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Mock Draft #1: First Round Discussion
Cody Crosby,

After posting our first Mock Draft results of the year, we take a look at the first rounds picks selected in the draft.

The first round brings some obvious names but the order is uncertain. The later picks are what make a championship team.

FantasyJuice's Michael Ryan and Cody Crosby each drafted six teams and give you the reasons behind their first-round picks below.

We will post more round-by-round discussion in the near future. Feel free to comment on the picks below.

Mock Draft #1 Results

Pick Player
1 Albert Pujols
Comments Do I really need to explain why Albert Pujols was the first player taken? A case can definitely be made for Hanley at #1 because of his speed and position, but Pujols is the clear best player on the planet, fantasy or otherwise. - Michael
2 Hanley Ramirez
Comments A 30/30 candidate from one of the thinnest positions? Sign me up for Ramirez at the number two pick if Pujols is already taken. Ramirez led the National League in AVG in 2009 and continued to hold his OBP consistent with the previous two seasons. He's just in a class of his own at his position. - Cody
3 Alex Rodriguez
Comments A-Rod was able to put up A-Rod numbers after a difficult offseason, including admission to steroids and hip surgery that cost him the beginning of his season. The most telling stat was his 14 SB in 124 games, proving the injury is behind him. Utley was my other consideration at that pick but 2B is pretty deep and 3B is surprisingly shallow, meaning positional scarcity doesn't factor much into this decision. Utley is awesome but only Pujols and Ramirez possess the upside that A-Rod brings to the table. -Michael
4 Chase Utley
Comments Like Hanley, Utley is in a class of his own at a thin position. His AVG regressed a little but he also has the potential for a 30/20 season. With Utley available it is too soon to take a deeper position like outfield or third base. - Cody
5 Ryan Braun
Comments Ryan Braun is the top outfielder in baseball and continues to refine his game every year. Matt Kemp is a close second but Braun's 40 homer upside is what puts him over the top after the top 4 are off the board. - Michael
6 Matt Kemp
Comments With Prince tempting me I had to pull the trigger on Kemp. He has the tools to be the top fantasy player in the game as he is still young and improving. Last year saw him start the season at #7 in the Los Angeles Dodgers batting order but work his way and still manage a 97/26/101/34/.297 line. I couldn't pass up a 30/30 threat with RBI potential. - Cody
7 Prince Fielder
Comments The first round has gone pretty much by the book at this point and it now comes down to a decision between the other Big 4 first basemen or Evan Longoria for my pick. I went with big Prince, who is my #2 ranked 1B, because he brings monster power without much risk in the average department. Mark Teixeira is a safer pick and Longoria and Cabrera bring similar upside, but Fielder has already put up 50 and 46 homerun campaigns and is a .284 career hitter in the majors. - Michael
8 Mark Teixeira
Comments While I still think Ryan Howard is more valuable as a fantasy 1B, I drafted Teixeira here because I, personally, like to steer clear of category killers. Howard has hit for poor average in the past so I am not willing to take that chance with my first round pick in this draft. I'm also liking Tex's lineup better this season with the addition of Curtis Granderson in the outfield compared to Miguel Cabrera's lineup in Detroit. - Cody
9 Miguel Cabrera
Comments In hindsight I probably would have gone with Longoria over Cabrera with this pick. The two have similar power upside and Cabrera's average advantage is offset by Longoria's stolen base potential but the true tiebreaker comes down to how deep first base is versus how shallow third is for 2010. That being said, I am not one to complain about building my team around a guy that's a pretty safe bet for 35/110/.320, either. - Michael
10 Evan Longoria
Comments Almost 120 more at-bats in 2009 as compared to the previous season brought huge returns for Longoria. He's still only 24 but has 40+ power potential in 2010. I decided to avoid a 1B at this point since the position is so deep. - Cody
11 Ryan Howard
Comments This was my toughest pick of the first round; all of my favorite first rounders were off the board and I had no way of predicting who Team 12 would leave for me after the turn. I considered several players for this pick, including David Wright, Ian Kinsler, and Carl Crawford but went with the big guy to get a big jump in power. I have never drafted Howard before (in mocks or real drafts) but was curious to see how I would be able to build a team around him. I had a lot of options for my second pick, depending on how Team 12 picked. - Michael
12 Joe Mauer
Comments With the 12th pick I usually try to stock up early on thin positions. If you haven't noticed, that's my usual draft strategy but it is key with the last spot in the draft. It was a toss-up between Joe Mauer and Troy Tulowitzki at this point. Both players are coming off career years so you will be overpaying a bit, but you have huge returns over people waiting on later rounds to draft a catcher and shortstop. There will be plenty of time to get SPs, 1Bs, and 3Bs later on. - Cody

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