Now that opening day is upon us, that means most drafts will be happening soon. You’ve completed your research and read every article about “sleepers”; to where now those “sleepers” keep you up at night figuring out when to take them. Have no fear, because after reading this article you will have a plan for the first base position.
One tool that can help dominate your draft is ADP (Average Draft Position). ADP is determined by data collected from actual drafts, and takes the average draft position each player is selected at from each draft. While ADP should not be a main factor in your rankings, it can be a great tool to see in which order players at each position are being drafted. This can help you know which guys you may need to jump earlier on, and which ones you can wait a little longer on even if you have them ranked higher.
Luke Voit (ESPN: 227, Fantrax: 171, Yahoo: 225, Average: 208)
Luke Voit and the Yankees first base position has been a hot topic in real baseball and fantasy baseball all off season. Voit came to the Yankees via trade with the Cardinals last July and he out produced any expectation that was made about him. He ended last year hitting .322 AVG 15 HR 30 Runs and 36 RBI in just 161 PA’s. First of all, no one is thinking that he can keep that pace throughout an entire season. If he could he would be the best player to ever play the game and be the first overall pick. No one questions the raw power, but people are questioning what a full season would look like. The closest to a full season was in 2016 at AA where, in 546 plate appearances, he hit .297 AVG 19 HR 70 Runs and 74 RBI’s. If you could get that production around pick 200 then you got a steal. I would think it would be logical to drop the batting average then increase the home runs, runs and RBI’s. One of the biggest factors that helps Voit is his walk rate. Between all the levels he played at, his walk rate was at 10.2%. If he can keep that walk rate along with keeping the strikeout rate between 20-25% I think that can help set him up for success. Voit is currently the 25th first basemen taken off the board. If you want to take the flyer on Voit this season, I would suggest taking him as your second 1B or your corner position. It can be a high risk / high reward, and one I would be willing to take if the pairing can be right and the ADP stays where it is.
Marwin Gonzalez (ESPN: 196, Fantrax: 227, Yahoo: 218, Average: 214)
Marwin Gonzalez is someone who I will be targeting at this ADP. He is someone with muti-position eligibility (1B, 2B, SS, OF) and has gotten over 500 plate appearances each of the past three seasons. Now that he is in Minnesota, I would not expect any different than him moving all over the field. 2017 was his incredible year of batting .303 AVG with 23 HR and 90 RBI, but in 2016 and 2018 we saw an average more in the .250 mark and home runs in the mid teens. In 2018 we saw Marwin’s ADP around 100 picks higher at 115; with him now dropping back to close to 200 I think that is a more fair price. I would not be taking Marwin as my starter necessarily at a position, but rather take him with the intent of slotting him in positions during the off days where I need him.
Josh Bell (ESPN: 213, Fantrax: 235, Yahoo: 230, Average: 226)
Josh Bell could be considered a post prospect hype guy. The first basemen is currently the 30th first basemen taken in drafts. Last year was a disappointment in terms of power for Bell as he went from 26 HR in 2018, to just 12 last year. With the home runs on a decline, we also saw his ISO drop over 50 points from .211 to .150. The interesting thing is that many stats that would usually explain a drop off in power actually stayed the same year to year. Going into 2019, I would be looking to draft him later and hoping an increase of homers to the range of 20-25. I don’t see why he cannot get back to that number. I could see myself playing Bell at a corner slot, or platooning him as my second first basemen similar to Voit. With the current price I would consider platooning Voit and Bell together, hoping for the boom, though I would be prepared for the bust.
Hanley Ramirez (ESPN: 455, Fantrax: 729, Yahoo: NR, Average: 592)
Hanley Ramirez is the definition of late round flier. He signed with the Indians as a non-roster invite and is currently at a zero risk / high reward value. If Hanley can get back to his hitting form from a couple years ago that can be a great find. The great thing is that you don’t have to draft him until super late in the draft, if at all. I assume if Hanley can get in good shape then he will get a decent amount of at bats. It’s not like the Indians are set in stone at 1B, and they can also play him at DH. Unless you play in a very deep league, I would add Hanley to your watch list and see how he does the first couple of weeks. If he starts to put power numbers up, then pick him up and as the saying goes “juice the orange”.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Cole Freel live on Sunday March 10th, 2019 from 8-9:45pm EST for episode #144 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. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Our topic this week is the Outfield for fantasy purposes.
Our guests this week are Joe Iannone and Bilal Chaudry. Joe is a writer for majorleaguefantasysports.com and his articles publish every Sunday. Bilal is the 2-time defending MLFBC champion and a frequent radio guest.
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday March 17th, 2019 from 8-9:45pm EST for episode #145 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. You can listen live on blogtalk, majorleaguefantasysports.com, or download the podcast on I-Tunes or any Android podcast app. Our topic this week is Bullpens and Catchers.