The mock drafts are growing in frequency these days as mockdraftcentral.com shows nearly 70 mock drafts for 5×5 league formats over the past few weeks. These early weeks of the off-season still give us some volatile data, especially as some of the moves that happened this week in Dallas are going to cause playing time and opportunities opened up for some players while closing up for others, but it can still be useful if you know what you’re looking at.
Each time you look at an ADP report, new names show up that were not being drafted as recently as two weeks ago. Here are some of the interesting names that came up on the most recent change report for a variety of reasons:
- Emilio Bonifacio (ADP 211): He won’t be playing shortstop that much in 2012, but he will gain some positional eligibility elsewhere, and that will most likely come in centerfield. He stole 40 bases last season, and that number could get better under Ozzie’s lead foot as long as Bonifacio can get on base 35 percent of the time.
- Bobby Abreu (ADP 231): This bump for him should come to a screeching halt now that the addition of Albert Pujols further crowds the 1B/OF/DH situation with the Angels. If not for Abreu’s guaranteed money, he would be non-tendered in a few days, but the Angels owe him $9M this season, and he is unable to do anything more than look like a lawn ornament in the outfield, so he must DH.
- James Loney (ADP 256): He was going undrafted as recently as last week and now is making it into drafts. Maybe people read my work on him last week, or maybe there was a mock draft in the TMZ office after it was reported Loney had been arrested in LA earlier this month.
As far as movers and shakers from earlier mock drafts go, there were ten players who saw their ADP rise by at least ten percent from two weeks ago: Dee Gordon, Kyle Farnsworth, Fernando Salas, Austin Jackson, Danny Valencia, Coco Crisp, Billy Butler, James McDonald, Koji Uehara, and Homer Bailey. Visions of 40+ steals from Gordon are clearly on the minds of drafters as they look at his stolen base total of 24 in just 56 games played last season. The rest of the players appear to be the result of self-research or advice from other pundits as nothing has happened this off-season to affect their values in terms of playing time or change of location.
Conversely, the players who saw their ADP drop the most from two weeks ago are Ryan Doumit, Javy Guerra, Lance Berkman, Ryan Howard, Adam LaRoche, Alex Avila, and Cody Ross. To be fair, only the first four saw their values drop more than eight percent, and the fact Howard was that high at all despite his injury status points to early volatility. Berkman had an ADP of 107 two weeks ago and has fallen nine spots in two weeks, and that could continue to go lower as people adjust to him losing Pujols as a teammate. Doumit’s drop from 232 to 276 seems to be a bit of an overreaction to his relocation to Target Field. The playing time should be there for him as a reserve at catcher, first base, DH, and maybe even the outfield.
The first eight rounds of a draft are where the meat of the projected production is being drafted, while the next eight rounds target roles and the final rounds are where the sleepers are taken in hopes of striking value gold. Here are the number players going in the first 120 picks by position:
First Base: 12
Second Base: 10
Third Base: 9
Designated Hitter: 4
Starting Pitchers: 33
Relief Pitchers: 9
If the players going in the final rounds are sleepers, here are the players with ADP’s of 240 or higher that are intriguing if they stay there:
- Tim Stauffer (246): The run support is a major issue. His strikeouts are serviceable and his ratios were solid, but the Padres cost him several wins last season, and the offense is not looking any better for 2012.
- Edwin Encarnacion (253): Yes, I am still beating this drum. He didn’t hit the 30 home runs I said he might last season, but he still had a productive season. Toronto is now trying to give him time in the outfield to give him more plate appearances, and if he can add outfield to his corner eligibility, it helps his value, which is aided by a great park for his true skill—hitting with power.
- Andres Torres (246): I don’t like the trade long-term for the Mets, but Torres should get all the playing time he can handle in 2012 with cozier dimensions than he had in San Francisco, and if he can settle somewhere in between what he did in 2010 and what happened last season, he will turn a profit.
- Luke Scott (244): His power was sapped by a shoulder injury last season, but if the shoulder is healthy and he can find a nice landing spot for a DH role, cheap power is possible from a guy that was a lock for 20-plus home runs before his injury.
If there is enough interest in scheduling our own mock draft, let me know in the comments section below. I would like to set one up for next Sunday evening and keep up that process every two weeks or so to see how our readership differs from others.