Fantasy Baseball: Draft Day Values

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As we continue to get closer to Opening Day for MLB, many fantasy baseball leagues will be holding their drafts. There are still a lot of players who can provide terrific value that can make your team in the mid to late rounds. It’s a very interesting mix of star players and players that are being way under drafted. Let’s go over some targets for your draft day. The players listed are values regardless of whatever format you play in this season. All ADP data has been taken from fantasypros.com.

Johnny Cueto, SP – San Francisco Giants

Quite a few fantasy analysts have Cueto on the bust side of things, but I don’t agree at all. There is no denying he struggled in the AL when traded to Kansas City. However, in the 19 starts he made with the Reds, Cueto had a 2.62 ERA. The last time he had an ERA over 3.00 in the National League was 2010. Cueto also has the advantage of going to a pitcher friendly park in San Francisco. Even with the injury scare last year, Cueto pitched 236.3 innings last season. In addition, the Giants would not have given him $130 million over six years if they thought Cueto was in danger of Tommy John surgery. He is currently the 21st starting pitcher drafted, when he could end up being a top 12 SP.

Michael Brantley, OF – Cleveland Indians

Brantley will most likely miss some of the start of the season due to offseason surgery, but the expectation is no more than a couple weeks. There were 15 players in MLB to record 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 2015. Of these 15, only Brett Gardner and Dexter Fowler are being drafted later than Brantley. The other 12 players all carry an ADP of 60 or much higher. Brantley is currently the 91st player off the board. He represents the upside of a top 10-15 outfielder and is being drafted as a third OF in most leagues.

Billy Burns, OF – Oakland Athletics

Fellow OF Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds has an ADP around 50 spots higher than Burns, which is hard to figure. Sure, Hamilton is a stolen base master. He is also a one dimensional player. Burns also helps a lot in steals and had a higher batting average, on base percentage and slugging. Burns also only had six more strikeouts in 101 more plate appearances. It doesn’t matter much if you win the steals category by 2 or 3 with Burns or 7 or 8 with Hamilton. It could be hugely beneficial to grab another need for your team when Hamilton is being drafted and snag Burns much later in the draft.

Jean Segura, SS – Arizona Diamondbacks

Shortstop is a murky position after the top 3 or 5 picks. If you decide to wait on the position and draft one later, Segura is a very intriguing pick. Still only 26 years old, he was traded to Arizona this off-season. Segura has been tearing it up in spring training. He has posted an absurd .523/.543/.750 slash line. While spring is hardly an accurate indication of regular season success, Segura is the 14th SS off the board. He’s in a good lineup in Arizona. Right now, SS Jose Reyes of the Colorado Rockies is going ahead of Segura even though Reyes has no clarity on when he will play. I would much rather throw that dart at Segura.

Josh Harrison, 2B, 3B, OF – Pittsburgh Pirates

Harrison is a super value pick when compared to a player like San Francisco’s Matt Duffy. In 2015, Duffy had over 150 more at bats than Harrison. The only category Duffy was significantly better in was home runs with 12. When Harrison was fully healthy in 2014, he hit 13. These players mirror each other in many ways. However, Harrison also carries OF eligibility and is going around 48 spots later in the draft. You can have Matt Duffy production at a much cheaper price. Harrison may have even more RBI upside in the Pirates potential new look lineup in 2016.

Knowing proper values(especially when compared to players with the same profile) is essential to any draft. Make sure to take advantage of these values when you draft during this little time left before Opening Day.

 

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