I ran the 2016 Steamer projections through Zach Sanders’ Fantasy Value Above Replacement system and compared the results to early ADP data. Below I’ve got a player at each infield position that the Steamer projections think are unlikely to live up to their draft day price.
Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles
Wieters coming off the board as the ninth catcher on average makes little sense. For one, drafters are counting on a big bounce back in health from a now 30-year-old catcher. Wieters has a combined 394 plate appearances in the last two seasons. Staying healthy and getting enough PA to be a relevant fantasy option in shallow mixed leagues will be Wieters’ biggest obstacle this season.
But let’s not forget that he wasn’t that great in his last healthy season in 2013. Per our end of season valuations for that year, Wieters was barely starter-caliber in 12-team mixed leagues. His biggest issue that season was a .235 batting average, which was undoubtedly somewhat affected by some bad luck on balls in play. But since that time Wieters has been striking out more, as his strikeout rate was was a career-high 23.8 percent last year in 282 PA. So even assuming better health and an absence of bad luck on balls in play, Wieters seems unlikely to hit for much average. Steamer has a low-but-reasonable projection for Wieters’ BABIP and a 20.3 percent projected strikeout rate with a projection for his average of .244.