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2012 Fantasy Baseball Head-to-Head Points League ESPN Mock Draft Review

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.