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March 15, 2011

Fantasy Beat

Expert Mock Draft Results

by Jason Collette

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I recently had the pleasure of doing a slow—and I mean slow—mock draft over the past four weeks with a few of my friends and colleagues in the fantasy baseball industry. That group included most of the mlb.com folks, Fernando DiFino, and the legendary Joe Sheehan. The draft started on February 17 and survived a few lost weekends, DiFino’s nuptials (congrats!) and several copy and paste issues from some of us that are still using not-so-smartphones.

It was a standard 12-team 5x5 league. We were told in advance it would not be played out but, at least for me, that did not change the way I drafted the team (I had the 12th spot in the draft). The table below shows each player’s draft spot, their current Average Draft Position, and the difference between those two numbers (my personal picks are bolded)

Player

Pick

ADP

Difference

Albert Pujols

1

1

0

Troy Tulowitzki

2

5

-3

Hanley Ramirez

3

2

1

Miguel Cabrera

4

3

1

Ryan Braun

5

9

-4

Evan Longoria

6

5

1

Carlos Gonzalez

7

7

0

Joey Votto

8

7

1

Robinson Cano

9

11

-2

Carl Crawford

10

16

-6

Adrian Gonzalez

11

9

2

David Wright

12

10

2

Chase Utley

13

19

-6

Ryan Zimmerman

14

22

-8

Alex Rodriguez

15

16

-1

Mark Teixeira

16

13

3

Josh Hamilton

17

14

3

Jose Reyes

18

28

-10

Matt Holliday

19

23

-4

Prince Fielder

20

21

-1

Kevin Youkilis

21

30

-9

Ryan Howard

22

16

6

Joe Mauer

23

20

3

Justin Upton

24

41

-17

Andrew McCutchen

25

45

-20

Matt Kemp

26

23

3

Dustin Pedroia

27

32

-5

Nelson Cruz

28

34

-6

Shin-Soo Choo

29

27

2

Roy Halladay

30

14

16

Dan Uggla

31

52

-21

Felix Hernandez

32

30

2

Brian McCann

33

29

4

Ian Kinsler

34

52

-18

Brandon Phillips

35

34

1

Cliff Lee

36

38

-2

Jose Bautista

37

49

-12

Tim Lincecum

38

21

17

Victor Martinez

39

30

9

Jacoby Ellsbury

40

68

-28

Zack Greinke

41

49

-8

Adam Dunn

42

46

-4

Jayson Werth

43

50

-7

Adrian Beltre

44

52

-8

Jason Heyward

45

52

-7

Ichiro Suzuki

46

31

15

Clayton Kershaw

47

48

-1

Buster Posey

48

47

1

Rickie Weeks

49

40

9

B.J. Upton

50

66

-16

Jon Lester

51

40

11

Elvis Andrus

52

71

-19

Mike Stanton

53

154

-101

Jimmy Rollins

54

41

13

Hunter Pence

55

83

-28

Alex Rios

56

59

-3

Jay Bruce

57

79

-22

Derek Jeter

58

47

11

Chris Young

59

98

-39

Andre Ethier

60

39

21

CC Sabathia

61

48

13

Colby Rasmus

62

94

-32

Carlos Marmol

63

94

-31

Mariano Rivera

64

59

5

Curtis Granderson

65

71

-6

Carlos Santana

66

135

-69

Kendry Morales

67

62

5

Drew Stubbs

68

156

-88

Adam Wainwright

69

INJ

INJ

Justin Morneau

70

50

20

Josh Johnson

71

73

-2

Neftali Feliz

72

114

-42

Joakim Soria

73

70

3

Justin Verlander

74

66

8

Shane Victorino

75

148

-73

Heath Bell

76

80

-4

Alexei Ramirez

77

99

-22

Brian Wilson

78

75

3

Cole Hamels

79

62

17

Francisco Liriano

80

79

1

Grady Sizemore

81

97

-16

Torii Hunter

82

92

-10

Andrew Bailey

83

148

-65

Billy Butler

