Alex Kantecki takes a look at some ADP (Average Draft Position) numbers, including those of Bryce Harper, Jered Weaver and Ian Desmond.
In the last (and first) edition of ADP Say What, I wrote that Paul Goldschmidt, Allen Craig and Anthony Rizzo were all being drafted too early according to their Mock Draft Central ADPs. And since I wrote that article almost two weeks ago, all three have climbed up the ADP ladder. Go figure.
Obviously MDC is just one website out of many that compiles ADP data, and it's been kindly pointed out by commenters -- and not just in my articles -- that MDC's data is the outlier in many individual cases, including for the three National League first basemen I highlighted in my first article. So instead of using MDC's data by itself, I'm going to use the ADP data from FantasyPros.com, which combines ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS and MDC, to get a better representation of the people.
When we do that, Goldschmidt is not even top 50. Craig is no longer better than Hanley Ramirez. And Rizzo is a cool 48 spots behind Holliday.
This week, there's no rhyme or reason for the players you're about to see. They are the first three that stuck out to me, and they're all in the top 75.
Bryce Harper (Average 26.9; Yahoo! 34.0; ESPN 32.9; CBS 26.9; MDC 14.0)
Well, this isn't surprising. Harper is quickly turning into the most interesting man in baseball, and his ADP is reflecting it. In the 2013 NL-Only LABR Draft that took place on Sunday night, Harper went for $35 -- which was the same price as Justin Upton and Carlos Gonzalez, and $1 more than Andrew McCutchen. I know, an auction is a completely different beast, but the point is the same: everyone is gaga for Harper, even the experts.
The only way Harper earns his current ADP is if he improves across the board from his rookie season. That means he needs to hit better than .270, score 100-plus runs, steal 20, knock in 75 and hit about 24 home runs. Meanwhile, Jason Heyward -- who hit 27 home runs and stole 21 with 93 runs and 82 RBI -- is going eight spots after Harper. I trust the 23-year old with 1,730 plate appearances over the 20-year old with fewer than 600. I'm not anti-Harper -- I even took him in a recent mock I detailed -- but I can't possibly see him returning value at his current ADP.
Jered Weaver (Average 43.3; Yahoo! 38.0; ESPN 34.5; CBS 47.7; MDC 56.0)
Once again, MDC is the odd man out in their ADP ranking, but for once, I agree with theirs more so than the other guys. Weaver is coming off his worst season since 2008 -- while he posted a 2.81 ERA, his component metrics point to an extremely lucky year (4.18 xFIP; 4.02 SIERA). Over the last three years, the 30-year old's K% has dropped from 25.8% to 19.2%, his SwStr% has dropped from 11.2% to 8.5%, and he's lost 3 MPH on his fastball.
Weaver, who missed three weeks early in the year with back pain and was scratched from his final start with fatigue, is currently being taken as the 10th pitcher - ninth if you throw out reliever Craig Kimbrel -- before starters Zack Greinke, Yu Darvish, Madison Bumgarner, Gio Gonzalez, Adam Wainwright, CC Sabathia and R.A. Dickey. The warning signs are all there, and I won't be drafting Weaver on any of my fantasy teams in 2013.
Ian Desmond (Average 67.2; 70.0 Yahoo!; 66.4 ESPN; 48.4 CBS; 84.0 MDC)
Desmond led all shortstops with 25 home runs in 2012 (a year after smacking just eight), but I have my concerns for 2013, as a I pointed out in a piece back in December:
I do believe Desmond overachieved in 2012, and I think his true potential is closer to a 15-homer, 20-stolen base player than as an annual 20/20 threat. His situation in 2012 reminded me a lot of Asdrubal Cabrera, who had a similar breakout with the Indians in 2011 after showing modest power throughout his professional career. That year, Cabrera's home run-to-fly ball rate jumped from three percent to 13.3-percent as he hit 25 home runs, the third most among shortstops. In 2012, Cabrera went on to hit 16 home runs, leaving fantasy owners who drafted him as the sixth shortstop wondering where all of the power went. Just as it was unlikely to expect another 25 homers from Cabrera in 2012, it's far from a sure thing Desmond hits 20 home runs in 2013. But, unlike Cabrera, you can at least count on 20-some steals.
Desmond is going before three shortstops that have been doing it longer -- Jimmy Rollins, Elvis Andrus and Cabrera -- and he's not a sure thing. There's batting average risk (he hit .253 in 2011) and his HR/FB ratio should stabilize (it increased from 6% in 2011 to 18.2% in 2012). I'd rather wait on taking a shortstop and draft someone currently being going after Desmond, like Freddie Freeman, Alex Gordon or Pablo Sandoval.
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