Reader Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 1-4

Last week, Eno Sarris put up a post asking our wonderful readers to participate in a mock draft. As usual, the readers came through. Since this is a website that makes a living doing analysis, it would only be fair if we looked at the reader mock draft and offered our opinions. Here’s a look at some of the early rounds of our reader mock draft.

Round 1

Team Pick
ballsdeep Miguel Cabrera
PirateInTheBay Troy Tulowitzki
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Jose Bautista
32 Albert Pujols
The Fighting Hellfish Matt Kemp
The Drew Henson`s Robinson Cano
Smada Adrian Gonzalez
Boo-urns Evan Longoria
Hebrew Hammer Joey Votto
Kadjilliounaire Jacoby Ellsbury
Lucky Strikes Justin Upton
Prone to Bone Prince Fielder

Best Pick
Hard to really argue with any of the picks in the first round, but I like Evan Longoria with the eighth pick. Longoria is coming off a down season in which he hit just .244/.355/.495, but his .239 BABIP is bound to rise. Even though many were disappointed by his season, he still managed to hit 31 home runs. Plus, he plays at a shallow fantasy position. There’s certainly risk involved with the pick, but Longoria has the best chance to outperform his draft slot in round one.

Riskiest Pick
Taking Adrian Gonzalez with the seventh pick should work out fine for Smada, but I’m not entirely sure he’s better than Joey Votto or Prince Fielder. All of those guys are probably in the same tier, and it’s tough for whichever owner has to make the first choice. I like Votto and Fielder more, but that’s just my opinion.

Round 2

Team Pick
Prone to Bone Hanley Ramirez
Lucky Strikes Mike Stanton
Kadjilliounaire Roy Halladay
Hebrew Hammer Carlos Gonzalez
Boo-urns Dustin Pedroia
Smada Jose Reyes
The Drew Henson’s Curtis Granderson
The Fighting Hellfish Mark Teixeira
32 Clayton Kershaw
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Justin Verlander
PirateInTheBay Cliff Lee
ballsdeep Felix Hernandez

Best Pick
I liked The Drew Henson’s pick of Curtis Granderson in round two. Granderson changed his approach against lefties this past season and saw some incredibly results. After struggling against lefties throughout his career, Granderson hit .272/.347/.597 against them. I’m cautiously optimistic about his power surge too.

Riskiest Pick
Shortstop is incredibly shallow, but I think Hanley Ramirez was the riskiest pick here. A shoulder injury really limited his effectiveness last season, and we’re not entirely sure how healthy he’ll be entering this season. At the same time, Ramirez has been an elite player in the past, and is probably the biggest ceiling of any player taken in this round. It’s a risk, but it will be a huge payoff if it works out.

Round 3

Team Pick
ballsdeep Adrian Beltre
PirateInTheBay CC Sabathia
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Tim Lincecum
32 Ian Kinsler
The Fighting Hellfish Andrew McCutchen
The Drew Henson`s Cole Hamels
Smada Josh Hamilton
Boo-urns Jay Bruce
Hebrew Hammer Matt Holliday
Kadjilliounaire Carlos Santana
Lucky Strikes Starlin Castro
Prone to Bone David Wright

Best Pick
Andrew McCutchen seems like a nice choice at this point in the draft, simply because you know he’ll produce. I like Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton, but all three of them have injury issues. McCutchen hasn’t had those problems over his career, and he still has some upside left in his development. I like it.

Riskiest Pick
Carlos Santana has loads of talent, but taking him in the third round was a risk. He has nice upside, but is he really that much better than Mike Napoli, a healthy Buster Posey and Brian McCann? While it was probably too early to grab a catcher, Santana will play first base when he doesn’t catch, and should rack up more plate appearances than any other catcher. Still, I probably would have waited on one of the other options.

Round 4

Team Pick
Prone to Bone Carl Crawford
Lucky Strikes Brett Lawrie
Kadjilliounaire Ryan Zimmerman
Hebrew Hammer Jered Weaver
Boo-urns David Price
Smada Zack Greinke
The Drew Henson’s Brian McCann
The Fighting Hellfish Brandon Phillips
32 Elvis Andrus
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Ryan Braun
PirateInTheBay Paul Konerko
ballsdeep Mike Napoli

Best Pick
Ryan Zimmerman seems like an easy bet to outperform his draft slot. Zimmerman was limited by an injury early this past season, which suppresses some of his numbers. He’s a good bet to get back to 20-30 home runs again and regain his status as a top option at third.

