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Reader Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 17-20

Continuing with our look at the RotoGraphs Reader Mock Draft, here’s a glance at Rounds 17-20.  Since risk is much less of a concern this far down in the draft, I’ll just highlight my favorite pick in the round followed up with some thoughts on some of the other selections.

Round 17
ballsdeep Adam Dunn
PirateInTheBay Wandy Rodriguez
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Trevor Cahill
32 Martin Prado
The Fighting Hellfish Brandon League
The Drew Henson’s Jason Motte
Smada Matt Joyce
Boo-urns Colby Rasmus
Hebrew Hammer Johan Santana
Kadjilliounaire Adam Lind
Lucky Strikes Devin Mesoraco
Prone to Bone Aaron Hill

Favorite Pick:  Trevor Cahill, SP  ARI — People have soured on him after a down year, but I like the move to the NL for him.  Yes, he is moving to a hitter’s park, but as a pitcher with a 53.3% ground ball rate who has seen his K/9 increase over the last three seasons, I don’t see the park factor affecting him too much.  He’ll also have a better defense playing behind him which should help his ERA (his FIP has also dropped in each of the three seasons) and the D-Backs are strong for the NL West, so wins won’t be as tough to come by as they were in Oakland.  Just 24 years old come March, I think he’s a steal here, almost 20 picks below his current ADP.

With the addition of Cahill, SJ Athletics of Oakland have one of my favorite starting pitching rotations in this draft.  Starting off with Verlander and Lincecum is one thing, but to complement them with Gio, Beachy, Marcum and now Cahill?  Oh baby!

Kadjilliounaire makes a nice grab of Adam Lind nearly 40 picks below his current ADP.  Lind may not have the average, but he’s got solid power.  This team has sound depth at first/corner infield.

I love taking the shot on Adam Dunn.  I do not love taking a shot on Johan Santana here.  A return to 35-40 bombs for one and just a bomb for the other.

Round 18
Prone to Bone Kelly Johnson
Lucky Strikes Frank Francisco
Kadjilliounaire Matt Thornton
Hebrew Hammer Kendrys Morales
Boo-urns Lucas Duda
Smada Colby Lewis
The Drew Henson’s Chad Billingsley
The Fighting Hellfish Ramon Hernandez
32 Chris Sale
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Bryce Harper
PirateInTheBay Torii Hunter
ballsdeep Angel Pagan

Favorite Pick:  Kendrys Morales, 1B  LAA — The reports from his offseason workouts have be fantastic and it looks like Mark Trumbo, who was only just recently cleared for baseball activities (foot),  will be the odd man out this year despite such a solid debut in 2011.  With Votto, Hosmer and Youk already on the roster, there is no risk in taking Morales here, especially if he’s just depth and the upside is 30 home runs.

If Eno is right, then Boo-runs is going to be plenty happy with Lucas Duda here in the 18th round.  Good power development in the last couple of years, strong OBP numbers last season and bringing in the fences at Citi Field all working in his favor.  A little before his current ADP but with the love our  Mr. Sarris showers on him here, waiting another round probably wasn’t an option.

Kelly Johnson gets a bum rap sometimes.  Yes, the batting average has fluctuated between the acceptable and the disastrous, but 20-plus home runs over the last two seasons with double digit steals ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at for a second basemen.  I’ll hope that some more time in the AL helps drop that K-rate and be very happy with him as an 18th round middle infield selection.

Father Time is catching up, the average is dropping and the strikeouts are climbing, but good ol’ Torii Hunter can still bang 20 in a season.  Not sure if Pirate is going to be happy with him as his third outfielder, but he’s still got something left in the tank.

Sale and Harper are going to be two of the most watched/scrutinized players this year.  Love the upside, but will it show this season…?

Round 19
ballsdeep Alejandro De Aza
PirateInTheBay Justin Masterson
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Kyle Farnsworth
32 Russell Martin
The Fighting Hellfish Edwin Encarnacion
The Drew Henson’s Ryan Roberts
Smada John Buck
Boo-urns Grant Balfour
Hebrew Hammer Roy Oswalt
Kadjilliounaire Salvador Perez
Lucky Strikes Dexter Fowler
Prone to Bone Vernon Wells

It may sound lame, but I really have no clear cut favorite in this round.

I think Salvador Perez is a great late round sleeper.  Think younger version of Yadier Molina with the potential for slightly better power.  But I would like him even more if this were a deep keeper league and you had him for a buck.  Might need another year to start seeing it all click for him.

I’m hoping that Dexter Fowler finds a way to avoid the strikeouts and steal more bases this year.  So much speed potential yet no results thus far.

Huge potential for Roy Oswalt to be a steal this late…depending on where he signs though.

If Vernon Wells’ BABIP regresses back to the mean for him, then he’ll be a great bargain down here.  If it doesn’t, then he’ll drag you down in average more than his 20-odd home runs will help you.

Round 20
Prone to Bone Daniel Bard
Lucky Strikes Jed Lowrie
Kadjilliounaire Mike Trout
Hebrew Hammer Addison Reed
Boo-urns Chris Iannetta
Smada Zack Cozart
The Drew Henson’s Brennan Boesch
The Fighting Hellfish Carlos Quentin
32 Delmon Young
San Jose Athletics of Oakland Carlos Pena
PirateInTheBay Brandon McCarthy
ballsdeep Ian Desmond

Favorite Pick:  Addison Reed, RP  CHW — While Matt Thornton may start off with the closer’s job in Chicago, it’s just a short matter of time before Reed takes it away from him.  His double digit K/9 rate in the minors was no joke and neither is his 95 mph fastball.  The slider ain’t so bad neither!  Super low walk rates and I expect his SwStr% to be pretty sweet as well this year.  The Hammer did an outstanding job with his bullpen which will complement that high risk rotation he is sitting with.

Love Mike Trout’s upside, but at bats could be a concern here.  The Angels still have too much going on in the corners and DH spot for Trout to really break through unless he has a ridiculous spring.

Smada went a little light on the middle infield here, so while there are things about Zack Cozart that I like, I’m not sure if he’s going to be enough as the only guy backing up an injury risk like Jose Reyes and a relatively unproven Jason Kipnis.  Might have preferred Ian Desmond here.

Great job so far, guys!  Someone else will be picking up the tail end of your draft soon.

Links to the Analysis for the Previous Rounds

Rounds 1-4

Rounds 5-8

Rounds 9-12

Rounds 13-16