Posted: Wednesday March 21, 2012 2:30PM ; Updated: Wednesday March 21, 2012 2:30PM
Eric Mack
Eric Mack>INSIDE FANTASY BASEBALL

Fantasy baseball 2012 mock draft

Story Highlights

Fantasy owners need to put premium on value instead of specific players

Han;ey Ramirez's solid spring has him back among first round selections

Emilio Bonifacio has the broadest range of potential draft positions this year

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Emilio Bonifacio's short track record have fantasy owners selecting him everywhere between Round 7 and 17 this season.
Emilio Bonifacio's short track record have fantasy owners selecting him everywhere between Round 7 and 17 this season.
Steve Mitchell -- US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy writers sit behind the pulpit and preach all the time, but sometimes it can be tough to follow their sermons. A mock draft with 12 industry analysts can reveal some of their inconsistencies, and this writer is guilty of that -- with an explanation why.

In a mock draft held on March 19, the writer you have been going to for sleepers and breakouts through 27-year-olds, third-year starting pitchers, injury-risk sleepers, contract years, overlooked sophomores and rookies found it was nearly impossible to get the players he hyped. Instead, a team of veteran injury risks was drafted. And, interestingly, a number of talented players coming off down years slipped a bit.

See, each draft is different and going in with a plan is a good idea, but all plans need to be scrapped when you see how things evolve. You can hope to catch a team full of breakout candidates, but if everyone is overhyping the same under-hyped players, you have to grab the players that actually do wind up falling. A sleeper that doesn't sleep doesn't do you much good.

The best drafting tools this writer swears by are the average draft positions and his own rankings (highlighting those reviewed in the sleeper/breakout categories above). Putting those two pieces of content together, you don't really need a concrete plan other than to look for falling value.

Here are the results of a 12-team, 5x5 rotisserie mock draft conducted with 12 industry-wide analysts March 19. The league will rank the traditional categories in hitting (average, homers, RBI, runs and stolen bases) and pitching (wins, ERA, strikeouts, WHIP and saves). One variation in this particular format is there is one less active starter in lineups (one catcher instead of the traditional two).

The draft below can be a third solid tool to cross reference with the average draft position data from the major fantasy sites and SI.com's Top 300.

Emack's team reviewed

Here is a blow-by-blow account of this writer's picks, including where they ranked in SI.com's Top 300. You will notice few -- just two -- picks were taken before their suggested time.

That is a good sign -- little reaching.

You cannot play favorites too much in drafts. You have to consider each player's value separate from personal bias.

2012 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Pick Player Top 300 Rank Note
9 Jacoby Ellsbury, Bos OF 7 Yes, he is a bust candidate, but a roto gem.
16 Jose Reyes, Mia SS 15 Was hoping Hanley Ramirez would fall.
33 Josh Hamilton, Tex OF 35 A contract year can still make this a bargain.
40 CC Sabathia, NYY SP 24 Steady shouldn't get overlooked like this.
57 Mike Napoli, Tex C 26 First catcher goes off board later here.
64 Alex Gordon, KC OF 57 He broke out at age 27 and can star now.
81 Lance Berkman, StL 1B 70 Needs another big year replacing Albert Pujols.
88 Carl Crawford, Bos OF 75 Wrist injury is troublesome but he's due to rebound.
105 Brian Wilson, SF RP 84 Another rebound candidate coming off a down year.
112 Heath Bell, Mia RP 97 Taking a risk on an arm that got paid.
129 Chase Utley, Phi 2B 48 Knee issues caused him to slip and took the chance.
136 Michael Pineda, NYY SP 109 Velocity is coming bad, we shouldn't let him fall.
153 Jeremy Hellickson, TB SP 122 Figured he was going to go earlier.
160 Max Scherzer, Det SP 123 Another power arm with a high ceiling.
177 Chris Carpenter, StL SP 116 Neck issue caused him to fall considerably.
184 Johnny Cueto, Cin SP 119 He should be a lot better than his 2011 numbers.
201 Kendrys Morales, LAA 1B 157 People still don't trust him yet; I am optimistic.
208 Clay Buchholz, Bos SP 154 Is there a theme here: Player off a down year.
225 Justin Morneau, Min 1B 132 Injuries might claim career, but if he proves healthy ...
232 Stephen Drew, Ari SS 134 Yet another player downgraded by injury.
249 Johan Santana, NYM SP 292 The first player I reached for. He looks healthy so far.
256 Alfonso Soriano, ChC OF 254 Easily the most power that will be on the board late.
273 Francisco Cordero, Tor RP 270 Needed another closer, so maybe he gets a chance.
280 Phil Hughes, NYY SP 241 With three Yankee starters, I should be solid in W's.
297 Ian Stewart, ChC 3B 239 Needed a 3B and took one with considerable upside.

