Solve for ADP pt. 2

A few weeks ago, I published a column that took generally reasonable, though arbitrary projections for various players and ran those numbers through baseballmonster’s player rate data for last year to get a feel for what those players would have to do to live up to their ADP. A more thorough explanation of the process is included in the original column.

That column got a good reaction, and some of you specifically asked me to do some more of these. So, here’s another mini-round of Solving for ADP, taking three more players whose ADPs jumped out at me as intriguing for one reason or another.

Giancarlo Stanton
ADP: 25

Okay, so what if I just wanted to type “Giancarlo Stanton?” Pretty big things are expected of this young man, and I wouldn’t claim the following hypothetical season to be among the most aggressive projections I’ve seen.

HR: 37
RBI: 103
SB: 4
AVG: .264

2010 Equivalent overall rank: 21

Many of us at THT are high on Stanton. I’m not the highest, but I am aboard the bandwagon. Still, when I saw an ADP of 25, I was quite curious as to how much profit and loss potential there would be at that price. Well, it appears that if you love Stanton, there’s still a legitimate chance at profit at the 25th overall pick.

If Stanton steps even further forward in the power department, or is the beneficiary of some modest BABIP luck, there’s top 15 potential to be tapped, top 12 if he can swipe double digit bases, which many young players are able to do just by virtue of being young.

Stanton certainly would be on my radar in the mid 20s. In fact, if you’re among those of us who generally stay away from the super elite starting pitchers, he might start popping up into your sights in the late teens.

Starlin Castro
ADP: 42

Castro strikes me as a medium fish in a small pond. Let’s see what the following season would net you.

HR: 10
RBI: 68
SB: 23
AVG: .300

2010 Equivalent overall rank: 47

There are two ways to interpret the data above. If you want to focus on the positional value aspect of Castro’s fourth-rounder candidacy, you can note that shortstop is a barren wasteland and getting the consensus fourth-best player at his position in the fourth round isn’t a bad deal.

The fact that a fairly standard season would return about 90 cents on your dollar while earning you a sound positional advantage over a number of teams in your league paints a picture of Castro as a somewhat safe investment around his ADP.

That doesn’t happen to be the camp to which I belong. I tend to think Castro is being overdrafted. I want production over “value” early in the draft. I’d rather invest highly in one of the Big Three shortstops, or wait for the last player in the Castro, Rollins, Cabrera, Andrus (and maybe Jeter) tier. Basically, Castro projects to be the first player from the second tier at his position to be drafted, and that’s a pick I try to avoid making. I just don’t see the potential to profit from this pick.

It should be mentioned that there’s a minority out there who believe Castro will have a bit of a power breakout this season. This would be the key to Castro turning a positive return on his ADP. If you think 16–18 homers is in the cards for Castro, then that changes his projected value, and maybe you should take the plunge. With 40 combined steals and homers, he would separate himself a bit further from the others in his tier and stand alone between the Tulos and and Hanleys and the Cabreras and Andruses.

On another note, while it wouldn’t come the same way, it’s possible that Dee Gordon nets similar overall value, by basically being Michael Bourn as a shortstop.

Alex Rodriguez
ADP: 58

Has the A-Rod backlash jumped the shark? It’s hard to project a season for A-Rod, given that he’s been unable to stay healthy the last several seasons. Still, the counting numbers tally prolifically when he’s on the field. How about something like this?

HR: 27
RBI: 80
SB: 6
AVG: .268

2010 Equivalent overall rank: 53

Perhaps the A-Rod hate has gone too far. There are two things about the Rodriguez equation that I like from a fantasy investment perspective. The first thing to like is that if he plays a full season, you get massive value from this pick. He’s no longer an MVP candidate, but as far as I can tell, Rodriguez probably is a good bet to produce similarly to Mark Teixeira in a full season’s worth of at-bats.

The other side of the equation is that A-Rod, if he were to miss time, is likely to miss consecutive chunks of games as opposed to suffering nagging injuries. That DNP profile is easier to manage, as weekly-lineup-settings leaguers have certainty, and all A-Rod owners can pick up a decent player off waivers and plug him into their lineups for a week or two at a time.

While A-Rod may or may not return his ADP value, he will outproduce his ADP in per-game production, which means that if you spend a late-round pick, or a dollar or two, on a contingency plan, you should probably be able to eke out a profit from your investment in the third base position if you select in A-Rod.

That is not to say Rodriguez is the only value to be had at the position. Aramis Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Kevin Youkilis are all being drafted after A-Rod and have their own appealing upsides, as well.

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  1. Nick Fleder said...

    “it’s possible that Dee Gordon nets similar overall value, by basically being Michael Bourn as a shortstop.”

    Love that comparison. Also interested in your bit about Stanton. I keep hearing that his ADP leaves “no room for upside.” You tell ‘em, Derek.

  2. JoeC said...

    The difference is that if he doesn’t walk, his OBP is always gonna be sub-par. Guys with sub-par OBPs tend to lose their leadoff jobs.

    Gordon becomes a lot less valuable, and a lot more Alcides Escobar-ish, if he loses his leadoff spot.

  3. Derek Ambrosino said...

    You are right, Joe.

    That was just a typo on my part.

    I guess, you’re right to point out that Gordon being a great asset is tied to his ability to keep the lead off job. But, if he’s able to – and I’m not sure Mattingly would care if Gordon can beat out enough grounders to hit around .300, then he could put up real nice numbers.

    Even if he doesn’t, just holding a full time job, even if he’s hitting 7th or something, Gordon could still be a SB monster. My point is that there’s a level of upside with him that there isn’t with a player like Castro, IMO.

  4. JoeC said...

    Good point. I don’t know if Mattingly is the type of manager to care about OBP either. He seems sort of “old school”. smile

    I’m not really down on Gordon. He obviously has tremendous speed. And I assume he will do what he must to get on base by hook or crook. I worry more about him being such a little guy and breaking over the long haul of a 162 ML season.

    Of course, in my first fantasy draft, I drafted Gordon, so it’s not like I’m *too* worried about that (although I did subsequently trade him for Fister and Alexei Ramirez).

  5. duder said...

    “it’s possible that Dee Gordon nets similar overall value, by basically being Michael Bourn as a shortstop.”

    How’s he gonna do that when he’ll only walk 10 times all year?  You. Can’t. Steal. First.

    That said, he could maybe be Juan Pierre at SS.  Could also be Everth Cabrera part two.

  6. Nick Fleder said...

    Yes, but you can beat out infield singles and bunts for hits. Like Gordon did. 21 times.

    Look, no one’s anointing him the next offensive savior, but the fact of the matter is that he’ll get on base enough to get his steals. Evereth Cabrera walked a lot—he also struck out 20+ percent of the time, which is unacceptable for a soft-hitting shortstop. Juan Pierre seems like a fair comp. But so too does Michael Bourn. Because, after all, in fantasy terms—what is the difference?

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