Early NFBC ADP Trends To Watch -- The Top 50
While it’s still a bit early to start looking at trends that may be developing within the ADP numbers, we can still take a look at some of the movement we’ve been seeing recently in the NFBC. The overall movement hasn’t been too significant, but there are definitely a few risers and fallers of whom to take notice as this could be the starting point of greater movement ahead. We’ll go back through each position individually, but let’s hit those first few rounds of your draft and see what’s been happening inside the top 50 picks.
|Rank||Player||Team||Pos||Current ADP||3 Weeks Ago||Trend|
Again, keep in mind, that we’re really only talking about a few picks in either direction. However, in the numerous mocks that I’ve done outside the NFBC, some of the movement from draft to draft can be much more significant. For example, while Robinson Cano’s ADP has gone from 9.33 to 9.28 here in the three-week span, I’ve seen him go as high as fifth to as low as 14th overall. That type of movement isn’t reflected in the NFBC data, but when you start discussing people’s perceptions of his move to Seattle, you get an awful lot of people devaluing him which means he could slip in your home league draft. I was stunned to see him slip to me at the 11th pick of a 12-team draft and just to see what the owner behind me would do, I let him go by me. When the owner failed to select him at the wheel, I quickly grabbed him at 14 as I didn’t want to skew his ADP too much, but the value at that point in the draft, for me, was nuts. Cano at 14? Come on! If it happens again, I’ll let him go by, just to see how far he falls, but I can’t imagine it would be much further.
Also, take notice that the list is actually 51 right now as Eric Hosmer barely pushes his way past last week’s No. 50 on the list, Matt Carpenter. It would appear that more people believe in Hosmer’s ascension than they do Carpenter continuing to excel in the BABIP department or crossing the plate another 120 times.
Shin-Soo Choo, OF TEX (+3.65%) – Not much of a surprise here as Choo, a three-time 20-20 player, takes his .389 career OBP to the top of the Rangers lineup where he’ll set the table for the likes of Price Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios. The ballpark dimensions should allow him to maintain his 20-home run totals and he’ll certainly be given the green light when he finds his way on-base. He’s 40th overall, but could end up going a little bit higher with a strong spring.
Justin Upton, OF ATL (+2.53%) – Though the strikeouts spiked and the batting average was at its worst since an injury-plagued 2008 season, Upton saw a nice return of his power during his first season with the Braves. Unfortunately though, the RBI total didn’t really match very well and he also fasiled to reach double-digits in stolen bases for the first time in five years. The RBI has the potential to increase so long as the table-setters do their job, but don’t expect any sort of significant increase in speed as Fredi Gonzalez does not like to give the green light.
Chris Sale, SP CHW (+2.49%) – Proof again that wins aren’t where it’s all at, Sale had himself a solid second full-season with improvements in both his walk and strikeout rates as well as a better FIP and xFIP. There were plenty of concerns last season as many wondered about the tall, lanky southpaw’s elbow health, but despite an increased use of his slider, he managed to make 30 starts, throw over 200 innings and thankfully stayed off the DL all year. That’s not to say that he still doesn’t pose some sort of an injury risk given his delivery and pitch-selection, but is the risk that much more than most high-end, hard-throwing starters?
Jose Reyes, SS TOR (+2.03%) – His ADP increase tells you that more people are still considering position scarcity despite many claims from pundits that the notion is still more myth than fact. Considered a bit of an injury risk by many, Reyes played in just 93 games last year sure to an ugly ankle injury, but he still managed 10 home runs and 15 steals with a .293 average. Obviously his cost rightfully makes the expectations higher, but even in just 93 games, he still managed to put up above-average totals at his position.
Carlos Gomez, OF MIL (+1.92%) – The ascension of Gomez over the last couple of seasons has been swift. Two seasons ago he was a mid-round selection with some upside. Last year, after a 19-homer, 37-steal season he climbed higher though there was some obvious skepticism. Now that he continues to climb, he’s been going in the second round of most drafts, and in some of the deeper leagues, a late-round selection in the first. There’s plenty to love, though be wary of the batting average. He saw a spike in strikeouts as he swung for the fences a little more, but it was difficult to see that since his .344 BABIP helped keep both his batting average and OBP stay more than just afloat.
Justin Verlander, SP DET (-2.50%) – The talk of potential injuries became a lot more prevalent for Verlander last year than we had seen in years prior, and while he still put together a decent season, it certainly wasn’t Verlander-esque, nor was it even remotely the return value you were expecting, given the high cost on draft day. He threw the fewest innings since 2008, lost a little on the strikeouts as well as the walk rate, and well…a 3.46 ERA for him is considered subpar, at best. His velocity continues to trend downwards, so be careful, and don’t forget the abdomen issues he’s been having here in the offseason.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS COL (-1.93%) – While he’s cleared 25 home runs or more in three of his last four seasons, a season of Tulo as your starting shortstop comes with a fair amount of anxiety. There’s no denying the talent, but given the injury history and what it does to your waiver concerns, many owners would rather bypass the risk and bulk up at other positions. If position scarcity is truly a myth, then avoiding the risk is smart business, but if you feel the need to be strong up the middle, then the rewards could certainly outweigh the potential hazards.
Max Scherzer, SP DET (-1.74%) – There are two very specific things driving the ADP south for last year’s AL Cy Young award winner. The first is the fact that starting pitching is insanely deep this year and the second is that many believe last year was Scherzer’s peak and there’s nowhere left to go but down. Last season, his strikeout rate did decrease by nearly one full batter, he exhibited strong command and it showed in his career-best 2.90 ERA as well as in his FIP and xFIP. However, he did have an all-time low .259 BABIP which was beneficial to his totals. Perhaps the introduction of a curve and increased use of his changeup helped, but the skeptics are abound and we want to see him do it again. As a bonus though, his Heterochromia iridium keeps him as a standout.
Freddie Freeeman, 1B ATL (-1.53%) – He took another step forward, although a slight one, last year and Freeman continues to grow into a fantastic option at first base. His plate discipline is strong and he’s only 24-years-old, so we’re still looking at him to develop more, physically, and continue taking his game up to another level. The drop-off here could simply be the misconception that first base remains one of the deepest positions out there.
Evan Longoria, 3B TB (-1.52%) – The power remains Longoria’s strongest asset as he posted his third 30-home run season of his career, and second in three years. His strikeouts spiked though which was the reason for the low average, but there doesn’t appear to be a high level of concern. His slight drop could be a simple matter of preference, but if you have the opportunity to grab him in the second round, you’re going to want to take it.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------