10 Guys I’m Likely Not Drafting

There are some guys I know I’m very unlikely to roster in a given season based on their cost. Let me acknowledge the obvious axiom that every player has their price, so if these guys all fell well below their current perceived prices (I did get some ADP data from Fantrax.com and I’ve been in a handful of drafts already because I’m insane), I’d likely pounce, but as it currently stands I just don’t see it. Without further ado, here are 10 guys I probably won’t be rostering in 2017 drafts.

Brian Dozier

Dozier had a fantastic 2016 with career-highs in HR, RBI, and AVG while approaching previous highs in R and SB. Perhaps the craziest part of it all was that he spotted the league two months (.624 OPS through May), but the surge has pushed him into the 3rd-4th round area. While the cost doesn’t require a full repeat, I just don’t think I want to pay that for what I think will be something like .255-28-15 from a 30-year old at a deep position. Flyball and hard contact jumps support the power boost, but his 18% HR/FB was also a career-high by quite a bit (previous high of 13%).

Jean Segura

Just when I was starting to warm to Segura, he gets traded to Seattle! It’d be unfair – and just plain wrong – to say Segura was a creation on Chase Field as he had just a 50-point home/road split in OPS, but we can’t just ignore the .891 OPS that he put up there and think he’s going to match it in the neutral-at-best hitting environment of Safeco Field. He’s also going to a team that stole 23 more bases than he did all season (56 to 33). Segura hit .336 with 13 HR and 17 SB in 400 PA at Chase and Coors Fields (.295, 7, 16 in 294 everywhere else). I already mentioned the depth of 2B and while Segura also has SS-eligibility, that positioned thickened up in ’16 as well.

Dee Gordon

The dearth of steals might make you think that someone like Gordon is worth more, but the corresponding surge in home runs puts a larger burden on each spot to deliver in that category and so Gordon’s 1-3 are just too low for me. Sure, the steals help and can set you up in that category, but you have to completely plan around Gordon with the rest of your draft once you take him. Additionally, the scarcity of steals means that few teams will large numbers to compete with and so I’d rather go for the nickel-and-dime approach and focus on power. If I’m really struggling in SBs in-season, I can trade for a Gordon on this next guy…

Billy Hamilton

He’s a worse version of Gordon because he’s never shown the ability to be a big AVG asset (career .248, high of .260). He has never reached even 80 runs, either. Hard pass.

Matt Harvey

I’m nervous about thoracic outlet syndrome surgeries. It’s still in the nascent stages as a routine procedure so we could start to see some cases rebound after getting it, but the early returns are unremarkable. I just haven’t seen nearly enough of a discount to jump back on board with one of my favorite pitchers at this point. This one is most subject to change based in Spring Training if his stuff looks good and his velocity is back.

Kyle Hendricks

I don’t deny his ability limit hard contact and his swinging strike rate jumped up to further support his solid 23% K rate, but I can’t ignore a .250 BABIP and 82% LOB rate and think that was all him. The Cubs had the best team defense by far last year and while the pieces are still there, I don’t think they’re going to repeat their incredible performance. We’ve seen what happens when the BABIP and LOB are on the less favorable side (3.96 ERA) of things and while I don’t think it’ll go all the way back to that, I think he’s more of a mid-3.00s pitcher with neutral luck. There’s a strong Dallas Keuchel feel here and if the league adjusts as they did to Keuchel, it could be even worse than mid-3.00s for Hendricks.

Albert Pujols

Pujols was a perfectly adequate first base option, but there were 10 first basemen to hit at least 30 homers and another six with at least 25. He was one of only seven 1B to drive in 100+ runs, but that isn’t enough to get me on board with drafting the 37-year old in the top 125 or so picks. I’d rather wait about 50 picks and bet on Mike Napoli repeating his 30-100 season.

Yasmany Tomas

A quarter of his flyballs left the yard en route to an improbable 31-homer season. He only put in the ball in the air 31% of the time and that represented an increase of 8% from his rookie season. I’ve never believed in him and while his 2016 definitely represented surplus value on his draft day cost, I’m still not convinced he’s a good player.

Julio Urias

It was an impressive 77 IP debut from the 19-year old, but he still only threw a total of 122 IP including his minor league work and the Dodgers are going to remain cautious with the 20-year old as they slowly work his way up to a full workload. Early projections are between 115-125 IP and I think the most aggressive outlook can only really push it to 150. Despite some fantastic skills and a good 3.39 ERA, his WHIP was still 1.45 and if that doesn’t improve, then there’s little chance that he repeats the ERA. He could definitely take a big step and end up delivering a huge 120 IP effort, but he almost has to do that at the price tag he’d had in early drafts I’ve done.

Hernan Perez

His 13 HR/34 SB season likely helped some folks win their league if they got the bulk of those numbers, but he never showed much promise the bat in the minors. This just looks like a playing time breakout and if that volume isn’t there in 2017, there’s no chance he repeats. Remember, he had just .302 OBP and 89 wRC+. He’s still youngish at 26, but there’s not a lot to bet on here, even in the late rounds.





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Brad Johnson
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Getting an early start on this, huh?