Commentary

Mock Draft Review: Pujols, Beckett fall

Updated: April 1, 2008, 7:47 PM ET
By Christopher Harris | ESPN.com

I shook up the world by taking Matt Holliday second. Matt Berry shook up the world by taking 11 first basemen.

OK, one of those statements is true, and one is an exaggeration. But, as we all went about the business of drafting imaginary versions of our imaginary teams, I couldn't help thinking: Mock drafts are funny. I mean, in one way, they're hugely useful in ways that pre-prepared positional rankings can't be: they reflect the state-of-the-art on players and echo the most current news available. And in other ways, they're unbelievably useless: one wrong move (hello, Holliday at No. 2!), and relevance flies out the window, because now all subsequent selections have to account for a bad pick or picks. Also, there's the inevitable overreaction to news that seems like a big deal in the moment, but turns out to be nothing.

Still, because we at ESPN.com are tirelessly devoted to providing you the best fantasy coverage on the Web, we do multiple mocks throughout spring training, and that helps a lot. A series of mock drafts provides the best of all worlds: day-to-day context, stocks rising and falling and enough data to weed outliers, like myself.

Here, then, is an analysis of our March 14 mixed-league mock draft, a 12-team, 5x5 affair that included "traditional" Rotisserie rosters (2 catchers, 1 fist baseman, 1 second baseman, 1 shortstop, 1 third baseman, 1 middle infielder, 1 corner infielder, 5 outfielders, 1 utility slot, 9 pitchers and 2 bench spots).

Round 1
1. Alex Rodriguez (Will Harris)
2. Matt Holliday (Christopher Harris)
3. Hanley Ramirez (Matthew Berry)
4. David Wright (Kevin Rounce)
5. Jose Reyes (Tristan Cockcroft)
6. Chase Utley (Brendan Roberts)
7. Miguel Cabrera (Andrew Feldman)
8. Johan Santana (Shawn Cwalinski)
9. Jimmy Rollins (Nate Ravitz)
10. Carl Crawford (James Quintong)
11. Alfonso Soriano (A.J. Mass)
12. Ryan Braun (Pete Becker)

Notable Pick: In my opinion, Feldman did well to get Miggy at No. 7. I honestly considered taking him at No. 2. (More on my madness in a moment.) I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that this guy turns 25 in April. (And yes, I know David Wright is also 25.) Cabrera really picked it up in the second half last year, spiking in contact and walk rates and he's hitting more fly balls than ever. He has league and ballpark questions, but not lineup questions.

My Pick: The order was randomized an hour before the draft, and No. 2 is exactly where I wouldn't want to be this year. I honestly don't see a ton of difference in the draft prospects of any of the six players after A-Rod. Everyone has flaws. Hanley plays for a crummy team in a bad ballpark and had offseason shoulder surgery. Wright's fly-ball rate declined even as he had a huge second half in '07, making me wonder if 25 to 30 homers is his max. Reyes fell off in the second half as he tried to hit homers, and I don't believe he's a .300 hitter. Utley had the broken hand and probably isn't a .332 hitter. And Cabrera is making a pretty big leap into the American League. I think you can make an argument for taking any of these guys No. 2, which means at least in theory, having the second pick is no better than having the seventh pick. (And let me just say that without injury issues, I'd have taken Albert Pujols No. 2, no questions asked.) I know conventional wisdom says take Hanley. But to me, Holliday is the least-risky guy in this group. His past two seasons have practically been mirror images, he's played at least 155 games in each, and he gets to slug in Coors, where his OPS the last two years is 1.132 and 1.157. The argument against Holliday is he's not a five-category guy. But he's stolen 14, 10 and 11 the last two seasons, and could nab 20 if the Rockies let him. Listen, everyone and their dog has gotten on TV this month and told you that you can't win your draft in the first round, but you can lose it. I finally decided to put my money where my mouth is.

