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“The Wizard of Goz” ADP Gems- 5 Corner Infielders to ponder plus a special bonus: FOOLS GOLD

Today I’ll post another five CIF whose ADP’s represent “value” plays. But before that consider the missive below.

Average Draft Position 101

Consider ADP a double edged sword – first the positivesImage result for xena with double edged sword

  • it’s a comprehensive list of players at a given position
  • it’s a good way to determine tiers
  • it’s a general way to spot ,at least in your mind, a “sleeper”

the negatives

  • rankings will have wide variation depending on the source
  • ADP lists are too general if you play in advanced, extra category leagues
  • are of limited value when it comes to keeper leagues
  • can stifle the creative process in that people don’t deviate from the rankings

the takeaways

  • use ADP as ONE OF THE TOOLS in your managerial tool box
  • use ADP as a range ONLY. Example: if a player is rated #144 in a twelve team setup the “educated” guess would be 12th round. Think of it differently, if you have a hunch (i.e GOTTA HAVE THIS GUY ON MY TEAM!) promote him two or three rounds. If on the other hand you’re lukewarm (i.e I’LL TAKE HIM BUT NOT IDEAL) bump the bastid down two or three rounds. The higher the number the bigger the bracket- example: #202 (20th round) would be a 16th to 24th round situation. Conversely, a star type player ranked #38 (3rd round) would be a “love” 2nd rounder or a “like on my terms” a 4th rounder
  • Don’t be a robot.  I’ll take the combination of overall preparedness, proper roster construction (formulated by league settings) and gut feel over using a cheat sheet/ADP list as THE BIBLE any day of the week
  • Be human. If FOR WHATEVER REASON YOU DON’T LIKE A GUY turn the page and pick someone else

 

3B Josh Harrison (PITT) ADP #289Image result for josh harrison pic

More highly regarded at 2B due to player “inventory” this guy is a solid bench option in mixed and CIF/MIF in NL only. He’s what I call a sprinkler; a few homers here, a few stolen there with a good average (.281 lifetime). He’s a young 30 Y.O based on AB’s (only 2443) and is coming off his best power year (16 big ones).  The ADP number (see above: the negatives , first bullet point) you see– consider that more of an NL only slant. In a mixed league I’ll GEM Harrison as last round security blanket Platinum!

 

3B Eugenio Suarez (CIN) ADP #202

$66 milllion for 7 years, not too shabby right? Actually the Reds might not be as dumb as they look if Suarez can continue on the surge he showed the past few seasons.Image result for eugenio suarez reds

  • 2015- 372ABs- 13 homers 17 walks
  • 2016- 565ABs- 21 homers 51 walks
  • 2017- 534ABs- 26 homers 84 walks

The Venezuelan started playing pro ball as a seventeen year old for the Tigers mostly as a shortstop who swiped some sacks but hit a homer a month. Fortunately, the Reds figured it out and eventually told the kid, you’re a third baseman and start walloping the ball. It worked. Even though he’ll probably remain an average, average guy (.258 lifetime) and a swisher (27% K rate) I see Suarez , who won’t be 26 until July, still on the rise easily capable of 30 bombs. With the imminent arrival of Nick Senzel to Cincy one or the other will have to move to SS enhancing that player’s value. In conclusion, this guy is downright filthy at home (21 homers) ,ha$pp$y and entering the prime time production zone. NL only this is a $20 player- mixed league $8 downright larceny buy. Snake draft– count on him as a solid CIF/utility guy with potential to be more.

1B Trey Mancini (BALT) ADP #174

Unless you’re an AL only buff this guy is very overlooked with the arrival guys like Rhys “All World” Hoskins and Cody “Downtown” Bellinger. Nonetheless, Mancini cracked 24 long ones and batted .293 as a full-time player mostly as an outfielder. A nice season for the former 8th rounder (Notre Dame). The bat was never the question–.306 career batting average in the minors as well as an .829 OPS. The problem was a lineup spot— attested by the fact that this guy was exclusively a 1B until his debut in the garden (at Harbor Yards). So, he is a work in progress in the field but a right-handed hitter with good size (6’4″) playing in that bandbox….sweet deal. Added plus is the fact that Mark Trumbo is on the injury shelf and will miss up to a month of the season.I think the ADP as a CIF correct (especially factoring in the sophomore season curse) but as an OF – QUITE A GEM!!!

