Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Digging Deeper

Alex Bregman

Alex Bregman

Here is the second installment in our fantasy baseball draft prep series focused on Average Draft Position (ADP). The excellent fantasy sports website, FantasyPros, provides a list of average ADP’s from CBS, Yahoo, ESPN, and the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) fantasy baseball drafts. This can help you evaluate how other fantasy baseball general managers assess the value of certain players.

It’s important to know that the average ADP listed in parentheses next to each player’s name fluctuates daily, so it may not match exactly what you see on the FantasyPros website. They have a team of writers capable of constant updates. I have a pair of terriers begging me to take them for a walk.

3B – Alex Bregman, Houston (86.5) – JetSetters General Manager David Kahn acquired Bregman as a free agent on July 24 last year and the 22-year-old third baseman made his Major League debut on July 25. He played in 49 games, hitting eight homers, driving in 34 runs and finishing with a .791 OPS. Bregman ended the season ranked 847th in the final player rankings due to his lack of playing time.

SP – Zack Greinke, Arizona (89.3) – The veteran pitcher was protected by The Bulls General Manager Carolyn Greene prior to the 2016 draft but he failed to live up to the investment. He suffered an oblique injury in late June and missed most of July. Greinke made just 26 starts and finished with a bloated 4.37 ERA and 1.273 WHIP. His final player ranking was 613.

OF – Jose Bautista, Toronto (90.0) – The power-hitting outfielder was protected in the 2016 draft by former Eephus Monkeys GM Jordan Mazur. He made two trips to the disabled list for knee and toe injuries and played in just 116 games, his fewest since 2012. That ended his run of six consecutive All-Star appearances. Bautista’s .817 OPS was his lowest since 2009 and he had a 103 strikeouts in 513 plate appearances. He ended the season ranked 217th.

OF – Adam Jones, Baltimore (91.3) – Jones was protected by High Cheese entering last year’s draft but he never was himself. His struggles weren’t due to injury, as he played in 152 games. Jones posted a .265 batting average, his lowest since 2007, and his .746 OPS was the lowest 2008. While he finished 217th in last year’s player rankings, Jones is just 31-years-old and is capable of a bounce-back season.

2B – Jason Kipnis, Cleveland (91.3) – Warning Track Power General Manager Mark Peterson protected Kipnis prior to the 2016 draft and the veteran second baseman rewarded him by finishing 61st in the final player rankings. Kipnis had a career-high 688 plate appearances, hitting 23 homers and driving in 82 RBI. He did lost command of the strike zone, whiffing a career-high 146 times, but who are we to quibble with his production?

OF – Matt Kemp, Atlanta (91.8) – A-Rod’s Mirrors General Manager Sean McKenna got exactly what he paid for when he drafted veteran outfielder Matt Kemp with the 97th pick last season. Kemp hit 35 homers, drove in 108 runs, and finished the season ranked 94th in the player rankings.

SP – Rick Porcello, Boston (92.5) – Veteran starting pitcher Rick Porcello was a bargain basement steal for Menehunes General Manager Elizabeth Gravely in 2016 and a big reason she won the championship. Drafted in the 19th round with the 303rd pick, Porcello was brilliant, pitching a career-high 223 innings with a career-low 3.15 ERA. He started 33 games and finished with 26 quality starts, also a career high. Porcello ended 2016 ranked 54th in the final player rankings and gave Gravely keeper value from a late-round pick.

RP – Roberto Osuna, Toronto (92.5) – Osuna is another casebook example of the value relief pitchers can add in the late rounds. High Cheese drafted the second-year reliever with the 248th pick and he finished the season ranked 49th. Osuna saved 36 of his 42 chances in 2016 while striking out 82 batters over 74 innings. His 2.68 ERA and 0.932 WHIP were slightly higher than his rookie season numbers in 2015, but they remain outstanding for Toronto’s 22-year-old closer.

OF – Khris Davis, Oakland (92.8) – Land Shark GM Meredith James landed one of the league’s biggest sluggers with the 181st pick last year. Davis broke out big time in 2016. He set career-highs in plate appearances, hits, home runs, RBI, and strikeouts. There were questions about how his power would play in the Oakland Coliseum. Davis answered with 42 homers and 102 RBI. He finished the season ranked 138th due to a prodigious number of strikeouts. He’ll be 29-years-old this season and entering his prime.

3B – Evan Longoria, Tampa (93.0) – Remember those questions about Longoria’s ability to stay healthy? In each of the past four seasons, the veteran third baseman has played in 160+ games. Los Coches Bomba drafted Longoria with last year’s 147th pick, despite past injury woes. He finished 2016 with a career-high 173 hits and 36 home runs. Longoria’s .840 OPS was his best since 2013 and he nearly cracked the Top 100, ranking 107th at season’s end.

RP – Edwin Diaz, Seattle (94.5) – The 22-year-old rookie emerged out of Seattle’s bullpen last season to claim the closer role. In 34 save situations, Diaz had a combined 31 saves/holds. He struck out 40.6 percent of the batters he faced and finished 2016 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 51.2 innings pitched.

SP – Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh (99.0) – Gerrit Cole was expected to hit his prime last year, leading Bacon at Mile 11 to protect him prior to the 2016 draft. After emerging as an All-Star in 2015, not much went right for Cole last year. He made just 21 starts with a career-low 116 innings pitched due to triceps and elbow injuries. Those can be ominous signs for pitchers. When he was on the mound, Cole posted a career-high 3.88 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Just 52 percent of his starts were quality. Cole finished the season a disappointing 681st in the player rankings.

1B – Eric Hosmer, Kansas City (100.3) – Hosmer played in 158 games last year, collecting 161 hits. He had career-highs in homers (25) and RBI (104), and finished with a .761 OPS. The Lower Haighters drafted Hosmer with the 94th pick hoping for a Top 100 finish. He was close enough, finishing 131st, though he didn’t quite return his value.

3B – Anthony Rendon, Washington (100.3) – Mirrors GM Sean McKenna found a value pick with Rendon. After an injury-plagued 2015 season, Rendon bounced back to play in a career-high 156 games in 2016. He was very productive, collecting a career-high 85 RBI and 20 home runs. Rendon’s .797 OPS was second only to his 2014 campaign. He ended the season ranked 91st, giving McKenna an additional two rounds of value.

SP – Aaron Sanchez, Toronto (110.5) – If Rendon was a value pick for McKenna, Sanchez was like finding a new Armani suit at the thrift store for five bucks. In his third major league season, Sanchez tossed a career-high 192 innings and blossomed into a frontline starter. He had 23 quality starts in 30 attempts while posting a 3.00 ERA and 1.167 WHIP. His 7.5 K/9 rate isn’t elite but he certainly has the look of a No. 2 starter, if not an ace. McKenna’s investment of a 353rd pick in Sanchez blossomed into a finish of 119th in the player rankings.

RP – Ken Giles, Houston (111.0) – Coming off a terrific 2015 season, Home Run 101 General Manager Bailey Penzotti protected Giles in the 2016 draft. The 25-year-old’s ERA ballooned to 4.11 as opponents belted a career-worst eight homers off the right-handed reliever. He did convert 33 of 38 save opportunities (15 saves, 18 holds) but had a penchant for giving up the long ball in his 31 low-leverage situations. Focus, Ken, focus. Those homers and runs saw Giles tumble to 143rd in the rankings by season’s end.

 

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