Mock draft round-by-round

Here is the pick-by-pick review of the draft and the touts represented.

2012 Touts Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft
Round 1 Tout Round 2
1 Miguel Cabrera, Det 1B Yahoo 13 Carlos Gonzalez, Col OF
2 Albert Pujols, LAA 1B RotoWire 14 Ian Kinsler, Tex 2B
3 Matt Kemp, LAD OF Mastersball 15 Evan Longoria, TB 3B
4 Troy Tulowitzki, Col SS FanGraphs 16 Jose Reyes, Mia SS
5 Ryan Braun, Mil OF MLBTradeRumors 17 Prince Fielder, Det 1B
6 Jose Bautista, Tor 3B Yahoo (Funston) 18 Giancarlo Stanton, Mia OF
7 Robinson Cano, NYY 2B Razzball (Grey) 19 Roy Halladay, Phi SP
8 Justin Upton, Ari OF Yahoo (Behrens) 20 Dustin Pedroia, Bos 2B
9 Jacoby Ellsbury, Bos OF Sports Illustrated 21 Andrew McCutchen, Pit OF
10 Joey Votto, Cin 1B Razzball (Gamble) 22 Mark Teixeira, NYY 1B
11 Adrian Gonzalez, Bos 1B Hardball Times 23 Curtis Granderson, NYY OF
12 Hanley Ramirez, Mia SS Steamer Projections 24 Clayton Kershaw, LAD SP
Round 3 Tout Round 4
25 Brandon Phillips, Cin 2B Yahoo 37 Jered Weaver, LAA SP
26 Adrian Beltre, Tex 3B RotoWire 38 Michael Bourn, Atl OF
27 Justin Verlander, Det SP Mastersball 39 Hunter Pence, Phi OF
28 Cliff Lee, Phi SP FanGraphs 40 CC Sabathia, NYY SP
29 Pablo Sandoval, SF 3B MLBTradeRumors 41 Brett Lawrie, Tor 3B
30 Felix Hernandez, Sea SP Yahoo (Funston) 42 Eric Hosmer, KC 1B
31 Ryan Zimmerman, Wsh 3B Razzball (Grey) 43 David Wright, NYM 3B
32 Tim Lincecum, SF SP Yahoo (Behrens) 44 Carlos Santana, Cle C
33 Josh Hamilton, Tex OF Sports Illustrated 45 Nelson Cruz, Tex OF
34 Zack Greinke, Mil SP Razzball (Gamble) 46 Ben Zobrist, TB 2B
35 Matt Holliday, StL OF Hardball Times 47 Elvis Andrus, Tex SS
36 Jay Bruce, Cin OF Steamer Projections 48 B.J. Upton, TB OF
ROUND 5 Tout ROUND 6
49 Dan Uggla, Atl 2B Yahoo 61 Jimmy Rollins, Phi SS
50 Desmond Jennings, TB OF RotoWire 62 Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle SS
51 Starlin Castro, ChC SS Mastersball 63 Craig Kimbrel, Atl RP
52 Paul Konerko, CWS 1B FanGraphs 64 Alex Gordon, KC OF
53 Cole Hamels, Phi SP MLBTradeRumors 65 Dee Gordon, LAD SS
54 Dan Haren, LAA SP Yahoo (Funston) 66 Brett Gardner, NYY OF
55 Madison Bumgarner, SF SP Razzball (Grey) 67 Shane Victorino, Phi OF
56 David Price, TB SP Yahoo (Behrens) 68 Yovani Gallardo, Mil SP
57 Mike Napoli, Tex C Sports Illustrated 69 Kevin Youkilis, Bos 3B
58 Jon Lester, Bos SP Razzball (Gamble) 70 Matt Cain, SF SP
59 Brian McCann, Atl C Hardball Times 71 Stephen Strasburg, Wsh SP
60 Alex Rodriguez, NYY 3B Steamer Projections 72 Michael Cuddyer, Col 1B
ROUND 7 Tout ROUND 8
