ADP is a beautiful, terrible thing. We as humans love to rank things and it can cloud our judgement to see an arbitrary list. ADP is an incredibly useful tool, as it pools and averages where others are taking players you might be thinking of taking. You know and I know that just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right. ADP is a barometer, not law. You know this, I know this… but that doesn’t mean every jabroney in your league knows that. There’s at least one in every draft. Someone who takes Chone Figgins in the 4th round. Who asks if Martin Russell is still available. Who tries to draft a retired player. Even the smartest fantasy owners fall victim to ADP (Hand raised. That sentence makes it sound like a virus). Between the bimbos and the braniacs drafting with you, you’re all going to at one point rely on ADP as some kind of deciding/tie-breaking factor. So here are some players not to forget about in 2012. It’s crazy to think everyone can get a superstud to start at first,it’s a matter of numbers- everyone can’t have Pujols or Votto – just as it’s crazy chasing Amy– it’s just a matter of statistics (and gender preference, but I mean, just watch the movie. C’mon.). We don’t all get what we want, just ask the Rolling Stones, but sometimes, just sometimes, we get what we need. And what you need is good value. Second Base, for a while, was exceedingly top-heavy position to draft. Then slowly (see what I did there? Those words don’t go together!), the bottom rose up. There is value to be had at second throughout the draft, so be alert. You don’t want a bargain to pass you by… while you were sleeping… (boom, nailed it.)
As always, much love to Mock Draft Central, where you can get all kinds of ADP reports by signing up.
Second Base may not wow you for fantasy purposes. Sure there is some elite talent in the likes of Cano, Kinsler and Pedroia, but after that you’re worried about Utley’s health, Rickie Week’s health, or, sigh, Dan Uggla. But have faith, there are a unique combination of rising young talents and forgotten veterans just waiting to contribute to your team. Admittedly, some of the second basemen lower in drafts do not offer the same impact across the board as, say, Cano, but if you miss out on the top there are a slew of guys who can contribute to a variety of categories for you. If you’re looking for some pop from your second baseman and are thinking of taking Dan Uggla, wait a tic, there’s value to come (like Danny Espinosa or Jason Kipnis).
Jemile Weeks (OAK)- ADP 150.55
The younger Weeks is sandwiched in-between two other high-value picks, the aforementioned Espinosa (ADP 147) and Kipnis (ADP 165). I’ll delve into them briefly. They’re hot sleepers for most prognosticators and deservedly so. Espinosa is an awesome snag for 20-20 in 2012 (he came close in 2011), but he still has some holes in his swing and shouldn’t be trusted to hit above .250. Kipnis, on the other hand, also has solid 15-20 homer potential with less speed but a higher average.
Weeks is a very different type of player. Sometimes I think my judgement is skewed on the entire Weeks family due to our buddy Tim’s infatuation with both brothers (it’s intense.). But I’ve seen Jemile with my own two, borderline superhuman, eyes, in addition to sorting through both his minor league and 2011 numbers, and he’s a unique talent for fantasy, especially in leagues where people are reaching for Ackley or are inexplicably drafting Neil Walker (ADP – 141 – I just don’t get it). He’s a solid hitter and runs extremely well. He was impressive if unspectacular in 2011, but imagine these hypothetical numbers: 30 doubles, 10 triples, 30 steals and an average around .300. Add on his solid eye and manageable K rate and you’re looking at a very productive player at a very reasonable price. If, by some miracle, the Oakland offense outperforms your local little league team, Weeks could also be a real quiet source of runs. Even if the A’s stink (likely), Weeks’ ‘individual’ stats, so to speak – triples, steals – will be high production at a low slot. Orlando Hudson was a pretty valuable chip in fantasy for a while back in the day, and Weeks could put up comparable, solid numbers with a lot more speed. Keep an eye on Jemile and for the love of OshKoshBaGosh don’t draft Neil Walker.
Marco Scutaro (COL) – ADP 253.7
I know, I know, he’s listed as a SS all over, but it is both documented and common sense that he’ll slide over to second in Colorado. Unless you thought he was unseating Tulo after the deal. Silly Goose. You may be reading some of the names on these lists thinking, what the hell kind of league is he in to be looking at Marco Scutaro? It happens, people. Our Ducks on the Pond League has 16 people in it, and when you get that large, you need to find production at value. Scutaro is an excellent example. Sure his numbers with Boston were fairly tame by fantasy standards but this is an issue of both value and situation. Scutaro won’t win any foot races or batting titles but he hits productively and gets on base. Given the proper at bats, he has shown excellent doubles power and in a good lineup, always seems to score runs. He hits line drives and doesn’t strike out often. And now he’s in Colorado.
The days of guys suddenly adding 25 homers at Coors are gone (Sorry, Vinny Castilla), but that doesn’t change the park dimensions. With his solid eye and those gaps, it’s not unreasonable to think Scutaro could push 40 doubles if he stays healthy. He’ll probably hit somewhere around .275 and have an OBP around the .340-.350 range. And Colorado has a good lineup, one which he figures to be a sparkplug for (hitting second, according to RotoChamp). I don’t care what a projection says, if that lineup hits and he’s in that spot, he’ll score 85+ runs. With double digit-ish homers (in the 7-12 range), isn’t he a steal over a guy like Cliff Pennington in a similar rank (ADP 252)? Isn’t a safer value pick than Allan Craig (ADP 239), a sleeper for many, but who’s a guy that has struggled to find his way into the lineup? Maybe that was LaRussa’s doing, but for my money, Scutaro is worth taking a look at as your draft winds down. Or in a larger league, as you scramble in the teens to find a MI.
This last one is going to make you wonder what I’m on but…..
Freddy Sanchez (SF) – ADP doesn’t even really count but: 445.65!!!!!!!!!
Seriously! Where’s the love! Sure lately the man has been more delicate than a house of cards but he’s a very good hitter when healthy (‘professional hitter’ is the term many people with real blogs use). So let us assume he stays healthy enough for 450-500 AB, which isn’t outside the range of projections (except for RotoChamp, those Debbie Downers). Given that amount of time, he has demonstrated the ability to hit for a good average with a bunch of doubles. If you can take a guy who could hit .300 with 30 doubles with the last pick of your draft, wouldn’t you? More importantly, people based on ADP at Mock Draft Central are taking Brett Hayes and Jamey Carroll ahead of Sanchez. Take the flier to fill that MI position. Seriously, Jamey Carroll?
Second Base provides more interesting options than I can remember in years past. Though it might seem like a Giants bias, discussing Aubrey Huff in the 1B ADP post and Sanchez here is more due to my surprise at their ADP’s than any affinity towards San Francisco. Not everyone winds up with Cano. In deeper leagues, you often need to backup your backup. There are sleepers and there are fillers, second base can provide you with both. There’s a crop of youngn’s in Espinosa, Weeks, and Kipnis who could soon be considered top-tier. There are also some old stalwarts who are probably worth a flier in the latter rounds. Sure someone like Scutaro might be boring. But sometimes boring helps you win. Otherwise, Placido Polanco would have been out of a job a long time ago.
But if you want some excitement, there’s always Juan Uribe…