Baseball is back! You've heard that phrase a number of times over the past couple of days, I'm sure. Well, draft prep never stopped.
Player value has changed since the 2020 season's delay back on March 12th. The MLB will now resume play in late July and is slated to put out a 60-game season for each team. This adds a ton of value for those with innings limits. We are also getting a universal DH, which boosts offense in the National League as a whole. Lastly, time has continued to pass. Players with injuries are now healthy again.
What does this all mean for fantasy baseball? Let's start by taking a look at the biggest fallers in average draft position since the start of the delay. This is the ADP of NFBC. I compiled the ADP up to March 12th then compared it to the ADP since March 12th. Here are some standouts.
ADP difference: (-6.45)
ADP difference: (-6.52)
These names can be attributed to injury. The interesting part about it is they’ve all fallen in ADP. Justin Verlander and Giancarlo Stanton should be at 100% once the season begins and could be draft day steals. I’d wager they will see an uptick in ADP during the next month.
ADP difference: (-6.97)
Yordan Alvarez, despite being a spry 22-year-old, already has major knee issues. This is likely to limit him to strictly DH duties but it could be even more damning. If we hear about Alvarez’s knees in mid July, I’d fade him big time in drafts.
ADP difference: (-26.41)
Carlos Carrasco battled and beat leukemia last season. I think I speak for everyone when I say this is much bigger than baseball. Will he opt out of the 2020 season over health concerns? No one would blame him. This part of being a fantasy analyst sucks, but there is a real possibility we won’t see Carrasco on the field this season. Draft accordingly.
ADP difference: (-10.15)
Blake Snell has similar concerns when it comes to potentially opting out of playing in 2020, but it goes beyond that. Snell received a cortisone shot in his throwing elbow during Spring Training. The injury concern downgrades him in drafts especially since we have less weeks to work with should he need an IL stint.
ADP difference: (-16.9)
Does anyone really know anything about when or if he will be healthy? The Yankees didn't know of an injury he suffered in October of last year until February of this year. Then it was setback after setback, then there was manager and GM talk of him being fine. I think fantasy managers have just given up on Judge for 2020. He's a perennial MVP candidate when at 100% health, but his dip in ADP shows how the industry feels about the risk.
ADP difference: (-15.5)
ADP difference: (-13.28)
ADP difference: (-23.03)
Ahh, prospect fatigue. People love their prospects, until they debut. After the debut, the shine wears off. As is the case for the three names above me. All of which have seen their draft day stock plummet. This is great buying opportunity for those wise enough to seize it.
Kyle Tucker had a 30/30 season in Triple-A last year. He has all the tools to be a five-category stud in fantasy. Yet, the ADP doesn't scream upside. It's because he's had a cup of coffee with the big league club on back-to-back seasons and underperformed. My belief is if the Astros actually give him the playing time, the results would follow. Here's hoping a new GM and manager lead to his breakthrough and his potential as a first-round fantasy option.
As for Gavin Lux and Garrett Hampson, playing time is also a question mark. Enter, the universal DH! This gives their respective clubs an extra bat in the lineup which should be filled by these two. Hampson has elite speed with some pop (amplified by Coors Field). Lux is a top-tier prospect with five-category upside. Hampson was awesome over the final 60 games of 2019. Lux has yet to reach his potential. Although I have Lux ranked higher, Hampson has the better value seeing as he goes around 30 picks later. My prime concern with Lux is his position in the batting lineup on an absolutely stacked Dodgers team.
That's it for the negative side of stock watch. Be sure to keep an eye out for the risers in ADP later this week.