A few days ago I discussed the players who have dropped in ADP since the delay of MLB on March 12th. Now it's time to do the inverse and look at who has seen the biggest rise in ADP.
In case you haven't heard, the MLB will resume play in late July for a 60-game season. 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.
Without further delay (pun intended) let's look at the biggest risers in ADP since the March 12th delay.
ADP difference: (+27.77)
ADP difference: (+24.86)
Shortened season equals no innings limits! Yay! Both Luzardo and Urias saw big jumps in ADP now that owners have no worries about them getting shut down early. The question that remains for them, along with many other pitchers, is how deep they pitch in games. I could be wrong, but I see this as more of a pitch count thing than strictly innings. With that said, I feel these two are extremely efficient with their pitching and an 80-pitch outing might be enough to get them through five innings. I don't expect many quality starts from them, if any. Luzardo is my favorite of the two. His command is elite, especially given he is just 22 years old. I'm worried the Dodgers will piggyback Urias with another starter which caps his upside. Still, both have huge upside in a shortened season.
ADP difference: (+10.14)
ADP difference: (+11.81)
ADP difference: (+26.24)
Hype train! All these guys, with the exception of Reyes at 107 overall ADP, are top 100 picks. They have all seen a substantial gain in ADP since the delay. These are some of the biggest breakout candidates touted among industry personnel during draft prep season. And thus, present major fantasy upside.
Matt Olson and Franmil Reyes are solid bets to lead the league in home runs no matter how many games are played. Olson was 94th percentile in average exit velocity and 98th percentile in hard hit rate last year. He is also among the best in baseball in barrel rate. All signs point to major power upside from the A's first baseman. As for Reyes, the power profile is very similar. He was fourth in baseball with a 93.3 MPH average exit velocity and fifth with a 51% hard hit rate. He now finds himself out of the crowded outfield of San Diego and into an everyday role with a Cleveland team that desperately needs outfield help. Plus, with the new schedule, he gets to feast on the weak pitching in both the AL and NL central.
Nick Castellanos as a sleeper? You'd be lying if you haven't heard that before. Is 2020 the year it finally happens? Well, after the trade to the Cubs, Castellanos hit 16 home runs with 36 RBI and a 1.002 OPS to close out the season. Maybe he just needed to play for a competitive team? Let's hope. Castellanos signed with the Reds during the offseason, locking in a hitter-friendly home ballpark. His lineup around him is much better than anything he had over his past seasons with the Tigers. All signs point to Castellanos keeping his newfound momentum going.
ADP difference: (+20.3)
Back in February, which feels like years ago, James Paxton had back surgery and was expected to be out until June. Well, it's July! Paxton should be at full health when the season begins in late July. On a per-game basis, Paxton might be a top 10 starter. Over the past two seasons, Paxton has a 11.4 K/9 and a 2.8 BB/9. With just 60 games, surely Paxton can stay healthy.
ADP difference: (+50.7)
ADP difference: (+20.09)
ADP difference: (+106.59)
ADP difference: (+196.31)
ADP difference: (+116.65)
Closers! No one can drop or rise like a closer. Now, I wouldn't recommend drafting someone who 'might' get saves on a bad team. The Marlins and Orioles could have around 15 wins this season. That's not many save opportunities.
If you're grabbing any of these hot commodities, target Anderson or Gallegos. They have huge strikeout numbers and great ratios. They will also get the majority of the saves on teams with winning records.
Do I really need to warn you about Wade Davis?
ADP difference: (+161.71)
ADP difference: (+98.31)
Holy ADP rise, Batman! Both Rich Hill and Nate Pearson have jumped from afterthoughts to must-draft players due to the delay. Let's take it case-by-case.
Rich Hill has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since 2016. Don't believe me, check out the raw numbers first. Since 2016, a 3.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, a K/9 of 10.6, and a BB/9 of 2.9. That's comparable to Stephen Strasburg who has a 3.25 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 10.8 K/9, and a 2.5 BB/9 over the same time period. The xStats are even more impressive. His xSLG allowed of .335 was 13th best in baseball last season. His xERA of 3.14 was 19th best. Even more evidence? Sure! Hill had an average exit velocity allowed of just 84.6 MPH, good for fourth best in baseball. He also only allowed hard contact at a 27.7% rate, sixth best.
The trouble with Rich Hill, as it always has been, is his health. Since 2016, his appearance total by season is 20, 25, 25, and just 13 games last year. A shortened season might not benefit one single player more than Hill. If a pitcher takes the mound every fifth game for his team in 2020, he'll make 12 starts. Plus, Hill gets to pitch in the MLB central division (my new name for it). And he doesn't have to face the division's best lineup, the Twins.
Nate Pearson lit up eyes and radar guns with his stuff back in Spring Training part 1. This led to speculation he could make the bigs this year. A shortened season makes every game matter even more, and the Blue Jays absolutely would be better with Pearson in the rotation. He has a fastball that sits right around 100 MPH consistently. His slider is impressive as well, with a grade of 60 from MLB Pipeline. Over 25 minor league starts, most in Double-A, Pearson posted a 2.30 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 2019. This includes a 10.5 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9. With nothing more to prove in the minors, fantasy owners are hoping the Blue Jays turn the 6'6" right-hander loose on major league hitters in 2020.