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.
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.