Food for Thought from the Fantasy Chef

2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base

2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base

Slide 1 of 10 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base | Slide - 1 FantasyAlarm.com

With draft season less than two months away, it is now time to start digging into average draft position (ADP) statistics to see just where players are going at what point in drafts. All leagues are different so sometimes you have to take these numbers with a grain of salt, but ADP can give you an idea of how long you can wait for a given player or how early you have to jump on someone who is quickly moving up the draft board. I will not be talking about the likes of Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt or even Prince Fielder for that matter, but rather players who may be getting overdrafted or underdrafted according to recent ADP reports. This will be the first of many ADP reports coming your way over the next few weeks where I will be breaking down 10 players from each position and giving you my take on their current position. 

ADP Source: National Fantasy Baseball Championship

Chris Davis, 1B (BAL)--7.62 ADP

After slugging 37 home runs prior to the All-Star break a season ago, Davis followed up his breakout season with a sub-par second half featuring a .245 batting average while recording less than half of his power production from before the break. The biggest question heading into draft day will be whether or not prospective owners this he can repeat his historic season. According to recent ADP reports, fantasy owners are still in love with Davis despite the second half decline. Currently, Davis is going off the board as the third first baseman, behind only Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt, both of which are clear-cut first-round selections. His current ADP is way too early for my liking, especially when you take into consideration the depth at his position and the fact he has only produced at this level for one season.

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Early Second Round

 

Slide 2 of 10 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base | Slide - 2 FantasyAlarm.com

Freddie Freeman, 1B (ATL)--23.88 ADP

Freeman has made a significant jump up the draft boards this season after finishing his 2013 campaign with 23 home runs, 109 RBI and a .319 batting average. In result, if you want to have Freeman on your roster this season he is going to have to be drafted much earlier than a season ago. Last year at this time Freeman had an ADP of 71.23, making him a late fifth-round pick, but this time around a second round pick will likely be needed to acquire his services, and for good reason. Freeman finished in the top 10 in all power categories in the National League, outside of home runs, which should improve as long as his ground ball to fly ball ratio continues trending in the right direction.

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Early Second Round

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Eric Hosmer, 1B (KC)--51.29 ADP

There were a lot of questions that needed to be answered from Hosmer heading into 2013, all of which were answered by his production in the batter's box. Hosmer bounced back from a terrible 2012 season finishing with .302 batting average with 17 home runs, 79 RBI and 11 stolen bases. When comparing his 2013 ADP to his current position, Hosmer has improved significantly, moving from from the seventh-or-eighth round range all the way to the fourth-or-fifth round range. I have always been a believer in his ability and now that he is a full season removed from his sophomore slump, it is now time to jump on board, because it is only going to get better from here after posting almost identical production from his 2011 rookie campaign.

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Late Third Round

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Jose Abreu, 1B (CHW)--109.86 ADP

Despite having yet to play a game in the majors, Abreu continues to climb up draft boards following a solid playing career in Cuba. Every major league team is now in search for the next Yasiel Puig, and the White Sox feel they may have found that in Abreu. He is coming to the majors in the prime of his career, but it is going to take time for him to adjust to big league pitching (similar to Yoenis Cespedes) and that could really limit him upside for the 2014 season. Considering where he is currently being drafted, I have a hard time believing he deserves that slot without a major league at-bat under his belt. There are plenty of other first basemen to take around that area, all of which at least have a track record to back up their draft slot.

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Early 10th Round

Slide 5 of 10 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base | Slide - 5 FantasyAlarm.com

Anthony Rizzo, 1B (CHC)--111.81 ADP

Rizzo's first full season with the Cubs wasn't exactly what he was looking for, but was a good indication of just how to evaluate him in terms of his fantasy value. He was a free-swinger, striking out 127 times, but was able to post a 0.60 BB/PA which isn't bad for someone who struck out that many times in a season. On the bright side, he was able to finish with 23 home runs and 80 RBI in a lineup that offered him little to no protection in the middle. There are many people in the fantasy industry that are calling for Rizzo to have a breakout season, but he hasn't really received much love in terms of ADP. If you go by his current position, he would be someone to target in the ninth round, and that is a steal for someone that has his power. With that said, I expect him to climb up draft boards over the next few weeks, with the chance of climbing into the seven-round range at best. 