Riskiest Pick
Ryan Braun is an interesting selection considering his current status. If he somehow wins his appeal, and doesn’t have to serve a fifty game suspension, he’s the steal of the draft. If not, this pick will hurt. Paul Konerko also looks like a risky choice here. He’s been phenomenal the past couple of seasons, but he’s getting old. He’s definitely a regression candidate unless he can stave off Father Time again.

Four rounds into the reader mock draft, I like Lucky Strikes’ and Boo-urns’ rosters the best. It’s only four rounds, of course, but both teams got off to a nice start.

What do you guys think? Those of you that participated in the draft, care to defend your picks?

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Chris is a blogger for He has also contributed to Sports on Earth, the 2013 Hard Ball Times Baseball Annual, ESPN, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He tries to be funny on twitter @Chris_Cwik.

46 Responses to “Reader Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 1-4”

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  1. Brad Johnson says:

    I like the format here.

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  2. Simon says:

    Assuming Braun is banned for 50 games, you should get around 2/3 of his normal production (roughly .320/22HR/67R/70RBI/15SB. Assuming you can stick him on the bench and pick up someone on the wire while he’s out, you could probably add on 20R/RBI and 4-5HR/SB, with a slight dip in the average. That would give you something like .305/26HR/90R/90RBI/20SB. I’d be pretty pleased with that from a fourth round pick.

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    • Ray says:

      Yeah, as long as he can be benched for a replacement I don’t understand the problem with him in the 4th. Not to mention, if this is a H-2-H league you’ll have him back for the most important part of the season. And the potential return from him if he wins that appeal is just huge, he’s light years better than any other player who went in that round.

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  3. Bobby says:

    I love Stanton but that seems like a very early pick for him.

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    • Oliver says:

      Me too. I’ve said it before, but I think Stanton is going way early, unless you play in an OBP/OPS league. Or you’re banking on him hitting 45.

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    • Ray says:

      Completely, 100% agreed. I own him in a few keeper leagues and I’m thrilled about that. But second round in what I believe is a redraft seems early for him. Granderson, McCutchen, Bruce, CarGo…there were some OFers who are a good bet to deliver across-the-board numbers (mostly) whereas with Stanton you’re banking on a monster power season in a new stadium at age 22. Risky.

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  4. Ben says:

    I hate my Brandon Phillips pick simply because I got Howie Kendrick in like the 8th. And i was gunning for Kinsler, but 32 stole him. Bastard.

    Also, to those who participated. Leave your emails if you want me to open a yahoo league with these rosters.

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    • jhering51 says:

      The Drew Henson’s – jhering51(at) gmail (dot) com

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    • LuckyStrikes says:

      Trey (dot) Baughn (at) yahoo

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    • Matt Pullman says:

      mattpullman AT gmail DOT com

      Great draft, guys!

      **Just a note: I took Jesus Guzman relatively early only to show appreciation for the production he provided me last year exactly when I needed it. I picked him up before he really got hot, even, and the guy averaged over a HR and over a SB a week along with 6-7 runs and RBI each week with a solid .275ish BA and an even better .390ish OBP. Guy was clutch for my team and I felt he deserved some credit.

      *My worst pick was Rickie Weeks in the 6th? Eh.

      *I also drafted Harper in the 18th just to say I drafted Harper in the 18th.

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  5. LuckyStrikes says:

    I’ll defend my R2 Mike Stanton pick:
    Right after Hanley was picked it came down to either Reyes or Stanton for me. Knowing SS is very shallow for 2012 I was tempted to go with Reyes, but the injury risk is just too great. With no interest in taking a pitcher, and with the availability of SB’s more easily available in the later rounds than HR’s, Stanton was the easy choice. I put the alternatives into the following buckets:

    All of these guys are great but carry some form of risk in that they either have concerning splits or potential to fall back into what we really perceive them to be. What if Grandy doesn’t really know how to hit lefties or Tex never sees .260 again? The “gut” told me no on these guys.

    Injury Risks:

    Best Bets:

    Second base is deep, so I thought I could wait. McCutchen the most likely to meet my criteria of little risk with big upside, but again, SB’s are available later.

