Last week, I identified and discussed a smattering of players whose ADPs have jumped from February to March in NFBC league drafts. Let’s now review players whose ADPs have fallen and investigate why that may be the case. I will ignore guys who got injured and focus only on guys who had been selected inside the top 300 in Feb.
In early February, I drafted my LABR mixed team. I picked Aristides Aquino 170th overall and thought he was a bargain. Not only did his ADP that month fall precipitously from there, it continued to decline in March. The reason why is obvious — the Reds now have a plethora of outfield options and only three starting spots to play them. The consensus soon became that Aquino would be one of the odd men out and despite his big power show in his debut last year, he would open the season in the minors. While anything could happen between now and eventual Opening Day, the ADP decline here is clearly justified, unless minor league stats count in your league.
Nope, A.J. Pollock isn’t injured again. Instead, the Dodgers went out and acquired superstar Mookie Betts and failed to trade Joc Pederson in early Feb, putting Pollock out of a starting job. Pollock obviously won’t start over Betts or Bellinger, leaving him to battle Pederson for left field at-bats. That kills his value, especially if he’s on the short side of the platoon, which his handedness suggests he would be. At least the reduced playing time should keep him healthy!
As usual, the Dodgers have an embarrassment of starting rotation option riches. Based on ADP, the hope must have been that prospect Dustin May would grab a spot in it. Unfortunately for him and his supporters, Alex Wood showed increased velocity during spring, while Julio Urias was told he had a slot locked up. Furthermore, May was dealing with a minor issue on his side that delayed his spring work. So between his injury and the strong alternatives, he was either going to open the season in the minors or in the bullpen. Neither of those options help fantasy owners from day one of the season. Don’t forget about him though as his combination of grounders, an acceptable strikeout rate, and solid control could make him an asset in even shallow mixed leagues.
Obviously, the fact that Yasiel Puig remains unsigned is why he has slid in ADP, though I’m surprised the slide wasn’t even greater. Does the delayed season help his case? Now he’ll have more time to negotiate a contract?
Remember the Dodgers rotation depth discussed above in regards to May? Same applies to Ross Stripling, except Stripling didn’t deal with an injury that hurt his chances. He was always the last resort if they couldn’t find anyone else, but he’ll probably pick up some starts here and there. In addition, he was supposed to be traded to the Angels, which would have allowed him to join the rotation, but the trade was scrapped, leaving him to middle relief with the Dodgers.
Nick Madrigal did nothing wrong, so I’m not sure what led to the decline in his ADP. Perhaps fantasy owners were growing less optimistic he would start the year in the Majors. He shouldn’t have to wait long though, but his fantasy value is up for question. His contact ability is amazing, which should guarantee he’s a help in batting average or OBP. But he owns little power and you have to hope he picks up the pace off his lowly four steals in a quarter of a season at Triple-A.
Like Madrigal, Mackenzie Gore did nothing wrong to deserve a drop in ADP. The Padres rotation still remains suspect, which means that if the top prospect had a strong couple of months in the minors, he could have enjoyed his promotion. Nothing changed from Feb to Mar to change that path.
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.