This early in the offseason, there aren’t many people drafting their fantasy baseball teams for 2017. However, the big money players over at the NFBC leagues start early. So, we have them to thank for giving us January average draft position (ADP) data. I thought it would be interesting to compare NFBC ADP data from January 5th of 2016 to data from today and see who fell the most and who rose the most in one year’s time.
I looked at the top 750 players from 2016’s ADP data and the top 100 from 2017’s ADP data to limit the scope of our search. As you will see, there were many guys who climbed hundreds of spots, which seems like an unusually high number of players to make such a big jump.
I’ve got two tables to discuss. The first one is sorted by change in ADP from 2016 to 2017, with negative numbers on top. Negative numbers mean the player’s ADP got lower in 2017 compared to 2016, that is, he got more valuable.
The second table is the reverse. It is sorted by change in ADP such that positive numbers are on top. This table shows the player’s that fell in ADP and lost the most value over the past year. I cut it off at 25 players, since you’ve already seen the rest of the list at this point and below that, players only fell 9 spots or fewer.
Here we go.
|Player||2016 ADP||2017 ADP||Change|
|Seung Hwan Oh||750||78||-672|
|Player||2016 ADP||2017 ADP||Change|
Let’s start with Table 1, I guess. Of course you always have closers that come out of nowhere every season, which is why you never pay much for saves: hello Edwin Diaz and Seung-Hwan Oh. But, most of the rest of the list of guys with huge jumps in value were part of a fantastic class of rookies/debuts for fantasy: Gary Sanchez, Trevor Story, Willson Contreras, David Dahl, Alex Bregman, and Trea Turner. Wow, that was a lot of talent and covered five positions.
The rest of the big gainers are veterans returning to former glory (Verlander, Darvish, Gattis, Lucroy, HanRam, Trumbo, Gattis), guys coming out of nowhere with huge breakout seasons (Kyle Hendricks, Daniel Murphy, Jean Segura, Jonathan Villar, and Jose Ramirez), and then guys like Wil Myers that just reached their potential for the first time.
Of all these big gainers which ones are most deserving of their elevated 2017 ADPs? I think Bregman, Sanchez, Story, Contreras, and Turner are all going to put up excellent numbers in their first full seasons (Story missed the last few months) and I am bullish on all of them. I’ve even written about my love for Story and Sanchez. Although I never spend much on closers, Diaz and Oh will probably be reliable (at least for closers) options once again.
As for those that might take a step back after their big 2016s, I worry about Verlander’s stuff returning to 2014/2015 levels, Hendricks seeing his BABIP against rise from ridiculousness, and Segura and Villar returning to earth with closer to normal batting averages and home runs. I think both will still rack up a good amount of steals, but their value will drop overall.
On to Table 2! I expected Greinke to be here after a disastrous season in Arizona. I think he was over-valued coming into 2016, but I didn’t expect him to be that bad in the desert. I hope he is properly valued now, since his lack of strikeout stuff and bad home park should keep him out of the top 30 starters once again in 2017. I was never an Eric Hosmer believer, so I’m continuing to avoid him in 2017.
I don’t have an explanation for Jose Abreu’s disappearance in 2016. He’s still somewhat of a mystery. I’ll have to dig a little deeper and write up a player profile on him, so look for that soon.
Injuries caused many of these big falls. Stanton, deGrom, Schwarber, Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Wade Davis, and Carrasco all missed a big chunk of time, to name a few. I would expect all of them to be properly valued going into 2017. They won’t likely miss as much time this year, but the additional risk should be factored in. Especially with guys like Pollock, Stanton, and Carrasco, since they have been injured multiple times now and seem particularly fragile.
The guys that just simply took a step back in performance are harder to figure out. Cutch just seemed slower and older out there. I would not expect him to suddenly return to 2015 form in 2017. I think he might be starting to decline just a little bit, especially in power and speed. Justin Upton started the year with a two-plus-month slump that took the rest of the season to recover from. He is a streaky hitter, but this was extreme. He’s still a very risky pick because he is the type of hitter that can go very cold for long stretches.
I’m less worried about Jake Arrieta, Buster Posey, David Price, Chris Archer, Chris Davis, Carlos Correa, and Craig Kimbrel. I think they have all proven through multiple seasons that they are great talents and that 2016 was more of a blip than anything significant. Yes, Kimbrel’s been in a slow decline for a few years, but the velocity is still there. Price’s xFIP was still excellent, even when his ERA was over 5. Archer still had an elite swinging strike rate (12.2%), and Correa’s hard hit % was actually 5% higher in 2016 than 2015, despite a significantly lower home run rate. These are all reasons I believe in rebound years for this group.
Well, those are all my initial thoughts about this data, but I’m sure you all can find more nuggets buried in these tables. If you see something interesting, go ahead and post it in the comments. It’s your chance for temporary, anonymous, low-scale Internet fame! Tschus!