Food for Thought from the Fantasy Chef

2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: Catchers

An Early Look into ADP at the Catcher Position

Slide 1 of 4 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: Catchers | Slide - 1 FantasyAlarm.com

In the this installment of the ADP Report we will look into where some of the outfielders around the league are being drafted in recent high stakes fantasy baseball drafts in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Again, these are not rankings, rather a guideline to help prospective owners see where there targets are being taken off the draft board. For the most part we will be concentrating on talking about those who have risen and fallen heading into 2014 based on their performance from a season ago. 

As you all know, filling your outfield slots is one of the easier positions to fill, considering the amount of names in the player pool, but there are certainly some players that could really help you separate yourself from the pack this season. The best road to take when drafting outfielders is to have at least one player form the two two tiers, followed by a few value and sleepers picks to round out your roster. Although a few elite outfielders will be discussed in this article, the majority of the players below will fit into more of the second or third slot when building putting together your outfield. 

Andrew McCutchen, OF (PIT)--4.43 ADP--Outside of the top two players overall (Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera), McCutchen is the next best thing and is being drafted right where he should be. McCutchen is one of only two players to have reached the 20/20 club in each of the last three seasons, with Carlos Gonzalez being the only other player to do so. If you want to own him this season he is going to have to be your first round pick, but he is one of the safest picks available on the board, as we have seen in his recent ADP.

Ryan Braun, OF (MIL)--10.96 ADP--Braun is fresh off of a 65-game suspension after numerous violations of baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. This has deflated Braun's fantasy value slightly heading into 2014, with him slipping into the second round in some drafts. It will be interesting to see how the PED-less Braun performs at the plate, but I am willing to take him at his current ADP, considering he hit at least 25 home runs, 97 RBI and batting no less than .285 in six seasons prior to his 2013 suspension.

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF (NYY)--11.66 ADP--Although Ellsbury has only two seasons of reaching 150 games played over his seven year career, the Yankees decided to spend big bucks on acquiring his services this offseason. The move to the Bronx inflated his fantasy stock almost two rounds based on last year's ADP data, making him a borderline first-round pick this season. He has yet to come close to the production we saw in his career-year back in 2011 (32 HR/105 RBI/.321 BA/39 SB), but a season of 10-plus home runs and 40-plus steals is not out of the question. 

Yasiel Puig, OF (LAD)--22.09 ADP--After taking the league by storm last June, Puig has catapulted into the top top among fantasy outfielders according to recent ADP data. While he is clearly one of the most exciting young players in the game, there is still some things he needs to work on before I would be willing to take him with this high of a draft pick. For starters, he is overly aggressive at the plate, which could lead to very streaky production at times. He plays reckless in the outfield, which could lead to injury down the road. I am not saying I don't like him in 2014, just maybe our expectations may be a little high for someone who has only 104 major league games under their belt.

Justin Upton, OF (ATL)--39.88 ADP--After being one of the better players overall in the first half of 2013, Upton failed to put together a full season in his first year with the Braves. His overall production was solid 27 HR/70 RBI/.263 BA, but not worth the high price tag owners paid for his services (19.31 ADP in '13). Upton has now fallen almost two rounds in 2014, making him a very attractive option on draft day, considering the skill set we all know he possesses. 

Matt Kemp, OF (LAD)--46.51 ADP--The past two seasons have been injury-filled for this former first-round pick, and the early portion of 2014 doesn't appear to be promising either. Kemp underwent surgery on his left ankle and has yet to begin running on flat ground, meaning there is a good chance he starts the season on the disabled-list. When he is healthy he is a great option to have on your roster, but there is a lot risk involved in drafting him this season. Although now he comes at some what of a discount now that he has been slipping all the way to the eighth round in some recent high stakes drafts.

Starling Marte, OF (PIT)--54.99 ADP--Although Marte's 2013 production isn't eye-popping, the fact remains that players that can produce in every category, even if it is limited, will climb draft boards which is clearly what happened in his case. Marte's game is based off his ability to get on base and score runs and swipe bases, but he added some power as well which is always a plus. It is unlikely that he is going to ever be a .300 hitter, but if he can reach 40 steals and come close to recording 100 runs, he is well worth his current draft position. 

Continued...

ADP Source: National Fantasy Baseball Championship

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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.

Slide 2 of 4 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: Catchers | Slide - 2 FantasyAlarm.com

In the this installment of the ADP Report we will look into where some of the catchers around the are being drafted in recent high stakes fantasy baseball drafts in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Again, these are not rankings, rather a guideline to help prospective owners see where there targets are being taken off the draft board. For the most part we will be concentrating on talking about those who have risen and fallen heading into 2014 based on their performance from a season ago. 

