Alexi Casilla: ADP Rising

If you’re over on Mock Draft Central checking out recent ADP numbers, one of the more helpful tools they have is the ADP trend chart.  It gives a detailed look at each player’s rise and fall in the ADP ranks over the last two weeks which in turn helps you see whether or not you can actually wait on a particular guy in your draft or if you may have to act on him a little earlier based on a recent spike in popularity.  One player who is garnering recent attention and is shooting up the ADP rankings is Minnesota second baseman Alexi Casilla.

If you’re just looking at Casilla’s numbers from his player page, to be honest, there’s really nothing special.  Yes, he’s a 28 year old switch-hitter, but there’s no power to be had, the speed is average at best and while a .311 wOBA isn’t terrible for your average middle infielder, it’s not going to give his owners anything to jump up and down about.  Sure, injuries, demotions and limited playing time have affected his chances to produce more, but how much does he really have beyond what he’s already given?

Yet look at the ADP trend chart and there’s something you’ll strangely notice…

Current ADP Change 1 Week Ago Change 2 Weeks Ago Overall Trend
Alexi Casilla 217.24 21.4% 263.67 22.0% 321.57 48.0%

That’s some increase in the last two weeks, no?  A 48.0% jump over the last two weeks and it’s a pretty steady climb, jumping a little more than 20.0% each week.  So how is it that a guy with such limited upside, a guy who wasn’t even drafted in most leagues two weeks ago, is now the 15th second baseman off the board?

Dual position eligibility?  Sure, it helps.  Though the Twins have him listed as their 2012 starting second baseman (56 games there last year), Casilla recorded 36 games at shortstop in 2011 which, given the depth at short vs at second, definitely helps add to his value.

Expected playing time?  Another plus.  On the Twins depth chart, listed behind Casilla are Luke Hughes and Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  Not really pressing competition, is it?  Hughes is the same age and has actually produced less.  There might be a tad more power potential, but with a 24.9% strikeout rate, he’s not scaring anyone but Ron Gardenhire.  Nishioka made his MLB debut last year and though his season was derailed by a broken leg, when he did play, it was far from impressive.  Unless he has a ridiculous spring, Casilla gets the nod over him.

But where Casilla is drawing the most attention, and probably the biggest reason for his recent rise in ADP, is his performance in winter ball.  Casilla has been playing for Los Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League and in 31 games hit .336 with a .416 OBP.  According to Twins beat writer Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, not only is Casilla more confident, but folks inside the organization are encouraged by his performance.

Wrap all of that together and you’ve got a player on the rise, right?

But be careful.  Yes, the whole package of expected playing time, multi-position eligibility and a strong winter ball season seems real positive, but don’t put false hope into a player who has never given you much to hope for in the past.  Is it possible that something clicked for him down there?  Sure, but you have to keep your expectations realistic.  I remember this time last year when everyone was raving about Carlos Gomez’ great winter ball season and watched him climb up the ADP ranks as well.  Those of us (and yes, that’s me included) that bought into that, are sure to keep their heads out of the clouds here.  As should you.




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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


6 Responses to “Alexi Casilla: ADP Rising”

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  1. flex0us says:

    Casilla`s number in the Dominican should be taken with a grain of salt since he plays in the friendliest hitter`s park in the DR. Be cautious.

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  2. mike says:

    casilla’s strike out rate comes no where near the level of gomez’, which might account for success or failure. I ,for one, believe in casilla

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  3. Eh, I don’t know. From a Twins fan perception, he seems to get complacent when things are going well.

    I think his absolute ceiling is about .280/.340/.350. 25-30 base swipes.
    I think his ’12 will be .270/.330/.335, with about that many SBs.

    Helluva good fantasy second-sacker. Real-life value? Eh, pretty good. He’ll hit 9th, so that’ll be good as well.

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  4. adohaj says:

    Casilla showed flashes of brilliance back in 2008. I remember he was hitting like .320 at the all star break. But then reality set happend in August and September. He ended the season with .281 avg. Still good for a middle infielder but not great considering he offers nothing else. And that was his best season.

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  5. Visnovsky says:

    Casilla is a really bad starting 2B present and future.

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