RotoGraphs Mock Keeper Draft Rounds 1-3

Last night, the RotoGraphs crew got together and conducted our first mock draft of the season. The draft, held at Mock Draft Central, was a standard 5X5 keeper/dynasty league draft. Rosters requirements were as follows: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, 5 OF, CI, MI, UTIL, 9 P, 5 BENCH. Throughout the week, we’ll have articles analyzing the draft. I’ll kick things off with my thoughts about the first couple of rounds.

Round 1

Best Pick: It’s tough to make a poor pick in the first round, but I will defend Paul’s pick of Troy Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki will likely produce as well as any other player taken around him, and he plays a premium position. With those considerations in mind, it’s tough to argue against Tulo as the first overall pick.

Riskiest Pick: Hanley Ramirez has a history of success in fantasy baseball — and plays a premium position — but he’s also coming off the worst performance of any player taken in the first round of this draft. If Hanley is able to produce like his old self, he’s a pretty good bet to outperform this draft slot.

My Pick: Although he was one of the older players selected in the first round, I was happy to get Jose Bautista with the sixth pick. He has eligibility at third base and in the outfield, so he also gives me some versatility with my lineup.

Round 2

Best Pick: With the last pick of the second round, Paul managed to grab Marlins’ slugger, Mike Stanton. Stanton is incredibly young — and still getting better — he’s a good bet to lead the league in home runs over the next decade.

Riskiest Pick: At the time of the draft, Ryan Braun‘s status for next season was still undecided. Still, I kind of liked Braun in this slot. I typically try and stay away from pitchers early, so Justin Verlander was a bit of a reach for me. Especially considering Roy Halladay — who went later in the round — was just as good last season. In his defense — or not — Bradley Woodrum was not present at the draft for this selection, so Verlander was an auto-pick As many of you have pointed out, Roy Halladay was the auto-pick. Warne selected Justin Verlander with his second round pick.

My Pick: I like having Bautista and Jose Reyes as my first two picks, but I’m definitely worried about Reyes’ injury history. He plays a premium position, though, and it feels good to have third base and shortstop taken care of right off the bat.

Round 3

Best Pick: Although Eno already had an outfielder on his team, I liked his selection of Jay Bruce in the third. Bruce went after Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton and Bryce Harper, and might be the best of that bunch.

Riskiest Pick: Mike Podhorzer is betting on a bounce back from Carl Crawford — and Erik Hahmann is taking a risk with Starlin Castro — but the riskiest pick in this round has to be Bryce Harper. We have no idea how soon Harper will make it to the big leagues, and that’s a big risk to take with your third round pick. At the same time, it’s a keeper league, and owning the best prospect in baseball for the next decade probably feels pretty good.

My Pick: Josh Hamilton is another injury risk, but I couldn’t pass up his upside in the third round. If he’s healthy, I think he has first round potential. With Hamilton and Reyes, I may be utilizing my DL slot quite a bit.

Those are my thoughts on the first three rounds of our mock draft. Who had the best start after three rounds?

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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.

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I like Wade’s three picks: Cano, Adrian, & Wright. All three are low risk, solid offensive guys. Not sure a pitcher in the first three rounds is necessary in a league with these settings.


How is Wright low risk? Do you remember last season?