Mock Draft Army ADP -- The Top 50

With pitchers and catchers having reported to camp and various position players checking in early as well, the fantasy baseball draft prep season is kicking into high gear right now. Almost all the fantasy web sites have released their rankings and as you’ve seen here at RotoWire, those rankings have already been updated at least once, if not more. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the start of spring games and even more anxious for their league’s draft to get here.

As I’ve said here before, one of the most helpful tools to prepare you for the big day is the mock draft and if you’ve been following me on Twitter (@rotobuzzguy) over the last few seasons, you’ll know that I’ve created a little something called the Mock Draft Army to serve as a premium tool for your draft preparation. If you haven’t heard of the Army before, then allow me to direct you here for the full description. The level of interest has risen tremendously with every draft that takes place and the waiting list to participate continues to grow.

We’ve done four drafts to date with a fifth scheduled for this week. Beginning next week, we’re likely to stay at two drafts per week and take this straight through to late March. I’m sure the interest will wane the closer we get to Opening Day as many of you will have already drafted by then and have little reason to mock any more, but until that time comes, we’ll keep going.

But while participating in a series of mock drafts is helpful on its own, I’m taking it one step further this season and I have begun to compile an ADP list for the drafts to help serve as a guideline for you, free of auto-drafting and web site default rankings. I don’t want to say that these ADP numbers are better than others that are out there, because we’re dealing with a very small sample size and that, in itself, is a major shortcoming. But what I love about these numbers is that, not only are the drafts consistently the same – two catcher, mixed, standard 5x5 with either 12 or 15 teams – but  the participants are dedicated through and through. They come prepared, they come with purpose, and some even come with their own personal rankings to work off. They stay for the entire draft and thy make their last pick as important as their first.

Before we look at some of the numbers, if you’d like to take a look at the participants and draft boards for each one of the drafts, allow me to share that information with you. If you click here, this article will give you a quick glance at the last two drafts and the links at the beginning of the article will take you to the first two drafts as well. The writers involved come from some of the top sites out there and are, in my opinion, some of the best fantasy baseball minds out there. The readers who have been involved have all been top flight fantasy players as well. Their dedication to the Army is well-respected by the writers and some of them just might even be contributing to a few of the sites at some point.

We’re going to take it 50 picks at a time and match it up with the NFBC data we’ve been using to date. Remember, the NFBC uses 15-team leagues rather than 12 and there is no trading allowed so that obviously changes the value that some players may have.

Mock Draft Army ADP vs NFBC ADP – The Top-50

Mock Draft Army         NFBC      
Player Pos. Team ADP   Player Pos. Team ADP
Mike Trout OF LAA 1.25   Mike Trout CF LAA 1.20
Miguel Cabrera 3B DET 1.75   Miguel Cabrera 1B Det 1.83
Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI 3.25   Paul Goldschmidt 1B Ari 3.14
Andrew McCutchen OF PIT 4.00   Andrew McCutchen CF Pit 4.45
Carlos Gonzalez OF COL 5.25   Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 6.32
Adam Jones OF BAL 7.25   Chris Davis 1B Bal 7.23
Hanley Ramirez SS LAD 8.25   Carlos Gonzalez LF Col 8.25
Chris Davis 1B BAL 10.25   Adam Jones CF Bal 9.27
Bryce Harper OF WAS 10.50   Robinson Cano 2B Sea 9.51
Robinson Cano 2B NYY 11.00   Hanley Ramirez SS LAD 10.76
Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 13.00   Ryan Braun RF Mil 11.20
Ryan Braun OF MIL 13.00   Jacoby Ellsbury CF NYY 11.79
Joey Votto 1B CIN 13.75   Bryce Harper LF Was 12.73
Prince Fielder 1B MIL 14.25   Troy Tulowitzki SS Col 14.77
Jacoby Ellsbury OF BOS 15.00   Prince Fielder 1B Tex 15.56
Adrian Beltre 3B TEX 15.50   Joey Votto 1B Cin 17.06
Jason Kipnis 2B CLE 16.00   Yu Darvish SP Tex 17.13
Troy Tulowitzki SS COL 17.75   Edwin Encarnacion 1B Tor 18.55
Evan Longoria 3B TB 18.00   Adrian Beltre 3B Tex 19.00
Giancarlo Stanton OF MIA 19.75   Jason Kipnis 2B Cle 20.61
Edwin Encarnacion 1B TOR 21.75   Yasiel Puig RF LAD 21.86
David Wright 3B NYM 23.00   Evan Longoria 3B TB 22.54
Dustin Pedroia 2B BOS 23.75   Carlos Gomez CF Mil 23.83
Carlos Gomez OF MIL 26.00   David Wright 3B NYM 24.38
Yasiel Puig OF LAD 26.00   Freddie Freeman 1B Atl 24.52
Jose Bautista OF TOR 27.00   Giancarlo Stanton RF Mia 26.90
Yu Darvish SP TEX 28.25   Max Scherzer SP Det 29.49
Jose Reyes SS TOR 29.00   Jean Segura SS Mil 29.89
Alex Rios OF TEX 29.75   Jay Bruce RF Cin 30.31
Freddie Freeman 1B ATL 31.50   Dustin Pedroia 2B Bos 31.73
Jay Bruce OF CIN 32.75   Jose Fernandez SP Mia 31.82
Jean Segura SS MIL 33.25   Stephen Strasburg SP Was 33.94
Ian Desmond SS WAS 34.75   Adam Wainwright SP StL 34.51
Matt Carpenter 2B STL 37.25   Jose Reyes SS Tor 34.65
Max Scherzer SP DET 37.25   Alex Rios RF Tex 34.87
Buster Posey C SF 39.25   Ian Desmond SS Was 35.76
Justin Upton OF ARI 40.75   Justin Upton LF Atl 40.14
Cliff Lee SP PHI 41.25   Shin-Soo Choo CF Tex 40.79
Adam Wainwright SP STL 41.75   Buster Posey C SF 40.87
Stephen Strasburg SP WAS 42.50   Jose Bautista RF Tor 41.04
Felix Hernandez SP SEA 43.75   Albert Pujols 1B LAA 42.20
Allen Craig 1B STL 44.00   Craig Kimbrel MR Atl 42.24
Starling Marte OF PIT 44.75   Felix Hernandez SP Sea 43.61
Shin-Soo Choo OF TEX 45.25   Cliff Lee SP Phi 44.06
Albert Pujols 1B LAA 46.50   Matt Kemp CF LAD 45.20
Mark Trumbo OF ARI 47.75   Justin Verlander SP Det 47.56
Matt Holliday OF STL 48.50   Madison Bumgarner SP SF 47.61
Wil Myers OF TB 48.50   Chris Sale SP CWS 48.59
Matt Kemp OF LAD 49.00   Hunter Pence RF SF 48.94
Eric Hosmer 1B KC 50.50   Eric Hosmer 1B KC 50.54

