It’s December, so naturally all of our thoughts are on fantasy baseball and the new season that’s set to start in just five short months right? Or no? Just me? Cool.
Well for those of you who are desperately trying to get through the long winter months without baseball, we here at Pitcher List put together three staff mock drafts in October and three mock drafts full of fantasy baseball experts from all over the place in November.
Why did we do this? So we could create a solid sample size for an ADP, and today, we’ve got it all together.
First off, big thanks to smada plays fantasy for pulling this together and putting it up on his site.
After these were put together, I chatted with a few of the Pitcher List staff and here are our initial impressions.
As a note, these mocks were done assuming a 12-team standard head-to-head league. I also want to make a quick note for when you look at the ADP; there was a lack of clarity on whether Shohei Ohtani counted as both a SP and DH as he does in ESPN leagues, or whether he was two separate players as he is in Yahoo leagues, so keep that in mind.
Luke Voit (ADP: 176.5; high: 113, low: undrafted) — The range on Luke Voit was pretty nuts in this draft. His high pick of 113 was actually me in one of the staff leagues, and it happened because I needed a first baseman and like Voit’s potential. He had a .200 ISO and a .378 OBP last year with a 13.9% walk rate (12th-best in the MLB) alongside a 13.2% barrel rate (top 9% in the MLB). There’s definitely reasons to be worried about him, but it was pretty surprising that he ranged all the way from a 12th-rounder to entirely undrafted.
D.J. LeMahieu (ADP: 72.2; high: 23, low: 91) — Another guy (and another Yankee) who had a wide range of ADP, LeMahieu was generally being drafted around the late 70s range, except for two drafts—one where he went in the third round and another where he went in the 10th. I can understand the hesitation to an extent, the guy did kinda extremely exceed expectations with power out of nowhere and an excellent batting average. But a high pick of 23rd overall seems a little much to me.
Joey Votto (ADP: 249.7; high: 181, low: undrafted) — This comes courtesy of our own Scott Chu who mentioned the fact that Votto is being drafted inside the top 250, especially around guys like Joc Pederson, Yandy Diaz, Eric Hosmer, and Daniel Murphy. He’s got a point, as Votto has looked really bad for the past two years, slashing a pretty boring .261/.357/.411 with just 15 home runs last year. I love Votto as a player, but it seems like age has finally caught up to him.
Nolan Arenado (ADP: 11.2; high: 8, low: 17) — This may not seem surprising to some, but it was surprising to me. I was in the mock where I was able to snag Arenado at pick 17 and I was completely shocked. Over the past five straight seasons, Arenado has had at least 37 home runs and 100 RBI and he spends a lot of time in Coors Field. While he might not be as flashy and exciting as Juan Soto, who was one spot ahead of him in ADP, he’s safe and consistent, and I love that.
Miguel Andujar (ADP: 228.3; high: 168, low: undrafted) — This was personally pretty surprising to me. I’m not expecting Andujar to be drafted particularly high in most drafts given the fact that he missed essentially the entire 2019 season with a shoulder injury, but let’s not forget that he’s 24 years old and slashed .297/.328/.527 with 27 home runs in his rookie year with an unjuiced ball. Obviously there’s a risk with Andujar, but for him to go entirely undrafted in one mock? That’s kinda nuts to me. He’s absolutely worth the risk late in drafts.
Andrew McCutchen (ADP: 219.3; high: 199, low: 255) and Justin Upton (ADP: 246.8; high: 200, low: 273) — I’m grouping these two together because I think they’re being undervalued for the same reason—they’re old(er) and coming off injuries. Up until this season, Upton was a lock for a decent to good batting average and around 30ish home runs. He was boring, sure, but he was consistent, he was safe. Then he hurt his knee, ending an eight-year streak in which he played at least 145 games. He’s still 32, so he isn’t ancient, and if he’s able to bounce back from his knee injury, he could go back to being that consistent guy, and be a great value. Meanwhile, a lot of people (myself included) loved the idea of Cutch at the top of the Phillies lineup instead of the Pirates lineup. Then he too had a knee injury that broke a similar streak of nine-straight seasons in which he had played at least 146 games (and eight of those seasons he played over 150 games). He’s not the incredible player he used to be, but healthy he should still be good for a solid average, 20ish home runs and a handful of steals. If he’s healthy, similar to Upton, he should be a value.
Yordan Alvarez (ADP: 29.8; high: 17, low: 35) — Alvarez got drafted as high as the second round and as low as the fourth. Personally, I think he’s a second-round talent. I believe in him, and I don’t think he’s going to be in for some massive sophomore slump. His 87-game season paced out to around 47 home runs, a .300+ average, and about 134 RBI. He’s awesome, and I think getting him later than the second round is a solid value. But if you think he’s in for a slump, I understand the hesitation, he is still young, and there’s no doubt risk here.
