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February 17, 2012

Fantasy Beat

Expert Mocks vs. ADP

by Jason Collette

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It started with Matt Kemp and ended with Chase Headley, but the regular phase of the Industry Mock Draft sponsored by our friends over at MLB.com’s Fantasy411 crew is finally over. It took 13 teams, 299 players, and what felt like 29 weeks, but the draft is completed.  While anyone can go to MockDraftCentral.com and pull up the most recent ADP reports that show aggregated results for nearly 800 mixed drafts, the expert drafts have appeal because, as one of my friends put it, “Experts don’t follow trends, they set them.”

If an “expert” takes someone 75 spots above or below their ADP value, it should kick-start your curiosity as to why that player is rising or falling so far in the minds of the people that help push the industry forward with their work.  After all, Mike Moustakas went 93 spots ahead of his published ADP in this draft while Tim Hudson went 110 spots below his. 

Here are the draft results by the numbers. First up: the aforementioned range of ADP risers and fallers.

Just four players—Miguel Cabrera, Jacoby Ellsbury, Corey Hart, and Matt Capps—went exactly where they were showing up in the ADP reports. 52 percent of the players in this draft went one or more spots above their published ADP values while 29 percent of the players went 20 or more spots above their published ADP values.

If we break down the draft by groups of 50, we can start to see where the largest swings in ADP volatility took place.

PICKS

AVG ADP DIFF

HIGHEST

LOWEST

1-50

2.6

+36 (Kevin Youkilis)

-25 (Tim Lincecum)

51-100

5.8

+67 (Erick Aybar)

-34 (Yovani Gallardo)

101-150

18.0

+93 (Mike Moustakas)

-55 (Dan Hudson)

151-200

-6.6

+79 (Kelly Johnson)

-79 (Mat Latos)

201-250

-9.5

+74 (Scott Rolen)

-110 (Tim Hudson)

251-299

-41.0

+25 (David Carpenter)

-76 (Doug Fister)

In each range, the largest ADP dropper was a pitcher, while potential closer David Carpenter was the only pitcher to rise above his ADP status, and that did not come until very late in the draft.

The top 10 risers in this draft (drafted/ADP):

Of note, all 10 of those players have infield eligibility, while five of them are third base eligible. Is third base that shallow? Fellow mock drafter Ray Flowers of BaseballGuys/SiriusXM fame certainly does not think so, and I tend to agree with him.

The top 10 fallers in this draft (drafted/ADP):

Altuve falls this far only because Kevin Goldstein does not do fantasy baseball. Seven of the 10 players on this list are pitchers, as many in this draft chose to wait on taking pitching. Trumbo’s draft spot could have been higher if the playing time situation with the Angles was not so muddied. Latos dropping as far as he did seems a bit extreme to me compared to a guy like Hanson, who I have more reservations about as he changes his delivery.

Finally, let’s take a look at the particulars by position:

POSITION

POS DRAFT SPOT

AVG ADP DIFF

HIGHEST

LOWEST

Catcher

136

4.7

+37 (Yaider Molina)

-48 (Carlos Ruiz)

First Base

145

5.1

+83 (Lucas Duda)

-78 (Mark Trumbo)

Second Base

144

3.8

+79 (Kelly Johnson)

-68 (Jose Altuve)

Shortstop

140

1.7

+67 (Erick Aybar)

-52 (Stephen Drew)

Third Base

145

3.5

+93 (Mike Moustakas)

-74 (Chase Headley)

Outfield

141

3.1

+70 (Martin Prado)

-60 (Delmon Young)

Pitcher

143

8.1

+54 (Jason Motte)

-110 (Tim Hudson)

 

Jason Collette is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

Related Content:  Erick Aybar,  Jose Altuve

26 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Dave Scott

As I read this, I kept thinking: "I need to remember this stuff!" Thanks

Feb 17, 2012 08:57 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

Thanks for the feedback - very much appreciated!

Feb 17, 2012 10:22 AM
 
prs130

Is Trumbo officially on the trading block? Is he losing value because of the uncertainty?

Feb 17, 2012 09:51 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

I don't think he is on the block as much as they would like to clear Abreu, but it still doesn't fix the (good) mess:

1b - Pujols
DH - Morales
OF: - Wells, Hunter, Bourjos

Even after you clear out Abreu, where is Trout? The opinions on Trumbo playing 3rd are iffy so it's tough to envision how they fit all of them in.

Feb 17, 2012 10:19 AM
 
timber

Trout is in AAA, where - I believe - he belongs.

Feb 17, 2012 11:04 AM
rating: 0
 
Aaron/YYZ

Where's the analysis on what this actually means and how it should affect our decisions going forward?

The things I really want to know are topics like: are players being over/under drafted in ADP vs their projected performance? Are the experts over/under drafting players in comparison to their projection? Are there any runs on a position in the expert league that explain some of the ADP discrepancies? Are there any patterns of certain player types being overlooked or reached for?

