Mock draft: No Ranger taken until 4th round

ESPN.com is having an ongoing mock fantasy draft -- folks, it's never too early for mock drafts, is it? -- and I was intrigued to see that no Texas Rangers player was selected until the fourth round.

A disclaimer: It's a keeper league and the ESPN Fantasy staff calls it a "dynasty league draft." You want to mix established players with some young ones and you pick 40 players, but have to fill a standard 23-man fantasy lineup. Players can be drafted from the majors, minors, Japan and just about anywhere else.

Honestly, I'm surprised it took so long for a Ranger to be taken. It's a 10-team league, so that means no Ranger player was worth of top-30 selection. I would have thought Adrian Beltre could sneak his way into that group in the first three rounds. But he didn't make Eric Karabell's list of top-20 fantasy players (insider). Don't mistake that for Karabell not respecting Beltre's game, though. He wrote about some players he left out of the top-20, like Beltre, new Angel Josh Hamilton and Edwin Encarnacion:

I'm seeing Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, former Ranger and new Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton and Toronto Blue Jays first baseman (he's no longer eligible at third base, which would have mattered) Edwin Encarnacion as popular top-20 selections. I have little issue with these guys. Beltre remains a Ranger, so the batting average and power output seem safe. Hamilton concerns me more in his new home ballpark, but really, it's more about the durability there. And I like Encarnacion. That power is legit.

Karabell was also the first of his colleagues in the draft to take a Ranger, plucking Beltre 36th overall. And once he did, there was a run on Rangers. Check out the final five picks of that fourth round:

3B Beltre (36)

SS Elvis Andrus (37)

3B Manny Machado (38)

2B Ian Kinsler (39)

INF Jurickson Profar (40)

Yu Darvish wasn't taken until the eighth round. Again, consider me stunned. That's terrific value, if you ask me, and Nate Ravitz made the pick (last one of that round, too).

Anyway, it's fun to see how folks are picking this early in the game. Click here to check it out.