    Stanton was clearly the choice. Perhaps a reach, but there are few better bets for 40+ HR in 2012, which is becoming less and less available. I felt I could offset his potentially low BA with some other hitters later.

    You’ll see later missing out on a top tier 1B hurts…First base is not nearly as deep as it has been in years past…

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    • jcxy says:

      In a vaccuum, Stanton isn’t a great value there because of risk/reward. I’m curious about this logic: You mentioned Cargo and Teix as both having flaws but landed on Stanton, who is not yet of their caliber. He’s young, he has potential–in spades, absolutely–but Teix and Cargo are in arguably “better” situations (lineup, home park, etc) and have a proven record. IDK. maybe i’m just upset that i’m not going to get to own stanton this year if a top 20-25 pick is his price :(

      Anyway, the bigger issue is why you were looking OF at all after taking Upton. If you placed a premium on MI (which is I assume why you drafted Castro in the 3rd), why not grab Pedrioa or Reyes a round earlier and then take Lawrie/Wright/Zimmerman and SP1/Crawford/Cruz/Pence on the 3/4 turn?

      Ps i’m going to guess you picked Kipnis in the 9th and Ike Davis in the 10th.

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      • LuckyStrikes says:

        I thought Stanton was the best player available and was looking at the production (HR, in particular) regardless of position. I just don’t see Stanton as a big risk. I also thought I could wait on 1st base but found out later it didn’t work out so well when I whiffed on Hosmer several rounds later…

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    • kid says:

      Silliest pick in the entire draft. Even if he does hit 40 HR, the second round is full of category fillers like Cargo, Granderson, Kinsler, Pedroia, etc. These guys reliably contribute in damn near every category – Stanton will be an RBI and HR boon, but that’s it… and a 2-cat player with an early 2nd round pick makes zero sense.

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  6. Menthol says:

    I like Votto/CarGo a lot for Rounds 1 and 2.

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  7. Kyle says:

    Prone to Bone is not effing around! I like the boldness.

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    • SKob says:

      Yeah, I agree. The whole team is risk/reward types. Good picks for upside in those draft slots.

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    • cs3 says:

      I dont like the fact that hes counting on 3 of his first 4 picks to bounce back from disastrous seasons. I would not take more than 2 of Hanley/Wright/Crawford in any draft, and probably not more than 1 unless one of them somehow slipped to the late 4th/5th.

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  8. Ben says:

    The drop off at first is exactly why I took Tex in the 2nd. Dude is a guaranteed 30/100/100 in that lineup and park batting average be damned.

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  9. Kadjilliounaire says:

    Having picked players from the deepest positions in the first two rounds (Ellsbury and Doc), I wanted to attack shallower positions with my 3/4 picks. Along with Starlin at SS, there were enough 3B options on the board that I felt comfortable holding off until the 4th and picking the highest C on my board in the 3rd.

    Not only do I believe Carlos Santana is the most talented C, he will also have the most opportunity. He’s the best offensive player on the Indians and should hit in middle of their lineup nearly every day, whether at C or 1B. Last year’s usage backs it up; he played in 155 games had 100 more PA than the next closet catcher (Montero).

    Most of the other 1st and 2nd tier options all come with major question marks – Napoli’s precipitoous ISO and BABIP increases last season and likely 2012 regression, Mauer’s injuries and power outage, Posey’s injury and the Giants horrid lineup. I considered holding off for McCann but I much prefer Carlos Santana’s youth (given the position) and upside.

    Lastly, the league was set up as a two catcher league. I felt that grabbing the top C on my board gave me a competitive advantage analogous to drafting 2B, SS, 3B players above slot.

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  10. LuckyStrikes says:

    I think the consensus during the first four rounds of the draft was that Crawford was the riskiest pick at 4.1. If Crawford is confirmed to be out for at least a month to begin the season it will be interesting to see if Braun (assuming suspension) is drafted before or after him…

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  11. supershredder says:

    I like the Hellfish team the best – solid, reliable offensive players (no pitchers).

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  12. MustBunique says:

    RE: the Longoria pick: “Plus, he plays at a shallow fantasy position.”