84

82

2

Martin Prado

85

74

11

Stephen Drew

86

120

-34

Yovani Gallardo

87

64

23

Jonathan Papelbon

88

127

-39

Jason Bay

89

138

-49

Tommy Hanson

90

79

11

Michael Bourn

91

116

-25

Ubaldo Jimenez

92

43

49

Adam Lind

93

172

-79

Pedro Alvarez

94

84

10

Nick Markakis

95

107

-12

Jered Weaver

96

50

46

Mark Reynolds

97

133

-36

Kelly Johnson

98

111

-13

Delmon Young

99

116

-17

Pablo Sandoval

100

139

-39

Mat Latos

101

71

30

Dan Haren

102

49

53

Aramis Ramirez

103

102

1

Chone Figgins

104

90

14

David Price

105

61

44

Roy Oswalt

106

108

-2

Shaun Marcum

107

105

2

Corey Hart

108

105

3

Paul Konerko

109

71

38

Jose Valverde

110

143

-33

Ben Zobrist

111

126

-15

Max Scherzer

112

108

4

Michael Young

113

79

34

Matt Cain

114

88

26

Aaron Hill

115

166

-51

Jonathan Broxton

116

175

-59

John Axford

117

169

-52

Chris Carpenter

118

98

20

Travis Snider

119

294

-175

Brett Gardner

120

184

-64

Jose Tabata

121

246

-125

David Ortiz

122

183

-61

Jonathan Sanchez

123

173

-50

Brandon Morrow

124

127

-3

Chad Billingsley

125

85

40

Geovany Soto

126

99

27

Huston Street

127

153

-26

Adam Jones

128

189

-61

Ian Stewart

129

114

15

Mike Napoli

130

119

11

Matt Wieters

131

134

-3

Rafael Furcal

132

142

-10

Francisco Rodriguez

133

143

-10

Daniel Hudson

134

134

0

Chris Perez

135

163

-28

Ian Desmond

136

168

-32

Josh Beckett

137

184

-47

J.J. Putz

138

148

-10

Brad Lidge

139

214

-75

Brian Roberts

140

132

8

Juan Pierre

141

135

6

Francisco Cordero

142

219

-77

Gordon Beckham

143

216

-73

Carlos Pena

144

192

-48

Tim Hudson

145

154

-9

Drew Storen

146

199

-53

Matt Thornton

147

240

-93

Gio Gonzalez

148

179

-31

Joel Hanrahan

149

275

-126

Wandy Rodriguez

150

124

26

Angel Pagan

151

281

-130

Carlos Beltran

152

258

-106

Matt Garza

153

107

46

Ricky Nolasco

154

172

-18

Nick Swisher

155

122

33

Colby Lewis

156

114

42

Miguel Montero

157

122

35

Casey McGehee

158

107

51

Carlos Quentin

159

214

-55

Jorge De La Rosa

160

201

-41

Derrek Lee

161

265

-104

Ted Lilly

162

211

-49

Carlos Lee

163

132

31

Brett Anderson

164

148

16

Jhoulys Chacin

165

271

-106

Ryan Dempster

166

90

76

Jorge Posada

167

153

14

Kurt Suzuki

168

179

-11

Craig Kimbrel

169

266

-97

Aroldis Chapman

170

369

-199

Clay Buchholz

171

97

74

Trevor Cahill

172

92

80

Leo Nunez

173

376

-203

Joe Nathan

174

241

-67

Jeremy Hellickson

175

158

17

Ian Kennedy

176

245

-69

Vernon Wells

177

99

78

Howie Kendrick

178

211

-33

Madison Bumgarner

179

153

26

Frank Francisco

180

297

-117

Bobby Abreu

181

119

62

Austin Jackson

182

337

-155

Gaby Sanchez

183

200

-17

Rajai Davis

184

289

-105

Jake McGee

185

393

-208

Denard Span

186

150

36

Adam LaRoche

187

183

4

Ike Davis

188

224

-36

Ryan Raburn

189

315

-126

Domonic Brown

190

336

-146

James Loney

191

255

-64

John Danks

192

101

91

David Aardsma

193

245

-52

Hong-Chih Kuo

194

360

-166

Manny Ramirez

195

165

30

Chris Sale

196

375

-179

Neil Walker

