2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft: A first look at the first round

Is Andrew McCutchen a top-two pick in 2015? (USATSI)
Is Andrew McCutchen a top-two pick in 2015? (USATSI)

With the All-Star break temporarily shutting down Fantasy baseball action for a few days, much of the Fantasy world has turned to prepping for the Fantasy football season, with owners lining up their 2014 rankings, locking down preliminary draft strategy and jumping headfirst into mock-draft season.

However, us baseball gents can also turn an eye toward draft preparation as we wait for play to resume Friday. In fact, the All-Star break is a perfect time to put together a super-early 2015 Fantasy baseball mock draft. CBSSports.com Fantasy writer Chris Cwik and I chopped up the first round of a 12-team league and threw our picks against the wall to see what would stick. He took the odd picks, I chose the evens.

1. OF Mike Trout, Angels

Cwik: This was a no brainer selection. With Miguel Cabrera "struggling" due to a groin injury, Trout emerges as the best player in the draft for me.

2. OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

White: Trout is the best five-tool weapon a Fantasy owner can have, but McCutchen isn't far behind. Hitting .324 with 17 home runs and 15 stolen bases, the Pirate outfielder is only getting better with age.

3. 1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Cwik: Despite the concerns about his injury and age, this still feels like the place to take Cabrera. There's something to be said about a guy who hits .306/.364/.534 in a down year.

4. SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

White: A healthy Tulowitzki is a dangerous thing, and the pool of players gets pretty barren after the Rockies shortstop, unless you want to gamble on the health of Hanley Ramirez.

5. SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Cwik: At this point in the draft, Kershaw seemed like the safest option available. There was some thought about taking Goldschmidt here, but it's tough to be upset with Kershaw.

6. 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

White: It's completely unfair Goldschmidt fell to No. 6 here, as he has an argument to be taken over Cabrera. He's only now about to enter his peak years, which makes his production since the start of 2013 pretty special.

7. OF Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

Cwik: Two things separate Stanton for me: his immense power potential and his age. Next season, he'll be just 25 years old. That makes him a safer pick, in my mind, over a guy like Bautista.

8. SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners

White: This may be a little early for King Felix, but I couldn't settle on a particular hitter with this slot. First-round pitchers are a dicey proposition to many people, but Hernandez has exhibited a level of excellence for so long that he's as safe as anyone.

9. 1B Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

Cwik: We now have three straight seasons of excellent production from Encarnacion at first. He's one of those rare power hitters who doesn't strike out all that much, boosting his value in leagues that penalize strikeouts.

10. 1B Jose Abreu, White Sox

White: I could have went a number of ways with this pick, but it's hard to ignore the major-league home run leader at the end of the first round. Doubly so when he owns a quality .292/.342/.630 line.

11. OF Jose Bautista, Blue Jays

Cwik: The only thing pushing Bautista to 11 is his age. The outfielder has proven he's one of the best Fantasy options when healthy, but he'll be 34 next season. There's risk, but the reward is too high.

12. OF Carlos Gomez, Brewers

White: I also had Yasiel Puig and Adam Wainwright on my list of potential picks before settling on Gomez, who looks to be even better than he was last year, when he hit .284 with 24 home runs and 40 stolen bases. He has a shot at a 30/30 season and .300 batting average by the end of this year. I'd be happy to roll him and Wainwright up at the turn and call it a day.

What would you do differently? Let us know in the comments.

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