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The Second Round

Aside from Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton switching spots, the average first round on Mock Draft Central remains unchanged from when we examined it on January 10th.  Let's take a look at who's currently being taken in the second round.

13.  Roy Halladay
14.  Mark Teixeira
15.  Carl Crawford
16.  Alex Rodriguez
17.  Chase Utley
18.  Ryan Howard
19.  Ryan Zimmerman
20.  Joe Mauer
21.  Matt Holliday
22.  Tim Lincecum
23.  Prince Fielder
24.  Matt Kemp

I actually like the idea of taking Doc this early; he has it all with no reason to expect a dropoff.  Taking Lincecum in this round scares me though; he had multiple off months in 2010 and a continued drop in velocity.

First basemen Teixeira, Howard, and Fielder land here after we saw Pujols, Cabrera, Votto, and Adrian Gonzalez go off the board in the first round.  Once the second round ends, the seven first basemen typically considered elite will be gone.  Kevin Youkilis can be had in the third round, and then there is an earnings dropoff to Adam Dunn in the fifth (unless you're predicting big-time U.S. Cellular numbers).  I don't consider Kendry Morales, Justin Morneau, and Paul Konerko to be great value picks in the following rounds, so if you miss out on the top eight first basemen it may be best to go bounceback bargain-hunting late for the likes of Derrek Lee, Carlos Pena, and Lance Berkman.

A-Rod and Utley are both healthy now, but both players are now second rounders we wonder if they'll get back to elite levels.  I'm comfortable drafting either player in the second round and I can still see Utley putting up the best season among second basemen if Robinson Cano comes back down to Earth just a bit.  There is something to be said for drafting Zimmerman over A-Rod given the former's youth.

I love Crawford at #15; he could be a top ten guy.  Ditto for Mauer, who is still easily the best catcher even after last year's power dropoff.  Holliday is a top five outfielder and I'd take him over a lot of the big first base bats.  Kemp, who was drafted eighth overall before the 2010 season, just needs a little more stolen base success and some batting average recovery to return nice value at #23.  Then again, you can get Jayson Werth in the fifth round if you're willing to sacrifice some steals as compared to Kemp.

The second round will have a huge impact on your draft.  Last year there were big misses with Mark Reynolds, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Ian Kinsler, while others struck gold with David Wright, Troy Tulowitzki, Crawford, and even Joey Votto if you were willing to take him earlier than the consensus.


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