First-round re-draft
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - "What ifs" and "If I onlys" are frustrations that every fantasy owner deals with.

It's bad enough watching the player you picked stink it up on a daily basis, and the pain is worsened by seeing the player you could have taken instead go bonkers.

Leagues that re-draft for the second half of the season, like the one in which my colleague Steve Schwarz participates, help get rid of all the sorrows by hitting reset.

Stuck with Jose Fernandez? Well, in a re-draft league you'll only have to wonder what could have been for another month.

However, not much attention is paid to drafts in June, so I'm going to help out by re-drafting the first 16 picks.

Disclaimer: to those in standard leagues, this exercise may only cause more "What ifs" and "If I onlys."

(Stats are through June 7)

1) Mike Trout, CF, Los Angeles Angels

Original pick: Trout is tied for the AL lead in strikeouts with George Springer, but an increase in Ks has come with a slight increase in power (on pace for a career-high 32 HR). He also had a recent bout with back inflammation. However, there's no way anyone can pass on Trout with the No. 1 pick.

2) Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies

Original pick: Miguel Cabrera

Shortstop is fantasy's worst position and Tulowitzki has been the No. 1 hitter in fantasy this season without even taking position into account. He's hitting .360 with 16 homers, 41 RBI, 50 runs and a 1.126 OPS. Tulo is batting an even .500 with 20 extra-base hits (10 HR) in 26 games at Coors Field.

3) Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, Detroit Tigers

Original pick: Paul Goldschmidt

Cabrera's numbers are down a bit because he batted .206 with one home run in the first three weeks of the season, but he has hit .366 with 15 doubles, 10 home runs, 44 RBI and a 1.057 OPS in his last 42 games.

4) Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Miami Marlins

Original pick: Andrew McCutchen

Stanton has launched more objects into orbit than NASA this season, hitting seven home runs of at least 444 feet and 17 altogether. The slugger has improved his plate coverage to combat opponents pitching around him and hit 10 of his home runs to center or right field. He pulled 17 of his 24 homers last year.

5) Jose Bautista, RF, Toronto Blue Jays

Original pick: Clayton Kershaw

Joey Bats dealt with injuries the past two seasons, but he also didn't quite produce first-round-worthy numbers when he was on the field. The power output was massive (55 HR in 210 games) but he hit under .260 with an OPS lower than .900 in both seasons. This season, Bautista is hitting .313 with 15 homers, 44 RBI, 48 runs and a .993 OPS. He leads the majors with 49 walks and has more walks than strikeouts.

6) Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays

Encarnacion had a Bondsian May, belting 16 home runs and driving in 33, and has 19 homers, 50 RBI and a .952 OPS in 63 games. This is his third straight year offering elite power and run production and he still has third-base eligibility because he started nine games there in 2013, so fantasy owners should feel confident taking him sixth overall.

Original pick: Carlos Gonzalez

7) Josh Donaldson, 3B, Oakland Athletics

Fantasy owners took a "show-me-again" stance with Donaldson in the preseason and the A's third baseman had an ADP in the sixth round. Not only has he proven that last year was no fluke, he's become one of the top hitters in the American League. The 28-year-old is hitting .276 with 17 homers, 50 RBI, 51 runs and a .911 OPS. If for some reason Encarnacion doesn't have 3B- eligibility in your league, take Donaldson instead.

Original pick: Chris Davis

8) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks

Original pick: Robinson Cano

Goldschmidt falls five spots from his original ADP, but only because there are five players who have outperformed him. His numbers -- .302, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 46 R -- are excellent, though some balls that were home runs last year have been doubles in 2014 and he's also walking far less often. As a result, his OPS is down 71 points from 2013.

9) Carlos Gomez, CF, Milwaukee Brewers

Original pick: Hanley Ramirez

Even though his average will likely drop from .308 as his .382 BABIP regresses, Gomez will still be one of the top players in fantasy because he contributes in four categories (12 HR, 35 RBI, 42 R, 11 SB). Gomez' 25.3 percent line-drive rate and 18.5 percent HR/FB are both career highs.

10) Yasiel Puig, RF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Original pick: Adam Jones

Puig just celebrated the one-year anniversary of his call-up to the big leagues, and he's already made major strides as a hitter. He's lowered his chase rate from 38.9 percent in 2013 to 27.3 percent this year and raised his contact rate on pitches in the strike zone from 79.3 percent to 85.6 percent. Puig is hitting .335 with 11 homers, 40 RBI, 33 runs, six steals and a 1.021 OPS.

11) Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Original pick: Ryan Braun

Like Goldschmidt, McCutchen hasn't been a bust by any stretch but falls anyway due mostly to the play of others. He's hitting .302 with seven homers, 28 RBI, 32 runs and seven steals.I have him behind Puig because he doesn't offer as much power and doesn't make up the difference with his stolen-base contribution. The struggles of Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez have affected the run-production and run-scoring of McCutchen as well, though the call-up of top prospect Gregory Polanco could change everything.

12) Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles

Original pick: Adrian Beltre

Here's one of the instances of baseball making no sense whatsoever: a guy gets suspended for buying performance-enhancing drugs and returns as a better hitter than he ever was before. Cruz leads baseball with 21 home runs and 55 RBI and he's added a .307 average to boot. Cruz hit .272 and averaged 27 home runs per season from 2009-13 with the Texas Rangers. He's also 33 years old and hasn't been the picture of health in his career, which keeps him behind the 23-year-old Puig and the 27-year-old McCutchen. However, he's still worth the 12th pick in a re-draft.

13) Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Original pick: Bryce Harper

The first pitcher off the board is still Kershaw, though he goes eight picks later than he did originally. Kershaw missed five weeks due to a back injury and has a 3.32 ERA, but if you take out his May 17 start in which he allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, he'd have a 1.94 ERA. Kershaw has a career-high 11.42 K/9, a career-low 1.45 BB/9, a career-high 56.8 percent ground-ball rate and a 1.92 FIP. He's still the best, and his ERA will soon reflect that.

14) Adam Wainwright, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Original pick: Jacoby Ellsbury

Wainwright has been remarkably consistent since 2009, winning at least 19 games, throwing at least 230 1/3 innings, posting an ERA south of 2.95 and striking out at least 212 batters in three different seasons. The only year he didn't do that in that span was 2012, the year after he had Tommy John surgery. With eight wins, a 2.31 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP and 89 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings, Wainwright is on his way again.

15) Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners

Original pick: Edwin Encarnacion

Hernandez continues to make slight improvements every season. This year, his BB/9 is a career-low 1.58 and he's given up just 0.30 HR/9. For the first time since he won 19 games in 2009, the Mariners are actually supporting him. Hernandez has eight wins, just four off from last season's total, to go with a 2.57 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 91 innings.

16) Masahiro Tanaka, SP, New York Yankees

Original pick: Joey Votto

Fantasy owners could go in a number of different directions for pick 16, but I like Tanaka here. The right-hander's dominant numbers -- 2.02 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 92 Ks -- are backed up by a 38.5 percent chase rate, tops in baseball. It also helps that the guy is seemingly allergic to losing and passes the eye test in every conceivable way.

Next four:

Yu Darvish, SP, Texas Rangers

Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox

Ryan Braun, RF, Milwaukee Brewers

Johnny Cueto, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Just missed:

Adam Jones, CF, Baltimore Orioles

Adrian Beltre, 3B, Texas Rangers

Robinson Cano, 2B, Seattle Mariners

Hanley Ramirez, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at

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