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RotoGraphs Mock Keeper Draft: NL SP Breakdown

A few people have asked to see the breakdown of certain positions in our recent staff mock draft, and since I am loathe to turn down good suggestions for content this time of year, here are your National League starting pitchers in the order in which they were picked. Remember that this is a keeper draft, so age played a big role in some of these picks. Picks are labeled with (Round.Pick)

Clayton Kershaw (2.8)
Roy Halladay (2.10)
Cliff Lee (3.3)
Tim Lincecum (3.10)
Cole Hamels (3.11)

Zack Greinke (4.7)
Stephen Strasburg (4.12)
Matt Cain (5.5)
Mat Latos (6.6)
Madison Bumgarner (6.12)

Yovani Gallardo (7.6)
Daniel Hudson (8.1)
Ian Kennedy (8.6)
Jordan Zimmermann (9.1)
Matt Garza (9.7)

Tommy Hanson (10.9)
Josh Johnson (11.4)
Adam Wainwright (11.7)
Shaun Marcum (12.7)
Brandon Beachy (13.2)

Johnny Cueto (13.4)
Chris Carpenter (13.11)
Anibal Sanchez (14.2)
Jhoulys Chacin (14.3)
Jaime Garcia (15.2)

Tim Hudson (17.12)
Wandy Rodriguez (18.1)
Chad Billingsley (18.11)
Cory Luebke (19.11)
Mike Minor (20.1)

Jonathon Niese (20.2)
Ricky Nolasco (20.11)
Bud Norris (21.2)
Julio Teheran (21.8)
Jarrod Parker (22.5)

Jair Jurrjens (22.9)
Homer Bailey (22.11)
Drew Pomeranz (24.5)
Jorge de la Rosa (24.6)
Roy Oswalt (24.7)

Rubby De La Rosa (24.8)
Erik Bedard (25.5)
Ryan Vogelsong (26.5)
Mark Buehrle (26.6)
Edinson Volquez (26.11)
Mike Leake (26.12)

At the top of the draft, things went pretty much as you’d expect with Kershaw and the Phillies dominating things early. I mentioned yesterday that I was surprised at how low Bumgarner went, so I won’t belabor that point, but I was surprised that both he and Matt Cain fell so far after the Phillies’ trio. I’m not going to dispute the early selections of Halladay, Lee, and Hamels, but I’m not sure I’d be willing to take one of them in the second or third round if I knew I could get Cain or Bumgarner three or four rounds later.

The guy who fell the furthest with respect to my initial rankings was Luebke, though I chalk that one up more to prep — or lack thereof as it were — than to a strong dislike or distrust of Luebke. I get that there are reasons to be cautious about him, given his recent move from the bullpen to the rotation, but I highly doubt we’ll see him continue to go in the late 19th round as we get more mocks under our collective belts. If you’re really daring, I could see him in the 10th or 11th, but I suspect he’ll typically fall around the 13th.

I was also surprised — given the format — that Teheran fell as far as he did. The 20 innings he threw in the majors this year didn’t do much for his stock, but he was still the fifth best prospect in baseball heading into the 2011 season according to Baseball America, so it’s not like he was a marginal prospect that just worked his way off the radar. I wouldn’t put him up with Matt Moore (5.4), but I think you could make a case that he could have been picked as high as the 11th.

I think most of these guys are pretty close to their final ADP, there will be some movement as guys get injured or healthy, but there aren’t many guys I see moving down a ton or moving up by more than a round or two. It will be interesting to see the guys at the bottom of this list who fall off and who replaces them as we continue to do these drafts.