3B Jedd Gyorko (STL) ADP #369Image result for jedd gyorko pictures

Okay the guy does resemble a penguin.  Who cares? I’m not drafting J.G for his speed, or glove (which is good), or as a starter in a 12 team mixed. However, in a league with CIF and multiple utility spots, he’s on my team. Versatility is also a plus depending on your league rules.  He is a back of the baseball card, don’t bother with advanced analytics, kind of guy. Write it down :18-20 dingers/ 60-70 RBI/ .250 average. Tremendous last pick that somehow, some way will weasel his way into your lineup and help your team.

1B Dominic Smith (NYM)  ADP #453

Strictly talking NL only/ dynasty or XL rosters/team leagues. The only thing blocking vast amounts of playing time is the Jurassic like presence of Adrian Gonzalez. Definitely on the fast track last year, at only 23 years old, he started the season in AAA and even had 167 at bats in the Show. Mixed results ensued. The positive is the 9 jacks and the negative is the .198 avg and an alarming  35% K rate. At minimum, Smitty proved to the Mets that he’s no longer a 240 pound punch and judy type (HR yearly =3,1,6,14,25)

 

ADDED BONUS 

THE PYRITE SECTION (FOOLS GOLD)

1B- Joey Gallo (TEX) composite ADP #116

POWER ONLY. No way-no how am I going to blow a 10th round pick in a standard league on this guy. Yes, he’s Joey Longball. But there is no cure, especially in 2018, for poor average and even worse contact rate. It’s nice that he can play both corners and that he did manage 75 walks and a respectable .869 OPS. The problem is the price (at least 5-8 rounds to high) and the marketplace (extreme competition the CORNER pool).

2B Whit Merrifield (KC) composite ADP #78Image result for whit merrifield picture

Even pretending that he’s a Yahoo “guy” and qualifies at OF,  a 7th round price tag….C’mon now. Truly a story for the Hallmark Channel when a batter makes his first splash at 28 years old. Went from hitting two homers the year before in 311 at bats to poking 19 last year in 587 at bats – for you stat nerds that’s a 500% improvement in long ball percentage. Speed, up until last year,  was his calling card and the only reason that he was drafted in fantasy (AL ONLY). Speed decline is usually age-related. Whit the Hit is not old but OBP is less than stellar still (.324). Maybe this guy got “it” and will keep “it” for another five years. One thing for sure: the Royals have complete trust in him and the fans in K.C – they’re talking about the second coming of Charley Hustle! All things considered I think the cost is driven too much by the SBs and the breakout. Smarter idea overall is to wait on 2nd base and snatch a more proven CHEAPO SPECIAL like Ian Kinsler or Josh Harrison ten or more rounds later.

SS Trevor Story (COLO) composite ADP #109

Not as one-dimensional as Gallo but similar in age (only 25) with staggering K totals. At least this guy can hit for decent average (but probably below league average) and is in a much shallower player pool. I guess you could take this guy and he could bust it to the next level. But then again he could have an extreme slump and the Rocks could give former #1 pick Brendan Rodgers a shot. Bottom line 9th round is not even close to “gem like”.

3B Josh Donaldson (TOR) composite ADP #29

Not to say that this guy isn’t a wonderful player (see my 3B rankings) but I think 3rd round is a bit too high. I’ll circle back to the mainstay of ROSTER CONSTRUCTION. After two picks you are more than likely to have two batters or a pitcher and a batter. Even if you took the P-P route, picking Donaldson this high is a dubious strategy. Let’s look at the comps: George Springer/ Noah Syndagaard/Brian Dozier, maybe even Commander Cody Bellinger. With the exception of Dozier all are young and probably haven’t done the career year thing. Donaldson has been there done that, Like I said at the beginning, he’s still got star status.  But look further down the 3B list and find a guy at a way lesser price in various shapes and sizes. NEW= Devers, SLIGHTLY USED= Castellanos or oldie but goodie =Adrian Beltre.

