While normally I like to go through each of the mock drafts from the previous week and talk about different teams, picks and strategies, last week was the perfect storm of LABR drafts, family functions and nightmarish travel stories. Needless to say, some things just needed to be put on the back-burner for the time being. So instead of the usual, I wanted to go with something a little different and discuss the ADP of the Mock Draft Army.
Ever since I began the Army, I have been very vocal regarding my thoughts on ADP from around the web. In a nutshell, most ADP is difficult to trust due to the fact that we have seen so many mock drafts done where people drop out early, draft rooms fail to fill up and auto-picking runs rampant. The ADP is, more or less, just another form of the host site’s default player rankings. While I would never criticize another site’s rankings, the fact remains that ADP is supposed to be a representation of public and industry perception, not the rankings done by one or two guys.
More often than not, most people have turned to the ADP of the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC). The general consensus is that people who are doing both real and mock drafts under the guidelines of the NFBC are knowledgeable and dedicated enough to put in the time for a full mock draft and not just the first 8-to-10 rounds. Their ADP has become an industry standard. However, while their numbers bring about a strong and relatively accurate representation, there are still some flaws, as there are with any ADP list.
For one thing, there is no trading allowed in the NFBC. Because the leagues involve prize money, in an effort to prevent collusion, the only way to change your roster is through waivers. As a result, certainly players and positions tend to be valued differently. Starting pitching tends to go a little earlier, as do some of the elite closers. The difference isn’t huge, but it’s obviously something to consider when using their ADP as a source.
Now again, I’m not saying that the ADP of the Mock Draft Army is flawless. Not by any means. But when it comes to public perception in the world of 10-to-15-team leagues where trading is not just allowed but is actually a way of life for many, the ADP here is a strong representation of the way both the hardcore and the casual player think.
In order to help you see how fantasy baseball drafts evolve from January mocks to end-of-March real drafts, I have put together a little bit more than just an ADP list. When you look below, you will see the current ADP of each player, the highest he’s been taken and the furthest he has dropped. In some cases, if a player has been drafted in one league but not another, I have calculated an estimated ADP for him in the draft where he wasn’t taken which is why you’ll see some players with the same number under the “Lowest Taken” column. In addition to that, I have also included each player’s ADP from two weeks ago so that you can see some of the trends that are developing. Whether it’s injury or the sudden emergence of a platoon situation, players’ stocks are continuously rising and falling. The wonderfully color-coordinated “Trend” column will help guide you.
To get you started in your studies of the ADP trends, I will go through some of the top risers and fallers for the last two weeks as well as discuss a few players who were actually drafted this week for the first time by members of the Army. It’s always good to keep tabs on some of the names you see near the bottom of the list as they could be players on the rise you may not have considered a few weeks ago.
Francisco Rodriguez, RP MIL (+7.6%) – With K-Rod finally landing a contract with the Brewers, fantasy owners are now taking solace in the fact that there is another name to add to the ninth-inning fray. He may have lost a little off his strikeout rate last year and he did seem to wear down towards the end of the season, but he still managed a respectable 3.04 ERA and notched 44 saves for the Brew Crew. He’ll open the season as their closer once again which pushes Jonathan Broxton back to a set-up role.
Garrett Richards, SP LAA (+7.4%) – A few weeks ago, we were all concerned that Richards hadn’t even begun running on his surgically-repaired knee and now we’re looking at him possibly making his Cactus League debut next week. He’s currently throwing in simulated games right now and there is even talk that he may not even miss a turn in the rotation come the start of the season. I’m still figuring a mid-April return in my head, but that’s not too far off from the start of the season either, is it?
Corey Dickerson, OF COL (+7.0%) – Everyone loves them some Corey Dickerson. Coors Field splits be damned, everyone is elevating his expected value and he’s coming off the board in mocks as the 16th outfielder with an ADP of 45.0. Now I get that he isn’t being traded and he will spend half his games hitting in one of the tastiest parks around, but for me, there’s still a bit of skepticism. His .356 BABIP last year seems unsustainably high given his minor league numbers; not to mention his gaudy .255 ISO mark. Maybe if there wasn’t such a ginormous rise in his HR/FB from his first trip to the majors (yeah, a lack of legitimate track record too), such high swing rates both inside and outside the zone and an 11.6-percent swinging-strike rate, I’d be more on-board with how many are viewing him, but until I see more, I’ll let others draft him for me. If he becomes a trade target later on, then fine. I’m not going to dismiss him altogether, but for me, there are still some concerns.
