pitcher drafted, but I’ll get into that later.
Anyways, because I like you all so much, I’ve decided to recap their top 100 picks with a little commentary below. Consider it an early St. Patrick’s Days present.
ESPN Mock Draft results below:
Top 100 Overall - ESPN H2H Mock Draft
|#||Player Name||#||Player Name|
|1||Miguel Cabrera 1B||51||James Shields SP|
|2||Albert Pujols 1B||52||Paul Konerko 1B|
|3||Ryan Braun OF||53||Eric Hosmer 1B|
|4||Matt Kemp OF||54||Michael Young 1B/2B/3B|
|5||Jose Bautista 3B/OF||55||Starlin Castro SS|
|6||Robinson Cano 2B||56||Billy Butler 1B|
|7||Roy Halladay SP||57||Mike Napoli C/1B|
|8||Troy Tulowitzki SS||58||Jay Bruce OF|
|9||Jacoby Ellsbury OF||59||Ryan Zimmerman 3B|
|10||Adrian Gonzalez 1B||60||CJ Wilson SP|
|11||Dustin Pedroia 2B||61||Elvis Andrus SS|
|12||Joey Votto 1B||62||Matt Moore SP|
|13||Ian Kinsler 2B||63||Jonathan Papelbon RP|
|14||Prince Fielder 1B||64||Lance Berkman 1B/OF|
|15||Evan Longoria 3B||65||Carlos Lee 1B/OF|
|16||Clayton Kershaw SP||66||Ian Kennedy SP|
|17||Carlos Gonzalez OF||67||Michael Cuddyer 1B/OF|
|18||Justin Upton OF||68||Brett Lawrie 3B|
|19||Justin Verlander SP||69||Marco Scutaro SS|
|20||Felix Hernandez SP||70||Nelson Cruz OF|
|21||Jose Reyes SS||71||Nick Markakis OF|
|22||Cliff Lee SP||72||Ricky Romero SP|
|23||Adrian Beltre 3B||73||David Ortiz DH|
|24||Hanley Ramirez SS||74||Daniel Hudson SP|
|25||Mark Teixeira 1B||75||Aramis Ramirez 3B|
|26||Andrew McCutchen OF||76||Carlos Beltran OF|
|27||Matt Holliday OF||77||Stephen Strasburg SP|
|28||Curtis Granderson OF||78||Kevin Youkilis 3B|
|29||Jered Weaver SP||79||Joe Mauer C/1B|
|30||Tim Lincecum SP||80||Alex Rodriguez 3B|
|31||Giancarlo Stanton OF||81||Chase Utley 2B|
|32||Dan Haren SP||82||Michael Morse 1B/OF|
|33||Cole Hamels SP||83||Dustin Ackley 2B|
|34||Brandon Phillips 2B||84||Michael Bourn OF|
|35||CC Sabathia SP||85||Brian Wilson RP|
|36||Craig Kimbrel RP||86||Brian McCann C|
|37||Dan Uggla 2B||87||Alex Gordon OF|
|38||Jimmy Rollins SS||88||Alexei Ramirez SS|
|39||Ben Zobrist 2B/OF||89||Corey Hart OF|
|40||Zack Greinke SP||90||Mariano Rivera RP|
|41||Josh Hamilton OF||91||Derek Jeter SS|
|42||Hunter Pence OF||92||Chris Carpenter SP|
|43||Carlos Santana 1B/C||93||Madison Bumgarner SP|
|44||Matt Cain SP||94||Josh Beckett SP|
|45||Shane Victorino OF||95||Asdrubal Cabrera SS|
|46||David Price SP||96||Melky Cabrera SS|
|47||Jon Lester SP||97||Carl Crawford OF|
|48||David Wright OF||98||Drew Storen RP|
|49||Yovani Gallardo SP||99||Michael Pineda SP|
|50||Pablo Sandoval 1B/3B||100||Shin-Soo Choo OF|
As promised, I’ll discuss the head-scratcher that is the Felix Hernandez selection in the second round. I received a little flack for ranking Hernandez outside the Top 15 starting pitchers in my rankings in January as many Fake Teams readers LOVE the King. Well, so do I … but not in a H2H points league. In 2011, Hernandez didn’t even rank in the Top 20 starting pitchers. Why? Because his lineup offers him little opportunity to earn the enormous multiplier that a W provides. What’s worse is that often his starts, sensational though they might be, result in a loss for Hernandez which is -5 points! Hernandez lost 70 points last year as a result of a 14-14 record. 70! That’s a lot of points. Maybe Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley ignite the Mariners offense in 2012 and Hernandez joins the big boys with 18-20 wins and less than 10 losses, but I’m not betting on it, not when facing the Rangers and the now Pujols-led Angels quite often. Simply put, drafting Hernandez over guys like Lee, Sabathia, Price and Greinke is not advised.
Carlos Santana has gone as early as the second and third rounds in the CBS and Rotowire drafts I reviewed in February. While C-Los is very valuable in a H2H points league considering his presence in the lineup almost every day, I think his selection at 43 overall is much more appropriate.
It’s nice to see Marco Scutaro get a little love, although 69 might be a bit overzealous. Scutaro is more of a late-round flier than a corner-stone of your team. If you can get him in say the 15th Round of your H2H draft you have a starter quality shortstop at half the price of the Andrus, Cabreras and Jeters of the world.
Round four for Giancarlo "Mike" Stanton in a points league is still a little too early for my taste, but it’s much more reasonable than spending a second or third round pick like other "experts" have done in the past. There is almost zero chance the man child will be on any of my team’s this year, but if Stanton were to fall to say the seventh round or so (which he won’t) then I might take the plunge. Maybe.
David Ortiz, who was drafted 73 overall will score more points than Stanton in 2012. Mark my words.
I like Brett Lawrie in the seventh round quite a bit. I think he has the best chance of any up-and-coming hitter to be a first or second round selection in 2012. In the seventh round, jump all over that. I’m not sure about Matt Moore in the sixth of a 10 team league though, as far as pitching goes.
The author, Mr. AJ Mass, discusses the selection of Craig Kimbrel at 36 overall in some detail in the article. If your league lineups just include say seven "P" spots instead of separated "SP" and "RP" spots, then stacking up on premiere relievers and going a little light on starters is a viable strategy and one that could allow you to grab some top line hitters to start your draft while other teams are choosing Halladay, Verlander, Kershaw .. and apparently Hernandez.
Feel free to comment on this mock draft or ask any and all of your H2H points league questions in the comment section below.