Reader Mock Draft Analysis: Rounds 5-8 by Howard Bender February 7, 2012 Continuing our analysis of the RotoGraphs Reader Mock Draft, here’s a look at Rounds 5 through 8… Round 5 ballsdeep Hunter Pence PirateInTheBay Nelson Cruz San Jose Athletics of Oakland Buster Posey 32 Jon Lester The Fighting Hellfish Pablo Sandoval The Drew Henson’s Dan Haren Smada Alex Rodriguez Boo-urns Desmond Jennings Hebrew Hammer Eric Hosmer Kadjilliounaire Madison Bumgarner Lucky Strikes Dan Uggla Prone to Bone Shin-Soo Choo Best Pick: Pablo Sandoval, 3B (5.5) — With five third basemen already off the board, including upstart Brett Lawrie, Sandoval made for a great pick for The Fighting Hellfish. The position starts to thin out fairly soon and he doesn’t carry as much of an injury risk as Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis or Aramis Ramirez, the next three off the board. He also doesn’t have the batting average concerns like Mark Reynolds. Hellfish have built an outstanding offensive core thus far. Riskiest Pick: Madison Bumgarner, SP (5.10) — I’m never a fan of taking starting pitching too early, and am even more against it when you’ve already taken a front line starter with your second pick. I think offense has the greater importance. And even if you’re in favor of grabbing a second starter here, there are more names down the list that might prove better options than Bum, such as Ian Kennedy, Matt Cain or possibly even Yovani Gallardo. Round 6 Prone to Bone Stephen Strasburg Lucky Strikes Matt Moore Kadjilliounaire Asdrubal Cabrera Hebrew Hammer Kevin Youkilis Boo-urns Mike Morse Smada Craig Kimbrel The Drew Henson’s B.J. Upton The Fighting Hellfish Yovani Gallardo 32 Aramis Ramirez San Jose Athletics of Oakland Rickie Weeks PirateInTheBay Ben Zobrist ballsdeep Alex Gordon Best Pick: Ben Zobrist, 2B (6.11) — PirateInTheBay gains solid power in the middle infield with this pick. With six second basemen off the board and ballsdeep also in need of one, it was a sound move. The added eligibility in the outfield is also a nice bonus. A solid comeback last season coupled with a 20-HR performance again this year will erase any memories of a weak 2010. Riskiest Pick: Matt Moore, SP (6.2) — A usual ADP of 100 means this is almost a 40 pick increase. Perhaps it’s because Lucky Strikes covets him so much and knows how hyped this kid gets on this site, but that’s still a pretty strong overshoot for a kid who still needs to make a second pass through the AL East. Maybe I’d dislike this pick less if you guys told me it was a planned keeper league, but without that, I can think of a number of pitchers I’d rather own. Round 7 ballsdeep Adam Jones PirateInTheBay Corey Hart San Jose Athletics of Oakland Drew Stubbs 32 Shane Victorino The Fighting Hellfish Jimmy Rollins The Drew Henson’s Matt Wieters Smada Matt Cain Boo-urns Chase Utley Hebrew Hammer Josh Johnson Kadjilliounaire Jayson Werth Lucky Strikes Yu Darvish Prone to Bone Mat Latos Best Pick: Matt Cain, SP SF (7.7) — I was torn between Cain and the Adam Jones pick, but since Jones was right in line with his ADP and Cain is almost 20 picks lower than where he usually goes, the better bargain gets the nod. Maybe his drop was due to concern over last season’s elbow problems during the spring, but his 2011 season should have put those concerns to bed. His numbers have been pleasantly consistent over the last three years, he’s a workhorse/innings eater, and he’s in a contract year. The Giants are trying to re-negotiate a long term deal, but Cain would be silly to not play the free agent market with his talent level. Riskiest Pick: Josh Johnson, SP (7.9) — Just too many injury concerns for me, coupled with some solid pitching still left on the board. With solid power already, I would have preferred to see The Hammer add some speed or atleast a reliable starter with less risk involved. Round 8 Prone to Bone Ian Kennedy Lucky Strikes Joe Mauer Kadjilliounaire Michael Bourn Hebrew Hammer Lance Berkman Boo-urns Jason Heyward Smada Tommy Hanson The Drew Henson’s Nick Swisher The Fighting Hellfish Howie Kendrick 32 Michael Young San Jose Athletics of Oakland Gio Gonzalez PirateInTheBay Alex Avila ballsdeep James Shields Best Pick: Actually love a lot of picks in this round, but if I have to choose one…Ian Kennedy, SP (8.1) — After everything I’ve been saying, how could I not pick him? He went 15 picks lower than his ADP and is still a player on the rise. For all intents and purposes, this is Kennedy’s third full year coming and he’s improved his K/9, his K/BB ratio, boosted his ERA (and FIP), improved his GB/FB over the first two. He also continues to pitch in one of the weaker hitter divisions in baseball. Riskiest Pick: Lance Berkman, 1B/OF (8.4) — Sorry Hammer, that’s two in a row here. You just missed Michael Bourn and still passed on the likes of a Brett Gardner. Berkman is another high risk player and you have to be concerned with such a dramatic drop in power in the second half. Yes, he still hit .315 (.423 OBP) after the All Star break, but dropping to just seven home runs after knocking 24 in the first half is a bit disconcerting. Rounds 9 and beyond coming soon…..