h2h Corner ~ Knowing ADP – How To Win Your League Before It Starts: Anibal Sanchez

Anibal Sanchez – Current ADP 247; 69th SP – My Rank: 61st pitcher; 52nd SP

For awhile now, I’ve been on the Marlins bandwagon. Even looking back at some radio spots from the end of 2010, I thought the Marlins could do some nice things in 2011, especially with the likes of Michael Stanton, LoMo, Josh Johnson, Nolasco, Gaby Sanchez, etc. I didn’t like the Uggla trade, but hasn’t stopped me from liking them.

One reason I like the Marlins is the depth of their starting pitching staff, which includes the completely overlooked Anibal Sanchez. Just 27 years old, Sanchez has thrown 477 MLB innings, resulting in a 3.74 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 1.75 K/BB rate. He broke onto the scene as a rookie in 2006 with 114.1 IPs, a 2.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. However his 2006 BABip (.240) and strand rate (79%) came back to normal, he got a few injuries and, subsequently, disappeared from most fantasy teams.

While he’ll probably never be that pitcher again, he has been improving. His line drive rate was 27.3% in 2008, then 20.4% in ’09 and 16.8% last year. He’s getting more ground balls, and posting better HR/FB rates (although last year’s was lower than it will be in 2011). Last year he also got batters to swing at more balls out of the strike zone and (perhaps related) walked less batters than typical.

Even with bounce backs in his HR/FB rate, walk rate and contact rates, Sanchez will be a sub-4.00 ERA guy quite easily. If he maintains his K-rate you are looking at 170 Ks dirt cheap.

I think there is considerable value in Sanchez – the type of guy you can get in the last couple of rounds of your draft who will be on your staff all year. Certainly, I’d rather have him than J.A. Happ, Derek Holland, John Lackey, Jon Niese, Tim Hudson, etc.

This is why you go heavy on hitters early in the draft – Sanchez will kill it for you and perform like a top 18 rounder at least.

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

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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 (discretely 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.

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

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