The catcher position can sometimes be a tricking spot to fill, and there is usually a drop off after the top few at the position, but this time around there appears to be a lot of depth when evaluating current backstops around the league. Meaning you may not have to waste a top round pick to get quality production at a position not known for producing high quality fantasy players.  Now that we all know what we are trying to accomplish here, let's dig in and see who is we agree with the recent ADP data

Buster Posey, C/1B (SF)--40.87 ADP--Currently, Posey is the top catcher coming off the board in 2014 despite failing to put up similar production to his MVP season from two years ago. However, he was just shy of finishing with a .300 batting average while being ranked in the top 10 in most categories at his position. He is once again expected to back clean up for the Giants this season, which will give him plenty of opportunities to drive in runs, that is if the hitters ahead of him can get on base. If his ADP was based off of a 12-team standard league, he would be going off the board in the third round and that is a very fair draft position considering he is the most well-rounded catcher available. 

Joe Mauer, C (SF)--63.15 ADP--Although Mauer is listed as the Twins starting first baseman, he qualfies solely at the catcher position, but will gain first base eligibility in the early stages of the season. The permanent move to first base should only help out Mauer in the long run now that he will not have to deal with the everyday grind of being the team's signal caller. This will also help out his fantasy game as well, now that he will not be given an additional day off every week. Mauer played in only 113 games a season ago, but was productive when he was playing, finishing the year with 11 home runs and 47 RBI while supporting a .324 batting average. Expect his power production to increase in 2014 as long as he can stay healthy, which is always a big question mark when evaluating him. Knowing that he is not going to be behind the dish, a fifth-round selection in a 12-team league is well worth the upside.  

Wilin Rosario, C (COL)--67.61 ADP--Despite posting his second straight 20-plus home run season, Rosario has only moved up 10 points from 2013 to 2014 in ADP at this time of the year. Not only has he been able to hit for power, but was able finish well over the league's .253 batting average having yet to hit below the .270 BA mark. When you take into consideration that he gets to play at Coors Field half of his games, there is no reason to think that he won't reach the 20 home run plateau again in 2014, possibly making him even more appealing then the top two on the board, just at a cheaper price. 

Brian McCann, C (NYY)--79.48 ADP--After signing a very lucrative deal with the Yankees this offseason, McCann will now get to call one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in all of baseball (Yankee Stadium) his home, which could translate into one of most productive seasons to date. In eight years as the Braves starting catcher McCann hit 20 or more home runs in seven of those seasons, but has yet to finish a season with 100 RBI. This year may be that year for him, considering he is slated to hit in the five-hole for the Yankees. The only downside to McCann right now is his declining batting average, which has been at or below the league average over the last two seasons. Even if he can't rebound in batting average, his current ADP would make him a six-round pick in a 12-team league, which screams value if he can get accustomed to hitting in the American League, but I don't see it being a problem for him. 

Continued...

ADP Source: National Fantasy Baseball Championship

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Slide 3 of 4 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: Catchers | Slide - 3 FantasyAlarm.com

Billy Hamilton, OF (CIN)--72.25 ADP--Hamilton averaged one steal per game in his 13-game stint at the end of 2013, and has climbed all the way up to around the sixth round according to his current ADP. While he is a very exciting player when on the base paths, it is yet to be seen if he will be able to reach the record-setting production he set in his days in the minor leagues. There is a lot of risk involved in drafting him this year, but the reward could be worth it, especially if you are on the market for a one-trick pony who is a lock for 50-plus steals if he can stay healthy.

Jayson Werth, OF (WAS)--94.41 ADP--Although Werth has had his ups-and-downs over his three year stint with the Nationals, he was able to set a career-high in 2013 after finishing with a .318 batting average. Like most aging players, his speed has been on the decline for the last few seasons and provides little to no value in the steals department, which used to make up for his mediocre totals in other categories. To add to the declining speed, Werth has only one season in which he reached 150 games played since joining the Nationals, but his injury history appears to have already set his ADP back enough to make him a decent value around the seventh or eighth round.

Domonic Brown, OF (PHI)--111.66 ADP--Brown's 2013 production can be very deceiving, considering he hit 17 of his 27 home runs over two months of the season. This production has inflated his draft stock slightly, but at the age of only 26, prospective owners still have plenty to look forward to in 2014. While it is unlikely he hits 30-plus home runs, Brown will be hitting in the heart of the Phillies order and will have plenty of RBI opportunities as long as the top three hitters continue to get on base at a high clip.  

Leonys Martin, OF (TEX)--129.47 ADP--Martin's 2013 power production was nothing special, but his ability to get on base and steal bases is nothing to take lightly. He finished the year with 36 steals, converting 80 percent of his opportunities, which shows he is not only fast, but also efficient. The downside, he took only 28 walks through 457 at-bats, which is an area that he will need to work on. If he can increase that to 50-plus free passes, he should be a lock for 40-plus steals in 2014. Not to mention if he raises his fly ball rate, he could also have his first double-digit home run total, considering his home ballpark. With all things taken into account, his current ADP makes him a great value on draft day.

Austin Jackson, OF (DET)--151.26 ADP--Jackson failed to follow up his breakout 2012 season, coming up short of reaching the totals produced in all fantasy standard scoring categories. This has lowered his ADP significantly, and in 12-term leagues, dropping him almost five rounds based on last year's ADP data. He will now be entering the prime of his career in 2014, but it appears he may have already plateaued. Even if that is the case, the fact he is going off draft boards in the mid-rounds makes him an attractive player to chase as a third outfield option in most fantasy formats. 

