h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before the Season Even Starts II

Maximizing every drop of value in every pick is hugely important. Taking a player in the fifth round that you could just as easily have taken in the sixth round is a major mistake. To avoid this, you need to know all about Average Draft Position (ADP).

While no two drafts are identical, knowing where a player typically goes gives you a general idea of where he will go in your draft. That said, be sure to do homework on your league mates subjective tendencies. For example, if there are Red Sox fans, be sure to snag guys like Lester and Youkilis a bit earlier than you normally would. In addition, you should talk up your sleepers before the draft (discreetly of course) to see if anyone is on to them. If you don’t, an opponent with an itchy trigger finger who hasn’t done his ADP homework might snag one of your sleepers a round before anyone else is typically taking him.

Now that you know WHY ADP is important, I want to show you HOW to exploit it by highlighting those players who are going too low compared to players with similar ADPs. You can grab an ADP report at Mock Draft Central.

Juan Pierre – Current ADP 219 – When you realize that Pierre hasn’t had over 400 at bats in the last two years, yet has averaged 35 SBs, you have an undervalued commodity on your hand. The last season he received a full compliment of ABs, he stole 64 bases. In the five most recent seasons he had over 600 ABs, Pierre averaged 58 stolen bases. For someone who is going in the 21st round of most 10-team drafts, that’s way too good value. If I’m sitting in the 20th round, I’d rather have Pierre than Helton, Scutaro, Peralta, Konerko, McGehee or Gordon. I’d be comfortable with Pierre around pick 165.

Mike Cameron – Current ADP 246 – Sure, Cameron will not do anything for your batting average. He is a career .250 hitter and will end up around there in 2010. However he can help in just about every other category. Over the last four years, he has averaged 81 runs, 23 HRs, 75 RBIs and 17 SBs. Being 37, he likely wont be pushing 20 SBs anymore, but 10 isn’t out of the realm of possibility. I’d be happy with steady Cameron over the likes of Placido Polanco, Macier Izturis, AJ Pierzynski, or Carlos Gomez. He’ll hit 20 HRs this year, score plenty and knock in plenty. He is a phenomenal fourth outfielder who is available in the late rounds of any draft. I’d be comfortable taking Cameron around pick 200.

Everth Cabrera – Current ADP 233 – With all the Elvis Andrus pub, you’d think Cabrera would be getting a little more fantasy love. In only 377 Major League ABs last year, Cabrera stole 25 bases and scored 59 runs. Sure his .255 AVE wasn’t great, but at least he posted a .342 OBP (something very important because his ability to get on base directly impacts his SB count). If you average out last season over 162 games, you are looking at a guy who could push 40 steals, easy. Yet he is going behind the likes of Alex Gordon (battling for the third base position in KC!?!?), Yadier Molina, Carlos Gomez, Johnny Peralta, and Casey McGehee. I’d be comfortable taking Cabrera around pick 180.

Dexter Fowler – current ADP 272 – Sure the Rockies have a crowded outfield, but Fowler had an impressive debut last year. He scored 73 runs, stole 27 bases and posted a .363 OBP in just 135 games. With that great OBP and minor league track record (.396 OBP), he should continue to get on first and steal second. I’m not sure why he isn’t getting drafted in every league and why people like Scott Hairston, Mark DeRosa, Ryan Theriot, and Macier Izturis, are being taken ahead of him. I’d be happy taking Fowler around pick 200.

Feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner)/Facebook pages.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James Chang on March 8, 2010 at 3:26 am

    I gotta disagree with your Juan Pierre recommendation here. I fully agree with you that IF he gets 600 AB he is likely an undervalued commodity for his steals alone. I don’t think he’ll get anywhere close to 600 AB for the simple reason that he is NOT a good real-life baseball player and will likely not last the season as a regular.. I know he doesn’t have much competition in the White Sox outfield right now, but I feel strongly that players with a sub .700 OPS are always in danger of getting benched unless they can field like Ozzie Smith or Mark Belanger–which obviously Pierre cannot.

    I will concede that if he repeats last season’s .365 OBP then he’s worth taking–but he won’t. His OBP’s the previous four seasons (from age 27-30, which should have been his peak) are .326, .330, .331, and .327. To me he is the best representation of a player that many think is a good baseball player because of his name recognition and fantasy value WHO DOESN’T ACTUALLY HELP HIS TEAM WIN IN REAL LIFE, and is always in danger of losing his real job thus negating his fantasy value.

    I’ll also concede that I would probably like Juan Pierre as a player if he would take some walks, but he never has and most likely never will. He is probably my least favorite player in baseball because so many people out there actually still think he’s a good player. I see him as little more than an offensive black hole who happens to run very well.


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on March 8, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I dont know, James. I think we agree but arent talking about the same thing.

    Juan Pierre is not a good baseball player (unless he gets a reserve/pinch running role, then he aint bad). He cant get on base, he cant field all that well, he cant hit for power, he cant take a walk. I agree.

    I just dont see him not getting 500-600 ABs in the White Sox line-up. They did give Scott Podsednik 540 ABs last year.

    I agree his OBP will be nothing like last year, but .320 – .340 with that many ABs will get him a good number of steals (simply because that is the only thing he can do).

    Bad real life player, good fantasy player, kind of like Bengie Molina?

    Maybe I’m a tad too bullish on him given last season’s success and I havent taken into account what switching leagues might do. Still, if you are in a league that doesnt have OBP as a category, Pierre is a pretty good option.


  3. […] worry about batting average, Mike Cameron (or BJ Upton-lite) is someone I tend to gravitate toward. He’s done his typical thing over the last seven days (poor batting average, but power and […]


  4. […] worry about batting average, Mike Cameron (or BJ Upton-lite) is someone I tend to gravitate toward. He’s done his typical thing over the last seven days (poor batting average, but power and […]


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