Remember when Jered Weaver looked like a strikeout-per-inning stud for all Fantasy formats? The owners in our recent Rotisserie mock draft didn't remember either.
The relegation of Weaver to the fifth round was just one of the wrinkles that defined the character of this 12-team mixed league mock. While the devaluing of pitchers with middling strikeout rates, like Weaver, Johnny Cueto and Doug Fister was to be expected, other developments were more surprising. In fact, the selection of Ryan Braun -- and not Miguel Cabrera -- as the first pick overall was a mild surprise (at least judging by our current average draft position data), and that set the tone for an early outfielder run. After Cabrera was taken with the second pick, outfielders Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and Matt Kemp were selected in succession. With Carlos Gonzalez making it five outfielders off the board within the first eight picks, the strategy of taking elites at scarce positions, like catcher, second base and shortstop, was not one employed by many owners in this mock. The outcome mirrors other early Rotisserie drafts occurring on CBSSports.com, as Trout, Braun, Kemp and McCutchen all have ADPs below 9.0.
Aside from Robinson Cano, no one from the three traditionally scarce positions was taken until Dustin Pedroia went with the third pick in Round 2. Owners gradually started to fill in their catcher, second base and shortstop slots later in the second round, and pitchers not named Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander started to come off the board, too.
Though he is following up a subpar season, it wasn't surprising to see Justin Upton get taken with the 26th overall pick, but owners were more cautious with some of the other bounceback candidates. Adrian Gonzalez (38th pick), Jon Lester (99th), Carl Crawford (102nd), Roy Halladay (104th), Dan Uggla (118th), Dan Haren (125st), Brian McCann (129th), Tim Lincecum (138th), Josh Beckett (195th) and Ricky Romero (197th) all went late enough to be tremendous bargains if they can return to form.
While owners exercised caution with established veterans who slumped in 2012, they were eager to grab last season's two biggest-name rookies. Mike Trout went third overall while Bryce Harper -- taken with the 30th pick -- was selected earlier than Curtis Granderson (35th) and Matt Holliday (36th). Proving you can never be sure how sophomore-year players will be appraised in any given draft, Yoenis Cespedes (46th), Yu Darvish (88th) and Wilin Rosario (97th) were each taken at spots well below their current ADPs.
Trout and Harper may come at a premium now, but a year ago, both were drafted on average after the first 230 picks. From this year's rookie crop, Adam Eaton (190th), Wil Myers (199th), Bruce Rondon (219th) and Shelby Miller (222nd) all went earlier in this mock draft than Trout or Harper did on average last year. Promising rookies were still available very late, though, including Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jurickson Profar, Travis d'Arnaud and Dan Straily, all of whom were drafted in the final two rounds.
As one would expect, stolen base specialists Michael Bourn and Elvis Andrus went earlier -- both in the fifth round -- than they typcially have in Head-to-Head leagues, but owners didn't have to use an early round pick to fill their need for speed. Brett Gardner, Angel Pagan, Jean Segura, Coco Crisp and Everth Cabrera all went in the latter third of the draft.
From Braun to Alfonso Soriano, these 12 owners collectively hand-picked the 276 players they'd go to battle with for the 2013 season.
1. Michael Hurcomb, Fantasy Editor
2. Chris Cwik, CBSSports.com MLB Blogger
3. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Will Brinson, CBSSports.com Senior NFL Blogger
5. Bill Passonno, Fantasy Writer
6. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
7. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
8. Peter Madden, Director, Fantasy Sports
9. Adam Aizer, Fantasy Video/Podcast Host
10. Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com Senior MLB Blogger
11. Al Melchior, Data Analyst
12. Ed Gauna, Fantasy Writer
And those 276 picks, from the elite talents to the borderline Fantasy-relevant, unfolded as follows below.