Round 2
13. Brandon Phillips (Pete Becker)
14. Grady Sizemore (A.J. Mass)
15. Albert Pujols (James Quintong)
16. Ryan Howard (Nate Ravitz)
17. Prince Fielder (Shawn Cwalinski)
18. Ichiro Suzuki (Andrew Feldman)
19. Mark Teixeira (Brendan Roberts)
20. David Ortiz (Tristan Cockcroft)
21. Vladimir Guerrero (Kevin Rounce)
22. Carlos Lee (Matthew Berry)
23. Carlos Beltran (Christopher Harris)
24. Jake Peavy (Will Harris)

Notable Picks: Pujols falls out of the first round because of elbow concerns. ... I wouldn't have taken Phillips where Becker did, not with guys like Ichiro, Howard and Fielder on the board, but it's not an outlandish pick because of positional scarcity. ... This is quite low for Peavy. This draft group wasn't going to start taking non-Johan starters until it darn well had to. I promise: if Peavy had fallen two more spots, he'd have been my choice in the third. He has no business not going in the second.

My Pick: I wanted Carlos Lee, but Berry took him ahead of me. That left me a choice between Beltran, Berkman and Peavy. In a single-league draft, I'd have taken the pitcher, but in a mixed draft there are so many more starter options, and while I'm not overly freaked out by Berkman's spring injuries, they're enough that he doesn't get a clean bill of health, which would otherwise be his big advantage over Beltran. It's risky to take Carlos at all, but considering .290-30-100-20 is his floor, this is good value.

Round 3
25. Lance Berkman (Will Harris)
26. Brandon Webb (Christopher Harris)
27. Justin Morneau (Matthew Berry)
28. Travis Hafner (Kevin Rounce)
29. B.J. Upton (Tristan Cockcroft)
30. Erik Bedard (Brendan Roberts)
31. Cole Hamels (Andrew Feldman)
32. Nick Markakis (Shawn Cwalinski)
33. Magglio Ordonez (Nate Ravitz)
34. Eric Byrnes (James Quintong)
35. Brian Roberts (A.J. Mass)
36. Victor Martinez (Pete Becker)

Notable Picks: There isn't a lot to complain about here; everyone has his own thoughts on how guys will do. In my opinion, this is high for Hafner; I think he bounces back, but he needs to show he can stop grounding out. I'm also not a big fan of Upton, though his second-base eligibility does save him. I think we saw his best possible statistics in '07, and his strikeouts will catch up to him in a major way, to the tune of a .270 average.

My Pick: Webb is my third-rated starter, and even though I tend to devalue starting pitching early in mixed leagues, he's my 31st-rated player overall in this format. Circumstance dictates that I don't pick again for 21 selections, so I felt I needed to get an ace now. I wound up being surprised how few starters went before my next pick.

Round 4
37. Carlos Guillen (Pete Becker)
38. Russell Martin (A.J. Mass)
39. Aramis Ramirez (James Quintong)
40. Curtis Granderson (Nate Ravitz)
41. Troy Tulowitzki (Shawn Cwalinski)
42. Bobby Abreu (Andrew Feldman)
43. Derek Jeter (Brendan Roberts)
44. Derrek Lee (Tristan Cockcroft)
45. Alex Rios (Kevin Rounce)
46. Carlos Pena (Matthew Berry)
47. Robinson Cano (Christopher Harris)
48. Rafael Furcal (Will Harris)

Notable Picks: Huge reach for Mass with Russell Martin. There's something to be said for having a good contributor at a scarce position, but there's way too much talent on the board to take a guy who was 5-for-11 in steal attempts after the Break and had 27 RBIs in that same span. ... On the flipside, I love Quintong getting Aramis here. It's all about health with this guy, but at this point in drafts I think he's worth the risk. ... I like the Carlos Pena story as much as the next guy, but Berry already has Morneau, and while he claims first basemen are scarce this year, if you peruse his Draft Day Manifesto, you'll see he forgot he meant American League first basemen are scarce. There are plenty of viable first-sackers in the NL. Pena is probably the next first baseman who should go off the board, but not to Berry, and not here.