It’s probably easiest to just go down the lists here and note some of the major differences we see. We’re not looking for a swing of a pick or two, mind you. That’s pretty negligible, but almost immediately you can see a few fundamental differences.

We’ve talked a lot this spring about the depth at starting pitching. Whether it’s a 12-team league or a 15-teamer, there are plenty of options to choose from in the middle to later rounds and you can build yourself a winning staff if you put in the work and do the necessary research. That’s why over at the Mock Draft Army you see Clayton Kershaw coming in at 13.00. But with no trading, the staff ace has significantly more value which is why we see him with a 6.23 ADP over here. It’s still a bit high for my taste and I don’t think I would ever take Kershaw over a premium first-round hitter, but to each his own, I suppose.

The slide of Robinson Cano is everywhere. It seems like everyone you talk to is completely down on him with regard to the move to Seattle. First off, it’s doubtful that his plate discipline changes with the move. Sure, he may press a little early due to the pressure of the big signing, but he’ll go back to doing what he knows is best. Also, take a look at his home run landing spots on the ESPN Home Run Tracker. Throw the Safeco Field overlay down and there’s only one shot that is in question should it have been hit in Seattle. You simply cannot say that his home run total is a result of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. Yes, he’s more of a pull hitter, but with an average true distance of 403.9 feet and an average speed of the bat of 103.8 mph, those shots are flying out of the park almost regardless of where he’s hitting them. And if Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager can set the table properly for him, he’ll get his RBI chances just the same. You want to downgrade some, by all means, but don’t let him slip too far as that could very easily come back to bite you.

It’s very interesting to see the varying opinions on Joey Votto. Some believe the power will return while others note that he just might be one of those players who’s better in real life than he is in fantasy. Personally, I’m of the latter opinion which is why I usually bypass him. OK, so maybe I also bypass him because my Prince Fielder man-crush is in full-force, but I don’t see him swinging for the fences more just to try and pad his own counting stats….unless, of course he has himself on his fantasy team. I think both he and the Reds are perfectly content with 20-25 homers so long as they come with a .400-plus on-base percentage.

My confidence in the Army grows when I see differentials like we do for Troy Tulowitzki and Yasiel Puig. The injury concerns for Tulo continue to dominate as he’s played in fewer than 130 games in three of his last four seasons. His power potential helps keep his value up in rotisserie leagues, but his value in head to head play drops due to the playing time concerns. As for Puig, well, I’ve never been shy about my thoughts on him and there’s little reason to reiterate. He has an awful lot to do and a serious attitude adjustment is needed before I even think of endorsing him, let alone drafting him for one of my teams.

No love for Giancarlo Stanton in the NFBC, huh? I have to say that I think I lean towards their way of thinking. It really has nothing to do with last year’s shoulder injury and power drop as the batted ball distance increase he had showed that the power is still very much there. But the poor contact rates and the miserable surrounding lineup continue to stand out like a turd in a punch bowl. I’d draft him, but not as high as most.

And finally, the fact that Craig Kimbrel doesn’t even show up in the Army’s top-50 is again due to the no-trade policy of the NFBC. He’s still the top closer in the game, but if you can trade for saves, the priority of drafting a closer declines more than just a little bit.


Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for nearly two decades on a variety of web sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him directly at


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