2013 Fantasy Baseball: ADP Climbers and Crashers, Middle Infield Edition
Jason Kipnis | 2B | CLE | ADP: 63 | +2%
Mock drafters seem to be toying with the idea of passing on Robinson Cano in the first round — as Brett Talley suggested — and targeting a second-sacker once the first tier are off the board. Like Kipnis, Ben Zobrist, Aaron Hill, Jose Altuve and Danny Espinosa’s ADPs are trending upwards, albeit in small increments.
But with grabbing a guy like Kipnis in the fourth or fifth round of your 12-teamer, you’ll secure a healthy blend of speed and pop while sacrificing some batting average to the fantasy baseball gods. Some drafters may be intimidated by what appeared to be a poor second have in twenty-twelve, but poor plate discipline in the month of August seemed to be the only culprit. With some added firepower to the Inidans’ lineup — Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn — look for Kipnis to have a real shot at a 20/20 season with upwards of 85 RBI.
Jedd Gyorko | 2B | SD | ADP: 235 | +5%
Gyorko’s name has been buzzing through media streams on what seems like a daily basis so far this Spring. Oh, and I contributed to that. Here, I spoke about one’s ability to grab the Padres’ second baseman for a buck late in your auction. Well, that was originally published in our 2013 fantasy baseball draft kit on 2/1/13, and probably isn’t the case anymore. And in our “30 Prospects in 30 Days” series, I spoke about all the right things that Gyorko does and when you should target him in your drafts.
Here’s the latest: Logan Forsythe is dealing with some injuries and Jedd Gyorko is raking to the tune of .270/.308/.505 slash line with three long balls and nine RBI in 14 games. He’s whiffed nine times while taking just two walks — which is a bit concerning — but the West Virginian still appears to have the inside track on the starting gig in San Diego.
Hanley Ramirez | SS | LAD | ADP: 29 | +5%
Not that long ago, Han-Ram was being selected in the first round of fantasy baseball drafts, so a third-round selection in a 12-teamer seems like it could be steal. He’s slugged at least 20 homers and stole at least 20 bags in four of the last five years. And after a rough June/July with the Marlins last season, he posted a .282 average with seven out-of-the-parkers and 26 RBI in August with the Dodgers. Not a bad month, eh? He indeed faded in September, but the glimpse of El Nino we caught in August leads me to believe a return to his pre-2011 self isn’t out of the question.
Robinson Cano | 2B | NYY | ADP: 5 | -7%
Cano’s slight tumble could simply be a case of mock drafters implementing a variety of draft strategies during their mocks to see who they could land and when. Or, they could have read what Brett said about Cano’s 2012 efforts here and went with Kemp, Pujols or McCutcheon instead. Sure Cano improved his BB%, K% and batting average amongst other things last year, but the gigantic spike in HR/FB rate likely aided his career high home run mark. In any event, the Yankees’ second bagger remains the top option at the pivot. But if you’re expecting 2013’s campaign to replicate that of his 2012 season, you’ll likely be disappointed.Elvis Andrus | SS | TEX | ADP: 94 | -6%
People invested in the Rangers’ shortstop last season hoping he could match his stolen base total from 2011. And although owners were disappointed with the dip in swipes, Andrus still posted .286/.349/.378 triple slash — a number that’s improved in each of the past three seasons — with three homers, 85 runs and 62 RBI. Additionally, Andrus has improved his ISO in each of the last three seasons — .036, .082 and .092 — proving his ability to hit for extra bases despite being unable to get the ball out of the park. Overall, he’s an above average contact hitter with above average speed and improving extra-base skills at a relatively shallow position. Andrus’ ADP may be sliding, but I’m buying.
Rickie Weeks | 2B | MIL | ADP: 132 | -5%
Owners may rather reach for up-and-comers like Jason Kipnis or Jose Altuve who provided solid production last year rather than torturing themselves with the inconsistent production that comes with Rickie Weeks. Weeks’ 2012 BB% (10.9%) resembled his career numbers, but a spike in K% (25%) and a 39 point dip in batting average (.230) last year means I’ll be letting him be someone else’s fantasy headache in ‘13.