My Pick: The players I had rated higher than Cano were all outfielders (Corey Hart, Torii Hunter) so when Rios went off the board, I knew I'd take the Yankee second baseman. Cano won't hit below .300 for many years, and while he's too much of a line-drive machine to be a 30-homer threat, 20 and 90 RBIs is likely.

Round 5
49. Chone Figgins (Will Harris)
50. Justin Verlander (Christopher Harris)
51. Torii Hunter (Matthew Berry)
52. C.C. Sabathia (Kevin Rounce)
53. Garrett Atkins (Tristan Cockcroft)
54. Miguel Tejada (Brendan Roberts)
55. Roy Oswalt (Andrew Feldman)
56. Ian Kinsler (Shawn Cwalinski)
57. Dan Haren (Nate Ravitz)
58. Manny Ramirez (James Quintong)
59. Aaron Harang (A.J. Mass)
60. Adrian Gonzalez (Pete Becker)

Notable Picks: Love Berry's pick of Hunter here; he might regress a little, but I can't see how he steals fewer than 25 bases for that team. ... I wouldn't have taken Tejada this high. I know he looked good hitting for power after his '07 return, but he'd only blasted seven homers in 285 at-bats before he got hurt. I probably wouldn't have taken a shortstop at all, but if I'd had to have one, I'd have chosen Michael Young, Edgar Renteria or Orlando Cabrera. I know that opinion puts me in the minority. ... Similarly, I like Kinsler, but this is too high for a guy who hasn't given you a full season. I mean, Kinsler before Manny Ramirez?

My Pick: If Josh Beckett didn't currently have back woes, he'd have been my pick. As it was, Verlander was a nice substitute. I'll probably look back in a couple weeks when Beckett is fine and regret this.

Round 6
61. Matt Kemp (Pete Becker)
62. Chipper Jones (A.J. Mass)
63. Corey Hart (James Quintong)
64. Roy Halladay (Nate Ravitz)
65. Ryan Zimmerman (Shawn Cwalinski)
66. Paul Konerko (Andrew Feldman)
67. Josh Beckett (Brendan Roberts)
68. John Lackey (Tristan Cockcroft)
69. Adam Dunn (Kevin Rounce)
70. Gary Sheffield (Matthew Berry)
71. Michael Young (Christopher Harris)
72. Brian McCann (Will Harris)

Notable Picks: I understand people don't think Chipper can do it again because of health, but look at 2007's line: .337/29/102. Awesome value for Mass here. ... Corey Hart's projections seem to be ebbing with a poor spring, but Quintong did really well to get him here. ... Halladay inspires diverging opinions; mine is that he goes too high in fantasy drafts. Yes, he's consistent. But his K/BB ratio has trended the wrong way for three years, and his workloads are immense. ... In my book, McCann is way too early. Sure, he bounced back from a thumb injury and was better in the second half, but he never hit over .300 for any month in '07, after never hitting below .300 for any month of '06. He'll produce .290/20/80. Heck, I'd have taken Jorge Posada before McCann.

My Pick: I think Young is a great undervalued story of '08 drafts. Yes, he's primarily an average hitter. But it's not an empty average. He'll hit between .310 and .320, drive in 100, score 90, steal 10 and hit 15 homers. No, he's not the 2005 guy. But he's a shortstop. I have him as my 44th overall player.