197

343

-146

Starlin Castro

198

157

41

Jonny Venters

199

368

-169

Alfonso Soriano

200

96

104

Fernando Rodney

201

260

-59

Hiroki Kuroda

202

184

18

C.J. Wilson

203

196

7

Carlos Ruiz

204

222

-18

Jake Peavy

205

359

-154

Omar Infante

206

272

-66

Edwin Encarnacion

207

371

-164

Asdrubal Cabrera

208

163

45

Ricky Romero

209

139

70

Sean Rodriguez

210

349

-139

Phil Hughes

211

158

53

Dexter Fowler

212

259

-47

Lance Berkman

213

320

-107

Russell Martin

214

306

-92

Chase Headley

215

325

-110

Alcides Escobar

216

349

-133

Chris Coghlan

217

385

-168

Ervin Santana

218

239

-21

Daniel Bard

219

361

-142

Tsuyoshi Nishioka

220

355

-135

Edinson Volquez

221

318

-97

Brandon Lyon

222

304

-82

Michael Cuddyer

223

262

-39

J.J. Hardy

224

371

-147

Matt LaPorta

225

383

-158

Aubrey Huff

226

107

119

Luke Scott

227

345

-118

Seth Smith

228

357

-129

James Shields

229

175

54

Anibal Sanchez

230

293

-63

Ryan Franklin

231

235

-4

Rafael Soriano

232

355

-123

Magglio Ordonez

233

212

21

Raul Ibanez

234

216

18

Jason Kubel

235

136

99

Mike Minor

236

306

-70

Jordan Zimmermann

237

192

45

Javier Vazquez

238

194

44

J.D. Drew

239

329

-90

Jaime Garcia

240

233

7

Jair Jurrjens

241

185

56

Rick Porcello

242

400

-158

John Lackey

243

172

71

J.P. Arencibia

244

360

-116

Chris Iannetta

245

326

-81

Johnny Cueto

246

325

-79

Brian Matusz

247

247

0

Koji Uehara

248

385

-137

A.J. Burnett

249

352

-103

Gavin Floyd

250

149

101

Mitch Moreland

251

386

-135

Matt Joyce

252

397

-145

Brandon League

253

386

-133

Tim Stauffer

254

346

-92

Kevin Gregg

255

273

-18

Nate McLouth

256

386

-130

Miguel Tejada

257

224

33

Vladimir Guerrero

258

79

179

Cameron Maybin

259

400

-141

Andres Torres

260

266

-6

Kila Ka'aihue

261

394

-133

Jesus Montero

262

292

-30

Joel Peralta

263

400

-137

Mike Aviles

264

158

106

Justin Smoak

265

396

-131

Brett Wallace

266

394

-128

Freddie Freeman

267

341

-74

Yadier Molina

268

207

61

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

269

391

-122

John Buck

270

235

35

Josh Thole

271

397

-126

Nick Hundley

272

395

-123

A.J. Pierzynski

273

286

-13

Coco Crisp

274

326

-52

John Jaso

275

368

-93

Jason Hammel

276

400

-124

 
Before getting into my own team, I think it is important to look at who the “experts” are reaching for and who they are letting slide. These were the ten biggest reaches in the draft according to the latest ADP reports from MockDraftCentral.com:
  1. Jake McGee – 208 picks early
  2. Leo Nunez – 203 picks early
  3. Aroldis Chapman – 199 picks early
  4. Chris Sale – 179 picks early
  5. Travis Snider – 175 picks early
  6. Jonny Venters – 169 picks early
  7. Chris Coghlan – 168 picks early
  8. Hong-Chih Kuo – 166 picks early
  9. Edwin Encarnacion – 164 picks early
  10. Matt LaPorta – 158 picks early

The Encarnacion reach hit close to home, as I let him go by me in order to take Jake Peavy. If there is someone who loves Encarnacion more than me in 2011, it is Cory Schwartz, who picked two spots after me.

