Outfielder Arbitage: Three Undervalued AL-Only Outfielders
The guys over at Rotoviz have developed an app that compares statistics amongst all of the outfielders to determine who is being drafted to early and who is being drafted to late. I’ve extrapolated the data from running some simulation, using the app, and come up with 3 guys to target on this very last weekend of drafting.
Trevor Plouffe: Plouffe is the first player that I came across using the simulator. With an ADP in mixed leagues of 336, his Outfield comparables are Dayan Vicedio at 176 and Justin Maxwell at 281. What is making Plouffe so underdrafted? There are concerns about the flukish nature of his 2012 performance, given that his homerun totals jumped extremely. If the power stroke isn’t at all real, Plouffe is probably appropriately valued. However, the Batted Ball numbers would seem to indicate that Plouffe changed the way he was hitting, lacing many more line drives and decreasing his groundball percentage from 42.9% to 37.9%. The number of fly balls that he hit also increased, showing that this could be real on some level.
Andy Dirks: Dirks now has a road to 600 at-bats and the arbitage app likes what they see from Dirks. His ADP in mixed leagues is a shockingly low 382, but his three comps are Nick Markakis at 169, David Murphy at 267, and Justin Ruggiano at 210. Dirks’ ZiPS projections paint a picture that he is undervalued as well. A triple-slash of .322/.370/.487 in 2012 is nothing to sneeze at. While his BABIP influenced batting average will go down, Dirks is a very solid hitter in a very potent offense. Draft accordingly.
Micheal Saunders: Saving the most surprising for last. Saunders comparables, according to the app, are in the table below.
No one likes a Colby Rasmus comp, but for where he is going, the Desmond Jennings and B.J Upton comps are very intriguing. I have written about Saunders a few times this preseason and I really like his chances to highly out perform his ADP. For the first time, he will be playing a league average or above offense, given the improvements along the aging curve from Kyle Seager and Dustin Ackley, and with the help of the Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse. Saunders is the rare power and speed combo that is available much later, and he was one home run shy of a 20-20 season last year. He is most likely a batting average killer, but so is B.J Upton every single year and he keeps getting highly drafted. In AL-Only format as a 2nd or 3rd outfielder, Saunders is as good as it gets.