In this installment of the ADP Report we will be breaking down the outfield, which is one of, if not the deepest, positions heading into draft day. Although I will not cover ALL the outfielders I feel should be targeted this season, I will discuss players that have an ADP under 200 in the first of two portions of fantasy outfielders.
There has been some confusion of late as to whether or not these articles are rankings, so once again I will reiterate that these ARE NOT rankings. The players below are individuals who either gained or lost ADP value because of last season’s production, a change of uniforms or even a change in role with their current team. Remember, it is not wise to live and die by ADP data, but it should definitely be made a part of your preparation leading into draft day.
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Andrew McCutchen, OF (PIT)--4.41 ADP--When you win an MVP award your draft slot tends to go rise heading into the following season, and that is clearly the case for McCutchen. Outside of the obvious top two picks in 2014 (Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera), McCutchen has made his case to be picked directly after or within a few picks of the top two selections, and for good reason. McCutchen is one of only two players to hit at least 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in each of the last three seasons while producing quality fantasy numbers across the board. He is now hitting the prime of his career, so although this may like a steep price to pay for a player who won’t lead the league in any given category, his all around skill set makes him a great asset to build your team around.
Ryan Braun, OF (MIL)--10.95 ADP--The world came crashing down on Braun in 2013 after accepting a 65-game suspension for violations of baseball’s Basic Agreement and its Joint Drug Prevent and Treatment program which was season-ending. The biggest question heading into 2014 for Braun is whether or not he will still be able to produce quality fantasy statistics now that he is supposedly off the juice. Assuming he was not taking steroids from 2007-2012, there is still a good chance Braun finishes in the top 10 overall in fantasy based on his production in his first six years in the league. At his current ADP, it is definitely a risk worth taking knowing the upside he could bring either late in the first round or early in the second round.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF (NYY)--11.58 ADP--Despite only reaching 150 games played one time in seven seasons with the Red Sox, Ellsbury landed a monster deal with the Yankees, which has driven up his ADP significantly. Since blasting 32 home runs in 2011, Ellsbury has hit only 13 since, over 880 at-bats. While there is a good chance his MVP-type season has become an outlier, he still could be able to reach double-digit home runs while stealing upwards of 40 stolen bases as long as he can stay healthy. Taking the scarcity of other positions and the depth at outfield, his current ADP is just too inflated for my liking. Not to mention, the Yankees are not a team that likes to let their players run freely on the base paths due to the power in their lineup, so it is unlikely Ellsbury reaches 50 steals for the second season in a row.
Yasiel Puig, OF (LAD)--22.15 ADP--After taking the league by storm following a June call-up in 2013, those wanting his services this season will have to pay a hefty price on draft day. There have already been reports from Spring Training indicating that Puig has packed on 26 pounds this offseason, which won’t bout well for the type of player he has become. Puig is a free-swinger, and if you examine his batting average by count, there was a significant drop off if he was unable to get a hit on the first pitch (0-0 count: .551 BA, 0-1 count: .318 BA, 0-2 count: .098 BA). Pitchers are going to eventually figure out how to pitch to Puig, and when they do, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to keep his legend alive. I know I will not be willing to pay a second round pick to find out.
Justin Upton, OF (ATL)--39.84 ADP--In his first season with the Braves Upton started off hot (12 HR is April) but failed to keep that pace, hitting only 15 more long balls before season’s end. Although a 27-homer, 70-RBI season isn’t terrible, he just failed to take the next step in his progression, which many fantasy owners thought he would a season ago. This has dropped his ADP a few round since last year, and has actually made him somewhat of a value heading into draft day. Although it feels like he has been in the league for a long time, he is only 26. There is still room for him to improve and maybe this will be the year he turns into the MVP everyone expected a season ago.
Matt Kemp, OF (LAD)--47.48 ADP--After yet another season filled plagued with injuries, Kemp’s fantasy value has dropped significantly leading into the 2014 season. Kemp is still trying to get over his most recent injury, which is the ankle variety, and is expected to keep him sidelined for the Dodgers’ opening series in Australia. Looking at the outfield position as a whole, Kemp is the best example of a high risk-high reward player in 2014 knowing that he is capable of putting up monster numbers if he can just stay healthy. If news was to be released that he is progressing faster than expected, his draft stock would likely increase prior to draft day, but that does not appear to be the case with only a month before Opening Day.
Starling Marte, OF (PIT)--54.58 ADP--Although Marte’s fantasy value is predominantly on the base paths, he was able to post solid production elsewhere in 2013, which has inflated his fantasy value for the upcoming season. His 41 steals ranked him third in the National League in 2013, while sustaining a batting average of .280 through 510 at-bats. This was just his first full season with the Pirates, so there was some regression in the second half of the season (.54 BA in second half), but taking his minor leagues statistics into consideration he will likely not post a batting average under .275 in the big leagues. He is only 25-years-old, so there is still room for him to grow, just don’t expect too much in the power department, with the majority of his production coming from his ability to get on base (.343 OBP in ’13) and get into scoring position for the big boppers hitting behind him.
ADP Source: National Fantasy Baseball Championship
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