73 Jayson Werth, Wsh OF Yahoo 85 Matt Wieters, Bal C
74 Matt Moore, TB SP RotoWire 86 Yu Darvish, Tex SP
75 Adam Jones, Bal OF Mastersball 87 Drew Stubbs, Cin OF
76 Rickie Weeks, Mil 2B FanGraphs 88 Carl Crawford, Bos OF
77 Michael Morse, Wsh 1B MLBTradeRumors 89 Jason Heyward, Atl OF
78 Howard Kendrick, LAA 2B Yahoo (Funston) 90 Aramis Ramirez, Mil 3B
79 Chris Young, Ari OF Razzball (Grey) 91 Buster Posey, SF C
80 Mariano Rivera, NYY RP Yahoo (Behrens) 92 C.J. Wilson, LAA SP
81 Lance Berkman, StL 1B Sports Illustrated 93 Joe Mauer, Min C
82 Shin-Soo Choo, Cle OF Razzball (Gamble) 94 Miguel Montero, Ari C
83 Michael Young, Tex 1B Hardball Times 95 Andre Ethier, LAD OF
84 James Shields, TB SP Steamer Projections 96 Jonathan Papelbon, Phi RP
ROUND 9 Tout ROUND 10
97 Ichiro Suzuki, Sea OF Yahoo 109 Ryan Madson, Cin RP
98 David Ortiz, Bos DH RotoWire 110 Matt Garza, ChC SP
99 John Axford, Mil RP Mastersball 111 Alexei Ramirez, CWS SS
100 Adam Wainwright, StL SP FanGraphs 112 Heath Bell, Mia RP
101 Derek Jeter, NYY SS MLBTradeRumors 113 Erick Aybar, LAA SS
102 Drew Storen, Wsh RP Yahoo (Funston) 114 Jose Valverde, Det RP
103 Mat Latos, Cin SP Razzball (Grey) 115 Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B
104 Ian Kennedy, Ari SP Yahoo (Behrens) 116 Corey Hart, Mil OF
105 Brian Wilson, SF RP Sports Illustrated 117 Daniel Hudson, Ari SP
106 Brandon Beachy, Atl SP Razzball (Gamble) 118 Ricky Romero, Tor SP
107 Cameron Maybin, SD OF Hardball Times 119 Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B
108 Carlos Beltran, StL OF Steamer Projections 120 Mark Reynolds, Bal 3B
ROUND 11 Tout ROUND 12
121 Joel Hanrahan, Pit RP Yahoo 133 Carlos Lee, Hou 1B
122 Jordan Zimmermann, Wsh SP RotoWire 134 Cory Luebke, SD SP
123 Melky Cabrera, SF OF Mastersball 135 J.J. Putz, Ari RP
124 Sergio Santos, Tor RP FanGraphs 136 Michael Pineda, NYY SP
125 Billy Butler, KC DH MLBTradeRumors 137 Nick Swisher, NYY OF
126 Dustin Ackley, Sea 2B Yahoo (Funston) 138 Gio Gonzalez, Wsh SP
127 Anibal Sanchez, Mia SP Razzball (Grey) 139 Jason Kipnis, Cle 2B
128 Tommy Hanson, Atl SP Yahoo (Behrens) 140 Ubaldo Jimenez, Cle SP
129 Chase Utley, Phi 2B Sports Illustrated 141 Logan Morrison, Mia OF
130 Carlos Marmol, ChC RP Razzball (Gamble) 142 Adam Lind, Tor 1B
131 Josh Johnson, Mia SP Hardball Times 143 Jason Motte, StL RP
132 Nick Markakis, Bal OF Steamer Projections 144 Brandon League, Sea RP
ROUND 13 Tout ROUND 14
145 Danny Espinosa, Wsh 2B Yahoo 157 Joakim Soria, KC RP
146 Jemile Weeks, Oak 2B RotoWire 158 Frank Francisco, NYM RP
147 Andrew Bailey, Bos RP Mastersball 159 Neil Walker, Pit 2B
