Fantasy Fox: Mock draft at No. 5 slot

On Friday afternoon, a few minutes after the official launch of the Fantasy Fox blog for Fox Sports South, I participated in a 12-team, 25-round mock draft, drawing the No. 5 slot.

Here’s a look at my selections and the rationale behind the crucial ones.

The only prerequisites for an early-March mock: Get value at every turn, and snag six offensive players in the first eight picks.

Round 1, Pick 5 overall — Best overall player

First option: OF Matt Kemp, Dodgers
Second option: OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Third option: 1B Joey Votto, Reds

Round 2, Pick 20 overall — Best overall player

First option: SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Second option: OF Josh Hamilton, Angels
Third option: 3B David Wright, Mets

Round 3, Pick 29 overall — Best player available; targeting middle infielder

First option: SS Starlin Castro, Cubs
Second option: 2B Ian Kinsler, Rangers
Third option: OF Matt Holliday, Cardinals

Round 4, Pick 44 overall — Best pitcher available

First option: SP Cole Hamels, Phillies
Second option: RP Craig Kimbrel, Braves
Third option: 2B Jason Kipnis, Indians

Round 5, Pick 53 overall — Best infielder (emphasizing power)

First option: 2B Jason Kipnis, Indians
Second option: 3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
Third option: 2B Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks

Round 6, Pick 68 overall — Best corner infielder or starting pitcher

First option: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Second option: SP Chris Sale, White Sox
Third option: OF Austin Jackson, Tigers

Round 7, Pick 77 overall — Best outfielder or pitcher

First option: OF Desmond Jennings, Rays
Second option: SP Matt Moore, Rays
Third option: SP Kris Medlen, Braves

Round 8, Pick 92 overall — Best power hitter or starting pitcher

First option: 1B Eric Hosmer, Royals
Second option: SP Aroldis Chapman, Reds
Third option: OF Shin-Soo Choo, Reds

Round 9, Pick 101 overall — Best starting pitcher

First option: SP Max Scherzer, Tigers
Second option: SP Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks
Third option: SP Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays

Round 10, Pick 116 overall — Best player available

First option: 1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
Second option: C/1B Mike Napoli, Red Sox
Third option: SP Tim Lincecum, Giants

Round 11, Pick 125 overall — Best pitcher or corner infielder

First option: SP Anibal Sanchez, Tigers
Second option: 1B Paul Konerko, White Sox
Third option: 1B Adam LaRoche, Nationals

Round 12, Pick 140 overall — Best third baseman available

First option: 3B David Freese, Cardinals
Second option: SS Alcides Escobar, Royals
Third option: 3B Mike Moustakas, Royals

Round 13, Pick 149 overall — Best player available

First option: 3B Mike Moustakas, Royals
Second option: SP C.J. Wilson, Angels
Third option: SP Homer Bailey, Reds

Round 14, Pick 164 overall — Best starting pitcher

First option: SP Homer Bailey, Reds
Second option: SP Mike Minor, Braves
Third option: SP Matt Garza, Cubs

Round 15, Pick 173 overall — Best corner infielder

First option: 1B/OF Chris Davis, Orioles
Second option: SP Matt Harrison, Rangers
Third option: OF Coco Crisp, Athletics

Round 16, Pick 188 overall — Best starting pitcher

First option: SP Ryan Vogelsong, Giants
Second option: SP A.J. Burnett, Pirates
Third option: SP Wade Miley, Diamondbacks

Round 17, Pick 197 overall — Best outfielder or catcher available

First option: OF Norichika Aoki, Brewers
Second option: C Salvador Perez, Royals
Third option: 1B/OF Nick Swisher, Indians

Round 18, Pick 212 overall — Best closer

First option: RP Glen Perkins, Twins
Second option: RP Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
Third option: RP Casey Janssen, Blue Jays

Round 19: SP Marco Estrada, Brewers
Round 20: SS Josh Rutledge, Rockies (should have 2B eligibility around April 20)
Round 21: RP Bruce Rondon, Tigers
Round 22: C Brian McCann, Braves
Round 23: RP Jose Veras, Astros (an educated shot in the dark he’ll be Houston’s closer)
Round 24: SS Jean Segura, Brewers
Round 25: OF Domonic Brown, Phillies


Quick Hitters

1. Extrapolating his 2012 stats over 150 games, Matt Kemp (74 games) plausibly could have notched 45 homers, 128 RBI, 127 runs and 17 steals. Check out his absurd numbers from last April: 12 homers, 25 RBI, 24 runs, two steals, .417 batting, .490 OBP and an otherworldly OPS of 1.383.

2. I usually don’t take a starting pitcher in the first two rounds, but today was a good one to roll with Clayton Kershaw (my No. 1 overall pitcher) and then proceed from there.

3. Speaking of which, I would be thrilled to have a seven-man rotation of Kershaw, Cole Hamels (Tier 1 starters), Max Scherzer (Tier 2), Homer Bailey, Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Vogelsong and Marco Estrada — the least-regarded pitcher of the bunch, but one with a reasonable upside for 10 wins and 165 strikeouts.

4. I didn’t land either pitcher, but Madison Bumgarner (63rd overall) and Chris Sale (72nd overall) collectively bring sublime value to Round 6. Both aces have the capacity for 17-plus wins and 200 strikeouts.

5. Love the 1-2 punch of David Freese (20 HRs, .293 batting last season) and Mike Moustakas at third base. Moustakas got off to a torrid start last April, rolling for three homers, 12 RBI, 10 runs and a .315 batting average. He also posted double-digit tallies in runs and RBI for all six months.

6. In 211 career games in the minors (2010-12), Colorado’s Josh Rutledge had a .320 batting average and .496 slugging rate — strong numbers that were slightly diluted by his prolonged slump from three years ago. Playing in the thin Colorado air, Rutledge could belt 15-17 homers this season.

7. From Aug. 26 to Sept. 28 last year, spanning 13 outings and 14 innings, Twins closer Glen Perkins posted these high-end numbers: 1.28 ERA, 0.43 WHIP, one win, nine saves and a 12/1 K-BB ratio.

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @FOX_JayClemons.