 You will recall from my piece on closers last month that I like Leo Nunez as a late grab in drafts for this season and that apparently has not caught on with the mock drafters yet: Nunez’s current ADP is 376 which would not even have placed in this draft. Six of the ten players on this list are either closers or potential closers as drafters jumped up to take the players they thought would get saves this season. The biggest reach, McGee, may be the worst one at this stage: manager Joe Maddon has not yet showed his cards on how the bullpen will set up to start the season. In fact, McGee has gotten very little work to date and it has been mostly against minor league competition, so no one knows how high leverage his work will be.

As always, there are certain players that go right at their projected value and most of the time that happens early in the draft. The following players went within one pick or were taken right at their current ADP:

  1. Alex Rodriguez
  2. Prince Fielder
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Albert Pujols
  5. Carlos Gonzalez
  6. Daniel Hudson
  7. Brian Matusz
  8. Hanley Ramirez
  9. Miguel Cabrera
  10. Evan Longoria
  11. Joey Votto
  12. Brandon Phillips
  13. Buster Posey
  14. Francisco Liriano
  15. Aramis Ramirez

Of those 15, 10 were taken in the first 20 spots of the draft which helps with predictability in the early rounds. Hudson and Matusz, two players I like very much for this season, were not reached for despite their potential for more upside this season.

Meanwhile, these are the ten players that were taken well past their current ADP in this draft.

  1. Vladimir Guerrero – 179 picks later
  2. Aubrey Huff – 119 picks later
  3. Mike Aviles – 106 picks later
  4. Alfonso Soriano – 104 picks later
  5. Gavin Floyd – 101 picks later
  6. Jason Kubel – 99 picks later
  7. John Danks – 91 picks later
  8. Trevor Cahill – 80 picks later
  9. Vernon Wells – 78 picks later
  10. Ryan Dempster – 76 picks later

Players 11 and 12 on that list were John Lackey and Clay Buchholz, as both of them went 70-plus picks after their current ADP. Guerrero’s slide was one of the biggest surprises—he nearly fell all the way out of this draft as the group was clearly turned off by his second half of the season with the Rangers. Huff was also a surprise as a slide given his dual position eligibility and his strong skills last season. After all, he went nearly 40 picks after Ike Davis despite better numbers from the Player Forecast Manager. Soriano’s slide is not a surprise as I saw the exact same thing happen in two other drafts I did in recent days—he is a strong bargain late in drafts. The PFM has him at 23 home runs, 13 steals, 77 RBI, and a .265 average, solid production at pick 200 in a draft.

My own roster came together as such:

C: M. Montero

C: Ruiz

1B: Butler

3B: Wright

CI: Konerko

2B: Utley

SS: Furcal

MI: Prado

OF: Ethier

OF: Bautista

OF: Hart

OF: Abreu

OF: Smith

U: Joyce

P: Lee

P: Sabathia

P: Lewis

P: Shields

P: Hammel

P: Peavy

P: F. Rodriguez

P: Francisco

P: League

What I like about my roster is that I have players such as Prado and Bautista that have multi-position eligibility. I make sure I get at least two players like that in any draft I do, particularly in AL- or NL-only leagues. Excepting speed, this roster should be very competitive on the offensive side despite the fact I used two early picks on staff aces in Lee and Sabathia. Wright, Furcal, and Abreu will have to provide the bulk of the steals for this squad as the rest of the team is rather slow of foot (maybe Butler will chip in).

On the pitching side, I like the group of starters I was able to assemble as I resisted the urge to jump into the first closer run and still ended up with two guys in Rodriguez and Francisco that I have been targeting due to their skills for this season. The PFM projects that duo for 53 saves, and is also very bullish on League—he’s projected for 31 saves right now. That was the last of the three relievers I took, following my typical plan of taking a high-skills set up man late in mixed leagues rather than chasing a third closer early.

If you are an auction type player, we now have the results of the LABR drafts to utilize and if you need more, all three ToutWars drafts are this weekend in New York City. The draft is not open to the public as it is in the MLB front offices, but it will be covered live on Sirius/XM radio on the fantasy sports channel and various writers will be live blogging the event directly from ToutWars.com. I will be live-blogging most of the NL draft on Sunday morning so I encourage you to drop in to either avenue and check out the auctions. If you live in the New York area, the ToutWars pre-party is Friday night at the infamous Foley’s NY bar near the Empire State Building. Feel free to come by and say hi to all the touts and buy us a beer!

