02 Sep Reviewing 2018 NFBC ADP for Booms and Busts – Part 2
Hello Fantasy Baseball junkies! This is the 2nd of numerous installments in my 2018 ADP review, to see my first piece, go here.
Essentially, I am recapping the risers and fallers of the 2018 NFBC Drafts and finding potential lessons to learn from the successes and failures.
Lets dive in!
But first! Follow me on Twitter @bieryplox33 for Fantasy Baseball, NBA or other random tweets.
Bregman (ADP 32) has produced immense value, placing as the 15th player in 12 team 5×5 roto per Yahoo. Bregman transformed his body over the off-season, a critical change for the 23 year old cornerstone piece for the ‘Stros. This hasn’t translated in extra SB’s for AB (17 for 22 in 2017, only 10 for 14 in 2018), but perhaps he will learn better technique going forward. Bregman has upped his batting average, added a career high in homers, and most importantly has a career high in walk rate and a career low in K rate (posting a Votto-like 77:69 walk to K rate.) Seeing a 24 year old shortstop who has power, speed and supreme plate discipline is super exciting. He’s a top tier dynasty piece.
Those who selected on Bregman were betting on the come, as he hadn’t proven elite prodcution at this level yet. He has reached his potential in an elite lineup, bumping up the batting average, using his hit tool to tap into power, and staying healthy. Younger guys (with a good hit tool) in todays’ environment have better power outcomes and the Astros’ lineup only has helped Bregman. He’s a potentially a first rounder in 2019 drafts.
Following a shortened 2017 campaign due to a freak dirt bike accident, MadBum came into 2018 primed to make up for missed time, until his pinkie got shattered by a come-backer. I’d certainly call MadBum a bust, as he ranks as merely the 200th ranked player in 5×5 roto. The walks have spiked, while the K’s have dropped– a recipe for disaster. His surface stats are respectable, a 2.68 ERA and an adequate 1.23 whip, but the K’s have lagged behind (86 K’s in 100.2 IP). Only posting 5 wins hurts his value a lot, since the MadBum owners used such a high pick on his services. Going into 2019, I won’t avoid MadBum, I think he could post some nice volume and a good ERA, but I don’t think he has any chance of returning to the elite group of SP’s.
When buying aging starting pitchers, many chose to jump off early rather than to hold on too long. This worked for Felix when he fell off, but those owners missed out on Scherzer. If MadBum falls to the late 4th round and after next year, he could represent a chance to profit some.
The 9th ranked player in roto, riser deGrom has been unbelievable. He’s 5th in bigs for K percentage (31.5 % of opposing batters K) and leads starters in ERA by nearly .3 runs! A lowly 8 wins tamp down his impact (ugh, wins) but his 7.3 fWar proves his true worth. This is by all means a superstar pitcher.
Those who spiked deGrom picked a really good talent, but he is running hot and should regress next year, some. He cut his HR/FB into a third of what it was (16.1 in 2017, 5.9 in 2018) and has a career high strand rate of 83%. Steamer and Depth charts have his ERA over 2.97 the rest of the way, so fantasy owners should reconsider his baseline come ’19. Still a top 6 or 7 arm, but this is clearly an outlier season.
Father time is undefeated, but Verly is defying odds as a 35 year old. The dude is putting up a career high K rate and a career low BB rate. I have no idea how that is possible. He’s stacking wins on the ‘Stros and kept the ERA and WHIP in the elite territory. He’s the #12 ranked player in roto, his performance is simply unbelievable.
Pitching is extremely hard to project and Verly is yet another example. He showed greatness with the ‘Stros in ’17, and got much better in ’18. How? He ticked up the SwStr rate, lessened contact rate and posted a career high LOB rate (85%). I think he could post elite numbers again in 2019, buy him up if he falls past pick 40.
The top 40 pick has proven his buyers correct, posting solid numbers across the board to land within the top 20 for roto performers. Nothing pops off the page stats wise, except his .290 BA and 92 runs. Those marks should be sustainable in ’19 considering his great hit tool, excellent plate discipline and a great Boston lineup he’s hitting 2nd in.
Beni went 20-20 in 2018 with a .271 BA, clearly had room to grow across the board and did just that in 2018. Going into ’19, he looks primed to repeat with similar or better numbers (his sprint score improved in his age 24 season.)
Seager burned owners by suffering an injury that resulted in him undergoing TJ Surgery. Seags had this injury on his throwing elbow, thus making matters much worse. He was a flatout cut early on, allowing owners to make alternative plans early, but having a guy you picked in the 4th round as a total zero really hurts.
