Are NFBC Drafters Correctly Adjusting Prices Post-Delay News?

MLB announced the season would be delayed by at last two weeks on March 12. Since, it’s become pretty clear that the season will start much later than previously anticipated. The later start will have a dramatic effect on many players’ values. As I’ve discussed recently, there are a bunch of less obvious players who should see a boost in value, as well as a group of players who should suffer a decline in value. Are NFBC drafters correctly making those adjustments? Let’s compare March 1-11 ADP (pre-delay) to March 18-24 ADP (post-delay) to find out. I chose to start the post-delay period on March 18 somewhat arbitrarily, but wanted it to be more recent to account for the assumption that we won’t have baseball until sometime in May, at the earliest.

NFBC Draft Movers
Player Pre-Delay ADP* Post-Delay ADP** Diff
Chris Sale 119 562 443
Rich Hill 546 390 -155
Mike Tauchman 355 502 146
Travis Shaw 341 467 127
Hunter Harvey 413 321 -92
Mauricio Dubon 466 377 -89
Johnny Cueto 314 403 89
Griffin Canning 433 349 -83
Tucker Barnhart 447 529 82
Kyle Gibson 365 438 73
Rick Porcello 377 450 73
Anibal Sanchez 412 484 72
Michael Pineda 365 436 71
Mike Fiers 428 494 66
Chris Bassitt 408 473 65
Kevin Pillar 382 444 62
Cole Hamels 407 349 -58
Kwang-Hyun Kim 481 423 -58
Yoenis Cespedes 453 395 -58
Miles Mikolas 364 311 -53
Dee Gordon 415 365 -50
Jose Peraza 371 422 50
*Mar 1-11
**Mar 18-24

Note that I won’t be discussing everyone.

Chris Sale is officially out for the year, so duh that he appears on top.

I listed Rich Hill in my under the radar value gainers article, and he’s getting the respect he now deserves. There’s now a real possibility he misses 0 games. Even at his old age, he’s still going strong, with no obvious signs of imminent collapse. His ADP should continue to creep up (down?).

Mike Tauchman was expected to serve as a starting outfielder with the Yankees and had some good job security given their early injuries. Now Giancarlo Stanton should be good to go and there’s a chance Aaron Judge could be as well. Tauchman might still win a job, but now he’s got competition from Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier who could conceivably steal playing time.

Travis Shaw’s move is certainly not season delay related, but is perhaps due to the chance that Rowdy Tellez wins the starting first base job. However, that’s not actually supported by a simultaneous jump in Tellez’s ADP. No idea what’s going on here. Thoughts?

Hunter Harvey has been talked up as a potential closer candidate in Baltimore, but I don’t think he’s very good, and continue to believe Mychal Givens is the better pitcher.

I also talked up Griffin Canning in my value gainers article, as his status is currently up in the air due to an elbow injury. There’s a wide range of outcomes here, as we really don’t know when or if he’ll be ready to pitch this season. Of course, the extra time off gives him a much better chance of being ready for the start of the season.

Michael Pineda’s ADP fell for good reason. He is due to serve another five weeks for a PED suspension. Those five weeks will now make up a much larger percentage of the season, really taking a chunk out of his value.

The Red Sox signed Kevin Pillar just days after acquiring Alex Verdugo, knowing the latter would likely miss the beginning of the season due to a back issue. That meant full-time at-bats for Pillar for some time, boosting his value. Now Verdugo should be good to go for the new season start, pushing Pillar back into reserve duty.

Cole Hamels injured his shoulder over the offseason and figured to miss the beginning of the season. Now he’ll have an extra month or two, at least, to get that shoulder back into game condition.

Do we have a Yoenis Cespedes sighting?! Now he has even more time to surprise us with a return to the Mets outfield. If he does make it back by the start or soon after, I’m curious what the Mets would do with their current group, as none of them deserve to become fourth outfielders. Of course, Cespedes would likely get rested often, but still, all of the incumbents should play every day.

Miles Mikolas suffered an arm injury in February, but now is expected to be ready for the season start.

I wonder if Dee Gordon’s ADP improved because expected second baseman Shed Long posted weak results during Spring Training. Of course, it would be silly for the Mariners to put any weight on a minuscule 34 plate appearance sample from Long, but ya never know.

Overall, the list of the biggest movers is mixed between delayed season gainers/losers and random players whose movements are difficult to explain. So directional moves for the delayed season value changers were correct in this group. However, I question some other names:

NFBC Draft Non-Movers
Player Pre-Delay ADP* Post-Delay ADP**
Orlando Arcia 629 667
Luis Urias 423 443
Willie Calhoun 186 189
Stephen Piscotty 617 620
DJ Stewart 740 738
*Mar 1-11
**Mar 18-24

Orlando Arcia rightly dropped, but it makes no sense that Luis Urias dropped too. He’s a bargain at that ADP. Willie Calhoun got hit in the face on March 8, right in the middle of the pre-delay time period. So his ADP is skewed. I would still think he should be going much earlier than 189 right now. Why wouldn’t Stephen Piscotty’s ADP jump? Sure, he’s not very appealing in a 15-team mixed league, but he should have at least dropped into the 500 ADP range. Last, DJ Stewart will be healthy after surgery and now has a chance to earn a significant role in the Orioles outfield. With his blend of power and speed, it makes little sense he’s going past pick 700.

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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. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.

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With talk of expanded rosters and teams playing 8 or 9 games a week (see Passan at ESPN), it is largely guesswork at this point.