Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 ECB Mock Draft – Round 1

As the remnants of winter hang around early March like a Dementor, one can always count on the looming ECB draft to dispose of any gloom quicker than you can say “expecto patronum.” As usual, this blog will predict the first rounds of the draft with 100% accuracy, so that when Netscape Gold v. 1.0 inevitably crashes on you, you can rest assured that you didn’t miss anything.

david-priceDavid Price (P)
Round 6, Pick 1
New Haven Traffic Cones

Having almost an entire hitting lineup just from his list of keepers (and a decent one, at that), Jeff Stanley bucks his closer-heavy trend and picks up the best available young arm. It’s a virtual guarantee that there will still be closers around when Stanley next picks, but Price’s value and the T-Cones need is too high to pass him up with the first pick. - Jon Bielecki

Keepers: Carl Crawford (OF), Kevin Youkilis (1B), Brandon Phillips (2B), Derek Jeter (SS), Brian McCann (C)

jose-reyesJose Reyes (SS)
Round 6, Pick 2
Marshall Street Menace

Jose Reyes is destined to play on Marshall Street. One of the fastest players in the league? Check. Middle infielder? Check. Possible Yankee by the time keepers are due next year as the possible heir to Derek Jeter? Check. There were surely cheers of joy on Marshall Street when Rich finally freed Mr. Reyes. If healthy, Reyes is the best SS available. After Round 6, GM Watterson will have his MI slots completely solidified (with keepers Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano) and focus his attention on the rest of the roster... unfortunately Randy Johnson is no longer around. – Steve Adler

Keepers: Robinson Cano (2B), Dustin Pedroia (2B), Ichiro Suzuki (OF), CC Sabathia (P), Mariano Rivera (P)

buster-poseyBuster Posey (C, 1B)
Round 6, Pick 3
Colorado 470s

Another former Roosta comes off the board as Jeff Scanlan’s debut draft pick simultaneously breaks the hearts of ECB veterans and sets the stage for a much needed turnaround for his 470s. Posey is one of the best hitting young players in the game and when one is saddled with keepers like Jose Bautista and Nick Swisher, a hitter with long-term upside makes for a great decision. The deal is further sweetened by the fact that Posey is made unavailable to GM Rich Gallup, who elected to keep two of Scanlan’s beloved Rockies. – Jon Bielecki

Keepers: David Wright (3B), Josh Hamilton (OF), Jose Bautista (3B, OF), Adam Wainwright* (P), Nick Swisher (OF)

justin-uptonJustin Upton (OF)
Round 6, Pick 4
Mile High Mackerel

It was a busy offseason at high altitudes as GM Jon Bielecki jettisoned stalwart Hanley Ramirez to Chicago for local hero Troy Tulowitzki. In his quest to find the next Hanley, Mile High drafts Justin Upton and his unlimited (although largely untapped) potential. Upton can do it all, at least that's what the experts insist, with a great speed/power combination. Mile High will also be able to keep a close eye on Upton due to his residence in the NL West. Upton gives Mile High their first outfielder and is a nice complement to his returning lineup core of Teixeira, Tulo, and Ryan Zimmerman. The pick would also reunite Zimmerman his old AAU teammate to pal around in the clubhouse.

Keepers: Jon Lester (P), Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Mark Teixeira (1B), Ryan Zimmerman (3B), Tim Lincecum (P)

mike-stantonMike Stanton (OF)
Round 6, Pick 5
Chicago Tiger Army

If there’s anyone Steve Adler trusts about baseball more than himself, it’s Bill James, and Bill James loves him some Mike Stanton. The strapping young slugger has all the upside in the world, and along with new toy Hanley Ramirez, would give Tiger Army fans reason to flock to SoFla for the summer. Add Stanton to Votto, Howard, and Ramirez, and the Tiger Army could have as formidable a set of hitters as there is in the league for many seasons to come. – Jon Bielecki

Keepers: Matt Kemp (OF), Joey Votto (1B), Ryan Howard (1B), Hanley Ramirez (SS), Justin Verlander (P)

clayton-kershawClayton Kershaw (P)
Round 6, Pick 6
Speedway Starwipes

What can be said other than Frieds loves the kids? Kershaw will benefit from the tutelage of Speedway keeper Roy Halladay on the field, and hopefully NOT the tutelage of Miguel Cabrera off the field. Frieds has shown he loves high volume strikeout pitchers (who are also good in general). Kershaw fits the mould as well as being only 23 years old. GM Friedman can afford to wait a few rounds for offense as Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, and Chase Utley join Miguel Cabrera to bolster the Wipes offense. – Steve Adler

Keepers: Miguel Cabrera (1B), Evan Longoria (3B), Ryan Braun (OF), Chase Utley (2B), Roy Halladay (P)

jay-bruce Jay Bruce (OF)
Round 6, Pick 7
Woosta Pimp Roostas

What’s the best thing about being GM Rich Gallup? With the stable of keepers assembled over the years by the Pimp Roostas, the draft can be all about gambling. Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, and A-Rod alone give the Roostas potentially three of the top 10 scoring hitters in the league in 2011, add the pair of Rockies who can realistically have better seasons than their already impressive 2010 campaign, and Gallup has the luxury of being able to draft the 23 year-old slugger early on and hope for a breakout year. – Jon Bielecki

Keepers: Albert Pujols (1B), Carlos Gonzalez (OF), Adrian Gonzalez (1B), Alex Rodriguez (3B), Ubaldo Jimenez (P)

Adam Dunn (1B)
Round 6, Pick 8
Baltimore Devil Jays

This is the easiest and most obvious pick in the draft. It was forecasted last year and came to fruition, there is no doubt that it will happen again this year. Dunn has proven to be one of the rocks of Baltimore. Like Ray Lewis except in out fantasy league. Dunn will likely benefit from the warm Chicago summer air (if it ever comes) and help Prince Fielder, Joe Mauer, Matt Holliday, and Jason Heyward lead Baltimore back to the playoffs. That is, if they don't completely botch their next pick after choosing to pick at the back end of the draft for back to back picks. – Steve Adler

* – Wainwright (injury) will be replaced with a player to be determined.

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