2019 MLB ADP and Draft Trends: Two Week Review
Greg Jewett continues his ADP and draft trends series by reviewing the previous two weeks and the changes in average draft position at each position.
With the Super Bowl on the horizon, it’s almost time to shift focus to sunshine and spring training. This seems opportune in the midst of the polar vortex freezing most of the country. In an effort to identify trends within early average draft position data, this week’s data reflects only 15-team drafts within the NFBC. There’s some player movement and some values settling in. Each position will be highlighted briefly with the data points used from past articles for your perusal as well.
In most drafts, the first big decision will be who gets taken third overall. It almost feels like one of the worst places to draft. Francisco Lindor or José Ramírez garner most of the attention in this spot, but would someone take Max Scherzer third? As always, use the numbers as a guide when someone will likely be taken, every draft will be different. Let’s explore.
It appears signing with the Brewers enhances Yasmani Grandal ’s fantasy appeal representing the biggest gainer over the last two weeks. Not necessarily in ADP, but in positional ranks. He’s moved ahead of both Yadier Molina and Buster Posey as the sixth catcher now off the board along with gaining on Willson Contreras . By March, he will be a top-5 pick at his position, plan accordingly.
Behind him, the market’s starting to correct on Willians Astudillo. With playing time a potential issue and rumors he could start the year in Triple-A, he will need a big spring to break camp with the team unless they trade Jason Castro or Mitch Garver .
It’s not a major move, but Paul Goldschmidt ’s inching up in ADP. Perhaps it’s all the reports of first base being more shallow in talent or personal preferences in the drafters, but he could cost a top 15 selection by March depending on the format. A.J. Pollock signing with the Dodgers seems to impact Max Muncy ’s price, he’s dropping in average draft position. Muncy could play second base but with Chris Taylor on the roster and the team’s lineup fluidity, at-bats will be earned in Los Angeles.
There will be two sides to the Joey Votto debate for fantasy. His stock’s presently on the uptick and with owners looking to insulate batting average within rosters, a rebound season by Votto could be profitable. Not sure if it’s Seattle or concerns about how Edwin Encarnación will age, but he’s drifting towards being a great value. Especially if he’s hitting cleanup to open the season.
An intriguing shift at the top of the second base food chain with José Altuve moving ahead of Javier Báez in this sample. Perhaps it’s the safety in batting average, but take note. There’s a tax to pay for targeting stolen bases early in drafts, see Whit Merrifield . He signed a new contract with Kansas City and should continue to run wild, just know it’s going to take a top 30 pick to roster him.
Speaking of speed tax, Jonathan Villar ’ sees a major spike in his ADP in this chart. Dee Gordon still sits below most speedsters but his number could rise as well going forward due to the perceived lack of stolen bases. It’s not as treacherous as many analysts make it appear.
Moving to Coors Field, home of fly ball BABIP upside, continues to resonate in Daniel Murphy ’s gains in ADP. If viewing overall numbers, it will not seem this extreme, but he’s a top-75 pick in most big money drafts.
Toronto does not gain much financially or competitively by starting the season with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on the roster. This should factor into his draft price. If he accrues 400 at-bats, this price will be too steep. Personally taking the over, but he may not make his debut until May. Otherwise, third base seems to be one of the most stable positions within the three ADP samples.
Another player known for stealing bases on the rise? José Peraza ’s gained just over five spots but could continue to climb as draft season draws closer. What happens with the Rockies open competition will impact middle infields. Garrett Hampson’s listed as a shortstop but will battle Brendan Rodgers, Ryan McMahon and Pat Valaika for the starting second base job in Colorado. Hampson’s the fantasy darling with his blend of plate discipline and speed, but Rodgers could be a worthwhile darkhorse to target late in drafts. Stay tuned.
Where Ronald Acuna hits in the batting order continues to be a mystery, he’s climbing in average draft position moving ahead of both Christian Yelich and J.D. Martínez . For some reason, Mitch Haniger ’s dropping in ADP despite no injury news or reports of an injury. Big gains by both Mallex Smith and Yasiel Puig in the last two weeks. Smith for his speed and Puig for his upside capability in Cincinnati. With the prices being attached to Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario , targeting Justin Upton or Michael Conforto a round or two later makes so much more sense.
Like third base, starting pitcher also appears to represent a fairly stable subset of data. If one believes in veteran southpaws Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner , it’s a buyer’s market. Recent drafters seem bullish on Jack Flaherty despite his walk rates from last year and Jameson Taillon continues to rise. Personally, taking Taillon over Flaherty in this comparison. Given the trends in the FSTA drafts, pitching will be flying off the board faster than many will be comfortable with. Here’s the percentage of pitchers taken in the first 10 rounds:
First Round - three starting pitchers (21.4 percent)
Second Round - five starting pitchers (35.7 percent)
Third Round - seven starting pitchers (50 percent)
Fourth Round - three starting pitchers (21.4 percent)
Fifth Round - three starting pitchers, two relievers (35.7 percent)
Sixth Round - five starting pitchers (35.7 percent)
Seventh Round - one starting pitcher, three relievers (28.6 percent)
Eighth Round - five starting pitchers, five relievers (71.4 percent)
Ninth Round - three starting pitchers, one reliever (28.6 percent)
Tenth Round - four starting pitchers, three relievers (50 percent)
Overall - 140 picks, 39 starting pitchers, 14 relievers (37.9 percent)
With the supply of closers dwindling due to analytics and bullpen committees, prices on relievers continue to escalate. Roberto Osuna ’s gaining helium while Josh Hader declines without a clear path to saves. So much volatility in this market, but as the numbers from the FSTA draft reflect, paying for saves could be much more prevalent this season.
Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm for the latest updates and please purchase our living draft guide to remain ahead of the competition. Also, be on the lookout for Howard Bender’s Mock Draft Army which will fire up soon.