Jose Abreu (ADP: 88.7; high: 70, low: 100) — Last year, Anthony Rizzo slashed .293/.405/.520 with 27 home runs, 89 runs, and 95 RBI. Last year, Jose Abreu slashed .284/.330/.503 with 33 home runs, 85 runs, and 123 RBI. What’s the difference? Rizzo’s ADP is at 51.3. Outside of OBP leagues, Rizzo and Abreu’s stats are nearly identical, but you can get Abreu 37 picks later, and given that, I think he’s a good value.
J.D. Davis (ADP: 194.8; high: 135, low: 226) and Gio Urshela (ADP: 289; high: 188, low: undrafted) — I’m putting these two together because they’re similar players in that they burst onto the scene last year putting up great offensive numbers and both have playing time concerns going into 2020. Now, those concerns are very warranted, but for these guys to essentially go undrafted in some leagues (and in Urshela’s case, literally go undrafted in three leagues) is a bit much. While regression is definitely possible for both of them, they’re not going to crater, and if they get playing time, getting them as late as the 22nd or 23rd round could prove to be excellent value.
Gerrit Cole (ADP: 9.2; high: 7, low: 12) — It’s kinda hard to say Cole is “undervalued” here as he’s still a top-10 pick by ADP, but as some of our staff pointed out to me, Cole has gone top-five in a number of other mocks that have happened this offseason and even as high as the number-one pick. So being able to get him as late as the 12th-overall pick is pretty good value it seems. It’ll be interesting to see where his ADP lands once we get closer to the season. For what it’s worth, in my view, I wouldn’t be drafting Cole as a top-five player. First round I can understand, but later first round in my opinion.
Brandon Woodruff (ADP: 101.5; high: 90, low: 114) — Woodruff is a popular sleeper among a lot of fantasy analysts, including our own Nick Pollack, who has Woodruff ranked as the 26th SP in his way-too-early top-100 rankings. For good reason too, as last year Woodruff posted a 3.62 ERA with a 3.01 FIP and 3.60 SIERA alongside a 29% strikeout rate. He’s got an excellent fastball and sinker that posted a .258 wOBA and .263 wOBA against, respectively. In our ADP, Woodruff is going as SP31, which represents a decent value, especially given he went as low as pick 114, which would put him around roughly SP34 or 35.
Manny Machado (ADP: 51; high: 34, low: 68) — I want to mention up front that this is not my personal opinion. I think a fifth- or sixth-round pick is about fair value for Machado given his disappointing season last year and the ceiling he’s shown in the past. However, some of our staff felt this was still too high for Machado. There’s no doubt that he hit below expectations last year, slashing .256/.334/.462 with 33 home runs and his lowest combined run/RBI total since 2014, and the lowest average he’s had in his entire career. If I had to hazard a guess, I’m betting he got swallowed up by the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park.
Jonathan Villar (ADP: 40.7; high: 27, low: 60) — Villar had a bit of a range to his drafting, all the way from the third round to around the sixth. There’s definitely plenty of fantasy value to be had from a guy who hits .274 with 24 home runs and 40 steals, but now that he’s been traded to the Miami Marlins, you have to wonder how much changing from one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball in Camden Yards to a pitcher-friendly park like Marlins Park will affect him. Obviously these mocks happened before this trade, but still, the regression question is a big one, and it also begs the question of just how much we might be overvaluing steals.
Aristides Aquino (ADP: 143.8; high: 111, low: 170) — Personally, I love Aristides Aquino, but I can understand why some of the staff here are wary of him. We saw just how amazing he can be last year and just how terrible he can be as well. It was easy to be caught up in his amazing August, but it’s also easy to forget he slashed .196/.236/.382 in September. So which Aquino will we get next year?
Victor Robles (ADP: 70.5; high: 56, low: 91) — This may be another case of overvaluing steals, because all things considered, Robles didn’t do much spectacular last year outside of 28 stolen bases. He slashed .255/.326/.419, which is fine but not amazing, alongside 17 home runs. He’s got a nice balance of power and speed, there’s no doubt about that, but a 5.7% walk rate is concerning, as is a pretty measly 23% Statcast hard-hit rate (bottom 4% of the MLB). Even scarier is his .233 xBA and .292 xwOBA. Will that regression come this year? It just might, and then he essentially turns into a steals and little else type player that you drafted in the first 10 rounds.
Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire