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Mock Draft Central ADP Trends -- Risers & Fallers

Over the last several weeks we’ve been primarily looking at the ADP numbers from the NFBC and using them as a benchmark, more or less. But while those numbers have been helpful due to the assumed level of talent and dedication from those drafting in both real and mock NFBC drafts, they aren’t without their limitations. We’ve discussed this before, but just to reiterate for those just joining us, it’s simple.

The NFBC is made up of 15-team leagues so there are definitely a few nuances regarding how people draft when they’re in a 10 or 12-team league. The NFBC also doesn’t permit trading, so different players – mostly starting pitchers and closers – tend to go higher in these drafts than they would in not just 10 or 12-team leagues, but even just regular 15-team leagues as well. The data is still extremely helpful, but it falls short for those looking for ADP accuracy for non-NFBC leagues.

So to help supplement the NFBC data, we pulled the ADP numbers from the mock drafts done by a group I created called the Mock Draft Army. Those mocks ran more on the mainstream side. They are a mix of both 12 and 15-team drafts and the people doing them are a mix of fantasy baseball writers and avid readers and followers from around the web, particularly from the Twitterverse and listeners of SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. The participants were all dedicated and knowledgeable and there was no auto-picking going on. The downside though, was the sample size.  As great as the Army has been and as helpful as the drafts seem to be to those who have followed and read through the various recaps, the number of drafts done by the Army is but a small drop in what should be a very large bucket.

For this piece we’re going to take a look at another set of ADP numbers that should help offer us another perspective -- the rankings built off the drafts done at Mock Draft Central. These numbers are also derived from a variety of different types of drafts, ranging from 10 to 15-team leagues, both one and two-catcher leagues, and even some that incorporate the third-round reversal. There might be some concern regarding auto-picking and a skew towards the site’s default rankings, but with such an abundance of drafts used, things tend to balance out a little better. Obviously not perfect, but we’re getting there.

Since we have a general understanding of where most players are being drafted, we’ll use the data from Mock Draft Central to track some of the biggest risers and fallers over the last two weeks. It’s always important to check in with the ADP Trend Report, especially if you’re targeting players with whom the masses are growing more interested. The last thing you want to do is assume you can get someone in the 12th round when you could have seen that people have been taking him as early as the 10th in most drafts. The Trend Report runs 450 players deep, so we’ll just link to it here and you can refer as needed. In the meantime, here are the players with the biggest draft fluctuations.

Risers

Dioner Navarro, C TOR (+20.60%) – The rise here could have something to do with an increase of two-catcher league drafts, but it also stems from the increase in power Navarro showed last season along with a starting job in hitter-friendly Toronto. He’s shown slightly better-than-average plate discipline over the years and his ISO has grown steadily with jobs in more hitter-friendly environments over the last two seasons. Given the depth at the position, he still shouldn’t be your choice as a primary backstop, but for a second catcher, his mid-level power and solid average should prove to be a nice complement.

Bryce Harper, OF WAS (+19.00%) – While it’s the second largest increase by percentage, the climb for Harper really only amounts to a couple of picks. However, he seems to be creeping closer to being a late first-round pick as opposed to an early to mid-second round choice. The various ailments from which he had suffered last year hampered his growth, but he’s still just 21-years-old with plenty of time to continue developing. The hope is that he eventually blossoms into a consistent 30-20 player, but that still seems like it’s at least another year or two off.  People starting new keeper leagues will want to grab him early, but in re-draft leagues, he still seems more like second and third round material than he does first.

Mitch Moreland, 1B TEX (+17.40%) – This sizeable of an increase in ADP has deep league drafts written all over it. He’s not even being drafted in most 12-team leagues and he’s also borderline in 15-teamers. However, Moreland might be a nice, quiet source of production should he see the majority of work at DH this year. Certainly nothing to go crazy over, but if you’re looking for late-round depth and someone who could be a decent plug-and-play at the corner infield position, he might be worth a late look.