Image result for starling marte pictureOF Starling Marte (PITT) composite ADP #51

Gotta be the death of the speedster thing but NO WAY NO HOW – NOT IN A MILLION YEARS is this guy worth a 4/5 pick. This is fictional stuff.  The Bucs send their best player (albeit declining) to Alcatraz and anoint Marte THE MAN. I don’t think so. Granted the speed is there.  Even in the God awful wreck of ’17 (suspended big time) he hocked 21 bags. So, for sure this guy can swipe 40 in a full season which puts him in a special place. Factor in an ability to hit for average (.288 lifetime) and a respectable OBP and this is a very good player but still, IMHO overated. The power and subsequent  RBI ability is below par. The guy averages about a dozen homers and 55 RBI a year. Of course, batting in the top two in the order didn’t help and maybe this year he’ll be put into Mccutcheon’s third spot.  Will that guarantee 20 homers and 80 RBI?  That remains to be seen and even if it did happen, I’d guarantee that his SB number will go down. Add the fact that this guy, even when not failing a drug test, cannot stay on the field. Let’s see, the last five years he’s missed 181 games!!! Let’s dig deeper: hit by pitch , a stat you never want to be “good” in, he had 84! MEMO TO PIRATES MANAGEMENT: have S.M move away from the plate ASAP!!! Fantasy nuts across America are dying to see what this guy can do if he plays a full season. I’m one of those nuts but until I see it, I will not even consider picking this fragile speedster until pick 100 (and he’ll be gone).

SP Rich Hill (LA) composite ADP #118

Wanna have a Twilight Zone moment? Go to any record book– Who’s Who in Baseball, Baseball Reference or my fave, The Bill James Handbook and lookup Rich Hill. Career in the majors started in 2005 (26 years old) and had a “peak” two years later when, as a Cubs’ fireballer, he pitched 195 good innings (ERA 3.92 , won 11, struck out 183). That was the lone spot of good news for this guy because either he was taken by aliens or spent more time in the operating room than Ben Casey for SEVEN YEARS. What a friggin’ story – seven years and 177 innings pitched (not a misprint). Remarkable thing about it was that he pitched in each of those seven years with a low of four innings in 2010 and a “high” of 38 in 2013. I’m making a remarkable story too long at this point but somehow, some way in 2016 he righted the ship and started 20 games for two teams with almost spectacular results (ERA 2.25, won 12, 129 Ks in 110 innings). And then last year, entrenched in L.A he went off (ERA 3.32, won 12, 166 Ks in 136 innings). Quite a season capped with some post season success. So here we are in 2018 and Mr. Hill just turned 38 years old.  The question is, can he repeat or, if trends be trusted, ramp it up to the land of 150 innings?? That’s a tough one.  Surely he has a spot in the rotation, surely he pitches on a good team in a pitcher’s park. I wish him well but cannot value him as a 10th rounder. I tend to have flooded my teams with hitting by then and the thought of a PIRATE FLAG (health grade) poster child as my third pitcher selected- not a chance.

Image result for picture of stadium implosionRP Ken Giles (HTN) composite ADP #95

This is a young guy (27) whose segue from a Phillies setup man to closer went smoothly. In 2016 he got traded to the Astros but there were growing pains as he spent time both as setup and closer,15/20 saves with ,102 Ks but with a ghastly 4.11 ERA.

Last year he was simply amazing- 34/38 saves, 83 strikeouts with only 21 walks, allowed only 4 homers and posted a minuscule 2.30 ERA. Talk about getting the job done….that is until the post season for the smoke thrower. The LCS didn’t go well- 6IP/ 5ER/2HR (ineffectively got two saves).  But it gets worse. WS stats 1.2IP/5ER/HR were truly despicable and gave Giles a postseason WHIP of 2.22 and an ERA at an astronomical 11.74! That is disgraceful.  Maybe he was hurt.  But the following facts are INDISPUTABLE: Game 3 won by Houston 5-3 – Brad Peacock finished the game. Game 5 was the epic 13-12 game also won by Houston – Giles never pitched. Game 7 Houston 5 L.A 1, Charlie Morton closed it out.

Finally to the point! Giles will PROBABLY be fine but he most definitely has a lot of bullpen buddies- Devenski, Harris, Peacock, etc. etc. etc. that can carry the mantle if he pulls a Mitch Williams. Even if I was prone to picking a closer before pick #100 (I’m not) I would stay away like the plague at the incredibly OVERRATED 8th round cost.

 

NEXT WEEK – analysis of catcher selections in the various teams I selected in 2018!

So Long for now

GOZ

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Intense sports lover . a writer who specializes in creative non- fiction almost always challenging the status quo. I've suffered but remain a staunch Atlanta Braves fan and this year became a seasons ticket holder with the Atlanta Falcons (Mercedes Benz Stadium is AMAZING!) . Very proud of my wife Kerrie and awesome children Christianna and Trai Van. Hoping to retire in a few years at the most and to finally get my golf game to the next level more than likely in a warmer climate...lastly I'm looking forward to contributing as a staff writer and being "on air" for Major League Fantasy Sports this season

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