148 Ike Davis, NYM 1B FanGraphs 160 Max Scherzer, Det SP
149 Rafael Betancourt, Col RP MLBTradeRumors 161 Kelly Johnson, Tor 2B
150 Jordan Walden, LAA RP Yahoo (Funston) 162 Alex Rios, CWS OF
151 Huston Street, SD RP Razzball (Grey) 163 David Freese, StL 3B
152 Joe Nathan, Tex RP Yahoo (Behrens) 164 Coco Crisp, Oak OF
153 Jeremy Hellickson, TB SP Sports Illustrated 165 Emilio Bonifacio, Mia SS
154 Jose Altuve, Hou 2B Razzball (Gamble) 166 Mike Moustakas, KC 3B
155 Lucas Duda, NYM 1B Hardball Times 167 Kyle Farnsworth, TB RP
156 Josh Beckett, Bos SP Steamer Projections 168 J.J. Hardy, Bal SS
ROUND 15 Tout ROUND 16
169 Shaun Marcum, Mil SP Yahoo 181 Ervin Santana, LAA SP
170 Alex Avila, Det C RotoWire 182 Chris Sale, CWS RP
171 Brandon McCarthy, Oak SP Mastersball 183 Jeff Francoeur, KC OF
172 Jim Johnson, Bal RP FanGraphs 184 Johnny Cueto, Cin SP
173 Javy Guerra, LAD RP MLBTradeRumors 185 Jason Kubel, Ari OF
174 Jhonny Peralta, Det SS Yahoo (Funston) 186 Aaron Hill, Ari 2B
175 Mike Minor, Atl SP Razzball (Grey) 187 Martin Prado, Atl 3B
176 Adam Dunn, CWS 1B Yahoo (Behrens) 188 Torii Hunter, LAA OF
177 Chris Carpenter, StL SP Sports Illustrated 189 Josh Willingham, Min OF
178 Brandon Morrow, Tor SP Razzball (Gamble) 190 Delmon Young, Det OF
179 Matt Thornton, CWS RP Hardball Times 191 Yoenis Cespedes, Oak OF
180 Angel Pagan, SF OF Steamer Projections 192 Jaime Garcia, StL SP
ROUND 17 Tout ROUND 18
193 Brennan Boesch, Det OF Yahoo 205 Mark Trumbo, LAA 1B
194 Derek Holland, Tex SP RotoWire 206 Daniel Murphy, NYM 2B
195 Kenley Jansen, LAD RP Mastersball 207 Colby Rasmus, Tor OF
196 Ryan Roberts, Ari 2B FanGraphs 208 Clay Buchholz, Bos SP
197 Brett Myers, Hou SP MLBTradeRumors 209 Dexter Fowler, Col OF
198 Jesus Montero, Sea DH Yahoo (Funston) 210 Matt Capps, Min RP
199 Zack Cozart, Cin SS Razzball (Grey) 211 Brandon Belt, SF 1B
200 Mat Gamel, Mil 3B Yahoo (Behrens) 212 Edwin Encarnacion, Tor 3B
201 Kendrys Morales, LAA 1B Sports Illustrated 213 Matt Joyce, TB OF
202 Gaby Sanchez, Mia 1B Razzball (Gamble) 214 Marco Scutaro, Col SS
203 Ryan Howard, Phi 1B Hardball Times 215 Jason Bay, NYM OF
204 Chris Perez, Cle RP Steamer Projections 216 Lorenzo Cain, KC OF
ROUND 19 Tout ROUND 20
217 Ryan Dempster, ChC SP Yahoo 229 Neftali Feliz, Tex RP
218 Yunel Escobar, Tor SS RotoWire 230 Jonathon Niese, NYM SP
219 Alejandro De Aza, CWS OF Mastersball 231 J.D. Martinez, Hou OF
220 Daniel Bard, Bos RP FanGraphs 232 Stephen Drew, Ari SS
221 Jose Tabata, Pit OF MLBTradeRumors 233 Wandy Rodriguez, Hou SP
222 Ted Lilly, LAD SP Yahoo (Funston) 234 Jake Peavy, CWS SP