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

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

BP Comment Quick Links

pobothecat

Believe I might've taken Michael Pineda over Jason Hammel with pick 276.

Mar 15, 2011 02:46 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

I can respect that. I've been on record with my feelings about Hammel making that leap up for 2011 and I trust the way his statistics are trending over a rookie pitcher who had a 100 IP workload spike last year and probably has a 170 IP ceiling this season. Plus, the offense around him is questionable and I wonder if he can reach double-digit wins.

Mar 15, 2011 06:25 AM
 
davinhbrown

How much do you worry about someone like F-Rod at closer?

His option vests with a certain number of games finished. The Mets ownership could shed payroll. The team itself isn't as good. [Santana out, Beltran old, holes at 2b, C, back of rotation]

Good player - yes.

But is the risk worth it?

Mar 15, 2011 06:08 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

That 55 number shouldn't be too hard to stay under for a team that I don't think will win 80 games. Let him get his saves, but I could see Collins using him in the 8th and defending the move as a high-leverage usage which frankly, I would applaud. Skills wise, I have no problem with K-Rod and I think there is a smart way to use him so he doesn't kick in his 2012 option and still keep him all season.

Look at the Rays with Rafael Soriano last season - he finished 56 games despite being healthy all season with all of their wins.

Mar 15, 2011 06:30 AM
 
evo34

My top concern is his velocity drop last season: 91.1 mph avg. fastball, which is a career low.

Mar 15, 2011 15:21 PM
rating: 0
 
stepsinsc

Any concern about Utley? That seems higher than I've seen him gone recently in light of his injury concerns.

Mar 15, 2011 06:43 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

A ton of concern about him but this draft started on February 17th when he was still in good health. In the 2 drafts I did over the past week, he fell to 36th and 40th.

Mar 15, 2011 06:44 AM
 
stepsinsc

Sorry, reading comprehension fail!

Mar 15, 2011 06:56 AM
rating: 0
 
louisbarash

Thanks. This is very useful. Just want to point out that the information on players going below their ADP is far more informative than players going above their ADP. If a player fell far below his ADP, it means there was a consensus of all the experts not to draft the player that high. It only takes one expert to draft a player higher than their ADP.

Similarly useful information is players who are in the top 200 or so ADP but were not drafted by any expert in this 276 player draft. Those players (with their ADP rank) are:

125. Ryan Ludwick
146. Alex Gonzalez
163. Brett Myers
164. Scott Rolen
173. Edwin Jackson
185. Chipper Jones
190. Marco Scutaro
199. Jose Lopez
203. Johan Santana
204. Jonathon Niese
208. Johnny Damon
209. Scott Baker

Mar 15, 2011 09:17 AM
rating: 5
 
louisbarash

Of the above list, five make the top ten list of players that dropped the most from their ADP rank (assuming they would have been drafted with the next (277th pick)). The diffferences are: Ludwick 152 (2nd biggest drop); Alex Gonzalez 131 (3rd); Brett Myers 119 (4th); Rolen 113 (6th) and Edwin Jackson 104 (tie 9th).

Mar 15, 2011 09:30 AM
rating: 0
 
Sky Kalkman

Good point. And that's why I'd love to see a mock draft where each player is allowed to be picked up to three times. It should account well for "buyer's remorse" and freak picks. That, or the rest of the experts giving every draft pick a thumbs up/down/neutral and reporting the number of each for each pick.

Mar 15, 2011 11:25 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

That would be a nightmare to track but I concur there would be a lot of value to that.

Mar 15, 2011 12:23 PM
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

Good point. Myers was on my radar late but I ultimately decided to pass and he's the only name on the list I serious entertained. I think people taking Edwin Jackson before 200 are going to be disappointed.

Mar 15, 2011 09:19 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

I remember last year, the big fad was everyone's desire to take Joe Mauer before Pujols. Nice to see reality set back in.

Mar 15, 2011 11:31 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

this year, it seems to differ with the second pick. I've seen Tulo, Hanley, Braun, Cabrera, and even Gonzalez taken in that spot in recent weeks.

