The ADP Trends Found in the Top 50 Overall
As we’ve been discussing ADP over the last few weeks, one point that we continue to make is the current lack of reliability in the ADP rankings we see here on Mock Draft Central. We’re not trying to turn you off from using them, but we want you to understand that for those who are looking this early into draft strategy, player rankings and positional depth, it’s still plenty early for most of the casual fantasy baseball players. The data is collected from the variety of mock drafts done here on the site and there are a variety of things not factored in such as league size and differing roster requirements. In addition to that, there are plenty of people outside of the hardcore players that come here and are interested in just what is happening in the first few rounds. More sleepers and middle round strategy will come once spring training begins, but they want to know what is happening with the order of picks in the first three rounds when you decide which studs you want to build your team around. And for that, many people depart the mocks after the first three rounds leaving the computer to simply use the default rankings installed. The data will be much more usable soon enough, but we need to get further into February before it does.
So today, in an effort to assist some of you more casual fans popping in on the site to learn how not to screw up your early picks and subsequently, your entire draft, we’re going to go to the NFBC data again where it’s all hardcore players playing, and take a look at what the experts and real serious-minded fantasy folk are thinking about the early picks. Your first three rounds are crucial to the rest of your draft as they dictate what direction you will head and which positions you’ll need to fill now as opposed to later in the draft. These are your core players and are supposed to be the no-brainers, however, as we’ve seen in the past, nothing is guaranteed.
Here’s a list of the Top 50 players drafted in NFBC mocks around the country. Remember, the NFBC is made up of different 15-team leagues, so the first 45 picks are your first three rounds and we’ve tacked on a few extra just in case.
|Rank||Player||Team||Pos||Current ADP||1 Week Ago||Trend|
In truth, there are no names on this list that are undeserving gof their rank. You might think some are bigger reaches than others and you may have some of your own personal favorites, but speaking strictly from a fantasy value standpoint, everyone here belongs.
Obviously it’s pretty telling as to which position is a priority for most people and which isn’t. Most people wait on catchers and relievers, while second base, considered a thin position, really doesn’t have a major difference in talent once you get past the first few. Most people obviously see the fourth or fifth best second baseman as someone you can wait to grab as many of the guys below that are of comparable talent within the position but not nearly as valuable as the rest at other positions. First base, third base, shortstop and the starting pitchers are all fairly close despite opinions of differing depth at each one, while outfield, one of the deeper positions, comes off the board much quicker for a few reasons. One, the position is loaded with talent that you need in order to be successful each season. Some of your biggest producers come from here. And two, most leagues require an average of five outfielders for a starting roster while the other positions, save for starting pitching which is by far and away the deepest position ever, usually have no more than two.
What to take away from that – the outfield gets pretty darn thin pretty darn quickly. Not that you have to rush out and grab outfielders up there immediately, but unless you’re confident in your knowledge of middle-tiered players in the outfield, you should make sure you grab at least one.
With the general order set above, we should ultimately look at who’s moving around and who isn’t. Draft trends are going to be vital to your work so you can see which studs are going to be the toughest to get and who might be waiting for you in the lower rounds. And by lower rounds today, we mean Round Three.
Evan Longoria, 3B TB (+8.06%) – Aside from the fact that third base thins out pretty quickly in drafts, recent reports on Longoria’s hamstring, the injury that kept him out of nearly half of 2012, have been relatively positive. The rise in ADP is expected. Some people have been throwing the “injury prone” tag at him lately, what with the last two seasons and all, but more important are those ISO totals and the level of consistency at which he hits when he is in the lineup. Injuries happen to the best of them. Nothing you can do. He’ll work through it. The label will quickly disappear once he puts in a full season’s worth of at-bats because all anyone will be talking about will be the 35-home run breakout.
Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF TB (+4.43%) – What’s not to love about a 20-home run guy who steals double-digit bases and qualifies at second, short and in the outfield? A weak batting average will help keep his from being worthy of a second round pick, but between his position flexibility and his power, he’s virtually a no-brainer in the third round, especially if you didn’t take an infielder with picks one and two first. We might see him creep up another pick or two, but this is probably his ceiling, draft-wise.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK (+4.37%) – The one they call The Showcase certainly lived up to his nickname and the hype when he came just four stolen bases shy from a 20-20 season in his debut year. Obviously, based on his ADP, most expect him to continue down the path he is on and are looking for him to take another step forward this season and there is little reason to believe that he can’t. Health was a bit of an issue last year as a number of dings and dents kept him out of the lineup, but he has supposedly been working on his conditioning here in the offseason and should be ready for a full season.
Bryce Harper, OF WAS (+4.03%)—While some believe that he is only going to get better, most are capping Harper off here for drafts. Similarly to Zobrist, you may see a slight move up a pick or two, but given the current track record, he really shouldn’t be moved up more than that.
Stephen Strasburg, SP WAS (+3.46%) – Probably the most interesting of increases comes here as Strasburg has seemingly passed Justin Verlander in ADP in the NFBC. Maybe it’s all those rumors about this being the year Verlander’s arm finally gives out. Couple that rumor with the fact that Strasburg won’t have any innings limit this year and you just may have good reason to believe there’s a new sheriff in town.
While the overall trend of several players has headed south, the amount is relatively insignificant….maybe a pick or two. The bottom line is that the top 50 is fairly locked in. You might see Allen Craig or Paul Goldschmidt, two guys right on the cusp of the Top 50, jump past Gio Gonzalez at some point closer to the start of the season, but those are likely the only two names you’ll see here with an regularity. You’ve got all the names you need to know for your first three rounds right here. Now you just need to set up your plan of attack.