    Is 3B really a shallow fantasy position? Yes, it used to be, for sure. Take a look at this year’s ADP from MDC for third basemen. Assuming a 12 team league, the last 5 starters at the hot corner are Aramis Ramirez, Youkilis, Reynolds, Freese, and Ryan Roberts. How many positions out there have guys like ARam, Youk and Freese in the last 5 starters? None of these: C, 2B, SS. Maybe not even First Base. Could it be that we have seen a change in the depth of 3B? I say yes. Therefore, don’t overvalue a guy like Evan Longoria who will get you HR, R, and RBI but might hurt your average and won’t steal any bags. Yeah, the BABIP was really low for him and he should regress to the norm, but don’t overpay just for the name. In closing, here is what Mark Reynolds did last year compared to Longoria in standard fantasy stat categories. You tell me if you want to pay the price of a first round pick for Longoria.

    Reynolds: 37/84/86/6/.221
    Longoria: 31/78/99/3/.244

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    • JoeC says:

      Boy am I sick of comparisons such as these. You pick a year when a guy is injured and doesn’t play a full season (not to mention having a ridiculously-low BABIP) and then compare it against a guy who put in a full slate of games. Surprise, they have similar stats!

      How about we cherry-pick our way to 2010, where the comparison looks a little less swell for your super-duper-value pick:

      Longoria 2010: .294BA 22HR 104RBI 96R 15SB
      Reynolds 2010: .198BA 32HR 85RBI 79R 7SB

      So let’s think now on why anyone could possibly want to draft Longoria in the 1st round when the Savior of the Universe, Mark Reynolds, is waiting for you in Round 8? Hmmm… could it be OVERALL TALENT LEVEL and the judgement by nearly everyone that Longoria has much more of it than Mark Reynolds and is thus more likely to put up 1st round numbers?

      Nah, that couldn’t be it.

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      • MustBunique says:

        I think you are confused. Nowhere did I state that Mark Reynolds would put up first round numbers. Simply trying to show that Longoria’s stats when compared to other players at his position are no longer worthy of a first round pick. My reasoning is that Longoria has fallen off a bit, but more importantly the gap between Longoria and the rest of the players at his position has closed. Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but sometimes reflection upon what you have read will lead to more understanding.

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  13. GVeers says:

    I personally love the Braun pick. My philosophy is that there are no bragging rights for 2nd place, so why not go for broke at the appropriate point? With a little luck the A’s emerge as a clear favorite to start the season.

    It’s odd because generally you want to pay less for riskier investments, but I personally believe fantasy baseball assets are somewhat the opposite.

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  14. Atari says:

    A lot of teams look pretty solid so far, its hard to pick a favorite.

    I like ballsdeep’s team the least. The Miggy pick was great but I dont like to pick a starting pitcher so soon and I feel he was swayed by the room, when there was a starting pitcher run at the end of the 2nd round. In the 3rd round he picked Adrian Beltre, and although I like Beltre I feel like you should max out Miggy’s value by playing him at 3rd instead of at first. Then the pick of a catcher in the fourth round also seemed like a reach, although it happens every year in the draft, by the end of the year how many catchers end up as top 48 players?

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    • cs3 says:

      ” Then the pick of a catcher in the fourth round also seemed like a reach, although it happens every year in the draft, by the end of the year how many catchers end up as top 48 players ”
      A player doesnt necessarily HAVE to be a top 48 player to warrant a 4th rd pick. He just has to put up much better numbers relative to other players at his position.
      Not saying Santana is necessarily a great pick, but it IS possible to build a stronger overall team by using Kadji’s strategy, even if every player you draft doesnt fall within the corresponding overall “top XX”

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  15. WilliamWilde says:

    Beltre at top of the 3rd round? Really? Seems early…

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  16. Wade8813 says:

    LuckyStrikes – I understand liking Stanton over Reyes – but you don’t explain why it came down to Reyes or Stanton…?

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    • LuckyStrikes says:

      Wade – My decision came down to Reyes or Stanton for a few reasons:

      1) Had no interest in taking an SP that early.
      2) With Hanley off the board Reyes was clearly the best SS option available at a very shallow position and I knew he wouldn’t make it back to me.
      3) I liked Stanton’s upside more than anyone else taken within the next two rounds.
      4) I took the gamble that S. Castro would be available on my next pick – I guessed right.

      Just looking at what Stanton COULD do was enough to take him over Tex, Kinsler, and CarGo. I’m more confident in Stanton’s ability to crush 35-45 HR than Granderson’s power, Kinsler’s health, CarGo’s splits, and Tex’s inconsistency.