When buying bats this early, it’s smart to ensure that profile comes with steals or extreme power, something Kyle’s Brother doesn’t project to do. Even so, his plus batting average, paired with power and loads of runs and ribbies has it’s place, but I will tend to stray from hitters with lack of steals early on.
Ray has burned buyers, as he was the 44th player off the board in NFBC drafts. The K’s have been there to help boost his value, but the lack of wins (4) and god-awful ERA/WHIP combo (4.55 ERA & 1.44 WHIP) have jeopardized owners’ chances of winning with Ray.
This is a classic example of buying a guy off a career year, when it’s a huge outlier. Ray beat his FIP by about a run in ’17, so regression may have been inevitable, but he could be a guy to buy in ’19 if the price falls enough.
Following an off-season trade to a much better hitting environment, Yelich has proven his buyers correct, as he is the 8th overall player in roto leagues! Unbelievable! He has cranked up his BA and smashed a career high in the HR department. I expect similar-ish numbers in ’19 and most importantly he’s a very safe player in early rounds due to his very well rounded skill set. Even if the power dips, his average and steal totals should supplement his value. He’s a big time player with a great floor and big upside.
This is what can happen with guys who fill it up across the board, each category can receive a bump, thus making them absolutely elite. Guys who are somewhat similar to this statistical profile in 2019 to watch (in order of price): Starling Marte, Tim Anderson, Mondesi, McCutchen, Puig, Bader, Desmond (minus BA though). Obviously they won’t be as good, but the across the board production for these guys is nice.
Darvish has absolutely torched buyers in ’18. This guy crapped the bed performance wise, and then got hurt (elbow and triceps issues.) I will probably be off this guy in 2019, but the K’s should be there when he’s on the bump. I just don’t feel good about him going forward.
Avoiding pitchers going to a new team is a rule implemented by Paul Sporer. I really think it makes sense when spending capital on higher draft picks. In addition to a transition to a new team, Darvish has had injury issues in the past, so the warning signs were there to an extent, as the best injury predictor is past injury history.
Death, taxes & Byron Buxton September Teases and eventual subsequent busts. Buxton is about to be 25, still has supreme speed and some power, and his defense is absolutely elite, when on the field. He has missed an unbelievable amount of development time, which has severely hampered him. I will certainly be in on Buxton in ’19, as the price will be very affordable.
I wasn’t touching Buxton at his inflated ADP (50), as people were buying something he hadn’t done yet. I prefer stable production from proven commodities early on. 2019 will be important for Buxton’s career.
Those who bought the 52nd player off the board got burnt, to a degree. Contreras has seen the power dry up, posting a measly 9 homers (over 472 PA’s) after swatting 21 homers in 2018 (in just 428 PA’s). Lack of counting stats have hurt him as well.
He’s the 7th ranked catcher in the roto game, but those owners looked for much, much more of an advantage out of the 26 year old. I’ll buy him again in 2019, as there will be a discount.
Unfortunately, Archer has busted the past 3 consecutive seasons. Even in ’16 and ’17 he has put up a somewhat acceptable 4 ERA, but he’s been much, much closer to 5 in 2018. The K’s have dried up some, while the walks have ticked up. The move to the NL was supposed to move the ERA south, but he hasn’t improved. I think this guy is a total stay away, as he will continue to have someone pay up.
Archer backers were betting on the come, and he got worse. I get that the K’s are super nice, but the ERA, WHIP, Wins won’t help, making him a 1 category player. His K’s make him the Billy Hamilton of SP’s.
The main issue for Posey has been his total power outage. Since 2014, his homers have declined annually: 22, 19, 14, 12 and he played 140+ games every year. This year, the numbers reached a scary low point: 5. The OBP will continue to be loud, but the power is putrid.
Catchers take a beating and investing a lot in them is risky (see basically everyone except Realmuto.) I will be taking guys who don’t hurt my BA next year or Sal Perez.
Following a career year, Andrus busted for his owners (811th ranked player in roto), due to an elbow injury and just bad production. He hasn’t provided speed or power upon return, but I would have a tough time thinking the speed is gone, as his speed score isn’t far from his career norm (4.9 in ’18, 5.7 in ’17.) I will be buying again in ’19 if given enough of a discount.
For a guy who has posted the SB numbers as consistently as Andrus has, he seemed like a very safe buy. Injuries can affect any player, but I don’t think there’s anything owners could have foreseen with this bust. Just bad luck.