Round 7
73. Joe Mauer (Will Harris)
74. Hunter Pence (Christopher Harris)
75. John Smoltz (Matthew Berry)
76. Jason Bay (Kevin Rounce)
77. Chris B. Young (Tristan Cockcroft)
78. Jonathan Papelbon (Brendan Roberts)
79. Joe Nathan (Andrew Feldman)
80. Vernon Wells (Shawn Cwalinski)
81. Dan Uggla (Nate Ravitz)
82. J.J. Putz (James Quintong)
83. Adrian Beltre (A.J. Mass)
84. Carlos Zambrano (Pete Becker)

Notable Picks: Will's strategy was obviously to get two of the best catchers. I don't agree with this, because you lose out on two much more overall productive offensive players. ... Here go the closers. Please take note of the restraint we all showed, and try to reproduce it in your league. This is a good round for the elite saves guys to start going, no sooner. ... C-Dub rocked the house getting Wells here. If I'd been able to justify filling a third outfield spot, I'd have taken him a couple rounds ago. Last year was all about his injured shoulder. ... My dislike of Uggla's act is longstanding. His poor contact rate and the resulting sub-.250 average undoes the goodness of his 25 homers. Plus he'll probably only get you 70-ish RBI this year.

My Pick: I'd have taken Wells, except I have Pence rated higher. He's a $30 player in auctions, and I feel like he fell into my lap here.

Round 8
85. Orlando Cabrera (Pete Becker)
86. Shane Victorino (A.J. Mass)
87. Chris Young (James Quintong)
88. Takashi Saito (Nate Ravitz)
89. Francisco Rodriguez (Shawn Cwalinski)
90. Todd Helton (Andrew Feldman)
91. Delmon Young (Brendan Roberts)
92. Scott Kazmir (Tristan Cockcroft)
93. Jorge Posada (Kevin Rounce)
94. Jeff Francoeur (Matthew Berry)
95. Javier Vazquez (Christopher Harris)
96. Felix Hernandez (Will Harris)

Notable Picks: K-Rod really dropped from our default rankings (we have him 65th overall). I actually think this is a more accurate place for him, so C-Dub did pretty well. ... Great back-to-back picks from Roberts and Cockcroft. Young and Kazmir are both easily ensconced within my top 60. I already wrote last week what I think about Young, and Kazmir's second-half stats in '07 were a 2.39 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP (plus he led the AL in strikeouts).

My Pick: I wished Kazmir had fallen to me, but Vazquez is a nice consolation prize. He had the quietest 200-K season in recent memory, which apparently is just how he likes it. He has potential fly-ball problems in a hitter's park, but his control is excellent. I don't expect a sub-4.00 season, but give me those strikeouts.

Round 9
97. Placido Polanco (Will Harris)
98. Daisuke Matsuzaka (Christopher Harris)
99. Howie Kendrick (Matthew Berry)
100. Tim Lincecum (Kevin Rounce)
101. Billy Wagner (Tristan Cockcroft)
102. Juan Pierre (Brendan Roberts)
103. Rich Hill (Andrew Feldman)
104. Edgar Renteria (Shawn Cwalinski)
105. Alex Gordon (Nate Ravitz)
106. James Shields (James Quintong)
107. Matt Cain (A.J. Mass)
108. Josh Hamilton (Pete Becker)

Notable Picks: Will's Polanco pick got roundly mocked in the chat room, but I like it. He's a .320-ish hitter who'll threaten 100 runs and drive in 50 or 60, and he's a second baseman. I'd take him over Kendrick, too. ... Someone's drinking the Alex Gordon Kool-Aid for a second straight year. This is probably where you'll have to draft him to get him, which means I probably won't get him. The power and speed upside is there, but I have a hard time imagining him not hurting your average in '08. ... Hamilton is a fantastic pick here. He's ripping it up this spring, and if he's healthy, he's probably worth a pick four rounds earlier.

My Pick: I never head into mixed drafts thinking I'll load up on starters, but the way this draft fell, with so many teams staying away from stud pitchers, I felt I didn't have a choice. So after nine rounds, I have Webb, Verlander, Vazquez and Matsuzaka. If I don't win strikeouts, there should be an investigation. I admit, I'm probably pitcher-heavy, and one order of business early in this season might be to trade one of those studs for a big bat.

