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NL-Only Mock Draft Results: Ace Starters are the New Power Hitters

I mentioned a few days ago....maybe a little longer than that, or maybe I have just been repeating myself lately, that I plan on drafting pitching early in my NL-only 5 x 5 redraft league this year. I even talked to another owner in that league this week telling him what my plan was. This owner loves his starting pitchers, and he said he might use his dump power strategy this year. I might do the same.

So, our conversation peaked my interest in what the current sentiment was over at Mock Draft Central. I entered an NL-only draft last night to see what the first round would look like, and it was shocking to say the least.

What used to be a round filled with guys like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and David Wright is now filled with several starting pitchers. Granted, they are all aces, so one can't argue too loudly about drafting a starter in the first round. But, come on, FOUR starting pitchers in the first round?

The mock draft results after the jump:

Round Team Player Pos Team
R1 P1 FakeTeams Kemp, Matt OF LA
R1 P2 more must be better Tulowitzki, Troy SS COL
R1 P3 Mental Bats Kershaw, Clayton SP LA
R1 P4 The Natural Lights Upton, Justin OF ARI
R1 P5 Half Baked Votto, Joey 1B CIN
R1 P6 Scorn Flakes Halladay, Roy SP PHI
R1 P7 Pretty ricky Gonzalez, Carlos OF COL
R1 P8 Fantasy Horsemen Lee, Cliff SP PHI
R1 P9 Fantasy god Reyes, Jose SS MIA
R1 P10 me in a nutshell Ramirez, Hanley SS MIA
R1 P11 Fantasy Stud Lincecum, Tim SP SF
R1 P12 Team12 Braun, Ryan OF MIL
R2 P1 Team12 McCutchen, Andrew OF PIT
R2 P2 Fantasy Stud Stanton, Mike OF MIA
R2 P3 me in a nutshell Hamels, Cole SP PHI
R2 P4 Fantasy god Wright, David 3B NYM
R2 P5 Fantasy Horsemen Holliday, Matt OF STL
R2 P6 Pretty ricky Bruce, Jay OF CIN
R2 P7 Scorn Flakes Castro, Starlin SS CHC
R2 P8 Half Baked Pence, Hunter OF PHI
R2 P9 The Natural Lights Zimmerman, Ryan 3B WAS
R2 P10 Mental Bats Strasburg, Stephen SP WAS
R2 P11 more must be better Gallardo, Yovani SP MIL
R2 P12 FakeTeams McCann, Brian C ATL

You can tell which team is mine, and not looking at the the team name or highlighted pick either. You can tell by who was drafted first overall. I picked Matt Kemp with the first overall pick. Actually, I did not participate in the draft, so the site gave me their top ranked player.

I love Clayton Kershaw, and am very happy 6 other teams drafted someone else back in 2007, but Kershaw as the #3 overall pick? Ahead of Roy Halladay? I am shocked and can only conclude that the person who drafted him at 3 was present, because I am pretty sure Kershaw is not the 3rd ranked player in the National League.

Wait a minute!!! That makes TWO Dodgers in the first three picks! And someone in Wednesday night's fantasy chat had the nerve to say I was hyping the Dodgers players in the chat. Guess I am not the only one.

But, as I have already mentioned, taking Kershaw at #3 started a run on ace starters, as 3 of the next 8 picks were starting pitchers, including Roy Halladay at 6, Cliff Lee at 8, and Tim Lincecum at 11. The second round brought us more of the same with three more starters drafted: Cole Hamels at 15, Stephen Strasburg at 22, Yovani Gallardo at 23, and Zack Greinke was taken with the first pick in the third round, and 25th overall.

So, there were 8 starters taken in the first 25 picks in this NL-Only league draft. Quite amazing as I have never seen it happen before in any draft I have participated in.

A few other surprises in this mock draft is that Ryan Braun was taken with the last pick in the first round. I would take him in the late second round or early third round, but certainly not the first round. For sure. This pick tells me two things. Team 12 was certainly not present and its quite possible many of the other teams in this draft were present, as Team 12 was given the highest ranked player with the 12th pick overall. That, and the fact that the site's rankings still assumes Braun won't be suspended.

Another surprise for me was the fact that Jose Reyes was the second shortstop off the board, ahead of Hanley Ramirez. I guess I am not the only one who ranks Reyes ahead of Hanley.

Lastly, the fantasy baseball writers here at Fake Teams will be participating in a Fake Teams only mock draft, either on Sunday night or next Tuesday night, so be on the look out for some articles from our writers on the results of their draft.