Michael Bourn, OF (CLE)--187.29 ADP--Prior to his disappointing 2013 season, Bourn was a lock for 40-plus, even 50-plus stolen bases, but his first year in Cleveland was one his fantasy owners will want to forget. Playing in only 130 games, Bourn totaled only 23 steals, which was 19 less than the year prior, and 38 less than the year before that. He is a one-trick pony, and when that trick no longer works, then there is no use for him. This has dropped his fantasy value significantly and is now looked at as a value pick entering 2014. While he will likely not be on any of my rosters, he can should be able to get back on track in the steals department if he can get his on-base percentage back to even just his career average (.335 OBP).

George Springer, OF (HOU)--193.83 ADP--There is a lot of hype circulating around the Astros future start, but there has been no indication by the team that he will in fact make his major league debut in 2014. He is a five-tool player who hit 37 home runs with 108 RBI and 45 stolen bases while maintaining a batting average over .300 through two levels of the minor leagues a season ago and is now just waiting for the call. If the call comes, this will be an extreme value for his skill set, but again, there is no guarantee he gets promoted although it seems likely.

Be sure to check back in the upcoming days when I breakdown the outfielders with an ADP of 200 or higher in an effort to cover one of the deepest and most intriguing positions in fantasy baseball. 

To be continued...

ADP Source: National Fantasy Baseball Championship

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

Slide 4 of 4 2014 Fantasy Baseball ADP Report: Catchers | Slide - 4 FantasyAlarm.com

Jonathan Lucroy, C (MIL)--83.72 ADP--For the first time in his young career Lucroy was able to stay healthy for an entire season, and those who drafted him in 2013 reaped the reward. Lucroy ended with 18 home runs and 82 RBI while supporting a .280 batting average hitting in the middle of the Brewers lineup. In an effort to keep him healthy and his bat in the lineup, Lucroy was also used at first base, which may be done more this season considering the Brewers will likely roll with Juan Francisco as their Opening Day starter. He has shown the ability to hit for both power and batting average, but was able to put in all together for a full season's worth of production, so his ADP has climbed somewhat when compared to last year's data. Currently, Lucroy is going off the board outside of the top five at the catcher position, but if he can come close to duplicating his 2013 production, he has a good chance of finishing in the top five, making him a nice value on draft day.

Salvador Perez, C (KC)--85.46 ADP--Perez had many skeptics heading into the 2013 season, but he was able to silence them by showing his performance in the second half of 2012 was not a fluke. However, finishing the year with 13 home runs, 79 RBI and a .292 batting average only moved him up 15 points from a season ago. The one area that failed to follow him after last offseason was his ability to him home runs. He hit 11 home runs through 79 games in 2012, but hit only 13 through 138 games last year. Maybe he just isn't a home run hitter, or possibly some of his long fly balls just so happened to turn into home runs. Whatever the case, he is still a great catcher option considering he can hit for both power and batting average, which is hard to come by where he is currently being drafted.

Wilson Ramos, C (WAS)--137.30 ADP--After missing much of the first half of the season battling hamstring injuries, Ramos was able to finish the 2013 season on a high note making him move up the ADP charts heading into draft season. Injuries have been a major issue for him in the early stage of his career, having played only 103 games over the last two seasons, but he has produced very well when in full health. Although he has yet to reach 500 at-bats in a season, if you take his production over the last three seasons and factor in out over that many at-bats we would be looking at a 20-plus home run hitter with the ability to hit for average, which is hard to come by these days. Considering where he is currently being drafted, it would be hard to pass him up knowing his potential, especially if you waited on the catcher position. 

Jason Castro, C (HOU)--157.75 ADP--In his first full season as the Astros backstop, Castro was showed he can handle the workout of being a starting catcher at the big league level. He finished the 2013 season with 18 home runs and 56 RBI while also showing he can hit for average, supporting a .276 batting average. Although he is unlikely to repeat his 24.2 AB/HR from a season ago, his ability to find ways to get on-base at a high clip (.350 OBP in '13) makes him a solid fantasy investment on draft day. On the downside, he plays on arguably the worst team in all of baseball, so it is unlikely he sees as many good pitches in 2014 considering he doesn't have much help around him.

Yan Gomes, C (CLE)--205.99 ADP--The Indians will start the season with Gomes behind the plate after electing to make Carlos Santana their everyday designated hitter. While the move may be better for Santana owners, Gomes will now have an everyday job after showing some promise in a part-time role a season ago. Through 293 plate appearance, Gomes finished with a .293 batting average with 11 home runs and 38 RBI making the decision to get him more at-bats a top priority this season. Clearly we need to see how he handles the everyday grind of being a starting catcher, but if his backup duty production can carry over into 2014, he make for a solid late-round pick with solid upside at his current draft position.

ADP Source: National Fantasy Baseball Championship

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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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