Round 10
109. Yovani Gallardo (Pete Becker)
110. Adam Wainwright (A.J. Mass)
111. Jeff Kent (James Quintong)
112. Rickie Weeks (Nate Ravitz)
113. Mariano Rivera (Shawn Cwalinski)
114. Jose Valverde (Andrew Feldman)
115. Brad Hawpe (Brendan Roberts)
116. Jermaine Dye (Tristan Cockcroft)
117. Ryan Garko (Kevin Rounce)
118. Fausto Carmona (Matthew Berry)
119. Nick Swisher (Christopher Harris)
120. Aaron Hill (Will Harris)

Notable Picks: That Roberts/Cockcroft tandem does it again, with two consecutive unsexy steals. Hawpe gets lost in the rest of the Rockies' offense, but if he ever learns to hit lefties, watch out. And Dye recovered from an off first half in '07 to get right back to his normal power. ... Berry halted Carmona's precipitous fall (he was 81st in our default rankings). I actually wouldn't even have taken him here, but only because he made such a big innings jump last season.

My Pick: I'm glad I waited for a first baseman. I've been "anti-Swisher" in a lot of chats this spring, but with the 119th pick, I'll make an exception. This is a good example of how you should take "experts" advice: It's not that we necessarily hate a player, rather that we don't like him where we think you'll have to draft him.

Round 11
121. Ian Snell (Will Harris)
122. Mike Lowell (Christopher Harris)
123. Francisco Liriano (Matthew Berry)
124. Hideki Matsui (Kevin Rounce)
125. Brett Myers (Tristan Cockcroft)
126. Chad Billingsley (Brendan Roberts)
127. Kenji Johjima (Andrew Feldman)
128. Andruw Jones (Shawn Cwalinski)
129. Tim Hudson (Nate Ravitz)
130. James Loney (James Quintong)
131. Pedro Martinez (A.J. Mass)
132. Dustin McGowan (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Snell, Matsui, Martinez
Picks I Didn't: Liriano, Johjima, McGowan

My Pick: Want to know a dirty secret? I'm starting to believe Scott Rolen might stay healthy this year. I actually thought about taking him here to be my starting third baseman, but came to my senses and realized I could probably get him nearly 10 rounds later.

Round 12
133. Bengie Molina (Pete Becker)
134. Manny Corpas (A.J. Mass)
135. Francisco Cordero (James Quintong)
136. Jeremy Hermida (Nate Ravitz)
137. Bobby Jenks (Shawn Cwalinski)
138. Jim Thome (Andrew Feldman)
139. Ken Griffey Jr. (Brendan Roberts)
140. Pat Burrell (Tristan Cockcroft)
141. Dustin Pedroia (Kevin Rounce)
142. Jhonny Peralta (Matthew Berry)
143. Matt Capps (Christopher Harris)
144. Milton Bradley (Will Harris)

Picks I Liked: Thome, Pedroia, Bradley
Picks I Didn't: Molina, Peralta

My Pick: Time to start getting closers. The mission: under-hyped guys, potentially on weaker teams, who are safe in their roles. Capps fits the bill.

Round 13
145. Austin Kearns (Will Harris)
146. Willy Taveras (Christopher Harris)
147. Kevin Kouzmanoff (Matthew Berry)
148. Khalil Greene (Kevin Rounce)
149. A.J. Burnett (Tristan Cockcroft)
150. Ben Sheets (Brendan Roberts)
151. Michael Bourn (Andrew Feldman)
152. John Maine (Shawn Cwalinski)
153. Huston Street (Nate Ravitz)
154. Chien-Ming Wang (James Quintong)
155. J.J. Hardy (A.J. Mass)
156. Rafael Soriano (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Burnett, Street, Maine, Kouzmanoff
Picks I Didn't: Kearns, Bourn, Hardy

My Pick: I'm winding up with Taveras in a lot of drafts. I have him rated 119th overall, or 65 spots higher than his default ranking in our game. His speed is obvious, and I don't think he'll ever come close to .320 again, but right around .295 is likely, and he'll score between 80 and 90 runs to go with his 40-plus steals. Compare his skills with Bourn and it's not close.

