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Bargain or Bust: Carlos Gomez and Eric Hosmer

Yesterday, Eno Sarris posted another installment of the RotoGraphs Ridiculously Early Mock Draft — Rounds 11 through 15. You had the usual opportunity to comment on picks that you liked or didn’t like and while your silence with regard to my selections tells me that no one thought any of mine were either reaches or wasted picks, I would still like to do a little crowdsourcing here and find out where everyone stands on particular players and where they are going in drafts from now through the start of the 2013 season. Welcome to Bargain or Bust.

I’m a big fan of mock drafts, having done upwards of a dozen already, and am a strong proponent of utilizing ADP rankings and trends to prepare for the numerous snake drafts that I will be doing come the end of March (see side note below). This series will highlight players who seem to be garnering some extra attention this spring, compare some of their ADPs throughout the mock world, and discuss whether or not you think they are going to high, too low or, right where they should be going. In the end, this should help us all when it comes time for our actual drafts.

Carlos Gomez, OF MIL
RotoGraphs Mock Draft Position: 137
Mock Draft Central ADP: 217.86
NFBC ADP: 122.17

What a difference a year makes. During the winter prior to the 2011 season, Gomez was tearing it up in the Dominican League and I had hopes that as he was entering his age-25 season he would finally blossom and live up to the hype that was thrown his way back when he was a prospect being traded for Johan Santana. That never came to fruition and as discussed in a Kicking Rocks piece back then that lamented over his failure, a number of you readers chastised me for even thinking that he may be good. Well, after last season’s second half that saw Gomez bat .278 with 14 home runs and 26 stolen bases, suddenly there are plenty jumping onto his bandwagon.

As explained in a previous post (third paragraph), I am taking the ADP on Mock Draft Central with a grain of salt, but in looking at the NFBC ADP, a league that requires five starting outfielders in a 15-team league, Gomez appears to be coming off the board somewhere around the eighth round. Adjust for a 12-team league like our draft and you’re still looking at a 10th round selection. Initially, that tells me that he came to me at a slight bargain, but what it really comes down to whether or not you believe he is worth a pick at that round. Do you believe in Gomez’ second half from last year and do you think he is capable of building off of it?

His walk rate suffered and his swinging strike-rate increased despite an overall improvement in strikeout rate. But he also reduced his ground ball rate and brought his line drive rate back up to 16.7-percent, up nearly five percent from the previous season. His contact rate stayed relatively the same, but he did swing at significantly more pitches, which doesn’t appear to be a real positive Personally, I see his ground ball rate going back up, closer to his career mark of 1.12, and with the fact that he is still incapable of drawing a walk  and strikes out nearly 22-percent of the time, his OBP will continue to suffer, thereby limiting the number of stolen base opportunities. Obviously, I am expecting some regression, but in all honesty, I don’t see the reduction in totals being all that significant in comparison to last year. I’d say that he’s neither a bust nor a bargain with my 12th-round selection. For me, I got him right where I should have. What say you…? Bargain or bust?


Eric Hosmer, 1B KC
RotoGraphs Mock Draft Position: 152
Mock Draft Central ADP: 95.81
NFBC ADP: 91.39

To be honest, I was genuinely shocked that Hosmer lasted as long as he did and that I was able to grab him in the 13th round. His ADP on Mock Draft Central, as well as in the NFBC, shows me that many are expecting a rebound from the young Royals first baseman, and I feel exactly the same. In fact, I wrote a piece back in October discussing the fact that I was blaming his poor sophomore season on bad luck with respect to BABIP as well as some serious pressing at the plate and the inability to adjust to defensive shifts.

But I do see a rebound coming. He was actually more selective at the plate, limiting his overall swing percentage, and he was also more patient, as evidenced by his increase in walk rate. If he can maintain that plate discipline and just get a few extra bounces to go his way, then he should respond well at the plate and start getting back to being the hitter we know he is capable of being. To grab him in the 13th round, I’d say was a huge bargain as he seems to be coming off the board in the sixth round in NFBC play and the seventh if you adjust to 12-teams. I think he kicks in production worthy of a third or fourth round pick, thus providing an outstanding draft value. What say you…? Bargain or Bust?


Side Note: While ADP rankings are a much better tool for snake drafts than they are auctions, they are not without their value when you’re setting up your strategy for the bidding process. You can expects players trending upwards to cost a little more than usual while downward trending players, if they interest you, could be nominated early and obtained for a bargain price. Players who haven’t moved up or down in the ADP rankings will probably cost much closer to their expected dollar values and with all of that information, it should be easier for you establish a quality budget distribution and game plan for your auction.