2018 Fantasy Baseball: Throwing Darts Late In Your Draft, Part I
Draft season is in full swing and there’s some meaningful data coming out of the early drafts now, specifically players ADP (Average Draft Position). Every site is different, every draft is different. But one thing always rings true, we want late round value.
Looking at the ADP from ESPN, CBS and Yahoo, we’ve got player(s) from each position who are currently predominately undrafted across all three websites. The criteria are; they must have an ADP over 300 on all three sites (as of 11th March), which means in 12 team leagues with 25-man rosters, these are the guys who will be readily available. But still useful for your team.
Catcher – Jorge Alfaro (ESPN N/a – CBS 330 – Yahoo – 343)
Alex Avila is may favourite late catcher right now. Unfortunately, those of you on Yahoo seem to know what you’re doing as he’s got an ADP of 291 on there right now, rendering him ineligible.
Also, the two catcher leagues make finding someone eligible much more difficult. But delving a bit deeper, we find Phillies prospect Jorge Alfaro.
Now, I’m not condoning waiting until the last pick then nabbing him, but when you’re this deep and in need of a catcher, Alfaro has potential for 15-20 homers if he does (as expected) win the starting catcher job.
His defense should be enough to keep him in the side so a chance for 120 games on a rebuilding side is more than plausible. Just make sure you can tolerate the batting average he’ll offer.
1st Baseman – CJ Cron (ESPN 498 – CBS N/a – Yahoo N/a)
The Tampa Bay Rays have already waved the white flag on their 2018 season and have Jake Bauers lurking in the minors close to making the 25-man roster. But the Rays have no reason to rush him and can make do with Cron manning first base.
Whilst with the Angels, Cron hit 16 homers in each of his last three seasons, despite playing 113, 116 and 100 games. Given he’s now set for more regular playing time, even 140 games should yield 20 home runs. Cron should be hitting in the heart of the lineup too so has a chance for some runs and RBIs whilst putting up an average that shouldn’t hurt you.
2nd Baseman – Matt Duffy (ESPN N/a – CBS 497 – Yahoo – N/a)
The deepest reach of the lot but the once trendy sleeper appears to be healthy and has a path to regular playing time on the rebuilding Rays team. Whether he stays healthy or makes the most of it is another thing.
It’s a big “if” but if Duffy stays healthy, his 2015 season is an indicator of what he can do (12 homers, 12 steals and a .295 average). Now 27 so potentially in his prime, a 15/15 season with good average is the upside and for the last pick in the draft, upside is all you’re targeting anyway.
3rd Baseman –Jeimer Candelario (ESPN N/a – CBS 357 – Yahoo – 312)
The truth is, after the top third basemen are off the board, there isn’t a great deal of depth left at the position. So waiting until the last pick and nabbing Candelario might be a shrewd move.
After joining the Tigers during 2017, Candelario showed flashes of what he can do in the Majors, hitting .283 in 33 games started. Candelario doesn’t figure for much power, even 20 might be a stretch this year.
But he projects to hit 5th (or maybe 2nd) in the Tigers lineup featuring Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos 3rd and 4th. And the Tigers moved Castellanos into the outfield to accommodate him, so they clearly like him enough to be an everyday player.
Even if he drops down to a .270 hitter (as per his minor league career) and hits 15-18 home runs, he should be able to tally enough RBIs and even runs to contribute nicely as a last round pick.
Shortstop – Ketel Marte (ESPN N/a – CBS 323 – Yahoo – N/a)
Another deep dive into the abyss, this time to pluck up the Arizona Diamondback shortstop. Marte is pretty much assured the starting shortstop job for opening day, however he’ll have to hit to keep the job.
With Drury off to the Bronx, Owings will move over to second to accommodate Marte so playing time isn’t a concern. He’s a .265 career Major League hitter which should be enough to keep him up in Arizona.
Still only 24, Marte has time on his side to get better and the Diamondbacks may need to run a bit more if the humidor does sap away power in the desert. Marte has the wheels for 20 stolen bases (25+ if he’s green lighted more) and enough pop for double digit homers.
Solid going for a shortstop, especially one with your last pick in the draft.
Remember, I’m not suggesting these are all must own players, merely decent options with your last pick in the draft. Don’t go drafting them early otherwise you’ll pretty much suck all (if any) value from them.
Part 2 will feature outfielders along with pitchers so keep your eyes peeled for that.