KFFL's Fantasy Baseball Analysis Draft (BAD) and League is unlike most expert fantasy games. First, this isn't a mock draft. At end of the 2014 season, we'll crown a champion of this rotisserie baseball league. Second, our 15-team, 28-round fantasy baseball draft doesn't come with post-game summaries. It provides you with each participant's mindset at the time he selected.
1) OF Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
Steve Gardner, USA TODAY/Sports Weekly | Roster
Until last season, Braun was a virtual lock for a .300 average, 30 homers and 100 RBI. Then a thumb injury sapped his power and a PED suspension torpedoed his counting stats. But that's all behind him now. When he starts running again (25 SB?) one of this draft's big mysteries will be how he managed to last until the second round.
2) SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
Andrew Martinez, RotoWire | Roster
Someone still has faith in J-Up
After the wheel, I debated Jacoby Ellsbury, Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig and Adam Wainwright, but ultimately decided to go with Strasburg. I'm confident his injury woes from last season are behind him and he's finally ready to dominate for a full season. I have no problem selecting back-to-back aces to start my team.
3) 3B Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays
Howard Bender, FanGraphs | Roster
What's not to love about Longoria? Big power is what you want at the corners and he's had two 30-plus home run seasons in the last three years. Strikeouts jumped a bit last year which caused a big drop in average, but that isn't the norm and we'll see a positive regression here. Another 30- to 35-homer season coming this year at a deceivingly thin position. I say "deceivingly thin" because while there may be plenty of guys you'd be happy to settle for, the drop-off in talent after the first few third basemen is pretty significant.
4) SS Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
Jeff Paur, RTSports | Roster
This was an easy pick for me. I wasn't expecting Tulo to be here in this 15-team format. I expect him to get hurt and miss some time, but he'll be an elite fantasy shortstop when healthy and playing. I really like my one-two punch to open the draft, getting two guys I consider legit first-round talents at positions I was looking to target early in the draft.
5) 1B Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
Ryan Bloomfield, Baseball HQ | Roster
This was a tough choice as there were plenty of great options available here (namely Jacoby Ellsbury and Joey Votto). However, I couldn't pass on Encarnacion. He's averaged 39 HR, 92 R, 107 RBI, 10 SB and a .276 batting average the last two seasons -- great numbers in the 2nd round. BaseballHQ.com's Base Performance Value metric, which measures a player's overall underlying skill set, projects Encarnacion as the most skilled hitter in baseball for 2014. The one question mark is his September wrist surgery. It's been reported as a minor procedure with only two months recovery time, so I was willing to take the risk on a guy that can produce top-10 value.
6) OF Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees
Nicholas Minnix, KFFL | Roster
I anticipated a debate between David Wright and Jose Reyes here, but I didn't expect this gift. I noted in my Round 1 blurb that Ellsbury was about the only other player I considered at 1:10 besides Prince Fielder, so I didn't hesitate this time. He's obviously a health risk, but Ellsbury could be the top-rated player in the game at season's end -- 40 SB are in his sights regardless, and Yankee Stadium's short RF porch puts 20 HR in the crosshairs.
7) OF Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers
Mark Bloom, RotoExperts | Roster
Admittedly, I was very torn in Round 2. I wanted to pull the trigger on both Yasel Puig and Joey Votto, but it was hard to pass on Gomez and his five-tool arsenal. Now with Harper and Gomez I am hopefully getting 50 HR and 60 SB with my first two players.
Click for the rest of Round 2!
Love a pick? Hate a pick? Like the way a team is rounding out? Think a team should throw in the towel already? Share your feedback on the page of each round and on Facebook and Twitter (#BADfantasy)!
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