Mar 15, 2011 12:24 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

I think each of those are defensible in some aspect, with maybe Gonzalez being a weaker choice.. but with last year's fantasy draft, people were overhyping Mauer's newfound power and ignoring his nagging injury history.

Mar 15, 2011 13:02 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

and the position's injury history, and his insane HR/FB rate as he moved to a park with unknown factors as well.

Mar 15, 2011 18:40 PM
 
grandslam28

I'm not going to lie. I'm a little disgusted with this draft. I think it is just awful to pick Tulo second. He had an unbelievable last month, but if you take away that and apply what he had done the past 2 years to that month, he comes out with a season that is more a late second round pick at best. When you post a month that is better than some of Bonds' best months that is not going to continue. Carl Crawford not being a top 6 pick by a panel of experts. Matt Holliday not going higher. He puts up great and consistent numbers while being one of the most reliable players health wise. Another guy off the top of my head is Rajai Davis going so late. A guy who will hit 290, steal 50 bases, hit 10 HRs, and score 100 runs going 184!!!!!! And Roy Halladay being a mid third round pick!!! I know there is a bias against pitchers in the first few rounds, but this guy is a $40 pitcher.

This is just from looking at it a little bit. I understand Utley wasn't hurt before you picked and I'm not going to argue guys who I like like for their spots like Hamilton, Wright and others because guys like that I feel could go either way. I do like a decent amount of your picks so I am not trying to put the blame on you specifically, Jason. I would just like to know you opinion on a few of my thoughts about this draft.
Thanks.

Mar 15, 2011 19:42 PM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

I'd like to know if I'm the only one who feels this way about this draft or if other people feel the same way.

Mar 15, 2011 19:52 PM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

"guys who I don't like for their spots like Hamilton...."

Mar 15, 2011 20:08 PM
rating: 0
 
Kampfer

I feel the same... some picks do not make any sense

Mar 16, 2011 02:41 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Shortstop is much shallower than it used to be.. but I'd still take Hanley Ramirez before Tulo just for the steals and added durability.

Mar 16, 2011 04:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

I would not have taken Tulo 2nd if I had that choice. In the six drafts/mocks I've done with people of this ilk so far, I've had that 2nd slot just once and I took the chance on Ryan Braun myself.

In those same drafts, Crawford has continued to be in the lower half of the first round and not higher. Yes, he's going to have an amazing season but I'm not certain he's demonstrably better than anyone else taken in the top six when you factor in the position they play.

The PFM doesn't see Rajai Davis in the same vein as you do calling for a .268 average with 7 homers and 53 steals. I almost took him over Bobby Abreu, but that is as early as I considered him myself. The steals are nice, but he's a drag on batting average and the power production and his 2009 season looks like an aberration compared to his efforts in 2008 and 2010.

Mar 16, 2011 04:11 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

You would take Ryan Braun over Miguel Cabrera?

Mar 16, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

The off-the-field issues really concern me. As I said, in a mock world, I take Cabrera, but if I'm playing this one out I take my chances with Braun. I think he gets more of his SBs back as well this season with Macha out and Roenicke in play.

Mar 16, 2011 11:07 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

I can see your reasoning and you make a valid point. From my angle, there's always been some knock on Cabrera.. he can't field, he's apathetic, gaining weight, this is yet another season where alcohol was an issue etc. Yet he's maintained his production and some argue he's gotten better. On the flipside, Braun's 5x5 stats have gone down in each of the last few years.

This might actually be the part where I'd say Longoria would be my third choice after Pujols and Han-Ram.

Oh and as another note, I rarely draft a straight stealer (40+SB). I generally look for multiple 15HR/20Sb types on the theory that I still get production from other categories and if I had drafted a straight stealer and he got hurt, I'd have to punt that category. So drafting 15HR/20SB types help to spread the risk.

Mar 16, 2011 11:58 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

I find it is easier to make up steals in season than it is power. Guys like Bourgeois, Blanco, and Dyson stole 9+ bags last season in limited time and mostly later in the season which helped those who went lighter on it. I'd rather be middle of the pack in steals than in HR's because a player's production in that category helps him in 3 others.