Round 14
157. Joey Votto (Pete Becker)
158. Colby Rasmus (A.J. Mass)
159. Julio Lugo (James Quintong)
160. Jacoby Ellsbury (Nate Ravitz)
161. Jeremy Bonderman (Shawn Cwalinski)
162. Kelly Johnson (Andrew Feldman)
163. Phil Hughes (Brendan Roberts)
164. Adam LaRoche (Tristan Cockcroft)
165. Brad Penny (Kevin Rounce)
166. Kelvim Escobar (Matthew Berry)
167. Ramon Hernandez (Christopher Harris)
168. Felix Pie (Will Harris)

Notable Picks: Berry saves this round with a savvy pick of Escobar. Five months of him is better than six months of a lot of guys. But still, this is my least favorite round of the draft. Line 'em up. Rasmus, Ellsbury and Votto should in no way, shape or form go this high. They're too young, and there's too much risk they won't even play. Hughes and Penny go while Escobar and Derek Lowe are around? I think this is the round where the experts out-clevered themselves.

My Pick: I held my nose. My disdain for catchers is, by this point, well established. But Hernandez won't kill you if he's hurt (which he is a lot), and if he's healthy, he'll hit .280 and drive in 80. I kind of wish I'd had the guts to hold out even longer.

Round 15
169. Jason Kubel (Will Harris)
170. Joakim Soria (Christopher Harris)
171. Trevor Hoffman (Matthew Berry)
172. Jeff Francis (Kevin Rounce)
173. Jason Isringhausen (Tristan Cockcroft)
174. Johnny Damon (Brendan Roberts)
175. Michael Cuddyer (Andrew Feldman)
176. Casey Kotchman (Shawn Cwalinski)
177. Conor Jackson (Nate Ravitz)
178. Ted Lilly (James Quintong)
179. Ryan Theriot (A.J. Mass)
180. Brad Lidge (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Kubel, Jackson, Damon
Picks I Didn't: None

My Pick: Soria fills the bill as a good late closer, as does Capps. They're each in my top 11 among saves guys.

Round 16
181. Rick Ankiel (Pete Becker)
182. Ivan Rodriguez (A.J. Mass)
183. Aaron Rowand (James Quintong)
184. Jered Weaver (Nate Ravitz)
185. Josh Willingham (Shawn Cwalinski)
186. Orlando Hudson (Andrew Feldman)
187. Chad Cordero (Brendan Roberts)
188. Geovany Soto (Tristan Cockcroft)
189. Kazuo Matsui (Kevin Rounce)
190. Raul Ibanez (Matthew Berry)
191. Zack Greinke (Christopher Harris)
192. Edwin Encarnacion (Will Harris)

Picks I Liked: Rowand, Ibanez, Encarnacion
Picks I Didn't: Matsui

My Pick: I'm on record as a Greinke believer. His stuff is too nasty for him not to put it together, and soon.

Round 17
193. George Sherrill (Will Harris)
194. Ty Wigginton (Christopher Harris)
195. Jack Cust (Matthew Berry)
196. Todd Jones (Kevin Rounce)
197. Derek Lowe (Tristan Cockcroft)
198. Troy Glaus (Brendan Roberts)
199. Andy Pettitte (Andrew Feldman)
200. Kosuke Fukudome (Shawn Cwalinski)
201. Jason Varitek (Nate Ravitz)
202. Joe Borowski (James Quintong)
203. B.J. Ryan (A.J. Mass)
204. Billy Butler (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Lowe, Butler
Picks I Didn't: Cust, Glaus

My Pick: How many times in your fantasy baseball career have you said, "Those are Ty Wigginton's numbers?" Many, I'll wager. He's my 137th-rated player overall, and so my best-available here.

