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NFBC Average Draft Position Analysis - Part 2

Ray takes a look at the NFBC average draft position rankings for third base, shortstop, outfield and starting pitcher.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, I took a look at the current NFBC Average Draft Position rankings over at NESN.com. I offered my thoughts on the catcher, first base and second base positions. Today, I offer my thoughts on the third base, shortstop, outfield and starting pitcher ADP rankings.

Here is a link to the NFBC ADP rankings at NESN.com:

NFBC ADP rankings

Third Base

NFBC Third Base Rankings

  • Like the second base position, third base appears pretty deep this season. Blue Jay third baseman Josh Donaldson is the first third baseman off draft boards thus far, but Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado and Kris Bryant, aren't far behind, as all four are being drafted in the first round.
  • With four third baseman being taken in the first 9-10 picks in the NFBC drafts, there is bound to be at least one of them that disappoints. My guess will be Arenado, as his power breakout will be very hard for him to repeat.
  • Twins DH/outfielder Miguel Sano is eligible at third base in NFBC leagues, but he only played just nine games at third base last season, so he will not be eligible there in most leagues. That said, he is the sixth third baseman off draft boards in the early NFBC drafts.
  • Sano has the potential to hit 35+ home runs this season, and I would not be surprised to see him approach 40 bombs this season. ZiPS projects him to hit .249 with 26 home runs and 76 RBI in 2016. I think they are conservative in all three categories.
  • Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos is coming off draft boards as the 20th ranked third baseman right now. He has yet to reach his potential in the big leagues, as he was praised for his hit tool in the minors. I wonder if he has a Nolan Arenado-like breakout in the next year or so.

Shortstop

NFBC Shortstop Rankings

  • The shortstop position is dominated by three young shortstops heading into their first full season in major league baseball. Astros SS Carlos Correa, Dodgers SS Corey Seager and Indians SS Francisco Lindor rank 1, 3 and 4 in the current ADP rankings.
  • Correa is being drafted in the first round of NFBC drafts, and that shouldn't come as a surprise. He has the potential to put up a 30 home run, 30 stolen base season in 2016. Seeger and Lindor are both being drafted early in the fourth round.
  • Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts is the fifth shortstop off NFBC draft boards presently, and is being drafted in the fifth round of most drafts.
  • Several shortstop prospects who are expected to see time in the big leagues this season include Phillies SS J.P. Crawford, Brewers SS Orlando Arcia and White Sox SS Tim Anderson. All three should be up by at least June or July this season, although the Brewers may slow-play Arcia's call up until September.
  • All three SS prospects have an average draft position ranging from 33-37, but all three could rank in the top 10-12 at season's end.

Outfielders

  • The top two outfielders off draft boards are the top two hitters in the game, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Not a surprise after both won their respective league MVP awards last season.
  • Two other outfielders are being drafted at the end of the first round, Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton and Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen. Stanton may not be the obvious #3 ranked outfielder off draft boards, but the Marlins are moving in fences at Marlins Park this season, so a 40 home run season should be almost guaranteed if he can play 140-150 games in 2016.
  • My third ranked outfielder, Astros OF George Springer is currently the seventh outfielder off draft boards in NFBS drafts, but is being taken in mid-second round on average.
  • The fifth ranked outfielder according to NFBC is Diamondbacks OF A.J. Pollock. Pollock had a break out season in 2015, and is being drafted as early as #11 and as late as #20 in most drafts. Of all the outfielders, I think Pollock might be the one to disappoint a bit this season. I don't see him repeating his 20 home run season in 2016, but he should hit for a high average, score a bunch of runs and steal 30+ bases, assuming he can stay healthy all season.
  • Astros OF Carlos Gomez's sub-par season in 2015 has pushed his average draft position down to #18 among all outfielders, so he represents solid value if he can return to being a 20 home run, 20 stolen base hitter in 2016.
  • Brewers OF Ryan Braun isn't getting as much love from NFBC drafters as he deserves, as he is currently the 15th outfielder off draft boards and is being drafted late in the third round on average. Braun is coming off a 20+ home run, 20+ stolen base season in 2015, so, like Gomez, he represents plenty of value in the third round.

Starting Pitcher

  • Despite coming in third in the National League Cy Young award race last season, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is still the top starter off draft boards with an average draft position of 4.08. Like last season, I think a strong case can be made to draft Kershaw #1 overall.
  • Eight of the top ten, and 14 of the top 20,  pitchers off draft boards pitch in the National League. Making the top ten are Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, Mets ace Matt Harvey and Pirates ace Gerrit Cole. I don't think anyone can argue that they aren't deserving of a top 10 ranking.
  • Former top five starter Felix Hernandez has dropped down to the #17 position in the early NFBC ADP rankings, and could easily exceed his draft day value in 2016.
  • Mets starters are getting plenty of love, as the aforementioned Harvey is coming off draft boards as the 8th ranked starter, Jacob deGrom ranks at #11 and Noah Syndergaard ranks at #15 in early NFBC drafts.
  • When aces like Cole Hamels, Adam Wainwright, and Johnny Cueto are the 21st, 22nd and 24th starting pitchers off draft boards, you know pitching is very deep this season. If you don't draft Kershaw or Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the first round, I wouldn't hesitate waiting till the fifth or sixth round to grab Hamels, Wainwright or Cueto as my SP1.
  • White Sox SP Jose Quintana is currently the 50th starter being drafted in NFBC drafts, with an ADP in the 12th round of drafts, so there are 50 starting pitchers being drafted in the first 180 picks right now.