Mar 16, 2011 12:08 PM
 
grandslam28

I think that saying Rajai Davis will have a .268 average is pretty ridiculous. He might not bat .290, but he batted 284 last year and 305 the year before and that's in an awful hitting stadium in an awful lineup. I don't think moving to Toronto is going to hurt.
Instead you took Bobby Abreu, who is a 36 year old coming off a season where he did hit .255.

Mar 16, 2011 11:39 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

And Abreu's LD% fell to 17% - his worst of his career which led to his lowest BABIP of his career. He's much more productive in the power department, drives in a lot of runs, scores a lot of runs, and steals 20+ bases. I'll take the more well-rounded player each time.

It's still a small sample size of 226 plate appearances, but Davis is also just a .213/.242/.306 hitter against AL East pitching in his career. That low walk rate of his hurts his his stolen base opportunities and we still have no idea what type of manager John Farrell is going to be on the basepaths.

In this case, I took the player with the more consistent track record (the known) over the unknown in Davis and his move to a tougher division. The risk/reward is higher with Davis, but if the tougher league overrules the friendlier park, you're left with an empty 30-35 steals while Abreu's floor is much softer.

Mar 16, 2011 12:06 PM
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

A note to add that slash line does not include any AB's vs Toronto.

Mar 16, 2011 12:32 PM
 
grandslam28

Also using that stat to your defense is a little ridiculous unless you knew that before you didn't take him. Also as you said before it is a small sample size. It is also out of context. What was his lines the past two years. Was he partly injured. What was the league average against teams in the AL east that aren't Toronto the past two years. What were his stats against Toronto in the park he will be playing at most. Even with your arguments I still think Davis should clearly be taken over Abreu. And I don't even dislike Abreu that much.

Mar 16, 2011 13:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Q: What was his lines the past two years?
A: Not special.

Q: Was he partly injured?
A: If he was partially injured, that's less incentive to take him. If that was the best he could do while fully healthy, that's also less reason to take him.

Q: What was the league average against teams in the AL east that aren't Toronto the past two years?
A: If he was below the league average, are you suggesting he'll magically rebound? If he was at league average, then see the "best he could do while fully healthy = less reason to take him" argument. If he was better than the league average, then in theory he'd regress to the mean. All three are less reasons to take him.


Bottom line, Rajah Davis has a career batting average of .281 over about three full seasons worth of atbats which is right around the average BA for a 5x5 12 team mixed league. He hurts in runs and he hurts in RBI but helps in steals.

Abreu has a career batting average of .296 over 6 times as many at bats. Exclude last year and he generally hits in the .290 range suggesting last season's BA was flukey since his other peripherals were decent. He gives you more power, more runs and more RBIs than Rajah Davis and even throws in 20+ steals. Even if Rajah Davis bats .300, he's only providing about 60% of the value that Abreu does from a 5x5 perspective.



Mar 16, 2011 13:46 PM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

Sorry I meant to say what were his lines against the AL east the past two years. Not in general. And was he hurt when he played them. I was looking for the context of your sample size.

Mar 16, 2011 14:17 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

207 PAs vs the AL in 08
997 PAs vs the AL in 09-10

Whatever ABs he had vs the ALE were minimal in that 08 season.

I did know his struggles vs the ALE because I tend to look for reasons NOT to draft people when I'm considering one guy over the other. Davis was very tempting to take in that spot because his ceiling is indeed higher than Abreu's but I also saw the flags there that gave me pause with Davis.

Mar 16, 2011 15:20 PM
 
R.A.Wagman

I am leaning towards Farrell being a manager who will run when the opportunity strikes. Spring stats are meaningless, yes, but for a new manager, we can start to learn some of his in-game tactics. Farrell has had the Jays running like mad so far. Running against alot of MLB catchers as well. Not including the additional 5 attempts (2 successful) from today's game against the Pirates, the Jays are 9th in MLB with 18 steals. 5 times caught. Lots of double steals as well. On the other hand, out of those combined 28 attempts, nine have been by Anthony Gose. FWIW, Rajai Davis has yet to attempt a swipe.