Round 18
205. Clay Buchholz (Pete Becker)
206. Rajai Davis (A.J. Mass)
207. Joba Chamberlain (James Quintong)
208. Tom Gorzelanny (Nate Ravitz)
209. Kevin Gregg (Shawn Cwalinski)
210. Brian Wilson (Andrew Feldman)
211. Kevin Youkilis (Brendan Roberts)
212. Joe Blanton (Tristan Cockcroft)
213. Carlos Marmol (Kevin Rounce)
214. A.J. Pierzynski (Matthew Berry)
215. Eric Gagne (Christopher Harris)
216. Hank Blalock (Will Harris)

Picks I Liked: Blalock, Youkilis, Blanton
Picks I Didn't: Davis

My Pick: Gagne's an alleged 'roid-head and was perhaps the most flammable deadline acquisition in recent memory. But right now he's the closer for what should be a pretty good team, though there are options if he spits the bit.

Round 19
217. C.J. Wilson (Will Harris)
218. Adam Jones (Christopher Harris)
219. Mark Buehrle (Matthew Berry)
220. Greg Maddux (Kevin Rounce)
221. Freddy Sanchez (Tristan Cockcroft)
222. Carlos Delgado (Brendan Roberts)
223. Oliver Perez (Andrew Feldman)
224. Brandon Lyon (Shawn Cwalinski)
225. Rich Harden (Nate Ravitz)
226. Evan Longoria (James Quintong)
227. Dan Ortmeier (A.J. Mass)
228. Randy Johnson (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Sanchez, Maddux
Picks I Didn't: Ortmeier

My Pick: Jones's power is real, though I'd rather not be locked into having to start him, so as of now I started planning to take at least one outfielder for my bench. Compare taking a flyer here as opposed to the 14th, where Votto, Rasmus and Ellsbury went.

Round 20
229. Frank Thomas (Pete Becker)
230. Johnny Cueto (A.J. Mass)
231. Bronson Arroyo (James Quintong)
232. Jonathan Broxton (Nate Ravitz)
233. Gil Meche (Shawn Cwalinski)
234. Dave Bush (Andrew Feldman)
235. Jose Guillen (Brendan Roberts)
236. Josh Fields (Tristan Cockcroft)
237. Dontrelle Willis (Kevin Rounce)
238. Troy Percival (Matthew Berry)
239. Scott Rolen (Christopher Harris)
240. Lastings Milledge (Will Harris)

Picks I Liked: Thomas, Arroyo, Guillen, Milledge
Picks I Didn't: Willis

My Pick: As I mentioned earlier, I'm starting to believe Rolen will be healthy. At least the narrative makes sense: bad shoulder, surgery, shoulder still bad, it turns out to be scar tissue from the previous surgery. Put it this way: I have a lot more faith in Rolen staying healthy than I do in Troy Glaus.

Round 21
241. Shaun Marcum (Will Harris)
242. Kevin Slowey (Christopher Harris)
243. Barry Bonds (Matthew Berry)
244. Daric Barton (Kevin Rounce)
245. Nate McLouth (Tristan Cockcroft)
246. Jeremy Accardo (Brendan Roberts)
247. Stephen Drew (Andrew Feldman)
248. Carlos Ruiz (Shawn Cwalinski)
249. Cameron Maybin (Nate Ravitz)
250. Mark Ellis (James Quintong)
251. Yunel Escobar (A.J. Mass)
252. Brian Fuentes (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Ellis
Picks I Didn't: Bonds, Barton

My Pick: The Twins' young pitchers tend to get lumped together into one incompetent mass, but Slowey is cut from a different cloth, because his command is already excellent. He won't be a high-strikeout guy, but if he can limit homers (that's the big question), he'll have positive value.