223 Peter Bourjos, LAA OF Razzball (Grey) 235 Jonny Venters, Atl RP
224 Yadier Molina, StL C Yahoo (Behrens) 236 Erik Bedard, Pit SP
225 Justin Morneau, Min 1B Sports Illustrated 237 Addison Reed, CWS RP
226 Colby Lewis, Tex SP Razzball (Gamble) 238 Mike Carp, Sea 1B
227 John Mayberry Jr., Phi OF Hardball Times 239 Francisco Liriano, Min SP
228 Grant Balfour, Oak RP Steamer Projections 240 Wilson Ramos, Wsh C
ROUND 21 Tout ROUND 22
241 Austin Jackson, Det OF Yahoo 253 Tim Hudson, Atl SP
242 Greg Holland, KC RP RotoWire 254 Ben Revere, Min OF
243 Doug Fister, Det SP Mastersball 255 Mike Adams, Tex RP
244 Juan Nicasio, Col SP FanGraphs 256 Alfonso Soriano, ChC OF
245 Vinnie Pestano, Cle RP MLBTradeRumors 257 Bryan LaHair, ChC OF
246 Vance Worley, Phi SP Yahoo (Funston) 258 Jesse Crain, CWS RP
247 Brian Fuentes, Oak RP Razzball (Grey) 259 Tyler Clippard, Wsh RP
248 Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SP Yahoo (Behrens) 260 Ryan Raburn, Det 2B
249 Johan Santana, NYM SP Sports Illustrated 261 R.A. Dickey, NYM SP
250 Ricky Nolasco, Mia SP Razzball (Gamble) 262 Justin Masterson, Cle SP
251 Carlos Pena, TB 1B Hardball Times 263 Scott Baker, Min SP
252 Gordon Beckham, CWS 2B Steamer Projections 264 Sergio Romo, SF RP
ROUND 23 Tout ROUND 24
265 Andrew Cashner, SD RP Yahoo 277 Will Venable, SD OF
266 Aroldis Chapman, Cin RP RotoWire 278 Ryan Doumit, Min C
267 Michael Brantley, Cle OF Mastersball 279 David Hernandez, Ari RP
268 Chad Billingsley, LAD SP FanGraphs 280 Phil Hughes, NYY SP
269 Chris Iannetta, LAA C MLBTradeRumors 281 John Danks, CWS SP
270 Allen Craig, StL OF Yahoo (Funston) 282 Lonnie Chisenhall, Cle 3B
271 Geovany Soto, ChC C Razzball (Grey) 283 Alcides Escobar, KC SS
272 Mike Aviles, Bos 2B Yahoo (Behrens) 284 Dayan Viciedo, CWS OF
273 Francisco Cordero, Tor RP Sports Illustrated 285 Jhoulys Chacin, Col SP
274 J.P. Arencibia, Tor C Razzball (Gamble) 286 Bud Norris, Hou SP
275 David Robertson, NYY RP Hardball Times 287 Jonathan Broxton, KC RP
276 Edwin Jackson, Wsh SP Steamer Projections 288 Jed Lowrie, Hou SS
ROUND 25 Tout
289 Chipper Jones, Atl 3B Yahoo
290 Vernon Wells, LAA OF RotoWire
291 Sean Marshall, Cin RP Mastersball
292 Brett Anderson, Oak SP FanGraphs
293 Chris Davis, Bal 3B MLBTradeRumors
294 Nyjer Morgan, Mil OF Yahoo (Funston)
295 Tim Stauffer, SD SP Razzball (Grey)
296 Henderson Alvarez, Tor SP Yahoo (Behrens)
297 Ian Stewart, ChC 3B Sports Illustrated
298 Denard Span, Min OF Razzball (Gamble)
299 Chris Heisey, Cin OF Hardball Times
300 Johnny Giavotella, KC 2B Steamer Projections

