2017 First Round Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft

Mike Trout Nolan Arenado

Ben Rolfe, Damian Dabrowski, and I got together to get very early look at a fantasy baseball mock draft. Each of us made four selections as we try and get an idea of what a 2017 first round could look like. We all broke down our thoughts of the players we selected while on the clock. Let’s look at the selections each analyst made.

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We also broke down all the big moves from the Hot Stove and Winter Meetings.

1. Mike Trout | OF | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

(Ben Rolfe) As close to a no brainer as it will ever be. Trout is the most consistent baseball player perhaps ever. You can lock in 25-30 homers, 10 steals with 200 combined runs and RBI at a minimum 0.290 average and that is just the floor. Last year he got to 30 steals and still hit 29 home runs for his 5th straight season over 27. Last year I tried to be clever and not take Trout #1 (I went Goldschmidt) and what I learned is there is only one clever option; Take Trout, always take Trout.

2. Nolan Arenado | 3B | Colorado Rockies

(Damian Dabrowski) Last season having the number two pick was easy – you knew you were getting either Harper or Trout. This year the choice is far more difficult and honestly I considered about five different players before going with Arenado. Ultimately, the deciding factor for was the ability to lock in elite power and run production without having to compromise average. Additionally, Arenado’s age, low strikeout rate and of course Coors makes him one of the safest options available.

Joy R. Absalon - USA TODAY Sports

Joy R. Absalon – USA TODAY Sports

3. Manny Machado | SS/3B | Baltimore Orioles

(Kyle Robert) This was a very tough decision for me with picks 2-12 all in play at the two slot. Anytime you can lock in a shortstop with 40 plus home run type power you need to do it. Some may be frustrated with Machado’s lack of running after 20 stolen bases the previous before. Ideally he can approach seven to ten stolen bases but I wouldn’t expect it. His average has improved over the past few seasons as has his RBI total. Im jumping on and enjoying the ride.

4. Jose Altuve | SS | Houston Astros

(BR) To get Altuve at 4 is the best Christmas present I could hope to receive when it comes to fantasy baseball. Even if his power regresses back to 15 home runs he is still offers you 25+ steals at a 0.310+ average with 200 combined runs and RBI. He hits in the middle of a really powerful line-up and at age 26 could still have something left to show so at number 4 this truly is a gift. The other guy I would consider here is Goldschmidt as they are my numbers 2 and 3 right now.

5. Kris Bryant | 3B | Chicago Cubs

(DD) Given his position flexibility, improved plate discipline and surrounding lineup you can make a strong case for taking Bryant at number two. However, I still view him as a far greater average risk then Arenado and I’m not sure we can count on the steals moving forward. Either way I wouldn’t let him fall past number three so I’m absolutely ecstatic to get him with the fifth pick.

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6. Paul Goldschmidt | 1B | Arizona Diamondbacks

(KR) Getting Paul Goldschmidt at this point feels like stealing and I would be doing backflips. This was a player that some argued should be the top overall pick a season ago. It was “down season” for Goldy in 2016 but that was still a season .297 with 24 home runs and 95 RBI. It was his first time under .300 since 2012. He has been a 30 plus home run and 100 plus RBI guy since 2012 when he plays a full season. I expect Goldschmidt to return to form and be the fantasy stud we all know him as.

7. Miguel Cabrera | 1B | Detroit Tigers

(BR) I was a huge Cabrera believer last year and I was rewarded with his best power season since 2013. Now do I think he can hit 38 home runs again this season? No I don’t think he can repeat those numbers but I think 25-30 is highly possible and given that you can lock in 200 combined runs and RBI at a .310+ average he is an incredibly solid pick. I have him top 5 this year in the tier below the duel threats of Trout, Altuve and Goldschmidt.

Red Sox Mookie Betts

Charles Krupa – Associated Press

8. Mookie Betts | OF | Boston Red Sox

(DD) There’s very few players who can give you above average production in all five categories and Betts is one of them. He’s my clear cut number two OF behind Trout and I wouldn’t hesitate to take him as early as the 4th pick. The potential concerns here are that the Boston offense was historically productive in 2016 and with Ortiz retiring Betts is likely to slide down into either the 3rd or 4th spot in the order. I expect the power production to be similar, but his run, hit and stolen base totals may all dip a bit.

9. Carlos Correa | SS | Houston Astros

(KR) Carlos Correa is just 22 and is entering his second full season in the big leagues. Like with Machado, I love being able to pencil in a stud at shortstop. Correa has hit 20 plus home runs in each of his two season even with only 99 games in 2015. He has also displayed speed getting into the teens each season. The floor for this season is .275 with 25 homers and 12 steals. Correa does have upside far beyond that especially in the power department.

10. Josh Donaldson | 3B | Toronto Blue Jays

(BR) We all discussed this guy as a top 5 pick last year and this season I can have him 10th overall? Yes please and thank you very much. This guy has two straight 35+ home run seasons with more than 220 combined runs and RBI. When you add in that he can give you those 6 or 7 steals (he has five or more the last four years) and he is a no brainer. The biggest danger is how he will fair with the potential loss of Encarnacion and Bautista in the line-up around him but he is a good enough hitter he can retain most of those great stats without them.

11. Clayton Kershaw | SP | Los Angeles Dodgers

(DD) If you play in an innings max league, which let’s be honest why wouldn’t you, there’s a compelling case to be made for taking Kershaw number one overall. Locking in 200+ innings of elite ERA, WHIP and K/9 production simply cannot be overlooked, especially given the flexibility that it gives you with the rest of your pitching staff. Right now I have Kershaw as my 7th player overall behind Trout, Arenado, Bryant, Betts, Goldschmidt and Altuve so grabbing him at the end of the first round is a terrific value.

12. Bryce Harper | OF | Washington Nationals

(KR) 2016 was a frustrating year for Bryce Harper and his owners even with his hot start hitting 9 home runs and 24 RBI in the month of April. He was especially brutal post all-star break hitting 5 homers and 34 RBI. This lack of production came after getting injured on the base paths. An off season to recover should help Harper get back into form. Two seasons ago Bryce broke out with .330 average with 42 homers and 99 RBI. While I wouldn’t expect those numbers, a season much closer to those numbers feels very fair. He will also be surrounded with Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner, and Adam Eaton. If Im drafting at the end of the snake I take Harper and shoot for the moon. I would also go much safer with my second pick pairing him with a Rizzo, E5, or Blackmon.

 

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