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. The Prince Fielder move has brought another titan to the ranks of 3B, but after the top two tiers, there are a ton of question marks. Unless you’re in a 4 person league, you’ll probably need to be thinking about how to finagle value out of you 3B/CI position late in a draft. Be smart, let someone else take Brett Lawrie in the 5th or 6th round. Don’t get me wrong, he will have every shot at going 20-20, but people are taking him ahead of Matt Cain, Buster Posey, James Shields and Michael Young, not to mention fellow 3B Aramis Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. All proven fantasy commodities. So go ahead and reach, just remember… wait for it… only fools rush in (am I killin’ it or WHAT?).
As always, much love to Mock Draft Central, where you can get all kinds of ADP reports by signing up.
P.S. Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry? In what bizzaro world does that happen? Is he funny or something?
There are 7.5 Third Basemen in the top two ‘levels,’ in my book, now with the inclusion of Miguel Cabrera. Longoria and Cabrera are elite talents who can anchor a team, with David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman excellent options as “1A’s.” After that you have Alex Rodriguez, who is in that category- if he stays healthy (hence the half mentioned before). Then there’s Aramis Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval who are nice parts for your team and contribute across categories. Everyone else is a combination of injury risk (Youkilis), upside (Lawrie), or single category stuffers (Reynolds). Most leagues are larger than 8 teams, so you’ll likely have to be creative at some point in some league with the position. There’s some potential huge windfall late in the drafts at third base. And let’s be honest, you shouldn’t settle for Mark Reynolds. Unless you love watching major leaguers miss pitches by a foot. Then be my guest.
I have already written about both of these gentlemen at length (Gamel here and Alvarez here), as for some reason I have a good feeling about the pair (call me Flo Rida). They’ve maintained similar ADPs and both have that feel of post-hype sleeper-dom. It’s easy to forget, especially in Gamel’s case, just how highly touted and thought of these guys were coming up before their more recent scuffles. Instead of taking Ryan Roberts (ADP 195) who, sure, is an interesting player not only because he is covered in tattoos, wait a few rounds and snag one of these guys. Or swipe them off waivers if they’re hanging around and you have a need.
Ty Wigginton (PHI) – ADP 257
Ty Wigginton has averaged an extra base hit every 11.2 plate appearances for his career. Turns out, that’s pretty good. Wigginton is a very solid player who is stepping into some serious at bats in Philadelphia. Ryan Howard has suffered a setback. Placido Polanco is, well, Placido Polanco. Wigginton can also play second (if Utley is hurt), and outfield, where he will likely get a few at bats. He’s listed at 1B, 3B, OF in most leagues, which is valuable in and of itself. But coming in with an ADP around 257, he’s an equally valuable chip to gamble on as the aforementioned post-hype sleepers, just more boring veteran than sleeper. Wigginton won’t hit .300. He won’t drive in 100 runs. But given even 400 AB, he has demonstrated the ability to hit for a playable average (.250-.270) with extra base power. His OBP will be below average. I know I threw a bunch of mixed signals at you just there but consider this: Citizen’s Bank Park is a banbox. Wigginton is a utility man with the opportunity for an above-utility number of at bats. As a draft wears on, you would be wise to pay attention to how many multiple-eligibles are left, because Ty Wigginton can give you serious bang for your buck (seriously, he hit 23 homers in 386 AB in 2008. That’s nuts.).
Ian Stewart (CHC) – ADP 393
I find the lack of faith in Stewart very interesting. So, sure, maybe Theo Epstein is not quite the genius we all thought he was, but he didn’t grab this guy for nothing. Stewart, despite his many flaws in the majors, has undeniable power. Click the link, look at his ISO averages in the minors, look at his output in the majors- the kid can mash. So why would someone take Miguel Tejada or Jose Lopez ahead of him? Don’t even get me started on Danny Valencia, who at MDC, is going over 100 spots ahead of Stewart. What does Valencia bring to a fantasy team, pray tell? I’ll give you a minute…
… time’s up, it’s nothing. Stewart, as late as he’s going, is a treasure trove of power given the opportunity. Imagine him hitting in Wrigley in prime slugging conditions. In significant time when he was sent down to AAA in 2008 and 2011, Stewart put up ISO’s of .327 and .316, respectively. Even is his sporadic and taciturn MLB time, he’s hit a homer ever 26 plate appearances. The Cubs are in rebuild mode, for sure. But that may actually be just what Stewart needs. Given the opportunity, he could be the cheapest 25 homers you come across if you play your cards right. We’re past the days of steroid-induced 50+ homer seasons occurring all over. If you can get a power threat like Stewart this late in a draft, I suggest you jump on board.
So there you have it, the Filene’s Basement of 3rd Basemen. Which type of flyer to take really has a lot to do with how your team shakes out. If you have relatively solid 3B situation, maybe you want to roll the dice with a post-hype sleeper like Mat Gamel or Pedro Alvarez. If you’re going into a season with Chipper Jones as your 3B, maybe it makes more sense to go for the solid production and flexibility of a guy like Wigginton or go crazy and draft Juan Uribe. Golly do I love me some Juan Uribe.