1) Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners
Team: Josh Shepardson, Baseball Prospectus | Roster
Starting pitchers sliding in an industry draft isn't unusual, and this draft has been no exception. I couldn't pass up getting an ace at the top of the fifth round. Hernandez is an innings horse that has surpassed 230 innings pitched with a sub-3.20 FIP each of the last four years.
Desmond still has the goods
2) Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals
Team: Mark Bloom, RotoExperts | Roster
I am not sure why Ian Desmond always slips under the radar as he is a 20-20 shortstop who has more confidence in his swing thanks to the faith that manager Davey Johnson has shown in him. I would have considered Felix Hernandez had he still been on the board but am actually happier it worked out this way.
3) Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Team: Ray Flowers, Baseball Guys/SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio | Roster
I could have gone the route of Michael Bourn here, but there seem to be players falling much later with similar skills (Juan Pierre, Ben Revere types). In the 5th I went with another across-the-board talent in Choo who should love hitting in Great American Ball Park.
4) Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City Royals
Team: Bill Macey, Baseball HQ | Roster
Butler is not a complete player - he's not going to steal any bases and he could be below average in runs. But I think he can get me 25 HR and a .300 batting average, which is what I need most at this point in the draft. He's also extremely reliable, which is very welcome given the risk I've already taken on in the previous rounds.
5) Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
Team: Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
I was hoping for Allen Craig with this pick but that didn't work out. He got taken a few picks after my last selection. I'm kind of regretting not taking Craig in Round 4 now since only one pitcher was taken after my selection of Lee. Oh well. I went with the next best first baseman as the elite guys were getting thin. I think Freeman is going to have a breakout year this year. He has been trending up and now has a lot of talent around him in the Braves' lineup. I think he could get 30 home runs and 100-plus RBIs.
6) Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
Team: Michael Stein, The Hardball Times | Roster
After Paul Goldschmidt, Billy Butler and Freddie Freeman were off the board, I needed to make sure I got a first baseman with some power. Teixeira has struggled the past few years, especially in terms of his batting average. He may not approach the .290 range he used to reach, but I would settle for .260 with his standard 30 home runs and 100 RBI. [Ed. note: This draft took place in early February. Mike would not have picked Teixeira here if he were drafting today. Read on for how he adapted.]
Two backstops also dropped off the board....
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