Emilio Bonifacio, 2B CHC (+15.00%) – Let’s face it…neither Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena nor Donnie Murphy are any sort of clear-cut roadblocks here for Bonifacio and his speed potential has fantasy owners noticing that his path to even just a part-time role is fairly easy. Not to mention his ability to play the outfield makes him an ideal candidate for a super-utility job should he not supplant one of the starters. The battle will continue to unfold throughout the spring, but those who are already drafting seem convinced that he’ll see enough time in the field to make him a worthwhile stash for your bench.

Nelson Cruz, OF BAL (+11.80%) – Well that didn’t take long at all, did it? It’s not like Cruz wasn’t already being drafted by those who knew he’d sign somewhere, but the choice to go with Baltimore gave him even more value. Whether he acts as the full-time DH or the primary left fielder is irrelevant because the big right-hander will see plenty of at-bats and gets to stay in a nice hitter-friendly environment. Look for him to continue rising over the next several weeks, but don’t reach too high just yet as we still haven’t really seen him play since his Biogenesis suspension.

Fallers

Josh Rutledge, 2B/SS COL (-27.30%) – If there was any faith in Rutledge beating out DJ LeMahieu for the starting second base job, it’s not showing here in the ADP numbers. He’s steadily dropping down the ranks and isn’t even being drafted in your more shallow formats. There’s still plenty of opportunity for him to turn things around, but LeMahieu is already the better glove so not only will Rutledge need to hit with more consistency, but he’s also going to need to show vast improvements on defense as well.

Jose Iglesias, SS DET (-24.30%) – Sure he’s got a starting job, but Iglesias is one of those players who is better in real life than he is in fantasy. The slick-fielding shortstop has very little power and only modest speed on the bases. He makes decent contact at the plate but doesn’t draw any walks, so should he run into a little bad luck in the BABIP department, he could be a disaster as a fantasy player. Use him only as a last resort.

Eric Young, Jr., OF NYM (-18.30%) – You would have thought that recent statements from manager Terry Collins regarding his desire to have Young in center field and batting leadoff would have helped raise his ADP rankings, but the Mets outfield still seems to be a little on the crowded side. Curtis Granderson will hold down left field, but the Mets have Chris Young, Juan Lagares and even Lucas Duda all vying for playing time in center and right. Lagares is the better defender in center, but Young’s contact rates and speed on the bases keeps him as a major part of the discussion. But Collins also stated that he’ll go with the top three offensive producers in the outfield, so depending on how everyone is playing at a particular time, we could be seeing Chris Young in center a little more with Duda in right. It’s not likely that the team will maintain that configuration throughout the year, but the hot bat seems to be the one that will receive the playing time here.

Troy Tulowitzki, SS COL (-15.90%) – Similarly to Harper’s rise, Tulo’s fall here is just a matter of a few picks, despite the large fluctuation in ADP. Plain and simple, it’s the injury risk that continues to scare people off, and rightfully so. With the amount of time Tulo has lost over the last few years with a variety of ailments, he is much more of a cautionary tale than anything else. Fantasy owners know that losing your second round pick for any real length of time is tough to recover from.

Yordano Ventura, SP KC (-13.20%) – He can hit triple digits on the radar gun fairly consistently and has electric stuff. But with the Royals opting to put Bruce Chen in the fourth starter’s role, Ventura is competing with Danny Duffy, Wade Davis and even Luke Hochevar for the fifth starter’s spot. He’s exhibited some command issues early on, but he should settle in with a few more outings. Davis and Hochevar should head back to the bullpen, but Duffy stands a very good chance to hold down the job while Ventura gets more seasoning down on the farm. While we all wait on that decision to be made, fantasy owners seem to be hedging their bets for the time being.

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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 rotobuzzguy@gmail.com

Comments

By: maineskin
On: 2/27/2014 1:09:00 PM
Yost stated Ventura is "in the lead" for the 5th spot in KC. Since I usually draft bench slots like Raja Davis before I fill out my last 2 P slots, Ventura, Taillon, etc...are high on my flier list. What do you look for in late SPs? Park, run support, K%, pedigree, etc...?
 

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