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Late Seventh Round

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Matt Adams, 1B (STL)--129.26 ADP

The Cardinals continue to produce quality players from their farm system, with the latest position player being Adams. The team likes him so much that they have found a permanent home for Allen Craig in their outfield, leaving first base all to Adams for 2014. Adams finished 2013 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI through 296 at-bats, mostly against right-handed pitching. This will be the first season in which he will be given everyday at-bats so it is yet to be seen if he will be able to handle the everyday grind at the major league level. From what he has shown us thus far, he is going to be just fine, as long as he can find a way to work on his splits against left-handed pitching now that he will not be platooned. 

Earliest I Will Draft Him: Late Ninth Round

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Mike Napoli, 1B (BOS)--141.31 ADP

In his first year with the Red Sox, Napoli finished with a respectable 23 home runs, 92 RBI and his first World Series Championship. However, his ADP has taken a significant hit now that he will no longer classify at the catcher position. The flexibility to be able to use Napoli behind the plate was great for fantasy owners, but since that has been stripped from him he has dropped almost four rounds according to current ADP reports. There were many questions about his health a season ago, and they were put to rest after he was able to play in 139 games. As discussed in the Abreu write-up, there are many values in the later rounds at first base and one them has to be Napoli. Where else could you draft a player after the 10th round that could potentially hit 30-plus home runs?

Where I Would Draft Him: Late Ninth Round

Slide 8 of 10 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base | Slide - 8 FantasyAlarm.com

Mark Teixeira, 1B (NYY)--190.60 ADP

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Now at the age of 33, Teixeira will have to prove he can still get the job done and prove to all his haters he can still contribute at a high level. Teixeira played in only 15 games a season ago due to injury, but is only two seasons removed from hitting 36 home runs. The biggest problem facing Teixeira's future is the shift. Everyone and their mother have started shifting when Teixeira is in the batter's box, due to his inability to hit to the opposite field. This has resulted in a significant drop in both his batting average and his ADP over the last few seasons. While I don't think he is a complete wash, as long as he can stay healthy he will hit at least 20 home runs playing his home games in Yankee Stadium. It is just the other counting statistics that I am worried about.

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Late 13th Round

Slide 9 of 10 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: First Base | Slide - 9 FantasyAlarm.com

Justin Morneau, 1B (COL)--206.86 ADP

For the first time since 2009, Morneau was able to reach the 500 at-bat mark in back-to-back seasons. For those who don't know, Morneau was on and off the disabled list for many seasons, which has really put a damper on what could have been a great career. Now that those days appear to be behind him, there is a chance he could resurrect his career playing in the Mile-High City. Morneau has been penciled in as the Rockies everyday first baseman, which could lead to the best production out of him since 2007. Remember, the Twins moved from a hitter-friendly ballpark to an pitcher's park in 2012, so was a factor in his decrease in power statistics on his final two seasons in Minnesota. Considering where he is currently being drafted, the risk is definitely worth the reward. 

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Early 13th Round

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Adam LaRoche, 1B (WAS)--269.36 ADP

Looking for value has to be a top priority for fantasy owners on draft day, and LaRoche fits that category at his current ADP. As of today, LaRoche is considered a 22nd round draft pick, according to the latest ADP reports, which could be a steal if he is able to stay healthy this season. He claims to be at 100 percent health with Spring Training only a few weeks away, so there is good chance his draft position could trend upward before draft day. In his two seasons with the Nationals, LaRoche has hit 53 home runs with 162 RBI which is a great value if he can reach the average of both categories in the 2014 season.

Earliest I Would Draft Him: Early 16th Round

Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you –Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.


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