Jose Reyes, SS TOR (+6.8%) – Obviously he doesn’t steal like he used to and the hopes of a 20-homer season were fleeting, at best. But most people tend to dog him for the injuries and that’s the primary reason he was falling out of favor. Now having played at least 143 games in two of his last three seasons, though, people seem to be okay with the risk that has often been attached to him. The drop-ofdf in talent at the position is more than just significant and if it means getting 10 home runs, 30-plus steals and 100 runs scored, people are going for him a little quicker than usual.
Wil Myers, OF SD (+6.5%) – This could just be a general consensus about all Padres, but many are looking at Myers through more favorable eyes these days. Justin Upton is holding his position as a top-35 overall pick and Matt Kemp is on the rise a bit, so why not Myers? How about those rumors that he could be hitting leadoff this year? That is certainly enough to help jump his stock. The possibility of extra at-bats is always tasty and with the sudden power hitting behind him, he could end up with some strong runs scored totals. I’m not knocking over small children and the elderly to get at him, but with a 156.6 ADP, he’s certainly going to be worth the pick.
Kenley Jansen, RP LAD (-20.3%) – The drop doesn’t get more obvious than this, does it? Foot surgery in late February puts him on the shelf for, pretty much, all of April and depending on how he responds to his rehab, he could be out longer. He’s now fallen to just outside the top-100 overall which could make him a bit of a bargain should he come back strong and regain the closer’s role immediately. Of course, is that really a chance you want to take on Draft Day? Not me!
Hunter Pence, OF SF (-19.8%) – A non-displaced fracture of the left ulna and a six-to-eight week recovery timetable has thrust Pence into an ADP downward spiral. It’s not just the time he’s going to miss while opening the year on the DL, it’s also the power loss we should probably expect as he tries to work himself back into his usual form. He still has an ADP of 63.3, but the injury was new with respect to the compilation of this data and he could be dropping further in upcoming mocks.
Michael Saunders, OF TOR (-9.5%) – You would think that surgery to remove 60-percent of your meniscus would drop him even further, but Saunders has been making fantastic strides in his recovery and many see him possibly returning by mid-April. He was a mid-to-late round pick who was on the rise, so perhaps he just falls back to where he should have normally been taken anyway.
Chris Sale, SP CHW (-8.8%) – Sale suffered an avulsion fracture in his foot and a sprained ankle at his home in late-February and while he’s falling here on the ADP chart, it’s really not by much. According to White Sox manager Robin Ventura, Sale is being targeted to start April 12 which means that he would only miss one turn in the rotation. Whether or not that is full accurate, people are buying it and Sale continues to come off the board like an unhindered ace. I always live on the more skeptical side, but based on his rehab reports and that the injury wasn’t to his elbow or shoulder, I’ll keep buying.
Adam Wainwright, SP STL (-8.0%) – Another injury with a modest drop-off in ADP totals here as Wainwright continues to recover from an abdominal strain. Similarly to Sale, though, he is not being treated like a man carrying a red flag and many believe, despite this slight drop-off, he will be just fine for the start of the regular season. Again, I tend to agree and have no hesitancy to taking Wainwright should all of my other favorite elites be taken.
Jose Iglesias, SS DET (373.4) -- Not sure why he’s being drafted at all as this guy has no stick whatsoever. Alongside his banged-up shins, Iglesias offers no power and minimal speed. He’s there for his glove and glove only, so outside of some super-deep AL-only league, he’s not going to offer you much in value.
Eric Young, OF ATL (373.8) – Keep an eye on his as he could start seeing his ADP climb a bit as he’s supposedly going to be the new starting center fielder while Melvin Upton, Jr. is sidelined. And even when he returns, Young could easily move into a time-share with Jonny Gomes and Zoilo Almonte.
Yangervis Solarte, 3B SD (374.4) – He’s got multi-position eligibility and Will Middlebrooks is certainly no lock to hold down the third base job. Even if Solarte ends up platooning, he could have some nice low-end value in NL-only play.
Matt Joyce, OF/DH LAA (375.5) – I’m actually a bit surprised to see Joyce not being drafted until this past week as he will rotate between left field and the DH spot while playing for the Angels. Maybe people are forgetting about him, but he could definitely be someone Mike Scioscia likes which could lead to increased opportunities.
Justin Smoak, 1B TOR (375.6) – I can hear you laughing from all the way over here, but let’s not dismiss the Smoak-monster just yet. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has named Edwin Encarnacion as his starting first baseman, but Smoak will still see some potential platoon work with Danny Valencia at the DH spot. He’s certainly not one you really want to target but if he gets off to a hot start again this year, he could be a decent add in early April.
As always, if you would like a more user-friendly Excel format of the Mock Draft Army ADP, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my very best to fulfill your requests in a timely fashion.
Good luck and I’ll see you all in the money this year!