Draft notes

• Hanley Ramirez's promising spring has him back in Round 1. The risk seems to be dissipating as he is proving healthy. He just might be a swing pick now in most leagues.

• Rightfully so, Fielder's move to Detroit knocks him out of first-round status, particularly in rotisserie formats. He is still a solid second-rounder, though.

• I have seen a number of drafts where Justin Verlander wasn't the first pitcher taken, this one included. He probably still should be, even if he is coming off a career year that will be difficult to duplicate as Cy Young and AL MVP.

• Alex Rodriguez has fallen all the way to Round 5 now. He is moving into the potential value area, if he has one fully healthy season left in him.

• Adam Wainwright goes No. 100 overall. That is about right. He has proved healthy this spring and there is little reason not to expect him to post a full 200-inning season coming off Tommy John surgery.

• Joakim Soria at No. 157 looks headed for Tommy John surgery, so Jonathan Broxton, Greg Holland are replacement candidates -- and perhaps even Aaron Crow should have been picked later in the draft. Soria is a big loss for the position, but the Royals have themselves some solid fallback options.

• Bryce Harper did not get picked. With him getting assigned to Triple-A, he might go undrafted in many leagues. Expect him in the majors around June 1, though. He just needs to prove capable defensively in center field.

• Note how far pitchers drop all around in rotisserie formats. And also note closers don't go in the top 60 picks. Rotisserie is more about those five-category hitters, so expect to pick up value on pitchers in the middle to late rounds as always. If this was a head-to-head draft where pitchers get three points per inning, you can expect the big-time aces to get picked up frequently in the first three rounds.

• Yu Darvish at No. 86. Yoenis Cespedes at No. 191. Those are about right for the top imports this year.

• Emilio Bonifacio went at No. 165. His versatility, steals potential, career breakthrough in 2011 and potential full-time job in center field will make him an interesting player to track in drafts. He could be valued as high as the top 80 or fall as low as 200. He might be the most wide-ranging player picked from draft to draft. I wanted him when he went off the board at 165, so 150 might be a decent time to jump in on one of the most versatile players on the board (shortstop, third base and outfield eligibility). Those multi-position players have amped up value in leagues that limit transactions and player movement, because they can fill in-season gaps at multi spots.

Tout weekend

This Saturday is the annual meeting of the top minds in fantasy baseball at Tout Wars. We will be competing in a 15-team mixed rotisserie auction Saturday at 3 p.m. If you wish to attend, join us at Foley's, N.Y. (across from the Empire State Building) for happy hour Friday evening to get instructions on where to see the events unfold. Also, get a chance to meet some of your favorite fantasy baseball analysts.

If you are not in the New York metropolitan area, you can tune in on Sirius/XM satellite radio. Go to ToutWars.com for further details.

Reviewing an auction can be a bit tricky at times, but we will break down the mixed auction and make some notations on the touts' player valuations.

Eric Mack writes fantasy for SI.com. You can also find him on Twitter, where you can mock him, rip him and (doubtful) praise him before asking him for fantasy advice @EricMackFantasy. He reads all the messages there (guaranteed) and takes them very, very personally (not really).

 
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