Round 22
253. Chris Duncan (Pete Becker)
254. Brandon Backe (A.J. Mass)
255. Jay Bruce (James Quintong)
256. Chris Snyder (Nate Ravitz)
257. Mark Reynolds (Shawn Cwalinski)
258. Mike Napoli (Andrew Feldman)
259. Ubaldo Jimenez (Brendan Roberts)
260. J.R. Towles (Tristan Cockcroft)
261. Justin Upton (Kevin Rounce)
262. Al Reyes (Matthew Berry)
263. Carlos Gomez (Christopher Harris)
264. Rafael Betancourt (Will Harris)

Picks I Liked: Duncan, Reynolds, Towles
Picks I Didn't: Backe

My Pick: Obviously, now's the time to take your flyers, and Gomez is certainly that, in more ways than one. If by some stroke of luck he can stay at the top of the Twins' lineup, he should steal at least 30.

Round 23
265. Heath Bell (Will Harris)
266. Kurt Suzuki (Christopher Harris)
267. Micah Owings (Matthew Berry)
268. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Kevin Rounce)
269. Hiroki Kuroda (Tristan Cockcroft)
270. Ronny Paulino (Brendan Roberts)
271. Gary Matthews Jr. (Andrew Feldman)
272. John Buck (Shawn Cwalinski)
273. Corey Patterson (Nate Ravitz)
274. Josh Bard (James Quintong)
275. Bill Hall (A.J. Mass)
276. Randy Winn (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Hall, Winn
Picks I Didn't: none

My Pick: Stupid two-catcher draft. I'm not super-bullish on Suzuki, but maybe he winds up hitting leadoff, in which case he might verge on positive fantasy value.

Round 24
277. Juan Cruz (Pete Becker)
278. Nick Johnson (A.J. Mass)
279. Jason Kendall (James Quintong)
280. Jon Lester (Nate Ravitz)
281. Kerry Wood (Shawn Cwalinski)
282. Pat Neshek (Andrew Feldman)
283. Jeremy Guthrie (Brendan Roberts)
284. Mike Cameron (Tristan Cockcroft)
285. Bob Howry (Kevin Rounce)
286. Tony Pena (Matthew Berry)
287. Coco Crisp (Christopher Harris)
288. Jonathan Sanchez (Will Harris)

Picks I Liked: Cameron, Howry
Picks I Didn't: Kendall, Lester

My Pick: Crisp is someone else I'm apparently going to end up taking late in almost every draft I do. I think people are mistaking the situation in Boston for a benching. Crisp could still wind up starting in center, and I think the next-most-likely scenario is he gets traded to a team who uses him as a starter. I'm not so naive as to believe he's hitting 16 or driving in 69 again, but 25-plus steals will happen.

Round 25
289. Mark Prior (Will Harris)
290. Chase Headley (Christopher Harris)
291. Gregg Zaun (Matthew Berry)
292. Akinori Iwamura (Kevin Rounce)
293. Ian Kennedy (Tristan Cockcroft)
294. Ryan Doumit (Brendan Roberts)
295. Ryan Church (Andrew Feldman)
296. Mike Jacobs (Shawn Cwalinski)
297. Richie Sexson (Nate Ravitz)
298. Matt Garza (James Quintong)
299. Jesse Litsch (A.J. Mass)
300. Ryan Ludwick (Pete Becker)

Picks I Liked: Iwamura, Church, Sexson
Picks I Didn't: Ludwick. What the heck kind of Mr. Irrelevant is that?

My Pick: The more I look at the Padres' outfield, with Jim Edmonds hurting, the more I think Headley starts the season in left. That'll be a defensive disaster, but the kid is killing it at the plate this spring. He's a worthy late gamble.

Christopher Harris is a fantasy baseball, football and racing analyst for ESPN.com. He is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writing Association award winner across all three of those sports.

You can e-mail him here.