Fantasy Baseball

2017 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft: Solo First Round



The words that fantasy owners can not wait to hear as we are fast approaching your fantasy baseball drafts. One of the most beneficial tools in preparation and researching for your fantasy draft is to conduct multiple mock drafts.

The primary purpose of mock drafting is to get a better idea of the current pool of players and to get an estimated feel of where a player might get selected in the draft.

To make this one-man mock work, I behaved as I was each one of these 12 owners based upon a 5×5 roto league.   I am building my own individual roster, so keep in mind that this is not how players are ranked.

THE DRAFT BEGINS IN 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ..

2017 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft

No. 1:  Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout is the most reliable commodity in fantasy baseball and as close to a no-brainer as there will ever be. Trout is acknowledged as the best player in the world. He is still only 25-years-old and has won the AL MVP twice. He also was the runner-up on three occasions in his first five full seasons in the big leagues.

You can lock in 25-30 home runs, 20 steals, with over 100 runs. He is also a threat to drive home 100 runs. The most impressive aspect is that his strikeout and walk rates are improving over the last few seasons.  He is further confirming the league’s best floor and the safest top pick in any sport!

No.2: Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

Nolan Arenado has led the Majors in RBI’s in back-to-back seasons. He has topped 40 home runs both times, and his walk rate doubled without striking out more. Since 2015, he is 1st in RBI’s, 3rd in HRs, and 4th in runs and hitting .291.  The power and R/RBI totals are not going anywhere soon with that lineup and park.

He is a power-hitting monster and a big-time contributor in every category other than steals.

No. 3:  Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox

Still only 24 years old, Betts is a five-category stud. He had a career year in 2016 in which he cleared the 30-homer mark for the first time in his career. He also finished four steals shy of recording a 30-30 season.

With David Ortiz retired, Betts will be asked to take over a more power role in the order. This will boost his hits, home runs, and R/RBI totals, but will possibly see a dip in his stolen base numbers.

No.4:  Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros

He is a true five-category stud. In the last three seasons, his batting average/speed combo is unmatched.  He has had 200 hits and 41 stolen bases in each of his last three years.

Altuve took his game to a new level last season.  He improved his walk rate to a career high 8.4 percent.  He also hit for more power as he hit a career-high 24 home runs.

Altuve hits in the middle of a powerful lineup and is an easy selection here at No. 4.

No. 5:  Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs

The 2016 NL MVP recorded 39 homers with a spectacular .292/.385/.554 line over 155 games.

He was one of five big players to reach the century mark in both RBIs (102) and runs scored (121).  Bryant offers 40+ HR ceiling, a batting average asset, potentially double-digits in stolen bases, triple digits in runs and RBIs.

With his handy position flexibility, his improved plate discipline and surrounding lineup, you can make a strong case to take Bryant second in the draft.  I will gladly take him at five.

No. 6:  Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

With the plenty depth at first base, it makes it troubling to select Goldschmidt earlier than this pick. He probably had the quietest .297/24/95/106/32 season ever.

His power numbers declined last season as he posted a career-low 28.8 percent fly-ball rate.  It is his speed and base-stealing ability that really makes Goldschmidt a special player in fantasy.

Goldschmidt is the top player at his position. He is still a five-category stud and worthy of a top ten selection.

No.7:  Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

The absolute value that Kershaw brings exceeds the remaining hitters available in Round 1.

There were no lingers effects from the back injury that stalled his season for more than two months.  Upon his return in September, he was dominant and he carried the Dodgers back to the NLCS.  He undoubtedly maintained his status as baseball’s premier pitcher as he finished 2016 with career-best marks in ERA (1.69), WHIP (0.73) and K/BB ratio (15.6) over 149 innings.

Kershaw is considered the annual front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award.  He will be the number one pitcher drafted in all leagues.

No.8:  Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals

What a frustrating season for Harper and his fantasy owners!  I think Harper only had a down year due to a lingering shoulder issue and he played hurt all season.

It shows how good of a player he is when he goes 20/20 and we think he had a bad year.  He is only one year removed from a .330 average and 42 homers.  I could see those type of numbers again. He is surrounded by a productive top-heavy lineup with Adam Eaton, Trea Turner, and Daniel Murphy.

This will probably be the last year that you will be able to draft Harper outside the top three.  An offseason to recover should get Harper back to the elite status and a top three overall pick in 2018.

No.9:  Manny Machado, 3B, Baltimore Orioles

Machado followed up a career year in 2015 with another stellar season in 2016.  He set career highs in home runs, RBI, runs, and batting average.  Unfortunately, his stolen bases have disappeared, but the rest of his production will do just fine.

He will hit close to .300 and he’s coming off a 37-homer season.  In addition, he will produce 100 RBIs and score 100 runs.  He has good bats surrounding him in the lineup and will continue to be a top-shelf producer.

There is no doubt he is a first-rounder. He is eligible at shortstop as well as at third base! This will only make the 24-year-old ranking with the elite even more appealing.

No. 10:  Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

Donaldson is in the prime of his career.  He has accomplished two straight 35+ home run seasons with more than 220 combined runs and RBI.  He also increased his OPS by 14 points (.953 OPS in ’16).

In addition, he topped 90 RBIs and has had five or more stolen bases for the fourth straight season.  Blue Jays will have less firepower in the lineup and be a bit weaker.  I don’t think the decline will be too much this season and will only impact his runs and RBIs.  He is a good enough hitter that he can retain most of these great stats without them.

No.11:  Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

Correa has basically been a 20/15 guy for two seasons.  His ability to accomplish that before the age of 22-years-old is an impressive feat.

His 2016 season fell short of his immense expectations after his stellar 2015 rookie season. He pushed his on-base percentage up 15 points. He also had a significant walk-rate increase while still contributing in multiple categories.

Carlos Correa is poised for a huge year in a vastly improved lineup.  He is a young building block with 30/30 potential.

No.12 Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs

Anthony Rizzo is a safe first round bet.  He has a minimum of a 30-100-90 line with quality average hitting in the middle of a stacked lineup.

Rizzo is clearly one of the league’s better power hitters. He has finished in the top 20 in slugging percentage each of the last three seasons.  He is a patient and disciplined hitter, taking at least 73 walks in each of the last four seasons.

The only negative is that his steals fell from 17 in 2015 to only three last season. Regardless, he is an elite talent who will provide excellent value here as the last pick of the first round.

About Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL (GO BROWNS!) and college football (GO BUCKEYES!) MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS!) and MMA. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly. He has been competing in fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football and baseball for over 20 years. Please do all of us a favor and follow Dennis @ CALL_ME_SOS.

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