OK, so the language in the title might be a bit inflammatory. I can’t, with 100% certainty, say that I absolutely, positively won’t draft these guys, but based on the current chatter and their ADP rankings, they will not be targets for me. Now, if they somehow slipped a few rounds and it looks like they could, potentially, be a bargain, then I might think otherwise, but that’s a pretty big “if” for me right now. Here’s who I’m avoiding…
Melky Cabrera, OF SF — He’s having himself a helluva spring right now, isn’t he? All the more reason to stay out of the bidding here. Cabrera totally overachieved last season, batting .305 with 18 home runs and 20 steals and now takes his game to the Bay Area where it’s going to be very tough for the Melk-man to deliver. The .332 BABIP was a career best and looks completely unsustainable based on his totals from previous seasons. Once it lands back on Earth, he’ll probably return to that .260-.270 range that he usually flirts with. His power totals were also career bests and given the way AT&T Park and its cold, damp air stifles hitters, those too will be tough to duplicate. With an ADP of 175.23, Melky is going somewhere around the 14th or 15th round and while that might not be too high for some people, based on the expected regression, I’d much rather grab a closer or a starter with promise first and wait a few rounds for a Josh Willingham or even an upside-laden Yoenis Cespedes. Both of those choices sound better than using a pick that high on 24th round production.
Chone Figgins, 3B SEA — Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times and I’m just a moron who can’t grasp the fact that you’re done. The rapidly declining OBP, the disappearing walk rate, diminishing steals, these are just some of the things wrong with Figgy right now. It would be difficult for him to get any worse than he was in 2011, but a massive improvement this season is a huge longshot. Maybe a few ticks better across the board, but not enough that you should be buying into the hype of him batting leadoff for the M’s this year. Stolen bases have been in abundance the last couple of years, so if you’re looking for speed, dig somewhere else. His ADP is 282.88 right now and if I’m looking for infield help at that point, I’d much rather take a shot at a developing Johnny Giavotella or a Brent Morel.
Johan Santana, SP NYM — Please tell me this is a product of New York media hype and not some crazy belief that Santana is really going to come back and produce at some high level this year. A 227.90 ADP (19th round) is still too high for a guy who, not only didn’t throw a single pitch in the majors in 2011, but remains an injury risk and has seen a steady decline in his strikeout rate and walk rate during his last three seasons. Not to mention the lost velocity over the last four years. On a human level I think it’s great that he’s getting back on that horse and trying to pitch again, but I’m certainly not entrusting the ratios of my fantasy team with him. Based on his increasing xFIP over the last four years, I’m looking at Steamer’s projections being the most likely. There are plenty of other hurlers that will be available after he’s been taken, so save yourself and enjoy them instead.
Dishonorable Mention: Josh Johnson, SP MIA — How do you even remotely trust that injury risk, especially in the 8th or 9th round? I don’t!