With Eno releasing the results of Rounds 6 through 10 of the RotoGraphs Early Mock Draft (you can find the first five rounds here), now is as good a time as any to take a look at some Average Draft Position (ADP) numbers for backstops and see where you can expect certain players to go in the first part of your draft. We’re not splitting the atom here. We’re just taking a look at a few early results — something we’re going to do from time to time here throughout the offseason. The results we’re looking at today come from an incredibly small sample size in comparison to the amount of draft data we’ll have even just a month from now, but it’s good to start keeping track now so that you can follow the upcoming trends and stay fully prepared for when you actually start drafting your teams this year.
In the RotoGraphs mock draft, through the first 10 rounds, we’ve seen eight catchers come off the board. The table below shows the order in which those eight have been drafted by us along with what their ADP is, as of right now, on Mock Draft Central and in NFBC (National Fantasy Baseball Championship) play. I prefer to use MDC, because they’re part of the RotoWire family and I tend to like their rankings more than the others, most of the time. And the NFBC, well, those that are participating in that are obviously putting a substantial amount of money towards it and so you’d like to think that they’re fairly well-educated in the ways of the game.
Obviously though, there are a few caveats you need to understand. ADP results, right now, on sites like Mock Draft Central, as well as Yahoo and ESPN, are a bit sketchy this early. It’s not that the people playing around in those early mocks aren’t serious about how they are drafting, but in a lot of cases, they’re simply checking in on the first few rounds and then allowing the auto-pick to go the rest of the way. The auto-pick is simply pulling off of that site’s specific rankings, and as we can all agree, there are many varying opinions about each site’s player rankings and not all of them are good. Thus, the ADP data is obviously skewed towards how those that set up the site feel about specific players. For example, in the past, I’ve noticed how ESPN tends to favor a lot of starting pitching and thus you’re going to have ADP results that skew towards the starters as they are quickly auto-picked once someone leaves the draft room. In addition to that, you also have people that are playing around with different strategies and are taking players earlier than they would normally take them, just to see how other in the draft room react with their own picks.
You also have to realize that the data compiled on MDC is also a combination of both one and two catcher leagues. There’s no way to separate the two and so some of the numbers, particularly in the top 10 at the position, might be a bit higher than they really should be as catchers in one-catcher leagues are usually taken earlier due to the lack of quality depth at the position. As you get closer to March, that obviously starts to level off more with the increase in data available. The NFBC format is two-catcher, so keep that in mind. And when we here at RotoGraphs began this particular mock, we opted to go with a one-catcher format.
With that now established, we can start looking at some of the trends here in our draft and as you can see, other than Posey being everyone’s number one guy, there are quite a few differences. We’ve already established that Mauer was a definite reach in our league and even Mike Petriello, who grabbed him on the turn at the end of the second round, admits to the reach. Molina seems to be favored as the third best option although those in the NFBC lean towards Santana. Everyone seems to be viewing Wieters similarly this year while Montero, whom I really like as a steady option, doesn’t get much love from the RotoGraphs family.
Meanwhile, Rosario, whom I took in the ninth round, is getting plenty of attention in the NFBC. I can’t say I’m too happy about that as he is certainly one of my main targets behind the plate this year and, as we’ll see over the next two months, is going to start climbing up the ADP ranks fast with that kind of endorsement. My concern is that he rises too much and people start to reach for him (who doesn’t love a power-hitting backstop who plays half his games at Coors Field?), thus hurting his overall return value.
As for V-Mart, his ADP should be interesting to watch as his position eligibility might vary from league to league. While most leagues should have him listed as a catcher, there are certainly going to be some that may only allow him DH-eligibility. That would certainly drag his ADP numbers down a bit.
So again, this just just an initial look. A cursory glance, if you will. We’ll keep adding to the list as more rounds of our draft are revealed and then we’ll start look at the growing trends the closer we get to March. For now, take what data you’ve been given and file it away. It will definitely prove useful as we move along.