According to The Fantasy Baseball Price Guide over at Last Player Picked, Evan Longoria put up a $10 value in a standard 12-team mixed league last year in his rookie season. That tied him with Troy Glaus for the 12th-most-valuable third baseman in fantasy in 2008. This year, Longoria is the pre-season consensus as the third-best pick among third basemen, trailing only Alex Rodriguez and David Wright. He has an ADP of 19 according to the latest update over at Mock Draft Central.
Are we getting ahead of ourselves in anointing Longoria as a fantasy stud?
Longoria’s ISO of .259 was the 10th-highest mark in the majors last year. It was also significantly above what he did in either Double-A or Triple-A. Longoria’s slugging was helped by a 19.4 percent HR/FB rate, the 13th-best mark in MLB. Can he keep these two marks that high in his sophomore season, especially given his 27.2 percent K%, the 12th-highest in baseball?
And even if the power is real, how confident are you that he can improve upon last year’s .272 average? That came with a .318 BABIP.
The projection systems are typically unreliable with young players. Understanding that caveat, let’s use the Bill James one, since that has the most optimistic line for Longoria. That has him putting up these numbers:
Last year, Adrian Gonzalez put up this line and was the 30th-best hitter in fantasy.
Now, obviously the SB difference should not be ignored, nor should the difference in position from Gonzalez at 1B and Longoria at 3B. But at least some of those differences are canceled out by adding pitchers into the equation. Eight pitchers last year had a dollar value greater than or equal to the $22 figure posted by Gonzalez.
Do the net differences cancel out 19 spots in draft order?
It is fun to have young superstars on your team and Longoria certainly fits the bill. But ask yourself if you want to overdraft him by one-to-two rounds in order to have him on your squad. Because that is the current premium that owners are placing on him over his most optimistic projection.