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The Most Overvalued at Every Position

Posted By Mike Podhorzer On February 29, 2012 @ 8:15 am In Projections,Stock Watch | 35 Comments

With a complete set of dollar values finally in hand after finishing the LABR draft this past Saturday, I can now take a definitive look at who I find to be overvalued and undervalued versus their Mock Draft Central ADPs. In earlier posts of this nature, it was just guesswork. Now I can compare where I have a player ranked within a position to where he is being drafted among the others at that position. Today I will look at the most overvalued hitters at each position, but will only consider those in the top 10 in the infield, and the top 20 in the outfield.

I tried looking at catcher, but realized that because most leagues draft only one, the most overvalued I found was only ranked one spot earlier than my rank.

1B: Freddie Freeman
ADP Rank- 10
My Rank- 12

Yup, that was the biggest difference in the top 10. Amazingly, five of the top nine I had ranked within the position were exactly as they are being drafted. The other four were within one ranking. It is obvious why Freeman appears to be a bit overvalued. He finished second in the NL ROY voting after a decent rookie season. Fantasy owners love young players and I have learned over the years that many assume every young player automatically improves in a straight line every single season. That is obviously not the case. With a 14.0% HR/FB ratio posted last year, I see little power upside, and with a .339 BABIP, he has some batting average downside. His RBI and run totals will likely improve, but I am projecting little growth everywhere else, which results in a value not nearly top 10 material.

2B: Dan Uggla
ADP Rank- 4
My Rank- 8

This doesn’t surprise me much. Batting average is one category that usually isn’t properly valued. 600 at bats of .253 baseball really hurts. Besides the batting average that drags down Uggla’s value, he also brings little speed at a position that has plenty of it. Yes, he’s excellent for a second baseman in three categories, but that simply isn’t enough for him to overcome the negative values he produces in the other two in order to be a top five option at the position.

SS: J.J. Hardy
ADP Rank- 9
My Rank- 15

The Uggla of shortstops. The difference of course is that Hardy is a poor man’s Uggla, plus, he doesn’t have quite the history of performance that Uggla has. He’s actually a slight positive in batting average, but his lack of steals hurts. My big concern with his power is that he was tied for third in the AL in “just enough” homers. About 47% of his 30 bombs were classified as such, versus the 27% average from 2006 (yes, that’s the only year they have data on the league average for). So with his power expected to regress, there’s not much left to hang our hats on. And with his checkered performance and injury history, he is a poor risk at his likely cost.

3B: Adrian Beltre
ADP Rank- 2
My Rank- 5

Man, did Beltre love The Ballpark in Arlington or what?? He wOBA’d .451 at home, versus just a .317 mark away! He also posted a ridiculous 24.2% HR/FB ratio at home, compared with a 9.0% mark away. Yes, he’s still playing half his games in Texas again this year, but I cannot possibly believe he can repeat those home numbers. I am typically against this type of analysis, preferring to look at the performance as a whole. However, aside from his 2004 outburst, his HR/FB ratio was easily the highest it has ever been since as far back as FanGraphs goes (2002). Not only that, but his FB% was also at its highest mark. Don’t ya think some regression in both is in order? He stopped stealing bases two years ago, so there’s no bonus there. His BABIP should increase, but with just a .292 career mark, it won’t be enough to offset the loss in power. So I actually have him projected for a slight dip in batting average. Overall, I think he’ll remain excellent, but drafting him as the second third baseman off the board I believe is a mistake.

OF: Mike Stanton
ADP Rank- 8
My Rank- 18

Surprise, surprise! I knew he was overvalued, wasn’t sure by how much. Once again, batting average! It’s a category, do not ignore it. Second, the new Marlins park scares the crap out of me. I still have him projected for 35 home runs and a 23% HR/FB ratio, so I am not simply letting speculation dictate my projection. Yes, he has massive power. I would not be shocked if he actually increased his already high 24.8% HR/FB ratio from last year. But when you are dealing with league leading marks, especially with someone who has only accumulated 875 career at-bats, the best thing to assume is some regression. So that, along with the new park sounding more pitcher friendly, is where I get that slight drop to the 23% mark.

This is a pick based on excitement and hope. People love the next great power hitter and it certainly appears like Stanton will be that man. But he would basically have to hit 45 home runs or bat .290 to just break even for his owners drafting him so early.


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