Earlier in the week, we discussed the final Mock Draft Army ADP along with some thoughts you may want to consider once it comes time for you to settle in to your draft. We looked at some starting pitcher runs, catcher runs and, of course, where the closers all seem to be going. It should give you a general idea of things as you map out your potential strategy. Today, we’ll take a final run at some of the more specific player-ADP trends we are also witnessing as position battles are won and lost and injuries continue to pile up. It’s always good to keep tabs on which players are rising and falling as well as some of the new names which are popping up late. You never know who might land on your radar.
After thorough examination, the number of true risers over the last two weeks isn’t as abundant as one would expect. That’s not to say there aren’t any players of note, but the movement is a lot subtler than you’ll see with the fallers.
Yulieski Gurriel, 1B/3B HOU (ADP: 309.6; +5.4%) – There’s been a slow but steady climb for the 32-year old Cuban import as he appears to have a good hold on the starting first base job for the Astros. There are obvious concerns as to how well his power will translate as we’ve seen a few Cuban players not fully live up to their billing, but while no one is saying he’s going to bust like Yasiel Puig, they’re also not saying he’s the next Jose Abreu. The upward trend of his ADP shows that he’s on more people’s radar, but he’s still not someone people are reaching for either.
Greg Bird, 1B NYY (ADP: 262.2; +4.0%) – Bird was tabbed as the Yankees starting first baseman, so while there was concern with the presence of Chris Carter, those fears seem to be assuaged by the team’s decision to award him the job. His .432 average with seven doubles, one triple, six home runs and 11 RBI certainly help as well. While there is an upward trajectory here with his ADP, keep in mind that he is still being considered more as a mid-to-late round corner infielder than he is a primary first baseman.
Taijuan Walker, SP ARI (ADP: 298.7; +3.4%) – Walker’s spring had been downright nasty (in a good way) as he had thrown nine consecutive innings without allowing a run and held the opposition to just three hits. Things are starting to normalize a bit, though, and he now has a 3.57 ERA over 17.2 innings thanks to a four run over 4.2 inning performance just a few days ago. Still, the impressive 25:2 K:BB should be what excites you most about him and while he’s probably going to have an ERA no better than in the mid-3.00’s this season, a hefty strikeout rate will certainly be useful to fantasy owners.
Matt Wieters, C WAS (ADP: 233.2; +3.3%) – The .118 average with eight strikeouts over just 17 spring at-bats doesn’t seem to be deterring people from drafting Wieters during that mid-to-late round catcher run. He was late to join the team and needs to get his timing back inside the batter’s box, but he’s a veteran backstop who should find his groove sooner than later. Once the likes of Yasmani Grandal and Stephen Vogt are gone, you can feel comfortable with Wieters as your primary backstop.
Ian Desmond, 1B/OF COL (ADP: 60.3; -17.1%) – To be expected given the injury, right? The Rockies gave a four-to-six week recovery timetable, but I still think it’s closer to eight. Maybe that includes time on a rehab assignment to get his swing back. Either way, as you can see in the Max Drafted column, he is falling as far as 160th overall lately. While you might not be able to count on him for a full 20-20 season given the likely loss of the April, he is still capable of posting a 15-15 season as well. If he is slipping in your draft and you have a DL where you can stash him, then you might want to do a grab-and-stash.
David Price, SP BOS (ADP: 60.6; -12.2%) – With every negative report that comes out about Price’s elbow injury and recovery concerns, his ADP gets lower and lower. The Sox seem to think a mid-Mat return date is in play here, but while that may be true, the real question is, “How long does he hold up for when he gets back?” It’s definitely a fair question and enough of a red flag for me to let him be someone else’s headache.
Sonny Gray, SP OAK (ADP: 221.1; -11.6%) – Those hoping for a rebound from last year’s injuries are now quiet as can be with Gray still recovering from his latest back ailment. He just recently resumed a throwing program, but it’s probably a few more weeks until he’s ready to take the hill in a major league game. It’s a real tough call as the skill-set is obviously there, but the injuries are tough to look past right now. Maybe if he really falls into the bargain bin in your draft, he’s worth a flier, but it probably depends on how much pitching you already have in place.
Jason Kipnis, 2B CLE (ADP: 88.6; -7.0%) – With Kipnis now expected to be out until mid-to-late April with his shoulder injury, his draft stock is taking a major dip. The numbers looked decent from last year, but with single-digit home runs the two years prior, there is still cause for some trepidation. On a good note, second base is pretty rich with talent for fantasy owners this season, so you can afford to take him at a discount and hide him away while not losing too much in drafting another guy to man the position until then.
One thing to mention right off the bat – when it comes to these new faces, you need to pay close attention to the Minimum Drafted number as these are more representative of where these players are being drafted as of late. Calculated into their final ADP are all the drafts in which they were never taken, so that is obviously going to drag their overall number down.
Mark Reynolds, 1B COL (ADP: 405.0) – Well who did you think was going to play first base in Desmond’s absence, Jordan Patterson? Come on. We’re not going to write-off the youngster completely here, but a conversation with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post points towards Reynolds as the guy the team will use on Opening Day. Reynolds is a born masher and does well against left-handed pitching, so look for him to be the band-aid the team needs to open the season strong.
Antonio Senzatela, SP COL (ADP: 408.6) – Same conversation with Saunders had me looking at Senzatela for the fifth-starter’s spot and while that’s one solid endorsement, we cannot ignore the spring German Marquez is having right now or that Chris Rusin is in recovery from his oblique issue. Keep a watchful eye here. Not that a Rockies starter is someone you covet, but if he wins the job and you need a guy for streaming purposes, maybe check him out.
Bruce Rondon, RP DET (ADP: 408.8) – Nothing wrong with a late-round, reserve pick to grab the handcuff for Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod is getting a little long in the tooth and we all know the closer’s job in general is one that can become a revolving door. Rondon has some nasty stuff and has improved on his command in recent seasons.
Tyler Saladino, SS CHW (ADP: 408.8) – With Yoan Moncada sent to the minors (an expected situation), Saladino’s draft stock gets a little boost here. Not a big boost by any means; more like a nudge. He’s got some nice speed potential and there just might be a little pop in his bat, so if you’re looking for some late-round picks and need middle infield help, he just might be of service.
Brad Ziegler, RP MIA (ADP: 409.4) – For all the same reason as Rondon, people are looking at Ziegler in Miami. He doesn’t have flamethrower stuff or a nice strikeout rate, but he’s a solid ground-baller with closer experience.
Mock Draft Army Trend Report