2020 NFBC ADP – Finding Value at First Base
For most of us fantasy baseball players, draft season is yet to get underway. But that does not mean we don’t have access to real live draft data as on NFBC, over 100 live drafts have taken place. So, we’re going to look at the Average Draft Position (ADP) of a few players who have comparable peers at significantly different prices to try and eek out as much value as possible.
Starting with the infield, here are the 2019 stats of two first baseman who are being drafted 6-7 rounds apart;
You’d be forgiven for thinking I had their ADPs the wrong way around. They’re two of the most durable players in the game today as Goldschmidt has averaged 158 games a year across the last five seasons and Santana has averaged 157 during that span. If injuries aren’t a concern and playing time issues aren’t factoring into their differing ADPs, what is?
Santana’s 2019 was actually his best year ever, setting personal records in runs, RBIs and batting averages whilst tying his best in homers which is all the more remarkable as a 33 year old. Goldschmidt on the over hand had something of a down year despite being two years Santana’s junior. His homers, runs and RBIs were in line with his career numbers, but his .260 batting average was by far his worst since his first full season in the Majors (.286 in 2012). That and his stolen bases disappearing meant he failed to return value on his draft price of being a top-20 pick last year.
The reality is, Goldschmidt’s annual 15+ stolen bases appear a thing of the past and have been in decline the last four years now (32, 18, 7, 3). While you can make an argument his average trends back towards his .292 career mark, nothing suggests the steals are returning. His batted ball profile doesn’t have any alarm bells with his 2019 hard hit (47.5%) and flyball rates (39.4%) actually setting new highs. Goldschmidt’s BABIP did drop to .303 having been above .340 since 2012. That being said, if his speed is diminishing, all things considered would suggest a return to being a .300 hitter is less likely than a sub-.280 season.
Santana’s 2019 batted ball profile doesn’t have anything that stands out differently from his career numbers, apart from a huge jump in hard hit rate. A 43.0% hard hit rate is a sizeable jump from his career 34.1% number. This would help explain how his HR/FB rate was also a career high (19.3%) and how he managed to equal his season high homers despite his flyball rate (37.7%) being down on his career average (39.4%). He’s simply hitting the ball harder.
Their numbers suggest Goldschmidt should have a better 2020 than last year and Santana likely won’t repeat his 2019 numbers this season. Even with that in mind, it’s hard to make a case that Goldschmidt should be taken nearly 80 picks ahead of Santana. I’d rather go with another starting pitcher and skipping Goldschmidt, then drafting Santana around six rounds later.