Feb 17, 2012 10:45 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

That will be coming in my next piece on Monday. My hope was to see what kind of discussion these results created here in the comments and then look at a few of the extreme risers and fallers from this next week.

Feb 17, 2012 10:51 AM
 
swarmee

I'm guessing Carlos Ruiz's +48 should be -48.

Feb 17, 2012 11:04 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Corrected

Feb 17, 2012 11:07 AM
 
bobbygrace

Maybe I'm slow, but I don't understand the "Pos Draft Spot" column in the last table. In the words of double-rainbow guy: What does it mean?

Feb 17, 2012 11:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

the average positional draft spot of the position.

Feb 18, 2012 05:42 AM
 
HonusCobb

What's the fantasy word on Brett Lawrie? Is he going higher or lower than expected?

Feb 17, 2012 12:12 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

Lawrie is 5th among all 3B right now with an ADP of 54. He's going a full round ahead of Pablo Sandoval and Aramis Ramirez, and 2 rounds ahead of Kevin Youkilis. I love Lawrie, but not that much.

Feb 18, 2012 05:45 AM
 
Sharky

Jason, this is yet more good work from you. Way to go! And thanks for a helpful, concise, and clear look at useful info for us.

Feb 17, 2012 12:44 PM
rating: 0
 
lesmash

Not sure if anyone else is seeing this trend, but I think that some very high end SP are dropping too far down in the draft due to everyone wanting to go with offense early. I understand the desire for big bats in the first few rounds, but when guys like Ben Zobrist are being drafted ahead of studs like CC Sabathia or Cliff Lee, isn't this a mistake?

Feb 17, 2012 17:07 PM
rating: 0
 
wjmcknight37

My theory is that the "experts" always devalue pitching.

Feb 17, 2012 18:18 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

For a while it seemed like experts overvalued pitching, then some caught onto this and began waiting on pitching, which soon became the thing everyone did, and now it's starting to seem like pitching is becoming undervalued.

Feb 17, 2012 18:33 PM
 
Jack Thomas

Jason, is this draft not still ongoing? On the 411 website, it is a 30 round draft currently in the 27th round with Jeff Niemann as the last pick. A.J. Burnett was taken before Niemann as the 343th pick.

Feb 17, 2012 20:10 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

Yes, but we're in the reserves and people do different things in the reserves. For instance, I took Henderson Alvarez with my 3rd reserve pick well ahead of his ADP because I love the control and the high groundball rate despite the rather low K/9.

Feb 18, 2012 05:41 AM
 
juiced

Drafting pitching early in rotisserie drafts is a chump move. The experts are wise

Feb 17, 2012 22:14 PM
rating: 0
 
lesmash

Drafting pitching early is not a chump move if everyone is passing over proven arms in favour of 2nd or 3rd tier hitters. A few examples from the fantasy 411 draft that I don't agree with are Elvis Andrus going 2 picks ahead of CC Sabathia, Carl Crawford going a pick before Jered Weaver, Kevin Youkilis going 2 picks before Tim Lincecum, Ryan Howard going 3 picks before CJ Wilson, Dee Gordon going a pick before Ian Kennedy, and Austin Jackson going 2 picks before Jordan Zimmermann. I don't get the valuation behind any of these selections.

I frequently see experts make comments like 'take the best player available', and then they immediately proceed to ignore their own advice by passing over SP that have more value than the hitter they opt for instead. In my experience, there is always a trade market for a high end SP during the season, so it is not hard to get full value for this asset once the games are being played.

Feb 18, 2012 12:47 PM
rating: 2
 
RossBlums

Jason - good stuff -a couple article ideas perhaps worth your pursuits:

1) budget allocations ( pitching vs hitting) esp considering what seems to be a trend toward over 70% allocations to hitting

2) a look at the analytics behind the PFM and how 5x5 stats are translated into dollar figures, ie is this a standard deviation-based calculation or what?

Frankly, would welcome anyone's feedback on these matters.

Feb 18, 2012 13:54 PM
rating: 0
 
swarmee

Something else worthwhile this offseason: how does the pending Astros move to the AL change dollar values in both AL-only and NL-only leagues?

Feb 18, 2012 14:26 PM
rating: 1
 
ScottyB

O My! I'd love to be able to draft:
Tim Hudson at 248
Mat Latos at 151
Tommy Hanson at 169
and Hiroki Kuroda at 240

Lots of value there

Feb 18, 2012 18:48 PM
rating: 0
 
Peeig13

Jason,

A couple of questions.....questions I always have about "expert" drafts.

1) Are the participants playing for $$$$?

2) Is the league at least being played out?

My trust in the reliability of "experts" selections go up when they have something on the line.

Feb 19, 2012 19:55 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

1) no
2) no

We all know it is getting published and I know for myself, I draft it as if I were playing out a $5000 cash purse league.

Feb 19, 2012 20:17 PM
 
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The BP Wayback Machine... (02/17)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Nick Hun... (02/13)
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