A Review Of: The Most Overvalued at Every Position

I didn’t just make 20 bold predictions in the pre-season, I also made various other proclamations and forecasts that put my credibility on the line. One of those series of articles was a look at who I thought were the most overvalued and undervalued players at every position, including pitchers. Today is a review of the hitters I thought were overvalued. As a reminder, I looked at the top 10 hitters in ADP at each infield position and 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. The most overvalued were those who I ranked furthest away from the hitter’s ADP at the time. I am going to use final season Yahoo ranks because that seems easiest, even though I am quite positive their valuation system probably is not all that accurate. Anyhow, Let’s see how I did.

1B: Freddie Freeman
ADP Rank- 10
My Rank- 12
Yahoo Rank- 13

Since there was such a small difference between my rank and ADP, I didn’t actually think he was all that overvalued. A couple extra fly balls, better contact and slightly higher HR/FB ratio led to a small improvement in his home run rate. I’m still not sure whether he’ll reach that 30 home run plateau, even in his prime. I’m pretty amazed that he only managed a .295 BABIP, despite posting a superb line drive rate and better than league average IFFB%. With an expected batting average improvement, I think he earns more next year, I just don’t see a ton of upside. 1 for 1

2B: Dan Uggla
ADP Rank- 4
My Rank- 8
Yahoo Rank- 19

Uggla’s power went missing and without power, he’s useless. His batting average is killer and that’s a category I don’t think most fantasy owners properly value. Uggla is consistently overvalued because of it. At 33 next season, it is certainly possible that we are witnessing the first chink in the armor and the beginning of the decline phase of Uggla’s career. Or, he could completely rebound and finally offer some profit for his owners. But again, even if his power did return, that batting average really puts your fantasy team in a hole. 2 for 2

SS: J.J. Hardy
ADP Rank- 9
My Rank- 15
Yahoo Rank- 16

My biggest issue was with Hardy’s power as I expected it to regress this year. And regress it did, as he hit 8 fewer homers in 136 more at-bats. He hit a lower percentage of fly balls and his HR/FB ratio dropped nearly six percentage points. With a low LD% every season and a ton of pop-ups, Hardy has always struggled to post respectable BABIP marks, and this year was no exception. Without the 30 home run power, that .238 batting average is a killer. About a month ago, I analyzed Hardy’s HR/FB ratio decline and concluded that this is closer to his true talent, rather than last year. I wouldn’t expect much of a rebound in 2013. 3 for 3

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

My first clear miss, and even though technically he ranked 3rd among second basemen rather than 2nd, Yahoo ranks him 11th overall, which was obviously better than where he was drafted. I was concerned that Beltre wouldn’t be able to sustain his HR/FB ratio spike this year, but he actually increased it slightly. His fly ball rate fell though and he made less contact, both of which cost him his second career 40 homer season. He’ll be 34 next year so I would still have a hard time paying full value, even though nothing currently suggests a decline is forthcoming. 3 for 4

OF: Giancarlo Stanton
ADP Rank- 8
My Rank- 18
Yahoo Rank- 13

I was obviously helped by Stanton’s injury that limited him to just 449 at-bats, so it’s hard to truly take credit here, especially since the addition of a replacement player added to Stanton’s stats would have likely made him fairly valued. As you may recall from a very recent recap article, I was pessimistic on Stanton this season. He’s looking like a right-handed Ryan Howard, but given his weak contact rate, it’s likely that his batting average bounces around. That BABIP luck may have a big impact on whether Stanton ends up providing fair value for his owners each year. 3 for 5



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Mike Podhorzer is the 2015 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Baseball Writer of the Year. He produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X 2.0: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.


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jcxy
Guest
jcxy

i’m not sold on freeman. of the players who finished ahead of him, a number would have been optimally used at other positions–miggy (3b), encarnacion (3b), posey (C), agon (OF), hart (OF), craig (2b, OF), mauer (C), davis (3b, OF), and trumbo (3b, OF).

even if you only got rid of the “obvious” non-1b–posey, mauer, and craig–and consider agon strictly a 1b, freeman still returns top 8 1b value.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Excellent post, jcxy. It is unrealistic to think the players you listed would suit up at 1B except in the rarest of circumstances. So, worst case scenario Freeman is 8th, and quite possibly higher.

With all respect that’s an 0/1 in my scorebook, Mike.

wily mo
Member

yeah – and i mean, even setting aside the multiple eligibility guys, if freeman was ranked 10, you ranked him 12, and he finished 13, it’s not like… that’s just a middle-tier guy being a middle-tier guy. maybe what i mean is, not trying to be a jerk, but i’d be a lot more impressed if you’d said hosmer.

unrelated, people keep doubting beltre every year and every year he keeps being awesome. at some point people are finally going to realize that he is actually completely awesome and has been since his LA breakout and the heart of his career was just ripped out by safeco field.

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