Mar 16, 2011 12:46 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

and 8 of those came in one game.....against John Jaso handling some since-cut pitchers in the later innings.

Mar 16, 2011 12:52 PM
 
R.A.Wagman

For sure - ultimately, though, I think Farrell will have the Jays considerably running more often than did Cito. Maybe not Whitey Herzog levels, but not league trailers anymore, either.

Mar 16, 2011 12:57 PM
rating: 0
 
louisbarash

I would read nothing into the amount of steals Jays have attempted in spring training. Farrell is probably trying to figure out who can run if he needs to ask. (Rajai Davis hasn't tried a steal; Farrell already knows he can run.) The Jays' lineup is weighted towards SLG over OBP guys (see Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Travis Snider, Juan Rivera and J.P. Arencibia projections -- all have OBP under .315 and SLG over .437). BP projects that everyone in the lineup other than Rajai and Yunel Escobar will have over 20 HRs. It makes little sense for them to risk giving up outs to advance one base. We don't know if Farrell will run a lot, but other than with Rajai (who steals at an 80% rate), it wouldn't make much sense.

Mar 17, 2011 08:35 AM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

Abreu has hit 15,20,15,20 Hrs his past four years. He is now 37 and it is hard to see him getting more SBs than last year at 24. If he loses 1 or 2 mph on his swing, which is completely reasonable for a 37 year old, he could easily only hit 10HRs and bat 255 again. What's your upside with him? Batting 280 20 HRs 20 SB with 90 runs if he is healthy and plays great. Where his downside is probably another 250 season 10 HRs and 10 SBs. I personably think he will do somewhere in the middle and think he is a decent value pick. You mention his LD% fell to 17% would this not be a factor of age and possibly continue to decrease?

First off on Rajai Davis:

Do you really think Davis will bat below 280 or 270?

Do you think that small sample size really justifies arguing that being in the AL east will hurt him more than being out of Oakland?

There is not much downside with Rajai Davis, so he hits 270 with 5 HRs and 30 SBs. You will still get a pretty good player.

His upside(on the low end of the spectrum) is .290, 10 HRs, 90 runs, 50SB. This upside is also more likely to occur than Abreu's given the ages.


Mar 16, 2011 12:41 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

10 homers from Davis is a lot to expect with him having just 12 in 1455 plate appearances. I stated my ALE stat concerns with him and I also look at his SpeedScore over the past three seasons and see a 3 year decline from an obscene 9.3 to 8.0 to 6.9. Oakland has him stealing 2nd 44% of the time he was on base each of the past two seasons so that where the bar is for his attempts. He'll either have to be more successful in his attempts or get more attempts to repeat if his SpeedScore is indicative of him losing a step at age 30.

As far as what I expect him to hit, he's out-performed his xBABIP 2 straight seasons.

Year: BABIP/xBABIP/difference

2008: .285/.316/-41
2009: .361/.316/ +44
2010: .322/.304/ +18

I'm expecting it's why the PFM has him projected to hit .268 because that's a rather large variance between his final outcomes. Marcel shows .277, HQ shows .286, Hardball Times shows .276 and the composite projections Schwartz put together on the Fantasy411 blog has .281 for him.

In the end for a draft, it all comes down to what is needed by a team at that point in the draft. In an auction, there's no doubt that Davis goes for more than Abreu but historically, I'll let the other guys spend that money because I prefer to spread the wealth on production and find saves and steals in season.

Mar 16, 2011 13:18 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Something to note too is that Rajah Davis is 29 so we might've already seen the peak of a player whose primary value is in his speed.

Mar 17, 2011 08:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

You do realize Bobby Abreu could hit .270 with 5 HR and 20 SB and still have more runs scored and RBI than Rajah Davis? That's what is meant by a softer floor.

Mar 16, 2011 13:51 PM
rating: 0
 
wjmcknight37

I don't care about the article, but since there's not contact information, I want to know A) why the PETOCA spreadsheet hasn't been updated, and B) what happened to the SS/Sim stat

Mar 16, 2011 19:59 PM
rating: -1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right of the page.

Mar 16, 2011 20:27 PM
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