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

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.

Shin-soo Choo – Current ADP 66 – Choo has been “underrated” for so long that he might at some point enter the conversation as being “overrated” – of course that would necessitate him having a down year. In 2009, Choo hit .300, posted a .394 OBP (crazy!), hit 20 HRs and stole 21 bases. Sure, his counting stats (87 runs, 86 RBIs) could have been better. With a healthier surrounding lineup in 2010, however, Choo should push each of those numbers past the century mark easily. I have Choo ranked 34th among hitters, yet he isn’t going until the sixth round or so. I’d be more comfortable with Choo than Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez, Nelson Cruz, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Shane Victorino, Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, and Nick Markakis. A guy who can produce 100 runs and RBIs, while going 20-20 and posting solid ratios is a true commodity.

Aramis Ramirez – Current ADP 62 – I love Aramis Ramirez, as evidenced in the fact that I just unearthed a number of his minor league cards while going through my stacks. Like the next guy, I’m generally skeptical of recently injured players; I tend to make them prove they are healthy before drafting them. Still, from 2006 – 2008, Ramirez averaged 146 games, 87 runs, 30 HRs, 110 RBIs, a .296 AVE and a .366 OBP. He is on the wrong side of 30 (31), but hasn’t played less than 123 games since 2000 (I was just graduating high school, wow that was a long time ago). I’m not overly concerned about him and see 25+ HRs, 100+ RBIs, a .290+ AVE and a .360+ OBP as a given. I’d be happy with him over the likes of Carlos Pena, Billy Butler, Derrek Lee, Lance Berkman, Josh Hamilton, Kendry Morales, Pablo Sandoval and others.

Derek Jeter – Current ADP 44 – I’ve disliked Jeter since he hit a memorable (non)HR in 1996. Still, Cap’n Jetes was superb last year: 107 runs, 18 HRs, 66 RBIs, 30 SBs, a .334 AVE and .406 OBP. According to some advanced metrics, Jeter also somehow became a much better fielder in his 14th season. At lot of this defensive improvement has to do with a supposed change in his off-season workout regime (or maybe he just needed to keep up with Minka Kelly). If that is the case, what is to say the Cap’n ages like a normal player? Will his batting average be above .330 in 2010? Probably not, but you can guarantee it will be over .300 (in his career, it has only been below .300 in three seasons (the lowest average was .291)). Since 2004, he has averaged 108 runs a season with 16 HRs and 76 RBIs. Those numbers are pretty nice and painfully consistent. I’d rather have him over Brian Roberts, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins and others.

Ichiro – Current ADP 40 – For the first time in his career, Ichiro scored less than 101 runs (he scored 88). We can blame this entirely on his teammates, as his average (.352) and OBP (.386) were consistent with career norms. In 2010, the Mariners should have better hitters behind Ichiro which will get those numbers back into triple digits. Last year was also the first time in his professional career that Ichiro stole less than 31 bases (he stole 26). Clearly, his value diminishes if he continues to only steal 25. However, over the last three years, he has averaged 35 SBs, so I’d look for him to get into the 30s again. After all that, we haven’t addressed the great source of Ichiro’s value: batting average. He has never hit lower than .300 in any major league season. With Ichiro in tow, you can guiltlessly draft a Carlos Pena and reap all his power without the downside. That is why I don’t understand why Ichiro is falling below guys like Morneau, Grady Sizemore, Adrian Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Dustin Pedroia, Brandon Phillips, or Jason Bay. I’ll take the steady runs and average over the other folks.

FB 101’s 411: There is safety in old stand-bys, Ichiro, Jeter, Aramis and Choo. Pay a little extra for added security.

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


2 responses to this post.

  1. What about Carlos Lee and/or Justin Morneau?
    Both dealt with minor injuries and shortened seasons in 2009, but het still put up solid numbers. Morneau had exactly 30HR and 100RBI in just over 500ABs. Carlos Lee had over 25HRs for the 8th straight year and surpassed the 100RBI plateau for the 5th straight as well.
    Although both are being drafted reasonably early, I don’t think it’s early enough. Both are borderline 2nd rounders in my opinion.


  2. Posted by Albert Lang on March 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    You raise two interesting players.

    I agree that Carlos Lee is going way too late (Current ADP: 68). Since 2006, he has averaged 150 games, 80 runs, 31 HRs, 109 RBIs while batting .303. That is a darn good fantasy outfielder. I’d take him over BJ Upton, Josh Hamilton and others. Not sure if he is a borderline 2nd rounder, but a definite 3rd/4th rounder (http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ag2uHKTMUOAndE01czhTTktVb2dnSXdNdjFGNW1GZ2c&hl=en).

    As for Morneau (who i just got in my AL-only league), I have him ranked as the 36th best hitter and his ADP is 37. He just hasnt had a great beginning to end year since he won the MVP. That said, in his last three seasons, he has averaged 89 runs, 28 HRs, and 113 RBIs, while batting .282. I’m not sure if there is much upside in 2010 from those numbers, but they certainly arent anything to sneeze at. I see him as a very reliable 3rd rounder.


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