      You could make the case both Pedroia and McCutchen would have been better picks but I felt pretty good about locking up 80 HR’s between Upton and Stanton and felt 2B was deeper than in years past.

      As you’ll see later in the draft my inability to land a top tier 1B early on comes back to hurt me but I still like my draft with Stanton better than had I chosen Tex. From a “wow” factor, Stanton is a guy that is just a lot of fun to own…

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      • jimbo says:

        Too many years I pass on the young guys in early rounds. But finding the RIGHT guys–those who are likely to get drafted higher next year–is one strategy to execute.

        You could have a cakewalk to the championship, or a few key busts that make finishing in the money difficult. Personally, I’d rather win 1 out of 3 years (potentially sucking in the other two) than just be competitive year in and year out.

        I’ve done the latter, but it seems there’s always that ‘one’ team who gets lucky and goes worst to first. I’ve proven capable of drafting a 2nd place team, with three different winners the last three years.

        I would have taken Hosmer over Castro, but in general I like your top 4 the best in terms of the talent and positions.

        Draft for next year’s stats, not last year’s eh?

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  17. jim says:

    tulo/lee and votto/cargo seem like the best 1-2

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  18. Smada says:

    The A-Gon pick was just a preference. Only reason for it is because I see him with a little more power this year. Considered Longo but ultimately went for the safer pick. If any of the first 6 taken were available, my pick would have been different.

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  19. ballsdeep says:


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  20. PTB says:

    The Crawford pick was a bit of a hiccup…the injury slipped my mind. But listen, folks keep handing me out a full month like it’s gospel, but the majority of sources I’ve read simply state he’ll miss opening day. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    As for Wright and Hanley, I don’t let a “disastrous” season necessarily influence my thinking unless I perceive it as part of a larger trend.

    I agree that Hanley at 13 might be a little early. However, many made the case he should have been the number one overall pick last year. I am not risk averse enough to overlook that.

    I’d take Wright where I selected him everyday and twice on Muesday.

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  21. jcxy says:

    i agree with much of the above concensus…really liked boo-urns and hebrew hammer…

    but they both whiffed on greinke!!

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  22. Hebrew Hammer says:

    Count me in for the league if you create it. Here’s my email Flakeix@yahoo.

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  23. kid says:

    The unquestionable goal of the early rounds is to amass as many potent offensive players as possible. Hebrew Hammer – Votto, Cargo, Holliday – absolutely understands this. I can’t believe the rest of you guys let him assemble this hit squad right under your noses. The only thing that saved the rest of you is that Kadjilliounaire took Ryan Zimmerman just ahead of Hammer in the 4th round, otherwise Hammer would’ve had an absolute juggernaut.

    Stanton in the worst pick of the early rounds, by far. 35 or 40 HR? Sure. But he’s gonna hit in the .260s, steal zero bases and will be neutral in runs scored.

    Granderson is a fantastic pick – Category filler in probably the best hitting environment (role-wise, team-wise and physically) on the planet.

    Holliday is another fantastic pick – how do people let a guy with .393 and .396 wOBAs in the past two seasons last past the 30th pick?

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    • GVeers says:

      Hit squad! I love it.

      Have to agree, though. Those are good value picks throughout, and a really strong O. Weaver is a fine #1, too.

      Boo-urns might have whiffed a bit by taking Bruce over Holliday, no? I think if you put Holliday alongside Pedroia and Longoria that’s a home run for blending positional scarcity with raw production.

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  24. Ender says:

    This is why I love fantasy baseball. I looked at that first round and instantly thought AGone was the best pick and Longoria was the riskiest and probably worst pick.

    As others have mentioned Braun in the 4th is a no brainer and to be honest he should have gone in the 3rd assuming you have bench slots, it wouldn’t even be a reach to take him late 2nd if you have deep benches.

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  25. kid says:

    Why does everybody love Stanton so early? Let’s say he hits 40 HR this year, and has 100 RBI and almost 100 runs, and hits .260. Congratulations, you’ve got Adam Dunn 2.0, and from what I remember nobody was clamoring to take Adam Dunn in the middle of the second round. Middle of the 4th round? Sure. For a guy who will be a BA drain and won’t steal bases, he’s going to have to hit 50 bombs and drive in 130 runs to justify the pick.

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