When ADP disagrees

Taking a trip over to Mock Draft Central and looking over their ADP report can yield some interesting topics for discussion. For today’s article I scanned furiously for players with relatively large differences in their highest and lowest draft positions, assuming these were players people are confused about.

Keeping in mind it only takes a lone nut to exaggerate the disparity between a player’s highest and lowest draft position, let’s begin our inspection of these players.

The culprits

Jason Bartlett | ADP: 101 | Earliest: 56 | Latest: 133 |

Ben Zobrist who? (Icon/SMI)

Bartlett’s breakout 2009 campaign has perhaps been overshadowed slightly by his sometimes-double play-partner Ben Zobrist‘s even more impressive season. Putting the spotlight on Bartlett though, he had a truly remarkable fantasy season, hitting .320 along with 14 home runs and 30 steals from the shortstop position! I didn’t even own him last year in any league and those numbers still make me excited!

As far as replicating the past season in 2010, it is unlikely Bartlett fully retains the jump in both batting average and home runs he experienced. A .300 average and high single digit homers are not stretches though, and if you miss out on the elite shortstops, there are much worse things you could do than pull the trigger on Bartlett in the eighth to 10th round. As you can tell from my wording, I am not thrilled with picking him here, but then again it is hard to get thrilled over any shortstop not named Hanley. There is no shame in taking Bartlett around his 101 ADP, but do not reach for him as some people have since those people most likely are not going to be properly reimbursed for their fifth-round investment.

Jason Bay | ADP: 26 | Earliest: 18 | Latest: 46 |

Over the past five years, Bay has been one of the most dependable hitters in baseball, both in terms of production and time on the field. He has played in at least 145 games in all five seasons, hit 30 home runs and stole 10 bases in four of the five, reached 100 runs and RBIs in four of the five, and has hit above .285 for three of the five. Dependability like that might not be the most appealing—fantasy owners tend to love the lure of the undefined ceiling compared to the well-defined one Bay drags along—but at least come the end of the season there is a good chance Bay will not be on the list reasons why you did not win a championship (if you do not).

Bay’s raw stat line does not justify a second-round selection, but his decent production coupled with his dependability make a third-round selection understandable and warrant a fourth-round one. While it may be more fun to draft that indefinite upside player, winning fantasy players will also be able to identify when the safe production from the proven veteran is worthy of being owned.

Michael Bourn | ADP: 68 | Earliest: 51 | Latest: 107 |

Bourn is a player I covered in this article and based off his current ADP of 68, you can see he is being drafted earlier than I would like in most drafts. Unless I feel my team is super-light on steals coming out of the early rounds, Bourn is getting picked a round or two earlier than I would prefer, though in some drafts he is falling as far as the ninth round. If I am in a draft and Bourn falls past the sixth, chances are I will pounce on the opportunity to secure my team’s elite standing in steals with him in the seventh.

Chone Figgins | ADP: 79 | Earliest: 46 | Latest: 115 |

Of the players I’ve highlighted so far, Figgins is the one I understand the most why he is on this list. First of all, he is far from your prototypical third baseman, generating most of his value from his feet rather his arms. Figgins is a great contact hitter and although another season of a .280s to .290s batting average is in store, can we expect another season of 40-plus steals? Even 30-plus?

Not promising are the several factors working against him. First off his age, 32, certainly makes him a good candidate for a regression in steals totals. Next his stolen base success rate has fallen each of the past three years—from 77 to 72 to 71 percent—meaning he is approaching that point where it is no longer valuable to his team for him to steal. And finally he is leaving the aggressive base running environment of the Angels and heading to the Mariners, who most likely will be more conservative with him on base. When all of these factors are put together, I start to get the feeling Figgins will be lucky to break 25 steals in 2010.

Overall, Figgins is not somebody I would to reach for in drafts and even around his current ADP I am extremely hesitant to draft what I think will be mostly an empty batting average.

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  1. Jay said...

    Completely disagree on Figgins.

    First, as a 3B he is more valuable, since 3B is a ridiculously thin position in Fantasy. OF is ridiculously deep, and for Bourn to go 11 places ahead if Figgins is a joke.

    Second, the Angels had a fantastic hitting team last year, and Seattle will actually feel more pressure to manufacture runs than did “Anaheim” last year.

    By ADP, David Wright is going almost 70 places higher than Figgins. THAT is the real joke here.

  2. Peter said...

    Figgins is overrated…  SEA doesn’t run and he won’t be leading off anymore, so less steal attempts.

    Bourn I like for 50 SB’s, just unsure about the BA and run potential

    Bay is Bay

    Bartlett was a little over his head last year, but has legit upside if he is leading off in TB.

  3. Dylan said...

    Does Seattle not steal or did they just not have th epersonal to make attemps? They have been middle of the road for the past couple of years, without anyone other then Ichiro who was really a threat.

    That being said, i think Figgins is the typical player who would have the most variences in their draft position, a player who prodives atypical stats for their listed position. If you load up on boppers at your typical speed positions, you might want to take him in the 4-5th rounds. If you are well rounded, you would wait on him. Now you would think that there has to be somebody who did load up on power early in every draft who would take him at that spot, but dealing with mock drafts some people will just go with overall value not worrying about stat compositions sinc ethey are not going to play with that team.

  4. Paul Singman said...

    Seattle is not abysmal at steals—as several of you have noted they are around average when it comes to team steals totals. However, they still steal less than the Angels and when I see an aging player with a slightly declining SB success rate, a red flag goes off in my head.

  5. Paul Singman said...

    Joe, maybe I’m forgetting someone on the Mariners roster but who would play 3b for them if Figgins moved over? I hope not Jack HannahMontanahan.

  6. Dan said...

    Figgins will be lucky to break 25 steals?  He’s never had less than 34 in six seasons as a starter, including 2 times when he missed 25%+ of the season. I’m not smart enough to do the math, but isn’t there a possibility that he’s SB% was lower last year because of the Angels propensity to steal. I think it’s possible the opponents paid more attention to the Angels running game than they typically did, thereby lowering the success rate of a guy like Figgins, who is known to be a runner.

    I see two scenarios in Seattle – one being Figgins is the leadoff hitter and getting the same number of SB opportunities, the 2nd has him as the 2nd hitter, with fewer SB opportunities, but more RBI chances, what with Ichiro hopefully stealing his way to 2nd in front of him. You may want to see how the Mariners lineup shapes up in Spring training.

    One final point, the middle of the Mariners lineup is still quite weak, I doubt they would have given Figgins the dollars they did if they didn’t realize they would need to create offense by running at the top of the order.

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