We are just two weeks away from the MLB season and fantasy baseball drafts are ramping up. I have my first non-mock draft tomorrow and I can’t wait. Today’s article is geared toward helping you find value in your draft, specifically at the second base position. I will discuss three players who I believe will out-perform their average draft ranking by the end of the season: one from outside the top 100, one from outside the top 150, and one from outside the top 275. We’ll start at the top and dig deeper as we go
Ozzie Albies – ATL
138 Average ADP across ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, RTS, NFCB, and FT
133 Average ADP since March 1, per NFCB
In a 57-game rookie season in 2017, Albies posted an impressive .286/.354/.456 triple slash with 6 home runs. The power is backed by a 33% hard hit rate and a 40% fly ball rate, so the potential for a 20 home run season is there. Albies also stole 8 bases while being caught only one time, an 89% success rate that supports the potential for a 25 steal season. The batting average at .286 may come down a bit. Albies’ contact rate was average at 80%, however he only went the other way 22% of the time, not enough for me to buy into an average above .280 just yet. Of course this is a small sample to analyze, but he could reasonably hit .265 with 15 home runs and 20 steals. He’ll hit second in a Braves line up, right in front of slugger Freddie Freeman. He should score close to 90 runs assuming a full season of play. A final line of 90/15/65/20/.270 last year would be good for a top 100 ranking, and I think there is power and speed upside from that projected line. If you play in an OBP league or non-standard settings, you can rest assured that Albies is still a good buy. He walked at a 9% clip last season which is average, and struck out at a 15% clip, which is very good. At an ADP of 133, Albies is an ADP gem for 2018 across all league types.
Ian Kinsler – LAA
170 Average ADP across ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, RTS, NFCB, and FT
188 Average ADP since March 1, per NFCB
It’s easy to overlook Kinsler. He’s 35 years old and coming off a 2017 season where he batted .236. But besides the batting average, Kinsler was his usual self. He hit 22 home runs, stole 14 bases, and even scored 90 runs. Looking deeper, his walk rate was 9% and his strikeout rate 14%. He hit the ball hard 37% of the time, with an 85% contact rate. All pretty much in line with what Kinsler has been doing in recent years. The big change from 2016 to 2017 was Kinsler’s BABIP; it declined to .244 after being at .314 in 2016 and .323 in 2015. With no major changes in Kinsler’s plate discipline or batted ball profile, the decreased BABIP appears to be due to bad luck. It’s also notable that Kinsler played for a last place Detroit Tiger team in 2017 and was traded to the Los Angeles Angels during the winter, who are set to contend for a wildcard spot. The change of scenery will be good for Kinsler, as will batting leadoff in front of slugger Mike Trout. Without the bad luck from 2017, Kinsler should be able to bring the batting average back up to a respectable .270, while maintaining the 20 home runs and 14 steals he’s shown each of the past two seasons. Scoring 100 runs batting leadoff is also very doable. So where does a 100/20/65/14/.270 line put Kinsler? Inside the top 100 for your standard 5×5 league. For OBP leagues, Kinsler walks enough that he won’t kill your OBP, so the value should carry over. Kinsler is a great bet to exceed his ADP price of 170, making him an ADP gem.
287 Average ADP across ESPN, CBS, Yahoo, RTS, NFCB, and FT
304 Average ADP since March 1, per NFCB
As you already know, Castro was traded from the Yankees to the Marlins as part of the Giancarlo Stanton deal. On the surface, that looks like a bad change for Castro. He goes from being in one of the best hitter’s parks and in a great lineup, to being in one of the worst hitter’s parks and a lineup that was gutted in the off-season. This is probably the reason Castro is being overlooked. On the positive side, Castro is slated to bat in the 3-hole for the Fish, sandwiched between J.T. Realmuto and Justin Bour. Not a bad spot to be over the course of a season. Castro hit 21 home runs in 2016 for the Yankees, and although he hit just 16 in 2017, he only played 112 games and should have easily reached the 20-home run plateau again had he stayed healthy. The park change will surely hurt Castro’s home run total, but he should still be good for 18 or so homers. Plus since Castro isn’t a big fly ball hitter, some of those home runs will be doubles this year, not the worst trade off. It’s also easy to forget that Castro is entering his age 28 season. He’s smack in the middle of his prime, so he should have no problem putting up a respectable .275 average like he’s done for the past several years. If Castro stays healthy and gets 600 at bats, batting third, he can put up an end line of 75/18/80/5/.275, putting him somewhere inside the top 200 players. It’s not a sexy pick, but at an ADP near 300 it’s a pick that will provide value in deeper leagues.
That wraps up this week’s article on ADP gems for the second base position. Thanks for reading and feel free to drop a comment and let me know what you think. I’ll be back next week with ADP gems for shortstops.
For reference, below are my 2B rankings and draft strategy broken into two articles.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Thursday March 15th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #106 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Our guest this week is Kevin Bzdek. Kevin is a writer with Major League Fantasy Sports and part of the editing staff. Kevin’s articles publish every Friday morning at 7am.