A look at some of the early NFBC ADP data.
Javier Baez – 13th 3B
Those expecting a discount on Baez will be disappointed. It seems that he has carried over some of the hype from the playoffs and a decent 2016. I don’t think Baez will be a bad pick this year, but I wouldn’t be willing to pay this price tag on him. The upside on Baez is a top 10 3B so there may be some value to be had but the wiggle room is small. For a volatile guy like Baez, that’s not what I’m looking for, especially when we factor in that Baez doesn’t have a starting spot. The return of Kyle Schwarber and signing of Jon Jay could limit Baez’s opportunities. Not to mention that Baez will likely bat near the bottom of the order which will hurt his contextual stats. I’d much rather have Justin Turner 16 picks later and forfeit some upside for safety.
Francisco Lindor being drafted after Corey Seager, Jonathan Villar, & Xander Bogaerts
This isn’t a major gripe but I’d rather have Lindor over all three. Lindor will likely bat third behind OBP god Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis. That should mean plenty of RBI opportunities. He will also be batting ahead of newly signed Edwin Encarnacion and hopefully a healthy Michael Brantley which will mean lots of run opportunities. Lindor has been great in average (career .306) and is a smart runner (career 81.6% SB success rate). The only fantasy stat where Lindor lacks is power. He hit 15 last year with a 9.9% HR/FB so there may be a bit of upside. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the four (plus Trevor Story) but Lindor would be my top pick of the group. His situation couldn’t be much better.
A.J. Pollock – 6th OF
This is straight up insane. I totally understand the upside with Pollock. He’s a potential five-category stud playing in a great park, batting ahead of Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt. However, his injury history is a major concern. Pollock has logged a full season (600+ PA) exactly once in his MLB career and has logged 400 + PA only twice in the majors. None of the injuries have been of the nagging variety, but there isn’t enough safety to justify taking Pollock this high. Pollock over Springer, Cruz, and Stanton (who also has injury concerns) is crazy.
Josh Reddick – 67th OF
There will be a more in-depth post coming on Reddick but I think he’s the best draft bargain in all of NFBC. Reddick has his own injury issues, but the price you have to pay is so low that it’s worth the upside. Reddick has put up respectable numbers in one of the worst hitter’s parks in one of the worst lineups. He is now moving to a good park and into a good lineup. Reddick is gaining 15 points in left-handed HR park factor by moving to Houston. For someone who regularly paced to around 20 HR in Oakland, this is a very promising development. Reddick should be batting 6th or 7th in what figures to be a well-oiled machine top to bottom. The RBI and run opportunities should be plentiful. Reddick still runs too so 5-10 SB is just a bonus. I have Reddick as a top 35 OF and I am confident in that ranking.
Nomar Mazara – 47th OF
Addison Russell is going 126th overall. Nomar Mazara is going 202nd overall.
Here are their 2016 stats:
|2016 Age||HR||R||RBI||SB||AVG||Player Rater|
Positions matter but Mazara was only 20 spots behind Russell on the batter player rater and yet is being almost 80 spots later. Every bit of upside Russell has, Mazara has. The Rangers lineup isn’t as strong as the Cubs but it’s no slouch either. Mazara should bat 6th which should give him a shot at 85+ RBI. I have Mazara in almost every dynasty league I’m in and I’ll be attempting to grab him in every redraft if this is the price tag. He was an average fantasy contributor last year as a 21-year-old. Outside of SBs, he has upside across the board.
Byron Buxton – 36th OF
I like Byron Buxton a lot, but he’s being picked 70 spots ahead of Nomar Mazara. Byron Buxton has a .220 career MLB average in 469 PA. I’m not out on Buxton by any means but he’s going immediately before Marcell Ozuna, Carlos Gomez, Jay Bruce, Kole Calhoun and Dexter Fowler. One of these things is not like the other and it’s Buxton, sadly. This is just far too high of a price to pay for someone who has no concept of the strike zone as of now. I love upside but you need Buxton to hit his 80+ percentile projection to make it worth it.
David Price being drafted outside the top 10 (12th) and Jake Arrieta being drafted in top 10 (7th)
Another minor gripe, but I think these two should be reversed. We know that xFIP is a better predictor of future ERA than ERA itself. David Price had a 3.52 xFIP last year compared to his 3.99 ERA. He also had the highest BABIP of his career at .310 (.289 career). Price was unlucky in every way and it directly led to his high WHIP and ERA. I expect both to drop in 2017. Arrieta lost control last year (BB rate of 9.6%). His 3.1 ERA looks great when compared to 3.52 FIP and 3.68 xFIP. Arrieta still pitches in front of an incredible defense but he slipped in 2016 and at some point, his two-year run of very fortunate luck is going to run out. He’s still a really good pitcher (definitely top 15) but I don’t see another top 10 SP campaign in him. I’d much rather have his rotation mate Jon Lester.
Tanner Roark – 33rd SP
Not as bad as A.J. Pollock but Roark in the top 35 for SP is insane. He doesn’t have elite stuff (20.1% career K rate as SP) or elite control (8.6% career BB rate as SP). Roark isn’t an elite ground ball guy (career 46%) or an elite home run suppressor (career 9.2% HR/FB). The only thing Roark was good at in 2016 was being lucky. His 2.83 ERA is complete luck with a 3.79 FIP, 4.17 xFIP and 4.32 SIERA. Roark is being drafted as though his 2016 surface stats are his norm. Roark is going immediately ahead of Danny Salazar, Jameson Taillon, Dallas Keuchel, Michael Fulmer, and Kevin Gausman. Taillon is the only one in that group that I’d even consider taking behind Roark and that’s only because Taillon isn’t in the current rotation. Roark is going two spots behind Alex Reyes (#swoon) and one spot behind Matt Harvey. Roark belongs 20-30 spots lower and you’ll regret drafting him this high.
Full List: NFBC ADP