Drew Silva

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2012 MLB Mock Draft

Friday, February 24, 2012

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was freed of his 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension on Thursday evening after an independent arbitrator found fault with the way the testing process was carried out.

A urine sample collector (which may be the worst job title ever) took Braun’s specimen home with him rather than delivering it immediately to a FedEx Office for shipment to a lab in Montreal because it was late on a Saturday night and he figured that the store would be closed.

The collector stored the sample properly in his home refrigerator and eventually put it in the mail Monday morning, but the slight two-day delay provided a point of emphasis for Braun’s lawyers and they were able to win the heart and mind of arbitrator Shyam Das during an official appeal hearing last month in New York City.

Things change drastically when an MVP goes from inactive to active with the bang of a gavel, which is why we’re rushing to get you the latest of the latest mock draft results.

In the draft below, which I hosted late Thursday night on CouchManagers.com with a few amateur fantasy enthusiasts, you’ll find Braun selected where should be -- in the first round.

Picks were made based on a 12-team format with standard 5x5 rotisserie scoring. My selections are capitalized.



Check out our award-winning Online Draft Guide for more hardcore analysis. In it you'll find over 900 player profiles, constantly updated depth charts, projected lineups, positional tiering, custom cheat sheets and much, much more.


Round One

1.1 Miguel Cabrera
1.2 Albert Pujols
1.3 Ryan Braun
1.4 Troy Tulowitzki
1.5 Matt Kemp
1.6 Adrian Gonzalez
1.7 Jose Bautista
1.8 Robinson Cano
1.9 Prince Fielder
1.10 Jacoby Ellsbury
1.11 Evan Longoria

Observations: Cabrera has shot up draft boards with the news that he’s going to play a good amount of third base this year in Detroit. That kind of power at the hot corner is enough to make any fantasy owner salivate, though Kemp is still my preferred No. 1 overall pick with his ability to go for 40 homers and 40 steals. He has even predicted a 50-50 season for 2012. I took Votto because he was the best remaining source of power.

Round Two

2.14 Hanley Ramirez
2.15 Carlos Gonzalez
2.16 Dustin Pedroia
2.17 Curtis Granderson
2.18 Jose Reyes
2.19 Clayton Kershaw
2.20 Ian Kinsler
2.21 Justin Verlander
2.22 Mike Stanton
2.23 Roy Halladay
2.24 Adrian Beltre

Observations: Hanley has been a sure-fire first-round pick for so long that it’s shocking to see him fall into the second round. But it’s right where he belongs considering his relative lack of production in 2011 and his apparent discontent over the move to third base. I took Upton because I’m a fan of upside and believe he can contend for the National League’s Most Valuable Player this year. He’ll play half of his games in one of baseball’s most hitter-friendly parks.

Round Three

3.25 Josh Hamilton
3.26 Tim Lincecum
3.27 Cliff Lee
3.28 Jered Weaver
3.29 Mark Teixeira
3.30 Andrew McCutchen
3.31 Mike Napoli
3.32 Carlos Santana
3.33 David Wright
3.34 Hunter Pence
3.35 Felix Hernandez

Observations: Santana has made a meteoric rise in the fantasy world, and rightly so after he slugged 27 home runs in 155 games last year as a 25-year-old. The Dominican backstop should only get better as he moves further and further away from the nasty knee injury that he suffered in 2010. I picked Zimmerman, hoping that he’ll get back to the 30-homer power that he displayed in 2009. With free agency looming after the 2013 season, he has plenty of motivation to right the ship.

Round Four

4.38 Matt Holliday
4.39 Dan Uggla
4.40 Cole Hamels
4.41 Jay Bruce
4.42 Chase Utley
4.43 Brandon Phillips
4.44 Buster Posey
4.45 Carl Crawford
4.46 Michael Young
4.47 Nelson Cruz
4.48 Asdrubal Cabrera

Observations: Once a guaranteed first-round pick, Utley has fallen down draft boards in recent years. Which makes sense, given that he homered just 16 times in 2010 and 11 times in 2011. But he’s only 33 years old, and could prove to be a steal here in the fourth round if he’s able to stay off the disabled list and play a full schedule. I took Sabathia because I like to have at least one elite arm, and he’s right up there with baseball’s best fantasy starters.


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Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
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