Reader Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 1-4 by Chris Cwik February 6, 2012 Last week, Eno Sarris put up a post asking our wonderful readers to participate in a mock draft. As usual, the readers came through. Since this is a website that makes a living doing analysis, it would only be fair if we looked at the reader mock draft and offered our opinions. Here’s a look at some of the early rounds of our reader mock draft. Round 1 Team Pick ballsdeep Miguel Cabrera PirateInTheBay Troy Tulowitzki San Jose Athletics of Oakland Jose Bautista 32 Albert Pujols The Fighting Hellfish Matt Kemp The Drew Henson`s Robinson Cano Smada Adrian Gonzalez Boo-urns Evan Longoria Hebrew Hammer Joey Votto Kadjilliounaire Jacoby Ellsbury Lucky Strikes Justin Upton Prone to Bone Prince Fielder Best Pick Hard to really argue with any of the picks in the first round, but I like Evan Longoria with the eighth pick. Longoria is coming off a down season in which he hit just .244/.355/.495, but his .239 BABIP is bound to rise. Even though many were disappointed by his season, he still managed to hit 31 home runs. Plus, he plays at a shallow fantasy position. There’s certainly risk involved with the pick, but Longoria has the best chance to outperform his draft slot in round one. Riskiest Pick Taking Adrian Gonzalez with the seventh pick should work out fine for Smada, but I’m not entirely sure he’s better than Joey Votto or Prince Fielder. All of those guys are probably in the same tier, and it’s tough for whichever owner has to make the first choice. I like Votto and Fielder more, but that’s just my opinion. Round 2 Team Pick Prone to Bone Hanley Ramirez Lucky Strikes Mike Stanton Kadjilliounaire Roy Halladay Hebrew Hammer Carlos Gonzalez Boo-urns Dustin Pedroia Smada Jose Reyes The Drew Henson’s Curtis Granderson The Fighting Hellfish Mark Teixeira 32 Clayton Kershaw San Jose Athletics of Oakland Justin Verlander PirateInTheBay Cliff Lee ballsdeep Felix Hernandez Best Pick I liked The Drew Henson’s pick of Curtis Granderson in round two. Granderson changed his approach against lefties this past season and saw some incredibly results. After struggling against lefties throughout his career, Granderson hit .272/.347/.597 against them. I’m cautiously optimistic about his power surge too. Riskiest Pick Shortstop is incredibly shallow, but I think Hanley Ramirez was the riskiest pick here. A shoulder injury really limited his effectiveness last season, and we’re not entirely sure how healthy he’ll be entering this season. At the same time, Ramirez has been an elite player in the past, and is probably the biggest ceiling of any player taken in this round. It’s a risk, but it will be a huge payoff if it works out. Round 3 Team Pick ballsdeep Adrian Beltre PirateInTheBay CC Sabathia San Jose Athletics of Oakland Tim Lincecum 32 Ian Kinsler The Fighting Hellfish Andrew McCutchen The Drew Henson`s Cole Hamels Smada Josh Hamilton Boo-urns Jay Bruce Hebrew Hammer Matt Holliday Kadjilliounaire Carlos Santana Lucky Strikes Starlin Castro Prone to Bone David Wright Best Pick Andrew McCutchen seems like a nice choice at this point in the draft, simply because you know he’ll produce. I like Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton, but all three of them have injury issues. McCutchen hasn’t had those problems over his career, and he still has some upside left in his development. I like it. Riskiest Pick Carlos Santana has loads of talent, but taking him in the third round was a risk. He has nice upside, but is he really that much better than Mike Napoli, a healthy Buster Posey and Brian McCann? While it was probably too early to grab a catcher, Santana will play first base when he doesn’t catch, and should rack up more plate appearances than any other catcher. Still, I probably would have waited on one of the other options. Round 4 Team Pick Prone to Bone Carl Crawford Lucky Strikes Brett Lawrie Kadjilliounaire Ryan Zimmerman Hebrew Hammer Jered Weaver Boo-urns David Price Smada Zack Greinke The Drew Henson’s Brian McCann The Fighting Hellfish Brandon Phillips 32 Elvis Andrus San Jose Athletics of Oakland Ryan Braun PirateInTheBay Paul Konerko ballsdeep Mike Napoli Best Pick Ryan Zimmerman seems like an easy bet to outperform his draft slot. Zimmerman was limited by an injury early this past season, which suppresses some of his numbers. He’s a good bet to get back to 20-30 home runs again and regain his status as a top option at third. Riskiest Pick Ryan Braun is an interesting selection considering his current status. If he somehow wins his appeal, and doesn’t have to serve a fifty game suspension, he’s the steal of the draft. If not, this pick will hurt. Paul Konerko also looks like a risky choice here. He’s been phenomenal the past couple of seasons, but he’s getting old. He’s definitely a regression candidate unless he can stave off Father Time again. Four rounds into the reader mock draft, I like Lucky Strikes’ and Boo-urns’ rosters the best. It’s only four rounds, of course, but both teams got off to a nice start. What do you guys think? Those of you that participated in the draft, care to defend your picks?